This weekend saw, for the first time in two months of siege and bombardment of the city, the release of a hundred civilians holed up in the vaults of the massive steelworks of Azovstal, the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in this strategic port in southern Donbass.
But on Monday, in Zaporizhia, 200 kilometers to the northwest, a car park turned into a reception point for refugees, with two UNICEF armored 4x4s and other vehicles from international NGOs, did not see the arrival of a convoy from Mariupol.
And in the evening, the Azov regiment, which is engaged in the defense of the steel plant, explained that “after the partial evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal lands, the enemy continues to fire on the territory of the plant, including buildings where civilians are hiding.”
Elsewhere in Mariupol, after living for weeks in underground shelters or secluded in their homes, residents are out to discover their once bustling coastal city is in ruins.
A new invitation to Macron Putin
The Elysee announced that French President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to speak by phone on Tuesday noon with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin from Ukraine, in their first exchange since March 29.
Odessa, a new target
Dans le sud-ouest de l’Ukraine, le port d’Odessa est de nouveau la cible des missiles russes, le président ukrainien Volodymyr Zelensky ayant dénoncé lundi soir une frappe russe sur un « dortoir », tuant de une fille adolescent 17 years. How did these children and housing threatened the Russian state? “That’s how they fight,” said Mr. Zelensky.
Ukrainians fear that the city could be one of Russia’s targets, especially since a Russian general claimed that the Kremlin’s offensive in Ukraine was aimed at creating a corridor from Russia to the breakaway Moldavian region of Transdniestria, which would pass through Odessa.
Johnson in front of Ukrainian MPs
Western allies are increasing their pressure on Moscow and their support for Kyiv, on Tuesday, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s video address to the Ukrainian parliament, the first by a Western leader since the Russian invasion began.
East Odessa, the Mykolaiv Center was bombed on Monday evening, according to the morning report of the Presidency. The services of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General also indicated on Telegram on Tuesday that an investigation was opened into possible “torture and murder” during the Russian occupation of a town in this region.
They noted that “according to the investigation, the bodies of two residents with traces of gunshot wounds were found in a mass grave in the village of Novofontanka” and “one of the men had his legs tied.”
new European sanctions
The Europeans are working alongside them to tighten their economic sanctions against Moscow. The European Commission is expected to propose a sixth sanctions package on Tuesday that includes a timetable for the phase-out of Russian oil imports, which account for 30% of the European Union’s oil imports.
If the 27 member states agree to this measure, the moratorium on purchases of oil and petroleum products from Russia will be gradual, over a period of six to eight months, but with measures of immediate effect, in particular a tax on tanker transportation. official.
The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, said in Panama on Monday that the new sanctions would also take care of “the banking sector, there will be other Russian banks that will exit Swift.”
The approach of May 9, the date Russia celebrates victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, is fueling speculation about how Moscow might announce gains in Ukraine. On Monday, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry considered that Moscow could use the celebrations to “raise the question” of the merger of the breakaway and pro-Russian “republics” of Donbas, whose independence Moscow has recognized in the Russian Federation. Just before the invasion of Ukraine.
annexation of separatist areas
In Washington, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Michael Carpenter, gave “very credible” reports that Russia intends to organize referendums “around mid-May” to “try to annex” pro-Russian forces. The breakaway “republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbass (Eastern Ukraine).
The governor of the Luhansk region said he expected an “escalation of bombing” as May 9 approaches.