Zelensky in front of the G7, towards a new attack on Mariupol … The point this Sunday

Germany holds the G7 presidency this year (also Canada, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Japan). She noted that the third meeting since the beginning of the year will be devoted “specially to the situation in Ukraine”, without further details. US President Joe Biden had mentioned this meeting a few days ago, about possible additional sanctions against Russia. “We are always open to additional sanctions,” he said on Wednesday, adding that he would discuss with G7 members “what we will do and what we will not do.”

Deadline May 9

The G7 meeting will be held on the eve of the May 9 military parade in Russia, which marks the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in World War II. On Saturday, on Red Square in Moscow, the Russian army held the last exercises of the traditional military parade scheduled for today there, in the presence of soldiers who participated in the offensive in Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities warned several days ago of a possible intensification of Russian attacks as the commemoration approached.

“The enemy is trying to eliminate the defenders of Azovstal, it is trying to do it before May 9 to give (Russian President) Vladimir Putin a gift,” Oleksiy Aristovich, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, warned on Friday. “Our units in the area of ​​the Azovstal plant remain closed,” the Ukrainian General Staff noted in its morning bulletin on Sunday, referring to “Russian offensive operations” supported by artillery and tank fire. Azovstal Steelworks is home to the last defenders of Mariupol. Hundreds of civilians also found refuge in the sprawling underground galleries after the Russian invasion that began on February 24.

What about the fighters?

After numerous calls and futile attempts in recent weeks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky launched, on Saturday evening, in his daily message, quoting the number of 300 people who left Iraq. We are now preparing for the second stage […]: the wounded and the medical staff.” And “Of course, we are also working on evacuating our soldiers. All these heroes defended Mariupol, ”he continued, without giving any number. “It is very difficult. But they are very important.” Many soldiers are in serious condition. “They are wounded and have no medicine,” explains Yevgenia Titarenko, a military nurse, whose husband is still a doctor and a member of the Azov Regiment, and his colleagues at the plant. “Food and water are lacking,” she says. also”.

“I will fight to the end,” her husband Michalo wrote in a short message. They married two days before the Russian invasion. “The (Ukrainian President’s) order has been carried out: all women, children and elderly people have been evacuated from Azovstal. Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshuk announced earlier on Saturday that this part of the humanitarian mission in Mariupol has been completed. According to Kyiv, these operations have enabled what Nearly 500 people escaped in one week, under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Ukraine asked Doctors Without Borders on Saturday evening to organize a mission to evacuate and treat soldiers holed up in steel mills.

On Wednesday, Moscow declared a three-day unilateral ceasefire from Thursday morning to allow civilians in Azovstal to leave. But the Ukrainian authorities, in particular the Army General Staff, confirmed that the Russians attacked this factory again during this period. Mariupol, a port city in the southeast that had a population of nearly 500,000 before the war, was almost completely wiped off the map by two months of Russian bombing. Vladimir Putin, who believes he cannot “bear the loss” in Ukraine, is “convinced that redoubling his efforts will allow him to advance,” Bill Burns, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, estimated on Saturday. He stressed that there was no “concrete evidence” that Russia, which put its deterrent forces on high alert shortly after the start of its military intervention, “is preparing to deploy or even potentially use tactical nuclear weapons in this conflict.”

widespread bombing

The Ukrainian said that “the enemy has not stopped its offensive operations in the eastern area of ​​operations in order to fully control the territory of the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kherson regions, and to maintain the land corridor between these territories and occupied Crimea” since 2014. The General Staff on Sunday morning. He said that in the Donetsk region, Russian forces continued their offensive operations around Lyman, Babasnyansky, Severodonetsk and Avdiivka. And that the situation was “tense” on the part of Moldova. The authorities of the pro-Russian separatist region of Transdniestria in Moldova announced today, Saturday, that four explosions occurred the previous evening in a village on the border with Ukraine, without causing any injuries.

According to the General Staff, the armed groups of Transdniestria and the Russian forces in this region are “fully preparing for combat.” Fears that the conflict in Ukraine could spill over into Transdniestria have heightened in recent weeks after a Russian general revealed that one of Russia’s goals was to create a land corridor to the small region. District Governor Pavlo Kirilenko reported that strikes were reported on Saturday around Donetsk (east), in which four people were killed and nine others wounded.

Ukrainian counterattack

Between Friday and Saturday, the Russians had limited territorial gains around Severodonetsk, one of the main Donbass localities still in Ukrainian hands, but this should not lead to a complete encirclement, the American Institute for the Study of War noted Saturday. (ISW). Russia has so far been able to claim complete control of only one major city, Kherson. In Kharkiv, the Ukrainian counterattack to drive Ukraine’s second city out of enemy artillery has gained momentum, with several Russian positions captured, again according to ISW.

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