May 7, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Adrienne Vogt, Meg Wagner, Jessie Yeung, Andrew Raine, Rob Picheta, Kathryn Snowdon and Amarachi Orie, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, May 8, 2022
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11:54 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

UN World Food Programme calls for reopening of Odesa ports to help rein in global hunger crisis

From CNN’s Masha Angelova

Silos and containers on the dockside at the Port of Odesa on March 17.
Silos and containers on the dockside at the Port of Odesa on March 17. (Nathan Laine/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has called for the reopening of ports in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa to help rein in the global hunger crisis.

The ports in Odesa and other Ukrainian Black Sea ports have been blocked because of the war, leaving millions of metric tons of grain sitting in silos.

Ukraine is a major breadbasket for countries in the Middle East and North Africa that depend on imports; in the eight months before the war began, almost 51 million metric tons of grain transited through Ukraine's Black Sea ports, said the WFP in a news release on Friday.

If the ports don't reopen, “mountains of grain” will go to waste, while “WFP and the world struggle to deal with an already catastrophic global hunger crisis,” said the release.

“Right now, Ukraine’s grain silos are full. At the same time, 44 million people around the world are marching towards starvation. We have to open up these ports so that food can move in and out of Ukraine. The world demands it because hundreds of millions of people globally depend on these supplies,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

At the start of 2022, 276 million people were already facing acute hunger. That number is expected to rise by another 47 million people if the war in Ukraine continues, according to the agency’s analysis.

The United States and Europe will feel the pain, too, with increasing prices for important agricultural goods.

4:11 a.m. ET, May 7, 2022

The US walks a fine line with intelligence sharing in Ukraine

From CNN's Katie Bo Lillis, Jeremy Herb and Zachary Cohen

Two months into Russia's war in Ukraine, the Biden administration has increased the amount of intelligence it shares with Kyiv, contributing to successful strikes against senior Russian leaders and the Russian Navy's flagship, the Moskva, sources familiar with the intelligence sharing tell CNN.

Images emerged early Monday, April 18, on social media showing Russia's guided-missile cruiser, the Moskva, badly damaged and on fire in the hours before the ship sunk in the Black Sea.
Images emerged early Monday, April 18, on social media showing Russia's guided-missile cruiser, the Moskva, badly damaged and on fire in the hours before the ship sunk in the Black Sea. (From Social Media)

But the effort raises questions about how far the White House is willing to go to help Ukraine fight the Russians while also trying to avoid provoking Moscow and getting drawn into the conflict.

Administration officials insist there are clear limits on the intelligence it shares with Ukraine, including a ban against providing precision targeting intelligence for senior Russian leaders by name, part of a White House effort to avoid crossing a line that Moscow may view as too escalatory.

Yet some current and former officials have suggested that the limits the Biden administration have drawn are arbitrary, in part because the end result is the same -- Ukrainian strikes that kill senior Russian leaders. On top of that, any US assessment of what actions might provoke Moscow depends on the thinking of just one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"You're trying to put on your Vladimir Putin hat and try to see, what does he see as crossing a red line?" said retired Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. "That red line is one that probably exists only in Putin's head — and it may not be something that he's even thought his way through or conveyed."

Sources familiar with the administration's approach say the decisions to gradually broaden the intelligence it is willing to share have been primarily based on the judgments of Biden administration officials rather than any changing assessments about how escalatory Russia might view a given action.

Read the full report here.

11:54 p.m. ET, May 6, 2022

Zelensky working on diplomatic options to save military still in Azovstal

From CNN's Josh Pennington

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his nightly address on Friday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his nightly address on Friday. (Zelensky/Telegram)

In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine was able to evacuate women and children from Azovstal with the help of the UN and Red Cross.

He said he's also working on diplomatic options to help evacuate the remaining military in Azovstal.  

"We continue the evacuation mission from Mariupol, namely from Azovstal, with the mediation of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. During the day, our team organized rescue operations for more than 40 civilians, all women and children," the Ukrainian president said.

"We hope that soon they will be able to arrive in a safe area after two months of shelling, remaining underground in shelters. We are also working on diplomatic options to save our military, who still remain at Azovstal. Influential mediators are involved, including influential states," he added.
3:37 a.m. ET, May 7, 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

Biden announced additional US security assistance for Ukraine.
Biden announced additional US security assistance for Ukraine. (Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)

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.