War day at a glance: Putin justifies invasion as a first strike – Macron dampens Ukrainian hope

War Day at a Glance
Putin justifies the invasion as a first strike – Macron dampens Ukrainian hopes

In his speech marking the 77th anniversary of the end of the war, Vladimir Putin blamed NATO for the invasion of Ukraine. Russian television is attacked by hackers beforehand and broadcasts anti-war messages. In eastern Ukraine, Russian troops attempt to surround Ukrainian fighters. Scholz and Macron call for an end to hostilities. Ursula von der Leyen promotes a boycott of Russian oil in Hungary. The 75th day of war at a glance.

Putin justifies the invasion as a ‘first strike’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has again accused NATO of threatening Russia. In a speech marking the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, he accused the Western alliance of posing a “totally unacceptable threat” to Russia. “The danger was increasing day by day.” According to Putin, the only solution for Russia was a first strike against aggression.

All plans will be fulfilled

After the military parade, Putin also expressed his optimism about the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army. “The guys behave with courage, heroism, professionalism. All plans will be realized, the result will be achieved,” Putin said, according to the Interfax news agency, in an interview with the father of a slain pro-Russian separatist. in Eastern Ukraine. “There is no doubt about it,” Putin stressed.

Russian TV broadcasts anti-war messages

From Putin’s point of view, the morning was rather unfortunate. First of all, the television programs of the opponents of the war would have been pirated. Various users reported it on Twitter. A screenshot reads: “Your hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of Ukrainians and their children.” Later, on the online platform Letna.ru, which is actually loyal to the Kremlin, texts appearing criticizing Putin. One of the short-lived articles was titled: “Putin must go. He started a senseless war and drove Russia into the abyss. In total, about twenty of these texts were briefly published before being deleted again. Two editors at the outlet later claimed responsibility for the protest, including the head of the business department.

Approval of war in Russia dwindles

Despite all the pathos, support for Ukraine’s invasion of Russia is dwindling. According to this, only 74% of Russians now support the military operation in principle. This is according to data published by the Russian independent opinion polling institute Levada Center. In April, 81% of respondents indicated their approval. 45% of people express their “absolute support” for the operation, which is still known in Russia as a “special military operation”. In April, this value was still 53%.

Russia wants to surround Ukrainian troops

Meanwhile, fighting in Ukraine continues. In eastern Ukraine, Russian forces continue to surround the towns of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk. Three pontoon bridges have been built across a river west of Lysychansk, Defense Ministry spokesman Olexander Motusyanyk said. Artillery was used intensively there and bombarded from the air. According to the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday, there is a risk that a road connection between Lysychansk and Bakhmut will be cut off by the Russians. At the same time, there was heavy fighting on the Russian advances south of Izyum towards Sloviansk and at Avdiivka in the Donetsk region.

Ukraine success north of Kharkiv

Vladimir Putin’s troops failed to fully conquer Mariupol on May 9, but fighting around the Azovstal steelworks continues. The trapped Ukrainian soldiers would continue to come under fire from artillery and tanks. This is documented, among other things, by videos from social networks. On the other hand, north of the metropolis Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, Ukrainian troops attempted to advance towards the Russian border. The Ukrainians were recently able to liberate several towns there.

EU Council President Michel comes under fire from critics

A spontaneous visit by EU Council President Charles Michel to the Ukrainian port city of Odessa has been temporarily interrupted due to a rocket attack. During a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal, participants had to take shelter because rockets fell in the Odessa region, according to European sources. “I came to celebrate Europe Day in Odessa”, writes Michel.

The Russians want to continue negotiations with Ukraine

Despite all the fighting, Russia says peace talks with Ukraine are continuing. They were not over, but would continue remotely, Russia’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky told the Interfax news agency. The Russian government has accused Ukraine of blocking the talks and using reports of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers to undermine deliberations. Russia denies targeting civilians in its so-called special military operation in Ukraine.

Scholz calls for de-escalation

French President Emmanuel Macron sees no progress in the Ukraine conflict in Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin’s cautious speech at the Moscow military parade. “What we want to achieve is a ceasefire as soon as possible,” Macron said during his inaugural visit to Berlin after his re-election. Only then could negotiations between Ukraine and Russia be successfully completed to achieve peace and, consequently, the final withdrawal of Russian troops. “That’s our goal.” They want to help Ukraine in the negotiations, the terms of which it decides itself. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said it was “important that de-escalation continues, at least as far as rhetoric is concerned”. It is important that after so many weeks of war, decisive steps are taken to end the conflict.

Macron undermines Ukrainian hopes of EU membership

On the other hand, the French president has clearly dampened Ukraine’s hopes for a quick entry into the European Union. The process could take “decades”, Macron said in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg ahead of his trip to Berlin. Instead, he called for increased cooperation with Kyiv. Macron has proposed the creation of a “European political community” for Ukraine and the other candidate countries. “This new European organization would allow a new space of political cooperation, security and cooperation for the democratic European nations attached to our base of values”, declared the Head of State.

Von der Leyen hopes for a compromise with Hungary

Hungary is already a member of the EU, but its position on a boycott of Russian oil is currently causing headaches for European officials. In this context, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, visited Hungary. Von der Leyen wanted to meet Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Negotiations on the next EU sanctions package have been stalled for days, with Hungary and other countries demanding major exemptions from the planned oil embargo.

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