Van der Leyen at Kew tomorrow
The head of the European Commission will visit Kiev on Tuesday to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This will be Ursula van der Leyen’s fifth visit since the Russian military offensive began in February 2022. “The president will reaffirm the EU’s unwavering support for Ukraine,” he said. .
New European sanctions
The European Commission on Friday submitted an eleventh set of restrictive measures against Russia to EU member states aimed at circumventing European economic sanctions, its spokesman announced on Monday. “The purpose is to prevent them from finding a way to supply the Russian military complex with goods prohibited from being exported to Russia,” he explained. A proposal for the first time targets eight Chinese and Hong Kong companies accused of re-exporting critical goods to Russia, according to AFP.
A dead person
A missile exploded at a food warehouse in the Odesa region, killing one person and wounding another, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office said. “The three-storey warehouse was heavily damaged by shelling and fire,” he said.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will travel to Kyiv on Tuesday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, her spokesperson announced on Monday.
“The president will reaffirm the EU’s unwavering support for Ukraine,” his spokesman said, adding that the commission’s fifth visit since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine will take place on Europe Day.
May 9 in Ukraine
Ukraine will forego any commemoration of the May 9 victory over Nazi Germany in keeping with Soviet and Russian tradition, and will celebrate the day “along with the free world” on May 8, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Monday.
The May 8 commemoration “is the story of our people, of our allies, of the free world. Today we give it back to our people,” he declared in a video address at his closing ceremony. During World War II, fifteen months after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the worst military conflict in Europe since 1945.
The Ukrainian president spoke at the May 8 commemoration in a speech broadcast on social networks on Monday. To summarize what he said:
Since the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2022, about 5% of Ukrainian soldiers have gone missing, according to the Interior Ministry. An unbearable situation for their families who are desperately trying to trace them. Our correspondents went to meet them to explain the steps taken in this hitherto taboo matter.
The President of Ukraine posted part of his speech on Twitter. In his message this morning, he proposed making May 8 a day of remembrance and victory over the Nazis during World War II, 1939-1945.
“Unfortunately evil has returned,” he said, adding that “albeit now another invader, the goal is the same: enslavement or destruction.”
According to the British Ministry of Defence, Russian military recruiters are targeting Central Asian migrant workers to recruit and serve in Ukraine. “Recruiters went to mosques and immigration offices to recruit.” To try to appease, the officials will give a bonus of almost 2390 dollars and a salary of more than 4160 dollars per month. “Migrants have been given easier access to Russian citizenship, with the deadline reduced from six months to one year instead of the usual five years,” British intelligence said.
“There is a high probability that these recruits will be sent to the Ukrainian front, where the losses are very high”, the Defense Ministry underlined, adding that the recruitment of migrants is part of the Russian Defense Ministry’s strategy. Its motto is “400,000 volunteers committed to fight in Ukraine”.
Volodymyr Zelensky today signed a decree on Europe Day, which is celebrated annually on May 8 in Ukraine together with EU countries. “We will never forget the contribution of the Ukrainian people to the victory over Nazism. (…) Then we destroyed evil together, so now we destroy the same evil together,” wrote Volodymyr Zelensky in Telegram.
“All the old evils that modern Russia brings back will be defeated in the same way Nazism was defeated,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech posted on his social media, pledging to “liberate” the territories occupied by Moscow.
“The fear that the West is not helping enough to claim Crimea has started in Kiev,” assures geopolitical scientist LCI Pascal Boniface, founder and director of IRIS. “We are already hearing reports from the Ukrainian authorities that any kilometer gained during the counter-offensive would already be a victory.”
“Since April 2022, Zelensky has been saying that we should return to Crimea,” he recalled. “There is an argument that the Americans believe that militarily it will be difficult and that it could lead to an all-out war and that the Ukrainians will not give what they are asking for.”
On May 9, “Victory Day” in Russia, Vladimir “will want to show that Putin is capable of staging a massive military parade like Stalin did in 1941 when Nazi troops were 30 kilometers from Moscow,” according to LCI Pascal’s estimates. Boniface, geopolitical scientist, founder and director of IRIS. “He will show that, despite the difficulties, a very large military parade can be held in front of the Kremlin walls.”
We get back
We take into account the latest information on the conflict on the 439th day of the war.
Bombardment of Bagmouth
The Bagmouth war, which has been ongoing since last summer, continues to be violent on the ground. While Wagner’s mercenaries claim to control 95% of highly-marked areas, the Ukrainian military says it is still fiercely defending itself.
“The enemy is not going to change its intentions and is doing everything to control Bagmouth,” Ukrainian ground forces commander General Oleksandr Chirsky was quoted as saying on Sunday by the Defense Ministry after visiting the front in the east. According to him, in recent days Russia has been regrouping its forces and stepping up its bombardment with heavy weapons.
According to the regional military administration, the Odesa region was targeted overnight. “The X-22 missile hit the logistics infrastructure (food storage warehouse) (…) causing heavy fire,” the same source said. In full fear of a Ukrainian counterattack, the Russian administration in Crimea said on Sunday. The Russian Navy foiled a nighttime attack by a dozen drones attributed to Ukraine on the port city of Sevastopol, its home port on the Black Sea.
According to Moscow, the drones were neutralized by anti-aircraft defenses and electronic jamming. “No infrastructure in the city was damaged,” city governor Mikhail Rasvozhayev said.
Attacks on Kiev
Ukraine’s capital was hit by an airstrike last night, the Kyiv military said. Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said four people were injured.
Russian writer Jagar Prilepin, who campaigned against the attack on Ukraine, was injured Saturday in Russia when his car exploded, killing his assistant, and vowed on Sunday not to panic.
“Thank you to everyone who prayed, because it is impossible to survive such an explosion,” Prilepin said in a telegram, “I tell the demons, you will not threaten anyone. God exists and we will win.”
He paid tribute to his driver, Alexander Shupin, who died in the blast. “My dear friend, my protector of eight years is dead,” he added. Jagger Prilepin also said he had dropped off his daughter “five minutes before the explosion”.
Paramilitary group Wagner said on Sunday it was receiving additional ammunition from Moscow after threatening to withdraw from Baghmouth in eastern Ukraine, as Ukraine comes under further pressure from new drone strikes on Crimea.
The Russian administration on the peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014, said it launched a dozen drones over the Ukrainian port city of Sevastopol, saying they were neutralized by anti-aircraft defenses and electronic jams.
“No infrastructure in the city was damaged,” city governor Mikhail Rasvozhayev said. Earlier in the day, Russian officials announced that they had shot down a Ukrainian ballistic missile over Crimea, an event rarely reported.
Hello and this live reception dedicated to the war in Ukraine. The latest information on the conflict can be found here.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”