Russia-Ukraine war LIVE – How evil Vladimir Putin is making YOUR weekly shop more expensive by 'weaponising West's food'

EVIL Vladimir Putin is "weaponising" western food supplies by creating a shortage caused by the blocking of exports from Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss today accused Putin of seeking to "hold the world to ransom" through Russia's blockade of Ukrainian grain exports.

Around 22 million tonnes of grain are reportedly stuck in Ukraine – one of the world's biggest wheat producers – as a result of the Russian naval blockade.

Putin's slippery tactic is being seen as a response to the West's tirade of sanctions against all aspects of the Russian economy in response to the Ukraine war.

Ms Truss defiantly rejected a demand by the Russian president for the lifting of international sanctions on his country in return for opening a humanitarian corridor to allow shipments to resume through the Black Sea port of Odesa.

Speaking during a visit to Bosnia Herzegovina, Ms Truss said the UK will work with allies to get as much as possible out of the country, amid fears of food shortages in some of the world's poorest countries.

"It is completely appalling that Putin is trying to hold the world to ransom. He is essentially weaponising hunger and lack of food among the poorest people around the world. We simply cannot allow this to happen," she said.

"Putin needs to remove the blockade on Ukrainian grain. We will do all with our allies and partners to get the grain out of Ukraine and supply the rest of world. What we cannot have is any lifting of sanctions, any appeasement, which will simply make Putin stronger in the longer term."

Read our Ukraine war blog below for the latest rolling news and updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    Belarus' Lukashenko orders new military unit to patrol border with Ukraine

    Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday ordered the creation of a new military command for the south of country, bordering Ukraine, according to a video release.

    Belarus planned to deploy special operations troops in three areas near its southern border with Ukraine as Lukashenko talked up the role of Russian-made missiles in boosting the country's defences.

  • Joseph Gamp

    McDonald's Russia to reopen restaurants under a completely new brand

    McDonald's Russia said on Thursday it plans to reopen restaurants to the public from June 12 under a new brand that will be introduced separately, after the burger chain said it was selling to a local licensee.

    The fast-food company is selling its restaurants in Russia, exiting in opposition to Moscow's actions in Ukraine and ending more than three decades of the "Golden Arches" in the country

  • Joseph Gamp

    Ukraine should listen to US advice and give Russia territory

    Calls for Ukraine to cede territory to Russia to prevent a lengthy war should be "carefully studied", according to a Conservative former chancellor.

    Lord Lamont of Lerwick highlighted comments from former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the World Economic Forum this week, in which he advised Ukraine to allow Russia to keep control of Crimea, which was annexed in 2014.

    The veteran US statesman argued that this could prevent a long protracted war in the region.

    Lord Lamont told the House of Lords: "Has my noble friend read the speech of Henry Kissinger in Davos, where he advised attendees at the conference not to get swept up in the mood of the moment and suggested that negotiations to end the war had to begin in the next two months and I quote, 'before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not easily be contained'?

    "And he suggested that the starting point for the negotiations should be the pre-invasion de facto borders.

    "Would my noble friend agree that Dr Kissinger has a very distinguished record, is no woolly idealist, and is a hard-headed diplomat?

    "And however inconvenient it may be, shouldn't his advice be carefully studied?"

    Foreign Office minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon responded that, while "all wise words" need to be listened to, it is important that the "sovereignty and integrity of every nation" is protected.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Ukraine says Russia has shelled more than 40 towns in Donbas

    Russian forces shelled more than 40 towns in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, forcing Ukrainians to bury civilians killed in mass graves, as Tass news agency reported some 8,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war in the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk.

    “The occupiers shelled more than 40 towns in Donetsk and Luhansk region, destroying or damaging 47 civilian sites, including 38 homes and a school. As a result of this shelling five civilians died and 12 were wounded,” the Joint Task Force of Ukraine’s armed forces said on Facebook.

    It said 10 Russian attacks were repelled, four tanks and four drones destroyed, and 62 “enemy soldiers” killed.

    Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office also said this morning that 11 high-rise buildings were destroyed in Sievierodonetsk, and eight in Lysychansk.

  • Milica Cosic

    Launching of a Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group

    The Spanish-Argentine politician serving as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell Fontelles, has today said that there can be no 'impunity for war crimes'.

    Within this, he took to Twitter to announce that alongside the UK and US, they have launched a 'Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group'.

    He tweeted that the group will: "support Ukraine️’s Prosecutor General in bringing those responsible for atrocities committed as part of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine to justice."

  • Milica Cosic

    Kremlin: West is to blame Ukraine grain export problems

    The Kremlin has earlier today rejected U.S. and European Union claims that Russia had blocked grain exports from Ukraine, and accused the West of creating such a situation by imposing sanctions.

    "We categorically do not accept these accusations. On the contrary, we blame Western countries of taking actions that have led to this," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

    Moscow called for the West to remove the sanctions which it says are blocking grain exports from Ukraine.

  • Milica Cosic

    Truss: Putin ‘holding the world to ransom’ over food

    The UK's foreign minister, Liz Truss, has accused Russia's Vladimir Putin of holding "the world to ransom" over food.

    Speaking on a trip to Bosnia, she also accused the Russian leader of “weaponising hunger” across the world.

    Responding to a question about whether she supported lifting sanctions in exchange for grain exports from Ukraine, Truss replied: “It is completely appalling that Putin is trying to hold the world to ransom, and he is essentially weaponising hunger and lack of food amongst the poorest people around the world,.”

    She added: “We simply cannot allow this to happen. Putin needs to remove the blockade on Ukrainian grain.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Truss: Putin 'trying to hold world to ransom' over 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain

    UK foreign secretary Liz Truss has accused Vladimir Putin of "weaponising hunger" as over 20 million tonnes of grain lies in silos in Ukrainian ports.

    "It is completely appalling that Putin is trying to hold the world to ransom, and he is essentially weaponising hunger and lack of food amongst the poorest people around the world", Truss said during a visit to Bosnia today. 

    "We simply cannot allow this to happen.

    "Putin needs to remove the blockade on Ukrainian grain."

  • Milica Cosic

    Scholz: Putin will only negotiate ‘when war victory impossible’

    Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said today that Russia will not win its war in Ukraine and the terms of any peace must not be dictated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    “Putin will only seriously negotiate over peace if he realizes that he cannot break Ukraine‘s defenses,” Mr Scholz said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    “There will be no dictated peace,” Scholz said.

    “Ukraine will not accept this and neither will we.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Russian defence ministry shows footage of Iskander missile launch

    Russia's defence ministry today showed footage of an Iskander-K missile launch against an unnamed "military target" in Ukraine, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

    The Iskander is a short-range ballistic missile system that Russian forces have deployed against Ukrainian cities, ammo depots and other military targets since it sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what the Kremlin calls a "special military operation."

    The Iskander missile Credit: Getty
  • Milica Cosic

    Number of Ukrainian prisoners on the rise

    Luhansk official Rodion Miroshnik has said that the number of Ukrainian prisoners of war held in the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics number is increasing daily, TASS news agency report.

    “There are a lot of prisoners,” Miroshnik said.

    “Now the total number is somewhere in the region of 8,000. That’s a lot, and literally hundreds are being added every day.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Humiliated Putin REFUSES to discuss invasion with injured soldiers

    RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has told one of his soldiers wounded in Ukraine that he will “definitely” return to the front line once has recovered.

    In his first meeting with troops who have fought in Ukraine, the tyrant went to a military hospital in Moscow, where bodyguards wearing white coats lurked in the corridors.

    After an official told him one of the wounded soldiers was eager to meet him, he asked the man if he really intended to keep serving.

    When the injured man, dressed in pyjamas, replied: “Of course I do,” Putin, deadpan then said: “You definitely will.”

    The soldiers in the hospital were reportedly recovering from shrapnel and gunshot wounds but did not display any obvious injuries typical of troops injured in war zones.

    In what could be said to be an awkward meeting, Putin did not ask them about their experiences on the battlefield or comment on the ongoing hostilities.

    Despite this, speaking at a government meeting later on Wednesday, Putin hailed Russian troops and said: “Those people have risked their lives and health for the sake of the people and children of the Donbas and for the sake of Russia. They all are heroes.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Alleged Russian war crimes from Ukraine's prosecutor general

    Ukraine fears that at least 240 children have been killed and 436 injured during the Russian invasion.

    Ukraine's prosecutor general also accused Russian forces of carrying out 13,983 crimes of aggression and war crimes.

    The figure for child deaths stood at 259 on Wednesday but is now feared to be higher than the estimate by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

  • Milica Cosic

    Slovakia PM warns 'Russia will go further' if it wins war in Ukraine

    Slovakia's prime minister has warned his country could be next if Russia successfully invades Ukraine.

    Speaking to Sky News in Davos, Eduard Heger said: "First of all it's important that they are our neighbours and we are fully with them, that they will win and they keep their democracy and their sovereignty.

    "Second they're our neighbours and it's very important that our neighbours are stable and prosperous.

    "And thirdly we are next in the round. If they fail we know that Russia will go further so this is really very vital and we have to understand, especially in the European Union."

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukraine says Russia shells more than 40 towns in Donbas

    Russian forces shelled more than 40 towns in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, forcing Ukrainians to bury civilians killed in mass graves, as Tass news agency reported some 8,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war in the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk.

    "The occupiers shelled more than 40 towns in Donetsk and Luhansk region, destroying or damaging 47 civilian sites, including 38 homes and a school. As a result of this shelling five civilians died and 12 were wounded," the Joint Task Force of Ukraine's armed forces said on Facebook.

    It said 10 Russian attacks were repelled, four tanks and four drones destroyed, and 62 "enemy soldiers" killed.

    Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office also said this morning that 11 high-rise buildings were destroyed in Sievierodonetsk, and eight in Lysychansk.

  • Milica Cosic

    Donbas separatist leader calls for Russia's military operation to be accelerated

    The leader of Russian-backed separatists in the breakaway Donetsk region has today called for the military operation in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine to be accelerated, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

    Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), said Kyiv had blocked water supplies to key cities in the north of the region and called for military action to be stepped up. 

  • Joseph Gamp

    Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund

    Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun’s Ukraine Fund.

    Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.

    Donate here to help The Sun’s fund

    Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles

    £3 — text SUN£3
    £5 — text SUN£5
    £10 — text SUN£10

    Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) +1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia takes steps to bolster army & tighten grip on Ukraine

    Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an order today to fast track Russian citizenship for residents of parts of southern Ukraine largely held by his forces, while lawmakers in Moscow passed a bill to strengthen the stretched Russian army.

    Putins decree applying to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions could allow Russia to strengthen its hold on territory that lies between eastern Ukraine, where Moscow-backed separatists occupy some areas, and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia seized in 2014.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Russia says it has completed demining of Azov Sea port of Mariupol

    Ukraine’s defence ministry has said that Russian forces have completed removing mines in the Azov Sea port of Mariupol.

    Mines have been removed from the territory of the port and nearby waters, the ministry added in a statement.

    Russia said it had established full control of Mariupol last week after.

  • Milica Cosic

    Warning Putin's attack 'is the beginning' as forces could be killing 100's a day

    FOR THE first time since the invasion, the Ukrainian army is under more pressure than before.

    It has been reported that Volodymyr Zelensky's troops could be fighting a losing battle in Luhansk, the northern part of Donbas region.

    The Ukrainian General Staff says the Russians appear to be concentrating their forces for another push.

    Ukraine's Zelensky has said the Russians could be killing up to 100 Ukrainian soldiers a day in Donbas.

    And in the city, civilians with somewhere to go have left.

    Lida, she was being evacuated to the relative safety of western Ukraine on a special train told BBC News: "They bombed everything, we barely escaped. Glass is smashed, everything is scattered around. And I am not able to walk at all. Disabled. That's how it is.

    "Nine storey buildings, the upper floors are destroyed. All ruined.

    "Putin's a scoundrel. We used to live peacefully. There was a Soviet Union and so be it. They divided Ukraine and Russia. So that's why the problems began."

    Mitri, who said President Zelensky's predecessor Petro Poroshenko would have reached a ceasefire agreement by now also shrugged when asked him if he would accept a deal that allowed Russia to control all of Donbas.

    He added: "I don't know. What could it change for me? The main thing is to stay alive.

    "This is just the beginning, everything is still to come. If we survive, we'll see how it goes."

  • Milica Cosic

    Good morning, Milica Cosic with you today. I'll be bringing you the latest news and updates on the Russia-Ukraine war.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Everything YOU need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

    Here are the key questions answered regarding Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.

    • Why is Russia invading Ukraine?
    • Will the UK go to war?
    • How can I join the Ukraine foreign legion?
    • What can I do to help Ukraine?
    • Who is Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky?
    • How much gas does the UK get from Russia?
    • Is Russia a part of Nato?
    • Does Russia have nuclear weapons?
    • Why is Ukraine not in Nato?
    • How big is the Russian army?
    • What is Article 5 of the Nato treaty?
    • What is the Minsk agreement?
    • Which countries were in the Soviet Union?
    • What does the Z mean on Russian tanks? Meaning behind symbols explained
    • When will the Russia-Ukraine war end?

    Putin tries soften war’s economic impact on Russia by raising minimum wage by 10%

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered the government to raise retirement pensions and the minimum wage by 10%, while stating that not all economic problems were associated with the conflict in Ukraine.

    Speaking at a televised meeting of Russia’s State Council, Putin said that inflation would not exceed 15% this year.

    Incredible PoV video shows Ukrainian kamikaze drone smashing into Russian tank

    THIS is the remarkable moment a Russian tank erupted into a fireball after a Ukrainian kamikaze drone smashed into it while the crew reportedly tucked into a picnic.

    As the war rages into its fourth month, streets in Ukraine have become a graveyard for Russian machinery – with burnt-out tanks and vehicles littering the landscape.

    Fresh footage obtained from the Special Operations Forces of Ukraine today shows defenders blasting a Russian tank as fighters are said to have been sitting on top boozing.

    A spokesman for the force said: “SSO operators in Ukraine have developed skills in owning another type of modern weapon.

    “An example of this is another destruction of an enemy tank along with the enemy’s manpower.

    “According to our soldiers, the Russian occupiers were quietly drinking alcohol at one of the positions, sitting on the armour of their tank.

    “However, the usual Russian occupation was abruptly interrupted by an unexpected attack from the air.”

    The force said they used a “modern kamikaze drone equipped with a powerful explosive” to target the tank.

    It suffered “irreparable damage” after the deadly device “flew straight into the tank” – with the attack filmed by a camera on the “killer drone”.

    The SSO – which was founded in January 2016 and is headquartered in Kyiv – did not specify where in Ukraine the strike took place.

    View the video here.


    Putin is a ‘madman’

    Alexei Navalny the jailed Russian opposition leader has condemned President Vladimir Putin in a live court hearing.

    The opposition leader called him a “madman” who started a “stupid war” in Ukraine.

    Navalny said: “This war was built on lies. One madman has got his claws into Ukraine and I do not know what he wants to do with it – this crazy thief.”

    Navalny was previously sentenced by a court to nine years in a strict regime colony for fraud and contempt of court.

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