Russia can hold referendum in Mariupol, Ukrainian soldiers’ relatives ask China for help

Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the Mariupol mayor, said on May 14 that some sources in the group, who have not yet been evacuated, believe Russia is preparing a referendum on the city’s future.

According to Andryushchenko, the announcement of a referendum could come as early as today (May 15), although there is no evidence of the establishment of polling stations.

“We have information that the Russian authorities are preparing a referendum and may even call it tomorrow (May 15), but we still don’t know if this is true or not. No,” said the adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, according to the Guardian.

“However, we see a strong integration of Mariupol into Russian systems such as education and banking,” Andryushchenko added.

Moscow has not yet responded to this information.

The city of Mariupol was devastated by the fighting between Russia and Ukraine. Photo: Reuters

Meanwhile, 5 wives and 1 father of Ukrainian soldiers holed up at Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol have sent a request to Chinese President Xi Jinping to “save” him, claiming that Herr is the world’s last leader , which Moscow can listen to.

At a May 14 press conference in Kyiv, Stavr Vychniak, the father of one of the Ukrainian soldiers who remained at the Azovstal factory, said: “We only have one person left in the world. It’s Chinese President Xi Jinping. China has great influence over Russia and President Vladimir Putin personally, and we would like to ask for his intervention (President Xi Jinping).”

Natalia Zarytska, the wife of one of the Ukrainian soldiers in Azovstal, also said that “there is only one person left in the world who can make it difficult for Mr. Putin to say no,” and urged Mr. Xi to “get involved.” “the rescue” of his relatives. “We believe that China, with its strength and nobility, can make decisions in the name of good on this difficult issue,” Zarytska said.

Russia accuses US security of threatening diplomats

The TASS news agency quoted the Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, as saying that Russian diplomats in Washington DC were threatened with violence and harassed by US security and intelligence services.

Antonov likened the current state of the Russian embassy in the US to “a fortress under siege”. “Essentially, our embassy operates in a hostile environment… Embassy staff receive threats, including threats of physical violence,” said the ambassador, told TASS May 14.

Seat of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine. Photo: AP

Agents from US security agencies are constantly standing outside the Russian Embassy and exchanging US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) phone numbers to establish contacts,” Antonov said, adding that since Russia became the Fall Sei launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 and has completely cut off direct contact with US officials.

The CIA, FBI, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the US State Department were not immediately available for comment.

Earlier, the RIA Novosti news agency, citing Ambassador Antonov, said the activities of Russia’s embassy in Washington DC were “frozen” while its bank accounts were closed and staff there threatened.

Ukraine warns of mines near Odessa coast

The City Council of Odessa (Ukraine) has warned residents of the appearance of floating mines near one of the city’s shores.

In a May 14 statement, the Odessa City Council said: “The mines lie just a few tens of meters offshore and pose no direct threat. However, they are once again a reminder of the dangers of swimming and other offshore marine activities. “

Officials in the southwestern Ukrainian port city also said the mines were being cleared by special forces, but warned local residents: “For your own safety, do not go near the beach and shore, use watercraft, let alone swim.”

In addition, the Odessa City Council stressed that the threat of missile attacks still exists.

The Eurovision champion is ready to return to Ukraine to fight

At a press conference in the city of Turin (Italy) on the morning of May 15, lead singer Oleh Psiuk of Kalush Orchestra – the Ukrainian group just won the champion at Europe’s premier music competition Eurovision – knew he and his band members were ‘ready to fight’ after returning home “.

“Our right to temporary residence expires in two more days, and in those two days we will return to Ukraine,” Psiuk said. “It’s difficult to say exactly what I’m going to do because it’s the first time I’ve won the Eurovision music competition. But like all Ukrainians, we are always ready to fight as hard as we can and we will keep fighting to the end.”

The Ukrainian Kalush Orchestra group became the winner of this year’s Eurovision music competition. Photo: AP

The Kalush Orchestra won the top spot at Eurovision 2022 after the group’s performed song “Stefania” earned an overall score of 631 from the judges and audience, well ahead of runner-up Sam Ryder of Great Britain (466). Point). On the last night of the competition, the Kalush Orchestra sang in Ukrainian in front of about 7,500 spectators.

The Ukrainian government currently prohibits men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country. However, all 6 male members of the Kalush Orchestra received special permission to go abroad to “represent the country and culture of Ukraine” to take part in this leading European music competition.