The Ukrainian roundup

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May 27 (Reuters) – Russia’s separatist proxies in eastern Ukraine claimed full control of the important battlefield town of Lyman, and Ukraine appeared to concede it, as Moscow presses its biggest advance for weeks.


* The military situation in eastern Ukraine is even worse than people say it is and the country needs heavy weapons now to effectively fight Russia, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

* Russian shelling killed at least seven civilians and wounded 17 in the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, authorities said. 

* As the United States and its allies provide Ukraine with increasingly sophisticated arms, Washington has held discussions with Kyiv about the danger of escalation if it strikes deep inside Russia, U.S. and diplomatic officials told Reuters. 

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the West that supplying weapons to Ukraine capable of hitting Russian territory would be “a serious step towards unacceptable escalation”, Tass news agency said.


* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia is weaponising a global food supply crisis and the world must prevent large-scale famine. Moscow did not appear ready for serious peace talks, he said. 

* The Kremlin, which blames Ukraine and its Western allies for the food crisis, said Kyiv was also to blame for the fact that peace negotiations were frozen. 

* Zelenskiy complained about divisions inside the European Union over more sanctions on Russia, including an embargo on its oil exports, and asked why some nations were being allowed to block the plan, after opposition from Hungary. 

* Finland’s prime minister said Russia’s actions in Ukraine were a turning point for the world and relations with Moscow could not go back to how they were before its invasion. 


* The White House said it expects minimal impact on the U.S. and global economy from a potential Russia debt default as Washington decided not to extend a waiver that enabled Russia to pay U.S. bondholders. 

* Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi discussed ways to help ease the international food crisis, with the Kremlin saying this could be done only if the West lifts sanctions. 

* The African Development Bank is looking to source around 500,000 tonnes of fertiliser for west Africa by the end of August as an emergency stopgap, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said. 


* “Pressure on Russia is literally a matter of saving lives,” Zelenskiy said in a late night address.


* An EU summit on May 30-31 could see divisions between members who want to take a hard line against Russia and those calling for a ceasefire. 

(Compiled by Robert Birsel and Philippa Fletcher)

Photo: Ukrainian MoD

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