Status update at 1 pm.
• Russia has reorganized its military command in Ukraine. An official Western source told the BBC that the Russian army had undergone a major reorganization in Ukraine. It is now General Alexander Dvornikov who is leading the invasion. Notably served in Syria.
• According to the United Nations, more than 4.4 million Ukrainians have fled their country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees revealed on Saturday that Europe has not seen such an influx of refugees since World War II. 90% of the refugees are women and children.
• Kyiv expects to obtain the status of an EU candidate by June. This status should be granted to Ukraine soon, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanichina announced, after Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, submitted a questionnaire for EU membership on Friday.
• Two paintings from the Morozov collection will remain in France. One of the two paintings, which has been on display since September at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, belongs to the Russian oligarchy targeted by European sanctions.
The United Nations has announced that more than 4.4 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the start of the war
More than 4.4 million Ukrainian refugees have fled their country since the invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, according to figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees counted exactly 4,441,663 Ukrainian refugees on Saturday. This is 59,347 more than during the previous result on Friday. Europe has not seen such an influx of refugees since World War II.
About 90% of those who have fled Ukraine are women and children.
Moscow accuses YouTube of blocking the account of the Russian parliamentary channel
On Saturday, Russian officials accused the YouTube video service of blocking the account of the Russian parliamentary channel, and promised retaliation, raising fears that the service would stop on Russian soil.
The Speaker of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, claimed that the Duma TV channel was blocked in the Russian lower house, denouncing Washington’s measure infringing on the “rights” of Russians.
“The United States wants to have a monopoly on the dissemination of information,” he said on his Telegram account. “We cannot allow that.”
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Two paintings from the Morozov collection will remain in France, including the painting of the Russian oligarch
The Ministry of Culture, which has been on display since September in Paris as part of an exhibition organized by the Louis Vuitton Foundation, has announced that two paintings from the Morozov collection will remain in France.
The first “will remain in France as long as its owner, a Russian oligarch, remains subject to the asset freeze measure,” rue de Valois tells us.
The second belongs to the Ukrainian Museum of Fine Arts in Dnipropetrovsk. He will remain in France “until the situation in the country allows his safe return.”
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Application for EU membership: Kyiv expects to obtain candidate country status by June
Olha Stefanichina, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister for European integration, tweeted that Kyiv expects to obtain EU candidate status by June.
“We have already done a lot of work up front, so we are ready to move quickly. We expect to achieve candidate status in June. This is part of our victory over the Russian aggressor who wants to reverse the democratic path taken by Ukraine,” she wrote on Twitter.
On Friday, visited Kyiv, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky the necessary questionnaire to apply for accession to the European Union.
Russia has reorganized its military command in Ukraine
An official Western source revealed to the BBC that Russia has reorganized its military command chain in Ukraine. It is now General Alexander Dvornikov who is leading the invasion.
“This commander has gained a lot of experience during Russian operations in Syria, so we expect to see an improvement in command and control of the forces,” the source told British media.
On the 45th day of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia failed to achieve its main military objectives. After trying to capture the capital Kyiv, Russian forces are now concentrating their action on the Donbass River.
Pictures of a destroyed maternity hospital in Boucha district
A maternity hospital located in the Bucha region has been subjected to intense Russian bombardment, as evidenced by photos obtained by BFMTV.
The maternity ward was attacked while the patients were inside. It is located in the Boucha district, where its streets littered with corpses and mass graves were discovered last weekend.
Since then, the Russian army has withdrawn from this area, located in the suburbs near Kyiv. Moscow is now focusing its attack on the Donbass.
Luhansk region governor calls for more evacuations
Serhii Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, has called for an intensification of evictions from his region, while the Russian army intensifies its military operations there.
The Luhansk region is located in the Donbass, which today is the main military objective of the Russian army.
“The Russians are mobilizing forces to launch an offensive and we are seeing an increase in bombing,” Serhiy Hayday said in a television interview.
Adding that about 30% of the territory’s population has not yet been evacuated.
Status update at 9 am.
• Zelensky calls for a “firm global response” after the attack on Kramatorsk. The Ukrainian president spoke on Facebook of his desire to refer the attack that killed at least 52 people on Friday at the train station in this Donbass city.
• 10 Humanitarian Corridors open this Saturday. Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said that of the 10 open corridors, all of which are aimed at evacuating civilians from besieged areas, one should leave Mariupol.
• Expect to strengthen Russian operations in eastern and southern Ukraine. British intelligence expects to intensify the Russian offensive around the Donbass River. While he indicated that the Russian forces saw at the present time that their plans were thwarted by the Ukrainian resistance.
• 176 Ukrainian children have died since the start of the war. This information was published on Saturday by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. The statement also stated that 324 children had been injured since the start of the attack.
10 humanitarian corridors open this Saturday
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verychuk said 10 humanitarian corridors will be opened to evacuate civilians from besieged Ukrainian regions on Saturday.
One of these passes belongs to Mariupol, this city on the shores of the Sea of Azov, besieged from the first days of the offensive by the Russian army.
British intelligence expects an increase in Russian military operations in southern and eastern Ukraine
In a new post published Saturday on Twitter, British intelligence services indicated that Russian military operations are now focused on Donbass, as well as Mariupol and Mykolaiv.
These activities are supported by the “continued firing of cruise missiles into Ukraine by the Russian Navy”. London therefore expects that Russian air operations will see an increase in intensity in southern and eastern Ukraine.
“However, Russian ambitions to establish a land corridor between Crimea and Donbass are still being blocked by the Ukrainian resistance,” the statement said.
Kyiv says 176 Ukrainian children have died since the war began
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry, in a statement issued this morning on Twitter, said that 176 children have died since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Another 324 children were injured.
Volodymyr Zelensky calls for a ‘strong global response’ after the Kramatorsk station attack
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke during the night from Friday to Saturday about the Russian attack that killed at least 52 people at the Kramatorsk station.
“Like the Bucha massacre, like many other Russian war crimes, the missile that hit Kramatorsk must be brought before a court, which must happen,” said the Ukrainian head of state.
He also called for a “strong global response” after this new drama.
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