Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats said on Sunday that they backed the country joining Nato, abandoning decades of opposition in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and creating a large parliament majority in favor of membership.
“The party board has at its meeting on May 15, 2022 decided that the party will work toward Sweden applying for membership in NATO,” the Social Democrats said in a statement.
With Finland already set to hand in its application, Sweden’s prime minister Magdalena Andersson is now all but certain to launch a formal application within days, Reuters reports.
We’re going to wrap things up for the day.
You can read our full story about the leaders of Finland and Sweden confirming their intention to join Nato, signifying a historic Nordic policy shift triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine here.
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- Sweden has indicated that it will follow Finland in applying for Nato membership. The country’s ruling Social Democrats said on Sunday that they backed the country joining Nato, and prime minister Magdalena Andersson said she will go to Monday on Monday to seek broad support.
- Ukrainian authorities have been claiming that Russian forces have been flagging in Ukraine for some time now. British intelligence today revealed that Russia may have lost as much as a third of the invasion forceas more than 400 Russian soldiers were estimated to have been killed or wounded last week trying to cross the Donets river. This comes amid reports that Russia is considering sending in 2,500 reservists to Ukraine.
- As Russian forces struggle in Ukraine, Ukrainian forces made inroads. The first Ukrainian battalion reached the Russian border in the Kharkiv region today.
- Ukrainian authorities are at least 10 active rape investigations involving Russian troopsand are calling for other victims to come forward.
- Kalush Orchestrathe band that won Eurovision Last night for Ukraine, is auctioning off the statuette to raise funds fo the Ukrainian army and Ukraine.
- A cyberattack on the Lviv city council website resulted in stolen data that ended up published in Telegram channels linked to Russia. This happened the same weekend Italian police thwarted hacker attacks by pro-Russian groups on the Eurovision song contest.
Andriy Moskalenkofirst deputy mayor of Lvivis reporting that a cyber attack on the website of the Lviv city council this weekend resulted in stolen data.
Antony Blinkenthe US secretary of state, spoke about Ukraine from Berlin today, where he was meeting with his counterparts from the UK, Germany and Franceas well as others in the NATO alliance.
“Every member of the alliance wants to bring this war to an end as soon as possible, but we’re equally determined to maintain our security assistance to Ukraine, to continue our sanctions, export controls, and diplomatic pressure on Russia for as long as it’s necessary,” he said. “The United States and our allies and partners are focused on giving Ukraine as strong a hand as possible on the battlefield, and at any negotiating table, so that it can repel Russian aggression and fully defend its independence and sovereignty.”
Blinken said that though we don’t know how the rest of the war will unfold, “we know that a sovereign and independent Ukraine will endure.”
“And we know that in supporting Ukraine we’re also defending the principles of independence and independence that are foundational to global peace and security,” he said. “Our partnership with the people of Ukraine is enduring as well. American diplomats have returned to Ukraine after several weeks working out of Poland. We’re reopening our embassy in Kyiv – we’re taking all necessary precautions, but that work is underway – and we will resume operations very soon.”
The air force command of the Ukrainian armed forces reported that today Ukraine hit 11 Russian air targets: two helicopters, seven Orlan-10 UAVs and two cruise missiles.
Meanwhile, the joint forces task force reported that Russian forces fired at 23 settlements in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, destroying and damaging 32 residential buildings.
Ukrainian forces fought off 17 attacks in this region today, destroying three tanks, one artillery system six units of combat armored equipment and one enemy vehicle.
As the war shifts away from Kyiv, the surrounding areas have begun to clean up and return to some form of normalcy. In Buchaa city whose people suffered unspeakable atrocities, life goes on amid the rubble.
Kalush Orchestrathe band that won Eurovision for Ukraine Last night, will auction off the statuette and donate the proceeds to a charity fund that helps the Ukrainian army and Ukraine.
“Many people are already donating from abroad, and perhaps many more would like to donate. And this, in our opinion, will be the thing that motivates them. We think it will be beneficial for Ukraine,” band leader Oleh Psiuk said.
Adding more fodder to claims that Russian forces are flagging in Ukraine, Ukrainian forces reached the Russian border today:
Ukraine’s ministry of defense has estimated that since the start of the Russian invasion on 24 February, Russia has lost about 27,400 troops, 200 planes, 1,220 tanks and 164 helicopters.
Today in the Donetsk region:
The latest from British military intelligence is that Russia may have lost as much as a third of the invasion force it sent into Ukraine.
This comes amid reports that Russia will be sending in reserve and more than 400 Russian soldiers were estimated to have been killed or wounded last week trying to cross the Donets river.
Read more here:
The response from Russian media to Finland and Sweden announcing that they will apply for membership of Nato:
Antony BlinkenUS secretary of state, met in Berlin today with Liz Trussthe foreign secretary of the United Kingdom; Philippe Errerathe director general for political and security affairs of France; and Annalena Baerbockthe foreign minister of Germany.
They discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Iran and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
A breakdown of all the cultural elements displayed by Kalush Orchestra and the win for Ukraine yesterday at Eurovision: