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War in Ukraine. Daily update. Day 94 [10.00 am, 28.05.2022]

Prepared by Sofia Oliynyk and Maryana Zaviyska 

Photo: Twitter/ Bujar Osmani
Cities under attack. Russian forces proceed with regular mortar shelling of the border territories in the Sumy region. On May 27, Russian troops shelled barracks of the National Guard in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Preliminary, at least 10 people had been killed and another 30 injured in early morning shelling. The town of Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk region, was under constant fire on May 27 fire but is not encircled as the enemy stays only on the outskirts. Russian attacks were repulsed in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions later on May 27. Another bridge between Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk was damaged, but the passage between the cities remains. In addition, destruction was recorded in other settlements of the Luhansk region: nine houses in Hirske, four in Zolote and Lysychansk, 12 in Vrubivka, and two in Orikhove. In Mariupol 70 more bodies of the dead have been found under the debris of the former “Oktyabr” (“October”) plant. The Russian invaders are removing the bodies to mass grave sites and not identifying the dead. 

Meanwhile, Mykhailo Podolyak, Adviser to the Head of the Office of President of Ukraine, shared the video of Russian forces using Solntsepek, a heavy flamethrower system. 

Human rights. Russia is inciting genocide in Ukraine.  New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy think tank and the Montreal-based Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights presented the report on the analysis of the Russia breaching Genocide Convention. The presented study comprises an independent inquiry into whether the Russian Federation bears State responsibility for breaches of the Genocide Convention in its invasion of Ukraine. The document concludes there are reasonable grounds to consider Russia responsible for direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and a pattern of atrocities from which an inference of intent to destroy the Ukrainian national group in part can be drawn. The report said that mass killings, deliberate attacks on shelters or evacuation routes, and the indiscriminate bombardment of residential areas by Russian forces established a “genocidal pattern” indicating an intent to wipe out a substantial part of the Ukrainian population, in violation of the U.N. Genocide Convention.

Foreign security. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Northern Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, visited Kyiv and liberated Irpin. The Minister Osmani announced the resumption of the work of the Embassy of Northern Macedonia in Kyiv, and called for an investigation into the crimes of the Russian military. Also, German Development Minister Svenya Schulze visited Kyiv and Borodyanka. During the visit, she announced a 185 mln euro fund for emergency measures. Among some of the priority tasks is reconstruction of the damaged residential buildings, as well as electricity networks. Within the visit the Minister met with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and Minister for the Reintegration of Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk. 

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Austrian Chancellor warned that Russia might lose Gazprom’s massive underground storage facility in the country if Russia’s gas monopoly fails to properly use it. In the follow-up to the conversation, The Chancellor informed Moscow that they would meet its natural gas delivery commitments to Austria and were ready to discuss a prisoner swap with Ukraine.

The sixth sanctions package is further under discussion. After weeks of the negotiations, the gas embargo has been one of the main stumbling blocks. Currently, Politico reports that some compromise might be reached in this regard in order to avoid Hungary vetoing the package. The new proposal would focus instead, at least temporarily, only on supplies delivered to the bloc by ship. That would leave landlocked Hungary — among other countries including Germany and Slovakia — able to keep buying Russian crude pumped through pipelines.

Energy security. Ukraine’s state nuclear inspectorate on Friday accused the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of falling for Russian propaganda and demanded it back efforts by Kyiv to expel Moscow’s forces from a major power plant. In the official address. Oleg Korikov, acting head of the inspectorate, said IAEA director general Rafael Grossi at the World Economic Forum at Davos  said that there were large stocks of plutonium and enriched uranium at the plant that could be used to make nuclear weapons, which in reality is untrue. Such statements give grounds for Russian further nuclear terrorism. Ukrainian authorities accused that the acts of nuclear terrorism, that Russian commits, take place in the absence of a clear position and effective response from the IAEA to numerous appeals of Ukraine in this regard. This in fact gives space for Russian representatives to be convinced of their impunity and resort to even more bold actions and statements.

Culture. The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine continues to record Russian war crimes against Ukraine’s cultural heritage. 367 cases have been already recorded as of May 27, 2022. Kharkiv region is the one that suffered mostly, as 96 objects of culture infrastructure were damaged. Then 75 crimes have been recorded in Donetsk region, 53 of them – in Mariupol. 70 cases were recorded in Kyiv region with the largest number – 44 –  in Bucha district. 

Disinformation. Detektor Media has published a selection of the most recent fakes from Russian media. Vladimir Solovyov as well as Russian media spread a fake that 80% of Kherson residents want to obtain a Russian passport. This figure is completely made up; there is no independent sociology in the region and no one has conducted any polls. Also, the figure was invented by self-proclaimed local authority Kirill Stremousov – he simply told the Russian media that he “thinks so.” 

Another example, Russian invaders have been provided with manuals, which provide answers to the most common questions of Ukrainians in the occupied territories. The word “war” is recommended not to be used, as well as to admit that they are Russians. In the village of Dymerka (Kyiv region) liberated from Russian aggressors, the staff of the National Museum of Ukrainian History found such manuals. The document was reportedly found in the village council, which was seized by the Russians.

Environmental threats. A high level of wildfire threat is confirmed in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone due to the large number of Russian mines and other munitions triggered by animals – Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine reports. As reported, 254 cases of ecocide were confirmed, as well as 1,500 cases where the Ukrainian environment was affected by Russia’s armed aggression.

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