Russia-Ukraine war live: Putin sworn in as Russian president as Ukraine claims to have foiled Zelenskiy assassination plot

Ukraine says it has foiled Russian plot to assassinate Zelenskiy

Ukraine’s SBU security service claims it has caught a network of Russian agents plotting to assassinate Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other government officials, Reuters reports.

Key events

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of using chemical weapons on battlefield

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other at the global chemical weapons watchdog in The Hague of using banned toxins on the battlefield, the organisation said on Tuesday.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that the accusations were “insufficiently substantiated” but added that “the situation remains volatile and extremely concerning regarding the possible re-emergence of use of toxic chemicals as weapons.”

Last week, the US said Russia had violated the international chemical weapons ban overseen by the OPCW by deploying the choking agent chloropicrin against Ukrainian troops and using riot control agents “as a method of warfare” in Ukraine.

Russia denied the allegations.

The OPCW said it had been monitoring the situation since February 2022, when Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Under the Chemical Weapons Convention, any toxic chemical used with the purpose to cause harm or death, is considered a chemical weapon.

“It is against the Convention to use riot control agents at war on the battlefield. If used as a method of warfare, these agents are considered chemical weapons and, hence, are prohibited under the Convention,” the OPCW said.

For those wanting to know more about Vladimir Putin’s seemingly insurmountable grip on power, Andrew Roth, our Russia correspondent, tells us the tactics the Russian president uses to stay in post.

Rigging the vote: how Putin always wins Russia’s elections – video explainer

Putin: Russia open to developing relations with West on equal terms

Russian President Vladimir Putin said as he took the oath for a new six-year term on Tuesday that Russia did not rule out dialogue with the West but it needed to be on equal terms, Reuters reports.

In a short speech, Putin also said that Russia was open to developing relations with other countries he described as “the world’s majority”.

Russia’s state system must be resistant to any threats and challenges, he said.

Vladimir Putin arrives at inauguration ceremony

Here are some pictures from Vladimir Putin’s inauguration ceremony:

Vladimir Putin arrives for his inauguration ceremony as Russian president in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia. Photograph: Sergei Bobylev/AP
Soldiers of the Presidential Regiment bring in the national flag during the inauguration ceremony of Vladimir Putin as Russian President in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia. Photograph: Alexander Kazakov/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL/EPA
Russian President Vladimir Putin places his hand on the Constitution as he takes the oath during an inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Photograph: Kremlin.ru/Reuters
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Vladimir Putin has been sworn in for a new six-year presidential term. He is now making his inaugural address. There are a few colourful charecters at the ceremony, including American actor Steven Seagal.

Us actor Steven Seagal arrives for the inauguration ceremony of Russian President Vladimir Putin for his next six-year term in office, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/Reuters

Alexander Zaldostanov also known as “Khirurg” (The Surgeon), a leader of the Night Wolves bikers’ club, is also at the cereomy.

Alexander Zaldostanov also known as “Khirurg” (The Surgeon), a leader of the Night Wolves bikers’ club arrives to Russia’s president-elect Vladimir Putin inauguration ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/Reuters

Exiled Russian opposition leader Yulia Navalnaya urged supporters on Tuesday to keep up the fight against President Vladimir Putin, describing him in a video on the day of his re-inauguration as a “a liar, a thief and a murderer”, Reuters reports.

Война, политические убийства, обнищание россиян. Нет никакого процветания России, нет мира и свободы для наших граждан. В этом видео рассказываю, чем мне запомнились предыдущие 6 лет правления Путина
https://t.co/DuwwiYhsp1

— Yulia Navalnaya (@yulia_navalnaya) May 7, 2024

EU plans to sanction Ukrainian media oligarch accused of treason by Kyiv

Jennifer Rankin

Jennifer Rankin

The EU plans to sanction a media oligarch accused of conducting malign influence operations in Europe and ban four more Russian media outlets from the airwaves and internet in its latest round of measures against Russia.

The bloc is seeking to sanction Viktor Medvedchuk, a former Ukrainian politician and businessman accused of high treason by Kyiv, who was released to Russia in a prisoner exchange in 2022.

According to the EU draft listing Medvedchuk has “continued funding and carrying out influence operations targeting political parties and individual politicians in Europe”.

He is said to fund Voice of Europe, a Russian media outlet accused of systematic “media manipulation and distortion of the facts”. Voice of Europe is set to be banned in the EU, alongside Russian state news agency Ria Novosti, the newspapers Rossiyskaya Gazeta and Izvestiya.

Voice of Europe and Medvedchuk were sanctioned by the Czech Republic in March for an alleged pro-Russian influence operation aimed at destabilising the European elections in June.

Under the latest proposal, EU political parties, foundations, NGOs and think-tanks will be barred from accepting money from the Russian state or its proxies.

The latest draft sanctions – the 14th since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 – also proposes restrictions on goods and services linked to Russia’s liquified natural gas industry. The European Commission wants to impose restrictions on the transhipment of LNG in the EU to stop Russia exporting shipped gas to non-EU countries via EU ports.

The EU also wants to ban new investment, goods and services to build LNG terminals in the Russian Arctic. The proposals, however, stop short of a ban on Russian LNG, which unlike most pipeline gas has continued to be imported into the EU.

The plans have to be approved unanimously by all EU 27 member states before coming into force.

A Russian court has remanded a US citizen in custody for 10 days for disorderly conduct, Reuters reports citing the state-run RIA news agency.

A TV report said the man, while drunk, had climbed into a children’s library through a window and fallen asleep there.

Polish special services have found and dismantled bugging devices in a room where the council of ministers was due to meet on Tuesday, the special services coordinator’s spokesman said, Reuters reports.

Poland, a hub for Western military supplies to Ukraine as Kyiv fights Russia’s invasion, is on heightened alert for any signs of spying activity.

“The State Protection Service, in cooperation with the Internal Security Agency, detected and dismantled devices that could be used for eavesdropping in the room where the meeting of the Council of Ministers is to be held today in Katowice”, Jacek Dobrzynski wrote on social media platform X.

“The services are carrying out further activities in this matter,” Dobrzynski added.

On Monday, the government said it was verifying if a Polish judge who had access to confidential information and asked for political asylum in Belarus had been spying.

Good morning and welcome to our Ukraine blog as the time has just passed 10am in Kyiv and Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be sworn into office at a lavish ceremony in the Kremlin later today, embarking on a record-breaking fifth term with more power than ever before.

As AFP writes, the 71-year-old has ruled Russia since the turn of the century, securing a fresh six-year mandate in March after winning presidential elections devoid of all opposition.

The inauguration will be broadcast live on most major Russian television channels from around midday (10.00BST), when a luxury motorcade will drive Putin to Moscow’s Grand Kremlin Palace.

After arriving, he will walk through the palace corridors to the ornate Saint Andrew Hall, where he will take the presidential oath and make a brief address to Russians.

Government officials and foreign diplomats in Moscow have been invited to the ceremony, including French ambassador Pierre Levy, who is expected to attend.

Other European countries including Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic have signalled that they will not send representatives amid soured tensions over the conflict in Ukraine.

Yesterday Ukraine urged its western allies not to recognise Putin as the “legitimate president” of Russia given his 87% landslide victory was criticised by most international observers and dismissed as rigged by opposition and rights groups.

The ceremony comes at an especially tense time for Russia’s diplomatic relations given that yesterday it announced tactical nuclear nuclear drills and threatened to strike British military facilities amid its anger over comments by senior politicians including Emmanuel Macron and David Cameron.

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