Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: André Luís Alves
Cities under attack.
The missile attacks continue hitting the non-military objects across Ukraine, especially railway infrastructure. Yesterday, one missile struck directly the Dnipro city center, while another one hit the railway facility in the city. In Kirovograd region, the missile reached the infrastructure object. In Kharkiv several shellings were recorded on the outskirts of the city at night. Shelling continues across the region – the fiercest battles are around Izium. An 11-year-old boy was injured in Loziv district, as well as one person died in Balakliya region. In the Luhansk region, seven powerful artillery attacks were recorded in Severodonetsk, seven more – Popasna and Hirska amalgamated communities, four – in Lysychansk. In the Donetsk region, Russian forces have increased the intensity of the shelling – Avdiivka downtown was hit with the ail missiles, where 15 houses and the premises of the 2 gas stations were damaged. In Kramatorsk, due to the morning air missile attack 9 residential buildings and secondary school No. 2 were damaged, the gas pipeline on the territory of one of the plants was depressurized and other buildings were damaged, and 25 civilians were injured. In the Kherson region, the situation remains tense as explosions and shelling continue. The occupiers keep fighting and looting in the Kherson region. In the villages, there is a lack of medicines, cash, and the prices have doubled. There are no Ukrainian goods and products in those villages, typically just Russian goods are available.
The last weeks show the intensification of the Russian missile attacks targeting key infrastructure points, namely transport hubs and power stations. The Washington Post referring to the Pentagon says that such strikes in western Ukraine appear to be aimed at disabling railroads. Nevertheless, the US officials report that military aid reaches the destination regardless of the disruptions.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reports that the Russian forces are increasing the speed of the offensive in the east of the country. And the number of air strikes across the country is respectively high. Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, Defense Ministry spokesman reported that Russia launched nearly 50 air strikes on Tuesday alone.
In Mariupol, Russian forces have been assaulting the steel plant Azovstal for the second day straight. Both the Ukrainian officials and the militaries fighting at the steel plant confirm the blockade and the offensive of the Russian troops at the plant. Heavy fighting is underway right now, there is no communication with the Ukrainian military for the moment. There are up to 200 civilians remaining at the plant along with the hundreds of the wounded soldiers.
The investigation by the Associated Press shows that 600 people were killed during the airstrike on the Mariupol Drama Theater back in March. This is the deadliest reported attack since the beginning of the full-scale war. The material is based on the testimony of 23 citizens who survived the bombing, rescuers and people familiar with the shelter in the drama theater.
Belarus launches military quick-response drills to test the readiness of its armed forces to respond quickly to ‘possible crises’ and counter threats from the air and ground. The ministry said the training exercise would not ‘pose any threat to the European community as a whole or to neighboring countries in particular’. The movement of the military equipment has been recorded in the direction of the Ukrainian and Lithuanian border. The British Ministry of Defense projects that Russia might employ Belarusian military training to increase the threat in the Northern parts of Ukraine, in order to prevent a concentration of the Ukrainian efforts in Donbas.
At least 631 missiles were launched from Belarus to Ukraine, says The Belarusian Hajun Project. The analysis includes the timeline that shows there were very few launches until the beginning of March. The first peak was recorded on March 9, when at least 35 missiles were launched. The largest bombing from Belarus against Ukraine was on April 1. On that day, missiles were launched every 10 minutes, in total – at least 56 warheads. This is the day when the Russian troops were withdrawing from Ukraine.
Around 1 million Ukrainians have been deported to Russia, of whom 182 000 are children, says Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova. Bodies of 20 more people murdered by Russian forces were identified in Kyiv region. Overall 1 235 victims have already been found and identified in the region. 344 more people were evacuated from Mariupol, Manhush, Berdiansk, Tokmak, Vasylivka to Zaporizhzhia.
President Zelenskiy in the phone conversation with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked for further evacuation of the remaining civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
On May 5, a donor conference will take place in Warsaw to coordinate further efforts in support of Ukraine. Poland and Sweden have initiated events to raise funds for Ukraine. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, says the conference should be the starting point for the kind of European Marshall Plan for Ukraine. Previously, some of the EU Member States and cities voiced their readiness to take over the rebuilding of the Ukrainian settlements, for example, Denmark will provide for the seaport Mykolayiv.
32 diplomatic missions returned to Kyiv this week, including Sweden and Denmark. The Canadian Embassy has also announced its readiness to return to Ukraine in the near future.
The European Commission presented the sixth sanctions package against Russia. The package supplements the previous sanctions list with high-ranking Russian military officials involved in the crimes in Ukraine, disconnection of Sberbank from SWIFT and two other large banks – Credit Bank of Moscow and Russian Agricultural Bank, sanctions against 3 major Russian state broadcasters as they will no longer be able to distribute their content in any form in the EU, last but not least – a phase-out of Russian oil. Allegedly, Russian Patriarch Kirill is on the list as well, as the European Commission has proposed freezing of his assets. A Reuters source informs that the EU ban on Russian oil in the new sanctions package will take effect in 6 months, without a phase-out, both for the spot market and for existing contracts. However, Hungary, Slovakia and Czechia voice their objections and call for a longer transition due to their oil dependency. Hungary and Slovakia are given a year transition period, regardless, the Hungarian Foreign Minister states the sanction will have a negative effect on his country as well as the countries of Central Europe.
Lyudmyla Denisova, Ombudswoman of Ukraine, reports that Russian forces are establishing ‘collective farms’ in the occupied territories of the Luhansk region and forcing local farmers to transfer the ownership of agricultural machinery to these farms. In case of refusal, Russian troops shell the farmers’ houses. In the Melitopol district, Zaporizhzhia region, the occupiers are ‘buying’ grain at twice lower the price. Farmers who refuse to cooperate with the invaders are threatened with physical violence and confiscation of grain along with agricultural machinery. In Kamyanka-Dniprovska, Zaporizhzhia region, the occupiers stole more than 60 tons of wheat and exported it by trucks belonging to the locals.
Bulk carrier ‘Matros Pozynich’, owned by sister company of sanctioned Joint Shipbuilding Corporation, Russia, loaded 27 000 tons of grain at Kerch Strait anchorage, Black sea, in April 2022, left anchorage late April and initially, headed for Alexandria, Egypt. Ukraine protested and asked Egypt not to accept the ship and the cargo, because all of the grain on it was reportedly taken from occupied Ukrainian territories and transported through Crimea. Egypt met Ukrainian demands and rejected the cargo. On May 3, the ship’s destination was changed to Beirut, Lebanon instead of Alexandria. Ukraine has already contacted Lebanon and Syria, asking them to follow the example set by Egypt. As of morning May 5, ‘Matros Pozynich’ was sailing in eastern Mediterranean between Cyprus and Turkey, with Beirut as port of destination, progected to arrive on May 6.
The Minister of Culture of Ukraine held an online meeting with the Minister of Culture and Sports of Spain, Miquel Iceta. The Ministers agreed on the support of the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage sites of Ukraine destroyed by Russian invaders, support for Ukrainian independent publishers, writers and artists, which remained in Ukraine, through the Ukrainian Cultural Fund and Ukrainian Book Institute. Also, Spain is ready to support recording, collecting and investigating Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine.
Join online the 4:3 Ukraine Film Festival, organized by Boiler Room’s 4:3 in collaboration with KyivMusicFilm. The festival brings together twelve films that are soulful and audacious in their exploration of a range of subjects. From underground raves in Ukraine to censored funk music in the 70s. From revising unique folk heritage to breaking ties with the Soviet past.
- ‘’Women were promised that they would be sent their husband’s head’.’ Stories of those who escaped from Azovstal | Ukrayinska Pravda
- What is Wrong With Ukraine-Russia ‘Peace-keeping’ Initiatives | UACRISIS.ORG
- Game of Reversi: why there are Russian-speakers in Ukraine (voxukraine.org)
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., May 5, 2022: personnel – around 24 700, tanks ‒ 1092, APV ‒ 2651, artillery systems – 499, MLRS – 169, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 83, fixed-wing aircraft – 196, helicopters – 155, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 1907, boats and light speed boats – 10, operational-tactical level UAV – 312, special equipment – 38, cruise missiles – 89. Also, follow the interactive counter of Russian losses.
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