The Ukrainian authorities have announced the liberation of several towns in this region of the north-east of the country, shelled since the end of February, but “the intensity of the bombardments in the district of Kharkiv has increased”, they specify.
08:34 IN THE FIELD
The Azov regiment publishes photos of wounded soldiers entrenched in the Azovstal factory
A series of photos posted on the Azov Regiment’s Telegram channel document the conditions of wounded Ukrainian defenders holed up under the besieged Azovstal Iron and Steel Works plant in Mariupol. The photos are accompanied by a statement pleading for help:
The entire civilized world must see the conditions of the wounded and crippled defenders of Mariupol and act! (…) We call on the UN and the Red Cross to show humanity and to reaffirm the fundamental principles on which you were created in helping the wounded who are no longer combatants.
Russia could dominate northwest Black Sea, UK MoD says
Russia could dominate the northwest Black Sea if it is able to consolidate its position on Serpents’ Island, according to the British Ministry of Defense bulletin published this morning.
Fighting continues on Zmiinyi Island, also known as Serpents’ Island, with Russia repeatedly trying to reinforce its exposed garrison there. Ukraine successfully hit Russian air defenses and supply ships with Bayraktar drones. Russian supply ships have minimal protection in the western Black Sea, following the withdrawal of the Russian Navy in Crimea after the loss of the “Moskva”. Russia’s current efforts to increase its forces on Zmiinyi Island provide Ukraine with more opportunities to engage Russian troops and attack materiel. If Russia consolidates its position on Zmiinyi Island with strategic air defense and coastal defense cruise missiles, it could dominate the northwest Black Sea.
07:50 IN THE FIELD
Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol
In the southeast, Russian forces have again pounded the Azovstal steelworks, in Mariupol, this port city taken by the Russians where dozens of Ukrainians, soldiers, and civilians, are still holed up.
Ukraine suspends Russian gas pipeline to Europe
The Ukrainian gas pipeline operator said it would stop Russian shipments through its Novopskov platform, in a part of eastern Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. According to the operator, the site handles about a third of Russian gas passing through the country to Europe, although Russian state-owned natural gas giant Gazprom has put the figure at around a quarter.
The operator said it would stop the stream from today due to interference from “occupying forces”. Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Ukraine’s rerouting request would be “technologically impossible” and the company saw no reason for Ukraine’s decision.
NATO: Boris Johnson visits Finland and Sweden
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is today visiting Finland and Sweden, two countries set to announce their position on their possible applications to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Downing Street announced. The subject of this trip is “not just Ukraine, but more broadly the security of Europe”, said the spokesman for the head of the British government, who placed himself at the forefront of the Western response. to the Russian invasion launched on February 24. The spokesperson continued:
We support the democratic ability of countries to decide on things like NATO membership. We understand the positions of Sweden and Finland. This is why the Prime Minister will discuss broader security issues.
The two countries plan to join the Western military alliance to benefit from its protection against the Russian threat
Russian army retreats in Kharkiv
The Russian noose is loosening on Kharkiv, the second city of Ukraine located in the east and which had been shelled since the end of February, Ukrainian authorities said overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday.
“Our armed forces gave us all good news from the Kharkiv region. The occupiers are gradually being pushed back from Kharkiv,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video. “I am grateful to all of our fighters, who held their ground and displayed superhuman strength to drive out the invading army. »
“The localities of Cherkasy Tychky, Rusky Tychky, Rubizhne, and Bayrak have been liberated” in the region of this large city, said the Ukrainian general staff on Facebook. “Thus, the enemy was pushed even further from Kharkiv, and the occupiers had even fewer opportunities to hit the regional center. But ” the intensity of the shelling in the Kharkiv district has increased”, he noted.
In addition, according to Oleh Synehoubov, head of the Kharkiv regional administration, who spoke on Telegram, “by withdrawing, the Russian occupiers leave behind them deadly traps”, mines.
The northern and northeastern districts of Kharkiv, which had around 1.5 million inhabitants before the war, have been hit by Russian rockets for weeks, causing the death of civilians. At the end of February, the Russians wanted to take the city, in vain: the Ukrainian forces resisted and pushed them back a few kilometers away, at the cost of bitter fighting.
The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted at the end of last week that, in this eastern part of the country, the Ukrainian army “is making significant progress and will probably advance to the Russian border in the days or weeks to come.
It also seems to confirm the trend that emerged on the eastern front during this third month of the Russian invasion: on the one hand, Ukrainian units are counterattacking and advancing east of Kharkiv, on the other, the Russians are slowly eating away at the ground about 150 km southeast of the Ukrainian advance, towards the part of Donbas not yet under Russian or pro-Russian separatist control.
06:12 TO DEEPEN
“The war in Ukraine highlights the gap that has grown between the ‘West’ and the ‘Rest’ of the planet”
Several major countries have chosen to send Russia and Ukraine back to back. This illustrates the loss of influence of the Western camp, analyzes in his column by our columnist, Gilles Paris.
06:11 Featured IMAGE
A Ukrainian rescue worker stands next to bodies of Russian soldiers in the village of Vilkhivka, recently taken over by Ukrainian forces near Kharkiv, Ukraine, May 9, 2022
What you need to know this morning
Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Tuesday evening that the Russian threat was moving away from Kharkiv, the second city in Ukraine pounded since the end of February. “The localities of Cherkasy Tychky, Rusky Tychky, Roubizhne, and Bayrak have been liberated” in the region of this large city in the north-east of the country, said the Ukrainian general staff. “Thus, the enemy was pushed back even further from Kharkiv”, but “the intensity of the shelling in the Kharkiv district increased” .
In the southeast, Russian forces have again pounded the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, where dozens of Ukrainians, soldiers, and civilians, are still hiding. “Dozens of strikes”, “every hour”, wrote, on Telegram, Petro Andriouchchenko, deputy mayor of this port city taken by the Russians and almost completely destroyed.
In the vicinity of Odesa, “the psychological pressure continues on the neighboring population of Transnistria” with “the possible blockage of the region due to the decommissioning of the Dniester bridge, which was again attacked by missiles “, advanced the Ukrainian command for the South. According to Washington, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not going to stop at Donbas, and wants to “extend” the conflict to Transnistria, a region of Moldova which seceded in 1990.
On the side of American aid to Ukraine, the House of Representatives adopted, on Tuesday evening, a staggering envelope of nearly 40 billion dollars, following Joe Biden in his unwavering support for Kyiv. The text voted by elected officials from both camps includes an economic and humanitarian component, but also arms and ammunition. It must now be voted on in the Senate, at the end of the week or at the beginning of next week, before being promulgated by the American president.
In Kyiv, emptied of the majority of its residents at the start of the Russian invasion, nearly two-thirds of the capital’s 3.5 million inhabitants have returned, Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced on Tuesday.
Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of independent Ukraine, has died aged 88. He was the last leader of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, from 1990 to 1991, and he served as the first president of independent Ukraine, from 1991 to 1994.
Welcome to this new life. More than two months after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Le Monde continues to follow the fighting and the geopolitical developments of this conflict in real-time.
However, we are no longer able to respond to questions continuously 24 hours a day; this is why the contributions are temporarily deactivated in this live follow-up but will be reactivated as soon as the news requires it, or for sequences of chats.