Wed, 06 Jul 2022

Latest Developments in Ukraine: May 20

Voice of America
20 May 2022, 20:37 GMT+10

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT:

5:38 a.m.: CNN reports that Vadim Shishimarin, 21, the Russian soldier charged with war crimes in Ukraine, was in court in Kyiv on Friday.

In the third day of hearings, his lawyer argued that Shishimarin 'had no direct intent for the murder,' of which he's accused, saying that his client 'was in a state of stress caused by the combat situation and the pressure from his commander.'

The trial has adjourned until Monday.

5:16 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that the Russian-appointed leader of the Kherson region says the region will 'soon become part' of the Russian Federation.

"We are looking at the Russian Federation as our own country because it is under the control of the [Russian] Armed Forces and later will be transformed into a federal subject," Volodymyr Saldo, said on Telegram, adding, "We will become the Kherson region of the Russian Federation.'

4:09 a.m.: The U.K.'s defense ministry has released its latest intelligence update. It notes that as many as 1,700 Ukrainian troops have likely surrendered from the Mariupol Azovstal steel factory and says that once Mariupol is secured, Russia will likely turn its attention to the Donbas region.

Russian forces, however, will need to be re-equipped and refurbished to successfully attack Donbas, the update says. But the pressure on Russian commanders means the troops probably won't get this preparation, 'which risks further force attrition.'

3:05 a.m.: Ukraine's grain exports are down 64% from last year, Al Jazeera reports.

2:01 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says the Donbas region of his country is 'completely destroyed,' the BBC reports.

In his nightly address from Kyiv, the president described the region as 'hell' and said, "This is a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible. Destroy as many houses, social facilities and enterprises as possible.'

1:04 a.m.: CNN reports that a Russian checkpoint has blocked more than 1,000 cars carrying people trying to flee to Zaporizhzhia, a Ukrainian-controlled area.

12:02 a.m.: U.S. think tank the Institute for the Study of War, says that Russian troops have withdrawn from the Kharkiv region and have been sent to the Donetsk region, The New York Times reports.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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