UN humanitarians help first evacuees from Mariupol steel works
Ukraine took down Russia’s flagship Moskva in the Black Sea with the help of US intelligence inputs which confirmed its identification and location, according to reports.
However, US officials have denied involvement and claimed that Washington had no advance warning that Ukraine was going to target the Moskva.
Pentagon officials have said that a majority of Russian forces have left Mariupol even as intense fighting in the port city remains underway.
And, the British defence ministry has said that Russia’s renewed effort to secure Azovstal and complete the capture of Mariupol is likely linked to the upcoming 9 May Victory Day commemorations and “Putin’s desire to have a symbolic success in Ukraine”.
A third operation has been launched by the United Nations and Red Cross to rescue civilians from the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol and the Azovstal steel plant, where scores of people remain trapped, many of them sick or wounded.
Amnesty says evidence shows Russian troops committed war crimes near Kyiv
Amnesty International said on Friday there was compelling evidence that Russian troops had committed war crimes, including extrajudicial executions of civilians, when they occupied an area outside Ukraine’s capital in February and March.
Civilians also suffered abuses such as “reckless shootings and torture” at the hands of Russian forces during their failed onslaught on Kyiv in the early stages of the invasion launched by the Kremlin on Feb. 24, the rights group said in a report.
“These are not isolated incidents. These are very much part of a pattern wherever Russian forces were in control of a town or a village,” Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser, told a news conference in Kyiv.
Matt Mathers6 May 2022 11:35
US intelligence ‘helped Ukraine locate and sink’ Russian flagship in Black sea
The sinking of the Moskva, flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet on 14 April, was considered a major victory for Ukraine as it sought to stave off the military might of Russia. Two cruise missiles sunk the vessel in an embarrassing blow to Moscow.
My colleague Andrew Buncombe reports:
Matt Mathers6 May 2022 11:15
Nearly 25 million tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine: UN food agency
A UN food agency official said on Friday that nearly 25 million tonnes of grains was stuck in Ukraine and unable to leave the country due to infrastructure challenges and blocked ports in the Black Sea.
“It’s an almost grotesque situation we see at the moment in Ukraine with nearly 25 mln tonnes of grain that could be exported but that cannot leave the country simply because of lack of infrastructure, the blockade of the ports,” Josef Schmidhuber, FAO deputy director, markets and trade division told a Geneva press briefing.
Matt Mathers6 May 2022 11:00
Russia ‘stealing grain’ in Ukraine ‘threatens new famine and deepening food crisis’
Ukraine has accused the Kremlin of “food terrorism” after Vladimir Putin’s troops stole tonnes of grain from Russian-controlled areas.
Kyiv said Russian soldiers are targeting farmers’ harvests in the south and the eastern region of Donbas, where fierce fighting continues.
Government officials said around 400,000 tonnes of grain had been looted from occupied Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
They have also been targetting farm equipment including tractors and harvesters, hitting food storage sites with artillery.
“Chechen soldiers, fighting for Russia, act like criminals in the 1990s,” Ivan Fedorov, mayor of Melitopol, an occupied city in the Zaporizhzhia region, told CNN.
“First they offer to buy grain for a ridiculously low price,” he added. “But if you don’t agree, they take everything from you for nothing.”
Matt Mathers6 May 2022 10:35
Germany to send seven self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine
Germany will deliver seven self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine, on top of five such artillery systems the Dutch government already pledged, German defence minister Christine Lambrecht said on Friday.
Germany reversed its long-held policy of not sending heavy weapons to war zones last week following pressure at home and abroad for it to help Ukraine fend off Russian attacks.
The heavy weapons will come out of the Bundeswehr inventories and be delivered as soon as they emerge from maintenance over the next weeks, Lambrecht and her chief of defence, general Eberhard Zorn, told reporters in the Slovak town of Sliac.
Matt Mathers6 May 2022 10:15
EU offers concessions to Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic on oil embargo – sources
The European Commission has amended a proposal for an embargo on Russian oil to extend the period before it takes effect for Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, two sources told Reuters on Friday.
Under the tweaked proposal, Hungary and Slovakia will continue to be able to buy Russian oil from pipelines until the end of 2024, whereas the Czech Republic could continue until June 2024, provided that it does not get oil via a pipeline from southern Europe earlier, the sources said.
Matt Mathers6 May 2022 09:50
New operation to evacuate Mariupol civilians has begun, says Ukraine
Ukraine said a new attempt was under way on Friday to evacuate scores of civilians trapped in a heavily bombed steel works in the city of Mariupol, after bloody fighting with Russian forces thwarted efforts to bring them to safety the previous day.
Mariupol, a strategic southern port on the Azov Sea, has endured the most destructive siege of the 10-week-old war and the sprawling Soviet-era Azovstal steel plant is the last part of the city still in the hands of holdout Ukrainian fighters.
UN-brokered evacuations of some of the hundreds of civilians who had taken shelter in the plant’s network of tunnels and bunkers began at the weekend, but were halted in recent days by renewed fighting.
“The next stage of rescuing our people from Azovstal is under way at the moment. Information about the results will be provided later,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential staff. He gave no more details.
Matt Mathers6 May 2022 09:35
Russia says it destroyed large ammunition depot in east Ukraine
Russia’s defence ministry said on Friday that its missiles destroyed a large ammunition depot in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk.
It also said its air defences shot down two Ukrainian warplanes, an Su-25 and a MiG-29, in the eastern Luhansk region.
It was not possible to independently verify the claims.
Matt Mathers6 May 2022 09:20
US and Germany agree to not acknowledge Russian territorial gains #ICYMI
German chancellor Olaf Scholz and US president Joe Biden agreed in a call today they would not recognize any Russian territorial gains in Ukraine, a German government spokesperson said in a statement.
The two leaders also denounced “recent comments of the Russian leadership seeking to discredit the democratically legitimised Ukrainian leadership,” the spokesperson said.
“They agreed that Ukraine needed to be further substantially and continuously supported in the practice of its legitimate right to self defence,” they added.
Russia has taken hold of much of Ukraine’s southern coast. A Russian general said last week that Moscow’s aim was to take territory all along the south to link Russia by land with Crimea and the Moldovan breakaway region of Transnistria.
Liam James6 May 2022 09:04
Azovstal hold-outs refused to surrender, says wife of Ukrainian fighter
Ukrainian fighters battling Russian forces in the tunnels beneath Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant refused to surrender in the face of relentless attacks, with the wife of one commander saying they had vowed to “stand till the end.”
“They won’t surrender,” Kateryna Prokopenko said after speaking by phone to her husband, a leader of the steel plant defenders. “They only hope for a miracle.”
She said her husband, Azov Regiment commander Denys Prokopenko, told her he would love her forever.
“I am going mad from this. It seemed like words of goodbye,” she said.
Russia agreed to a ceasefire in Mariupol for set periods from Thursday to Friday but its troops have been accused of not observing it. The British Ministry of Defence said Russian troops were still attacking the plant yesterday.
It would not be the first time in this war that Russia has agreed to a ceasefire only to carry on fighting.
Liam James6 May 2022 08:45
Kaynak : https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-ukraine-war-latest-putin-b2072761.html