Russia apparently plans to annex Ukrainian territory in May

RAccording to US estimates, Ussland plans to annex large parts of eastern Ukraine in May and recognize the southern Ukrainian city of Cherson as an independent republic. The expected US approach came “straight from the Kremlin’s tactical playbook”, said Michael Carpenter, US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The United States and others have reports that Moscow is planning “fake referendums” in the so-called people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, with which the territories would be annexed to Russia. It also looks like Russia will hold an independence vote in Kherson.

With such referendums, the Kremlin may be trying to give its actions a democratic touch, Carpenter said. According to reports, the votes could take place as early as mid-May. But such tampered votes would not be considered legitimate, the US ambassador to the OSCE said.

In Mariupol, Ukraine, Russian occupiers marked the entrance to a house with their sign

Source: REUTERS

In the medium to long term, the Russian attackers aim to conquer all of southern Ukraine, including the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria in the neighboring Republic of Moldova. However, according to Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the Security Council in Kyiv, Russia will not achieve this goal, especially not by May 9. May 9 is widely celebrated in Russia as Victory Day over Nazi Germany, and this year it is seen as a particularly significant and symbolic date for President Vladimir Putin.

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On the contrary, confidence is growing on the Ukrainian side in its ability to successfully repel the Russian invasion of its own territory. Given the sometimes successful resistance of the Ukrainian army against Russian troops, Danilov expressed his belief that the war would not end with a peace agreement, but with the surrender of the aggressor. “Together with Russia, we can only sign his surrender,” Danilov told Ukrainian television on Monday.

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Nor does he count on security guarantees from international partners for Ukraine. In the negotiations with Moscow on the end of the war, the leaders of kyiv brought guarantees from states such as the United States, Great Britain and Poland. The best guarantee for Ukraine is the power of its people, Danilov has now said.

However, Russian attackers are increasingly targeting the city of Odessa in southern Ukraine. According to Ukrainian sources, a rocket attack hit the port city on the Black Sea on Monday evening.

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Maxym Marchenko, the governor of the region, wrote on Telegram that there were dead and injured. He did not provide any information on the number of people affected. He explained that an infrastructure was affected during the attack. He didn’t say what it was.

According to Danilov, the rocket attack destroyed the roof of a church belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

The humanitarian situation in Mariupol is “disastrous”

Meanwhile, the drama continues in the port city of Mariupol. According to the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, the humanitarian situation in the Ukrainian city is dire. “From the information we have so far, we can say with certainty: it’s a total disaster,” the organization’s emergency coordinator for Ukraine, Anja Wolz, told the newspapers. Funke media group (Tuesday).

The true extent of human suffering in the beleaguered metropolis will only become fully apparent in the future. “I don’t think we have any idea what we’re going to see there. Butscha, Irpin and Hostomel are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Wolz.

DWO_AP_Ukraine_Krieg_Gebiete_0205_1

Source: WORLD infographic

Hundreds of bodies were found in the towns of Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka and Hostomel after the withdrawal of Russian troops. Russian troops had besieged Mariupol on February 24, shortly after the start of the war. In the meantime, they have largely taken control of the strategically important city.

Wolz pointed out that there is currently virtually no way to provide medical care to residents of the gated city. “It is currently almost impossible to bring relief to Mariupol,” Wolz said. Although there are volunteers who smuggle medicine into the city, it is only very small amounts of medicine.

Valentina, having escaped the horror of Mariupol, arrives at a refugee center in Zaporizhia

Valentina, having escaped the horror of Mariupol, arrives at a refugee center in Zaporizhia

Source: REUTERS

Moreover, there is a lack of medical personnel to provide medical care to the people of Mariupol. “Operations cannot take place. There, people are alone. This also applies to other combat zones in the country.

The last defenders of the Ukrainian city took refuge in the steelworks of Azovstal, where civilians also sought refuge from the Russian occupiers. According to the Ukrainian National Guard, there are 200 civilians in the steelworks bunkers, including 20 children. Russia speaks of around 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers and foreign mercenaries who took refuge there with civilians.

Smoke rises over the Azov Steel Plant in Mariupol

Smoke rises over the Azov Steel Plant in Mariupol

Source: REUTERS

DWO_AP_Ukraine_Flucht_0205_jb

Source: Infographic WELT/Jörn Baumgarten

According to Ukrainian sources, 20 civilians left the besieged steelworks on Monday evening. The Azov regiment involved in the defense of the steel plant said that the evacuation operation could only take place with a delay of five hours because the premises of the plant had again been shelled by Russian soldiers. “Enemy artillery created new debris and new destruction,” Deputy Commander Sviatoslav Palamar said.

After dozens of people were able to leave the huge factory premises for the first time over the weekend, another rescue operation was due to begin on Monday morning. According to the Mariupol City Hall, the evacuation buses did not initially arrive at the agreed collection point.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, more than 100 people were evacuated from the steel plant over the weekend. According to the Russian army, 46 civilians had left the steelworks on Saturday and had “voluntarily” remained in the separatist region of Donetsk. According to reports, another 80 people left Mariupol on Sunday. As a result, 69 of them left for Ukrainian territory.

A woman arrives with her grandson at a refugee center in Zaporizhia

A woman arrives with her grandson at a refugee center in Zaporizhia

Source: AP/Evgeny Maloletka

However, no evacuation convoy arrived in the town of Zaporizhia, 220 kilometers away, on Monday. Vehicles from the United Nations children’s charity Unicef ​​and other aid organizations were parked in a parking lot on the outskirts of Zaporizhia.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, nearly 200,000 children and 1.1 million adults have been brought to Russia from Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine. The ministry announced that they had been evacuated at their own request. Ukraine says the government in Moscow has forcibly abducted thousands of people in Russia since the war began on February 24.

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