On the 56th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the country received fighter jets to help it counter the Russian offensive in the east of the country, where the last entrenched Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol appealed desperate to the international community for rescue. An agreement has been reached with Russia on a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from Mariupol. Europe 1 takes stock of the situation.
Ukraine has received fighter jets to help counter the Russian offensive in the east of the country, where the last entrenched Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol have appealed desperately to the international community for rescue. Russia, for its part, claims to have opened a corridor supposed to allow Ukrainian forces who have decided to surrender to leave Mariupol. An agreement has finally been reached with Russia on a humanitarian corridor to evacuate women, children and the elderly from Mariupol to the Ukrainian city of Zaporijjia (south), said a Ukrainian official.
The Desperate Call of the Mariupol Fighters
“We may be living our last days, even our last hours,” said a besieged Ukrainian military commander in Mariupol, a strategic port in southeastern Ukraine, which Moscow has vowed to take control. “The enemy is 10 times more numerous than us”, declared Serguiy Volyna, of the 36th brigade of the national navy, entrenched in the vast steel complex of Azovstal.
“We call and beg all world leaders to help us. We ask them to use the extraction procedure and take us to the territory of a third country,” he added.
An agreement on an evacuation corridor in Mariupol
An agreement has been reached with Russia on a humanitarian corridor to evacuate women, children and the elderly from Mariupol to the Ukrainian city of Zaporijjia (south), a Ukrainian official said. On Tuesday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky renewed his call for the evacuation of civilians still present in the port city.
Some 140 civilians were reportedly evacuated from the city on Tuesday, according to a statement from pro-Russian separatist authorities. These claims were not independently verifiable.
Charles Michel in Kyiv
In this context, the President of the European Council Charles Michel arrived in kyiv on Wednesday morning to show European support, 12 days after the visit to the Ukrainian capital of his counterpart from the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
“We may be living our last days, even our last hours”, said on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, on his Facebook account, a commander of Ukrainian soldiers who are still resisting in the vast steelworks of Azovstal, the last island of resistance of Mariupol, a large city located on the Sea of Azov, at the southern end of the Donbass.
Attacks repelled in the Donbass
During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the staff of the Ukrainian forces affirmed that they had repelled 10 Russian attacks and destroyed in particular “12 tanks” during the last 24 hours in the regions of Lugansk and Dontesk.
Military aid arrived in kyiv
Norway has donated around 100 French-designed anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, the Norwegian government announced on Wednesday. The donation, which has already been made, concerns Mistral launchers with around 100 missiles which have so far been on board Norwegian navy ships, the Ministry of Defense said in a press release. Ukraine has also received fighter jets and spare parts to bolster its air force, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday, declining to specify their number or the countries that supplied them. devices.
After the shipment of Howitzer artillery pieces announced last week by US President Joe Biden, this announcement reflects a change in attitude on the part of Westerners, who for more than a month refused to provide Ukraine with heavy weapons to avoid any escalation of the conflict.
The war in a new phase
Russia announced on Tuesday that it had carried out a dozen air strikes and missiles in eastern Ukraine, starting according to kyiv “the battle for Donbass” feared for weeks. According to the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, this is a “new phase” of the war. According to Moscow, “high-precision missiles” “neutralized 13 strongholds” as well as “concentrations” of troops near the key city of Sloviansk, in the Donetsk region.
The fighting “is incessant” in several cities, “it’s hell”, declared the Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region, Serguiï Gaïdaï, calling on the inhabitants to flee.
Charles Michel in Kyiv
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, the body representing the member states of the European Union, arrived in kyiv on Wednesday morning, he announced in a tweet, as Ukraine faces a new offensive scale of Russia in the East of the country. “In kyiv today, in the heart of a free and democratic Europe,” said Charles Michel, in a message accompanied by a photograph taken on a station platform in the Ukrainian capital.
United States and allies ready for new sanctions against Russia
The United States and the European Union have reached “a broad consensus on the need to increase pressure on the Kremlin, in particular through the adoption of new sanctions,” the Italian government said on Tuesday evening. The allies also agreed on the need “to increase the international isolation of Moscow,” he said in a statement.
This position was taken during a virtual meeting devoted to the Russian offensive in Ukraine between US President Joe Biden and the main allies of the United States.
Putin responsible for “war crimes”, for Scholz
At the end of this videoconference, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz ruled that Russian President Vladimir Putin was responsible for “war crimes” in Ukraine which killed thousands of civilians.