War in Ukraine: Latest developments

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·3-min read
President Vladimir Putin tells a Victory Day parade he had no choice but to send troops into Ukraine to defend the Russian 'Motherland' (AFP/Mikhail METZEL) (Mikhail METZEL)
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- War defends 'Russian Motherland': Putin -

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his highly anticipated Victory Day speech at a giant military parade in Moscow. He says he had no choice but to send troops into Ukraine to defend the Russian "Motherland" from an "absolutely unacceptable threat".

Speculation that he could use the 77th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II to expand the conflict comes to naught.

The Russian leader insists instead on the need to avoid "the horror of a global war".

- Separatists parade in Mariupol -

A giant black and orange ribbon is carried through the devastated port city of Mariupol by pro-Russian separatists to mark Victory Day.

Moscow has said it has taken control of the city, except for the huge Azovstal steel plant where remaining Ukrainian forces are holed up.

The Kremlin said last week there were no Victory Day celebrations planned in the battered city.

- 'We will win,' says Zelensky -

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky says he will not allow the Soviet Union's victory over the Nazis to be "appropriated" by Putin.

"We are proud of our ancestors who together with other nations in the anti-Hitler coalition defeated Nazism. And we will not allow anyone to annex this victory. We will not allow it to be appropriated," he says.

Zelensky compares the Russian invasion to the Nazi occupation of parts of present-day Ukraine, vowing, "We won then. We will win now."

- Biden accelerates Ukraine arms deliveries -

President Joe Biden resurrects a World War II measure used to boost US allies fighting Nazi Germany, allowing Washington to accelerate weapons shipments to Ukraine for its battle against Russia's invasion.

He says the Lend-Lease Act shows US support for Ukraine against Putin's "brutal war".

- Ukrainians forced into Russia: Pentagon -

The Pentagon says it has seen indications that Ukrainians caught up in the invasion are being forcibly removed from their homeland and sent to Russia.

Kyiv has said some 1.2 million Ukrainians are being sent to Russia and placed in camps.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby calls the alleged actions "unconscionable" and "not the behaviour of a responsible power".

- Battles rage in east, Odessa hit -

As Russia tries to take the Russian-speaking Donbas region in the east, the governor of Lugansk region, Sergiy Gaiday, says there are "very serious battles" around Bilogorivka and Rubizhne.

European Council President Charles Michel is forced to take cover when missiles strike Odessa as he makes a surprise trip to the Black Sea port.

Powerful missiles strike in the evening, destroying five buildings, setting ablaze a shopping centre and injuring two people, emergency services say.

- EU chief meets Orban in oil row -

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen hails the "progress" made during talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is holding up Brussels' plans for a Russian oil embargo.

Landlocked Hungary relies on Russian oil from a single pipeline and Orban has warned he cannot approve the European Commission's proposed sixth package of EU sanctions against Moscow

Orban's international spokesman had cited Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto comparing the sanctions package to an "atomic bomb" for Hungary's economy.

- Ukraine 'decades' away from EU membership: Macron -

French President Emmanuel Macron appears to rule out Ukraine joining the European Union in the near future.

Macron says joining the bloc would take "decades" and suggests instead that Ukraine and other EU hopefuls like Moldova and Georgia be integrated into a new, yet-to-be-created "European political community".

Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz later visit Berlin's symbolically important Brandenburg Gate, illuminated in Ukraine's national colours, in a show of support for Kyiv.

- UN rights body to meet on Ukraine -

The UN Human Rights Council announces it will convene a special session on Thursday to address alleged worsening Russian violations in its war in Ukraine.

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