LIVE – War in Ukraine: new hope for a humanitarian corridor in Mariupol today – Liberation

War between Ukraine and Russiadossier
On this 38th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the establishment of a humanitarian corridor remains complex in the besieged city of Mariupol. Around Kyiv, the apparent Russian withdrawal allows the Ukrainian army to regain ground.

In summary :

– Thanks to the establishment of humanitarian corridors, more than 6,000 Ukrainians were able to leave combat zones on Friday. In the martyr city of Mariupol, around 3,000 people fled in cars or buses.

– The Russian army is loosening its grip on Kyiv and Chernihiv, which would allow the Ukrainian army to regain ground in the North. In the southeast, Mariupol remains besieged.

– The UN will send its Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs to Moscow on Sunday to negotiate a “humanitarian ceasefire” and Ukraine.


The Accord Group continues to operate in Russia but swears it is not financial. The French hotel giant will remain open in Russia because it provides services there “extremely valuable, even indispensable”, assures this Saturday on France Inter its CEO Sébastien Bazin. The boss justifies himself: “I don’t make money there, so can’t tell me I’m funding the war. […] We are present in difficult times all over the world, Accor has never in 50 years closed a hotel in a conflict zone. The collaborators, that’s the only thing I care about, if they’re not there, we can’t function. I have 3,800 in Russia in 55 hotels of which I am not the owner but the manager and therefore responsible for these employees.


Gas for roubles: Will Putin really turn off the heat in Europe? Since Friday, the Kremlin has been demanding ruble payments for energy. But an economic pirouette should allow Europeans to override this demand. Read our article on the subject.


The pope in Kyiv? Asked by a reporter about a possible trip to Ukraine while on a plane from Rome to Malta, Pope Francis replied: “Yes, it’s on the table.” Without saying more, as Reuters tells. The political and religious authorities of Ukraine have indeed invited him to come to the country.


More and more Ukrainians are returning home. Since the start of the war, nearly 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine for Poland. But according to the Polish border guards, as reports the BBC, the migratory flow has tended to slow down in recent days. Conversely, an increasing number of people are returning to Ukraine. More than 400,000 people have crossed the border from Poland to Ukraine since the start of the conflict, including 15,000 on Friday alone. This could be explained by the gradual withdrawal of Russian troops from the main cities of the country to concentrate on the East and the South.



The resistance of the Ukrainian “best tank brigade” in Chernihiv. It is this heroic effort which would have partly made it possible to avoid the fall of Kyiv. The First Tank Brigade of the Army of Ukraine, vastly outnumbered by Russian troops from Belarus in the north, has managed to hold the city of Chernihiv since the start of the invasion on February 24 and block the way from the capital to the men of Vladimir Putin, as told Forbes in an article this Saturday morning. Supported by reservists and territorial defense units, the hundred tanks of the 1st Brigade resisted the encirclement for several weeks and finally repelled the large Russian invasion force. The Kremlin now appears to be withdrawing its forces from northern Ukraine.


The heavy losses of an elite Russian regiment. If it is always very complex to authenticate the information on both sides in this conflict, in an article published this Saturday, the BBC investigation of the deaths within the Russian 331st parachute regiment. According to the British media, this example represents the “disintegration of Russia’s plan for a quick war”. This elite troop, considered by Moscow as part of the “best of the best” of his army, had served in the Balkans, Chechnya and during the 2014 first Russian invasion of Donbass. But this time deployed at the start of the offensive from Belarus to march towards Kyiv, the 331st Parachute Regiment suffered casualties. Its commander, Colonel Sergei Sukharev, was killed in action on March 13. In total, the BBC has identified 39 soldiers from this unit dead in Ukraine. “But since none of these deaths are more recent than March 13, it can be assumed that dozens more will occur in the coming weeks”notes the British media.



The mystery persists over the Belgorod attack. Charges from Russian authorities were leveled against Ukraine on Friday for a helicopter attack on a “oil depot” in this city located about forty kilometers from the Ukrainian border. The Kremlin deemed this incident wrong “to create the appropriate conditions for the continuation of negotiations”. For its part, the Ukrainian side did not formally deny it, but suggested a «sabotage». “Maybe someone smoked where he shouldn’t… Maybe something else, maybe Russian military sabotaging the execution of orders with accessible means”, said an adviser to the presidency, Oleksiy Arestovych, in a video on Twitter. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky then told the American channel Fox News : “I’m sorry, I don’t discuss my orders as Commander-in-Chief.”


The additional armament effort of the United States. The Pentagon will provide up to $300 million in additional military aid to Ukraine, the US Department of Defense spokesman said in a statement late Friday. “The United States has now committed more than $2.3 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since the Biden administration took office, including more than $1.6 billion in military assistance since the unprovoked and premeditated invasion by Russia”, said John Kirby. The new aid package includes laser-guided missile systems, Switchblade “kamikaze” drones, as well as light Puma-like drones.


Thousands of people evacuated from combat zones. «[Vendredi] the humanitarian corridors functioned in three regions: Donetsk, Lugansk and Zaporizhia. We managed to save 6,266 people, including 3,071 from Mariupol”said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky via a video broadcast overnight from Friday to Saturday. “1,431 people traveled from Berdyansk and Melitopol on their own to Zaporozhye. 771 of them came from Mariupol,” and “42 buses from the city of Berdyansk with residents of Mariupol and 12 from Melitopol with local residents” were en route in the evening to Zaporozhye, for a total of “more than 2,500 people”, said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk, stressing that other evacuations were “expected and planned” on Saturday.


A hope for a humanitarian corridor this Saturday in Mariupol. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), supposed to oversee the very complex operation in the besieged city in southeastern Ukraine, will try “again on Saturday to facilitate the safe passage of civilians from Mariupol”. The day before, his team had to turn back, the planned evacuation of thousands of civilians from this city besieged by Russian forces having been deemed “impossible» this day. This strategic port on the Sea of ​​Azov is still disputed by both sides, and the humanitarian situation there is catastrophic. After weeks of shelling Mariupol, local authorities reported at least 5,000 residents killed. According to the latest estimates, some 160,000 people are still stuck in the city.


Beijing continues its balancing act. China does not circumvent “deliberately” Western sanctions against Russia, Beijing claims on Saturday, the day after an EU warning that any support for Moscow will harm its economic relations with Europe. A close partner of Moscow, Beijing has so far refrained from condemning the Russian invasion, contenting itself with calling on all parties to exercise restraint. Westerners are urging the Asian giant to clearly demonstrate its opposition to the Kremlin offensive.

Source: Libération by

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