May 9, 2022: Russia-Ukraine news

By Rhea Mogul, Andrew Raine, Tara John, Ben Church, Aditi Sangal, Laura Smith-Spark and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 0408 GMT (1208 HKT) May 10, 2022
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7:59 p.m. ET, May 9, 2022

Biden tells top national security officials that leaks about intelligence sharing with Ukrainians must stop

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 4.
US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 4. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden recently told his top national security officials that leaks about US intelligence sharing with Ukrainians aren't helpful and need to stop, according to an official familiar with the conversation. 

Last week, after the White House denied providing direct intelligence to Ukrainians "with the intent to kill Russian generals," Biden spoke separately with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Director William Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

He told them that it was not helpful for information to become public about what the US was sharing with the Ukrainian forces fighting the Russian invasion, an official said, and stressed that the leaks regarding such information must stop.

Biden's message to his top national security officials was first reported by NBC News.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday told reporters the President was "displeased" with the leaks and considered them "inaccurate."

Psaki, who declined to confirm calls between the President and his team, told reporters that Biden's view "was that it was an overstatement of our role, an inaccurate statement, and also an understatement of the Ukrainians' role and their leadership, and he does not, did not, (feel) they were constructive." 

US officials have been candid about intelligence sharing with Ukrainians but have also said there is a line in what is shared with them. In addition to sending weapons for the battlefield, officials have also provided intelligence "to help the Ukrainians defend their country," a spokesperson for the National Security Council said last week.

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

But the intelligence sharing efforts have proved useful. So far, the information has contributed to successful strikes against senior Russian leaders and the Russian Navy's flagship, the Moskva, sources familiar with the intelligence sharing previously told CNN.

So far, Russia has not taken any known direct action against the United States or NATO in response to ongoing military and intelligence support.

US officials have been left to speculate why Moscow has held back, particularly when it comes to cyberattacks, which the US warned ahead of the war that Russia might use as retribution for US assistance. Russia has also not moved to strike Kyiv during the visits of a host of senior American leaders, from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

And the country has also not attempted to strike arms shipments flowing through Poland, a NATO nation. Only recently has Russia begun targeting railways inside Ukraine believed to be carrying Western arms to the fight.

In addition to sharing intelligence, the US has also provided billions in aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

Last week, Biden announced a $150 million package that includes 25,000 155mm artillery rounds, counter-artillery radars, jamming equipment and field equipment and spare parts, according to a White House official.

Biden has proposed a $33 billion new aid package for Ukraine, which he sent to Congress last month. The US has made it clear it intends to provide long-term support to Ukraine, and 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.

This story has been updated with additional details Monday.  

9:03 p.m. ET, May 9, 2022

 Odesa under further missile attacks

From CNN's Julia Presniakova and Sanyo Fylyppov

Odesa under further missile attacks on Monday.
Odesa under further missile attacks on Monday. (Odesa City Council)

The city of Odesa, Ukraine, has come under further missile attacks Monday evening local time. 

Around 10 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET), witnesses in the center of the city said they heard several large explosions which shook buildings.

Social media showed at least one large fire burning. and a witness said a large shopping center was on fire. The resident of a city more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Odesa reported hearing the blasts. 

A few hours earlier, Odesa city council reported three cruise missiles were fired from a Tu-22 bomber. Five buildings were destroyed and two people injured.

The targets were unknown but some images from Odesa suggested a mixed residential-industrial area had been hit.

Video released by the city council showed widespread devastation across a wide area. 

On Monday morning authorities four sea-launched Onyx cruise missiles were fired towards Odesa. 

The earlier attacks came as European Council President Charles Michel visited Odesa.

On Sunday, ten cruise missiles were fired at the Odesa area. Russia has used submarines, surface ships and aircraft to launch missiles at Odesa in recent days.

See the aftermath of the Odesa missile strikes:

European Council President Charles Michel and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal visit the site where a residential building has been damaged by a Russian missile strike, in Odesa, on Monday.
European Council President Charles Michel and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal visit the site where a residential building has been damaged by a Russian missile strike, in Odesa, on Monday. (Ukrainian Governmental Press Service/Handout/Reuters)

4:27 p.m. ET, May 9, 2022

US ambassador: Putin didn't declare victory because "Russian propaganda machine couldn't" support it

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler and Sarah Fortinsky

US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said Monday that President Vladimir Putin did not declare victory in his speech “because even the Russian propaganda machine couldn’t back that one up.”

“We have seen time after time Russia’s goals in Ukraine thwarted, starting with their attempted lightning strike on Kyiv,” Sullivan said in an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

“That’s not to say that President Putin didn’t stray far from the truth in his remarks today at the Victory Day parade. He certainly did. In fact, his remarks, his remarks are just pure propaganda, misinformation, disinformation that would make George Orwell blush,” Sullivan said.

The US envoy said Putin’s comments Monday showed “at a minimum the Russian government senior leaders' willingness to say anything to justify the unjustifiable, which is their aggressive war in Ukraine that is slaughtering innocents across that besieged country, atrocities that are hard to comprehend.”

Sullivan said he couldn’t comment on Putin's health when asked on CNN, and added, "I really don't know. I've seen what we've all seen in the media: speculation. And it's just that, in my opinion."

"It's also difficult to know what President Putin is planning," he added, noting that the US “made public” Putin's plans to invade Ukraine, “but beyond that, it's difficult to speculate because his decision circle is so small."

However, Sullivan said he agreed with CIA Director Bill Burns’ view that Putin “is doubling down his special military operation in Ukraine.”

Sullivan said his interactions with his Russian counterparts has been limited since the war began, but he agrees “wholeheartedly” with US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who told CNN’s Kylie Atwood that her Russian colleagues seem "uncomfortable" in "the way they carry themselves, the demeanor."

4:27 p.m. ET, May 9, 2022

Biden tells Congress he wants Ukraine money to move separately from Covid-19 aid

From Manu Raju & Ryan Nobles

President Joe Biden has told congressional leaders to move the Ukraine aid package first without the $10 billion in Covid-19 aid that Congress has struggled to pass for weeks, according to a congressional source. 

Senate Republicans had insisted on the two moving on separate tracks, and the White House doesn’t want the Ukraine package bogged down in the chamber even though Democrats had been pushing to tie the two together over fears that the US response to the pandemic could be set back.

Democrats are expected to move both separately, starting in the House, and as soon as this week.

As it stands now the total package for Ukraine is now $39.8 billion with increases of $3.4 billion for food aid and $3.4 billion in additional draw down authority for military equipment above the President’s request, which initially was $33 billion total.

5:25 p.m. ET, May 9, 2022

There are no plans for Biden to travel to Ukraine, despite the first lady's visit, White House says

From CNN's DJ Judd

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday there remains no plans for President Joe Biden to travel to Ukraine, even following first lady Jill Biden’s trip to the country over the weekend.

“Their travel is a little bit different, I think you all know from traveling with the President, but there's not a trip currently planned,” Psaki told reporters, adding Biden would “love to go to Ukraine, I just don’t have anything planned or anything to preview at this point.”

The first lady, Psaki told CNN’s MJ Lee, “would not have gone if we did not feel comfortable with the security arrangements,” guaranteeing her safety, and traveled to the region “because she wanted to go on Mother's Day, because she was thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that the war has to stop, that the war has been brutal, and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.” 

US First Lady Jill Biden, left, offers flowers to Ukraine's First Lady, Olena Zelenska, outside of School 6, a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod, on Sunday, May 8.
US First Lady Jill Biden, left, offers flowers to Ukraine's First Lady, Olena Zelenska, outside of School 6, a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod, on Sunday, May 8. (Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

First Lady Jill Biden made an unannounced trip to Uzhhorod, Ukraine Sunday, where she met with Ukraine's First Lady Olena Zelenska and pledged her support for the nation in their fight against Russia.

“She's been back now, and she's had an opportunity to speak with the President and has conveyed — she said this publicly — directly to him what she saw on the ground, the need to support the people of Ukraine,” Psaki told Lee. “She saw the horrors and the brutality that the people she met had experienced, and I, you know, that was something she conveyed directly to him.”

4:10 p.m. ET, May 9, 2022

Putin's Victory Day remarks blaming NATO for war with Ukraine are "patently false and absurd," White House says

From CNN's DJ Judd

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that remarks from Russian President Vladimir Putin in his annual Victory Day address in Moscow alleging NATO was “creating threats next to our border,” are “patently false and absurd.” 

“What we saw President Putin do is give a version of revisionist history that took the form of disinformation that we have seen too commonly as the Russian playbook,” Psaki told reporters at Monday’s White House press briefing. “Now, what is fortunate is that we are all aware, reporters around the world are aware, Europeans are aware, Americans are aware, of the disinformation factory that President Putin and the Kremlin seem to be, but the suggestion that this war that was prompted by, directed by President Putin, was prompted by Western aggression or Western plans is patently false and absurd.”

In his Victory Address Monday, Putin said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was necessary as the West was "preparing for the invasion of our land." 

"NATO countries did not want to hear us," Putin said, adding, "they had very different plans and we could see that."

In a follow up, Psaki told CNN’s MJ Lee that, following Putin’s speech Monday, officials are monitoring “what we're seeing on the ground,” adding, “if we go back to mid-February, when President Putin was giving speeches, basically declaring he was going to subsume Ukraine, take over the country, the territorial integrity of the country, and go beyond that is that is exactly not what's happening today.”

“President Putin and the Russians are not marching through Kyiv, they are struggling to fight in other parts of the country, and the Ukrainians are bravely and courageously fighting every day,” she told Lee. “So, we look at what's happening on the ground, though it is important to note and to call out the revisionist history that we saw in the speech and the fact that any such statements that we saw, we've seen for months from President Putin, that the war was prompted by the West is just patently false and inaccurate, and we can't state that too often.”

4:08 p.m. ET, May 9, 2022

US remains concerned Russia could annex Donetsk and Luhansk regions, State Department says

From CNN's Christian Sierra, Jennifer Hansler and Michael Conte

The United States remains concerned that Russia could annex the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and hold a sham referendum there, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday.

“It is a Russian playbook that we have, that we have seen turn to time and again, in Crimea, in eastern Ukraine. This is what Russian authorities and proto authorities have done in the past. They have sought to annex, they have sought to conduct sham elections to give their occupation this patina of legitimacy, and our concern remains that they will attempt to do so once again in territory in eastern Ukraine,” he said at a State Department briefing.

The US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said last week that the US has “highly credible” intelligence reports that Russia will try to annex the separatist-occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk “some time in mid-May,” and that there are plans to create a similarly so-called “people’s republic” in Kherson to be annexed as well.

Price said Monday that “timeline wise, nothing has changed.”

“We're continuing to watch very closely,” he said, noting that the US made this information public so that “the world is keyed in" to what is happening.

4:43 p.m. ET, May 9, 2022

Biden signs bill to swiftly send US military aid to Ukraine and blames Russia for "wanton destruction"

From CNN's DJ Judd

In the Oval Office of the White House, US President Joe Biden signs the "Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022," on Monday.
In the Oval Office of the White House, US President Joe Biden signs the "Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022," on Monday. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden signed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 into law in a White House ceremony Monday, flanked by the nation’s first Ukrainian-born member of Congress, Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz.

The law is aimed at streamlining the process for getting military assistance to Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion.

“I’m signing a bill that provides another important tool in our efforts to support the Government of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in their fight to defend their country and their democracy against Putin’s brutal war, and it is brutal,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office. “I want thank members of Congress here for getting this passed and everyone who supported the bill —and the bill demonstrates the support for Ukraine is pivotal moment at this moment.”

The US House of Representatives passed legislation late April that would allow Biden to use a World War II-era law, known as the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, to swiftly supply weapons to Ukraine on loan. That law was originally created to help forces fighting Nazi Germany and reflects the urgency in Congress to support the Ukrainian armed forces.

Before signing the bill, Biden also blasted the “wanton destruction" of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, telling reporters, “the atrocities that the Russians are engaged in are just beyond the pale and the cost of the fight is not cheap, but caving into aggression is even more costly." 

He recognized Victory in Europe Day, celebrated on May 8, which he said marked “the end of the transition of the devastation of World War II, when Allied Nations defeated the scourge of fascism in Europe.”  

And he marked the anniversary today of the Schuman Declaration, where he said, “Europe began to work to strengthen the bonds of unity among nations, particularly economic unity, and the shared economic prosperity.” 

“The idea ultimately grew into what is now the 27-nation European Union—an economic powerhouse and a global force for peace, close partners on all the issues we face. And it really has, I’ve said from the very beginning, is something that is good for everyone. It brings these countries together in ways that, when they cooperate closely economically, they also cooperate in other ways, and you’re seeing it in the support for Ukraine,” he said.

Biden then signed the bill into law and presented the signing pen to Rep. Spartz.

3:43 p.m. ET, May 9, 2022

Ukrainian soldiers still holding out at Azovstal

From CNN's Julia Presniakova 

Ukrainian soldiers continue to hold out in the Azovstal steel plant.

According to the State Border Guard Service, some of its troops remain at the plant, and "together with their comrades continue to defend the country.'

The head of the Donetsk border detachment, Valerii Padytel, who is inside the plant, said "Mariupol's defense forces continue to defend the hero city. Border guards of the Donetsk Border Detachment, the Marine Guard Detachment, brothers of the National Police and the National Guard continue to perform their duties."

"Yes, we are in a very difficult superhuman environment. But at the same time we continue to defend our land," Padytel said.

"We know that we have not been forgotten," Padytel added.

There are thought to be several hundred soldiers still at Azovstal as well as an unknown number of male civilians.