Ukraine-Russia war LATEST: Vladimir Putin branded 'cold, cruel & black evil' by Ukrainian former PM in rant | The Sun

UKRAINE'S former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, has branded Russia's Vladimir Putin as "absolutely rational, cold, cruel, black evil".

She also claimed he is determined to go down in Russian history alongside Stalin and Peter the Great.

In an exclusive interview, Tymoshenko dismissed the suggestion that the Russian president was “crazy”.

“He acts according to his own dark logic,” she said.

“He’s driven by this idea of historic mission and wants to create an empire. That’s his hyper-goal. It comes from a deep inner desire and belief.”

Tymoshenko, was the leader of the 2004 Orange revolution and prime minister twice. She also had several one-on-one meetings with Russian President Putin. 

Close up, Putin was “always cautious”, she added.

“He is from a KGB school”.

Before Russia’s full-scale invasion in February, he made no secret of his belief that there was “no such nation as Ukraine, and no such people as Ukrainians”, she said.

Read our Ukraine war live blog below for the latest news & updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia pushes Ukrainian defenders to outskirts of key eastern city

    Ukrainian forces pulled back to the outskirts of the industrial city of Sievierodonetsk today in the face of a fierce Russian assault, the regional governor said.

    Ukraine has vowed to fight there for as long as possible, saying the battle could help shape the war's future course.

    "…Our (forces) now again control only the outskirts of the city. But the fighting is still going on … it is impossible to say the Russians completely control the city," Serhiy Gaidai, governor of the region, told the RBC-Ukraine media outlet.

  • Milica Cosic

    UN: More than 7m border crossings registered from Ukraine

    According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 7 million people have crossed the border from Ukraine since war broke out there.

    A total of 7,023,559 border crossings have been recorded since the Russian invasion began, the agency’s tally showed today.

  • Milica Cosic

    BREAKING: Brit fighters Aiden Aslin & Shaun Pinner face 20 YEARS in prison

    CAPTURED Brit fighters Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner face 20 years behind bars after "pleading guilty" in a pro-Russian court.

    The two volunteers who have been fighting alongside the Ukrainian army since the start of the war in February were accused by Russian forces of being mercenaries – charges which can carry the death penalty.

    Aslin and Pinner pleaded guilty to "training in order to carry out terrorist activities" according to a video released by DPR Supreme Court, Russian state media report.

    Aiden Aslin, 28, from Nottinghamshire and Shaun Pinner, 48, from Bedfordshire are being held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic – a breakaway region in the east of Ukraine.

    Both men – who have lived in the country since 2018 – say they were serving with regular military units in Mariupol and so should be protected as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia claims to have shot down Ukrainian missiles in Kherson

    Russia has claimed to have shot down three Ukrainian missiles in the outskirts of the city of Kherson.

    Russia's foreign ministry has today claimed three Tochka-U missiles were fired on the region by Ukrainian nationalists. 

    The southern city of Kherson was the first in Ukraine to fall into Russian hands. 

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukraine's ministry shares pics of soldiers sleeping in 'cold trenches'

    The Ukrainian foreign ministry has shared a heart-breaking and emotional photo showing two soldiers curled up asleep in a trench. 

    "These Ukrainian defenders in their positions. They sleep in cold trenches so we can sleep in our homes," the ministry said. 

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukraine aide hits out at Merkel defence of Russia policy

    Ukraine has today criticised comments by former German chancellor Angela Merkel – who has insisted she was not naive in her dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The veteran leader frequently met with Putin during her 16 years in power and championed a commerce-driven, pragmatic approach towards Moscow.

    In her first major interview since stepping down six months ago, Merkel said on Tuesday she had "nothing to apologise for" and that Moscow's February 24 invasion was "a turning point".

    Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak responded Thursday by criticising Merkel for deepening Europe's reliance on Russian energy.

    "If Chancellor Merkel always knew that Russia was planning a war and Putin's goal is to destroy the EU, then why would (Germany) build the Nord Stream 2 (pipeline)," he wrote on Twitter, referring to the now-scuppered gas pipeline connecting Russia with Germany.

    Podolyak said Merkel had "shoved" Europe towards increased dependency on Russian energy supplies and asked: "Why does Germany have to fix this mistake now?"

    Germany became hugely reliant on Russian energy imports on Merkel's watch, and she long irked Western allies with her backing for the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was to double Russian gas deliveries to Germany.

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia has stolen 600,000 tonnes of grain, Ukrainian producers say

    Russia has stolen about 600,000 tonnes of grain from occupied Ukrainian territory and exported some of it, the deputy head of Ukrainian agriculture producers union UAC said on Wednesday.

    Ukraine will demand Russia compensate for both the theft of the grain and the destruction of the property of farmers, UAC deputy head Denys Marchuk told Ukrainian television.

    "To date, about 600,000 tonnes have been stolen from agricultural companies and taken to the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimean Peninsula and from there it moves to ports, in particular to Sevastopol, and from there, ships go to the Middle East," Marchuk said.

    He added that about 100,000 tonnes of grain had already been trans-shipped in Syria, according to evidence "recorded by the USA".

    He provided no additional detail. Reuters – who reported this first – was not able to verify the claims.

  • Milica Cosic

    Kyiv: 'Russian aggression' – not sanctions – fuelling grain crisis

    Ukraine has today said that Moscow's invasion was responsible for a global grain crisis, dismissing Russian claims that Western sanctions on Moscow had sent prices soaring.

    "We have been actively communicating, the president and myself, about the true cause of this crisis: it is Russian aggression, not sanctions," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said during a briefing with Ukrainian journalists released on social media.

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukraine & Russia exchange bodies of dead soldiers

    The Ukrainian Ministry of Reintegration has said today that Ukraine and Russia have exchanged the bodies of 50 dead soldiers. 

    In a Facebook post, the authority added that 37 of the fighters were killed at Mariupol's Azovstal steel works.

    "On the front line in the Zaporizhzhya region, an exchange of bodies of dead soldiers between Ukraine and Russia under the formula 50 by 50," the ministry said. 

    "The process of returning the bodies of dead Ukrainian soldiers is ongoing." 

  • Milica Cosic

    'Lavrov's words are empty'

    Ukraine has dismissed Russia's assurances over grain shipments as "empty words". This comes after the Russian foreign minister said the country would not use the situation to its advantage. 

    "Lavrov’s words are empty. Ukraine has made its position on the sea ports clear: military equipment is required to protect the coastline and a navy mission to patrol the export routes in the Black Sea," Ukraine's foreign ministry spokesman said. 

    "Russia cannot be allowed to use grain corridors to attack
    southern Ukraine." 

  • Joseph Gamp

    Former Russian president lashes out at those who ‘hate’ Russia

    Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former president who served between 2008 and 2012, has lashed out at those who “hate” Russia – calling them “degenerates” and vowing to “make them disappear”.

    Medvedev, who is now deputy head of the Security Council, wrote on Telegram: “I am often asked why my Telegram posts are so harsh. The answer is I hate them. They are bastards and degenerates.

    “They want death for us, Russia. And while I’m alive, I will do everything to make them disappear.”

    However, he did not say nor specify who “they” were.

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK calls for investigation into alleged Ukraine grain theft by Russia

    Allegations that Russia is stealing grain from a wide variety of areas in Ukraine must be investigated immediately, British farming minister Victoria Prentis has said yesterday.

    Prentis, speaking at an International Grains Council (IGC) conference in London, said she had heard allegations of grain theft by Russia first-hand from sources in the Kherson region in south Ukraine.

    World food prices have soared to record levels since Russia invaded Ukraine.

    And, Black Sea ports in Ukraine, have been blocked since the invasion – with some 20 million tonnes of grain stuck in the country at present.

    Russia has previously denied allegations of stealing wheat from Ukraine

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia DENIES responsibility for global food crisis

     Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday the onus was on Ukraine to solve the problem of resuming grain shipments by de-mining its ports.

    Lavrov said no action was required on the Russian side because it had already made the necessary commitments.

    "We state daily that we're ready to guarantee the safety of vessels leaving Ukrainian ports and heading for the (Bosphorus) gulf, we're ready to do that in cooperation with our Turkish colleagues," he said after talks with his Turkish counterpart.

    "To solve the problem, the only thing needed is for the Ukrainians to let vessels out of their ports, either by demining them or by marking out safe corridors, nothing more is required."

    Ukraine is one of the world's biggest exporters of grain, and Western countries have accused Russia of creating the risk of global famine by shutting Ukraine's Black Sea ports.

    Moscow denies responsibility for the international food crisis, blaming Western sanctions.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Ukraine files eight new war crimes cases against Russia

    Ukraine has filed eight more war crimes cases to court in addition to three sentences already handed down to Russian soldiers, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said on Wednesday.

    Ukraine has opened more than 16,000 investigations into possible war crimes during Russia's invasion which began on Feb. 24, she said on television.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia won't take advantage if Kyiv lets grain shipments leave safely

    Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said Moscow would not use the situation surrounding grain shipments in and around the Black Sea to advance its "special military operation", as long as Ukraine lets ships leave safely.

    "These are guarantees from the president of Russia," Lavrov said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia says Ukraine needs to de-mine ports to allow grain shipments

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said he hoped issues relating to grain shipments from ports in Ukraine could be resolved, provided Kyiv de-mines the waters around them.

    Speaking alongside his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Lavrov said Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine was going according to plan and that peace talks would need to resume before there was any chance of presidential talks between Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

  • Joseph Gamp

    US bans purchasing of Russian debt or stocks

    The US treasury department has banned buying any Russian debt or stocks belonging to Russian firms is under sanctions.

    This further tightens the curbs on the country following its invasion of Ukraine. 

    “Consistent with our goal to deny Russia the financial resources it needs to continue its brutal war against Ukraine, Treasury has made clear that US persons are prohibited from making new investments in the success of Russia, including through purchases on the secondary market,” a spokesperson said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    In pictures: Ukrainian troops destroy Russian ammo warehouse

    An attack was carried out by members of the 44th Artillery Brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces with the support of aerial reconnaissance by the 81st Airmobile Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces.

    The brigade said on 8th June: “Artillerymen of the 44th OAbr of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with the support of aerial reconnaissance of the 81st brigade of the 5th BTGR, bombed the accumulation of enemy equipment and ammunition in the Pologovsky district.

    “It is known that Russian troops fired at three settlements in the Pologovsky district. Enemy shells hit Gulyaipole, the villages of Dobropolye and Upper Tersa.

    “Earlier, the Russian military left some positions in the Melitopol and Vasilyevsky regions. As it became known, they moved in the direction of Kherson region.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia turns over bodies of 210 Ukrainian fighters killed in Mariupol

    Ukraine's military intelligence agency says Russia has so far turned over the bodies of 210 Ukrainian fighters killed in the battle for Mariupol. It says most of them were among the last holdouts in the Azovstal steelworks.

    The agency did not specify Tuesday how many more bodies are believed to remain in the rubble of the plant.

    Russia now controls the destroyed port city. It began turning over bodies last week. Ukraine said Saturday that the two sides had exchanged 320 bodies, with each getting back 160. It is unclear whether any more bodies have been given to Russia.

    The Ukrainian fighters defended the steelworks for nearly three months before surrendering in May under relentless Russian attacks from the ground, sea and air.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia claims advances in Ukraine amid fierce fighting

    Russia on Tuesday claimed to have taken control of 97% of one of the two provinces that make up Ukraine's Donbas, bringing the Kremlin closer to its goal of fully capturing the eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories.

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow's forces hold nearly all of Luhansk province. And it appears that Russia now occupies roughly half of Donetsk province, according to Ukrainian officials and military analysts.

    After abandoning its bungled attempt to storm Kyiv two months ago, Russia declared that taking the entire Donbas is its main objective. Moscow-backed separatists have been battling Ukrainian government forces in the Donbas since 2014, and the region has borne the brunt of the Russian onslaught in recent weeks.

    Early in the war, Russian troops also took control of the entire Kherson region and a large part of the Zaporizhzhia region, both in the south. Russian officials and their local appointees have talked about plans for those regions to either declare their independence or be folded into Russia.

    But in what may be the latest instance of anti-Russian sabotage inside Ukraine, Russian state media said Tuesday that an explosion at a cafe in the city of Kherson wounded four people. Tass called the apparent bombing in the Russian-occupied city a terror act.

    Before the Feb. 24 invasion, Ukrainian officials said Russia controlled some 7% of the country, including the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, and areas held by the separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk. Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces hold 20% of the country.

    While Russia has superior firepower, the Ukrainian defenders are entrenched and have shown the ability to counterattack.

    Zelenskyy said Russian forces made no significant advances in the eastern Donbas region over the past day.

  • Milica Cosic

    Zelensky: Stalemate with Russia ‘not an option’

    A stalemate with Russia is “not an option”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Britain’s Financial Times newspaper yesterday, reiterating a plea for foreign help in the war.

    Ukraine’s fierce resistance of Russia’s all-out invasion of its neighbour led to a stalemate in parts of the country, with Moscow subsequently re-focussing its forces in the east.

    “Victory must be achieved on the battlefield”, he said as he repeated his call for Western military support.

    “We are inferior in terms of equipment and therefore we are not capable of advancing,” he told the paper. “We are going to suffer more losses and people are my priority.”

    Asked what Ukraine would consider a victory, Zelensky said restoring the borders Ukraine controlled before Russia’s invasion on February 24 would be “a serious temporary victory”.

    But he said the ultimate aim was the “full de-occupation of our entire territory”.

  • Milica Cosic

    UK calls for investigation into alleged Ukraine grain theft by Russia

    Allegations that Russia is stealing grain from a wide variety of areas in Ukraine must be investigated immediately, British farming minister Victoria Prentis has said yesterday.

    Prentis, speaking at an International Grains Council (IGC) conference in London, said she had heard allegations of grain theft by Russia first-hand from sources in the Kherson region in south Ukraine.

    World food prices have soared to record levels since Russia invaded Ukraine.

    And, Black Sea ports in Ukraine, have been blocked since the invasion – with some 20 million tonnes of grain stuck in the country at present.

    Russia has previously denied allegations of stealing wheat from Ukraine

  • Milica Cosic

    Putin loses his 50TH COLONEL

    VLADIMIR Putin has lost his 50th colonel in Ukraine – just one day after two of his generals were wiped out in the same ambush.

    Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Nigmatullin, 46, was killed on May 31 – but his death was only disclosed by Russian forces on Tuesday. 

    It's not clear how the father-of-three from Yekaterinburg died.

    His sister-in-law Marina Konyukhova paid tribute to him on social media, describing him as an "amazing husband" to her sister.

    She said: "I am always proud of you, and I will always be proud. 

    "You set an example to the Motherland, so that everyone does like you did… you went through a lot of conflict areas."

    Putin has lost nearly one colonel every two days in the shambolic Ukraine invasion, bringing the tally to 50.

  • Milica Cosic

    Zelensky: Ukraine will fight for all territory amid fierce battle in east

    Ukraine will fight to recover all its territory occupied by Russian forces, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday, as his troops struggled to hold their ground in bloody street-to-street fighting in the city of Sievierodonetsk.

    “We have already lost too many people to simply cede our territory,” Zelenskiy said by video link at an event hosted by Britain’s Financial Times newspaper.

    “We have to achieve a full de-occupation of our entire territory.”

    Zelensky’s remarks responded forcefully to suggestions that Ukraine must cede territory to Russia to end the war.

    The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Gaidai, said the defenders were finding it hard to repel Russian attacks in the centre of Sievierodonetsk, a small industrial city in the east.

    “The Russians are trying with all their might to capture Sievierodonetsk and cut off the highway from Lysychansk to Bakhmut,” he said in an online post.

    “In the regional centre it is hard to stave off the attacks, but the occupiers do not control the town.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Chornobyl radiation detectors back online & levels normal 

    Radiation detectors in the Exclusion Zone around Ukraine's defunct Chornobyl nuclear power plant are back online for the first time since Russia seized the area on Feb. 24, and radiation levels are normal, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said today, report Reuters.

    "Most of the 39 detectors sending data from the Exclusion Zone … are now visible on the IRMIS (International Radiation Monitoring Information System) map," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

    "The measurements received so far indicated radiation levels in line with those measured before the conflict."

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