What is the situation on the 71st day of the war in Ukraine?

Fighting continues to rage in several regions of Ukraine, just days before Russia celebrates May 9, a symbolic date for Moscow.

On the 71st day of the war in Ukraine, Russian troops continued their offensive in the east, while hitting numerous targets in the west, from Lviv to the hitherto uncontaminated mountainous region of Transcarpathia, not far from the Hungarian border.

Unsuccessful Russian attacks were seen in Novosilka and Urihiv in the east of the country, while Ukrainians bombed enemy supply lines. The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said a Russian convoy was destroyed on Wednesday. Western Ukraine, which has survived for a long time, has once again become the target of Russian strikes that want to disrupt Western supplies to support Kyiv.

The situation remained so chaotic Thursday at steel plants in Azovstal, the last enclave of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, that Kyiv says fighting continues while Moscow ensures humanitarian corridors allow the evacuation of civilians.

• Imbroglio about Azovstal

Faced with this catastrophic situation, the United Nations announced the dispatch of a new convoy to evacuate civilians from the plant, although the Ukrainians accused Moscow of not fulfilling its promise of a truce there.

However, information regarding the status of the region is incomplete and contradictory. Russian President Vladimir Putin said, Thursday evening, that “the Russian army is always ready to ensure the evacuation of civilians” from Azovstal, who may be another 200 people trapped with Ukrainian fighters in this complex.

But the deputy commander of the Azov regiment defending these facilities, Svyatoslav Balamar, confirmed in a video that “bloody battles” were taking place at the site itself and that the Russians “did not fulfill their promise” to the armistice.

• France will continue its assistance to Ukraine

As Gabriel Attal announced the day before, France will increase its total aid to Ukraine to $2 billion from $1.7 billion so far, an additional $300 million.

The announcement was made by Emmanuel Macron himself in a video broadcast during the international donors’ conference. The Elysee said that this new contribution, however, was not related to the military component.

The French president announced that “800 tons of humanitarian and medical goods have already been delivered to Ukraine and the countries of the region,” stressing that “it is our collective duty to provide immediate aid and massive economic support to Ukraine (… ) France welcomes this unprecedented outpouring of solidarity that has united us since the beginning of the year. conflict.” In total, more than six billion euros allocated to Ukraine were collected during this conference.

• Putin apologized to Israel

Vladimir Putin has personally apologized to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for statements made by chief diplomat Sergei Lavrov, who claimed that Adolf Hitler had “Jewish blood,” according to a statement issued by the Israeli leader’s office.

“The prime minister accepted President Putin’s apology for Lavrov’s comments and thanked him for clarifying his position on the Jewish people and the memory of the Holocaust,” Naftali Bennett’s office said.

And in a statement released by the Kremlin Thursday, there was no mention of an apology from the Russian president. However, it was clarified that the two leaders discussed the “historical memory” of the Holocaust during a phone call.

• Zelensky invited the Germans to Kyiv

Ukraine’s President invited German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to the Ukrainian capital, after three weeks of ignoring the latter when he wanted to go there, we learned Thursday from the German presidency.

The same source said that the Ukrainian president and the head of the Social Democratic state had a “very good and very important” phone conversation on Thursday that helped “dispel anger” over Kyiv’s refusal to receive German leaders in mid-April.

“They both agreed to stay in close contact,” she added. The head of state, who wanted to go to Kyiv in mid-April with his Polish and Baltic counterparts, had to surrender at the last moment.

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