Day 71 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Evacuation from Azovstal, Moscow Prepares Military Parade, EU Prepares New Sanctions

World » UKRAINE | May 5, 2022, Thursday // 11:21
Bulgaria: Day 71 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Evacuation from Azovstal, Moscow Prepares Military Parade, EU Prepares New Sanctions @Flickr

Evacuation from Azovstal, Moscow prepares military parade, EU - new sanctions. Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

"Fierce battles" in Azovstal

The mayor of the devastated Ukrainian city of Mariupol said earlier Wednesday that he had lost contact with Ukrainian forces defending the Azovstal steel plant amid "heavy fighting" with Russian troops. Vadim Boychenko later announced that contact with the Ukrainian army at the plant had been restored.

The Kremlin has denied that Russia stormed the plant after Ukraine accused Moscow of launching a "powerful" attack on the industrial zone, the latest redoubt of Ukrainian forces. The commander of the Azov Regiment announced that for the second day there are Russian troops on the territory of the plant.

Russia has announced a ceasefire and withdrawal of forces to evacuate civilians. There will be humanitarian corridors on May 5, 6 and 7.

20 bodies of civilians found in the Kyiv region

The bodies of another 20 civilians have been found in the Kyiv region over the past 24 hours, police said. This increases the total number of civilians killed to 1,235. Kyiv Regional Police Chief Andriy Nebitov says the latest finds are in Borodyanka and surrounding villages, about 25km from Bucha.

Biden is "open" to more sanctions

US President Joe Biden has said he is "open" to imposing more sanctions on Russia and will discuss measures with the G7 allies over the next few days. "We are always open to additional sanctions," Biden said shortly after the European Union announced plans to ban Russian oil imports and other new measures punishing Moscow for invading Ukraine.

Kyiv: EU countries that oppose the embargo are “accomplices”

Ukraine claims that EU countries blocking the embargo on Russian oil imports would be complicit in crimes committed by Russian troops on Ukrainian territory by funding the Moscow military. "If there is a country in Europe that continues to oppose the Russian oil embargo, there will be good reason to say that this country is complicit in the crimes committed by Russia on Ukrainian territory," said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a briefing on social media.

Kyiv: Planned military parade in Mariupol

Ukraine accuses Russia of planning a military parade in the ruined city of Mariupol on May 9 to celebrate victory over the Nazis in World War II. Kyiv said an official from Russia's presidential administration had arrived in the strategic southern port city to oversee plans for Victory Day parade.

EU prepares additional sanctions

EU leader Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc would impose a gradual ban on Russian oil as part of new sanctions to punish Russia for invading Ukraine. "We will cut off crude oil supplies from Russia within six months and refined products by the end of the year," she told the European Parliament.

The situation in eastern Ukraine is horrific

Russian forces continue to attack targets in the eastern part of the country, the General Staff of Ukraine said. Moscow is seeking to establish "complete control" over the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and maintain a land corridor to occupied Crimea.

Luhansk Governor Sergei Gaidai said two people had died in the past 24 hours and "the whole region has been completely shelled, there is no safe place."

Evacuees arrived in Zaporizhzhia

Further evacuations from Mariupol are expected on Wednesday, a day after 156 people arrived in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia.

Belarus begins maneuvers

Belarus, an ally of Moscow that shares a border with Ukraine, is undertaking "surprising" military maneuvers to test its army's jet capability, its defense ministry said.

Belarus' military units have tested their ability to "enter combat readiness, move to pre-determined areas and conduct combat training," the ministry said in a statement.

EU to support Moldova

European Council President Charles Michel has promised to increase EU military aid to Moldova, Ukraine's neighbor, which has been the target of a series of attacks in Transnistria.

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