War in Ukraine: Latest developments

By: AFP
Published: 08:39 PM, 12 May, 2022
War in Ukraine: Latest developments
Caption: For the first time since the start of the war, the flow was reversed on May 10 with 29,000 departures for 34,000 returns according to official figures from border guards, even if the balance remains largely negative overall with 5.9 million departures for 1.56 million back. Russia invaded Ukraine.
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Finland seeks NATO membership -

Finland's president and prime minister say they want their country to join NATO in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"NATO membership would strengthen Finland's security," President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin say.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg welcomes the move and promises that the membership process will be "smooth and swift".

Finland has been non-aligned militarily for decades but has had a change of heart since neighbouring Russia invaded Ukraine. Sweden is also considering joining the Western military alliance.

- Russian warning to Finland -

Russia, which has been infuriated by NATO's expansion into eastern Europe, says it will be forced to take "military-technical" steps if Helsinki presses ahead with its NATO bid.

"Helsinki should be aware of its responsibility and the consequences of such a move," the foreign ministry says. 

"You caused this. Look in the mirror," Niinisto says.

- Ukraine to hold first war crimes trial -

Ukraine says it will put a 21-year-old Russian soldier, accused of gunning down an unarmed civilian while he was riding his bike, on trial for war crimes. This is the first such case to go to court since the war began. 

Vadim Shishimarin is accused of killing the 62-year-old man on February 28 near the central village of Chupakhiva, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova's office says.

Shishimarin is in custody in Ukraine. He faces possible life imprisonment if convicted of war crimes and premeditated murder. No date has been given for the trial.

- Gas row escalates -

Gazprom says it will stop shipping gas to western Europe through Poland in line with Russian sanctions on more than 30 EU, US and Singaporean energy companies, imposed in retaliation for Western penalties over Ukraine.

The row has raised fears for the future of Europe's gas supplies.

One of the sanctioned companies is Poland's EuRoPol GAZ S.A., owner of the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline, which carries gas from Russia to Germany.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck accuses Russia of using energy as a "weapon" and says "the situation is coming to a head".

Gazprom says Russia's supply of gas to western Europe is already down almost a third after Ukraine this week suspended supplies through a key route over what it called Russian interference.

- Ukraine accused of deadly cross-border attack -

The governor of the southwestern Russian region of Belgorod accuses Ukraine of shelling the border village of Solokhi, killing one person and injuring three others.

Over the past month, authorities in Russian frontier regions have repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of launching cross-border attacks, including bombing a fuel depot.

- 'Three killed' in strike on north Ukraine -

Ukraine says three people were killed and 12 others wounded in a Russian strike in Ukraine's northern Chernigiv region on Wednesday night. 

The attack comes nearly two months after Russian forces withdrew from the north to focus on the east and south.

It took place in the town of Novgorod-Siversky, according to the emergency services. Chernigiv governor Vyacheslav Chaus says "critical infrastructure", including a school, were hit.

- Keep us a spot in EU: Ukraine -

Ukraine asks Brussels to keep it a spot in the European Union, even if obtaining full membership takes time.

"It is not about the fastest possible membership for Ukraine in the EU. But what is very important for us is for this spot to be reserved for Ukraine," Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tells German broadcaster ARD.

Ukraine asked Brussels in February to fast-track its EU membership bid.

French President Emmanuel Macron this week warned it would take "decades" for Kyiv to join the bloc and suggested the creation of a broader European political community to help aspiring EU members like Ukraine.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.