Our live coverage of Russia's war in Ukraine has moved here.
May 9, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news
By Tara Subramaniam, Christian Edwards, Eliza Mackintosh, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Mike Hayes and Tori B. Powell, CNN
Russian strikes, a killed journalist and other headlines you should know
From CNN staff
All but two of the 25 cruise missiles fired by Russia overnight Tuesday were intercepted by the Ukrainian Air Force, officials said. According to the Pentagon, the Ukrainian military downed a Russian missile using the Patriot missile defense system.
Here are other headlines you should know:
Anticipated counteroffensive: There's been recent rumors of a looming Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia. UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Tuesday that the planned move won't be a decisive breakthrough and that people shouldn't expect a film-like counteroffensive because, he says, "the real world doesn't work like that." At a joint news conference with Cleverly, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he thinks Ukraine has the resources it needs to retake territory in the anticipated counteroffensive. Blinken’s comments come on the same day the US announced an additional $1.2 billion in aid to Ukraine intended to bolster air defenses and keep up ammunition supplies.
Journalist killed near Bakhmut: Arman Soldin, a video journalist for Agence France-Presse was killed near the embattled city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, the French news agency said on Twitter. Soldin, who was a French citizen with Bosnian origins, was killed by rocket fire on the outskirts of the town of Chasiv Yar, near Bakhmut, AFP said, citing colleagues who witnessed the incident. He was with four colleagues at the time of the attack but the other journalists were not injured, the news agency said. French President Emmanuel Macron mourned Soldin's death in a tweet on Tuesday.
Ukraine's grain: Bridget A. Brink, the US ambassador to Ukraine, accused Russia on Tuesday of “again blocking ships from loading grain in Ukraine’s ports to feed people who need it around the world.” The US official referenced similar comments on the topic made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier on Tuesday, where he accused Russia of "using people's hunger as a weapon in its war against Ukraine.
Top-level US diplomats accuse Russia of using hunger as a weapon of war against Ukraine
From Victoria Butenko, Richard Roth and Jen Deaton
Bridget A. Brink, the US ambassador to Ukraine, accused Russia on Tuesday of “again blocking ships from loading grain in Ukraine’s ports to feed people who need it around the world.”
The US official referenced similar comments on the topic made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier on Tuesday.
“The world shouldn’t need to remind Moscow every few weeks to stop using people’s hunger as a weapon in its war against Ukraine,” Blinken said, as quoted by Brink on Twitter.
Farhan Haq, UN deputy spokesman for the Secretary-General, said two inspections of ships did happen on Tuesday.
The news comes a day after the UN said there had been no ship inspections as part of the grain deal for two days. Ukraine on Monday accused Russia of effectively bringing the grain deal to a halt by not inspecting ships.
Some context: The Black Sea Grain Initiative is an agreement between Ukraine and Russia, brokered by the UN and Turkey, that was established in July 2022 to guarantee safe passage for ships carrying grain and oilseeds — some of Ukraine's most important exports.
Talks to extend the initiative are ongoing. The Black Sea grain deal was last extended on March 18 for 60 days, and is set to expire on May 18.
French president mourns the death of journalist killed in Ukraine
From CNN's Xiaofei Xu and Duarte Mendonca
French President Emmanuel Macron mourned the death of Arman Soldin, a video journalist working for AFP who was killed in Ukraine.
“We share the pain of his family and all his colleagues,” a translation of Macron's tweet read Tuesday.
Soldin was killed on Tuesday by rocket fire on the outskirts of the town of Chasiv Yar, near Bakhmut, AFP said, citing colleagues who witnessed the incident.
Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s permanent representative to the UN, also tweeted in French about Soldin’s death, which translated to him saying the journalist “paid with his life for his courage” and offered condolences to Soldin’s loved ones.
Civilians in Zaporizhzhia region are being evacuated further into Russian-held territory, Ukraine says
From CNN’s Yulia Kesaieva in Kyiv
The Kremlin-backed authorities in the occupied Ukrainian city of Kamianka-Dniprovska in the southern Zaporizhzhia region are evacuating families and public sector workers further into Russian-held territory, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a statement.
“On May 8, the Russian occupiers began to evacuate preschool and school-age children with their parents, as well as teachers and other public sector employees from the city of Kamianka-Dniprovska in Zaporizhzhia Oblast,” the statement read. “There were not many willing participants.”
Late Thursday, Yevgeniy Balitskiy, the acting governor of the occupied parts of the Zaporizhzhia region – who is backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin – announced his administration would evacuate people from places near the war’s southern front line.
Yesterday, Yurii Malashko, Ukraine’s governor of Zaporizhzhia, said in a television interview that he understood some Moscow-backed officials were leaving occupied towns, and offering to evacuate people with Russian passports, ahead of the anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.
“We have also heard that they take civilians, including children, to Berdiansk first of all. Then they go either to Crimea or towards the [occupied] Donetsk region,” Malashko said.
Ivan Fedorov, the Ukraine-elected mayor of Melitopol — a city in Zaporizhzhia — told Ukrainian TV that it was not a “mass evacuation,” but rather “some hundreds evacuated for show.” He claimed that Russia was sending more forces to the southern front line and that, in Melitopol, troops had started mining administrative buildings, kindergartens and schools.
Fedorov advised people in the occupied areas to be prepared for the counteroffensive by finding shelter, charging power banks and stocking up on food and water.
Ukraine downed Russian missile with Patriot missile system, Pentagon says
From CNN's Haley Britzky
The Ukrainian military downed a Russian missile using the Patriot missile defense system, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Tuesday.
“I can confirm that they did down a Russian missile by employing the Patriot missile defense system,” Ryder said. “As you know that system is part of a broader range of air defense capabilities that the United States and the international community have provided to Ukraine.”
Ryder added that the US and its partners would continue to “rush ground-based air defense capabilities and munitions to help Ukraine control its sovereign skies and to help Ukraine defense its citizens from Russia.”
AFP journalist killed in eastern Ukraine, news agency says
From CNN's Jo Shelley
A journalist for Agence France-Presse was killed near the embattled city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, the French news agency said on Twitter.
"We are devastated to learn of the death of AFP video journalist Arman Soldin in eastern Ukraine today," according to the post. "All of our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones."
Soldin, who was a French citizen with Bosnian origins, was killed by rocket fire on the outskirts of the town of Chasiv Yar, near Bakhmut, AFP said, citing colleagues who witnessed the incident.
He was with four colleagues at the time of the attack but the other journalists were not injured, the news agency said.
Soldin is one of the several known journalists killed since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion, including Fox News photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski and consultant Oleksandra "Sasha" Kuvshynova, journalist and documentarian Brent Renaud, and photojournalist Maks Levin.
CNN’s Xiaofei Xu contributed reporting.
French National Assembly approves motion asking France and EU to list Wagner group as a terrorist organization
From CNN’s Xiaofei Xu
Lawmakers in the French National Assembly on Tuesday approved a motion calling on the French government and the European Union to list Russia's private military group Wagner as a terrorist organization.
The vote passed with all 331 representatives present voting in favor.
The motion — considered a symbolic move from the members of the assembly — also calls the French government to push for the United Nations to list Wagner as a terrorist organization.
Wagner Group is currently on the sanction lists of the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Ukraine has what it needs to successfully retake territory, US secretary of state says
From CNN's Kylie Atwood and Michael Conte
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he thinks Ukraine has the resources it needs to retake territory in an anticipated counteroffensive.
"They have in place ... what they need to continue to be successful in regaining territory that was seized by force by Russia over the last 14 months," Blinken said at a joint news conference with UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
"It's not only the weapons; it's the training," Blinken added. "It's making sure that the Ukrainians can maintain the systems that we provide them, and it's important, of course, that they have the right plans, again, to be successful."
Blinken’s comments come on the same day the US announced an additional $1.2 billion in aid to Ukraine intended to bolster air defenses and keep up ammunition supplies.