The commemoration of the end of World War II is marked by heavy fighting around Snake Island and in eastern Ukraine. Here the Russians report the successful capture of Popasna. Trudeau and First Lady Jill Biden spontaneously travel to Kyiv, while Putin is confident of victory. Meanwhile, the G7 countries agree on a boycott of Russian oil. The 74th day of war at a glance.
May 8 is supposed to be a day of remembrance, commemorating the end of World War II with the surrender of Nazi Germany. In Ukraine, however, there was little time for reflection as the fighting continued to be fierce.
Small town in ruins
After weeks of fighting, Russian troops take the ruined town of Popasna, according to Ukrainian sources. “Unfortunately, our troops actually withdrew a bit from Popasna, because the city was shelled for more than two months,” Lugansk region governor Serhiy Hajday said, according to the Unian news agency in a statement. television interview. The Ukrainians resorted to previously prepared positions just outside the city, he added.
School airstrike kills 60
After a Russian airstrike on a school in the Lugansk region, Ukrainian authorities say up to 60 people could be dead. After the Bilohorivka attack, two bodies have been found so far, Hajdaj said on his Telegram channel. “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.
Russia and Ukraine report successes on Snake Island
There was also fierce fighting around the strategically important Snake Island. This was reported by the Russian and Ukrainian sides. The island is located 35 kilometers from the coast just off the Danube Delta in the Odessa region. It is currently in the hands of the Russian armed forces, who say they shot down several planes and helicopters there overnight. “Overnight, Russian air defense units over Snake Island destroyed two more Ukrainian Su-24 bombers and one Mi-24 helicopter and shot down a Bayraktar drone outside the city of Odessa,” he said. said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. In addition, a Ukrainian corvette was sunk. On the other hand, the Ukrainian military recently reported the sinking of a Russian landing craft on the island. In addition, the Ukrainian Defense Command Southern Operations Staff showed video of the alleged downing of a Russian helicopter over the island.
Are there still civilians in the Azovstal steelworks?
Meanwhile, Ukrainian fighters trapped in the besieged Azovstal steelworks want to continue their resistance to the bitter end if necessary. “We will continue to fight as long as we live to repel the Russian occupiers,” Captain Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Ukrainian Azov regiment, told an online conference. “We don’t have much time, we are under heavy fire,” he said, asking the international community to help him evacuate wounded soldiers from the facility in the port city of Mariupol, in the southeast of the country. Palamar added that he could not confirm that all the civilians had already left the steelworks.
Russia sends senior officers to the front to compensate for losses
According to British intelligence, Moscow is deploying more and more high-ranking commanders to the front. Accordingly, the great losses are the reason for the step of sending the officers into battle. However, there is no evidence so far that the presence of these officers in combat has led to an improved operational concept, according to an update from the UK Ministry of Defence. Planning errors would continue to undermine any Russian advance. Furthermore, the strategy results in disproportionate casualties among Russian officers.
Ukraine sees military activity in Transnistria
Outside Ukraine as well, the threat situation seems to be intensifying. Ukraine’s military leadership reported that Russian troops and other armed groups in the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria were “in full preparation for battle”. There are fears that the conflict in Ukraine could spread to neighboring Moldova.
Zelenskyi compares the Russian invasion to the Nazi attack
In a moving video address from the heavily damaged suburb of Borodjanka in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj draws parallels between the German invasion of World War II and the current Russian invasion. “In Ukraine they staged a bloody new edition of Nazism,” Zelenskyj recounts of Russia’s attack on Ukraine in a black-and-white video in front of the rubble of a residential building. “A fanatical imitation of the regime, its ideas, its actions, its words and its symbols. A maddening interpretation of its bestialities and alibis supposed to give this evil a sacred purpose”. On the day of commemoration of the end of World War II, Zelenskyi also commemorates the contribution of the Ukrainian people to the victory of the anti-Hitler coalition. The country had suffered from bombings, mass shootings and occupation, had lost people in concentration camps and gas chambers, in captivity and forced labor, but in the end it still won.
Ukrainian ambassador booed in Berlin
The end of the war was also commemorated in the German capital. Many people gathered at the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin’s Tiergarten. A group unfurled a large Ukrainian flag, which the police stopped. The Berlin Senate previously imposed a ban on Russian and Ukrainian flags at 15 memorial sites on May 8 and 9. The aim was to avoid provocations and possible disputes. Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk also laid a wreath around noon. He was booed by some people present and “Melnyk out” was shouted. Other participants chanted Ukrainian songs, many people wore blue and yellow clothes – the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Putin fights ‘Nazi reck’
A day before Russia’s end-of-war celebrations, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a statement and, like Zelensky, drew a parallel between World War II and the current invasion of Ukraine. “As in 1945, victory will be ours,” Putin said. “Today, like their ancestors, our soldiers are fighting shoulder to shoulder to liberate their homeland from Nazi filth.” Putin goes on to say in a passage addressed to Ukrainians: “Unfortunately, today Nazism is resurfacing. Our sacred duty is to prevent the ideological heirs of those who have been defeated” from taking “revenge”.
Trudeau and Jill Biden on whirlwind visits to Ukraine
Visits from Western officials never stop. Besides German Bundestag President Bärbel Bas, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US First Lady Jill Biden also visited Ukraine. Bas met with Zelenskyy and Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk for talks. Trudeau first traveled to the Kyiv suburb of Irpin, then he raised the Canadian flag at his country’s embassy in Kyiv, which was closed weeks ago. A conversation with President Selenskyj was to follow later. President Jill Biden’s visit was no less surprising than Trudeau’s. She first visited refugees in the town of Uzhgorod, near the Slovakian border, then met Selenskyj’s wife, Olena, for an hour-long chat. “I wanted to come for Mother’s Day. I thought it was important to show the people of Ukraine that this war has to stop,” Jill Biden said.
G7 countries agree on oil embargo
G7 countries impose new sanctions on Russia. The White House announced that all G7 countries had pledged to phase out or ban imports of Russian oil – the United States itself had already imposed a corresponding import ban. In Brussels, EU countries are still negotiating an oil embargo against Russia and other punitive measures. A US official also announced a ban on providing services to businesses or individuals in Russia. Services in the fields of accounting, management, consulting or marketing are concerned. The US official said the United States would further tighten export controls to weaken Russia’s war effort. Wood products, industrial engines and clearing vehicles are affected. The NATO countries, the United States, Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy and Germany as well as Japan, belong to the group of seven major democratic industrial nations.
Ex-Chancellor Schröder would have lost income
Gerhard Schröder continues to be heavily criticized for not giving up his positions in Russian energy companies despite the Russian attack on Ukraine. Now comes the initiative of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group to withdraw his income from work for Russian energy companies. The SPD politician should not continue to be allowed to earn millions for his activities on behalf of Gazprom and Rosneft, said CDU MP Thomas Heilmann. “That’s relatively easy to do by issuing a corresponding ban on activities. Any amounts he would still receive would have to be paid into the public treasury in full,” Heilmann explained.
More Articles on the Ukrainian War
AYou can read all the subsequent developments in our live ticker on the war in Ukraine.