- 08:45: ➤ Russia is gaining territory in the Donbass
- 08:31: Left-wing politician Gysi denounces arms deliveries to Ukraine.
- 07:50: Alice Schwarzer criticizes Selenskyj.
➤ Russian ground attacks in Donbass are accelerating again
After several days without significant progress, Russian troops have again gained ground in their attacks in the Donbass region, according to Ukrainian sources. “In the direction of Liman, the enemy attacked the northern outskirts of Shandrigolove,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Sunday. Shandrigolove is about 20 kilometers north of the city of Sloviansk, which is part of the target of the Russian operation in the Donbass.
In addition, Russian troops continue to launch attacks in the direction of Sievzherodonetsk, Popasna and Avdiivka. “In the direction of Kurakhove, the enemy is trying to resume their offensive on Novomykhaylivka with artillery support,” he said. In Mariupol, Ukrainian units would continue to be pinned down in the steelworks. With air and artillery support, Russian troops continued their assault attempts there.
In total, the Ukrainian military leadership speaks of nine repelled Russian attacks. Among other things, an Mi-28 helicopter, 19 tanks and 20 armored military vehicles were shot down.
According to the report, the Russians went on the defensive in the northern Kharkiv region. There, “the enemy concentrated its efforts on stopping the advance of our troops towards the northern and northeastern border of Kharkiv,” the general staff said.
The situation in brief:
Since February 24, Russia has been waging a war of air and ground aggression against Ukraine. Shortly before, President Vladimir Putin questioned Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent state and recognized the so-called people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.
Since then, the Ukrainian army has been fighting the invaders as best it can. Thousands of dead are reported on both sides, but the exact number of soldiers and civilians has not been independently verified. The fact is that the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is getting worse every day. According to the UN, more than 5.8 million people have fled Ukraine (as of May 8), mostly women and children, with men between the ages of 18 and 60 not allowed to leave the country.
The EU and the United States reacted with sanctions. They also supply arms to Ukraine, and Germany also supports the country with arms deliveries. Ukraine is also to receive Gepard-class tanks from Germany. So far, it has been ruled out that NATO will actively intervene in the war.
On the first weekend of April, images of the corpses of scores of civilians in the small town of Bucha near kyiv sparked international outrage. Ukraine speaks of serious war crimes and genocide and blames Russian troops for it. Despite numerous indications, Moscow denies having been involved in the civilian deaths. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that negotiations with Russia must continue.
According to a Ukrainian statement, a long-prepared large-scale offensive by Russia in eastern Ukraine began on April 18.
Other news of the day:
Ukraine: up to 60 dead after an airstrike on a school in the Lugansk region
08:37: After a Russian airstrike on a school in the Lugansk region, Ukrainian authorities say up to 60 people could be dead. After an airstrike on Bilogorivka school, two bodies have been recovered so far, regional governor Serhiy Hajdaj announced on his Telegram channel on Sunday. “Probably the 60 people still under the rubble of the building are dead,” he added.
According to him, the airstrike occurred on Saturday afternoon. 90 people had asked for protection against attacks in the school building. The bombardment caused a fire in the school and the building collapsed. Rescuers were able to save 30 people, including 7 injured, according to the governor.
Bilogorivka is an urban agglomeration about ten kilometers west of Lysychansk. The city is heavily contested.
Gysi on a trip to Ukraine against German arms deliveries
08:31: At the end of a several-day trip to Ukraine, leftist foreign politician Gregor Gysi spoke out against German arms deliveries to the country attacked by Russia. “We caused 27 million deaths during World War II in the Soviet Union, mostly Russians,” Gysi told the German Press Agency.
“Secondly, Ukrainians killed, then people of other nationalities.” Germany must not arm one ex-Soviet republic against the other. Of course, Ukraine has the right to defend itself and import weapons, the 74-year-old said.
Nor is it Germany’s job to decide how to end the war, Gysi said. If the Ukrainian government wants to reach a compromise with the Kremlin, the federal government cannot ban it. “I can only hope that Russia and Ukraine will agree on a ceasefire as soon as possible.”
At the same time, Gysi criticized the Kremlin in no uncertain terms: “I’m done with Putin’s regime. But he also stressed that there will be a Russia after current President Vladimir Putin. It is therefore wrong to cut all ties.
According to his own statements, Gysi visited the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, and the city of Lviv in western Ukraine during his trip. He was also in the kyiv suburb of Bucha, where the bodies of hundreds of murdered civilians were found a few weeks ago.
“Especially when you are traveling to a war zone, such a low-key visit for the media is out of the question,” he said, referring to relatively short visits by other international politicians to Ukraine in recent days.
According to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, the United States assumes that most Russian ground forces have left Mariupol. The army would have moved north, Kirby said Thursday. Meanwhile, the “Azovstal” steel plant continues to be bombed. The Ukrainian government suspects President Putin of intending to take over the site by Monday. (Image credits: picture alliance/dpa/AP/Alexei Alexandrov)
Kyiv leaders hope to retake Kherson
08:14: Ukrainian leaders intend to retake the city of Cherson, in the south of the country, occupied by Russian troops. “There will be no People’s Republic of Kherson,” Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, told Ukrainian radio. The area will be completely liberated, which will cost the lives of many Russian soldiers, Podoliak said in kyiv on Saturday.
He was reacting to statements by Moscow politicians and the occupying power who wanted to declare Cherson Russian. “Russia is here forever!”, General Secretary of the Kremlin’s United Russia party, Andrei Turchak, said during a visit. Russian passports will also be issued in Cherson and the ruble will become the only means of payment. It would be a similar development to the people’s republics founded by pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Before the war of Russian aggression, Cherson had about 290,000 inhabitants and is located on the lower course of the Dnipro. In the city, people protest again and again against the Russian occupying power.
Schwarzer criticizes Selenskyj: Don’t stop provoking
07:50: Feminist Alice Schwarzer would like to see a more moderate tone from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “I regret that Selenskyj keeps provoking,” she told the German Press Agency in Munich on Saturday during the presentation of the documentary film “Alice Schwarzer”.
If Chancellor Olaf Scholz accepted Zelensky’s invitation and traveled to Kyiv on May 9, it would be an “unprecedented provocation”. On this day, Russia celebrates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Schwarzer was criticized for days because of an open letter to Scholz in which she spoke out against delivering heavy weapons to Ukraine for fear of an escalation of war with other intellectuals.
“I would also like to see a bit more nuanced tones from Ukraine,” Schwarzer said, pointing out that if you find the president’s official policy “partially questionable,” that doesn’t mean you don’t feel for the country or ignore the victims – “But on the contrary”.
With the open letter in the magazine “Emma”, which Martin Walser, Juli Zeh and Gerhard Polt also signed, the debate about the advantages and disadvantages of arms deliveries to Germany has been inflamed. According to polls, half of Germans criticize the delivery of heavy weapons.
“Our open letter blew the cork off the bottle. That’s how the debate got off to a flying start, and that’s good. Because we need to talk about such vital issues.” About 250,000 people have now signed the letter. “There are few things in my life that have had as much meaning as initiating this open letter.”
With material from dpa, AFP, APA
With the sanctions imposed by EU members and other states against Russia, the oligarchs around President Putin have also drawn attention. For weeks there had been speculation about a luxury yacht being held in an Italian port. On Friday evening, the Italian police came on board.