It’s been 76 days since Russia entered Ukraine and changed the lives of millions of Ukrainians. After fleeing, many are now returning in an attempt to regain lost normalcy. “Before the war there were 3.5 million inhabitants in our city. Almost two-thirds have returned,” admitted the mayor of Kiev. As some return, soldiers and 100 civilians resist Russian attacks on the Azovstal factory in Mariupol.
– Two thirds of Kiev’s 3.5 million inhabitants who had left the city have returned to the Ukrainian capital, Mayor Vitali Klitschko revealed today. “Before the war there were 3.5 million inhabitants in our city. Almost two-thirds returned,” said the mayor. “Of course, there are many restrictions. But those who are not afraid can return,” he added, explaining that, based on the martial law in force, there are still curfews and a large number of checkpoints. However, the politician does not deny the possibility of the Ukrainian capital being attacked by Russian artillery.
– At least 100 civilians remain at the Azovstal steelworks under Russian attack in the city of Mariupol, an aide to the city mayor said. “In addition to the military, at least 100 civilians remain in the shelters. However, this does not reduce the intensity of attacks by the occupiers,” wrote Petro Andryushchenko on Telegram. A UN observation mission estimated that “thousands of civilians” died in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol following the Russian invasion, but admitted that it would only be able to verify the information when it had access to the city.
– Ukrainian authorities announced that they found the bodies of 44 civilians in the rubble of a five-story building that collapsed in March in Izyum, in the northeast of the country, about 120 kilometers from the city of Kharkiv. “This is another horrible war crime by the Russian occupiers against the civilian population,” Oleh Synehubov, head of the regional administration, said in a statement reporting the deaths.
– The head of Ukrainian diplomacy in Kiev today considered his country’s accession to the European Union (EU) a “question of war or peace” and welcomed the “change of position” in Berlin’s foreign policy towards Russia. “One of the reasons the war started is that [o Presidente russo, Vladimir Putin] I was convinced that Europe did not need Ukraine”, he stressed. Brussels is due to issue its opinion in June on Ukraine obtaining EU candidate status. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister will be at the G7 meeting in Germany,
– The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) urged the Ukrainian and Russian authorities to allow their experts to inspect material from the Zaporyjia nuclear power plant, occupied by Russian forces. At a hearing on the safety of Ukrainian nuclear installations, Mariano Grossi admitted “concern” about nuclear safety in Ukraine, especially at what is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
– About 26,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine, said the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In addition to the human casualties, Ukrainian authorities reported numerous losses of ordnance, including 1,170 tanks and 158 helicopters.
– The UN migration agency said that more than eight million people have internally displaced Ukraine since the start of the war. The figures, published in a report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), represent a 24% increase compared with the first internally displaced persons figures published on 16 March.
– The Czech Republic was today elected by the UN General Assembly, with a majority of 157 votes, as Russia’s successor on the Human Rights Council, with a term valid until December 2023. The seat was abandoned on April 7 by Russia , following its suspension from the Human Rights Council.
– Germany will reopen its embassy in Kiev, which for now will operate “with a minimal presence”, announced today the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, during a visit to the Ukrainian capital. “While we are here, we are reopening the German embassy in Kiev. At first it will be a little limited activity,” Baerbock said during a press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
– UN Secretary-General António Guterres promised to reinforce UN support to Moldova in the reception of Ukrainian refugees, on the day he visited a reception center in the country.
– At the parliamentary hearing that took place today on the reception of refugees in Setúbal, the Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs considered it to be an “unacceptable” and “isolated case that must be investigated”. The High Commissioner for Migration assured that she only learned about the case from the press and confirmed the complaints reported by the Association of Ukrainians in Portugal, but said the High Commissioner for Migration had no mandate to verify the existence of pro-Putin links within the community of Ukrainian immigrants.