Neutral to NATO: Finland announces offer to join alliance
The Kremlin said today that Finland’s accession to NATO would “absolutely” pose a threat to Russia.
It came after the Finnish president and prime minister said they were in favor of applying for NATO membership.
“Finland, as a NATO member, will strengthen the entire defense alliance,” President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement. “Finland should apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that the national steps needed to make this decision will be taken swiftly in the next few days.”
At a press conference this morning, Mr. Niinisto said the Russian President was responsible for the move. “You caused this. Look in the mirror.”
Meanwhile, Finland’s MP Elina Valtonen said the country is ready to defend itself if Russia aggressively responds to Finland’s application for NATO membership.
Sweden is expected to announce that it will apply for membership in a few days, as the country’s foreign minister said, “Finland is Sweden’s closest security and defense partner, and we need to take Finland’s assessments into account.”
The regional governor said that civilians were killed when the Russians bombed a village in Sumy.
The governor said a civilian was killed following Russian bombardment in a village in Sumi Oblast.
Dmytro Zhyvytsky said that Russian troops hit the village of Novi Vyrkys 20 times with heavy artillery.
Rory Sullivan12 May 2022 12:58
Why do Finland and Sweden want to join NATO?
Finland and Sweden are expected to join NATO soon, a decision fueled by security fears after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Neither country had previously wanted to join the alliance.
The Kremlin warned Finland and Sweden against NATO membership and claimed that the move would not bring stability to Europe.
Amid fears of Russian retaliation, NATO expressed confidence that security problems could be temporarily overcome, while the United Kingdom said it would provide military protection if countries were attacked.
Thomas Kingsley there are more details:
Rory Sullivan12 May 2022 12:45
UN considers investigation into possible Russian war crimes in Ukraine
The UN Human Rights Council will decide on Thursday whether to launch an investigation into allegations of violations by Russian troops in Ukraine’s Kyiv region that Ukraine considers a war crime.
The resolution, introduced by Ukraine and supported by more than 50 countries, will mandate a newly formed Commission of Inquiry to investigate events temporarily held by Russian troops in the areas around Kyiv.
He was to produce a report early next year.
“In late February and March, the Russian-occupied areas experienced the most horrific human rights violations on the European continent in decades,” First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova told the council.
A spokesperson for Russia’s United Nations mission in Geneva did not immediately comment on the possibility of a war crimes investigation.
Maryam Zakir-Hussein12 May 2022 12:30
UN blames Russia for most civilian casualties
The UN’s human rights chief said his office has found that Russian forces and associated armed groups are responsible for most civilian deaths during the war in Ukraine.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said the “vast majority” of civilian casualties were due to the use of explosive weapons, including heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems and missile and air strikes.
“To our knowledge, such incidents can be attributed to both sides of the conflict, but most of these losses are attributable to the Russian armed forces and associated armed groups,” Bachelet said at a special session of the Human Rights Council on Thursday.
Ukraine and its supporters spearheaded a push to convene the 47-member union’s special session.
The Geneva-based council will vote on a resolution that will reiterate the demand for an “immediate cessation of military hostilities against Ukraine”.
The UN General Assembly voted last month to suspend Russia from its membership of the Human Rights Council, the UN’s top human rights body, over allegations of war crimes by Russian forces.
Maryam Zakir-Hussein12 May 2022 12:20
Russia to respond to Finland’s NATO membership
Russia said it would have to respond to Finland’s decision to join NATO.
“Finland’s accession to NATO is a fundamental change in the country’s foreign policy,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“Russia will have to take retaliatory steps, both military-technical and other, to stop threats to its national security,” he said.
Maryam Zakir-Hussein12 May 2022 12:10
Watch: Neutral to NATO: Finland announces bid to join alliance
Neutral to NATO: Finland announces offer to join alliance
Maryam Zakir-Hussein12 May 2022 12:00
Finland ‘determined’ to retain its own security decisions
About three-quarters of the country support Finland’s application to join NATO, the Finnish ambassador said today.
talk to Times Radio “We see our safety as our own decision and we are quite committed to keeping it true,” said Jukka Siukosaari.
He added that his plan to join the 30-member state was for his own security, not an attack against Russia.
Listen to the full interview here:
Maryam Zakir-Hussein12 May 2022 11:50
The Kremlin said that Finland’s accession to NATO is a definite threat to Russia.
The Kremlin said Finland’s move to join NATO was “absolutely” a threat to Russia and that the expansion of the military bloc would not make Europe or the world more stable.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Finland’s steps to join NATO are reason to impose regret and a symmetrical response.
The Finnish president and prime minister said earlier on Thursday that their countries should apply to join the NATO military alliance “without delay”.
When asked whether this poses a threat to Russia, Peskov replied: “Absolutely. NATO enlargement does not make our continent more stable and secure.”
He said Finland was participating in “unfriendly steps” against Russia.
When asked what Russia’s response would be, he replied, “Everything will depend on how this (NATO) NATO enlargement progresses, how close the military infrastructure gets to our borders.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussein12 May 2022 11:40
Russian army ‘loses entire battalion’ as it tries to cross Ukraine bridge
The Russian army suffered heavy losses, including the destruction of about three dozen tanks, after the Ukrainian army blew up a pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets river in the Luhansk region.
Satellite images collected by geospatial intelligence firm BlackSky show that a pontoon bridge, primarily used for military purposes, collapsed on May 10 after Ukrainian artillery struck the bridge and its surroundings.
The footage shows smoke rising from a semi-submerged bridge where armored vehicles were destroyed on the banks of the Siverskyi Donets river, which runs west to east between the Russian rebel-held Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in eastern Ukraine. Sweta Sharma Writer.
Maryam Zakir-Hussein12 May 2022 11:30
Trapped at Mariupol steelworks, Ukrainian fighter seeks help from Elon Musk
One of the hundreds of Ukrainian fighters hiding in Mariupol’s besieged Azovstal steelworks appealed to Elon Musk to evacuate the survivors.
“Elon Musk people say you came from another planet to teach people to believe in the impossible. Our planets are next to each other, as I live in a place where survival is almost impossible, naval commander Serhiy Volina told the Tesla billionaire on Twitter.
Coworker Thomas Kingsley reports:
Maryam Zakir-Hussein12 May 2022 11:20