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Live Blog: Russia withdrawing units from Kharkiv amid heavy losses – UK

Live Blog: Russia withdrawing units from Kharkiv amid heavy losses – UK

Pro-Kremlin authorities in Ukraine‘s Kherson urge Putin to annex the region, as Moscow accuses Kiev of shelling a Russian city in the latest flashpoint of their bloody fighting that has stretched to its 78th day. Ukrainian forces are keeping up a counterattack to the north of the second largest city of Kharkiv and recapturing several towns and villages toward the Russian border, Britain said. (AP) Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ukraine counterattacks in Kharkiv as Russia pulling forces

Russia has reportedly withdrawn units from Ukraine's Kharkiv region to reorganise and replenish its forces following heavy losses, the British defence ministry has said.

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“Despite Russia’s success in encircling Kharkiv in the initial stages of the conflict, it has reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganise and replenish its forces following heavy losses”, the ministry said in a regular Twitter bulletin. 

Ukrainian forces are keeping up a counterattack to the north of the second largest city of Kharkiv and recapturing several towns and villages toward the Russian border”, Britain said. “The withdrawal of Russian forces from the Kharkiv Oblast is a tacit recognition of Russia’s inability to capture key Ukrainian cities where they expected limited resistance from the population”, it added.

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Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 12 May 2022

Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/uVTQA0NbhY

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Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) May 12, 2022 Finnish president, PM in favour of joining NATO 'without delay'

Finland's president and prime minister have said they are in favour of joining NATO and a formal decision would be taken this weekend, after Russia's offensive in Ukraine sparked a swift u-turn in opinion

“Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,” President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement

NATO membership would strengthen Finland's security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance,” the statement said. The country will announce its decision on NATO bid on Sunday, it said

Russia continues steel mill air strikes: Ukraine

Russian forces are continuing their airstrikes on the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol and pressing their advance on towns in eastern Ukraine, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces has said

In its daily statement, the Ukrainian military said Russian forces also fired artillery and grenade launchers at Ukrainian troops in the direction of Zaporizhzhia, which has been a refuge for civilians fleeing Mariupol

The military said Russian forces had fired artillery at Ukrainian units north of the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine, and reported Russian strikes in the Chernihiv and Sumy regions to the north

Ukraine says wants spot 'reserved' in EU

Ukraine wants a spot reserved in the European Union, even if obtaining full membership could take time, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said in Berlin

“It is not about the fastest possible membership for Ukraine in the EU. But what is very important for us is for this spot to be reserved for Ukraine,” he told German broadcaster ARD

“We hear often that Ukraine belongs in Europe, belongs in the European family, and now it's about reserving this place,” he added

Siemens to leave Russia, take hefty charge

Siemens will quit the Russian market due to the conflict in Ukraine, it said, taking a $630.18 million (600 million euros) hit to its business during the second quarter

Siemens has become the latest company to announce losses connected with its decision to leave Russia following the attacks that started on February 24

Japan freezes assets of Russia’s Sberbank, Alfa Bank

The Japanese government froze the assets of Russia's largest financial institution, Sberbank, and Alfa Bank, its largest private bank, due to the Russian military operation in Ukraine

Japanese citizens and companies are also now prohibited from making investments in Russia that would provide them with a stake of 10 percent or more. 

Putin sends message to Moscow-backed rebels

President Vladimir Putin has reaffirmed Russia’s determination to wrest separatist-held territory from Ukraine in a congratulatory message to the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine

In a statement released by the Kremlin, Putin said: “I am sure that through our joint efforts we will defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the Luhansk republic

Meanwhile, the head of the Luhansk self-proclaimed republic, Leonid Pasechnik, said that it would never return to Ukrainian control and that most of its residents want it to become part of Russia

EU: Russia 'most direct threat to world order'

Russia is the “most direct threat” to the international order because of its attacks on Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said in Tokyo

“That brings me to Russia. It is today the most direct threat to the world order with the barbaric war against Ukraine, and its worrying pact with China,” she said after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida along with European Council President Charles Michel

Official: Russian forces block all evacuation routes out of Mariupol city

An adviser to the Mariupol mayor has said that Russian forces have blocked all evacuation routes out of the city

The adviser, Petro Andriushchenko, said there were few apartment buildings fit to live in after the weeks of bombardment and very little food or drinking water

Andriushchenko said some residents who have remained in the city are cooperating with the Russian occupying forces in exchange for food

For live updates from Wednesday (May 11), click  here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies