Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska
Photo: Luhansk Regional Military Administration
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Amnesty International released a new report with evidence of the human rights crimes committed in the Northwest of the Kyiv region. On March 1 and 2, Russia struck a series of airstrikes on eight apartment buildings in the town of Borodyanka, about 60 kilometers northwest of Kyiv. More than 600 families lived in these houses. The airstrikes killed at least 40 people and destroyed the shelling buildings themselves and dozens of other houses around them. Most of the victims died in the basements of houses where they were hiding from the bombing. Others died in the apartments. In Borodyanka at least 40 civilians had been killed in disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks that devastated the area and left thousands homeless. In Bucha and several other towns and villages northwest of Kyiv, Amnesty International has documented 22 cases of illegal killings by Russian forces, most of which were obvious extrajudicial executions.
Another round of prisoner exchange took place on Thursday, reports Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk. 41 Ukrainians returned home, including 11 women. In total, 28 military and 13 civilians were freed.
The third humanitarian corridor from Mariupol, including Azovstal took place. Ukrainian officials report the evacuation of 50 civilians from the Azovstal steel plant, mostly women, children and elderly people. Reuters confirmed the evacuation of 25 people, including children, from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol to the village of Bezymenne which is under the control of the Russian troops. Not all people could be evacuated as the evacuation significantly slowed down due to the continuous Russian shelling. People had to flee from the plant under constant fire, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and 6 injured in the meantime. On the way back more people were supposed to collect people at the Port City collection point, however, due to the delays caused by the constant shelling the group could not be picked up, thus the evacuation efforts will continue on Saturday. Nevertheless, evacuation of the wounded Ukrainian soldiers and military personnel overall is not agreed with Russian troops.
In Kherson about 500 people are ‘in basements’, where they are being tortured, says Tamila Tasheva, Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea. Both in Kherson and on the administrative border with Crimea, for example, in the village of Novooleksiivka and the city of Henichesk, occupying leaders or the Russian military have lists of the activists who, in particular, participated in the civil blockade of Crimea in 2015, or served in the anti-terrorist operation. Therefore Russian forces are proceeding with checking the houses and abducting people from their houses.
In the Luhansk region, the Russians began blocking social networks, including Facebook, and Ukrainian Internet sites – Lyudmyla Denysiva reports. These actions are aiming to prevent locals from collecting and analyzing news published in Ukraine and independent media. The Russian authorities make the Russian and ‘republican’ (‘Luhansk People’s Republic’) media an alternative, calling them ‘reliable sources’.
The Foreign Ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia visited Kyiv in the frame of the official visit. The visit aimed to show further unprecedented support to Ukraine, but also complete the previously thwarted visit which was planned for February 24. Latvia is ready to support Ukraine candidate status at the next EU summit, as expressed by the Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Latvia.
The Group of Seven (G7) meeting will take place on Sunday, May 8. The meeting comes symbolically the day before Russia will celebrate Victory Day and hold the parade. The White House spokesperson says the meeting symbolically comes the day before the Victory Day to show the unity and solidarity of the G7 block in their support of Ukraine. The agenda of the meeting focuses on the latest developments in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, efforts to bolster the country. The block leaders will also hold a video call on Sunday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the UN Security Council, including Russia, has adopted the statement expressing ‘deep concern regarding the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine’. The text drafted by Norway and Mexico was adopted in consensus. Previously Russia vetoed the statement on February 25 condemning Russia’s invasion. The recent document avoids the terms ‘special operation’, ‘war’, ‘conflict’, and ‘invasion’.
U.S. President Joe Biden plans to sign the famous Lend-Lease bill for Ukraine on Monday, May 9. The signing will coincide with the Victory Day celebration in Moscow. Additionally, Biden announced another package of security assistance to Ukraine that will provide additional artillery munitions, radars and other equipment. The package is worth $150 million.
The Chiefs of Staff of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden will take part in a meeting of the NATO Military Committee on May 19 in Brussels. The meeting will be chaired by Admiral Rob Bauer, Chairman of the Military Committee. The meeting of the NATO Military Committee will focus on the issues of strategic importance to the Alliance ahead of the Madrid Summit in June. While the second part will be dedicated to Russia’s war in Ukraine, during which representatives of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden will join.
Austria will support the railway export of grain from Ukraine on the monthly basis. The trains will carry up to 60,000 metric tons of grain from Ukraine to Austria every month, adding to similar shipments to Germany. Those exports circumvent Russia’s blockade of Odesa, Ukraine’s largest port, on the Black Sea.
Meanwhile, the United Nations food index eased by less than 1% in April since the food prices held near a record since the beginning of the Russian invasion. The slight decline in prices in April was partly due to falling demand for vegetable oil, and weaker corn prices. The food price concerns come with Russia’s invasion curbing supplies from Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest grain and vegetable oil shippers. High fertilizer prices and weather worries are adding to the threat for global crop supplies, including drought curbing the U.S. wheat crop, says Bloomberg.
Nevertheless, the World Food Programme alerts that the blockade of the grains Ukrainian ports, including from Odesa will only contribute to the worsening global crises around the world.
As of May 2, the total amount of direct documented infrastructure damages, based only on public sources, is almost $92 billion or over UAH 2.7 trillion, says Kyiv School of Economics. During the last week, direct losses to civilian infrastructure documented based on the publicly available evidence, increased by almost $4.5 billion. The current amount is likely to be lower, due to the limitations of the damages assessment, especially in the temporarily occupied territories.
The recent assessment also includes calculated damages in Moschun village in the Kyiv region, where the active battles took place. The damages total nearly UAH 1.1 billion or $37.3 million. Since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine, in the Moschun 921 private houses were damaged or destroyed, as well as farm buildings and structures. As a result of hostilities, 20 industrial buildings, 18 greenhouses, 3 shops, 2 hotels, a school, a church, a house of culture, and a post office were also destroyed and damaged.
The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy recorded 300 cases of destruction of Ukrainian cultural heritage sites due to the war with Russia. On Friday The National Museum of Hryhorii Skovoroda, Ukrainian philosopher and writer, was completely destroyed due to the shelling in the Kharkiv region. A fire broke out in the building after a rocket hit it.
- What will Putin pull out of his ‘Victory Day’ hat? – POLITICO
- Video shows Russian ‘filtration camp’ near Mariupol, Ukraine – The Washington Post
- More than 90 000 explosives have been disposed of since the start of the full-scale war.
- General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the total estimated losses of the Russian military as of 10 a.m., May 7, 2022: personnel – around 25 100, tanks ‒ 1122, APV ‒ 2713, artillery systems – 509, MLRS – 172, anti-aircraft warfare systems – 84, fixed-wing aircraft – 199, helicopters – 155, soft-skinned vehicles and fuel tankers – 1934, boats and light speed boats – 11, operational-tactical level UAV – 312, special equipment – 38, cruise missiles – 90. Also, follow the interactive counter of Russian losses.
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