War in Ukraine: Latest developments

Published: 08:28 PM, 25 May, 2022
War in Ukraine: Latest developments
Caption: A woman walks past a destroyed administration building in the city of Bakhmut in the eastern Ukranian region of Donbas.
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Fighting reaches key eastern city -

Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has reached the outskirts of the key eastern city of Severodonetsk, the regional governor says.

"Russian troops have advanced far enough that they can already fire mortars" on the city, Lugansk governor Sergiy Gaiday says in a statement on social media.

Severodonetsk, which had a pre-war population of around 100,000 people, has been under relentless Russian shelling for weeks.

It is one of the key goals in Russia's offensive in the industrial Donbas region.

- Mariupol port demined -

Russia's defence ministry says that it has finished demining the port of the destroyed city of Mariupol and that foreign ships stuck in the port will be able to leave.

The port has started "to function normally," the ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov tells a press briefing.

Andrey Rudenko, a Russian deputy foreign minister, said earlier Russia is prepared to escort vessels to safety if Ukrainian forces clear mines from around their ports.

The United Nations has urged Russian authorities to release grain stuck in Ukrainian ports to avert global food shortages. 

- Russian parliament ups age of recruits -

Russia's parliament passes a law scrapping an upper age limit for people joining the army, in a sign Moscow may be looking to recruit more troops for its military campaign in Ukraine.

Under current legislation, only Russians aged 18 to 40 and foreign nationals aged 18 to 30 have the right to sign their first military service contract.

The lower and upper houses of parliament backed the bill, which has yet to be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

- Zelensky blasts Western disunity- 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blasts the West for lacking unity on the war during an address by videolink to an event held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He renews calls for heavy weapons from foreign partners, saying the billions of dollars' worth already put up are not enough to help Ukraine's outgunned forces in Donbas.

- Russia to pay debt in rubles -

Russia's finance ministry says that it will start paying its foreign debt in rubles after the United States ended an exemption allowing Moscow to make the payments in dollars. 

- Sanctions causing food shortages: Moscow - 

Russia says the West needs to lift sanctions on the country to stave off a global food crisis.

The war in Ukraine has pushed global food prices to an all-time high -- sparking fears of worsening hunger, particularly in Africa.

"Solving the food problem requires a comprehensive approach, including the removal of sanctions that have been imposed on Russian exports and financial transactions," says Russian deputy foreign minister, Andrey Rudenko.

- EU cracks down on oligarch assets -

The EU proposes new rules that would make it harder for Russian oligarchs to evade sanctions and open the way to confiscating their assets to help pay to rebuild Ukraine.

"While the Russian aggression on Ukraine is ongoing, it is paramount that EU restrictive measures are fully implemented and the violation of those measures must not be allowed to pay off," the European Commission says in a statement.

- Chelsea FC takeover approved -

The UK government approves the proposed takeover of Chelsea football club from Roman Abramovich, saying it is satisfied the deal "will not benefit" the sanctioned Russian oligarch.

Abramovich put Chelsea on the market in early March.

A consortium led by Todd Boehly, a co-owner of baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers, has agreed to buy the club for a record £4.25 billion ($5.3 billion). The Premier League agreed to the deal.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.