Ukraine war live updates Russia denies reports of Ukrainian frontline

Ukraine war live updates: Russia denies reports of Ukrainian frontline breakthrough – CNBC

Before an hour

China sends special envoys to Russia and Ukraine

Li Hui, China’s special envoy for Eurasian affairs, will visit Ukraine, Russia, Poland, France and Germany starting May 15, China’s foreign ministry said in a Portal comment on Friday.

According to Russian state news agency Tass, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet scheduled a meeting with Li Hui, the Kremlin said later in the day.

Western leaders have repeatedly asked Beijing to use its considerable influence over Russia to negotiate an end to Moscow’s hostilities in Ukraine.

China, which is increasingly trying to position itself as a facilitator in global diplomacy, presented a 12-point peace proposal to end the conflict in Ukraine, presented on the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February. The initiative has yet to gain momentum.

On April 26, Chinese President Xi Jinping held his first phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy since the beginning of the war.

— Ruxandra Iordache

2 hours ago

Kyiv says little progress has been made on Bakhmut

Ukrainian Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Telegram that the country’s forces had advanced two kilometers (1.24 miles) towards the besieged town of Bakhmut and had not abandoned local positions.

She also accused the Russian side of misinformation about the state and depletion of Ukrainian weapons.

Earlier this week, Russian military bloggers reported on alleged Ukrainian advances north and south of Bakhmut and speculated on a Ukrainian counterattack. The leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, also warned that Ukrainian troops were advancing from Bakhmut’s flanks.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied such advances on Thursday.

CNBC has not been able to independently verify the progress of Ukraine’s armed forces.

— Ruxandra Iordache

4 hours ago

Turkey says parties to the Black Sea Grains Agreement are close to agreeing on an extension

After two days of negotiations in Istanbul, the parties are close to reaching an agreement to extend the Black Sea Grains Initiative, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a comment reported by Portal.

Ukrainian, Russian, Turkish and UN officials are debating the fate of the deal, which Moscow says will expire on May 18 unless Russian demands are met.

The United Nations-brokered Black Sea Agreement was struck last July to ease a global food crisis exacerbated by Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine. The deal eased the Russian naval blockade and reopened three Ukrainian ports, making it easier to transport agricultural goods.

Before the war, Russia and Ukraine accounted for almost a quarter of world grain exports.

— Ruxandra Iordache

4 hours ago

Ukraine agrees to law reform plan as bid for EU membership looms

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday he had approved a plan to overhaul his country’s criminal and law enforcement systems in a bid to speed up Kiev’s accession to the European Union.

“We must ensure a system that guarantees justice and the rule of law in our country and is compatible with our goal of speedy EU accession,” Zelenskyy said in a video address, according to Portal.

Ukraine has officially applied to join the EU bloc and was granted candidate status in June last year. In February, the EU recognized “the significant efforts made by Ukraine in recent months to achieve the objectives underlying its candidate status for EU membership.”

The EU sees judicial and anti-corruption reforms as key to Ukraine’s admission. Kyiv ranks 116th out of 180 countries assessed by Transparency International in its 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index.

— Ruxandra Iordache

4 hours ago

Russia denies reports of a frontline breakthrough by Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday denied reports that Ukrainian forces had breached various areas of the front lines.

The ministry’s response comes after Russian military bloggers reported alleged Ukrainian advances north and south of the embattled town of Bakhmut, suggesting a possible counter-offensive.

“The statements circulated by individual Telegram channels about “defense breakthroughs” that took place in different parts of the line of contact do not correspond to reality,” the ministry said on Telegram on Friday, according to a Google translation.

It emphasized that “the general situation in the area of ​​​​the special military operation is under control”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told western media on Thursday that Kiev needs more time and more military aid to launch a real counteroffensive.

However, Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian private military company Wagner Group, which is conducting Russian hostilities in Ukraine, said later in the day that Ukrainian forces had begun their counterattack and were approaching from Bakhmut’s flanks.

— Ruxandra Iordache

20 hours ago

US holds ‘open’ talks with China amid Russian war in Ukraine

Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Advisor, speaks during an interview at an Economic Club of Washington event in Washington, DC, the United States, on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

US and Chinese officials met in Vienna for two days to discuss a range of issues, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, amid tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

“The two sides held frank, substantive and constructive discussions on key issues in US-China bilateral relations, global and regional security issues, Russia’s war on Ukraine and cross-strait issues, among others,” the White House said in a Thursday statement Reading of the meeting between Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi.

The White House National Security Council and the State Department did not respond to CNBC’s requests for more details about the meeting.

Sullivan has previously expressed US deep concern over China’s rapprochement with Russia and the possibility that the world’s second-largest economy may seek to help Moscow ease sanctions.

In the months following Russia’s invasion of its former Soviet neighbor, Washington and its allies have imposed a series of coordinated sanctions that take Russia past Iran and North Korea as the world’s most sanctioned countries.

Read the whole story here.

– Amanda Macias

15 hours ago

G7 members still export around $4.7 billion to Russia every month, according to a new report

According to a new report by the Atlantic Council, G7 members export about $4.7 billion a month to Russia, about 43% of what they did before the all-out invasion of the Kremlin in Ukraine.

“After 15 months of conflict, the G7 have implemented almost all of the economic measures against Russia that have found consensus within the group,” writes Niels Graham, deputy director of the Atlantic Council GeoEconomics Center.

“The options they are left with will be increasingly contested, imposing higher domestic economic costs on the G7 countries,” he added.

Here’s a look at the remaining G7 exports to Russia and the full report.

A look at G7 exports to Russia by category.

Atlantic Council | Geoeconomic Center

23 hours ago

“Feelings are running high”: Relations between the Wagner Group and Moscow deteriorate

A billboard for the Wagner PMC (Private Military Company), a Russian paramilitary organization, seen April 10, 2023 on the street in the Moscow suburb of Krasnogorsk, Russia.

Contributor | Getty Images

The war in Ukraine appears to have created deep and enduring tensions between the Russian leadership in Moscow and its mercenary fighters on the ground.

The dispute between the two sides culminated in openly hostile criticism this week, and mutual allegations of treason were made this week.

The head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner could hardly contain his anger on Tuesday when he said the promised deliveries of ammunition for his fighters in Bakhmut had not arrived.

The Kremlin appeared to comment on the tensions on Wednesday, saying that “emotions are running high” in Bakhmut.

Read more about the story here: The Ukraine war is driving a wedge between Moscow and its mercenaries – and the Kremlin knows it