Women, children and the elderly were evacuated from Azovstal

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On Friday, Washington announced new military aid to Ukraine as the Russian offensive knows no truce, including, according to Kyiv, in Mariupol where about fifty civilians have been evacuated.

And the fighting continued despite the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council on Friday of a declaration calling for peace in this country, which enters its 72nd day of war tomorrow, Saturday.

Key information to remember:

  • Joe Biden announces new military aid to Ukraine
  • 50 civilians evacuated in Mariupol
  • 41 people released in prisoner exchange
  • Zelensky says Mariupol is “totally devastated”

50 people evacuated from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol

Fifty civilians were evacuated thanks to a new humanitarian convoy on Friday from the massive Azovstal factory, the last pocket of resistance for Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, the port city besieged by Russian forces, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk announced.

“Today we managed to get 50 women, children and adults out of Azovstal,” Vereshuk announced via Telegram. “Tomorrow morning we will continue the evacuation.” For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense determined the evacuation of eleven children out of these 50 civilians.

New US military aid

Joe Biden on Friday announced new military assistance to Ukraine to fight the Russian invasion, including artillery and radar munitions, but the US president warned that Kiv’s weapons funds were “virtually exhausted.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a separate statement that the amount of this assistance represented $150 million, far less than previous shipments of US weapons.

The official added that the plane includes, in particular, 25,000 155 mm shells, anti-battery radars to detect Russian artillery fire and communications jamming devices.

Russia “forever” in southern Ukraine

Russia will remain “forever” in southern Ukraine, Russian parliament member Andrei Turchak said on Friday during a visit to Kherson, a major Ukrainian city that Moscow has declared in full control of since March.

For its part, said the mayor of Severodonetsk, one of the main areas of Donbass still under Ukrainian control, it was “almost surrounded” by Russian forces and separatists.

Zelensky said Mariupol was “completely destroyed”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that the city of Mariupol was “completely destroyed” and that there was nothing left for Russia to dismantle from the Azovstal steel plant.

Mr. Zelensky, during a video conference organized by London think tank Chatham House, was questioned about the fall of this strategic port at the southern tip of Donbass, as there was only a pocket of resistance in this steel complex.

Security Council supports Guterres

The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously approved a statement providing “strong support” to the UN Secretary-General “in the search for a peaceful solution” to Russia’s war on Ukraine. We learned from diplomatic sources.

The declaration, written by Norway and Mexico and obtained by AFP, does not go so far as to support Antonio Guterres’ mediation as stipulated in the first version of the text negotiated since Thursday. The declaration adopted represents the first evidence of unity by the Security Council since the invasion began on February 24.

Prisoner exchange: 41 people released

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk announced, Friday, that 41 people, including 11 women, have been released in a new prisoner exchange with Russia.

She did not reveal how many Russians were extradited to their country.

G7 Video Conference with Zelensky

The German chancellor, whose country holds the G7 presidency this year, announced that leaders of the G7 superpowers will hold a virtual meeting on Sunday dedicated to the war in Ukraine, in which Mr. Zelensky must also participate. .

Mysterious mega yacht stranded in Italy

Italian authorities on Friday seized a mysterious huge yacht worth 700 million dollars (636 million euros), the name of its owner has not been published and it appears that it is on its way out.

The investigation by Italian authorities “established the existence of important economic and commercial links between the person who officially owns the Scheherazade ship and prominent Russian government figures” as well as Russian figures sanctioned by the West after the invasion of Ukraine, according to a statement from Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.

So he decided to immobilize the ship.

Kyiv says that shots were fired during the evacuation of Azovstal

The Azov Regiment, which is defending the huge Azovstal steel plants where the last Ukrainian fighters were stationed from the besieged city of Mariupol (southeast), accused Russian forces on Friday of targeting one of its vehicles participating in the operation. Evacuate and kill civilians. soldier and wounding six.

The Russian army announced, on Wednesday evening, that it will respect the unilateral ceasefire for a period of three days, from Thursday to Saturday, to allow the evacuation of civilians, but information about the situation immediately is still contradictory.

“Nearly 500 civilians” have been evacuated in recent days, according to Kyiv, and these operations continued on Friday.

Hungary slows down EU embargo project

Hungary is blocking a proposed European embargo on Russian oil, several diplomatic sources told AFP on Friday, and tough negotiations between the 27 member states of the European Union will continue to reach an agreement at the end of the week.

“If no agreement is reached at the end of this week, I will have to convene an extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers next week, after Europe Day,” said Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy.

Africa faces an ‘unprecedented’ crisis

Two officials from the United Nations Development Program warned Friday that Africa is facing an “unprecedented” crisis due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, especially with soaring food and fuel prices.

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