- Ukraine’s deputy prime minister says negotiations with Russia on getting fighters out of the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol are “very difficult”.
- The White House says it is “working to clarify Turkey’s position” after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO.
- Russia will suspend electricity supplies to Finland as of Saturday, a supplier says, amid tensions over the European nation’s expected NATO bid.
- Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has urged an “immediate ceasefire” in Ukraine in the first talks with his Russian counterpart since the war began.
Here are all the latest updates:
No one can predict length of war, Zelenskyy says
Zelenskyy has said although Ukrainians are doing everything they can to drive out Russians forces, “no one today can predict how long this war will last”.
“This will depend, unfortunately, not only on our people, who are already giving their maximum,” he said in his nightly video address to the nation. “This will depend on our partners, on European countries, on the entire free world.”
He added that he was thankful to all those who are working to strengthen sanctions on Russia and increase military and financial support to Ukraine.
Russia is provoking ‘large-scale food crisis’: Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Russia is provoking a “large-scale food crisis” by blocking Ukraine’s ports.
“The world has already recognised that Russia’s blockade of our ports and this war are provoking a large-scale food crisis,” Zelenskyy said.
“Russian officials are also openly threatening the world that there will be famine in dozens of countries. And what could be the consequences of such a famine? What political instability and migration flows will this lead to? How much will you have to spend then to overcome the consequences?”
Ukraine ready to return bodies of Russian soldiers: Official
Ukrainian military authorities have loaded the bodies of Russian soldiers collected after fighting in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions onto refrigerated rail cars.
Volodymr Lyamzin, the head of Ukraine’s civil-military cooperation, said his country was acting in accordance with international law and was ready to return the bodies to Russia.
“According to the norms of international humanitarian law, and Ukraine is strictly following them, after the active phase of the conflict is over, sides have to return the bodies of the military of another country,” he said.
“Ukraine is ready to return the bodies to the aggressor.”
Russian shelling kills civilian in Donetsk: Governor
One civilian was killed and 12 more people were injured in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region as a result of Russian shelling, the regional governor has said.
“On May 13, the Russians killed one more civilian of Donbas — in [the city of] Avdiivka. Twelve more people were injured today as a result of Russian shelling,” Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram.
The Donetsk region, one of two that make up the Donbas, has seen some of the war’s fiercest fighting in recent weeks.
Ukraine readying war crimes cases against Russian soldiers: Prosecutor
Ukraine’s prosecutor general has said her office is readying 41 war crimes cases against Russian soldiers.
“We have 41 suspects in cases with which we will be ready to go to court,” Iryna Venediktova said in a live briefing on Ukrainian TV. “All of them concern Article 438 of the [Ukrainian] criminal code on war crimes, but different types of war crimes. There is the bombing of civilian infrastructure, the killing of civilians, rape and looting.”
It was not immediately clear how many of the suspects would be tried in absentia.
Ukraine has held the first war crimes prosecution of a member of the Russian military in Kyiv, as a 21-year-old Russian soldier went on trial for the killing of an unarmed Ukrainian civilian in the early days of the war. Venediktova said that two more of the suspects, who are physically in Ukraine, are likely to face preliminary hearings next week.
Talks with Russia on Azovstal evacuation ‘very difficult’: Ukrainian official
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said negotiations with Russia on getting fighters out of the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol were “very difficult”.
Vereshchuk also stressed that Ukraine wanted to rescue them all.
Russian electricity supplier says it will suspend supplies to Finland
Russia will suspend electricity supplies to Finland this weekend, a supplier has said, as tensions increase over Helsinki’s NATO bid.
“We are forced to suspend the electricity import starting from May 14,” said RAO Nordic, a subsidiary of Russian state energy holding Inter RAO. “RAO Nordic is not able to make payments for the imported electricity from Russia.”
Finland’s electricity network operator said it would be able to make do without Russian electricity.
Iran sees protests over rising bread prices
Soaring bread prices have triggered protests in Iran, the official IRNA news agency has reported, with an estimated 300 people gathering in the largest demonstration in Dezful in the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan.
IRNA said 15 people were arrested for “trying to create chaos” in the city.
The protests were triggered by a cut in government subsidies for imported wheat that caused price hikes as high as 300 percent for a variety of flour-based staples.
Wheat prices have drastically increased globally since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, adding to the cost of subsidies in Iran.
US ‘looking to clarify’ Turkish position on NATO enlargement: White House
Washington is “working to clarify Turkey’s position” after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO amid the war in Ukraine, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki has said.
The idea of the two nations becoming members of the US-led alliance had received “broad support from NATO member countries”, Psaki said.
But Erdogan said earlier that NATO member Turkey did not have “positive views” on the European countries’ expected efforts to seek membership, accusing them of being “guesthouses for terrorist organisations”.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read all the updates from Friday, May 13 here.