May 13 (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces destroyed a pontoon bridge and parts of Russian armoured column as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region, video footage released by Ukraine’s military showed, and a Russian naval ship was set afire in the Black Sea.
Ukraine has driven Russian troops back from the second-largest city of Kharkiv in the fastest advance since Kremlin forces pulled away from Kyiv and the northeast over a month ago.
* Russia’s defence ministry said its forces struck the Kremenchug oil refinery in central Ukraine, destroying its production capacity and fuel tanks. The ministry also said its forces shot down a Ukrainian Su-27 aircraft in the Kharkiv region. Reuters could not independently verify the report.
* Ukrainian forces successfully prevented an attempted Russian river crossing in the Donbas, the British defence ministry said in a regular Twitter bulletin.
Images suggest that Russia has lost armoured manoeuvre elements of at least one battalion tactical group and the deployed pontoon bridging equipment while crossing the Siverskyi Donets river west of Severodonetsk, Britain said in its intelligence update. Reuters could not immediately verify the report.
* A report in a Finnish newspaper that Russia may cut gas supplies to Finland as soon as Friday seems to be fake, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “Most likely, this is another newspaper hoax,” he told a conference call, adding that Gazprom remained a reliable gas supplier.
* Putin said the West had triggered a global economic crisis and a wave of ruinous inflation by imposing on Russia the most severe sanctions in recent history.
* Ukraine asked the G7 countries to seize Russia’s assets and hand them to Kyiv to help rebuild the country, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, adding that he hoped Hungary would agree with EU partners on an oil embargo on Moscow.
* Britain said it had imposed its latest round of sanctions against Russia, targeting President Vladimir Putin’s financial network, including his ex-wife and cousins.
* The Kremlin hit back at calls by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to “root out” Russia’s “monstrous ideology”.
“This is the quintessence of that hatred towards Russians that has regrettably, like a metastasis, infected the entire Polish leadership and, in many ways, Polish society,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
* Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told his Ukrainian counterpart Russian atrocities in Ukraine were totally unacceptable and Moscow should be held accountable for its action, a Japanese government official told a media briefing.
* Swedish membership of NATO would have a stabilising effect and would benefit countries around the Baltic sea, Foreign Minister Ann Linde said.
“The conditions they are in are horrible,” said Alina Nesterenko at a demonstration in Kyiv calling for Ukrainian fighters holed up in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol to be rescued. “I have no words to describe them. That’s why we are here. We are begging, we are pleading in every possible way, we are asking for our loved ones to be saved.”
PHOTO: The pontoon bridge and parts of Russian armored column that was destroyed as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region. Ukraine MoD