Permalink Blinken makes unexpected visit to Kiev amid Russian offensive

The US State Department's spokesperson says Blinken will highlight ongoing US support to Kiev and discuss battlefield developments with Ukraine's top officials. | US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Tuesday and will hold a series of meetings with the country's top officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The trip comes as Russian forces continue to advance in Kharkov after launching an unexpected offensive across several regions last week.  Russia's Defense Ministry announced last weekend that Russian armed forces managed to take control of another four villages across the Kharkov region. The areas were captured within 24 hours, the ministry said. It stated that Ukrainian forces suffered major losses, both in manpower and military equipment.

Blinken promises Zelensky new US weapons will be game changer (RT.com)
US promises Ukraine military aid to make ‘real difference’ on the way (Al Jazeera)
Russian Army Crushes Ukrainian Defense In Kharkiv Region (South Front)
Frontline situation ‘on the edge’ – Ukrainian intel chief (RT.com)
Scott Ritter: The Russians Advance and Ukrainians Can't Stop Them (Sputnik News)
Ukraine SitRep: An Army And Country At Their End (Moon of Alabama)

Permalink Putin to visit China this week – Kremlin

The trip will focus on fostering strategic partnership, with a number of agreements expected to be signed | Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to China later this week to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the Kremlin has announced. It will be the Russian leader’s first foreign trip of his new presidential term.  In a statement on Tuesday, the Kremlin said that the state visit at the invitation of the Chinese leader is scheduled for May 16 and 17. During the summit, the two leaders “will discuss in detail the entire range of issues of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction” between Moscow and Beijing, as well as determine key directions for the further development of Russian-Chinese ties.  Putin and Xi will also discuss the “most pressing international and regional issues,” the Kremlin added. The leaders are expected to sign a joint statement and a number of bilateral documents, the announcement said, without giving further details.  The Russian leader will also hold talks with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, the second-highest ranking official in the country. The meeting will focus on bilateral trade, [and] economic and humanitarian cooperation.

Putin to Visit China at Invitation of Xi Jinping on May 16-17 - Kremlin (Sputnik News)
NATO boss attacks China over Russia ties (RT.com)

Permalink Dozens of Palestinians killed as Israel launches heavy bombardment in Gaza

Israeli warplanes have conducted fresh aerial assaults on the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of civilians, including children, in the besieged Palestinian territory. | Citing medical sources, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported on Tuesday that 14 people lost their lives in overnight Israeli bombing of a three-story house owned by the Karaja family, south of the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.  The report added that children were among those killed in the strike that also injured several more. Other reports updated the death toll to at least 20 people.  Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinians were killed in Israeli air raids on the Jabalia refugee camp and the city of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza. Jabalia residents said Israeli tanks were advancing towards the camp. Civilians are “running in the streets,” a Jabalia resident told Al Jazeera, adding, “We’ve been displaced from one place to the next … we don’t know where to go.”

Day 221: 35,173 Palestinians killed, 79,061 injured in Gaza (Al Mayadeen)
Gaza under Israeli fire: 220 days of genocide and loss (Al Mayadeen)
Israel carpet bombs Gaza with no goal in sight (The Cradle)
Gaza civilians voice out their chilling encounters with Israeli torture (TRT World)
Tied, diapered, beaten: Israeli insiders reveal severe Palestinian torture (TRT World)
Gaza Al-Shifa doctor tortured to death by Israeli forces (Al Mayadeen)

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