Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 450 of the invasion


Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses Arab League leaders in Saudi Arabia; US to back international effort to train Ukrainian fighter pilots

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has addressed Arab League leaders in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He asked them not to turn a blind eye to what was happening in Ukraine. “Unfortunately there are some among the world, and here among you, who turn a blind eye to those cases and illegal annexations. I am here so everyone can take an honest look, no matter how hard the Russians try to influence, there must be independence,” he said.

After the visit, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister declared the country to be neutral in the conflict.

The US has said it will back a joint international effort to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 and other modern fighter jets, marking a significant boost to western support for Kyiv as it prepares a major counteroffensive. The news was welcomed by Zelenskiy and the UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, whose RAF will be involved in the initiative.

Russia has imposed sanctions on the former US president Barack Obama, in response to the US doing likewise to 300 individuals, companies and institutions. The US measures are largely targeted at energy production.

Ukraine claimed it destroyed 19 drones and missiles out of 28 launched on Friday morning. “Three Kalibr missiles launched from the Black Sea and 16 drones were shot down. Shelling continues on an almost daily basis,” the Ukrainian air force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said. Maksym Kozytskyi, the governor of Lviv, has posted on Telegram to say that five drones were shot down overnight above his western Ukrainian region.

Vladimir Putin has said the west is trying to break up Russia into different states based on ethnic and national lines. In a speech on Friday he said the sanctions were helping unite the Russian people rather than divide them. In comments reported by Reuters, he said: “There are attempts to drive a wedge between peoples of our country. They say Russia should be divided up into tens of different states.”

The Russian security council secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, has claimed that the US was involved in the killing of a pro-war military blogger in a bomb blast in St Petersburg in April, and the car bombing of a nationalist writer and politician earlier in May.

More than 100,000 people have enlisted in the Russian army so far this year, the former president Dmitry Medvedev has said, as Moscow seeks to recruit volunteers for its offensive in Ukraine.

Five members of a Belarusian regiment fighting with Ukrainian forces have been killed in the flashpoint city of Bakhmut, a Belarusian opposition leader living in exile said on Friday. “Heartbroken by the death of five members of the Belarusian Kastus Kalinouski regiment fighting for Ukraine in Bakhmut,” Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on Twitter.

The G7 group of nations has urged Russia to stop its objection to the renewal of the Black Sea grain deal and told it to halt “threatening global food supplies”.

Russia has refused the latest US request for consular access to the detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in March on suspicion of spying.

A judge is poised to decide whether a Massachusetts Air National Guard member accused of leaking highly classified military documents, including sensitive information about the war in Ukraine, will remain behind bars while he awaits trial. Jack Teixeira is due back in federal court in Worcester, Massachusetts, where a magistrate judge is expected to hear arguments on prosecutors’ request to keep the 21-year-old locked up before issuing a ruling.

The Pentagon overestimated the value of the ammunition, missiles and other equipment it sent to Ukraine by about $3bn, a Senate aide and a defence official told Reuters on Thursday. The error may lead the way for more weapons being sent to Kyiv for its defence against Russian forces.

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