May 22, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Nectar Gan, Andrew Raine, Luke McGee, Joe Ruiz, Mike Hayes, Maureen Chowdhury and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, May 23, 2022
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2:00 a.m. ET, May 22, 2022

Donbas situation 'extremely difficult,' President Zelensky says 

From CNN's Mariya Knight 

(Office of President of Ukraine)
(Office of President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address Saturday "the situation in Donbas is extremely difficult," as the Russian army has been escalating attacks on Slovyansk and Severodonetsk over the past few days.

"The Armed Forces of Ukraine are deterring this offensive. Every day that our defenders take away from these offensive plans of Russia, disrupting them, is a concrete contribution to the approach of the main day," Zelensky said.

The desired day that we are all looking forward to and fighting for: Victory Day.

"No Russian strikes; neither by missiles in the Rivne region, nor by artillery in the Kharkiv or Sumy region, nor by all possible weapons in Donbas, will give Russia any result," Zelensky added.

2:00 a.m. ET, May 22, 2022

More than 1,000 apartments and 11 educational institutions damaged in Lozova, city mayor says

From CNN's Mariya Knight 

Firefighters work at the scene after an airstrike on the Cultural Center, in Lozova, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on Friday, May 20.
Firefighters work at the scene after an airstrike on the Cultural Center, in Lozova, Kharkiv region, Ukraine on Friday, May 20. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Reuters)

A Russian missile strike on Lozova in the Kharkiv region on Friday damaged more than 1,000 apartments and 11 educational institutions, according to Mayor Serhiy Zelensky.

"The figures are shocking: 11 educational institutions, including five schools. There are questions about the amount of damage suffered by a hospital and a clinic. Our Palace of Culture was completely destroyed too," Mayor Zelensky said on Telegram on Saturday. 

"Among the damaged educational facilities is the Lozova branch of the Kharkiv Automobile and Road College. Educational building number 1, training and production workshops, and a dormitory that are located on the territory of the college suffered damage as well," Mayor Zelensky added.

CNN reported Friday a Russian missile had destroyed the House of Culture in Lozova, injuring seven, including an 11-year-old child, according to Ukraine's Office of the President.

Lozova is roughly 73 kilometers, or 45 miles, southwest of Izium, a Russian-occupied city in the Kharkiv region. 

1:57 a.m. ET, May 22, 2022

Russians destroy Pavlograd bridge between Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, regional official says

From CNN's Mariya Knight and Julia Presniakova 

Russian forces have destroyed the bridge between Severodonetsk and Lysychansk in Ukraine's Luhansk region, Serhiy Hayday, the head of the regional military administration, said on Telegram on Saturday.

(This will) greatly complicate the evacuation and delivery of humanitarian aid," Hayday said, though he added that at present there is still, "a connection between the cities."

This is the second time the bridge has been destroyed, Hayday added. 

According to Hayday, militants had blown up the bridge while retreating during the liberation of Lysychansk in July 2014. Since then, communication between the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk -- both of which have a population of roughly a hundred thousand people -- has been difficult. The bridge was rebuilt in 2016. 

Hayday also reported 57 people were evacuated on Saturday from the Luhansk region. 

"It is very hot in Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, and Belogorovka right now. The shelling does not stop even for an hour. The Russians use artillery day and night. Every life of the 57 rescued from these settlements is important to us today. They are safe and secure," Hayday said. 

Earlier on Saturday, CNN reported at least six people had been killed in Russian attacks in the city of Severodonetsk. 

1:48 a.m. ET, May 22, 2022

More than 900 Americans from entering Russia, including President Biden and Secretary Blinken 

From Gabby Gretener in London

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 17, in Washington, DC.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 17, in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Russia published its updated "stop list" on Saturday, banning a total of 963 American officials and figures from entering the country.

The updated list included the majority of US senators and members of the House of Representatives, former and current government officials, journalists, military personnel, advocates, citizens, CEOs — and even a few deceased individuals.

Longtime Arizona. Sen. John McCain and Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director Melissa Drisko, who both died in 2018, were included on the list.

Russia also targeted Hollywood, with actor Morgan Freeman and actor/filmmaker Rob Reiner making the list. In 2017, Reiner was involved in promoting the group The Committee to Investigate Russia, and Freeman was featured in a video on the site.

Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State under President Donald Trump, was also listed. He previously spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin about its election interference in US elections.

The ministry accused the people on the list of inciting "Russophobia".

(These) counter sanctions are a necessity and are directed to make the ruling US regime, which tries to impose a neocolonial 'rules-based world order' on the rest of the world, change its behavior by realizing a new geopolitical reality."  

The growing list also includes several CNN contributors, though listed for their former duties, not their CNN association. They are David Axelrod, John Kasich, Wesley Clark, James Clapper, and Susan Glasser.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh, International Security Editor, is also on the stop list. Walsh is a British citizen.

In a separate announcement on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the names of 26 Canadians barred from entering the country, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.  

12:12 a.m. ET, May 22, 2022

Russian transportation minister says sanctions have “practically broken all” logistics corridors for trade

From CNN’s Mariya Knight in Atlanta

Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2021.
Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2021. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters)

Russian Transportation Minister Vitaly Savelyev said on Saturday that Western sanctions against Russia have “practically broken all” logistics corridors used by the country for trade, state news agency TASS reported.

Speaking during a visit to Russia’s Astrakhan region, Savelyev said: "The sanctions that have been imposed on the Russian Federation today have practically broken all logistics [corridors] in our country. And we are forced to look for new logistics corridors together.”

He said Moscow is looking into capitalizing from alternative trade routes such as the International North–South Transport (INSTC) corridor – a transit route linking India with Central Asian countries, Russia and Europe through Iran, according to TASS.