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War in Ukraine: what to remember from the 76th day of the Russian invasion

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Fighting intensified on Monday in southern and eastern Ukraine, where US arms shipments are expected to ramp up after Joe Biden reactivated an iconic device from World War II. Missiles also targeted the Odessa region, the Ukrainian army deploring one dead and five wounded.

THE ESSENTIAL

US intelligence said on Tuesday it expected the conflict to extend beyond Ukraine, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to take it to Moldova, while kyiv again insisted on the need for its security to adhere to the ‘European Union. “We believe that President Putin is preparing for a protracted conflict in Ukraine, during which he still intends to achieve objectives beyond the Donbass” (east): Transnistria, a region of Moldova which seceded in 1990, said US intelligence chief Avril Haines.

If it is “possible” that the Russians achieve this objective in the coming months, “they will not be able to reach Transnistria and include Odessa (southern Ukraine) without decreeing a form of general mobilization”, added Ms. Haines during of a hearing in the United States Congress. The Russian president “is probably counting on a weakening of the determination” of Westerners, she warned.

Embassies back in Kyiv

The German minister announced on Tuesday the reopening of the German embassy in kyiv, which was closed shortly after the Russian invasion on February 24. His visit was an opportunity for kyiv to welcome Berlin’s “change of position” vis-à-vis Moscow in recent weeks. “I would like to thank Germany for changing its position on a number of issues”, including its “traditional policy towards Russia”, Dmytro Kouleba said in kyiv with Annalena Baerbock. kyiv had gone so far as to refuse in mid-April to receive the German head of state Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The German minister visited Boutcha, near kyiv, where hundreds of dead civilians were discovered after the Russian occupation in March. “We owe it to the victims not just to commemorate here, but to bring the culprits to justice…that is the promise we can and must make here in Boutcha,” she said.

Dutch Minister Wopke Hoekstra, also in Ukraine on Tuesday, tweeted photos from Irpin, another town near kyiv where Ukraine accuses the Russians of massacring civilians in March, before a meeting with Dmytro Kouleba. He too announced the reopening of his embassy in the Ukrainian capital.

A thousand Ukrainian soldiers in Azovstal

“More than a thousand” Ukrainian soldiers, including “hundreds of wounded” are still in the Azovstal steelworks besieged by Russian troops in Mariupol, in the south-east of Ukraine, AFP told AFP on Tuesday. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk. After the evacuation of all civilians last week with the help of the UN, “more than a thousand” soldiers, including “hundreds of wounded” remain in the underground galleries of this vast metallurgical complex, has it – she told AFP on the phone. “There are serious injuries who require urgent evacuation,” she said.

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More than 8 million displaced in Ukraine as of May 3, according to the UN

More than 8 million people were internally displaced in Ukraine as of May 3, more than two months after Russia invaded the country, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday. . In total, the IOM estimates that 13.686 million people were forced to flee their places of residence because of the attack ordered by Vladimir Putin on February 24, of which 8.029 million have moved elsewhere in Ukraine, the rest having fled the country.

Seven strikes on the Odessa region

Missiles also targeted the Odessa region, the Ukrainian army counting seven strikes and deploring one dead and five wounded. The President of the European Council Charles Michel, on a surprise visit to this large southern city, was forced to take shelter. “You are not alone. The EU is on your side” in the face of Russian “aggression”, declared Mr. Michel alongside Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmygal. “We will be with you as long as it takes,” he continued.

In addition, “very intense battles were taking place around Roubijné and Bilogorivka” in the Lugansk region (east), said Governor Serguiï Gaïdaï. The Ukrainians can count on American military aid which has already amounted to some 3.8 billion dollars since the start of the conflict.

It should be further facilitated by the signing on Monday by President Joe Biden of the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act”. This “lend-lease” law takes up the system adopted in 1941 by Roosevelt giving the American president extensive powers to support the war effort in Europe.

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Agreement of the 27 in sight on oil

US military aid, which has already amounted to some $3.8 billion since the start of the conflict, should be further facilitated by the signing on Monday by President Joe Biden of theUkraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act. This “lend-lease” law takes up a system adopted in 1941 by President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945), which gave him extensive powers to support the war effort in Europe. In the meantime, negotiations are continuing on the proposed European Union embargo on Russian oil, currently blocked by Hungary.

An agreement is possible “within the week”, assured Tuesday the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune. “Russian hydrocarbons are not just a commodity. It is worth giving up on them, above all on oil. Because freedom is at stake. And the protection of freedom has a price,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr said on Tuesday. Zelensky.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, whose country is highly dependent on Russian gas but supplies arms to Ukraine, met Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday. The first called for “a strong European Union (…) in the interests of the United States”, the second praising “a good friend and a great ally”.

Extraordinary sessions scheduled at the UN on Thursday

Washington is also monitoring the Russian arms industry which, according to the Pentagon, is beginning to suffer from international sanctions and is struggling to replace guided missiles used in Ukraine because of the embargo on electronic components which hits Russia. John Kirby, spokesman for the Pentagon, also assured that Ukrainians had been “sent against their will” to Russia, without being able to give a figure. kyiv advances that of 1.2 million people deported to Russia and placed in camps.

The UN Human Rights Council will organize Thursday at the request of kyiv, supported by dozens of countries, an extraordinary session on “the deterioration of the human rights situation in Ukraine”.

On the same day, the UN Security Council should meet for the 16th time since the start of the Russian invasion, at the request of France and Mexico. This session follows the bombing this weekend of a school in eastern Ukraine, in which 60 civilians were killed, according to kyiv.

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