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War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 67-68 [10.00 am, 1-2.05.2022 πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅πŸ‡³πŸ‡±πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¨πŸ‡³πŸ‡¨πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡­πŸ‡·πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡±πŸ‡»Χ™Χ™Χ“Χ™Χ©]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana ZaviyskaΒ 

Photo: Telegram/ Ukrainian Armed Forces

Azovstal.

The first official evacuation corridor from Azovstal took place over the weekend as the ceasefire lasted for nearly two days. On Saturday, about 20 civilians were evacuated from the rubble at the Azovstal plant. On Sunday, Zelenskyi confirmed the evacuation of 100 civilians, mostly women and children, from besieged Mariupol to Ukraine-controlled territory. About 20 more children still remain at Azovstal. The United Nations and the International Committee of Red Cross facilitated the evacuation of the civilians who were further transferred to Zaporizhzhia. No wounded soldiers were allowed to join the evacuation. Once the partial evacuation was completed, the shelling resumed once again. Further evacuation of civilians from Mariupol is expected to continue on Monday.Β 

Cities under attack.

As a result of the rocket attack, the runway of Odesa airport was damaged. During the weekend, the shelling of Kharkiv continued from artillery as well as multiple launch rocket systems. At least three residents of the Kharkiv region were killed during shelling, 8 more were wounded. On May 2, Russia’s missile strike hit a grain elevator in Synelnykove district, Dnipropetrovsk region, destroying a grain storage facility. In the Zaporizhzhia region, Russian troops fired on high-rise buildings in Orikhove, killing two people and injuring four. On May 1, four civilians were killed by Russian shelling in Lyman, the Donetsk region. Eleven others were injured: seven in Lyman, three in Volodymyrivka and one in Yarova. It is currently impossible to determine the exact number of victims in Mariupol and Volnovakha. Since February 24, 2022, 290 civilians have been killed and 903 have been wounded in the territory of the Donetsk region controlled by Ukraine, except for Volnovakha and Mariupol. On May 1, in the Mykolaiv region, an agricultural warehouse with 600 kg of fertilizers exploded and caught fire as a result of Russian shelling. Cluster munitions were used on the Mykolaiv suburbs. Russian troops continue attacking the Ukrainian border in the Chernihiv region. Russian troops fired mortar shells at the Ukrainian checkpoint in Senkivka in the evening of April 30.

Cities under occupation.

In the Kherson region, mobile communication and the Internet of all operators have disappeared. Kherson, Kakhovka district, Novotroitsk and Chaplin communities and partly Zaporizhzhya region remained without connection. Mobile operators report it’s not a technical problem on their side which means a purposeful cut of the communication channels via Ukrainian mobile operators.Β 

Due to the temporary occupation, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine has announced the temporary closure of the seaports of Berdyansk, Mariupol, Skadovsk and Kherson until the liberation of these territories from the Russian occupation.

The occupied parts of Mariupol and the neighborhoods are populated by the unknown people. Mariupol authorities and citizens report that the houses of Mariupol residents were expropriated by Russian authorities. A resident of the Mariupol village of Stary Krym reported that strangers live in her house. Moreover, the so-called village council, which operates under the β€˜Donetsk People’s Republic’ flag, gave them permission to do so.

Ukraine’s military claimed it regained control of four villages in the Kharkiv region on Saturday, asserting that Russian troops were β€˜not succeeding’ in plans to quickly take control of vast swaths of territory in the east.

Foreign policy.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced visit to Kyiv with Democratic lawmakers, meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi in the first official congressional delegation to Ukraine since the Russian invasion. In the statement, Speaker Pelosi announced the further unprecedented β€œsecurity, economic and humanitarian assistance from the United States to address the devastating human toll taken on the Ukrainian people by Putin’s diabolic invasion”.Β 

Jakub Kumoch, Polish Secretary of State, Head of the International Policy Bureau, became the first among the potential guarantor states to publicly declare that it would not participate in such a peace agreement, which would require for the surrender of part of the territory of Ukraine.

Friedrich Merz, the leader of Germany’s main opposition party, will visit Kyiv on Monday.

South Korean Ambassador Kim Hyun Te returned to Kyiv with some of the agency’s staff. He is starting work today and is already considering the gradual return of employees. Earlier, the Ambassador of Austria along with part of the staff had returned to Kyiv.

Ukraine plans to finalize the second part of the questionnaire to assess the compliance of Ukrainian legislation with EU law by the end of next week in order to obtain candidate status in summer, says Vice-Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna. The questionnaire will be further submitted for consideration.Β 

Human rights.

Ukraine and Russia proceeded with another round of prisoners of war exchange over the weekend. 14 Ukrainians, including 7 militaries and 7 civilians were returned back. Among them was a five-months pregnant servicewoman.Β 

Ukrainian citizens, after returning to Ukraine, report on their conditions during captivity by Russian forces. They talk about humiliation and inhumane conditions. Among those rescued were people, who were severely wounded, with sepsis, and amputated limbs. In captivity Ukrainian men were tortured, taken to Russian camps, then to the detention centres, where they remained without medical treatment with frostbitten limbs and blindfolded. They were dressed in the prisoners’ uniform, their heads shaved. They report being interrogated three times per day.Β 

Health security under attack.

Russian forces continue to destroy health care infrastructure in the occupied territories. In Starobilsk, Luhansk region and in Mariupol, Donetsk region, the occupant forces took out the remaining medical ventilators. In Mariupol, hospitals counted nearly 60 ventilators.Β 

Medical personnel in the occupied territories are forced to work for the occupiers, hospitals are filled with wounded soldiers. Physicians undergo a polygraph examination procedure. Those who do not pass are forcibly sent to the frontline. In the regional anti-tuberculosis dispensary in Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region, patients with an open form of tuberculosis were simply thrown out into the street, according to Ukrainian intelligence. In Oleshky and Hola Prystan, Kherson region, medical staff are forced to take care of the Russian soldiers brought to their hospitals.Β 

Sanctions.

The European Union is underway with the sixth sanctions package against Russia. The next package is expected to target Russian oil, Russian and Belarusian banks, as well as more individuals and companies. Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, is expected to be on the list, meaning it is going to be disconnected from SWIFT. The European Commission envisages a phase-out strategy to refuse Russian oil by the end of the year. A separate strategy will be for Hungary and Slovakia, which are critically dependent on Russian oil. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, during the talk with Josep Borrel, European Commission Vice-President, urged to include a ban on Russian oil in the next sanctions list. Meanwhile, Hungary threatened to veto any proposals aiming at the restrictions of Russian energy imports.

German Foreign Minister Annalena BaerbockΒ  says no lifting sanctions from Russia before a complete withdrawal of its troops from Ukrainian territory, including the Donbas region and Crimea. Sanctions, says the Foreign Minister, help to ensure that further military operations by Russian forces in other regions in the next few years are impossible.”

The head of Russia’s space program Dmitriy Rogozin said Moscow will pull out of the International Space Station, state media reported, it has blamed this move on sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine – reports Bloomberg.Β 

Decolonisation.

Art halls are platforms not only for art presentation but also for the reconsideration of the past as well as present historical narratives. However, Russian traces can be spotted in exhibition rooms around the world. Maria Nazarenko, philosopher and art critic, takes a look on Rouge exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, β€˜Russian Dadais’ at Queen Sophia Museum in Madrid, rather recent exhibition of β€˜The Morozov Collection’’ at Fondation Louis Vuitton and β€˜Repin’ at the Petit Palais. Read more about Russian colonialism in the art space in the article β€˜Ethical Paradoxes of Russian Utopia in European Museums’.

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