Fighting still rages in the Donbass on the eve of the 73rd day of war in Ukraine as Russia slips away from its goal of victory in the territory on May 9, the day to commemorate the triumph of the Soviet Union on Nazi Germany.
Ukrainian intelligence claims that Moscow is preparing for the occasion a military parade in the port of Mariupol, where 50 civilians were evacuated on Friday. The evacuation operations, which are taking place under the aegis of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross, should continue this Saturday, May 7.
The point on the day of Friday, May 6, 2022.
The UN Security Council also unanimously gave its “strong support” to “the search for a peaceful solution” in Ukraine, a first show of unity since the beginning of the Russian invasion, while the United States announced a new military aid of 150 million dollars to Ukraine.
Evacuation operations continue this Saturday in Mariupol
Ukraine announced on Friday that 50 civilians had been evacuated from the Azovstal factory in Mariupol, adding that Russia had violated the ceasefire in place to allow the evacuations.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said evacuation operations would continue on Saturday, following the evacuation of 50 women, children and elderly people on Friday.
Russia has continuously violated the local ceasefire, she added, which has significantly slowed down the operation.
Russia confirmed the number of evacuees as well as the resumption of evacuations on Saturday, but refrained from commenting on statements by Ukraine’s deputy prime minister regarding ceasefire violations.
About 200 civilians are still holed up in this huge industrial complex, the last stronghold of resistance for Ukrainian forces in this port city in southeastern Ukraine.
Battle in Donbass longer than expected
For 20 days, the battle in the Donbass has been raging, but it is not going as Russia wanted, according to The Independent Kyiv. (link in English)
The long-awaited and dreaded major offensive does not meet the expectations of Russia, which has still not achieved its ultimate goal: the encirclement and paralysis of the main Ukrainian military group in the region.
Amid fierce hostilities, Russia has only managed to secure limited territorial gains, at significant cost, the Ukrainian news site explains. The offensive gradually bogged down against a background of weak Russian reserves and strong Ukrainian defences.
The symbolic success that Russia probably hopes to achieve in Donbass before Victory Day, May 9, will not be achieved. Moscow commemorates on Monday its role in the defeat of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
Kyiv residents urged to stay sheltered
Residents of Kyiv were urged to shelter in place on Sunday as Russians mark Victory Day, commemorating the surrender of the Nazis in World War II. Demonstrations will be called off, city patrols will be stepped up and, although there is no official curfew, Mayor Vitali Klitschko has said the risk of shelling is high.
Warning residents about “safety rules in times of war”Vitali Klitschko asked them not to ignore the alarm sirens. “In the coming days, there is a high probability of missile strikes in all regions of Ukraine. Be careful and take care of your own safety! » he added.
According to CNN, some fear Vladimir Putin will officially declare war that day and call for an escalation. The Kremlin ruler used World War II rhetoric and fantasy to justify his invasion of Ukraine, saying the Russians were seeking to “denazify” the country.
Zelensky accuses Russia of “pure and simple nuclear blackmail”.
The Ukrainian President accused Russia of “pure and simple nuclear blackmail”Friday, during a speech at Chatham House, a think tank on international affairs.
Volodymyr Zelensky underlined the “Russia’s contempt for all international conventions”.
“Russia talks openly about nuclear weapons. The time it takes for Russian missiles to reach European cities. They do this because of the feeling of impunity. Russia is blackmailing Europe with threats » the Ukrainian president was indignant.
According to Volodymyr Zelensky, Russia allows itself threats and exactions, because of its feeling of impunity. “Why is Russia doing all this? Because they think that if they can be held accountable for such crimes, criminal actions, it will be decades later”he specified. “They simply don’t believe that the international community can hold those responsible for these war crimes to justice, because they are hiding behind nuclear force. »
New US military aid of $150 million
Joe Biden on Friday announced new military aid to Ukraine to fight the Russian invasion, including artillery munitions and radar, but warned that arms funds for kyiv were now “virtually exhausted”.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a separate statement that the amount of this aid represented 150 million dollars, well below previous shipments of American weapons.
It includes in particular 25,000 155 mm shells, counter-battery radars to detect Russian artillery fire and communications jamming devices, an official also added.
“Congress must quickly release the envelope required to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table”said the President of the United States in a press release about the colossal budget extension of 33 billion dollars requested from the American Parliament.
Since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, Joe Biden’s government has provided some $3.8 billion in military aid to kyiv. The previous tranche announced was 800 million.
The word “war” missing from the declaration of the UN Security Council
The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously (including Russia) approved a statement providing “strong support” to the Secretary General of the United Nations “in search of a peaceful solution” to the war waged by Russia against Ukraine, we learned from diplomatic sources.
Written by Norway and Mexico and obtained by AFP, the declaration does not go so far as to support mediation by Antonio Guterres as provided for in a first version of the text negotiated since Thursday. “As I have often said, the world must come together to silence the guns and uphold the values of the United Nations” said the UN Secretary General.
This statement, the first demonstration of unity by the Security Council since the beginning of the invasion, speaks neither of ” war “nor of ” conflict “nest’“invasion”. There is only expressed a “deep concern about the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine”. The text also mentions “that all Member States have undertaken, under the Charter of the United Nations, the obligation to settle their international disputes by peaceful means”.
Asked what led Russia, which has blocked the Security Council since February, to approve this text, a diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity replied to AFP: “the important thing has been removed”.
Yacht suspected of belonging to Putin seized
Italian authorities have seized a yacht with links to the Russian government, according to a statement from the Ministry of Economy and Finance released on Friday.
According to journalists, the yacht, which was moored in a marina in Tuscany, belongs to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The ministry said in its statement that the boat had been seized under the regulations relating to “actions impairing or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”.
The seizure comes after a $300 million yacht belonging to another Russian oligarch was seized by Fijian authorities on Friday at the request of the US Department of Justice.
Zelensky will participate in a G7 videoconference
The leaders of the great powers of the G7 will hold a virtual meeting on Sunday devoted to the war in Ukraine, in which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will also participate, a spokeswoman for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Friday.
“May 8 is a historic date marking the end of the Second World War in Europe which brought terror, destruction and death to Europe”spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said at a press conference, saying that with the current war in Ukraine, “G7 cohesion is more important than ever”.
Germany holds the presidency of the G7 this year.
This meeting, the third since the beginning of the year, will be devoted “especially to the situation in Ukraine”said Ms. Hoffmann without further details.
US President Joe Biden had already announced a meeting this week of the G7, without giving a specific date, about possible additional sanctions against Russia. “We are always open to additional sanctions”he said Wednesday at the White House, adding that he would discuss with G7 members to “what we will and will not do”.