US rejects Putin’s claim of Mariupol victory

  • Washington says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Moscow “liberated” the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol is “yet more disinformation”.
  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls for more weapons and tougher sanctions against Russia as its eastern offensive continues.
  • US President Joe Biden pledges more heavy artillery, ammunition and drones to Ukraine as part of a new $800m weapons package.
  • World Bank chief says Russia’s invasion has caused $60bn in damage to buildings and infrastructure across Ukraine so far.
  • Ukrainian troops begin training in Britain as Johnson steps up support

    A small number of Ukrainian troops are being trained in Britain as Prime Minister Boris Johnson steps up his military support to help Ukraine fight off Russia and the troops began training with armoured patrol vehicles donated by Britain this month, Johnson’s spokesman has said.

    “It is only sensible that they get requisite training to make best use of it,” the spokesman said. “We are always conscious of anything perceived to be escalatory but clearly what is escalatory is the actions of (Vladimir) Putin’s regime.”Britain is providing Ukraine with 120 armoured patrol vehicles, including the Mastiff, which can be used as a reconnaissance or patrol vehicle.The spokesman said Britain, in conjunction with its allies, was providing new types of equipment to Ukrainian soldiers that they may not have used before.

    ‘Yet more disinformation,’ US says of Russian claim about Mariupol

    The US State Department has said it understood Ukrainian forces still held ground in Mariupol and called Putin’s claim to have liberated the city “yet more disinformation from their well-worn playbook”.

    Putin hailed Russia’s “liberation” of the Ukrainian port city after Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu told him Moscow controlled it, apart from the Azovstal steel plant.

    “Block off this industrial area so that not even a fly can escape,” Putin said in a televised meeting, adding it would be “impractical” to storm the huge industrial area, where more than 2,000 Ukrainian servicemen remain, according to Shoigu.

    OAS suspends Russia as permanent observer

    The Organization of American States (OAS) has adopted a resolution suspending Russia as a permanent observer to the inter-governmental institution over the invasion of Ukraine.

    The move comes as pressure is growing to exclude Russia from various international organisations in response to the war. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed Russia’s OAS suspension.

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