© Reuters. Ukrainian national flag is seen through the window of an apartment destroyed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the town of Borodianka, in Kyiv region, Ukraine May 13, 2022. REUTERS/Vladyslav Musiienko
(Reuters) – Moscow said nearly 700 more Ukrainian fighters had surrendered in Russian-held Mariupol as it shored up a key gain in the south, while the United States became the latest Western country to reopen its embassy in Kyiv.
* Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called for an urgent ceasefire in Ukraine so that serious negotiations can begin to end the war and said Italy would continue supporting Ukraine, without ruling out the supply of weapons.
* Ukraine’s territorial defence force said its fighters had blown up an armoured train carrying Russian troops, but an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelinskiy later said the attack had been confined to rails near the train.
* More than half the Ukrainian fighters in the bunkers below the Azovstal steel plant have surrendered, the leader of the Russian-backed rebel Donetsk region said on Thursday, and the International Committee of the Red Cross said it was registering them.
* Group of Seven financial leaders are likely to agree on Thursday and Friday to help Ukraine pay its bills in coming months.
* U.S. President Joe Biden meets the leaders of Sweden and Finland on Thursday after the nations set aside their long-standing neutrality and moved to join the NATO alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
* Finland does not want NATO to deploy nuclear weapons or set up military bases on its territory even if Finland becomes a member, the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told an Italian newspaper in an interview.
* Russia said that it was expelling five Portuguese diplomats in response to Lisbon ordering out 10 Russians last month. The move was part of a long series of tit-for-tat moves by Moscow after European countries expelled more than 300 Russian embassy staff following Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
* U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he is in “intense contact” with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the United States and the European Union in a bid to restore Ukrainian grain exports as a global food crisis worsens.
* Britain said it was introducing new sanctions against the Russian airline sector to prevent state-owned Aeroflot, Ural Airlines and Rossiya Airlines from selling their unused landing slots at British airports.