Ukraine Latest: Mariupol Siege Dwindles to Plant’s ‘Dead Men’

Group of Seven leaders pledged to ban Russian oil imports, even as Hungary held out against a European Union energy sanctions plan. The U.S. expanded sanctions on Russia and the U.K. unveiled further trade measures, including import tariffs on Russian platinum and palladium.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy marked a day of remembrance for the defeat of Nazi Germany, a day before Vladimir Putin is expected to a address a military parade in Moscow and may lay out the next steps of his war. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged more military support during a visit to Kyiv.

An intelligence officer of the Azov Regiment holed up in Mariupol’s massive Azovstal steel factory said surrender would amount to suicide. All women, children and elderly have been evacuated. In the Luhansk area, as many as 60 people may have died in a Russian strike on a school. 

Address by the President of Ukraine on the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation.Source: President of Ukraine

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

  • Mariupol Steel Plant’s ‘Dead Men’ Defenders Call for Rescue Plan
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  • Ukraine’s Tiny Neighbor Suffers Economic Fallout From the War
  • Hungary Continues to Block EU Oil Sanctions on Russia
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U.K. Sets Third Round of Russia Sanctions (11:30 p.m.) 

The U.K. announced a third round of trade sanctions against Russia and Belarus, taking to more than 4 billion pounds ($4.9 billion) the value of products subject to full or partial import and export bans.

New import tariffs will cover 1.4 billion pounds in goods, including platinum and palladium. Russia is a leading producer of both metals and is “highly dependent” on the U.K. as a buyer of its exports, the U.K. government said in a statement.

Trade bans were announced for more than 250 million pounds worth of U.K. goods that Russia is most dependent on, including chemicals, plastics, rubber and industrial machinery. 

“We are determined to do our utmost to thwart Putin’s aims in Ukraine and undermine his illegal invasion,” International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said. “This far-reaching package of sanctions will inflict further damage on the Russian war machine.” 

Zelenskiy Calls on G-7 to Keep Up Arms Supplies (10:45 p.m.)

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked G-7 countries for supplying weapons and said they need to keep up supplies so Ukraine can defeat Russia, according to an account of his comments to Group of Seven leaders on Sunday provided by his office.

Deliveries of multiple-rocket launchers, for instance, would have saved many lives, he told the G-7.

Ukraine is counting on Canada to help clear mines and booby traps that Russian troops planted in the country, Zelenskiy said separately in his daily video message.   

Trudeau Pledges More Military Aid in Kyiv Visit (10:02 p.m.)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Kyiv and said Canada will provide an additional $50 million in military support, including drone cameras, satellite imagery, small arms and artillery ammunition, his office said in a statement. 

Canada will also continue to help with demining operations, Trudeau told reporters in the Ukrainian capital, where he also reopened the Canadian Embassy during his previously unannounced trip.

Trudeau also said he plans to suspend tariffs on Ukrainian imports for one year and will impose sanctions on 40 additional individuals and five entities aiding the Russian war effort.

Mariupol Steel Plant Defenders Call for Rescue (9:19 p.m.)

If Russia’s President Vladimir Putin hoped to mark Victory Day on Monday by celebrating the capture or surrender of Mariupol’s last Ukrainian defenders, a Zoom appearance by their commanders suggests he’ll have to wait.

In an online press conference on Sunday, an intelligence officer of the Azov regiment holed up in the southeastern port city’s massive Azovstal steel factory said surrender would amount to suicide. He said they had enough food and weapons to hold out a while yet.

Describing their increasingly grim, and likely ultimately hopeless, circumstances, Illia Samoilenko also made clear his bitterness with the Ukrainian government in Kyiv. It had, he said, failed in its defense of southern Ukraine, where Russia made much faster progress than in the north, and had abandoned Mariupol’s garrison to its fate.

Lockheed Seeks to Double Javelin Missile Output (8:03 p.m.)

Lockheed Martin Corp. is working to almost double its production capacity for Javelin missiles to 4,000 a year and achieving that goal will require the supply chain to “crank up,” the defense contractor’s top executive said.

The Ukrainian army has used Lockheed’s missiles to great effect in destroying Russian tanks and armaments, and the company is ramping up production to ensure the U.S. military’s supplies aren’t depleted. Right now Lockheed can build about 2,100 Javelins a year, Chief Executive Officer Jim Taiclet said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

G-7 Leaders Commit to Russia Oil Import Ban (6:30 p.m.)

Leaders of the Group of Seven most industrialized countries pledged to ban the import of Russian oil in response to President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.  

The heads of the leading economies made the commitment after holding a video call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday, the eve of Russia’s May 9 Victory Day, which commemorates Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. The date has become a touchstone of the Kremlin’s campaign to whip up public support for the invasion. 

The leaders will “commit to phase out our dependency on Russian energy, including by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil,” the G-7 said in the statement. 

U.S. Sanctions Add Gazprombank Execs, Accounting Firms (6:05 p.m.)

The U.S. banned American accounting and consulting firms from working with Russia and added members of Gazprombank’s board to its sanctions list as part of a package of new penalties.

The measures also include export controls on industrial goods, limits on three of Russia’s top state-controlled television stations and additional visa restrictions.

“Today we are further constricting Russia’s economy and access to services and technology it needs to conduct this unprovoked invasion,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement listing the measures in detail.

Germany’s Scholz Sets Limits on Ukraine Policy (6:00 p.m.)

Chancellor Olaf Scholz outlined limits on Germany’s efforts to help Ukraine in a televised address. While Germany will continue to supply heavy weapons to help Ukraine defend against Russia, Europe’s biggest economy won’t sacrifice its security or affluence, he said.

U.S. Diplomats in Kyiv Ahead of Embassy Reopening (5:15 p.m.)

Charge d’Affaires Kristina Kvien led a team of U.S. diplomats that traveled to Kyiv for ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba the diplomats were there “to conduct diplomatic engagement in advance of the planned resumption of Embassy Kyiv operations,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.  

The U.S. initially moved its diplomats to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv in the days leading up to Russia’s invasion, then operated from Poland. Diplomats last month started making day trips into Lviv. 

Russian Infrastructure Official Visits Mariupol (4:30 p.m.)

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, whose portfolio includes construction, visited occupied areas of Ukraine including the recently captured city of Mariupol, according to a statement posted to his Telegram channel. 

Khusnullin, who was sanctioned by the European Union in February for his role in undermining Ukrainian sovereignty, said Russia would help the seized territories rebuild and provide humanitarian support. 

Jill Biden Crosses Into Ukraine, Meets Zelenskiy’s Wife (3:30 p.m.)

U.S. first lady Jill Biden crossed into western Ukraine from Slovakia for an unannounced visit and met with Ukrainian counterpart Olena Zelenska. Biden’s motorcade drove through the town of Uzhorod to a public school now being used as temporary housing for displaced Ukrainians. 

Zelenska hasn’t appeared in public since Feb. 24, the day of Russia’s invasion, a U.S. official said. She and Biden exchanged hugs, and the U.S. first lady presented the Ukrainian with flowers. 

“I wanted to come in Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine,” Biden said. Speaking in Ukrainian, Zelenska praised Biden for her courage.  

U.S first lady Jill Biden offers flowers to Ukraine Olena  Zelenska, wife of Ukraine’s president, in Uzhhorod on May Photographer: SUSAN WALSH/AFP

Vitol Says It’ll Get Harder to Trade Russian Oil From Mid-May (2:30 p.m.)

Commodity firms will find it much harder to buy and sell Russian oil from the middle of this month, according to the world’s biggest independent crude trader, as Europe tightens sanctions on Moscow. 

Russia’s exports of crude and oil products have probably dropped by about 1 million barrels a day from 7.5 million before the attack in late February, Mike Muller, head of Asia at Vitol Group, said Sunday. They could fall further after May 15, he said, because many trading houses interpret EU regulations as prohibiting them from dealing with Russian state energy companies beyond then. “There will be a “different reality.”

U2’s Bono, the Edge Perform in Kyiv Metro (2:26 p.m.)

Bono and the Edge, members of Irish rock band U2, performed in a Kyiv metro station on Sunday at the invitation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a “show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” the band said on Twitter.  

In a video posted by Ukrainian politician Serhiy Leshchenko, the pair were seen with Taras Topolia, frontman of the local band Antytila, performing the Ben E. King standard, “Stand by Me.”

Bono, Irish singer-songwriter, activist, and the lead vocalist of the rock band U2, and guitarist ‘The Edge,’ perform at a subway station in Kyiv. Photographer: SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP

Hungary Blocking EU Oil Sanctions Against Russia (2:16 p.m.)

Hungary continued to block a European Union proposal that would ban Russian oil imports, holding an EU sacntions plan, according to people familiar with the talks. 

A closed-door meeting of the EU’s 27 ambassadors ended on Sunday without agreement and talks are expected to resume in the days ahead, said the people. 

The EU had been seeking to conclude the process by Russia’s Victory Day military parade on Monday, at which Putin is expected to speak about the invasion of Ukraine. 

Zelenskiy Says Some Countries Try to Buy Stolen Grain (10:15 a.m.)

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says some countries are attempting to buy grain taken from Ukraine by Russia. 

“I don’t want to name specific countries who behind our backs are making deals to buy our grain from Russia,” Zelenskiy told Fox News. “If they will do it, of course we’ll tell.” 

Ukraine’s Ministry of Agriculture said recently that farmers have reported Russians in occupied territory “stealing their grain en masse.” The UN’s World Food Program has called for the reopening of Ukraine’s grain export seaports, which have been shut by Russian blockades.  

Combine harvesters pump freshly harvested wheat grain into a truck during a harvest in Chernihiv, Ukraine, in 2017.Photographer: Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg

Zelenskiy Marks May 8 Day of Remembrance in Video (8:44 a.m.) 

Volodymyr Zelenskiy released a 15-minute video to mark Ukraine’s Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation. The black-and-white footage shows the president speaking in front of a bombed-out apartment building in Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv.

He mused on the post-World War II vow of “never again,” saying that decades later, “darkness returned” to Ukraine “in a different uniform, under different slogans, but for the same purpose.”   

Official Says Many Feared Dead in School Shelter Bombing (6:45 a.m)

As many as 60 people may have died in a Russian strike on a school in Bilohorivka, a village in the Luhansk area, regional head Serhiy Haiday said on Telegram. 

Russian forces on Saturday bombed a school building where most residents of the village had been sheltering, he said earlier. About 30 people were rescued from within the rubble and two were found dead. The final number of victims will be known once the debris is cleared, Haiday said.

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