Latest Developments in Ukraine: May 23

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Latest Developments in Ukraine: May 23


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

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

5:30 a.m.: U.S. President Joe Biden said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “must pay a dear price for his barbarism in Ukraine.” 

Speaking during a visit to Japan, Biden cited the importance of sending a message with long-term sanctions penalties for Russia. 

“If, in fact, after all he’s done there’s a rapprochement between the Ukrainians and Russia, and the sanctions are not continued to be sustained in many ways, then what signal does that send to China about attempting to take Taiwan by force?” Biden said. 

5:00 a.m.: Ukrainian officials have called for sanctions against Russia to be strengthened further, including action by European nations to cut off energy imports from Russia.  European Union leaders have proposed a ban on Russian oil, but heavy reliance by several member countries has so far blocked those efforts. 

Mykhailo Podolyak, Ukraine’s lead negotiator with Russia and an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, highlighted that situation Monday saying Europe is buying about $1 billion of Russian oil and gas every day. 

“Russia continues to kill children, rape women and destroy cities,” Podolyak tweeted. “Ukraine continues to defend European borders and democratic civilization. Draw conclusions.”  

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the international community to impose even stronger sanctions against Russia as he spoke to Ukraine’s parliament Sunday. 

“Half-measures should not be used when aggression should be stopped,” Zelenskyy said. 

Russian deputy foreign minister said Monday that Moscow will be ready to return to negotiations with Kyiv when Ukraine demonstrates “a constructive response,” Reuters reported citing Interfax News Agency. 

4:30 a.m.: The energy security crisis wrought after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine must not lead a deeper dependence on fossil fuels, International Energy (IEA) chief Fatih Birol told the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Monday, Reuters reported.

The right investments, especially in renewable energy and nuclear power, mean the world need not choose between energy shortages and accelerated climate change due to fossil fuel emissions, Birol told delegates in Davos, Switzerland.

3:30 a.m.: Poland has decided to terminate an intergovernmental agreement with Russia regarding the Yamal gas pipeline, Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa said on Twitter on Monday, Reuters reported.

“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has confirmed the accuracy of the Polish government’s determination to become completely independent from Russian gas. We always knew that Gazprom was not a reliable partner,” Moskwa said.

2:30 a.m.: New Zealand said Monday it is deploying additional 30 defense force personnel to the United Kingdom in support of Ukrainian armed forces, CNN reported.

“The soldiers will be stationed in the United Kingdom until the end of July,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

In April, New Zealand deployed a C-130 Hercules and 58 personnel to Europe to further support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, according to Reuters.

2:00 a.m.: Russian citizens may express their discontent with the way the war against Ukraine is going, the British defense ministry predicted Monday, based on the number of casualties Russian forces have suffered.

“Russia has likely suffered a similar death toll to that experienced by the Soviet Union during its nine year war in Afghanistan,” The ministry said in its daily update posted on Twitter.


1:30 a.m.: The U.N.’s refugee agency said conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution around the world, including the war in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, have driven more than 100 million people from their homes in total.

“100 million refugees and displaced people are a terrible indicator of the state of our world,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said Monday in a Twitter post.


1:00 a.m.: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country is interested in a major gas exploitation project in Senegal as he began a three-nation visit to Africa on Sunday that also is focused on the geopolitical consequences of the war in Ukraine. The Associated Press has the story.

12:30 a.m.: During U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Japan this week, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told Biden Monday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “undermines the foundation of global order,” The New York Times reported.

“We can in no way allow whatsoever such attempts to change the status quo by force wherever it may be in the world,” Kishida said.

Information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.