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Ukraine-Russia war LIVE – Putin’s soldiers REFUSING to fight as they uncover loophole to avoid extreme punishment

VLAD THE INVADER

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  • 3: 00, 14 May 2022
  • Updated: 3: 00, 14 May 2022

A lawyer has claimed that Vladimir Putin’s Russian soldiers have been REFUSING to fight as they have uncovered a loophole to avoid extreme punishment.

Mikhail Benyash, a lawyer who has been advising Russian soldiers has said that “hundreds and hundreds” of soldiers had been in touch with his team for advice on how they could avoid being sent to fight.

Under Russian military rules, troops who refuse to fight in Ukraine can face dismissal but cannot be prosecuted, said Benyash.

Among them were 12 national guardsmen from Russia’s southern city of Krasnodar who were fired after refusing to go to Ukraine.

“Commanders try to threaten their soldiers with prison time if they dissent, but we tell the soldiers that they can simply say no,” Benyash said, adding that he was not aware of any criminal cases against soldiers who refused to fight.

“There are no legal grounds to start a criminal case if a soldier refuses to fight while on Russian territory.”

Many soldiers, therefore, have chosen to be fired or transferred rather than going into “the meat grinder”, he said.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…

  • Russia advises against UK travel because of ‘unfriendly’ visa stance

    Russia said on Friday it was recommending its citizens not to travel to Britain, complaining that authorities there were making it “virtually impossible” for Russians to obtain visas.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry alleged Russian applications were being delayed because Britain was giving higher priority to Ukrainian refugees. It said Russians were also unable to pay on the British website via Mastercard and Visa, which have both suspended their operations in Russia.

    “Taking into account the extremely unfriendly course of the UK towards our country, in order to avoid financial losses and other possible problems, we recommend that Russian citizens refrain, if possible, from travelling to the UK and trying to obtain British visas,” it said.

    “Until the situation normalises, we will act in the same way with respect to the British.”

    The British actions were “a politically motivated infringement of the rights of Russian citizens”, the ministry said.

  • Russia poses the ‘most direct threat’ to ‘world order’

    RUSSIA is the ‘most direct threat to world order’, says EU’s Ursula Von der Leyen.

    The European Commission President met with meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, along with European Council President Charles Michel today.

    Von der leyen said that Russia “is today the most direct threat to the world order with the barbaric war against Ukraine, and its worrying pact with China”.

    Kishida, whose government has joined tough sanctions on Moscow, also said: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not just a matter for Europe, but it shakes the core of the international order including Asia. This must not be tolerated”.

  • Swedish review: NATO membership would deter conflict

    Swedish membership in NATO would reduce the risk of conflict in northern Europe, a security policy review by parties in Sweden’s parliament said Friday.

    “Swedish NATO membership would raise the threshold for military conflicts and thus have a deterrent effect in northern Europe,” the report presented at a press conference in Stockholm said.

  • Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund

    Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun’s Ukraine Fund.

    Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.

    Donate here to help The Sun’s fund

    Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles

    £3 — text SUN£3

    £5 — text SUN£5

    £10 — text SUN£10

    Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) 1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile

    For more information visit https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund

  • Putin ‘very ill with blood cancer’ claims oligarch

    VLADIMIR Putin is “very ill with blood cancer,” a top oligarch has allegedly claimed, in the latest rumours about the Russian president’s health.

    The Russian business leader that features in the audio recording, who is close to the Kremlin, also accuses Putin of “ruining” Russia’s economy through his doomed war in Ukraine.

    In the recording, obtained by New Lines Magazine and reportedly made in mid-March, the oligarch describes Putin as “very ill with blood cancer,” although it isn’t clear exactly what type of cancer he has.

    He goes on: “He [Putin] absolutely ruined Russia’s economy, Ukraine’s economy, and many other economies – ruined absolutely.

    “The problem is with his head… One crazy guy can turn the world upside down.”

    A Western venture capitalist who works with the oligarch secretly recorded the conversation and shared it on the condition that he remain anonymous.

    He said he went behind his Russian colleague’s back because of his disgust at Putin’s war in Ukraine.

  • Azov commander says troops ‘will resist as long as they can’ amid battle for Mariupol

    The deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, the last Ukrainian army unit holding out in the ruined port of Mariupol, said on Friday that his troops will resist Moscow’s forces as long as they can, despite shortages of ammunition, food, water and medicine.

    Speaking during an online session of the Kyiv Security Forum, Sviatoslav Palamar said Russian forces continued to storm the Azovstal steelworks, the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, where his forces are hunkered down.

    We continue to resist and follow the order of our senior political leaders to hold the defense. We are holding the defense and continue fighting despite everything, he said.

    Speaking to a panel including U.S. generals Philip M. Breedlove and Wesley K. Clark, Palamar appealed to the U.S. to help evacuate around 600 wounded soldiers from the Azovstal plant, and help extract the rest of the Ukrainian force.

    Members of the Azov Regiment holed up at the plant have repeatedly refused to surrender to Moscow, citing fears of being killed or tortured.

  • Russian shelling in Donetsk kills one and injures 12

    One civilian was killed and twelve more people were injured in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region as a result of Russian shelling, the regional governor said Friday.

    The Donetsk region, one of two that make up the Donbas, has seen some of the war’s fiercest fighting in recent weeks, as Moscow mounts an offensive to capture Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland.

  • Putin insists Russia fighting ‘Nazi ideology’ in Ukraine

    President Vladimir Putin has today insisted that Russia was fighting “Nazi ideology” in Ukraine in a phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz .

    The Russian president sent troops to the pro-Western country on February 24, saying Ukraine needed to be “demilitarised” and “de-Nazified.”

    “Attention has been drawn to the continued violations of international humanitarian law by militants advocating Nazi ideology and using terrorist methods,” the Kremlin said in a readout after the call.

    Putin reiterated that Moscow’s military operation was aimed at protecting the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine.

    Putin also accused Kyiv of “blocking” peace talks.

    Scholz has come under fire for arms deliveries to Ukraine deemed insufficient and Germany’s reliance on Russian energy imports.

    Germany’s economy is now racing to wean itself off Russian energy and has already almost completely phased out Russian coal.

  • Ukraine will fight for Snake Island

    Ukraine will fight for the remote Zmiinyi Island (Snake Island) in the Black Sea “for as long as is needed”, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence said today.

    “Whoever controls the island can at any time block the movement of civilian ships in all directions to the south of Ukraine,” Kyrylo Budanov said in televised comments.

  • Russia advises against UK travel because of ‘unfriendly’ visa stance

    Russia said on Friday it was recommending its citizens not to travel to Britain, complaining that authorities there were making it “virtually impossible” for Russians to obtain visas.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry alleged Russian applications were being delayed because Britain was giving higher priority to Ukrainian refugees. It said Russians were also unable to pay on the British website via Mastercard and Visa, which have both suspended their operations in Russia.

    “Taking into account the extremely unfriendly course of the UK towards our country, in order to avoid financial losses and other possible problems, we recommend that Russian citizens refrain, if possible, from travelling to the UK and trying to obtain British visas,” it said.

    “Until the situation normalises, we will act in the same way with respect to the British.”

    The British actions were “a politically motivated infringement of the rights of Russian citizens”, the ministry said.

  • WARNING – Horrifying moment Russian soldiers shoot Ukrainian civilians in the BACK

    THIS is the barbaric moment Putin’s butchers slaughtered two Ukrainian civilians in cold blood as they walk away thinking they had been freed.

    Chilling CCTV footage from a car dealership outside Kyiv show how the evil soldiers shot the owner and a guard in the back following a short conversation.

    The killings – which have been branded “a possible war crime” – took place on March 16 when Russia made an initial attempt to take the city.

    The heart-breaking footage shared with CNN shows how the meeting between the invaders and the civilians at the dealership on the main road into Kyiv appears calm.

    One of the victims even puts a cigarette in his mouth in the moments after the chat, suggesting there was nothing untoward.

  • Former Ukrainian ambassador says: ‘Russia wants to see us all dead’

    The former Ukrainian ambassador the EU has spoken about the difficulty of finding a compromise with Russia.

    He said: “Sooner or later all wars must be ended with a diplomatic solution,” but the “tragedy of the situation” is that Russia “wants to see us all dead and we want to survive”.

  • Two Russa Today journalists injured in rocket attack

    Two journalists for Kremlin-backed television channel RT were injured Friday during a rocket attack in eastern Ukraine the channel blamed on Ukrainian forces.

    A TV crew of RT’s correspondent Valentin Gorshenin came under Ukrainian troops’ rocket fire near the town of Dokuchaevsk in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, the channel said in a statement on messaging app Telegram.

    “Cameramen Vladimir Batalin and Viktor Miroshnikov received shrapnel wounds to their legs and back,” the statement said. “They are being taken to the hospital now.”

    The correspondent himself was not injured.

    There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian authorities.

  • Russia to suspend electricity supplies to Finland this weekend

    Russia will suspend electricity supplies to Finland this weekend, a supplier said on Friday as tensions rise over Helsinki’s NATO bid amid Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.

    “We are forced to suspend the electricity import starting from May 14,” said RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Russian state energy holding Inter RAO.

    It added: “RAO Nordic is not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia.”

  • Russia suffers heavy losses in failed river crossing, say officials

    Russia suffered heavy losses when Ukrainian forces destroyed the pontoon bridge enemy troops were using to try to cross a river in the east, Ukrainian and British officials said in another sign of Moscow’s struggle to salvage a war gone awry.

    Ukrainian authorities, meanwhile, opened the first war crimes trial of the conflict. The defendant, a captured Russian soldier, stands accused of shooting to death a 62-year-old civilian in the early days of the war.

    The trial got underway as Russia’s campaign in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland of the Donbas made faltering progress.

    Ukraine’s airborne command released photos and video of what it said was a damaged Russian pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets River and several destroyed or damaged Russian military vehicles nearby.

    Ukrainian news reports said troops thwarted an attempt by Russian forces to cross the river earlier this week, leaving dozens of tanks and other military vehicles damaged or abandoned.

    The command said its troops drowned the Russian occupiers.

    Britains Defense Ministry said that Russia lost significant armored maneuver elements” of at least one battalion tactical group as well as equipment used to deploy the makeshift floating bridge.

  • Putin’s ex-wife & family members slapped with UK sanctions

    The mistress, ex-wife and family members of Russian president Vladimir Putin have been added to the ever-growing UK sanctions list as Liz Truss looks to target the “shady network propping” up the leader.

    The Foreign Office said Friday’s announcement of further measures would see members of Mr Putin’s close and inner circle hit as the UK Government continues to seek new ways of punishing Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

    Mr Putin’s official assets are modest, according to the Foreign Office, with his lifestyle “funded by a cabal of family, friends and elites”.

    Foreign Secretary Ms Truss said: “We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle.

    “We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.”

    One of the most high-profile figures on the list is Alina Kabaeva, a retired Olympic gymnast who is widely reported to be Mr Putin’s mistress.

    A UK official described her as having a “close personal relationship” with the former KGB officer.

    Unconfirmed reports suggest the 2004 Athens gold medallist has been engaged to the Russian leader and has had his children.

  • Russia advises against UK travel because of ‘unfriendly’ visa stance

    Russia said on Friday it was recommending its citizens not to travel to Britain, complaining that authorities there were making it “virtually impossible” for Russians to obtain visas.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry alleged Russian applications were being delayed because Britain was giving higher priority to Ukrainian refugees. It said Russians were also unable to pay on the British website via Mastercard and Visa, which have both suspended their operations in Russia.

    “Taking into account the extremely unfriendly course of the UK towards our country, in order to avoid financial losses and other possible problems, we recommend that Russian citizens refrain, if possible, from travelling to the UK and trying to obtain British visas,” it said.

    “Until the situation normalises, we will act in the same way with respect to the British.”

    The British actions were “a politically motivated infringement of the rights of Russian citizens”, the ministry said.

  • Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund

    PICTURES of women and children fleeing the horror of Ukraine’s devastated towns and cities have moved Sun readers to tears.

    Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun’s Ukraine Fund.

    Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.

    Donate here to help The Sun’s fund

    Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles

    £3 — text SUN£3

    £5 — text SUN£5

    £10 — text SUN£10

    Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) 1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile

  • Russia poses the ‘most direct threat’ to ‘world order’

    RUSSIA is the ‘most direct threat to world order’, says EU’s Ursula Von der Leyen.

    The European Commission President met with meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, along with European Council President Charles Michel today.

    Von der leyen said that Russia “is today the most direct threat to the world order with the barbaric war against Ukraine, and its worrying pact with China”.

    Kishida, whose government has joined tough sanctions on Moscow, also said: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not just a matter for Europe, but it shakes the core of the international order including Asia. This must not be tolerated”.

  • Thank you for reading my coverage this morning. The blog is now being passed to my colleague Joe Gamp who will bring you the latest news and updates on the Russia-Ukraine war until 10pm tonight.

  • Putin tells Scholz Russia fighting ‘Nazi ideology’ in Ukraine

    President Vladimir Putin has today insisted that Russia was fighting “Nazi ideology” in Ukraine in a phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz .

    The Russian president sent troops to the pro-Western country on February 24, saying Ukraine needed to be “demilitarised” and “de-Nazified.”

    “Attention has been drawn to the continued violations of international humanitarian law by militants advocating Nazi ideology and using terrorist methods,” the Kremlin said in a readout after the call.

    Putin reiterated that Moscow’s military operation was aimed at protecting the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine.

    Putin also accused Kyiv of “blocking” peace talks.

    Scholz has come under fire for arms deliveries to Ukraine deemed insufficient and Germany’s reliance on Russian energy imports.

    Germany’s economy is now racing to wean itself off Russian energy and has already almost completely phased out Russian coal.

  • Former Ukrainian ambassador says: ‘Russia wants to see us all dead’

    The former Ukrainian ambassador the EU has spoken about the difficulty of finding a compromise with Russia.

    He said: “Sooner or later all wars must be ended with a diplomatic solution,” but the “tragedy of the situation” is that Russia “wants to see us all dead and we want to survive”.

    ‘Sooner or later all wars must be ended with a diplomatic solution’ says Former Ukrainian ambassador to the EU – adding that it’s difficult to find a compromise because Russia ‘wants to see us all dead and we want to survive’.https://t.co/tvy8o8gfbj

    📺 Sky 501 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/pRyjKMnrx3

    — Sky News (@SkyNews) May 13, 2022

  • UK announces MORE sanctions

    Britain has announced more Russian sanctions, including President Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife, mistress family members and inner circle.

    They have all been hit in the latest measures imposed, designed to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

    Former gymnast Alina Kabaeva – Putin’s mistress – is reported to have also been hit, and has ‘a close personal relationship’ with the Russian president.

    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “We are exposing and targeting the shady network propping up Putin’s luxury lifestyle and tightening the vice on his inner circle.

    “We will keep going with sanctions on all those aiding and abetting Putin’s aggression until Ukraine prevails.”

    Mr Putin’s official assets are modest, according to the Foreign Office, with his lifestyle “funded by a cabal of family, friends and elites”.

  • EU pledges extra 500 million euros in Ukraine military aid

    EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday pledged an extra 500 million Euros (£426 million) in military aid for Ukraine at a meeting the Group of Seven industrialised nations in northern Germany.

    The extra cash will raise the EU’s total military aid for Ukraine to two billion euros, he said. “The recipe is clear — more of the same,” Borrell said, calling for allies to keep up “pressure on Russia”.

  • Moscow says EU becoming ‘aggressive & militant’

    Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said he doubted the motives of Ukraine’s intention of joining the European Union, while accusing Brussels of ambitions beyond the European continent.

    Ukraine, where Russia launched a military campaign on February 24, “is ready to declare a neutral, non-aligned status,” Lavrov told reporters following a meeting of CIS foreign ministers in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe.

    “At the same time, they are trying in every possible way to emphasise their desire to become an EU member,” Lavrov added.

    “There are serious doubts about how harmless such a desire is from Kyiv,” he said.

    Lavrov also accused the EU of transforming from a “constructive, economic platform” into an “aggressive, militant player, declaring its ambitions far beyond the European continent”, pointing to moves in the Indo-Pacific region.

    “They are rushing to follow in the tracks already laid by NATO, thereby confirming the trend that they are merging with the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) and will in fact serve as its appendage,” he said.

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