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May 14, 2023 Russia-Ukraine news
By Amarachi Orie and Mike Hayes, CNN
President Zelensky arrives in Paris to discuss important bilateral relations
From CNN's Mariya Knight
Upon his arrival in France Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that he plans to discuss "important points of bilateral relations."
"Paris. With each visit, the defensive and offensive capabilities of Ukraine increase. The connection with Europe is getting stronger, and the pressure on Russia is increasing. I will meet my friend Emmanuel. Let's discuss the most important points of bilateral relations," President Zelensky tweeted.
Zelensky is expected to hold a working dinner with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace on Sunday.
Ukrainian deputy defense minister says forces captured more than 10 Russian positions near Bakhmut
From CNN's Mariya Knight
Ukrainian forces have been able to capture more than ten Russian positions near Bakhmut, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said in a Telegram post on Sunday.
“Today our units captured more than ten enemy positions in the north and south of Bakhmut's outskirts and cleared a large area of forest near Ivanivske,” Maliar said.
The minister also noted Ukraine “continues to move forward in the suburbs of Bakhmut.”
Maliar called the situation in Bakhmut “very hot.”
“The enemy has gathered all its forces there and is trying to advance, destroying everything in its path. Fierce fighting continues,” she added.
Some background: Bakhmut is the site of a months-long assault by Russian forces, including Wagner mercenaries, that has driven thousands from their homes and left the area devastated. But despite the vast amounts of manpower Russia has poured into capturing the city, they have been unable to take total control, and this week suffered heavy losses in the area.
CNN had previously reported that Ukrainian forces have been able to push the Russians back 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) around the eastern city of Bakhmut over the past week, Maliar said Friday.
CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Olga Voitovych contributed to this post.
Two Russian commanders killed in eastern Ukraine, Russia's defense ministry says
From CNN's Mariya Knight in Atlanta and Sugam Pokharel in London
In a rare announcement of combat deaths of high-ranking Russian military officials, the Russian defense ministry said in its daily briefing Sunday that two of its commanders were killed on the battlefield in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.
The ministry did not specify when they were killed.
“The commander of the 4th motorized rifle brigade, Colonel Vyacheslav Makarov, being at the forefront, personally led the battle,” the briefing read.
Another commander who died, Colonel Yevgeny Brovko, the deputy commander of the army corps for military-political work, directed the actions of the personnel, being in “another sector of repelling enemy attacks.”
"During the battle to repel one of the attacks, Colonel Yevgeny Brovko heroically died after receiving multiple shrapnel wounds," the ministry said.
The announcement comes as the ministry on Sunday said Ukraine has made "massive attempts to break through the defense of our troops to the north and south of Artemovsk," referring to Bakhmut by its Russian name.
“All the attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have been repelled. There has been no breakthrough in the defense of Russian forces,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military reported in an update on Sunday that Bakhmut and Maryinka in eastern Ukraine remain the “epicenter of fighting.”
“The enemy continues to focus its main efforts on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions. In total, about 30 combat engagements took place in the above-mentioned areas over the last day,” the military added.
“The likelihood of missile and air strikes throughout Ukraine remains high,” it said.
French president to "reaffirm the unfailing support" for Ukraine in meeting with Zelensky
From CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne in Paris
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit Paris on Sunday for a working dinner with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, the palace said in a statement.
“This exchange will allow them to continue and deepen their dialogue of trust after their meeting last February 8 in Paris and their regular telephone exchanges since then,” it added.
During the meeting, Macron will "reaffirm the unfailing support of France and Europe to restore Ukraine's legitimate rights and defend its fundamental interests,” according to the statement.
“This evening's discussion will therefore focus on the support that France continues to provide in response to Ukraine's urgent military and humanitarian needs. The two Presidents will also discuss the longer-term prospects for the return of peace in Europe, notably on the basis of the Peace Plan proposed by President Zelensky, which France supports,” it further said.
Zelensky was in Germany on Sunday as his first visit to the country since Russia's invasion began last year.
Zelensky collects the prestigious Charlemagne Prize in Germany
From CNN’s Fred Pleitgen in Berlin and Sugam Pokharel in London
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday collected the prestigious Charlemagne prize during a visit to Germany on behalf of the Ukrainian people for their contribution to the unification of Europe.
He collected the prize at a ceremony in the western German city of Aachen, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen in attendance.
Some background: The Charlemagne Prize is one of the most significant political awards in Germany and is awarded for work done in the service of European unification.
“The Ukrainian people, under the leadership of their President Volodymyr Zelensky, are not only defending the sovereignty of their country and the lives of their citizens, but also Europe and European values," the prize body said in a statement.
It's nighttime in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know
From CNN Staff
Russia’s air force may have just suffered one of its worst days since the Ukraine war began. Unconfirmed reports say that four of its aircraft were shot down within Russian territory, in what would mark a significant coup for Ukraine.
Here are more of the latest headlines today from the Russia-Ukraine war:
- Zelensky in Germany: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is in Germany for his first visit since Russia's invasion began. He gave thanks after Germany announced a $3 billion military aid package, its largest yet. Speaking at a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Zelensky said Ukraine is concentrating on a highly-anticipated military counteroffensive against Russian forces.
- Germany's Scholz vows to support Ukraine until Russia is "held accountable": German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday reaffirmed Berlin’s support for Ukraine "for as long as it is necessary" in its fight against Russia’s invasion and stressed that those responsible for the war "must be held accountable."
- Sweden won Eurovision but it was Ukraine that shone brightest: Sweden’s Loreen has become only the second person to win the Eurovision Song Contest twice after earning a historic triumph at an extravagant and crowd-pleasing show on Saturday night. Ukraine's electronic duo Tvorchi finished a strong sixth place out of 26 with their performance of the song "Heart of Steel" in the contest's 67th edition. This was despite Russia firing missiles at the Ukrainian contestants' home city of Ternopil as they took to the stage — which Ukraine's Ministry of Defense condemned.
- 2 killed and 10 wounded in Russian shelling of Kostiantynivka: Two people have been killed – including a 15-year-old girl – and 10 others wounded as a result of Russian shelling on the eastern city of Kostiantynivka on Saturday, the Donetsk Regional Prosecutor's Office said in a Telegram post.
- At least 21 people injured in Russian attacks on western Ukrainian region: At least 21 people were injured and two others were hospitalized in the western Khmelnytskyi region of Ukraine after Russian attacks early Saturday morning, according to the deputy head of the regional military administration. "Today, the enemy once again attacked Khmelnytskyi with a strike drone, hitting one of the critical infrastructure facilities of the region, located outside the settlements," Serhii Tiurin said on Telegram.
Ukraine's Zelensky due to travel to Paris Sunday
From CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne in Paris
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is due to travel to Paris on Sunday following his visit to Germany, according to French media.
Zelensky traveled to Rome on Saturday, where he met with his Italian counterpart, Italy's prime minister and Pope Francis.
Zelensky says Ukraine and its allies can make Russia’s defeat “irreversible”
From CNN's Sugam Pokharel
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that Ukraine and its allies can make Russia’s defeat “irreversible” this year.
“Now is the time for us to determine the end of this war this year. This year we can make the aggressor's defeat irreversible,” he said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.
“The time for action is now. We all want this war to finally end, but to end in a just and fair peace. Ukraine and the whole of Europe must be free. Our territorial integrity and security, as well as the territorial integrity and security of all European nations, must be guaranteed,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky said he will be talking to Scholz about his quest for fighter jets, while admitting that “it's not an easy question.” He said Ukraine is working to create a “fighter jet coalition” and is asking Germany to join.
Some context: In March, Poland became the first NATO member to pledge MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Slovakia completed the transfer of its 13 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine in April.
The Ukrainian leader thanked Germany for providing Ukraine with defense and financial support.
“German assistance is the protection of life. The lives of our people in cities and villages, which are reliably protected, in particular, by the air defense systems you have provided. The lives of our soldiers on the battlefield, which are protected by the armored vehicles you have provided. Social life in Ukraine, which is protected by your financial support,” the president said.