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
5 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:58 p.m. ET, May 8, 2022

Analysis: What North Korea learned from Ukraine: Now’s the perfect time for a nuclear push

Analysis from CNN's Paula Hancocks

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to officers and soldiers in a celebration of the 90th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, in North Korea on April 27.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to officers and soldiers in a celebration of the 90th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, in North Korea on April 27.

If North Korea was looking for another excuse to forge ahead with its nuclear weapons program, it just found one in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That one of the very few countries to have voluntarily given up a nuclear arsenal is now under attack from the same country it gave its warheads to will not be lost on Pyongyang.

In fact, analysts say, Moscow’s actions have gifted the reclusive Asian nation a “perfect storm” of conditions under which to ramp its program up.

Not only will North Korea use Ukraine’s plight to bolster its narrative that it needs nukes to guarantee its survival, but leader Kim Jong Un may find that, with all eyes on the war in Europe, he can get away with more than ever.

Divided over Ukraine, the international community will likely have little appetite for sanctions on the hermit kingdom; indeed, even unified condemnation of a recent North Korean ICBM test remains elusive.

What’s more, the boycott of Russian oil and gas could even open the door to cut-price energy deals between Pyongyang and Moscow – ideological allies whose friendship harks back to the Korean war of the 1950s.

Read the full analysis:

8:10 a.m. ET, May 9, 2022

UN crisis coordinator: School bombing a "stark reminder of the cruelty of this war"

From CNN's Richard Roth

Emergency crew work near a burning debris, after a school building was hit as a result of shelling, in the village of Bilohorivka, Luhansk, on Ukraine, May 8.
Emergency crew work near a burning debris, after a school building was hit as a result of shelling, in the village of Bilohorivka, Luhansk, on Ukraine, May 8. (State Emergency Services/Reuters)

UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine and UN Assistant Secretary-General Amin Awad has responded to the bombing of a school serving as a shelter in Luhansk, saying the incident is “yet another stark reminder of the cruelty of this war.” 

“Civilians and civilian infrastructure must be spared in times of war; these obligations under international humanitarian law are non-negotiable,” Awad said. “The sooner we seek a peaceful end to the war, the better for the people here in Ukraine and everywhere in the world.”

“UNICEF strongly condemns yet another attack on a school in Ukraine amid reports that civilians, including children, had sought shelter in the school’s bunker,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement Sunday. “We do not yet know how many children might have been killed or injured in the reported bombing, but we fear this attack has just added to the hundreds of children who have already lost their lives in this war.”

11:57 p.m. ET, May 8, 2022

Canada's prime minister announces reopening of Canadian Embassy in Kyiv

From CNN's Karen Smith

In a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Sunday, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the reopening of the Canadian embassy in Kyiv. 

Trudeau also announced more military assistance for Ukraine would be given including drone cameras, satellite imagery, small arms, ammunition and funding for de-mining operations.

The Canadian prime minister also announced Canada will be removing trade tariffs on all Ukrainian imports coming to Canada for the next year. 

“It is clear Vladmir Putin is responsible for heinous war crimes and there must be accountability,” Trudeau said. 

Trudeau’s comments came during a surprise weekend visit to Ukraine announced by his office Sunday morning.

11:57 p.m. ET, May 8, 2022

G7 leaders say they will continue to provide military and economic assistance to Ukraine after virtual meeting

From CNN's Sam Fossum

The Group of 7 Leaders (G7), including US President Joe Biden, met virtually with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and reassured him that they will continue to provide military and economic assistance "to help Ukraine secure its free and democratic future" and will increase financial aid "in the coming weeks," according to a G7 Leaders' statement of the meeting passed along by the White House. 

"To this end, we will pursue our ongoing military and defence assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, continue supporting Ukraine in defending its networks against cyber incidents, and expand our cooperation, including on information security. We will continue to support Ukraine in increasing its economic and energy security," the statement reads.  

Zelensky, according to the statement, told the leaders that Ukraine will continue to protect itself and that his "ultimate aim" is a complete Russian withdrawal from Ukraine.  

"[Zelensky] stated that Ukraine’s ultimate aim is to ensure full withdrawal of Russia’s military forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and to secure its ability to protect itself in the future and thanked G7 members for their support," the statement reads, continuing: "Ukraine remains committed to working closely with G7 members to support Ukraine’s macroeconomic stability in the face of the challenges posed by the full-scaled Russian invasion, massive destruction of critical infrastructure and disruption of traditional shipping routes for Ukrainian exports."

The G7 also pledged to "step up" short-term financial aid to Ukraine in the weeks ahead, as well as continue to develop options for the country's long-term reconstruction. 

"In the coming weeks, we will step up our collective short-term financial support to help Ukraine close financing gaps and deliver basic services to its people, while also developing options – working with the Ukrainian authorities and international financial institutions – to support long-term recovery and reconstruction," the statement reads. 

The seventeen point statement also announces that all G7 countries agree to phase out Russian oil in a "timely and orderly fashion," and that Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion brings "shame on Russia and the historic sacrifices of its people."

2:05 a.m. ET, May 9, 2022

Survivors of Russian strike on eastern Ukrainian school describe harrowing experience

From CNN's Mick Krever and Olha Konovalova in Bakhmut, Ukraine

Survivors of a Russian strike on Saturday that is feared to have killed at least 60 people sheltering in an eastern Ukrainian school have described their harrowing experience in interviews with CNN.

“I got slammed down by a slab — bent into a ball,” said a man with a bandage across his nose and forehead, who preferred not to give his name out of privacy concerns. “Then another explosion, small rocks fell on us. Darkness.”

“There was a woman in our room screaming the whole time. She was pulled out and screaming the whole time. I told her, ‘don’t scream.’ We couldn’t hear a thing.”

 “They started digging,” he said. “I got out. I was like a drunk man – lost.”

Video of the school shared on Telegram by Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, show a building that was completely leveled by the attack.

Hayday said that of an estimated 90 people sheltering in the school, only 27 emerged from the Saturday afternoon attack alive.

Another survivor, Sergiy, said that he was in the school’s basement when the bomb hit, and that all three floors of the building collapsed “to the ground.”

“We didn’t understand anything,” Sergiy explained. “We were inside. All at once, everything fell down. Darkness. That’s it.”

Yevgen described a desperate escape.

“I was the very first one to start climbing out,” he said. “I was raking bricks and throwing them out. There were wooden planks and boards. Locals who weren’t in the basement helped and used a pipe to rip those boards off.”

The survivors said that among the neighbors they were sheltering with were several elderly grandparents. 

“Imagine what they bombed,” Sergiy said. “An ordinary village with only pensioners and children.”

Watch Sam Kiley's report from Luhansk: