China's Xi agrees on urgency of Ukraine ceasefire in call with Macron, Élysée Palace says
From CNN’s Xiaofei Xu in Paris
Chinese President Xi Jinping "agreed on the urgency of a cease-fire" in Ukraine during a 90-minute phone call with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, the Élysée Palace said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The two Heads of State reiterated their commitment to respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and agreed on the urgency of reaching a cease-fire,” according to the statement.
“All efforts to provide humanitarian support to the Ukrainian population should also be supported," it added.
9:19 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022
Belarus begins second stage of inspection of its army's reaction forces in response to NATO drills
From CNN's Katharina Krebs in London
Belarus has started the second stage of inspection of its army's reaction forces, Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said Tuesday in a video commentary posted on the Telegram account of Belarusian state media Belta.
"This is all planned as part of an adequate response to the 'Defender-Europe' exercises that have been taking place on the territory of NATO countries since May 1," Khrenin said.
He said that the Belarusian side watches the NATO exercises and sees "every movement that battalion groups are involved in" and "the tasks that they plan to carry out."
"Understanding the threats that may come from them, we respond adequately; we put forward appropriate troops in these areas," the minister added.
Last week, the Belarusian army began a previously unannounced inspection of its reaction force, planning movement of a significant amount of military equipment, according to a statement published by the Belarusian Ministry of Defense.
The threat of missile strikes on military and civilian infrastructure of Ukraine from the territory of the Republic of Belarus has never ceased, said Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, the spokesperson of Ukraine's defense ministry, last Wednesday.
"As you know, today the Russian army is using the territory of the Republic of Belarus as a springboard for the attack on Ukraine. In fact, due to this, Russian units were able to appear in the suburbs of the capital so quickly," Motuzyanyk said last week.
9:05 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022
More than 8 million people are internally displaced in Ukraine, according to UN agency
From CNN's Benjamin Brown in London
More than eight million people have been internally displaced in Ukraine, according to the latest report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a United Nations agency.
Over 18% — or nearly one in five — of Ukraine's pre-war population is now internally displaced, said the fourth Ukraine Internal Displacement Report, published Monday.
"The needs of those internally displaced and all affected by the war in Ukraine are growing by the hour," IOM Director General António Vitorino said Tuesday.
The latest survey, conducted between April 29 and May 3, found that 63% of those internally displaced are women.
More than 50% of displaced households have children, 55% include elderly members and over 30% have people with chronic illnesses, according to the survey.
With more than 5.9 million refugees having left Ukraine for neighboring countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a total of at least 13.9 million people have been left displaced since the beginning of the Russian invasion in late February.
8:55 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022
Biden economic adviser says record high US gas prices "somewhat up to Putin"
From CNN's Betsy Klein
Ahead of US President Joe Biden’s remarks on addressing inflation Tuesday, the White House sought to tie record high US gas prices to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We certainly hope that these will come down soon. That's somewhat up to Putin. But the President is focused on addressing these kinds of issues,” Biden economic adviser Cecilia Rouse told CNN, but pointed to efforts from the administration to ease prices, including the release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
Rouse also indicated that the possibility of a national gas tax holiday was one of many options on the table.
“The President understands the uncertainty ... All measures are on the table. He is focused on these issues,” she added as she laid out longer-term measures to relieve pricing pressures.
She later reiterated that Biden wants to consider all measures but he will need the support of his partners in Congress.
“He cannot do everything unilaterally. So he needs to work with partners in Congress in order to make meaningful change, but it's very important to understand that this President is focused on rising prices," she continued.
Later on Tuesday morning, Biden is expected to lay out a “whole of government approach” to combating inflation. She indicated that Chinese tariffs and trade policy more broadly will be part of his speech, as well as clean energy, and later called on Congress to confirm the administration’s Federal Reserve nominees.
She dismissed a recent assertion from Trump economic adviser Kevin Hassett, who has indicated the US is already in a recession.
“I’m not sure where that comes from,” she said, laughing, as she outlined economic growth in 2021 and GDP. “We are not expecting that we're already in the recession. In fact, the guts and the bones of this economy remains strong. Yes, there are headwinds, yes, there's uncertainty, which is why the President is so focused on trying to reduce costs and grow this economy by investing in people in our physical infrastructure, and really building the kind of economy that will generate sustainable growth going forward."
8:54 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022
During Ukraine visit, German foreign minister says weapons deliveries should prevent further war crimes
From CNN's Stephanie Halasz
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock discussed the impact of seeing where Ukrainians were killed and left in the street for days in the town of Bucha.
Baerbock, speaking during a news conference with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv, said it was important that displaced people will be able to come back to their homes.
“This is not only about military support, where Germany has stood by your side for some time, but now it is also about [developing] conditions in towns, cities, in communities further, together, so that people can return,” Baerbock said.
Addressing the thorny issue of German weapon deliveries to Ukraine — which Ukraine has often criticized as not quick enough — Baerbock said: “Even though the region where we are fortunately able to be peaceful today, is being defended, weapons deliveries mean that there cannot and will not be any more terrible war crimes, which I have seen again today, in your country, especially in the east."
“I cannot forget that these arms deliveries are also there to ensure that war crimes do not take place in other places," Baerbock said.
8:15 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022
US mulls what Putin's end game is as Russia's war in Ukraine continues
From CNN's Kaitlan Collins
US officials found Russian President Vladimir Putin muted and subdued when he delivered his Victory Day address on Monday, further obscuring their attempts to ascertain the Russian leader's ultimate objectives in Ukraine.
Officials inside the Biden administration have been contemplating ways Putin could exit his unprovoked war should he choose to do so, as the conflict grinds on and the Russian leader loses his chance for a quick triumph.
US officials still believe Putin is undeterred and wants a tangible victory in Ukraine. But they don't know what measure could be sufficient for Putin to declare victory, one official told CNN, who said his goals are not readily apparent.
The difficulty in assessing Putin's aims was underscored by comments from President Joe Biden at a fundraiser Monday night, where he said he is concerned the Russian leader has not yet devised a way out of the ongoing war in Ukraine, despite Putin's "calculating" nature.
CIA Director Bill Burns also shared his concerns over the weekend, describing Putin "in a frame of mind in which he doesn't believe he can afford to lose."
"I think he's convinced right now that doubling down still will enable him to make progress," Burns said.
Putin so far has failed to achieve any of his major war objectives in Ukraine. After initially believing his forces could take Kyiv and dismantle President Volodymyr Zelensky's government within days, Putin was forced to recalculate and focus on eastern Ukraine. But that too has proven to be an incremental fight, according to assessments from the Pentagon.
"Many wounded" at Azovstal complex after bombardment, says Ukrainian commander
From CNN's Tim Lister in Lviv
Ukrainian soldiers trapped in the Azovstal steel plant say there was heavy shelling overnight and, for a while, they lost contact with the field hospital at the complex in Mariupol.
The deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, Captain Svyatoslav Palamar, said the bombardment had gone on all night long, and had included Russian planes.
"There are wounded, many are badly wounded," he said, adding that they needed immediate evacuation.
Kateryna Polishchuk, one of the soldiers trapped at the steel plant, has issued a defiant message via Facebook that the plant's defenders will fight to the last.
A former music student, the 21-year-old combat medic was seen last week leading the soldiers in singing the army's battle hymn. Since then she has become known on social media as "The Bird."
"Azovstal is holding on against the Russians. While they are here, we are fighting to the last," she said.
The video was uploaded to the Facebook page of another soldier at Azovstal, as the last holdout of resistance in the southern city continues to endure heavy shelling.
8:00 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022
Greece reopens embassy in Kyiv with essential staff
From CNN's Katharina Krebs in London
The Greek foreign ministry announced on Tuesday that its embassy in Kyiv will resume operations.
According to the statement, as of now, the embassy in Kyiv will work only with key staff, while the Consulate General of Greece in Odesa will work as usual to provide all possible assistance to Greek citizens and expatriates in Ukraine.
Manolis Androulakis, who was the consul general of Greece in Mariupol, has been appointed head of the embassy in the Ukrainian capital.
The reopening is the latest in a number of planned reopening announcements from multiple countries, including the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden and South Korea. On Sunday, acting US Ambassador to Ukraine Kristina Kvien and a group of US diplomats returned to the embassy in Kyiv for the first time since the war began in February.
7:44 a.m. ET, May 10, 2022
What to know about hypersonic missiles fired by Russia at Ukraine
From CNN's Brad Lendon
A Russian bomber fired three hypersonic missiles at the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa on Monday night, Ukrainian officials said, as part of a barrage that leveled a number of civilian targets including hotels and a shopping mall.
It is not the first time Moscow has deployed its Kinzhal hypersonic missile during its invasion, but it does appear to be a relatively rare occurrence.
Russia said it used Kinzhal missiles Ukraine in mid-March -- a claim later confirmed by US officials to CNN -- in the first known use of the weapon in combat.
In March, US President Joe Biden confirmed Russia's use of the Kinzhal missile, describing it as "a consequential weapon ... it's almost impossible to stop it. There's a reason they're using it."
Biden's defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, has downplayed the effectiveness of the missile, telling CBS in March that he "would not see it as a game-changer."
And the UK defense ministry has previously said the Kinzhal missile is really just an air-launched version of the Iskander short-range ballistic missile (SRBM), which Russia has used repeatedly in its war on Ukraine.