Putin blames Western arrogance for the war
The West’s “arrogance” is leading to a “real war” against Russia, and the West’s “supremacy ideology” “is by definition repulsive, deadly and criminal,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday during a victory parade in Red Square in Moscow Moscow.
Putin failed to address his own bold invasion of Ukraine, which sparked the massive military response by the US and its allies and has blunted the Kremlin’s drive to seize large swaths of the war-torn but resilient nation. Since the Russian invasion in February 2022, the US alone has provided about $37 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including a $1.2 billion package announced Tuesday. Other nations have also given Ukraine billions of dollars.
Putin said Western leaders “still talk about their exclusivity, turning people against each other and dividing society, provoking bloody conflicts and coups, sowing hatred, Russophobia, aggressive nationalism, destroying this family, traditional values that make people human.”
Victory Day, celebrated in Moscow on Tuesday, marks the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender on the night of May 8, 1945. A large parade was also held in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, but by the dozens Parades and other public commemorations have been canceled across the country. Regional officials cited “security concerns” or simply “the current situation.”
∙ Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kiev and praised the capital as the “beating heart” of European values.
∙ Ukrainian authorities said Russia fired another barrage at Ukraine, but air defenses destroyed 23 of the 25 missiles fired. The Air Force said in a telegram post that eight Kalibr cruise missiles were fired eastward from carriers in the Black Sea and 17 from strategic aircraft.
Ukraine receives another $1.2 billion in military aid
The Pentagon on Tuesday announced a $1.2 billion military aid package for Ukraine that includes orders to contractors for “critical near-term capabilities,” including air defense systems and 155mm artillery shells. The funding initiative supports HAWK air defense systems, air defense ammunition and air defense drones. It will also purchase artillery, missiles, satellite imagery support, and funds for ongoing maintenance and spare parts for a variety of systems.
Last week, the Pentagon sent Ukraine $300 million worth of ammunition and other equipment from existing stocks. The supplies come as Ukraine prepares to launch a long-planned offensive. Ukraine also needs an air defense system to shoot down waves of Russian missiles and drones.
− Tom Vanden Brook
UN chief says peace talks are ‘not possible’ at this time.
Peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are currently impossible because “both parties are convinced that they can win,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Spanish newspaper “El País”. He said the Russian invasion was a clear violation of international law. But he said the UN is focused on solving specific issues like securing the export of Ukrainian grain, which is badly needed to feed developing countries, across the Black Sea.
“I think that peace negotiations are not possible at this time,” Guterres said. “I don’t see right now that Russia is ready to withdraw from the territories it occupies and I think Ukraine is hoping to retake them.”
Contribution: The Associated Press