The Ukrainian government also wants to rescue the remaining soldiers at the Azov steel plant in Mariupol. Below is an overview of what happened during the night, and a view of the day.
Following the evacuation of about 260 Ukrainian soldiers from the Azov steelworks in Mariupol, the situation of the city’s remaining defenders in the huge industrial complex is still unclear. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj said Wednesday night that influential international mediators were involved in efforts to rescue them. Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, while Russian airstrikes take place in other regions.
The 260 soldiers who left the Azovstal plant on Tuesday night went into Russian captivity. Kiev hopes to be replaced by Russian prisoners of war at a later date, but the Russian military initially left such a step open. Moscow released a video pretending to show the Ukrainians being arrested, receiving medical treatment and evacuating the wounded. Just over 50 of the soldiers are said to be seriously wounded.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister of the Occupied Territory of Kherson
Russia is determined to bind the occupied Kherson region of southern Ukraine to itself. The region around the port city will have a “dignified place in our Russian family,” Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Marat Chusnullin said during a visit to Kherson on Tuesday. Russian state agency Ria Novosti quoted him as saying people would live and work together in the future.
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On May 1, Russia introduced the Russian ruble as the official currency of the region. A few days ago, the deputy head of the pro-Russian administration in Kherson, Kirill Stremoussov, presented a formal application for Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin to participate in the conversation. He justified the abandonment of a previously considered referendum on the grounds that such a referendum on the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, was not internationally recognized. The Ukrainian government, on the other hand, is convinced that a Russification of the Kherson region will fail.
According to authorities, seven civilians were killed on Tuesday in the Donetsk region, which was being fought by Russian and Ukrainian troops. Six others were injured, Ukrainian military governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told the Telegram news service. He accused Russian troops of killing the people. Zelenskyi listed rocket attacks and bombings in the regions of Lviv, Sumy, Chernihiv and Luhansk. The Russian military wants to compensate for the failures in the east and south.
Construction of the German gypsum manufacturer Knauf in Ukraine bombed
According to Ukrainian sources, a disused plaster factory belonging to the German company Knauf was bombed by the Russian Air Force in eastern Ukraine. “The airstrikes damaged business premises and a fire broke out,” Donetsk military governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote in the Telegram news service. No one was injured. Knauf shut down the plant shortly after the Russian invasion. The company confirmed Tuesday night that the plant in Soledor, Donbass, was hit by a rocket and set on fire.
The United States establishes an observatory for the war in Ukraine
In response to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the United States has launched a conflict observatory. The new conflict observatory is to ensure “that crimes committed by Russian troops are documented and that the perpetrators are held accountable,” a State Department spokesman said Tuesday (local time) in Washington. The program will, among other things, collect, analyze and publish information and evidence of “atrocities, human rights violations and damage to civilian infrastructure”. Reports will be published on the ConflictObservatory.org website in the future.
Selenskyj: Phone call with Scholz “quite productive”
After tensions in relations between Kiev and Berlin, Selenskyj described his phone call with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Tuesday as “quite productive”. Among other things, military support for Ukraine was discussed, Zelenskyy said in his daily video speech. He informed Scholz about the current military situation and its possible future development.
Selenskyj chose slightly different words to describe his conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron. That conversation was “substantial and long,” he said. Among other things, it was about the next round of European sanctions against Russia and Ukraine’s plans for rapid accession to the EU. According to the Élysée Palace, Macron promised that arms supplies from France would continue and intensify. He also confirmed that Ukraine’s accession to the EU would be discussed in June.
There were irritations in German-Ukrainian conditions in mid-April. The Ukrainian side rejected a visit to Kiev by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, whom they accused of once pursuing a pro-Russian policy as SPD foreign minister. Scholz initially did not want to go to Kiev. According to the governments, tensions were resolved with clarifying talks in early May.
It will be important on Wednesday
Sweden and Finland submit their applications for NATO membership together in Brussels. The Nordic countries are thus abandoning their long tradition of military freedom of alliance. The European Commission presents its strategy on how the EU can become independent of fossil fuels from Russia. The authority wants to set more ambitious goals for the development of renewable energy and energy savings. The first trial of a Russian soldier accused of war crimes is set to begin in Ukraine.