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War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 74-75 [10.00 am, 8-9.05.2022 🇬🇧🇬🇪🇪🇸🇷🇸🇭🇷יידיש🇨🇿🇯🇵🇳🇱]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska 

Photo: Telegram channel of Ukrainian Armed Foorces

Cities under attack.

In Bilogorovka, Luhansk region, Russian occupiers dropped an air bomb on a school, where 90 people were sheltering. Around 60 people were killed under the rubble, while about 30 were injured. During the shelling of Lysychansk, one of the missiles hit the oil refinery plant. The rescuers could not extinguish the fire, due to the risk of explosion, as well as the immediate start of the artillery fire. Due to the shelling of the village Shypilove in Luhansk region, the residential house was destroyed, while preliminary 11 people were under the debris. Luhansk Regional Military Administration Head Serhii Haidai says, Russian troops try to cut off the Luhansk region from Ukraine by taking control over the road Lysychansk-Bahmut. Also heavy fights are taking place in Rubizhne and Bilohorivka. Considering heavy battles taking place, evacution of civilians is no longer possible. Russian military forces fired at civilians in the Donetsk region. Kramatorsk, Druzhkivka, Konstantynivka, Bakhmut were under attack. Odesa was under shelling over the weekend. 4 cruise missiles with the use of strategic aircraft were fired at the Odesa region, 252 apartments were damaged due to the rocket attack. On Sunday Two missiles hit a residential area of Odesa, one was shot down by air defense. Attacks on Ukrainian border continue. Russian forces shelled border settlements in Chernigiv and Sumy region. In the Chernihiv region, several mines exploded at a distance of about 1.5 kilometers from the border, while in the Chernihiv region the airstrikes hit 7 settlements.

Mariupol.  The Azov regiment gave an online press conference about the situation in Azovstal. Some of the main messages from the interview. The situation remains critical, as the battles continue and Russian forces enter the perimeter of the steel plant. According to their estimates, almost 2500 Russian soldiers were killed and about 5000 wounded. More than 60 tanks were destroyed and 30 damaged. Around 25 000 people, most of them civilians, were killed in Mariupol. There were days when 150 air bombs were thrown at the city. No one from the Ukrainian military forced or kept civilians purposefully at the plant. People were afraid to leave and could not leave due to the constant shelling and battles around. The remaining soldiers vowed to continue fighting as long as they are alive to repel the Russian occupiers. Giving into captivity is not a case, as Russian troops will kill them, which has been the case with one of the captured combatants. Therefore extraction procedure to the third country is only possible. Currently, hundreds of wounded and dead soldiers are still remaining at the plant. 

As of May 8, all civilian women, children, and elderly people were evacuated from the steel plant. A total of 300 civilians were evacuated from Azovstal. However, the number of civilian casualties, under the ruins of the plant, remains unknown. Not all civilians could reach Zaporizhzhia after the filtration camp, which is part of the evacuation. A child was separated from her mother since the woman was a doctor treating the soldiers at the plant. The woman was kept by Russian forces at the camp, while the child was sent to Zaporizhzhya. 

Cities under occupation.

In the temporarily occupied territories, Russian authorities are forcing people to celebrate Victory Day on May  9. In Energodar, Zaporizhzhia regions, Russian forces are purposefully taking the documents from the civilians, claiming to return them after the parade. In Kherson region, heads of the amalgamated communities are forced to support and organize the celebration of Victory Day under the threat of life. The same concerns the business, as they were threatened to provide the funds for the celebration. In all major cities, the occupiers put up billboards and city lights with Soviet symbols and called to join the procession of the “Immortal Regiment”. In Kherson itself, invaders set up a stage and photos of Soviet times on Freedom Square. There is information that the Russians are importing actors from Simferopol and the so-called ‘DNR’ for the mass. In Melitopol, the Russian occupiers are planning provocations in the city on May 9. The city mayor, Ivan Fedorov, Russian forces plan to shoot people, disperse protesters during the celebration of Victory Day, and then accuse the Ukrainian military of it. 

Fires hit 130 hectares of the forests in Kherson region. However Russian forces do not allow to extinguish the fires. 

Foreign policy.

G7 held the meeting on Sunday, May 8, devoted all to the further support of Ukraine.  President Zelenskyi addressed the Group with a statement underlining Ukraine’s ultimate goal  to ensure the full withdrawal of Russia’s military forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and to secure its ability to protect itself in the future. As an outcome of the meeting following decisions were announced: (1) the G7 will phase out dependency on Russian energy, including by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil;  (2) it will take measures to prohibit or otherwise prevent the provision of key services on which Russia depends by imposing sanctions on all sectors;  (3) the Group will continue to take action against Russian banks connected to the global economy and systemically critical to the Russian financial system; (4) it will prevent private companies from gaining revenues to support Russian regime; (5) the joint efforts will target the financial elites and family members, who support President Putin.

The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau visited Kyiv and Irpin on Sunday. During an unannounced visit, the Prime Minister revealed more military assistance coming, including drone cameras, satellite imagery, small arms, ammunition and other support, like funding for demining operations. Also, more sanctions will be in place, as well as provisions to withhold global food security. 

German Bundestag President Baerbel Bass arrived in Kyiv to take part in Remembrance Day events and to meet with President Zelenskyi. The meeting focused on assurance of further military assistance to be provided by Germany to Ukraine. 

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović paid a four-day visit to Kyiv and visited the suburbs of the Ukrainian capital destroyed by Russian troops.

US First Lady Jill Biden arrived on an unannounced visit to Uzhgorod, where she visited a center for evacuees and met with Ukrainian President’s wife Olena Zelenska. Previously Dr Biden met with Ukrainian refugees in Romania during her weekend visit.

Canadian and US Embassies reopened in Kyiv. US Chargé d’Affaires in Ukraine Christina Quinn has returned to the Kyiv embassy as well as Canadian Ambassador, Larysa Galadza.

Foreign assistance.

G7 has already provided USD 24 billion for 2022, in both financial and material means, as well as will step up with collective short-term financial support to help Ukraine close financing gaps and deliver basic services to its people, while also developing long-term options. 

The United States also announced new financial support for Ukraine that will strengthen short-term financial support to help Ukraine meet its needs and ensure the uninterrupted provision of basic services to the people. In cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities and international financial institutions, we will support the early recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine. The US State Department will provide Ukraine with another $150 million in military aid

The UK will provide £1.3 billion of further military support to Ukraine. The new pledge almost doubles Britain’s previous spending commitments on Ukraine and the government said this is the highest rate of spending on a conflict since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, although it did not give details of this calculation.

Canada’s Prime Minister  also announced his intention to temporarily remove trade tariffs on Ukrainian imports for a period of one year. Additionally, Canada is proposing to provide $1 billion in loans through the IMF Administered Account for Ukraine from Canada as well as $500 million in additional military aid.

Sanctions.

The United States has announced a new package of sanctions against Russia. The package includes  cutting off pro-Kremlin media (Channel One, Russia-1 and NTV) from American advertisers and production technologies, prohibiting Russia from using services such as management or corporate consulting and accounting, introducing new export controls against the industrial sector of Russia, and finally 2,600 visa restrictions for Russian and Belarusian officials, as well as the first sanctions against Gazprombank executives.

The United Kingdom also introduced another round of sanctions against Russia for the total amount of £1.7 billion of goods. The package will increase  import tariffs on platinum and palladium by 35% and introduce export bans, targeting key materials such as chemicals, plastics, rubber, and machinery. 

Canada is imposing sanctions on 21 additional Russian individuals, including oligarchs and close associates of the Russian regime, as well as 19 individuals in the Russian defense sector and five entities for providing indirect or direct support to the Russian military.

Recent polls.

The Rating Group published the results of the national-wide poll about people’s attitudes to the Soviet past, the role and participation of the Ukrainian’s in World War II, the national liberation movement, the perception of historical figures, the attitude to the prohibition of soviet symbols and the dismantling of monuments. The issues of nationality, language and attitude to various ethnic groups were studied separately. ​​As of the end of April 2022, Ukraine recorded the lowest rate of nostalgia for the collapse of the USSR in the history of observations (11%). Do not feel sorry for the collapse of the Soviet Union – the vast majority of Ukrainians – 87%. Even more, everything ‘Soviet’ is often now perceived as Russian, and therefore – hostile. The main reason is the use of Soviet symbols and speculations on the ‘common’ historical past by Russian propaganda in the war against Ukraine.

There are also significant changes in the usage of Russian and Ukrainian languages. The Rating Group reports a  steady decrease in the Russian-speaking segment of Ukrainians: in 2012 there were about 40% of such respondents, at the end of 2021 – 26%, at the beginning of the full-scale war – 18%, as of the end of April 2022 – 15%. In 2022 the Russian-speakers mostly identify themselves as ‘bilinguals’ (from 15 to 33%). The number of those who constantly use only Ukrainian at home has increased slightly from 44% to 51%. 80% of respondents consider Ukrainian their native language

Among the key shifts is the reassessment of the attitude to the Victory Day on May 9. Before 2022 this day was perceived by the vast majority (80%) of the adult population as having significant personal symbolism, in 2022 for a large part of respondents it became a relic of the past (36%), or an ordinary day (23%) . In addition, the ‘victorious’ symbolism of the day changed to ‘memorial’: 80% of respondents identify it as a Remembrance Day, and only 15% – as a Victory Day

Food security.

The Russians are exporting oil from the Polohy sunflower oil extraction plant, – said the Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova.

Justin Trudeau announced providing $25 million to the World Food Programme as part of efforts to uphold food security. Also, Canada will help Ukraine develop solutions on how to export stored grain to uphold global food security. 

Culture.

In Hlukhiv, Sumy region, Russian missiles destroyed a Jewish cemetery where the victims of the pogrom of 1918 were buried. 

Legendary Bono of the band U2 visited Ukraine with a surprise concert in the Kyiv metro. Also Bono and Edge visited Bucha and Irpin to learn the consequences of the Russian invasion for the Kyiv region. During the visit to Irpin Bono discussed a charitable campaign for the rebuilding of Kyiv suburbs. 

Reading corner. 

Statistics.

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