The UK is warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin may announce a General Mobilization and Declaration of War against Ukraine during the May 9 Victory Parade.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made a surprise visit to Ukraine along with Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Bill Keating (D-MA), and Jason Crow (D-CO). First Lady Jill Biden will visit Romania and Slovakia to support Ukrainian refugees. The U.S. hopes to return diplomats to the embassy in Kyiv by the end of the month, while the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing for the nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine on May 10.
Denmark’s Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Kyiv and Irpin.
The Treasury Department released a general license authorizing certain transactions with Gazprom Germania GmbH. The U.S. may waive certain visa requirements for highly-educated Russians seeking to flee Russia. The U.S. Chamber endorsed lifting tariffs on Ukraine.
Germany said it would ban an immediate ban on Russian oil by the EU, while the EU may offer Hungary and Slovakia exemptions from an embargo. The EU is also trying to clarify its guidance on Russia’s demand for payment in rubles on gas shipments.
New Zealand imposed sanctions on 170 Russian senators and six Russian businesses.
Sanctions have scrambled port operations in Europe as shippers and port workers seek to segregate Russian cargo. Dutch dockworkers refused to offload a tanker carrying Russian oil. Citibank said it’s in “active dialogue” for the sale of its Russian retail operations.
Finland pulled the plug on a Russian-built nuclear plant.
Russia said it’s pulling out of the International Space Station. UEFA banned Russian clubs from next season’s Champions League.
The Russian military’s chief of staff visited the front line in an effort to “change the course” of Russia’s eastern offensive. Ukraine claims it struck the HQ while he was in the area, killing a number of high-ranking Russian officials. It claims it wounded the chief of staff, but the Pentagon isn’t prepared to make that assessment.
The Pentagon called Russia’s eastern offensive “very cautious,” “very tepid,” and “anemic,” noting that they have a habit of taking territory but falling back and allowing Ukraine to reclaim it. It also believes the Ukraine has pushed Russia about 40 kilometers back from Kharkiv. The U.S. Ambassador to the OSCE said it believes Russia will try to annex Donetsk.
The UK assesses that Russia’s most elite units have suffered among the highest levels of attrition and will take years to recover.
Over 100 civilians were evacuated out of the Mariupol steel factory that is the last holdout in the city. Ukraine continues to be tight-lipped about strikes in Russian territory: “We don’t say yes and we don’t say no.”
The Pentagon said it is training Ukrainian troops on artillery, radar, and armored vehicles in Germany. It also said that 70 of the 90 howitzers have arrived in Ukraine but helicopters have not.