War Day at a Glance
Hope for civilians in Mariupol – “Sabotage” in Russia
05/01/2022, 10:05 p.m.
After weeks of failure, several dozen people manage to leave the besieged Azovstal steelworks for the first time. At the same time, Russia is expanding its attacks in eastern and southern Ukraine, and suspected Ukrainian military forces are operating on Russian territory. The 67th day of war at a glance:
Red Cross begins evacuation of Azovstal
After several unsuccessful evacuation attempts, dozens of civilians were able to leave the hotly contested Azov steelworks in Mariupol, southern Ukraine for the first time this weekend. About 100 people are on their way to Zaporizhia, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter.
“The evacuation of civilians from Azov-Steel has begun,” Zelenskyy wrote. A first group of a hundred people will be received on Monday in Zaporijia, 220 kilometers away. The Russian Defense Ministry said a “ceasefire” had been imposed on the Azov steelworks. 46 civilians left the steelworks through a “humanitarian corridor” on Saturday.
The eleven square kilometer area of the Azov steel plant in the port city in southeastern Ukraine is hotly contested. The steel plant site is the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, which was largely destroyed by Russian attacks.
A railway bridge collapsed in Russia
In recent days, the Russian army has intensified its attacks in eastern and southern Ukraine. According to Ukrainian sources, the runway was destroyed during an attack on Odessa airport on Saturday. The Russian Defense Ministry also reported the destruction of a hangar “with weapons and ammunition from the United States and European countries”.
Russian authorities also reported several incidents on Russian territory: a fire broke out at a facility belonging to the Ministry of Defense in the border region of Belgorod. In the Kursk region, also bordering Ukraine, Governor Roman Starovojt spoke of “sabotage” after the collapse of a railway line used for freight traffic near a bridge. Russia has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of carrying out attacks on Russian territory in recent weeks.
Germany now supports the oil embargo
Diplomats say the European Commission is considering an embargo on Russian oil. While Hungary in particular is still seen as a potential blocker of a unanimous decision on the sanctions that would be needed for that, Germany now supports the move, according to several diplomats.
Chancellor Scholz announced at a DGB rally in Düsseldorf that kyiv could continue to count on financial aid and weapons technology. “We will continue to support Ukraine, with money, with humanitarian aid. But it must also be said: we will support it so that it can defend itself with arms deliveries, as many other countries in Europe,” said the SPD-politician. .
CDU leader Friedrich Merz had accused the Chancellor of being anxious and hesitant about German arms deliveries to kyiv. There was also such criticism from the traffic light coalition itself. Merz wants to go to kyiv in the next few days. According to reports, the Federal Criminal Police Office has strongly advised against such a trip. Nothing is known of the Chancellor’s similar travel plans.
US trains Ukrainians in Germany
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged continued “strong support” for Ukraine. During a conversation with his Ukrainian colleague Dmytro Kuleba, he also announced that American diplomats would soon return to Ukraine. Another topic was the additional financial aid promised by US President Joe Biden amounting to the equivalent of more than 31 billion euros. The majority – 20 billion – is intended for military aid. US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi also pledged additional support during a visit to Kyiv. Selenskyj thanked him during a meeting with the US Democrat, as he announced via Telegram.
Meanwhile, the United States began training Ukrainian soldiers in Germany and other countries. According to the US Department of Defense, this involves dealing with howitzers and other weapon systems.
Again Lavrov accuses the West
In an interview with Chinese news agency Xinhua, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused NATO of preventing the end of the “special operation” – as Moscow calls the long-running Russian war of aggression for more than two months – through arms deliveries and political agreements. The talks were hampered by “militant rhetoric and inflammatory actions by Western Kyiv supporters”.
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