71st day of war: Ukraine accuses Russia of continuing to attack Azovstal factory

The commander of the Azov Battalion accused Russia of violating its armistice obligation and fierce fighting was still taking place at the Azovstal Steel Plant.

“It is the third day since Russia entered the factory Azovstal, where bloody battles continue. Once again, they violated the ceasefire commitment and did not allow the evacuation of civilians, who continued to hide in the factory’s basements to avoid shelling,” said Sviatoslav Palamar, commander of the Azov battalion holed up in the house. Azovstal steel machine in the city of Mariupol, said in a video posted on Telegram.

The Russian military previously announced a three-day ceasefire in the region to evacuate civilians. Palamar urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to “watch out for wounded soldiers who are dying in excruciating pain as a result of improper treatment.”

The shelling of the Azovstal plant in the video released May 4 by the self-proclaimed pro-Russian Donetsk People's Republic.  Photo: Reuters.

The shelling of the Azovstal plant in the video released May 4 by the self-proclaimed pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic. Picture: Reuters.

The Kremlin had previously denied Russian troops had entered the facility and said humanitarian corridors to evacuate stranded civilians were still open. In a phone call today with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Russian military is still ready to create conditions for the safe evacuation of civilians trapped at the factory.

“As for the remaining troops in Azovstal, the Kiev authorities must order them to lay down their arms and surrender,” Putin said.

Ukrainian officials believe about 200 civilians are still trapped in the basement of the steel factory along with soldiers. Another UN convoy is on its way to the factory to continue evacuating people.

The convoy is a new effort after the United Nations and International Red Cross said on May 3 that 101 civilians had been evacuated from the factory to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhia. Russia has repeatedly accused Ukrainian soldiers of keeping civilians inside the factory as shields.

The head of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said at least 25 civilians were injured in the Russian attack on the city last night. Kramatorsk.

The Ukrainian authorities also announced that Ukrainian forces have re-controlled some residential areas on the border of the two provinces Mykolayiv and Kherson in the south.

“Due to the success of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, Russian forces no longer control a number of settlements on the border of Mykolayiv and Kherson provinces,” the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army said in an intelligence report, which, however, did not release details of the number and names of these residential areas.

Russia did not comment on this information.

The Kremlin accuses the West of preventing a “rapid” end to the Russian military campaign in Ukraine by providing weapons and information. intelligence for this country.

“We know very well that the US, UK and NATO are leaking all information to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Together with the weapons that these countries are sending to Ukraine, these are all actions that do not contribute to the war. The epidemic will end quickly,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Russian commander when asked about the information the US sent to Ukraine by intelligence, stressing that the West cannot prevent Russia from achieving its goal.

The EU Aviation Safety Agency has warned that hostilities in Ukraine are increasing the risk of civilian planes being accidentally hit by a missile.

“Previous wars have shown that it is very easy to misidentify the target. Additionally, the ability to block electronic support devices associated with positioning and/or identification tools further demonstrates the possibility. Civil aircraft were accidentally brought into the sights of missiles or weapons,” the agency said. “Drones and military aircraft operating in conflict zones may also inadvertently invade neighboring civilian airspace.”

EU Council President Charles Michel thinks the EU should do that seizure and sold the confiscated Russian assets and then used the proceeds to rebuild Ukraine. US President Joe Biden had a similar idea last week.

Earlier last month, the EU announced it had frozen 30 billion euros ($32 billion) of assets linked to blacklisted Russian and Belarusian individuals.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) noted that more than 5.6 million Ukrainians left the country after February 24, when Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on May 4 reported a total of 6,731 civilian casualties in Ukraine, of whom 3,280 died and 3,451 were injured. The agency warned the actual number could be much higher.

The military situation in Ukraine after 11 weeks of fighting.  Graphic: Washington Post.

The military situation in Ukraine after 11 weeks of fighting. Graphic: Washington Post.

Huyen Le (Corresponding Guardian, CNN, AFP)