May 10, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Jessie Yeung, Andrew Raine, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 0437 GMT (1237 HKT) May 11, 2022
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7:27 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022

German foreign minister visits Ukraine following diplomatic tensions

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visits a church where a mass grave was found after Russian forces retreated from the area, Bucha, Ukraine, on May 10.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visits a church where a mass grave was found after Russian forces retreated from the area, Bucha, Ukraine, on May 10. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is visiting Ukraine today, starting with a trip to Bucha.

Baerbock gave brief comments in a church in the town where prosecutors are investigating whether war crimes were committed by Russian troops.

She also took a walk around the town to get a picture of the situation on the ground, accompanied by the Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova.

Following her visit, Baerbock tweeted that Bucha had become a symbol "for unimaginable crimes, for torture, rape, murder."

She added: "The unimaginability makes this place seem far away. And then you stand here and realize: Bucha is a completely normal, peaceful suburb. It could have happened to anyone."

Baerbock also pledged Germany's support for the war crimes investigation.

Baerbock is the first German cabinet member to travel to the Ukraine since the outbreak of war in the country, and her trip comes after a period of diplomatic tension between Germany and Ukraine.

Some background: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had offered to visit Kyiv in April on a joint trip with the heads of state of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, but Ukrainian officials said they didn't want him to come.

The decision came amid sustained criticism over Steinmeier's close relations with Russia in his previous role as foreign minister, as well as criticism from Kyiv that Germany was hesitant to provide much-needed military support to Ukraine. 

At the beginning of May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he had no plans to visit Ukraine following Kyiv's rejection of Steinmeier.

"This stands in the way," said Scholz in an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF. Democrats do not treat each other like that, Scholz added. "This cannot be done."

But the row was resolved on May 5 when Steinmeier and Zelensky spoke on the phone, according to the German President's office.

5:02 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022

The scars of war: Lviv hospital learns to cope amid influx of patients spirited from war-torn regions

From CNN’s Isa Soares, Madalena Araujo, Sofiya Harbuziuk and Lauren Said-Moorhouse in Lviv

As the doctor enters the room on rounds, Dmytro Kaliuzhnyi sits quietly on his hospital bed. He absent-mindedly answers their routine questions as his bandages and wounds are carefully checked.

The 19-year-old still appears to be in a state of shock. It’s hardly surprising, given that less than a month ago his body was riddled with shrapnel from shelling outside his home in Kharkiv in north-eastern Ukraine.

"I never could have imagined that something like that could happen to me," he says softly. 
"At first it was very tough and then I came to terms with everything that happened to me."
Dmytro Kaliuzhnyi, 19, is slowly recovering from injuries sustained outside his home in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine.
Dmytro Kaliuzhnyi, 19, is slowly recovering from injuries sustained outside his home in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine. (Alessandro Gentile/CNN)

Kaliuzhnyi, who lost both of his parents before the war, is yet another civilian who has been caught in the crossfire as fighting has escalated. In a whisper, he adds that he wishes he’d listened to others and protected himself better. 

"I never thought that I would say it, you have to protect yourself to the maximum and follow all the rules that are told by adults."

Kaliuzhnyi has spent the last several weeks here at Lviv Clinical Emergency Hospital, western Ukraine’s largest medical facility. According to doctors, he is just one of a rapidly growing number of patients being treated in the hospital’s intensive care units.

His doctor, Hnat Ihorovych Herych, tells CNN that treating civilian injuries such as these has become all too common as Russia’s invasion of the country continues into its third month.

"I’ve done some operations that I only read from the books," Herych adds, recalling some of the recent procedures he’s had to carry out.

Trains have been refurbished with mobile ICUs to help transport critically injured patients away from the frontlines for treatment in the west.
Trains have been refurbished with mobile ICUs to help transport critically injured patients away from the frontlines for treatment in the west. (Alessandro Gentile/CNN)

Kaliuzhnyi is part of a steady stream of patients who have made terrifying and increasingly dangerous journeys across the country aboard makeshift medical trains.

One of those to make the treacherous trip with a head injury was 9-year-old Sofiya Hurmaza. From the southern city of Mykolaiv, she was caught by shelling near her home in early April -- a piece of shrapnel striking her head and lodging deep in her brain.

Miraculously, after successful operations to remove the broken fragment, she is now recuperating in a hospital cot in Lviv under the watchful eye of her mother, Nina Vavryniuk.

"She is very strong, she didn’t even cry when she got wounded," Vavryniuk says, before recalling the moment she was reunited with her daughter.

"When I walked in, I thought maybe she had lost some of her memory. I walked in and unexpectedly she said, 'Mommy,' with tears in her eyes. 

"I was so happy that she remembers me and she didn't lose her memory. The doctor told me the fragment went right through the center [of her brain]. If it went one millimeter left or right, she wouldn't make it."

WATCH:

4:45 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022

WHO verifies 200 attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine since start of war

From CNN's Radina Gigova in London

Mariana Vishegirskaya, an injured pregnant woman, walks downstairs in a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9.
Mariana Vishegirskaya, an injured pregnant woman, walks downstairs in a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9. (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has verified 200 attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine since the start of the war, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday, urging Russia "to stop this war."

Speaking from Kyiv after spending two days in Ukraine, Tedros said he was "deeply moved" by what he'd seen and heard.

Tedros said attacks on healthcare facilities "must stop," adding: "There is one medicine WHO cannot deliver, and which Ukraine needs more than any other, and that is peace."

"So we continue to call on the Russian Federation to stop this war," he said.

Tedros said he discussed the health situation in the country with Ukrainian officials and said the WHO will continue to support Ukraine's healthcare system. 

"My message to all the people of Ukraine is that WHO stands with you," he said.

The WHO chief said that, despite the devastation, he has also seen "extraordinary resilience" in Ukraine as people try to restore their lives.

"My time here has affected me very personally," he said.

As someone, myself, who grew up in a war zone I understand only too well how the people of Ukraine feel." 

"I know the impact, I know the devastation of war firsthand and I felt very, very sad when Russia invaded Ukraine."

4:38 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022

At least 100 civilians still trapped in Azovstal steel plant, says Ukrainian official

From CNN's Tim Lister

The Azovstal Iron and Steel Works behind damaged residential buildings in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 8.
The Azovstal Iron and Steel Works behind damaged residential buildings in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 8. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

At least 100 civilians remain at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, a Ukrainian official has said.

The fact that civilians are still there "does not reduce the density of attacks by the occupiers," said Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of the city.

"Heavy artillery and aircraft continued shelling the plant all day [Monday]," he added.

Andriushchenko, who is not in Mariupol but maintains contact with people there, said Russian attempts to storm the plant continued to fail.

At the weekend, Ukrainian authorities said all women, children and the elderly had been evacuated from Azovstal. Most of the remaining civilians are thought to be men.

3:40 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022

Fires extinguished after missile strikes in Odesa, with one person killed

From Tim Lister and Julia Presniakova 

Aftermath of Russian strikes on Odesa, Ukraine, on May 10.
Aftermath of Russian strikes on Odesa, Ukraine, on May 10. (Odessa City/Telegram)

Fires caused by missile strikes in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa have been extinguished, said the country's State Emergency Service on Monday night.

Odesa came under heavy attack on Monday, with cruise missiles including Russia's new hypersonic Kinzhal missiles destroying two hotels, a shopping center and a warehouse, officials said.

One person died and five were hospitalized, according to Ukrainian officials. Detailed information on other injuries and possible victims is still being clarified, they said.

The hypersonic missile: The new Khinzal missile had its combat debut at the beginning of the war, and has only been used once before, according to Western intelligence sources. It carries a conventional payload of up to 480 kilograms.

The strikes caused extensive damage, with images from the city showing widespread devastation. One missile strike in the Suvorov district set fire to three warehouses with a total area of ​​1,200 square meters, according to Ukrainian officials.

Some context: Odesa and the surrounding area have seen a sharp uptick in strikes in the last week, with Russian forces using submarines, surface ships and aircraft to launch missiles.

5:50 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022

Russian forces reinforcing presence along border near Kharkiv, Ukraine military says

From CNN's Tim Lister in Lviv

A Ukrainian serviceman loads a shell into a mortar in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on May 9.
A Ukrainian serviceman loads a shell into a mortar in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine on May 9. (Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters)

The Russian military is reinforcing its presence along the northern border as Ukrainian forces counter-attack around the city of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian military said Tuesday.

"The enemy maintains certain forces and means of air defense in the Belgorod region [in Russia] in full readiness mode," the General Staff said, and "continues to focus its efforts on the defense of the occupied borders in order to prevent the advance of units of our troops toward the state border." 

Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, lies about 24 miles (39 kilometers) from the border with the Russian region of Belgorod.

It is expected that the enemy will continue defiant actions at the state border [with] Ukraine in order to restrain the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces," the General Staff said.

Local Ukrainian officials in areas south of Kharkiv reported Monday that some Russian units had moved north, possibly to try to reinforce Russian supply lines from Belgorod. CNN cannot confirm the movement.

Last week, a video circulating on Telegram showed Ukrainian forces retaking the village of Molodova, just 13 miles southeast of the Ukraine-Russia border. CNN has geolocated and verified the authenticity of the video.

As Ukrainian units have pushed Russian forces further from Kharkiv, the Russians appear to be responding with more artillery and rocket fire across the border in other regions, the Ukrainian military said.

The General Staff said that on Monday, Russia had carried out attacks with rocket-propelled grenades across the border at four villages in Sumy, about 110 miles (175 km) northwest of Kharkiv.

On the main front in the eastern region of Luhansk, which has seen the bulk of recent fighting, the military says fighting continues around Severodonetsk. The Russians tried to break south of the Siverskyi Donets river by building pontoon bridges, but at least one was destroyed by Ukrainian forces, according to satellite imagery seen by CNN, with the loss of Russian tanks and other equipment.

However, one pontoon bridge north of the village of Bilohorivka appears to have allowed some Russian armor to cross on Sunday.

Early Tuesday, Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk region military administration, said that "the situation in Bilohorivka remains difficult. The enemy tried to create a strong crossing there to transfer equipment and personnel."

"However, at the moment all pontoon crossings are destroyed; all enemy equipment is destroyed; the remnants of the personnel were partly destroyed, and partly the enemy fled and swam to the other side [of the river]."

Hayday said around 80 Russian soldiers crossed the river.

"There are a few of them left," he said.

Hayday said elsewhere in Luhansk, Ukrainian units had held the line of defense. "There are no breakthroughs."

2:42 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022

Japan expands sanctions against Russia, including its Prime Minister and oligarchs

From CNN’s Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin arrives to watch the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, on May 9.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin arrives to watch the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, on May 9. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan expanded sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, freezing the assets of more than 130 people including Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

The new sanctions target eight Russian citizens, and 133 members of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, said Japan's Foreign Ministry in a statement.

The list includes Mishustin, oligarch Vladimir Bogdanov, and the family members of the oligarch Gennady Timshenko, according to the Ministry. It’s unknown whether these officials hold assets in Japan. 

Japan also expanded its export ban to 71 additional Russian organizations including manufacturers and research institutes, the statement said. 

Some background: Since March, Japan has introduced a series of sanctions against Russia, including freezing the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his family members in response to the invasion. 

Russia has responded by imposing its own sanctions on Japan, such as an entry ban of Japanese officials including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. 

8:14 p.m. ET, May 10, 2022

It's 7 a.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

Aftermath of a Russian strike on a shopping mall near Odesa, Ukraine, on May 9
Aftermath of a Russian strike on a shopping mall near Odesa, Ukraine, on May 9 (From Telegram)

Russian forces attacked Odesa on Monday, using submarines, surface ships and aircraft to launch missiles at a range of locations -- including a shopping mall and two hotels -- across the southern city. Video released by the city council showed widespread devastation. 

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin used Victory Day celebrations to reiterate his baseless accusation that the West left him no choice but to invade Ukraine. He offered few clues on the direction of the conflict and planned air shows were canceled. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Putin's allegations that NATO was “creating threats next to our border,” are “patently false and absurd.” 

Here are some of the latest developments:

Ukrainian counterattack in Kharkiv unfolds: The Ukrainian military says Russia is holding back some of its forces within its borders to prevent a Ukrainian counterattack that has made some headway east of Kharkiv. Inside Ukraine, the general staff says the most intense activity is in the Donetsk region, where Russian forces are trying to advance toward the town of Lyman, a major transport hub.

Holding out at steel plant: Ukrainian soldiers continue to hold out in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, according to the State Border Guard Service. There are thought to be several hundred soldiers still at Azovstal as well as an unknown number of male civilians. The plant is the last holdout of Ukrainian resistance in the southern city.

Attack on Ukrainian cultural figure: A historic home of Ukraine's treasured poet and philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda was destroyed by a Russian artillery strike, along with a museum of his work. The home is located in a tiny village not far from Kharkiv, but nowhere near any obvious military targets. The attack appears to have been a deliberate act of cultural vandalism, and not the first since the Russian invasion began in February.

Russian journalists write posts critical of Putin: Two Russian reporters appear to have posted at least 30 articles that appeared briefly on a pro-Kremlin news site, lenta.ru, criticizing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and his government’s suppression of critics. "Putin and his circle are doomed to face a tribunal after the end of the war," they wrote on lenta.ru. "Putin and his associates won’t be able to justify themselves or flee after losing this war."

Additional US funds for Ukraine: The US House of Representatives will consider an additional $40 billion in supplemental funding for Ukraine on Tuesday, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. On Monday, President Joe Biden called on Congress to "immediately" pass the Ukraine aid bill, warning for the first time that existing aid will run out in "approximately ten days."

Finland edges closer to NATO: It is "highly likely" that Finland will apply for membership in NATO, the country's Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen told CNN on Monday. The nation’s likely membership is “a very natural response” to Russia’s war in Ukraine, she said, adding that if her country does indeed apply, she hopes "the ratification process would be as brief as possible."

8:17 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022

"Putin and his circle are doomed." Russian journalists post articles critical of invasion on pro-Kremlin site

From CNN's Henry Klapper 

A screen shows Russian President Vladimir Putin giving a speech as servicemen line up on Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9.
A screen shows Russian President Vladimir Putin giving a speech as servicemen line up on Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

Two Russian reporters appear to have posted at least 30 articles to a pro-Kremlin news site, lenta.ru, on Monday criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and his government’s suppression of critics.

CNN reviewed the articles -- which were almost immediately taken down -- some pegged to the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany, others criticizing the Russian leader for using Victory Day to justify his bloody onslaught into Ukraine.

Reporters Egor Polyakov and Alexandra Miroshnikova made several claims in their articles, including that Russian defense officials were “lying to relatives” about those killed in the sinking of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva and accusing Putin of launching one of the "bloodiest wars of the 21st century."

"Putin and his circle are doomed to face a tribunal after the end of the war," Polyakov and Miroshnikova published on lenta.ru. "Putin and his associates won’t be able to justify themselves or flee after losing this war."

Polyakov and Miroshnikova are both business editors at lenta.ru, a major pro-Kremlin Russian news site. The outlet's parent company was recently bought by Russian Sberbank, which is subject to US sanctions for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

CNN reached out to the two reporters and lenta.ru for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

The Russian parliament passed a law in early March criminalizing what it considers to be falsehoods about Russia’s war in Ukraine. Breaking that law can result in a 1.5 million ruble (around $21,467) fine or up to 15 years in prison. Putin and state-owned media still refer to the full-scale ground war in Ukraine as a "special operation."

Independent Russian news site Mediazone published what it said was a statement from Polyakov and Miroshnikova after the articles appeared.

“Putin is a paranoid dictator,” they’re quoted as saying. “Putin must go. He started a senseless war and is leading Russia into a ditch.”

Polyakov and Miroshnikova not only publicly rejected the government line on the invasion but accused Putin of lying about his intentions in Ukraine from the outset.

Putin repeatedly lied about his plans for Russia in Ukraine, naming one goal at first then a completely different one."

They pointed to Putin’s call for a “liberation of Donbass,” “de-Nazification,” and the "demilitarization of Ukraine,” as examples of what they describe as hastily put together justifications for a needless war.

One of the articles in the duo’s Victory Day series focused on what they described as the Russian military lying to families of sailors who died on the Moskva flagship. CNN has previously reported on anxious Russian parents scrambling for information about the fate of sailors aboard the ship that was sunk by two Ukrainian missiles sunk last month.

The article claimed the Russian navy may have re-circulated old images of the Moskva’s crew to suggest more sailors made it off the ship unharmed than really did.

"The video of the Black Sea fleet leadership and crew members that the defense ministry circulated after the tragedy could’ve been archival since a relative of a missing crew member actually recognized him in the video itself."

CNN could not independently confirm these claims.

 

Each article on lenta.ru started with the same urgent plea under the headline. 

Disclaimer: This material is not approved by the state, therefore the presidential administration will delete it... In other words: TAKEake a screenshot urgently ore it’s deleted.”

The duo also appeared to sign off from lenta.ru saying, “We’re looking for work, lawyers and probably, political asylum!”

“Don’t be afraid, don’t be quiet," they continued in an apparent call to action. “Resist! You are not one, you are many! The future is yours!... Peace to Ukraine!"

Reporting critical of the government in Russian media is rare – especially since the war in Ukraine started in February. The last major journalistic show of dissent from state media was when long-time Russian TV editor Marina Ovsyannikova held up an anti-war sign during a live broadcast on Russia’s Channel 1 in March. She was arrested and fined 30,000 rubles.

Ovsyannikova is now reporting for a German-owned news outlet from Russia and Ukraine