On the first day of the ceasefire of the three announced by Russia, contradictory information arrives from the Azovstal factory in the besieged city of Mariupol. Russian forces continue to deny having invaded the industrial complex, while Ukrainian troops denounce “bloody fighting” inside. On the 71st day of the war, support for Ukraine continues to come from the European Union. Portugal also announced 2.1 million in humanitarian aid. Thursday’s key points:
– Russia has announced a three-day ceasefire for the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal steel factory in the strategic city of Mariupol. The Defense Ministry revealed that the “pause” in the fighting will take place from 8 am to 6 pm (Moscow) on May 5, 6 and 7. However, the Ukrainian army said Russian forces “are trying to destroy” the last defenders of the factory and that there is “bloody fighting” inside the complex. For its part, the Kremlin once again denied that Russian troops were invading the steel mill, but Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine must order its fighters to lay down their weapons and surrender.
– On Wednesday, another 344 people were evacuated in a second operation to evacuate the city of Mariupol. A Ukrainian officer from the Azov regiment, which leads the defense at the Azovstal factory, urged the international community to pressure Russia to allow the evacuation of wounded civilians and soldiers. UN transport is on its way to evacuate more civilians from the Azovstal steelworks on Friday.
– Russian President Vladimir Putin has apologized to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for comments made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier this week. Ties between Israel and Russia soured after Lavrov’s claims that Hitler had Jewish heritage, in an attempt to explain away Moscow’s attempts to “denazify” Ukraine, whose president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish. read more here
– On Wednesday night, the Russian villages of Belgorod, Zhuravlevka and Nekhoteevka, were bombed by Ukraine, causing no casualties. For the Ukrainian side, the night was bloody: several Ukrainian military positions were hit in a series of attacks that killed 600 fighters.
– Ukrainian forces said they had regained control of several towns around Mykolayiv and Kherson, in the south of the country.
– The US newspaper “New York Times” reported that the information provided by the US secret services to the Ukrainian military led to the death of several Russian generals near the front line. In response, the Kremlin said it was well aware that the US, UK and other NATO countries are providing information to Ukraine through their intelligence services, but that this “will not prevent Russia from achieving its objectives”. . Read more here.
– The adviser to the Ukrainian president stated that the country is unlikely to launch a counteroffensive before mid-Juneat which point more weapons are expected from allies.
– The Kremlin has recognized that it is not in a position to claim military success in Ukraine until the Victory Day celebrations on May 9, so it began to devalue the date.
– The European Commission has announced a new €200 million aid package from the European Union (EU) for displaced people. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, also promised Ukraine a European Union (EU) Solidarity Fund to rebuild the country which will be the “engine for renewal”, classifying it as a “European Marshall Plan”.
– The Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced that 6.5 billion dollars (about 6.15 billion euros) were raised at the international conference of donors for Ukraine that took place in the Polish capital. The Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, announced that Portugal will contribute 2.1 million euros in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
– The Ukrainian president announced the launch of a online participatory financing platform designed to help Kiev win the war against Russia and rebuild the country’s infrastructure. Read more here.
– The European Union’s aviation security agency has warned of an increased risk of “innocent” civilian planes being accidentally targeted by missiles due to the war in Ukraine. The conflict has also led to an increased risk of cyber attacks.
– Japan will freeze the assets of an additional 140 Russian citizens and expand its export ban to include Russian military companies. In Fiji, a luxury yacht belonging to a Russian oligarch was seized at the request of US authorities.