Ukraine Latest: Russian Missile Barrage Against Kyiv Is Thwarted

Russia launched a heightened attack on Kyiv early Tuesday, with Ukraine’s army saying it intercepted all 18 missiles that had targeted the country.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Representative image.(Source: Unsplash)</p></div>
Representative image.(Source: Unsplash)

Ukraine shot down 18 missiles that included six hypersonic weapons in an intense barrage launched at the capital city that injured at least three people.

Prosecutors raided the home of the head of Ukraine’s Supreme Court in an investigation they said had uncovered “large-scale corruption” at the nation’s highest judicial body.

European leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz join the two-day Council of Europe meeting in Reykjavik Tuesday to discuss threats to human rights and how to support Ukraine. 

Key Developments

  • Ukraine Raids Top Judge’s Home in Supreme Court Graft Probe
  • Ukraine Says Tycoon Firtash Suspected of Embezzlement 
  • UK’s Sunak Backs Coalition to Send Fighter Aircraft to Ukraine
  • Russia Hosts Belarus Foreign Minister After Lukashenko Absence

(All times CET)

Ramaphosa Says African Nations Plan Peace Mission (1:14 p.m.)

A delegation of African heads of state plans to travel to Moscow and Kyiv to present a peace initiative to help bring an end to the war, President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 12 and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy the following day. The South African leader has faced criticism from the US and other Western allies for its refusal to back their criticism of the conflict.

Ukraine Raids Judge’s Home in Graft Probe (11:23 a.m.)

Ukrainian prosecutors launched a corruption investigation against the head of the Supreme Court, saying they had found “large-scale corruption” at the nation’s highest judicial body.

Authorities discovered evidence that Supreme Court Chairman Vsevolod Knyazev had taken a $2.7 million bribe, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff said.

Germany Calls for Measures to Stop Countries Dodging Sanctions (11:23 a.m.)

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the EU needs to consider further measures to prevent Russian sanctions from being circumvented.

“We are aware that there are countries that still deliver to Russia and this cannot be accepted,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels. “We want to have pressure on Russia. We have serious sanctions and they mustn’t be circumvented by countries that benefit. We’re working on it.”

Sweden Says More Sanctions Needed, Must Close Loopholes (9:12 a.m.)

The European Union will need further sanctions packages against Russia but it must make sure the existing ones work and that loopholes are closed, Swedish Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson said.

“We can have many more sanctions packages, we will need to have that, but we also need to see that everyone is really implementing it, using it as it should,” she said on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels. “We need more sanctions but we have to see that sanctions we have do work.”

France Is Ready to Train Ukraine Fighter Pilots, Macron Says (9:12 a.m.)

Macron told the TF1 TV network that French training for Ukrainian fighter pilots would be coordinated with other European countries and added that discussions are also ongoing with the US. 

While not ruling out a change in approach, the US hasn’t disavowed its position that providing Ukraine with fighter jets would be unnecessarily provocative. Macron’s comments came a day after the French leader hosted Zelenskiy for a working dinner in Paris.

China Envoy Begins Tour as Xi Aims to Play Peacemaker (8:59 p.m.)

A top Chinese envoy will begin his tour of Ukraine and four other nations in Kyiv on Tuesday, in a trip designed to bolster President Xi Jinping’s credentials as a global peacemaker. 

Ambassador Li Hui, special representative of the Chinese government for Eurasian Affairs, will visit the capital on Tuesday and Wednesday, a Ukrainian official told AFP and Reuters on Monday. It’s not clear whether Li will meet with Zelenskiy.

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