Wives of Mariupol defenders call for evacuation of soldiers
Two Ukrainian women whose husbands are defending a besieged steel plant in the southern city of Mariupol are calling for any evacuation of civilians to also include soldiers, saying they fear troops will be tortured and killed if Russian forces leave them behind and capture them.
“Soldiers’ lives also matter. We can’t just talk about civilians,” said Yuliia Fedusiuk, 29, the wife of Arseniy Fedusiuk, a member of the Azov Regiment in Mariupol.
She and Kateryna Prokopenko, whose husband, Denys Prokopenko, is the Azov commander, appealed in Rome on Friday asking for international help to evacuate the Azovstal plant, the last bastion of the Ukrainian resistance in the strategic and now bombed-out port city.
An estimated 2,000 Ukrainian defenders and 1,000 civilians are holed up in the plant’s vast underground network of bunkers, which can withstand air strikes. But conditions there have become more dire, with food, water and medicine in short supply, after Russian forces dropped “bunker busters” and other munitions in recent days.
The United Nations has said that Secretary-General António Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to organize evacuations from the plant during a meeting this week in Moscow, with the participation of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. But the discussions, as reported by the UN, concerned civilians, not combatants.
— Associated Press
More than a dozen US military security assistance flights to Ukraine are ready to arrive
A C-130 Hercules takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, May 11, 2016, during jump week.
Yasuo Osakabe | US Air Force photo
More than a dozen US military cargo flights carrying security assistance for Ukraine are expected to arrive in the region on Saturday.
A senior US defense official said Phoenix’s additional ghost drones, radars and artillery rounds were some of the types of military aid on the flights.
The official who spoke on condition of anonymity, a basic rule set by the Pentagon, said the US military cargo flights that arrived on Friday were carrying equipment including small-caliber rounds, 122mm rockets, helmets and bulletproof vests.
From heavy artillery to tactical drones and armored vehicles, the US has provided $3.4 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion two months ago.
Read more about the weapons the US has committed to the fight so far.
— Amanda Macias
Russian Foreign Minister claims 1 million people evacuated from Ukraine
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a news conference after his meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow, Russia, April 26, 2022.
Maxim Shipenkov | Reuters
Russia’s foreign minister says Moscow has evacuated more than 1 million people from Ukraine since the war there began.
Saturday’s comments by Sergey Lavrov in an interview with the Chinese state news agency Xinhua come as Ukraine accused Moscow of forcibly expelling Ukrainians from the country. Lavrov said that figure included more than 300 Chinese civilians.
Lavrov offered no evidence to support his claim in the interview.
Lavrov also said that negotiations continue between Russia and Ukraine “almost every day.” However, he cautioned that “progress has not been easy.”
Lavrov partly blamed “bellicose rhetoric and incendiary actions by Western supporters of the kyiv regime” for disrupting the talks. However, Russian state television has had guests suggesting that Moscow use nuclear weapons in the conflict.
— Associated Press
Lavrov affirms that the West will fight until “the last Ukrainian”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made another series of claims in an interview with the Chinese state media agency Xinhua, posted saturday morning.
Lavrov claimed that NATO was interfering with a political settlement in Ukraine and that the West intended to fight to “the last Ukrainian,” according to an NBC News translation.
He also stated that the Ukraine conflict “contributes to the process of liberating the world from the neo-colonial oppression of the West.”
‘We will not give up’: UN chief tells Ukrainians
The United Nations will not give up, but “will redouble its efforts to save lives and reduce human suffering,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. in a Twitter post on Friday.
The UN chief said he was “moved by the resilience and courage of the people of Ukraine. My message to them is simple: we will not give up.”
“In this war, as in all wars, civilians always pay the highest price,” he said.
“I was moved by the resilience and courage of the people of Ukraine. My message to them is simple: We will not give up,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted after returning from a visit to Ukraine earlier this week, where he visited the kyiv suburbs of Borodianka, Bucha and Irpin.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | fake images
Guterres has just returned from the war-torn country, where he visited the kyiv suburbs of Borodianka, Bucha and Irpin nine weeks after Russia began its illegal and unprovoked war.
“When we see this horrendous site, it makes me feel how important it is [to have] thorough investigation and accountability,” he said on Thursday, when he was in Bucha, where horrifying photos of mass graves and executed civilians scattered through the streets unleashed worldwide outrage.
“War is absurd in the 21st century. War is bad,” he said during his visit to Ukraine, where he also met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
— Jane Tan
Russia has been forced to merge ‘exhausted and disparate’ forces in Ukraine, UK says
Russia faces “considerable challenges” in its war against Ukraine, including deficiencies in its tactical coordination and weakened morale, the UK Ministry of Defense said. In this photo taken in April 2022, volunteers are seen clearing rubble from a building in kyiv hit by a Russian missile attack.
Soup Images | Light Rocket | fake images
Russia continues to face “considerable challenges” in its war against Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense said.
“It has been forced to amalgamate and redeploy disparate and depleted units from failed advances in northeastern Ukraine. Many of these units are likely to suffer from weakened morale,” the official said. Ministry said on Twitter.
“Deficiencies in Russian tactical coordination remain. Lack of unit-level skills and inconsistent air support have left Russia unable to fully exploit its combat mass, despite localized improvements,” the latest British intelligence report said.
In an attempt to fix problems that have limited its progress, Moscow is trying to geographically concentrate combat power, shorten its supply lines and simplify command and control, according to the report.
— Jane Tan
US and Canadian troops are training Ukrainian soldiers in Europe, Pentagon says
Canada has provided heavy artillery to Ukrainian forces, including M-777 howitzers similar to this one.
Lennart Preiss | fake images
US troops in Germany have begun training Ukrainian soldiers in the use of heavy weapons to defend their country against Russian attacks, the Pentagon said on Friday.
“These efforts build on the initial artillery training that Ukraine’s forces have already received elsewhere and also include training in radar systems and armored vehicles that have recently been announced as part of security assistance packages.” Press Secretary John F. Kirby said.
This week, President Joe Biden called on Congress to authorize up to $33 billion in humanitarian and military aid to kyiv in its fight against attacks from Moscow.
Canada has provided heavy artillery to the Ukrainian forces, including M-777 howitzers and anti-armor ammunition, the The Canadian government said last week.
Canadian service members are training Ukrainians on the M-777 howitzer in Europe, Kirby added, citing Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand.
— Jane Tan
Russia says it is not at war with NATO and blames the alliance for the war in Ukraine
The Russian foreign minister says that Moscow does not consider itself at war with NATO.
in a interview with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya TV channelSergei Lavrov said: “Unfortunately, NATO, it seems, considers itself at war with Russia.”
“The leaders of NATO and the European Union, many of them in England, the United States, Poland, France, Germany and, of course, the European Union’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, say bluntly, publicly and consistently: ‘Putin must fail, Russia must be defeated,'” he told the network.
“When you use this terminology,” he said, “I think you think you’re at war with the person you want to defeat.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow is not at war with NATO, but NATO sees itself at war with the Kremlin.
Dimitar Dilkoff | Afp | fake images
Lavrov, who has been sanctioned by the US, UK and Europe for its role in the war, said his country’s “special operation” in Ukraine is “a response to what NATO was doing in Ukraine to prepare this country for a very aggressive posture against the Russian Federation.”
He told Al-Arabiya that Ukraine received weapons that can reach Russian territory and that military bases were being built, including in the Sea of Azov, where the battle for the besieged port city of Mariupol continues.
Russian forces have largely destroyed the city of Mariupol, although Moscow falsely claims that it does not attack civilian areas.
Lavrov stated that many military exercises held on Ukrainian territory “were carried out under the auspices of NATO, and most of these exercises were designed against the [interests] of the Russian Federation, so the purpose of this operation is to make sure those plans don’t come to fruition.
— Jane Tan
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