Key events

German chancellor plans to talk to Putin ‘in due course’

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he plans to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin “in due course”, and he has the prospect of resuming contact after a near-total breakdown in relations since Ukraine war.

“My last phone call was a while ago,” Scholz told the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper in an interview published on Friday. “But I plan to talk to Putin again in due course.”

The leaders last spoke by phone in early December, reports AFP.

When asked about the possibility of ending the conflict through negotiations, Scholz said that Putin must understand that the war could not be ended by creating “some kind of cold peace”.

“For example, by turning the current front line into the new “frontier” between Russia and Ukraine, he said.

“Rather, it is about a just peace, and the prerequisite for that is the withdrawal of the Russian troops,” he added.

Missiles were fired at Kiev during the night

Russia fired missiles at the Ukrainian capital Kiev early Friday, in the 13th attack so far in May. There were no injuries, but falling debris damaged the roof of a shopping center.

Kyiv Regional City Administration wrote on Telegram:

“Another air attack against Kiev is the 13th in a row since the beginning of May! And as always at night. This time the attack was carried out by Tu-95MS strategic bombers, from the Caspian Sea, probably with X-101 cruise missiles.”

A later post said debris had damaged the roof of a shopping mall in the Obolon district. There were no injuries.

Japan announces new sanctions against Moscow

Japan will impose further sanctions on Russia after the Group of Seven (G7) summit it hosted last week agreed to step up measures to punish Moscow’s invasion of UkraineChief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Friday.

Via Reuters: Matsuno, Tokyo’s top government spokesman, also condemned Russia’s move on Thursday to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, saying it would further escalate the situation surrounding the invasion of Ukraine.

“As the only country to have suffered wartime atomic bombings, Japan will never accept Russia’s nuclear threat, let alone its use,” Matsuno said at a regular news conference.

In a coordinated action with the G7, Japan will freeze assets of 78 groups and 17 individuals including army officers in Russia and ban exports to 80 Russian entities such as military-affiliated research labs, according to a Foreign Ministry statement on Friday.

Japan will also ban the provision of construction and engineering services to Russia, although the details of the measure will be announced at a later date, according to a statement from the trade ministry.

Opening summary

Welcome back to our live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Our top stories this morning: Russia launched missiles at the Ukrainian capital Kiev early Friday, in the 13th attack so far in May. There were no injuries, but falling debris damaged the roof of a shopping center.

And Japan will impose further sanctions on Russia after the G7 summit it hosted last week agreed to step up measures to punish Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Chief Minister Hirokazu Matsuno said on Friday.

More shortly. Here are the other important recent developments:

  • Russia has moved forward with a plan to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, claimed on Thursday that some of the weapons had been moved from Russia to Belarus. had already startedaccording to reports.

  • Dutch prosecutors have seized a plot of land near Amsterdam belonging to Vladimir Putin’s former son-in-law, a joint investigation by The Guardian and two other media organizations revealed. The plot of land in Duivendrecht is owned by Jorrit Faassen, a Dutch businessman who was married to Maria Vorontsova, the elder daughter of the Russian president.

  • Britain is likely to do so keep Russian state assets immobilized for some time after the war in Ukraine ends, and certainly until Moscow has agreed to pay compensation for the damage it has inflicted, This has been confirmed by British officials. The Council of Europe summit last week established a digital damage register for Ukraine as the first step towards an international compensation mechanism for victims of Russian aggression.

  • The United States has long asked Ukraine not to use military equipment from the United States to carry out attacks on Russian territorythe top US general said on Thursday, following accusations from Russia that pro-Ukraine militias had used US armored vehicles.

  • Russia has signaled that if demands to improve its grain and fertilizer exports are not met, it will not extend the Black Sea grain deal before July 17. It made the same threats and demands in March, then agreed last week to renew the export pact by 60 days.

  • Unverified footage appears to show a drone-motorboat attack on the Russian Navy ship Ivan Khurs in the Black Sea on Wednesday. The video appears to show at least one of the drones coming extremely close to the ship, although it remains unclear whether or not any damage was done.

  • Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has began withdrawing its forces from the devastated Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and transfer their positions there to regular Russian troops, according to its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

  • The US has said the Wagner group maybe working through Mali and other countries to conceal their efforts to acquire military equipment for use in Ukraine, and accused it of supplying a Sudanese paramilitary with surface-to-air missiles.

  • Ukraine secured the release of 106 captured soldiers in a prisoner exchange with Russia on Thursday, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff. The soldiers, including eight officers, were reportedly captured in battle in Bakhmut.

  • Russia’s foreign ministry said it had summoned the ambassadors of Germany, Sweden and Denmark because of what it described as a “complete lack of results” in the Nord Stream investigation. Several unexplained underwater explosions blew up the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines connecting Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea in September 2022. The blasts occurred in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark, and both countries say they were intentional, but have not yet determined who was responsible . Germany is also investigating.

  • Ukraine said on Thursday it had shot down all 36 Iranian-made drones launched by Russia during overnight attacks it claims likely targeted key infrastructure and military facilities.

  • Russia has denied that a fire broke out at the Defense Ministry in Moscow. after social media users and reports in the state-owned Tass news agency said emergency services had been called to the building. Tass first reported a fire at the ministry early Thursday morning, but later reported that the ministry said there was none.