Mubasher – War in Ukraine: The European Commission proposes a comprehensive embargo on Russian oil

On the seventieth day of the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian offensive intensified again. The Ukrainian command said that 20 missiles were fired during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. It seems that the Azovtsal plant, the last enclave of the Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, in the southeast of the country, which besieged it for several days, has again become the target of the attacks of the Russian army, which launched a “powerful attack” using tanks. Amphibious landing. This is while new civilian evacuations are scheduled for today.

For her part, Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Executive, presented the sixth set of sanctions to be imposed on Russia. The European Commission wants a blanket ban on Russian oil and the exclusion of more Russian banks from the SWIFT system.

Highlights of the day

> Twenty missiles were fired during the night

> Macron called on Putin to “allow the evacuations to continue” from Azovstal

> London increases its military aid to Ukraine by more than 350 million euros

>> Follow the events on Tuesday, May 3rd:

10:51 a.m. – Moscow says it hit stations used to transport foreign weapons

The Russian Defense Ministry said it had suspended the operation of six train stations in Ukraine. The latter will be used to supply the Ukrainian forces in the east of the country with military equipment provided by the West.

The ministry said that it bombed the electricity supplies of the stations with high-precision air and sea weapons, without specifying the weapons provided by Western countries through these stations. Kyiv did not react immediately. The ministry also said it had bombed 40 Ukrainian military targets, including 4 artillery munitions and weapons depots.

10:49 a.m. – Ukrainian hospitals are facing staff shortages

All over Ukraine, hospitals suffer from staff shortages and daily bombings. Several hundred institutions were destroyed and many doctors were injured or killed.

10:41 am – Germany seeks to prevent shortages of Russian gas

Instead of choosing which industrial companies should be cut off from the gas grid in the event of a shortage linked to disruption of supplies from Russia, the authorities are auctioning off gas consumption rights. But this solution is not without risks.

10:23 a.m. – EU has ‘duty’ to support Moldova, says Charles Michel

The European Union stands in full solidarity with your country, Moldova. European Council President Charles Michel said: “It is our European duty to help and support your country and to increase our support for your stability, security and territorial integrity.” He was speaking days after attacks in the breakaway region of Transdniestria in pro-Russian Moldova fueled fears of a spillover conflict in Ukraine.

Charles Michel also announced that the European Union would increase its military support to the country. “This year we plan to significantly increase our support to Moldova by delivering additional military equipment to its armed forces,” he said.

9:54 a.m. – Germany, or the difficulty of moving from economic leader to political leader

The chancellor’s reluctance to engage Ukraine against Russia drew criticism from his partners. But can he manage Angela Merkel’s alleged legacy and write the promised new page? His style is grumpy, but in fact, German society as a whole is struggling to rethink its foreign policy.

08:59 – Ursula von der Leyen proposes a total embargo on Russian oil

The President of the European Commission, on Wednesday, presented the sixth set of sanctions against Moscow. The embargo on Russian oil imports will be implemented in phases within six months. Refined product imports will end by the end of the year. The commission said Hungary and Slovakia, which are highly dependent on Russian oil, would benefit from the de-compliance and would be able to continue importing oil from Russia until the end of 2023.

Ursula von der Leyen also made clear that the commission wants to exclude other Russian banks from the Swift system, including Sberbank, the country’s largest institution. Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament that by striking “banks of fundamental systemic importance to the Russian financial system,” it would reinforce their “complete isolation” and reduce Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine. So far, seven Russian institutions have been denied access to Swift, a secure messaging platform that allows vital operations such as interbank money transfer orders.

7:40 a.m. – Moscow seeks to capture many major Donbass cities, London claims

In its latest daily report, the British Ministry of Defense estimates that Russia has deployed 22 tactical battalions near the town of Izyum in the Kharkiv region. « Bien qu’elle ait du mal à percer les défenses ukrainiennes et à créer une dynamique, la Russie a très probablement l’intention d’aller au-delà d’Izyoum pour capturer les villes de Kramatorsk et Severlique de lesk » Defense. He adds that the capture of these cities “will consolidate Russian military control over northeastern Donbass and provide a springboard for their efforts to isolate Ukrainian forces in the region.”

7:30 a.m. – Who are the Russians who are against the war?

Rebellious students, rebellious lawyers, daring elected officials, rude graffiti artists: Despite bans and legal threats, Russians are finding ways to voice their opposition to a “special military operation” in Ukraine, according to the Kremlin head’s official downplay.

But if the silent minority opposed to the “special military operation” in Ukraine, almost everywhere in Russia, finds deceptive means of expressing itself, many end up in court.

7:00 am – Belarus begins military exercises

On Wednesday, the Belarusian army conducted military exercises to test its combat readiness, the TASS news agency reported, citing the Belarusian Ministry of Defense. The ministry said the exercises did not pose any threat to its neighbors or the European community. Belarus shares a border of 891 km with Ukraine.

5:00 a.m. – Australia sanctioned more than a hundred elected officials from Russia and Donbass

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, in a press release published on Wednesday morning, announced new sanctions against 110 public and political figures. Among them are 75 elected members of the Russian State Duma, including its deputy, Alexander Zhukov, but also 20 ministers from the unilaterally proclaimed Donetsk Republic and 15 ministers of Lugansk.

1:30 am – Moscow boycotts a joint meeting of the United Nations and the European Union

A rare gesture. On Wednesday, Russia will boycott a UN Security Council meeting with the European Union’s Political and Security Committee. According to a Russian diplomatic source who spoke on condition of anonymity, Moscow’s decision is related to the situation in Ukraine.

This informal annual meeting between the Security Council and the Peace and Security Council has not taken place since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, it is supposed to make it possible to address the EU’s interactions with the United Nations in countries where the two organizations carry out operations, such as Bosnia, the Central African Republic or Mali. The Peace and Security Council is made up of ambassadors representing the 27 member states of the European Union. After New York, those ambassadors should head to Washington to meet with US officials, according to one diplomat.

0:30 a.m. – Russia fired about 20 missiles during the night

Overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, the Ukrainian Air Force Command said on its Facebook page that Russian forces fired more than 20 missiles at at least eight regions in Ukraine. Eight of these missiles were reportedly intercepted. Most of these missiles could have been launched from the Caspian Sea. According to Kyiv, the Ukrainian army continues to control the airspace and Moscow avoids using its planes and helicopters there.

In addition, still according to Kyiv, on Tuesday, Russian forces fired at six stations in central and western Ukraine. “There were no casualties among railway workers and passengers,” the authorities said. But about 50 trains were delayed.

>> The most important information of the night:

> 21 civilians killed in Donetsk region

Twenty-one civilians were killed and 27 wounded in the Donetsk region on Tuesday, the region’s governor, Pavlo Kirilenko, told Telegram, the biggest daily toll since the strike on Kramatorsk station that left 57 people dead. Of the 21 dead, 10 were in the raid on a factory in Avdiivka and five in Lyman, one of the hotspots on the front line.

> Mariupol: 156 civilians evacuated, according to Zelensky

In an online statement on Tuesday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 156 civilians had been evacuated. The Ukrainian head of state said they had reached Zaporizhia, a Ukrainian-controlled city 230 kilometers northwest of Mariupol.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verychuk said on Tuesday that a new eviction was scheduled for Wednesday “if the security situation allows”. But nothing says the conditions will be met after Russian forces announced Tuesday their offensive, launched after weeks of intense bombardment.

> US Congress should release more money ‘quickly’, Biden claims

The US President said from Troy (Alabama, South), where he was received at a factory belonging to the Lockheed Martin Group. “I am asking Congress to quickly vote on this funding,” Joe Biden said, asking US parliamentarians to extend a massive $33 billion budget.

> Bombing of several Ukrainian cities

Several Ukrainian cities have been targeted by Russian missile fire that notably destroyed three power plants in Lviv, according to the mayor of this large city in the west of the country, which is now partially without electricity. “Three power stations were damaged following a missile strike,” Mayor Andrej Sadovy said in Telegram messages, adding that pumping stations had cut off electricity due to the damage.

The local authorities also reported shelling in the Vinnytsia (central), Odessa (southwest) and Kirovograd (central) regions, without mentioning the damage.

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