The Russian offensive continues on Azovstal and in Donbass

On the 70th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Wednesday, May 4, the Russian army and pro-Russian separatists launched an attack on the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, where Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are holed up. Several Ukrainian towns were also targeted by rocket fire.

► Moscow has blocked the RFI website, which broadcasts information in fifteen languages ​​including Russian. An alternate URL that allows access to the site in French And in Russian. RFI in Russian is also available on Telegram: Via VPN and in Russia in French via satellite on Hotbird.

► The website of the Russian editorial board of the RFI broadcasts the Ukrainian Public Radio (in Ukrainian) from the home page.

points Necessities :

► On Tuesday, Russia launched the attack on The last enclave of Ukrainian resistance is in Mariupolindustrial complex Azovstal. During a two-hour telephone interview on Tuesday with Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron called his counterpart to Allow continued evacuations from the Azovstal plant. » More than 100 civilians managed to get out on SaturdayKyiv hopes that the evacuations will resume on Wednesday.

Sanctions imposed on Russia After its invasion of Ukraine it will not be lifted until Moscow is finished peace agreement With Ukraine, says German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, adding that Ukraine must decide the conditions for this agreement. Head of European Diplomacy, Joseph Borrelldeclare that a Sixth set of penalties It was in the process of preparing and targeting the banking and energy sectors.

► According to the latest UNHCR count, More than 3,000 civilians were killed In fighting and bombing since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Times are given in Universal Time (UT), click here for recovery

08:11: Hungary says it does not have no guarantee From the European Union on energy security

In an email to Reuters, Zoltan Kovacs, a spokesman for the Hungarian government, said he did not see how Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian oil, could manage the transition period proposed by the European Union CEO, who suggested that Budapest would continue to buy Russian crude until The end of 2023, not even six months from now like most other countries.

08:07: Moldova’s support is ” duty Says the President of the European Council

07:33 am: German exports fell 3.3% in March, exports to Russia fell 62%

07:24: Moscow says that the Israelis are fighting with the Azov regime

I will say something that Israeli politicians probably won’t want to hear, but maybe they will be interested. In Ukraine, Israeli mercenaries stand by the Azov fighters “,” [que la Russie qualifie de « nazi »]Russian diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Radio Sputnik.

6:55 am: Ursula von der Leyen proposes a phased European ban on Russian oil, with exceptions for Hungary and Slovakia.

We will phase out shipments of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year I explained to MEPs in Strasbourg. “It will be a complete ban on imports of all Russian oil, transported by sea or by pipeline, crude and refined … in an orderly manner, in a way that allows us to establish ‘other supply routes,'” she explained.

Russian oil accounts for about a quarter of the European Union’s oil imports

Hungary and Slovakia could continue to buy Russian oil until the end of 2023.

The President of the European Commission presents the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which will soon be submitted for adoption by 27 countries. Brussels also wants to exclude three new Russian banks from Swift, including Sberbank, Russia’s largest banking institution.

by hitting” Banks of fundamental systemic importance to the Russian financial system ‘This will enhance’ complete isolation It undermines Moscow’s ability to fund its war in Ukraine, she said.

6:31 am: Brussels proposes to punish the head of the Russian Orthodox Church

The European Commission has proposed sanctioning the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, as part of a sixth package of measures in response to the war in Ukraine, according to a document seen by AFP today.

The new list, which has yet to be approved by member states, includes 58 people under sanctions, including several Russian soldiers, as well as the wife, daughter and son of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

06:08 am: Norwegian energy giant Equinor reports huge first-quarter profit, driven by oil and gas prices

And the Norwegian public group, during the first three months of the year, made a net profit of $4.7 billion, despite the presence of an extraordinary fee of more than one billion linked to its withdrawal from Russia, according to its quarterly report. Revenue also more than doubled compared to the first quarter of last year, to nearly $36.4 billion.

With sanctions hitting Moscow and European efforts to spin off oil and gas, Norway, Europe’s second-largest supplier of hydrocarbons, has particularly benefited from strong demand, even if it has only been able to increase its production marginally. Equinor, which is 67% owned by the Norwegian state, has benefited mechanically from this, especially since the group, unlike other European giants such as BP, Shell or Total, is relatively few in Russia.

05:00: While Russian military efforts focus on Donbass and Mariupol in the south, Odessa also fears being a target, according to our special correspondent Anastasia Picchio.

Along with the Donbass battle in the east, the Russians are also trying to advance south: the sirens sounded several times in the evening and at night in Odessa. The city council is talking about three bullets that hit the infrastructure without causing injuries and one hit at Artsys, 115 kilometers southwest of the city.

The fear here is that the main port on the Black Sea will be among Moscow’s targets, especially since a Russian general has claimed that the attack is aimed at creating a passage from Russia to The breakaway region of Transnistria MoldaviaClose.

The Russian army notably bombed a bridge over the mouth of the Dniester River several times, which made the traffic from Romania and Moldova even more chaotic.

In the face of this threat, Moldova is closely monitoring the situation, according to our special correspondent in Chisinau, Juliette Gerbrandt. The small country fears that it will be the next target if Russia launches a major attack on southern Ukraine. Therefore, controls were doubled and the military forces mobilized in the unilaterally proclaimed state of Transnistria. Listen to this report.

04:58: Belarus has launched military exercises and asserts that they do not represent ” Threatens »

Today, the Belarusian army conducted military exercises to check its combat readiness, 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.

04:51: In Odessa, divisions and questioning of Russian speakers

In eastern and southern Ukraine, the main areas targeted by the Russian attack, the majority of the population are themselves Russian-speaking, a legacy of the country’s Soviet past. Today, more and more Ukrainians refuse to speak this language, which is perceived as the language of the enemy.

Listen to the testimony For a family from Odessa caught in the trap of this contradiction, compiled by our special correspondents Abla Al Junaidi And Orian Verder.

4:40 a.m.: The towns of Izium, Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk, north of the Donbas River, targeted. very likely By the Russian military, according to the UK

Russia has deployed 22 tactical battalions near the town of Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast in an attempt to advance along the northern Donbass axis, the British Ministry of Defense said on Twitter.

Despite Russia’s difficulties in penetrating Ukrainian defenses and building momentum, it most likely intends to bypass Izyum to capture the cities of Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk. The capture of these cities will allow Russia to consolidate its military control over the northeastern Donbass.

4:17 am: As the Russian offensive on eastern and southern Ukraine continues, in Odessa, the flow of displaced people does not stop.

A school in Odessa has been converted into an aid center to house the displaced. © Boris Fischith, RFI

Report in a school in the city center Turned into a help center with our special correspondents in Odessa, Anastasia Picchio and Boris Fisch.

04:00: Today it is scheduled to carry out a new evacuation of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol If the situation […] allow. »

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verychuk said yesterday that a new eviction is scheduled for today. If the security situation allows it. And nothing says that the conditions will be met after the Russian forces announced, yesterday, their offensive launched after weeks of intense bombardment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that a convoy of 156 people that left the Azovstal plant arrived yesterday in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia, 230 kilometers northwest of Mariupol.

Andrej Slavuki is the medical coordinator for Doctors Without Borders and has hosted some refugees.

Their journey was very complicated, we received 50 people in 4 buses, the rest who were in serious condition were taken to hospital that’s why in this reception center we didn’t see seriously injured people, but still among them were children, women, old people, weary people. We have tried to organize their care in the most efficient way. Ukrainian authorities ask their will, what will they do, many expressed their desire to go to western Ukraine, while others wanted to return to Kyiv for example, there are quite a few people who wanted to stay in Zaporizhia or Dnipro anyway, we will follow them with psychological and medical help .

Aleg Slavowski, Doctors Without Borders

03:00: Ukrainian cities targeted by missile strikes

Rocket shells significantly destroyed three power plants in Lviv last night, according to the mayor of this large city in the west of the country, partially deprived of electricity.

2:59 am: EU submits to member states draft Russian oil embargo

A number of European officials and diplomats told AFP that a draft ban on oil and petroleum products purchased from Russia was submitted yesterday night to the European Union member states, but this measure still raises reservations.


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