Saturday, May 28

The keys of the day: more than 1,000 civilians killed in Ukraine and a trio of summits in Brussels


the offensive ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 against Ukraine from the east, south and north of the country has fulfilled this Thursday a month. On this 29th day, all eyes are focused on the triple date of Western leaders in Brussels, while Ukraine claims to have sunk a large Russian ship in a coastal city on the Sea of ​​Azov and again accuses Moscow of forcibly taking hundreds of of people to Russia. The number of civilian deaths confirmed by the UN has exceeded 1,000.

The battles

The Ukrainian military has said it has sunk a large ship near the occupied Azov Sea port city of Berdiansk that had been used to supply armored vehicles to Russian forces.

The Ukrainian authorities have again accused Moscow of forcibly taking residents of Mariupol to Russian territory. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured that Russian forces have taken 6,000 people from Mariupol to ‘filtration camps’ to “use them as hostages and exert more political pressure” on Ukraine.

The City Council has also stated that a Russian vehicle is circulating in Mariupol and “announces that Zaporizhia no longer accepts refugees and that it is necessary to go to Russia, as well as that Odessa has already been taken”. And it has published new images that, according to what they indicate, show the current state of this besieged city and subjected to constant bombing in which the destruction and charred buildings can be seen.

Russia claims to have taken control of the city of Izium to the east, according to the country’s media, but an adviser to Ukraine’s chief commander has told CNN that the battle for Izium “is still going on”. Izium is located between Kharkov, the second largest city, and the pro-Russian separatist territories to the east.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said, without providing evidence, that Russia had used phosphorous bombs. He has not specified where in the country.

The Ukrainian parliament’s human rights commissioner, Liudmyla Denisova, has said that the war has partially or totally deprived residents of Mariupol, Mykolaiv, Kharkov, Makariv, Chernigov and others of access to drinking water.

In addition, Ukraine and Russia have exchanged a total of 50 military and civilian prisoners, according to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.




The Ukrainian armed forces have indicated that Russian aviation continues its actions with air strikes and that its main targets continue to be in the kyiv, Chernigov and Kharkov regions.

So far, Russia has made most of its gains in cities in the south and east, while its forces have remained more stagnant in the north and around kyiv.

The New York Times has published a special in which he analyzes dozens of transmissions between Russian soldiers on the battlefield that reveal that, from the first days, they encountered serious logistical problems and communication failures.

The British Defense Minister says in one of his latest intelligence updates that due to their “considerable” losses Russia is now likely to seek to “mobilize its reservists and conscripts, as well as private military companies and foreign mercenaries”, to replace them. “It is unclear how these groups will be integrated into Russian ground forces in Ukraine and what impact this will have on combat effectiveness.”

Britain said on Wednesday that Ukraine is increasing pressure on Russian forces northeast of kyiv and that along this axis the Russians already face considerable supply and morale problems.

Ukrainian forces are carrying out “successful” counter-attacks against Russian positions in cities on the outskirts of the capital, and “have probably retaken Makariv and Moschun”, the British ministry said. He also assured that there is “a realistic possibility that the Ukrainian forces can now surround the Russian units in Bucha and Irpin”. And that the “success” of Ukraine’s counterattacks is likely to “disrupt the ability of Russian forces to reorganize and resume their own offensive toward kyiv.”

The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes Russian forces continue to settle into a “protracted and stalemated” conflict. “More reports have surfaced of Russian troops digging in and laying mines, indicating they have gone on the defensive.” They agree that Ukrainian forces continued to carry out “limited and effective” counter-attacks on Wednesday to relieve pressure on kyiv, although they say the scope of these is probably less than some Ukrainian officials claim.

ISW experts also say that Russian progress in capturing the city of Mariupol remains slow. And they mention the increasing Russian emphasis on the use of aerial, artillery and rocket and missile bombardment of Ukrainian cities to counteract the pace of the offensive.

The runners

This Thursday, seven humanitarian corridors have been agreed in Ukraine so that civilians can leave affected areas in the kyiv and Zaporizhia regions, as well as for the evacuation of the residents of Mariúpol, for which the route from the city of Berdyansk continues to operate. – where thousands of people from the besieged city driving their own cars have arrived in recent days – to Zaporizhia.

1,077 people from besieged Mariupol have arrived from Berdyansk to Zaporizhia on Tuesday both by buses and their own means of transport, including 232 cars, according to the City Council.

Multiple attempts to launch a large-scale humanitarian operation to safely remove Mariupol residents have so far failed. Almost 50,000 people have managed to get out of there by driving their vehicles, and there are those who have also resorted to leaving on foot. But kyiv has consistently accused the Russians of preventing humanitarian aid convoys or evacuation buses from reaching the city, which is surrounded by Russian forces.

This Thursday, the Foreign Ministry has again accused the Russian armed forces of firing at evacuation caravans trying to leave Mariupol.

The victims

The total number of victims remains unclear and the actual figures are almost certainly higher than known. The latest data from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights puts the number of civilian victims at 2,685, including 1,035 dead – 90 of them minors – and 1,650 injured since February 24.

These statistics do not include the hundreds of victims reported by cities such as Mariupol, where local authorities say more than 2,300 people have been killed in the attacks.

Hundreds of thousands of people continue to flee in search of safety. Nearly 3.7 million people, mainly women and children, have fled to neighboring countries since the beginning of the invasion, According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). The vast majority, more than 2.1 million, have left through Poland, but also through other countries that share a border such as Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and Russia. Nearly 6.5 million people are displaced within Ukraine, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

More than half of the country’s children, 4.3 million, have had to leave their homes, either within the borders or seeking refuge in other countries, according to Unicef.

According to Zelensky, in a month of war, 4,379 houses have been destroyed.

In the estimates of military casualties there is a significant lack of information and the available ones fluctuate a lot. the ukrainian military assure that Russia has lost around 15,800 troops. Moscow has not updated its figures since March 2, when it reported 498 Russian soldiers killed and 1,600 wounded. President Volodymyr Zelensky said last week that 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed during the invasion.

In its calculation of Russian losses, Ukraine claims to have destroyed 530 tanks, 1,597 armored vehicles, more than 360 artillery and multiple launch missile (MLSR) systems, more than 230 planes and helicopters, as well as several ships and drones. , among others. Russia has said that more than 4,000 Ukrainian military infrastructure assets have been destroyed.

In Russia, since the beginning of the offensive, the authorities have arrested 15,094 people in protests against the war, as reported by OVD-infoan organization specializing in monitoring arrests and defending detainees.

The sanctions

Brussels on Thursday hosts an unprecedented trio of NATO, G7 and European Council summits in a single day.

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, and the rest of the members of the Atlantic Alliance have agreed to reinforce the eastern flank as well as intensify aid to Ukraine, without sending troops, “in areas such as cybersecurity and protection against threats of a chemical, biological and , radiological and nuclear. Andres Gil reports.

The other focus has been China, which has been summoned to “promote a peaceful solution” in Ukraine and to “refrain” from any action that helps Moscow to evade sanctions.

“NATO has never been more united,” Biden has said. “Putin is getting the exact opposite of what he thought he was going to get when he entered Ukraine.”

Zelensky has again turned to Western leaders for more weapons. “Ukraine does not have powerful anti-missile weapons and has a much smaller aircraft fleet than Russia.” And he has said: “After such a war against Russia, I ask you never, please, never again tell us that our Army does not meet NATO standards.”

Earlier, Zelensky had called on people around the world in a speech to take to the streets in a show of support for Ukraine to mark a month since the Russian invasion.

The leaders of the G7 countries and the European Union have agreed to try to limit Russia’s ability to draw on its international reserves, including gold, to evade international sanctions in order to prop up its economy and finance the war in Ukraine. .

The UK has announced new sanctions against a further 65 Russian individuals and organisations, including the Wagner Group of mercenaries.

Moscow’s new insulation sample. A total of 140 countries have voted this Thursday in the UN General Assembly on a resolution that demands from Russia “an immediate cessation of hostilities by Russia against Ukraine, and in particular any attack against civilians and civilian targets.”

On Wednesday, the United States formally said it believes members of the Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.



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