May 5, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Andrew Raine, Jack Guy, George Ramsay, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury, Aditi Sangal and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0554 GMT (1354 HKT) May 6, 2022
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8:12 a.m. ET, May 5, 2022

Russian attack on Azovstal "repelled," Ukrainian presidential adviser says

From CNN's Tim Lister and Julia Kesaieva

This image taken from a video released by the Internal Affairs ministry of the self-proclaimed pro-Russia Donetsk People's Republic on May 4 shows alleged shelling at the besieged Azovstal complex in Mariupol, Ukraine.
This image taken from a video released by the Internal Affairs ministry of the self-proclaimed pro-Russia Donetsk People's Republic on May 4 shows alleged shelling at the besieged Azovstal complex in Mariupol, Ukraine. (Eye Press/Reuters)

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych spoke about the latest situation in the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol, saying Ukrainian forces "repelled" Russian troops at the plant.

He told Ukrainian television that "we can say that yesterday Russian troops entered the territory of Azovstal and were repelled by our defenders."

He said a lot of contradictory information was circulating, but added: "We can say that there are ongoing combats. All other information is being clarified." 

"Negotiations with Russia are ongoing [on new evacuation corridors], and all the diplomatic authorities are involved," he said.

There is no sign that any civilians have been able to leave the ruins of the steel complex Thursday despite the Russian Ministry of Defense saying it would open evacuation corridors from the plant today.

CNN's efforts to reach commanders inside the Azovstal plant have been unsuccessful.

10:10 a.m. ET, May 5, 2022

15 people injured in Mykolaiv region from Russian shelling

From CNN's Katharina Krebs

At least 15 people have been injured in Ukraine's southern Mykolaiv region in the past 24 hours as a result of Russian shelling, Hanna Zamazeeva, the head of the Mykolaiv Regional Council, said in a Telegram post on Thursday.

All the victims were taken to regional hospitals, where they are receiving necessary medical care.

According to Zamazeeva, as of Thursday morning there were 157 civilians in local hospitals who had suffered injuries from Russian attacks in the Mykolaiv region.

8:05 a.m. ET, May 5, 2022

It's 3 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

From CNN staff

Russian forces are carrying out intensive attacks on the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where some Ukrainian troops are holding out. Meanwhile, the Russians' offensive in eastern Ukraine has made no progress, according to the Ukrainian armed forces. Russian missile strikes have also hit the city of Kramatorsk for the first time in a month.

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

Ukraine says front lines are holding: The Ukrainian armed forces say the Russians have had "no success" with efforts to break through front lines in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions over the past 24 hours. In its operational update for Thursday, the General Staff said: "Lyman, Severodonetsk and Popasna areas. The enemy units are trying to conduct offensive operations; no success."

"Non-stop shelling" at Azovstal: Intense attacks continued on the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol overnight into Thursday, according to Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the Mariupol mayor. The Ukrainian armed forces said Russian soldiers were concentrating on wiping out Ukrainian units at the plant. "The Russian occupiers are focusing their efforts on blocking and trying to destroy our units in the Azovstal area," the military said in its latest update.

Russia says it will open evacuation corridors: The Russian Ministry of Defense said it expects to open evacuation corridors for civilians out of the Azovstal steel plant near Mariupol starting on Thursday. The evacuations are set to take place from May 5 to May 7 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Moscow time, the ministry said. CNN has seen no independent evidence that the corridors are operating.

Russia targets Kramatorsk again: Russian strikes hit the center of the eastern Ukrainian city for the first time in a month. At least six strikes devastated a residential area and a building just down the street from the administrative center. At least 25 people were wounded and six were taken to hospital after the strikes in the early hours of Thursday morning, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of Donetsk regional military administration.

Lula blames Zelensky for war: Two-time former Brazilian President Lula Inacio da Silva has told TIME magazine that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin share the blame for the war in Ukraine. "And now, sometimes I sit and watch the President of Ukraine speaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation by all the [European] parliamentarians," said Da Silva. "This guy is as responsible as Putin for the war. Because in the war, there’s not just one person guilty."

7:58 a.m. ET, May 5, 2022

Finland’s decision on NATO membership expected to be "much clearer" by mid-May, says senior Western diplomat

 From CNN’s Lauren Kent and Nic Robertson in Finland and James Frater in London

Finish Prime Minister Sanna Marin talks to the media as she arrives at the EU Council headquarters for an EU Summit on the situation in Ukraine on February 24, in Brussels, Belgium.
Finish Prime Minister Sanna Marin talks to the media as she arrives at the EU Council headquarters for an EU Summit on the situation in Ukraine on February 24, in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

Finland’s decision on NATO membership is expected to be “much clearer” before May 17 when the country’s president will visit Sweden, according to a senior Western diplomat with knowledge of Finland’s proceedings.

Following weeks of hearings from parliamentarians, the Finnish Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to draft a response on the Finnish government’s security report — which includes the option of joining NATO — as early as May 11, the diplomat said.

Following the publication of the committee response, Finland’s parliament will hold an extraordinary debate on whether to approve the security report recommendations. 

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin have not yet expressed a position on NATO membership, but both have promised to publicly express an opinion after the conclusion of Finland’s parliament debate, according to the diplomat.

They added that Finland is coordinating closely with Sweden as both countries would benefit from proceeding with NATO membership on the same schedule.

The diplomat also told journalists on Thursday that “the Russian Federation has a long-standing policy against the accession of new countries to NATO, especially those close to its borders,” and that Finland, in its security report, had laid out its “preparedness for hybrid and cyber influence activities.”

They said that, so far, Finland has “not seen active measures by Russia to contrary possible Finnish application to NATO” and explained that Finnish Defence Forces have said there is "no active military threat against Finland" at this point

Meanwhile, the source said they are convinced that Finland — which shares an 800-mile-long border with Russia — would "bring added value to NATO."

“Finland is already protecting the northern flank of the alliance and with a defence integrated into NATO's planning and command structures, Finland could do that even more effectively," they added, also noting that “immediately after the attack, support for NATO membership among the Finnish public increased dramatically.”

Citing multiple opinion polls, the source said that at least 60% of Finns are now in favor of NATO membership, which “are really historic numbers because for 30 years in Finland, the support for joining NATO has been between 20 and 30% at most.”

7:29 a.m. ET, May 5, 2022

Japan will use nuclear reactors and renewables to reduce dependence on Russian energy, PM says

From CNN’s Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida gives a speech in the City of London financial district on May 5.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida gives a speech in the City of London financial district on May 5. (Kyodo News/Getty Images)

Japan will diversify energy procurement, utilizing nuclear reactors and renewables to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, said Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a speech Thursday in London's financial district.

Kishida promised to accelerate innovation and said 150 trillion yen (about $1.15 trillion USD) in investment would be raised in the next decade to meet energy needs and make the most of pro-growth carbon pricing.

Kishida said that Japan’s economy would continue to grow and urged people to invest in it. 

Later today, Kishida will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson; the two are expected to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

7:20 a.m. ET, May 5, 2022

Drone footage shows how Russians destroyed one Ukrainian town in savage battle

From Tim Lister and Paul P. Murphy

A 22-minute video shot by a surveillance drone over the Ukrainian town of Popasna has illustrated the stunning destruction being inflicted on settlements across the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

It's also another insight into the importance of drones in modern warfare, as well as the Russian approach to combat and the last-ditch resistance of Ukrainian units.

The drone video shows that every property in the middle of the town is destroyed or damaged. Most appear to have been hit by Russian artillery or rocket fire.

"The Russians are not just destroying Popasna. They are removing it from the map of Luhansk region," according to the head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration Serhiy Hayday.

The drone video was originally posted by a pro-Russian Telegram channel and appears to have been taken by a Russian military drone.

The drone appears to have been used to assist Russian infantry in hunting down the last Ukrainian defenders of the area. Ultimately, it hovers over the location where the Ukrainians are cornered and surrender.

CNN has geolocated and verified the authenticity of the video. It's unclear exactly when the video was taken, but intense fighting has taken place in Popasna in recent days, as the Russian advance has clashed with Ukrainian defenses in the town.

Read the full story here:

6:21 a.m. ET, May 5, 2022

Brazil's ex-president says Zelensky is as much to blame as Putin for war in Ukraine

From CNN's Jack Guy

Former president Lula da Silva attends a press conference after meeting with the Rede Sustentabilidade party in Brasilia, Brazil, on April 28.
Former president Lula da Silva attends a press conference after meeting with the Rede Sustentabilidade party in Brasilia, Brazil, on April 28. (Mateus Bonomi/AGIF/Reuters)

Two-time former Brazilian President Lula Inacio da Silva has told TIME magazine that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin share the blame for the war in Ukraine.

"And now, sometimes I sit and watch the President of Ukraine speaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation by all the [European] parliamentarians," said Da Silva. "This guy is as responsible as Putin for the war. Because in the war, there’s not just one person guilty."

Speaking to TIME in an interview to mark the May 7 launch of his pre-candidacy for a third presidential term, Da Silva said Putin shouldn't have invaded Ukraine, but blame also lies with the United States, NATO and the European Union.

"What was the reason for the Ukraine invasion? NATO? Then the US and Europe should have said: “Ukraine won’t join NATO.” That would have solved the problem," he said.

"The other issue was Ukraine joining the EU. The Europeans could have said: 'No, now is not the moment for Ukraine to join the EU, we’ll wait.' They didn’t have to encourage the confrontation."

Da Silva went on to call Zelensky's behavior "a bit weird," citing the Ukrainian president's frequent television appearances.

"It seems like he's part of the spectacle," he said. "He is in the UK parliament, the German parliament, the French parliament, the Italian parliament, as if he were waging a political campaign. He should be at the negotiating table."

5:56 a.m. ET, May 5, 2022

Kramatorsk reels from first Russian airstrike in a month

From CNN's Mick Krever and Olha Konovalova in Kramatorsk

The aftermath of Russian strikes on a residential area in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on May 5.
The aftermath of Russian strikes on a residential area in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on May 5. (Mick Krever/CNN)

Residents of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region are sifting through the rubble of their homes after Russian strikes hit the city center for the first time in a month.

At least six strikes devastated a residential area and a building just down the street from the administrative center.

At least 25 people were wounded and six were taken to hospital after the strikes in the early hours of Thursday morning, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of Donetsk regional military administration.

In the courtyard of a five-story residential complex, a large munition hit a water and sewage facility, leaving a three-meter-deep crater.

The resulting shockwave stripped trees of their branches and laid ruin to the surrounding buildings, pulling windows from their frames and ripping through apartments from front to back.

One resident, Lyudmyla, told CNN’s Sam Kiley:

I just got lucky. I went to the bathroom, I heard a bang, I sat down on the bed, and it hit me. And all the furniture fell down. It’s a good thing we’re still alive.”

Some context: The last time a Russian strike hit the Kramatorsk city center on April 8, at least 50 people were killed and nearly 300 wounded when a missile hit the city’s main railway station.

The Russian military is trying to advance from the north on the main population in Ukrainian-controlled Donetsk, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

5:05 a.m. ET, May 5, 2022

Ukraine's national railway hasn't buckled in the face of intense Russian attacks

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová, Petro Zadorozhnyy and Lauren Said-Moorhouse,

Workers inspect the electric substation that was hit by a Russian missile strike in Lviv, Ukraine on May 4.
Workers inspect the electric substation that was hit by a Russian missile strike in Lviv, Ukraine on May 4. (Omar Marques/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The smell of burnt wire and rubber still lingered in the air around the railway power station on the outskirts of Lviv Wednesday morning, hours after the blaze was extinguished. A group of investigators was collecting debris from the Russian rockets that struck this place the evening before. Now it serves as evidence of Russia's attempts to systematically destroy key infrastructure.

The Lviv power station was among six railway facilities in central and western Ukraine targeted by Russian forces on Tuesday evening, according to the chairman of Ukrainian Railways Olexander Kamyshin.

The coordinated strikes briefly knocked out power in parts of the region and caused long delays to more than 40 trains.

"There were also disruptions on our pumping stations, which are supplying the city with water," Lviv Deputy Mayor Serhiy Kiral told CNN. He said contingency plans were executed to ensure the water supply was not impacted by the strikes.

Tuesday's attack marks the latest in a series of recent attacks on the country's infrastructure, with the railway network now one of Russia's key targets.

Read the full story here: