As Ukraine enters its 97th day of war, this Tuesday, May 31, 2022, European leaders have approved a sixth sanctions package against Russia, which includes a ban on most Russian oil imports.
On the ground, Russian forces continue to advance into eastern Ukraine, with fighting in the heart of the main city of Severodonetsk during the day.
The point is on Monday, May 30th.
The Russians are advancing in the east
Russian forces have been trying to besiege and control Severodonetsk for several weeks, in an attack that intensified in recent days, and President Zelensky admitted that the Ukrainian army is facing difficulties.
The Russians are advancing towards the center of Severodonetsk. The fighting continues and the situation is very difficult.”on the telegram of the governor of the Luhansk region, Sergei Gaïdaï.
He added that the road from Severodonetsk to Lysytchansk and then to Bakhmout to the south was also “dangerous” To allow the evacuation of civilians and the transfer of humanitarian aid.
According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russia is preparing to attack Ukraine from three directions, reports Kyiv Independent. Russian soldiers are already regrouping to seek an offensive in the Donetsk region near the town of Lyman. An attack is also expected in the Kharkiv province, near the city of Izyum, and in the Sumy region, northeast of Kharkiv.
The Russian foreign minister said earlier that the expulsion of the Ukrainian army from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions is a priority for Moscow. However, according to the Institute of War, the increasing losses among Russian junior officers will further deteriorate the capabilities and morale of the troops.
However, Ukrainian forces claimed to have regained territory in the south, particularly in the area around Kherson, a city near Crimea that came under Russian control in early March. “The enemy left the village of Mykolaivka in the north of the Kherson region”according to a Ukrainian army bulletin published at night from Monday to Tuesday, evoking departure in “panic” Russian soldiers “Frustrating”.
Sixth package of EU sanctions, including the Russian oil embargo
The leaders of the 27 member states of the European Union reached, on Monday evening, an agreement on a new package of sanctions against Russia that would make it possible, in particular, to reduce their imports of Russian oil by about 90% by the end of the year, in order to reduce the halt in financing Moscow war in Ukraine.
Heads of state and government, meeting at a summit in Brussels, agreed to gradually impose a ban on oil transported by ship, that is, two-thirds of European purchases of Russian oil. A temporary exemption was provided for oil transported through pipelines, in order to lift the Budapest veto.
After Berlin and Warsaw pledged to stop their imports through the Druzhba pipeline, 90% of Russian oil exports to the European Union will be stopped by the end of the year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron have confirmed.
After that, it will be discussed extending the ban to include pipeline deliveries. ” As soon as possible “.
Under negotiation for a month, the sixth package of sanctions also provides for the extension of the EU blacklist to include about sixty personalities, including the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, as well as the exclusion of three Russian banks in Swift International. The financial system, including Sberbank, is the main institution of the country.
The leaders also agreed to give 9 billion euros to the Ukrainian government to cover its immediate cash needs to run its economy.
Investigation launched after French journalist’s death
The National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat) on Monday announced the opening of a war crimes investigation after the death of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, a BFMTV journalist who was killed in eastern Ukraine while escorting civilians on a humanitarian bus near Severodonetsk.
The investigation into flagrante delicto entrusted to the Central Office for Combating Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide and War Crimes (OCLCH) also includes: Injuries to teammate Maxime Brandstetterpresent with him during the report, identified for girls.
“An investigation is open on charges relating to intentional assault on the life of a person protected by international law of armed conflict, intentional attacks against persons not directly participating in conflicts, and intentional attacks against persons and vehicles used in the context of humanitarian action. The mission of assistance “in detail the anti-terror trial.
Frédéric Leclerc-Imhof, 32, was fatally struck ‘Fragments in the aftermath of a humanitarian operation’clearer BFM TVshortly after the death of journalist Emmanuel Macron was announced on Twitter.
According to Zelensky, 22 million tons of grain have been banned in Ukraine
During his Monday night address, during which he sent his condolences to the family of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhof, Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Russian blockade of Ukrainian seaports prevents Kyiv from exporting 22 million tons of grain.
The Ukrainian president fears a famine in grain-dependent countries, which could lead to a new migration crisis. This is clearly something Russian leaders are looking for.”According to Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Ukrainian president accuses Moscow of “Deliberately creating this problem so that all of Europe struggles and that Ukraine does not make billions of dollars from its exports.”
He is qualified as “pessimists” Russia’s claims that sanctions do not allow it to export more of its food are belied.
Erdogan offers to host talks
After speaking on the phone with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered to host talks between Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations in Turkey again.
Turkish President Zelensky told that Ankara was doing its best to continue negotiations between Moscow and Kiev and was ready to provide more support, including through mediation.
Turkish President Vladimir Putin assured that “The need to take measures to minimize the negative effects of the war” Restoration of peace between Russia and Ukraine ” As soon as possible “.
The Russian and Ukrainian delegations last met in Istanbul on March 29.
In Georgia, the draft referendum on integration with Russia was abandoned
The new authorities in Georgia’s pro-Russian separatist region of South Ossetia announced on Monday that they are abandoning the organization of a referendum on its integration into Russia.
in decree, ” president “ Alan Jaglyph’s plea ‘Uncertainty regarding legal consequences’ Of these consultations, decided by his predecessor, Anatoly Bibilov, which was scheduled for July 17.
Georgia, where the Russian offensive against Ukraine triggered a wave of solidarity, considers the prospect of South Ossetia joining Russia unacceptable.
In August 2008, Russia attacked Georgia whose government was fighting pro-Russian militias in that region after they bombed Georgian villages.