The basics in a nutshell:
- Children, women and the elderly leave a besieged steel plant in Mariupol
- The UN Security Council approves Ukraine’s statement
- Explosions in Transnistria
- US releases more military aid
- Italy makes a luxury Russian yacht
All children, women and the elderly were brought to safety from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, which was besieged by Russian troops. “The president’s order has been implemented: all women, children and the elderly have been evacuated from Azovstal. This part of the humanitarian mission in Mariupol has been completed,” Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk said in a statement posted on social media. You didn’t mention a number. Recently, there was talk of about 200 civilians still residing in the industrial complex in the coastal city of Mariupol.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mariupol was “completely destroyed.” He emphasized that Ukraine was working on a diplomatic solution to save the defenders still steadfast in the besieged steel plant. It is the last stronghold of the Ukrainian armed forces in the port city. Mediators and influential countries are involved in these efforts, Zelensky says in his nightly video message. He did not give details. According to the Ukrainian army, Russian artillery and armored units continued their attacks on the factory buildings on Saturday.
Smoke continues to rise over steel mills – here’s a picture from Thursday
According to Ukrainian information, in the past few days, UN-led operations have successfully relocated nearly 500 civilians from the city and steel mills to safety. Russia declared a three-day ceasefire for the evacuations on Wednesday.
The UN Security Council with a joint statement
The UN Security Council approved a common position for the first time more than two months after Russia invaded Ukraine. The most powerful body of the United Nations unanimously declared – also with the approval of aggressor Russia – that it was “extremely concerned” about the conflict in Ukraine. At the same time, the Security Council welcomed the mediation efforts of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Is there a move in diplomacy?
The agreement is seen as the weakest possible statement by the body, but it’s also a glimmer of hope that the diplomacy banned in New York’s East River could get some movement. “After the UN Secretary-General’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, this is a signal that Russia and the West are ready to give Guterres a chance for more shuttle diplomacy,” said UN expert Richard Gowan of the Thought Crisis Group.
Nor did Russia oppose the decision
Russia, after invading Ukraine, used its veto to block any possible action by the council in connection with the war. Western diplomats speak of deep disagreements in day-to-day dealings with Moscow’s representatives.
The five permanent members with veto power, the United States of America, Russia, China, France and Great Britain, plus ten non-permanent members of the Security Council.
Pro-Russian region of Transnistria reports renewed explosions
The conflict zone of Transnistria in the Republic of Moldova, bordering Ukraine, spoke of renewed attacks on its territory. The Interfax news agency, citing the regional interior ministry, reported that several explosions occurred overnight in the border town of Voronkou. At least two drones flew over the military barracks in Voronkovo and four explosions were heard. There were no dead or injured. The information cannot initially be verified independently.
Transnistria, which broke away from the former Soviet Republic of Moldova since the 1990s, borders the Odessa region in southern Ukraine. Transnistria is pro-Russia, and about 1,500 Russian soldiers are stationed there to monitor the ceasefire, old ammunition depots and arms depots.
Göring-Eckardt on the EU’s prospects for the Republic of Moldova
During a visit to the Republic of Moldova, Vice-President of the Bundestag, Catherine Goering-Eckhardt, stressed the importance of the prospects for membership in the European Union. The green politician said after meeting with Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita that Moldova needs help quickly. “The stability of Moldova is very central to the conflict we are currently experiencing in Europe.” There is concern that the Russian war will spread to a small neighboring former Soviet republic.
Moldova applied for EU membership in early March, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Military parade on May 9?
Russia is said to be planning a military parade in Mariupol on May 9, the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, according to Kiev. The Kremlin denies this. Moscow Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that an official victory parade in Mariupol is not scheduled for May 9.
Ukrainian President Selinsky invited Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Social Democratic Party) to come to Ukraine. Speaking at an event hosted by think-tank Chatham House in London, Zelensky said Schultz could take a “very strong political step” and come to the Ukrainian capital on May 9.
US releases more military aid
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has agreed to provide more military aid to Ukraine to defend against Russia’s war of aggression. Biden announced that an additional package should provide the country with more artillery ammunition, radars, and other equipment. At the same time, the US president warned: “With today’s announcement, my administration has almost exhausted the funds that could be used to spread security support by the evacuation authorities to Ukraine.” He called on the US Congress to release the additional billions of aid that had already been requested.
US President Biden wants more military aid to Ukraine
Since the start of the war at the end of February, the United States has promised or delivered weapons and ammunition worth more than 3.7 billion US dollars (about 3.5 billion euros) to the former Soviet Republic. However, Biden wants much larger shipments. He asked the US Congress for an additional $33 billion in military and humanitarian aid.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on the West to continue delivering heavy weapons to Ukraine. “Ukraine urgently needs more heavy weapons, and the West should step up its deliveries, do more, and prepare for a long-term commitment,” Stoltenberg told Welt am Sonntag newspaper, according to a preliminary report. This is the only way Kyiv can succeed in repelling the Russian invasion. Ukraine must be prepared for a “long war” with Russia that could last for months or even years.
Council of Europe: ‘Astonishing scale’ of crimes
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, deplored the widespread and international human rights violations by Russian forces after a four-day visit to the Kyiv region. Mijatovic said the scale and severity of the crimes were “staggering”. Providing reparations, support, and justice to victims and their families is a “tremendous but necessary task”.
Mijatovich said that the Russian war of aggression affected “almost all human rights” of the population of Ukraine. Among other things, she noted the destruction of the theater and hospital in Mariupol and the struggle of the besieged civilians for survival. Russia wages war “without great regard for human life and human dignity”.
According to the Commissioner for Human Rights, the names Bucha, Borodinka, Irpin and Andreevka mean “appalling acts.” “So many people across Ukraine have suffered unspeakable horrors. Everyone deserves justice and must not be forgotten.” Mijatovich promised the Ukrainian judicial authorities to provide professional support, including psychological support, to victims of sexual violence.
In March, the Council of Europe immediately expelled Russia from membership after 26 years due to the Ukraine War. The day before, Russia itself announced its withdrawal after the council initiated the exclusion procedure.
WHO: Hundreds of attacks on health care facilities
According to Director of Emergencies, Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization (WHO) has already documented 200 attacks on health facilities in Ukraine. The results will be passed to indicate whether any crimes have been committed. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says in Kyiv that his organization stands with the Ukrainians in the conflict with Russia. Russia must stop the war.
Fixed luxury yacht in Italy
In Italy, the authorities left the huge yacht lying in a Tuscan shipyard Scheherazade repair. The Italian Ministry of Economic Affairs said that the investigations revealed “important economic and commercial relations between the official owner of “Scheherazade” and important figures in the Russian government.”
The luxury yacht “Scheherazade” will not leave the port of Marina di Carrara until further notice
The ministry did not reveal the name of the owner. According to media reports, Scheherazade, which is sailing under the flag of the Cayman Islands, is owned by a company registered in the Marshall Islands. Members of the anti-corruption foundation of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny attributed the yacht to Russian President Putin.
Built in 2020 by German company Lürssen, the ship contains two helipads, a swimming pool and a cinema, according to website SuperYachtFan, and is worth about 640 million euros.
se/jj/haz/ack (dpa, rtr, afp, kna, ap)
This article will be constantly updated on the day it is published. Reports from combat zones cannot be independently verified.