The Russian President’s invasion of Ukraine has not gone smoothly, with Russian forces struggling to make any significant breakthroughs in their offensive in the Donbas.
Despite the slow progress and heavy casualties sustained, William Burns predicted the Russian despot would “double down’ and not throw in the towel.
The US Central Intelligence Agency Director told an audience at an event organised by the Financial Times in Washington: “He’s in a frame of mind in which he doesn’t believe he can afford to lose.
“I think he’s convinced right now that doubling down still will enable him to make progress.”
Ukraine is using groundbreaking technology to revive old Soviet grenades that can be dropped from drones to obliterate Russian forces.
Russian tanks and armoured vehicles are being battered by modified Soviet-era RKG-3 anti-tank grenades.
Thanks to 3D-printing technology, these outdated grenades have been given a new lease of life by the printed plastic tail fins which are attached to stabile the weapons as they fall.
This is reportedly causing chaos to the top of turrets on Russian tanks are they are not too well protected.
The weak armour on the top of the vehicles leaves them more exposed to these attacks from above.
And worryingly for the Russians, these weapons are made even more effective as they cannot be seen or heard.
The new weapons, dubbed the RKG-1600, only weigh about 1kg.Parachutes are also used to stabilise the grenade as it falls at a 90 degree angle to make sure it strikes its target with maximum effect.
Volodymyr Zelensky has spelled out conditions before cracking a peace deal with Vladimir Putin, a news report has claimed.
Zelensky, 44, said that Russia must withdraw to their pre-invasion position for a deal while speaking to a London Think tank.
He said that any peace deal with Russia would depend on Russian forces pulling back to their pre-invasion positions.
Speaking to a London think tank, Volodymyr Zelensky said that was the minimum that his country could accept.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged against any negotiations with Russia on terms that “give credence to the Kremlin’s false narrative for the invasion”, according to No 10.
Mr Zelensky said he was the leader of “Ukraine, not a mini-Ukraine”. But he did not mention Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014.
Boris Johnson is set to send Ukraine an additional £1.3billion in military support as the eastern European nation continues to fight illegal attacks from its neighbour.
The new funding comes on top of the UK’s existing £1.5billion support to Kyiv.
The existing aid to Ukraine included around £400million in humanitarian aid and grants to the Ukrainian government, and unlocking over £700million in additional World Bank lending through loan guarantees.
It is the highest rate of UK military spending on a conflict since the height of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Additional equipment sent to the nation under attack will include anti-battery radar systems, plus GPS jamming and night-vision devices.
RUSSIANS are losing interest and hope in the war in Ukraine, according to new data.
Reports over the past two months have shed light on growing concerns within the Kremlin about Vladimir Putin’s war plans, and the damage the “special military operation” is doing to Russia in the long term.
Evidence is also now emerging about growing levels of unrest about the war among the Russian people.
Polling data by the Levada Center suggests fewer Russians were paying close attention to military action in late April than were the month before.
Less than 60 percent said they closely monitor events, which the centre notes represents a “gradual decline”.
Within this, 26 percent claim to be watching reports “very carefully” and 33 percent “quite carefully”.
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VLADIMIR PUTIN has suffered another blow to army morale, after a Russian tank “world champion” was killed in action in Ukraine.
Bato Basanov was part of a record-breaking tank biathlon team that took part in war games last year.
The event was attended by both Russia’s Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu and head of the Russian army Valery Gerasimov.
The 25-year-old from the Buryat Republic showcased his outstanding skills as a sharpshooter after hitting every single target while travelling at speeds of up to 50mph.
The war games took place at the Alabino training ground in the Moscow region and involved the participation of 19 countries including China in combat games.
Later, the corporal was filmed being presented to Gerasimov, who last week was almost killed himself while visiting Russia’s frontline near Izyum.
UKRAINIAN philosopher Gregory Skovoroda spent the last three days of his life digging his own grave.
His friends watched as he picked up a shovel every day then at the end of the third day, exhausted and resigned to his fate, he laid down and died.
Today the Russian military targeted a missile on the museum in Kharkiv dedicated to 18th century philosopher Skovoroda and blew it to pieces.
Sometimes history just hands you metaphors. You don’t even have to work for them.
It was one of the many, many war crimes (more than 10,000 at last count) which have become the vicious, bloody side shows to the main bloodbath going on in Mariupol.
But make no mistake, Mariupol is the main event. This weekend Putin’s evil empire will unleash ever new levels of hell on the pitiable people of that Godforsaken city – as he must – so he can boast of a “triumph” on May 9 Russia’s annual Victory Day.
A new video doing the rounds on social media appears to show a Switchblade attack on Russian soldiers.
The strike is reported to have been carried out by Ukraine’s 53rd Mechanised Brigade.
In the video, a group of Russian troops can be seen gathered below, before a large explosion takes place close to them.
Some of the survivors are filmed fleeing the scene on foot.
The US has been providing Kyiv with Switchblade zones.
In April, the Whitehouse announced it would deliver Switchblade-600 drones as part of a further $300 million in lethal military assistance.
The new 50-pound model, produced by the Simi Valley, California-based company can fly more than 24 miles (39 kilometers) and loiter 40 minutes before attacking with an anti-armour warhead.
Reportedly the first video of a Switchblade loitering munition strike on Russian troops by Ukraine’s 53rd Mechanized Brigade.https://t.co/dF8RlPWm5a pic.twitter.com/6XKnm7SLBI
VLADIMIR Putin’s top commanders would ignore an order to strike Ukraine or the West with nuclear weapons, an expert has claimed.
Investigative journalist Christo Grozev said that the Russian President’s inner circle believe he is “dying or gravely ill”.
Mr Grozev added that they are not willing to risk being hauled before a modern equivalent of the Nuremberg trials if Putin will not be around to protect them.
During an interview with Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordone, the Russia expert said: “I can’t speak without information, but we know that oligarchs from his closest circle claim it.”
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Putin is set to be humiliated on ‘Victory Day’ as a portrait of him filled with the blood of Ukrainian soldiers is broadcast to onlookers.
The Victory Day parade on May 9 is one of Russia’s most important national events. It is a remembrance of the Soviet sacrifice made in defeating Nazi Germany in what is known in Russia as the “Great Patriotic War”.
But this year’s celebration and demonstration of military might is set to be disrupted by a former Soviet soldier turned artist.
Andrei Molodkin, a Russian conceptual artist, believes his sculpture filled with 850g of blood from eight Ukrainian soldiers will help onlookers in Moscow see Putin “for what he is”.
Russia will flaunt its thermonuclear missiles in its Victory Day parade in a grim warning to the West.
This year, Putin’s Russia will show off the thermonuclear RS-24 Yars ballistic missile, which experts believe can can carry up to 10 warheads.
The missile was driven past rows of armed guards on a 16-wheeler vehicle during rehearsals on Saturday.
The intercontinental weapon, which weighs 49.6 tonnes, can travel up to 24,500km/hr and is capable of hitting targets up to 12,000km away.
The missiles effective range means it could strike London or New York within minutes according to experts.
America’s dream of “seeing Putin fall” and the US-UK’s mounting war efforts could tilt the conflict in Ukraine into a full-blown war, warns a former ambassador.
Speaking to French broadcaster LCI, France’s former ambassador to the UN and the US Gérard Araud warns: “I think obviously it would be a dream for the Americans to see Putin fall.”
With military support, both the US and UK are hoping to help Ukrainians defend themselves against Russian forces and safeguard their territory while also getting back the lost regions of Crimea and part of Donbas.
Mr Araud continued: “So if we’re aiming for that, it means a total war, a war that won’t end.
“So, we can ask ourselves – again, and this is not the first time in history – we can ask ourselves whether our Anglo-Saxon friends, as they are called – the British and the Americans – are not moving upmarket, if I may say so, in their war aims.”
Russian civilians are expected to be called up in a mass mobilisation of armed forces as Vladimir Putin becomes increasingly desperate in the face of humiliating losses in Ukraine.
Civilians in Moscow reacted to the reports with panic, telling Sky News that they were “very afraid” of being called up.
Sky News diplomatic editor Dominic Waghorn interviewed ordinary Russians on the streets of Moscow about the speculation.
One Russian man responded: “I’m very afraid, I obviously don’t want it to happen.”
Another said: “If you’re interested in whether I would like to go, no, I don’t want to.”
A third added: “As a law-abiding citizen, I wouldn’t have a choice, so it’s not my choice.”
Sergei Lavrov has been seen for the first time since Vladimir Putin reportedly issued a grovelling apology to Israel over the Russian Foreign Minister’s Hitler comments.
Mr Lavrov on Friday attended a flower-laying ceremony in commemoration of former Soviet Union Foreign Ministry officials who died during World War Two.
It is the first time the Russian Foreign Minister has broken cover in nearly a week since claiming that Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins.
Hungary has issued a warning that it cannot accept the EU’s planned ban on Russian oil as it would amount to an “atomic bomb” for its economy, threatening to scupper the bloc’s sixth sanctions package against Moscow.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban reiterated earlier statements from Hungarian officials that Hungary would not support a new round of proposed EU sanctions against Russia if they included a ban on Russian oil exports.
Mr Orban said that while his government is willing to negotiate on any EU proposals that are in Hungary’s interests, the country’s geography and existing energy infrastructure make a shutdown of Russian oil unfeasible.
Belgian politician Guy Verhofstadt tweeted: “Orbán wants EU taxpayer’s money to agree an EU oil ban against Russia. Just appalling.
“His blackmail makes the EU dysfunctional, a gift for the murderers in the Kremlin. Time for reform, time to end unanimity in EUCO.”
Bill Browder, the American-British financier and one of Putin’s most wanted, slammed the Russian dictator, branding him a psychopath.
Mr Browder said: “I was never close to him, I never met him actually. But I think that he is never been in mental good health, I believe he’s a psychopath.
“The closest person I could compare him to is the fictional character Hannibal Lecter. The only thing different between Putin and Hannibal Lecter is that Putin isn’t a cannibal.
“But everything else is the same. His heartbeat doesn’t start going faster when someone is being killed right in front of him.
“He could kill 100, 1000, 10,000 or a million and it wouldn’t affect his feelings at all.
“He has no feelings of empathy whatsoever, he’s a cold-blooded killer and the only thing he feels is fear for his own safety.”
Wikipedia has hit back at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempts to censor the site and move to a domestically made version of the site.
The news comes following a discussion between Putin and Maxim Dreval, the CEO of the state-sponsored Znanie Foundation, a group tasked with improving Russia’s civil society.
Speaking with Mr Dreval, Putin said: “Objective, useful, thought-through, but also beautifully and masterfully presented information is in high demand because it is impossible to use Wikipedia alone.”
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, a Wikipedia foundation spokesperson said the group will not comply with Putin’s coercion.
The spokesperson said: “Russian-language Wikipedia is a crucial second draft of history, written by and for Russian speakers around the world who volunteer their time to make reliable, neutral information available to all.
“Volunteers who write and maintain Wikipedia apply standards of neutrality, verifiability, and reliable secondary sources to ensure articles are based in fact.
“Access to good information is even more important during times of crisis.
“The Wikimedia Foundation will continue to defend the ability of volunteers to contribute knowledge on Wikipedia.”
Putin’s army has been rocked by the loss of more key personnel after 11 Russian snipers who fired at Ukrainian positions were captured by rival forces in the eastern city of Kharkiv.
The Ukraine Security Service reportedly captured 11 Russian snipers who had fired on their positions.
Independent Ukrainian media service Hromadske Int tweeted: “Security Service informed of daily special operations throughout Ukraine.
“During such an operation in Kharkiv Oblast, 11 Russian snipers were captured who fired on Ukrainian positions, @ServiceSsu reported.
“In total 140 enemy groups were eliminated & 4,000 collaborators exposed.”
Vladimir Putin has seen key Belarussian ally Alexander Lukashenko say nuclear weapons being used in Ukraine is an “unacceptable” scenario.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Mr Lukashenko suggested the use of nuclear weapons is too close to home.
He said: “It would be unacceptable because it’s right next to us.
“We are not across the ocean like the United States.
“It is also unacceptable because it might knock our terrestrial ball flying off the orbit to who knows where.
“Whether or not Russia is capable of that — is a question you need to ask the Russian leadership.”
Vladimir Putin’s health has reportedly spiralled in recent weeks, with his defence minister tipped to take over should the Russian leader die.
Reports have claimed Putin is suffering from cancer, Parkinson’s and other illnesses, despite his spokesman saying the leaders health is “excellent”.
Dr Sarah Whitmore, an expert in Russian domestic politics at Oxford Brookes University, told The Mirror Initially Mikhail Mishustin, the Prime Minister, would automatically assume power if Putin died in office.
She then said defence minister Sergei Shoigu could be named as Putin’s successor.
She said: “If Putin were to suddenly die from an illness then people would have to be told and there has to be a sort of succession organised.
“According to the constitution, the Prime Minister takes over and then an election needs to be organised within three months.
“It is very likely the regime around Putin would choose a suitable trustworthy successor to suit their interests.
“Someone we know like Shoigu, he’s been touted as a potential successor and seen as a popular and acceptable face.
“Or it could be someone we don’t know like how Putin came in – he was a nobody at the time.
“Who may even be more hardline. Where there seem to be expressions of discontent, it has tended to be critical that Putin isn’t going sufficiently hard in Ukraine and that he has been too gentle.”
My name is Dylan Donnelly, bringing you the latest on the Ukraine invasion, Russia, NATO and Vladimir Putin.