May 18, 2022

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Ukraine: New US military aid, 50 civilians evacuated to Mariupol

On Friday, Washington announced new military aid to Ukraine, where no Russian offensive was known, and according to kyiv, fifty civilians were evacuated from Mariupol.

The UN has called for a declaration of peace in the country, which enters its 72nd day of war on Saturday. This is despite the fact that the Security Council unanimously approved it on Friday.

The United States on Friday announced $ 150 million in new military aid to Ukraine for its part, especially for artillery and radar, but warned that funding for weapons for kyiv was now “almost exhausted”.

The aid includes more anti-battery radars that detect 25,000 155 mm shells, Russian artillery and communications congestion equipment, than previous exports of U.S. weapons.

“Congress must quickly release the envelope needed to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and at the negotiating table,” President Joe Biden said in a statement on the $ 33 billion budget extension requested by the US Congress.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the United Nations Security Council – Russia’s permanent member, vetoed power – has expressed its first solidarity – with its “strong support” for “seeking a peaceful solution.” In that country.

The Declaration, drawn up by Norway and Mexico, reminds the Council that “under the Charter of the United Nations, all member states have a duty to resolve their international conflicts in a peaceful manner.”

– “Strong Support” –

Expressing “deep concern about maintaining peace and security in Ukraine”, the main body of the United Nations offers “firm support” to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the quest for peace. The solution to this conflict “

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However, ground fighting continues. On Friday evening, two rocket attacks hit the main Ukrainian port of Odessa in the Black Sea, but no casualties were reported, according to the Southern Command of Ukrainian Forces.

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“Please do not ignore the aerial warnings and go to the shelters immediately. The risk of bombing is high in all parts of Ukraine,” Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko warned on Friday. The capital of Ukraine.

Fifty more civilians were able to evacuate Friday in the port city of Mariupol, which had been besieged by Russian troops for weeks, with a new humanitarian convoy, the massive Azovstel Steelworks, the last pocket of resistance from Ukrainian forces in Mariupol. Minister Irina Vareshchuk and the Russian Ministry of Defense.

They said the evacuations of women, children and the elderly would continue on Saturday, Moscow later confirmed. The Russian Defense Ministry said eleven children had been expelled.

The operation, which is being overseen by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), began last weekend and, according to kyiv, allowed nearly 500 civilians to leave.

– “Already extinct” –

In Mariupol, “as many people as possible are being evicted,” shouted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky during a video conference intervention organized by the Saddam House think tank in London.

“You have to understand that Mariupol will never fall (…), it has already been destroyed, there is no system anymore, everything has been completely destroyed,” he said.

“The enemy is trying to finish off Azovstalin’s defenders. He is trying to do this before May 9 to present a gift to Vladimir Putin.” Said Oleksi Arrestovich, Zhelensky’s adviser.

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The Ukrainian president has repeatedly warned that Kiev will be forced to suspend any peace talks if Russian forces try to “destroy” Mariupol’s last fighters or civilians.

The Azov Regiment, which protects the steelworks, has accused the Russian military of killing one soldier and wounding six others by targeting one of its cars, which was engaged in an evacuation of civilians by an “anti-tank guided missile”.

In the morning, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirmed that Russian units had “resumed operations in some areas with the support of the Air Force to seize control of the factory”, where civilians live in the vast underground galleries. And fighters.

The complete capture of the southeastern city of Mariupol, which had a population of about 500,000 before the war, and the devastation caused by the two-month Russian siege and bombing, will be crucial for Russia as May 9 approaches.

Moscow has so far only been able to gain complete control of a large city called Gershon.

It is located in the south, where senior Russian parliamentary official Andrei Durtsock began, Russia will be “forever”.

– “almost surrounded” –

In the east, one of the main cities of Donbass, Severdonetsk, is still in Ukrainian hands, “almost surrounded”, recognized as its mayor on Friday.

“Every day, every day, morning, afternoon and evening bombings. Not a day goes by without a bomb, not a day goes by, ”Olga Babitch told the AFP after leaving her village and reaching Zaporizhia in southern Ukraine.

Several diplomatic sources told the AFP that Hungary was diligent on Friday in blocking a European embargo on Russia’s oil imports, in the face of Western sanctions, and that tough talks were underway this weekend to find an agreement between the 27 EU member states.

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In addition, Germany, which delivers seven armored howitzers to Ukrainians, announced that the leaders of the G7 superpowers will hold a virtual meeting on Sunday dedicated to the war in Ukraine, in which President Zhelensky will take part.

This is because its effects are beginning to be felt in other parts of the world.

Africa faces an “unprecedented” crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including rising food and fuel prices, UN Development Program (UNDP) officials warned on Friday.

burx / ob / elm