A resident walks past buildings damaged by a Russian strike on Sievierodonetsk in the eastern Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine (Reuters)

EA on TRT World: Putin’s War on Ukraine — The Latest from Mariupol to Finland

TikTok Goes to War with Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Sunday’s Coverage: Russia — We May Swap Mariupol POWs for Putin Ally Medvedchuk


Starbucks has ended its presence in Russia after 15 years.

The coffee company said in a press release that it has now closed its 130 licensed cafes in the country. It said it will support nearly 2,000 workers for six months, including pay, and it will assist partners to pursue new opportunities outside of Starbucks.

CEO Kevin Johnson said in March that Starbucks had suspended all business activity in Russia, including shipment of all products.


A Russian missile strike has killed at least one person in Malyn, in the Zhytomyr region west of Kyiv.

Ukraine’s Air Command Center said Russian forces fired naval-based cruise missiles at infrastructure facilities on Sunday. It said four were destroyed by anti-air defenses.

The head of the Zhytomyr regional military administration, Vitaliy Bunechko, said the attack was similar to one last Friday.


Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Volodymyr Zelenskiy said 87 people were killed in a Russian airstrike last Tuesday on the village of Desna in the Chernihiv region in northern Ukraine.

Today we completed work at Desna. In Desna under the rubble there were 87 casualties. 87 corpses.

Ukrainian officials initially said eight people were killed in the strike.

At the time of the attack, a Russian military spokesperson claimed high-precision, long-range missiles struck Ukrainian reserves forces at a training center near Desna and at one other site.

Zelenskiy called for “maximum sanctions” against Russia over its aggression, including a full oil embargo and end to trade; a cutoff of all Russian banks from global systems; and breaking of ties with Russia’s IT industry.

He suggested that reconstruction of Ukraine could be partly funded by Russian assets seized abroad: “We offer the world the chance to set a precedent for what happens if you try to destroy a neighbour. I invite you to take part in this rebuilding.”


Boris Bondarev, a counsellor in the Russian Mission to the UN office in Geneva, has resigned in protest over Vladimir Putin’s “aggressive war” against Ukraine.

A 20-year veteran of the Foreign Ministry, Bondarev wrote in statement that he has “never been so ashamed” of his country, criticizing the Ministry for its rising “level of lies and unprofessionalism”.

[The war] is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing our all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country.

Those who conceived this war want only one thing – to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity. To achieve that they are willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes. Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have already died just for this.

The diplomat told Reuters that he raised concerns with senior embassy staff several times, but “was told to keep my mouth shut in order to avoid ramifications”.

Finally I went to the mission like any other Monday morning and I forwarded my resignation letter and I walked out. I started to imagine this a few years ago but the scale of this disaster drove me to do it.


A Russian tank commander, Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison in the first war crimes trial over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Shishimarin was charged with shooting and killing an unarmed 62-year-old man in the Sumy region in northeastern Ukraine. He pled guilty last Wednesday but, under Ukrainian law, still had to be tried.

The murder occurred after Shishimarin’s convoy came under attack. As he and four other soldiers fled in a stolen car, they encountered the victim, on a bicycle a few dozen meters from his home, near the village of Shupakhivka.

Prosecutors argued, “One of the soldiers ordered the accused to kill the civilian so that he would not denounce them.” Shishimarin then fired a Kalashnikov assault rifle from the window of the car and the man died instantly.

In a video after his arrest, Shishimarin said, “I was ordered to shoot, I shot him once. He fell and we continued our journey.” At the trial, he expressed regret to the victim’s widow.


The German intelligence service BND reports that two Russian neo-Nazi groups, the Russian Imperial Legion and Rusich, are fighting alongside Moscow’s forces in Ukraine.

The assessment, in a confidential intelligence assessment obtained by Der Spiegel, undercuts the Kremlin’s propaganda line of “special military operations”, as the involvement of the Russian neo-Nazi factions “makes the ostensible reason for war, the so-called ‘denazification’ of Ukraine, absurd”.

Both groups also fought in the 2014 conflict to establish Russian proxy areas in eastern Ukraine.

Rusich is connected with the mercenaries of the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group. The Russian Imperial Legion is the paramilitary arm of the ultra-nationalist Russian Imperial Movement.

The BND said it is unclear whether the deployment of the two groups “was made at the request of or in consultation with the Russian leadership”.

Russian Imperial Legion leader Denis Gariyev, his deputy, and two other members are believed to have been wounded in fighting. Rusich founder Alexei Milchakov was injured as soon as the group entered Ukraine.

Another Rusich member is a “military correspondent” with Russian State broadcaster Channel One.


Ukrainians have described the brutality of Russian “filtration centers” holding those who have fled or been forcibly deported from their homes.

CNN summarizes the accounts including that of Oleksandr Vdovychenko, subjected to beatings and intimidation.

He told his family of questions about his politics, his future plans, and his views on the war. They checked his documents, took his fingerprints, and stripped him to check if he had any nationalist tattoos or marks from military equipment.

“What would happen if we cut off your ear?” they asked, and then hit him in the head — punching him again when answers were not satisfactory.

Vdovychekno’s daughter Maria said that his sight has been permanently damaged by the beatings.

Ukraine officials say tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians in the east and south of the country have been processed in the filtration centers and transported to Russia.


The World Health Organization updates on Russian attacks on health care facilities in Ukraine:


Russia’s attacks in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine damaged more than 70 residential buildings and killed a civilian on Sunday, said military governor Serhiy Haidai.

He added that a child injured on May 7 in the town of Pryvillya died in intensive care.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia has escalated its offensive in eastern Ukraine, but is still struggling to make face-saving gains for Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

In the past week, Russian forces have increased shelling and ground assaults near the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, the easternmost cities under Ukraine’s control, in the eastern Luhansk oblast.

Dozens of civilians have been slain in the past week. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday night that 50 to 100 Ukrainian fighters are being killed each day, while Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai spoke of Russia using “scorched-earth” tactics in the region.

Haidai said in a video on Telegram that shelling of Sievierodonetsk “continues from morning to the evening and also throughout the night”, with the Russians attacking from “four separate directions” and destroying a bridge to nearby Lysychansk. However, he said Russian forces still could not enter the city.

UK military intelligence assessed on Sunday that “the Severodonetsk area remains one of Russia’s immediate tactical priorities”, but even the deployment of its most specialized military units — such as its only operational company of BMP-T Terminator tank support vehicles — is “unlikely to have a significant impact on the campaign”.

Analysts have noted that Russia’s forces continue to suffer the problems with supply, logistics, and morale that led to failure in the first two phases of the invasion: the failure to enter the capital Kyiv in the first days, seeking to overthrow the Zelenskiy Government, and then the failure to surroound and besiege cities throughout northern Ukraine.

UK intelligence followed up on Monday: “A combination of poor low-level tactics, limited air cover, a lack of flexibility and a command approach which is prepared to reinforce failure and repeat mistakes has led to…a similar death toll to that experienced by the Soviet Union during its nine-year wr in Afghanistan.

The Ukraine military says Russia has lost almost 30,000 personnel, thousands of tanks and armored vehicles, hundreds of warplanes and helicopters, and more than a dozen warships. NATO analysts say about 1/3 of Russia’s invasion force has been destroyed.

In its latest operational report, the Ukrainian General Staff posted:

Russia has been forced to withdraw from storage T-62 tanks to recruit reserve battalion tactical groups that are being formed to be sent to Ukraine. In addition, equipment that was damaged and restored at repair and renovation plants is used to replenish the loss of weapons and military equipment.

Ukraine: No Cession of Territory to Russia

Zelenskiy’s senior advisors have repeated that Ukraine will not cede any territory to Russia.

Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak tweeted, with a reference to the Battle of Thermopylae, where Greeks stood against the overwhelming force of a Persian army and navy:

on Saturday, Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak emphasized that any concessions to Russia meant “the war will not stop”:

It will just be put on pause for some time. They’ll start a new offensive, even more bloody and large-scale….

Any concession to Russia is not a path to peace, but a war postponed for several years. Ukraine trades neither its sovereignty nor territories and Ukrainians living on them.

Visiting Kyiv on Sunday, Polish President Andrzej Duda told Ukrainian politicians that the international community must demand Russia’s complete withdrawal, with any sacrifice of Ukraine territory a “huge blow”.

Worrying voices have appeared, saying that Ukraine should give in to Putin’s demands. Only Ukraine has the right to decide about its future.

In the last face-to-face talks with Russia at the end of March, Ukraine tabled a 15-page proposal which included a 15-year consultation period over Russian-occupied Crimea and guarantors for Kyiv’s security. The Kremlin never made a substantive response to the document.