May 6, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Brad Lendon, Nectar Gan, Jeevan Ravindran, George Ramsay, Meg Wagner, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 0409 GMT (1209 HKT) May 7, 2022
46 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
6:32 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

Italian authorities seize superyacht believed to have links to Russian government

From Livia Borghese in Rome

An Italian police patrol boat is seen in front of the multimillion-dollar superyacht, The Scheherazade, docked at the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara in Italy, on Friday.
An Italian police patrol boat is seen in front of the multimillion-dollar superyacht, The Scheherazade, docked at the Tuscan port of Marina di Carrara in Italy, on Friday. (Federico Scoppa/AFP/Getty Images)

Italian authorities have seized a superyacht believed to have links with the Russian government, according to a news release issued by the country’s financial police on Friday. 

The Scheherazade has been under scrutiny since March for possible connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The news release stated that investigations “highlighted the presence of significant economic and business connections" between the owner of the yacht and "prominent elements of the Russian government.”

The owner of the yacht — whose name was not disclosed — also has connections with other Russians included in the EU’s list of those sanctioned for “actions that compromise or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine,” according to police. 

“Based on these elements, the Financial Security Committee proposed to the Council of the European Union the inclusion of this person in the aforementioned list,” the news release continued. 

Italy’s Finance Minister Daniele Franco has ordered a decree to freeze the vessel which bears the flag of the Cayman Islands and is docked in the Italian port of Marina di Carrara.

5:33 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

Biden announced additional US security assistance for Ukraine. Here's what is in the latest package.

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Nikki Carvajal

US President Joe Biden on Friday announced additional security assistance to Ukraine in the form of "additional artillery munitions, radars, and other equipment."

The latest package is for $150 million worth of equipment including 25,000 155mm artillery rounds, counter-artillery radars, jamming equipment and field equipment and spare parts, a White House official said.

The new security assistance package follows the President's $33 billion proposal last week to Congress to support Ukraine amid Russia's invasion. The US has made it clear it intends to provide long-term support to Ukraine and has already provided the nation with billions of dollars in military and humanitarian assistance.

The proposed package last week was more than twice as much as the $13.6 billion infusion of military and humanitarian aid that Congress approved last month.

In a statement, Biden said the administration has nearly exhausted funding that can be used for security assurance and called on Congress to approve his request for additional money for Ukraine.

"With today's announcement, my Administration has nearly exhausted funding that can be used to send security assistance through drawdown authorities for Ukraine," the statement reads. "For Ukraine to succeed in this next phase of war its international partners, including the US, must continue to demonstrate our unity and our resolve to keep the weapons and ammunition flowing to Ukraine, without interruption."

"Congress should quickly provide the requested funding to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table," Biden added.

Read more about the assistance package here.

6:00 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

Kyiv mayor warns citizens to be alert on Russia Victory Day

From CNN's Jennifer Hauser

Vitali Klitschko, mayor of Kyiv, stands in front of a damaged building following Russian strikes in Kyiv on April 29
Vitali Klitschko, mayor of Kyiv, stands in front of a damaged building following Russian strikes in Kyiv on April 29 (Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images)

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko is urging citizens to stay inside from Sunday into Monday around Russia's annual Victory Day as Western officials have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin could formally declare war on Ukraine on May 9, a symbolic day for Russia, paving the way for Putin to step up his campaign.

Though the mayor is not formally imposing a curfew, events will not be held during that time, according to posts on his social media. He said there will be enhanced patrolling in the city.

"If anyone would like to go lay flowers, they can do so in private ... Pay attention and follow wartime security rules," Klitschko said.

"I also ask you not to ignore the air alarm signals and immediately take cover. In the coming days, there is a high likelihood of missile shelling in all regions of Ukraine. Be aware and take care of your own safety!" Klitschko warned.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated a curfew would be imposed in Kyiv Sunday and Monday. There will be no curfew on those days. 

7:28 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

Ukraine says Russia is desperate to take city in Luhansk to declare a "grand victory"

From Olga Voitovych

Smoke rises at a warehouse after shelling in Severodonetsk, eastern Ukraine, on May 3.
Smoke rises at a warehouse after shelling in Severodonetsk, eastern Ukraine, on May 3. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)

The Russians want to seize the city of Severodonetsk so "this can be sold to the Russian people as a grand victory," a senior official in eastern Ukraine says.

"Of course, they want Severodonetsk, because it is the city — the regional center. Of course, this can be sold to the people as a grand victory," Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional military administration said on Telegram.

Severodonetsk, which was an important industrial center in eastern Ukraine, has been shelled by Russian forces for weeks and is largely destroyed. But Ukrainian troops remain in and around the city.

"And of course another goal is to encircle our military and try to cut the road to Bakhmut where Popasna is. These are the main two directions," he said.

Hayday denied Russian claims that they'd taken the town of Rubizhne in the same area. 

"In fact they can't move any further and our National Guard is still there and repulses all enemy attacks," Hayday said.

7:12 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

UK sanctions could lead to "final destruction of bilateral ties," Russia warns British ambassador

From CNN's Katharina Krebs in London

Deborah Bronnert, British Ambassador to Moscow, takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall in Moscow, Russia on February 10.
Deborah Bronnert, British Ambassador to Moscow, takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall in Moscow, Russia on February 10. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

British Ambassador to Moscow Deborah Bronnert was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday over the latest sanctions against Russia, including sanctions against the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, according to the statement from the Russian foreign ministry.

“The Ambassador was told about the unacceptability of such destructive actions, the continuation of which will inevitably lead to the final destruction of bilateral ties and damage to relations between the peoples of Russia and the United Kingdom," the statement read.

The imposition of sanctions against the Russian media "only because their coverage and interpretation of events taking place in the world is not consistent with Western patterns, once again clearly confirms the duplicity and cynicism of British politicians, for whom such a thing as freedom of the media is nothing more than a tool for solving market problems," the statement added.

The ministry accused the UK and its officials for imposing sanctions and making statements with "threats" that are "interspersed with lies and outright rudeness" against Russia.

"Russian side will continue to respond harshly and decisively to all sanctions initiated by London and take retaliatory measures," the statement added.

3:01 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

At least 50 women, children and elderly people evacuated from Azovstal Friday, Ukrainian deputy PM says

From CNN's Jonny Hallam

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said at least 50 civilians were successfully evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol Friday.

"Today we managed to extract 50 women, children and the elderly from Azovstal. Tomorrow morning we will continue the evacuation operation," Vereshchuk said in a statement posted on her social media channels.

Ukrainian officials earlier had said that they couldn't comment on the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant being organized by the United Nations and the International Red Cross.

Russian state media on Friday said that 25 civilians were evacuated out of the plant on two buses.

6:22 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

More than 200 Ukrainian soldiers have finished howitzer training, Pentagon spokesperson says

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing in Washington DC, on Friday.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing in Washington DC, on Friday. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

More than 200 Ukrainian soldiers have completed training on M777 howitzers provided to Ukraine by the US, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said during a briefing at the Pentagon on Friday.

An additional "150 plus" Ukrainian soldiers are currently going through the Howitzer training, he added.

US military service members are training groups of Ukrainian soldiers on the pieces outside of Ukraine, Kirby has said previously. Fifteen Ukrainian soldiers have completed training on the Q-64 mobile air-defense radar system, the Pentagon official noted.

And 60 Ukrainian soldiers have completed M-113 training, and "about 50 more are currently being trained on that right now," Kirby said. The M-113 is an army personnel carrier.

Meanwhile, Russian forces "continue to launch both missile strikes as well as fixed-man airstrikes into Ukraine," specifically in "the Donbas region, where the fighting is really going on right now, and also down in Mariupol," Kirby told reporters. "Even today they continue to pound Mariupol," he added.

2:39 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

$17.8 million will be awarded to send Switchblade drones to Ukraine today, US defense official says

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

The US Department of Defense will award a $17.8 million contract for the industry to produce and send Switchblade drones to Ukraine as the ongoing conflict with Russia continues, a Department of Defense official told reporters during a briefing Friday.

"$17.8 million for Switchblade unmanned aerial systems — that's an award that's going to be seen later today, later this afternoon," Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Dr. William A. LaPlante said during the briefing.

These drones will be bought from industry and delivered to Ukraine under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding approved in the Ukraine aid supplemental funding, which was passed along with a massive spending bill in the US Congress in mid-March. The total USAI funding in that bill was $300 million, and the Department of Defense has awarded $136.8 million dollars of that so far, LaPlante said.

The $136.8 million overall has bought from industry and is sending "unmanned aerial systems, Puma, advanced precision kill weapon system, communication devices, combat medical equipment and supplies, meals ready to eat, even binoculars," in eight different contracts, LaPlante said.

The Department of Defense is also using $1.45 billion in funding approved by the US Congress in the Ukraine aid supplemental signed into law in mid-March to replace US stocks of Javelin and Stinger missiles, along with key components for those missiles, LaPlante said.

In the Ukraine aid supplemental, the US Congress approved $3.5 billion in funding to "replenish US stocks of equipment sent to Ukraine," LaPlante said. So far, DoD is using $1.45 billion from those funds to replace "Stingers, javelins and other key components," LaPlante added.

"We are actively negotiating right now — the Army is — for Stingers and related components, and that’s ongoing. Expect to get that awarded by the end of May. For Javelins, the award is imminent, so that’s all happening right now," LaPlante said.

6:09 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

It's 9:30 p.m. in Ukraine. Catch up on the latest here

Here's what has happened in Mariupol and beyond today.

Conflicting reports of evacuations: Russia state media said that two buses with civilians were evacuated out of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on Friday. But Ukrainian officials said they can't comment on the evacuation of civilians from the plant being organized by the United Nations and the International Red Cross. And the mayor of Mariupol's office told CNN it was not aware of the latest evacuations. 

Zelensky alleges deportations: More than "500,000 Ukrainians have been deported to Russia" since the start of Russia's war in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday. He also accused Russians of blockades and torture with starvation in Mariupol.

G7 to meet this weekend: US President Joe Biden will meet virtually with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his G7 counterparts on Sunday morning during a meeting of the G7 forum, a National Security Council spokesperson said. Sanctions will be on the agenda for the meeting. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the timing of Sunday's call ahead of Russia's Victory Day is intentional.

Preparations for Victory Day: May 9, known as Victory Day inside Russia, commemorates the country's defeat of the Nazis in 1945. The Kremlin said May 9 won't be "overshadowed" by the events unfolding in Ukraine, adding "the significance of this holiday cannot be overestimated.” But this year’s parade is expected to be of a smaller scale than in previous years.

Some Western officials believe Russian President Vladimir Putin could formally declare war on Ukraine Monday, paving the way for him to step up his campaign.

Russia leaving its mark: Ukrainian officials have posted images from Mariupol showing continuing work by what they call "the occupiers" to restore monuments from the Soviet era. Petro Andrushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of the city, distributed new photographs on Friday saying that, in recent days, all the monuments of the Soviet period have been "restored."

Also, a senior official in Russia's governing United Russia party on Friday said Russia has come to the Kherson region to "stay forever," and there should be "no doubt about that."

And new satellite images show Russia is excavating the site of the heavily bombed drama theater in Mariupol.

Grain stalled: The blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, along with infrastructure challenges, are preventing nearly 25 million tonnes of grain from being exported, according to a United Nations official.

CNN has also reported that Russian forces are stealing thousands of tons of grain from Ukrainian farmers, as well as targeting food storage sites with artillery, according to multiple sources.