Brief overview of Monday’s events:
“Russia has tried to take away (Ukraine’s) sovereignty, to take away its independence. It has failed,” Blinken told a news conference near the Polish-Ukrainian border today. “We do not know how this war will develop, but we do know that a sovereign independent Ukraine will exist for much longer than (Russian President) Vladimir Putin will be on the scene,” he added.
During their unannounced visit to Kiev, Blinken and Austin promised $ 713 million (CZK 16 billion) in aid to Ukraine and other countries in the region and announced the gradual return of US diplomats to the Ukrainian capital. After meeting with US ministers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the United States for “unprecedented” help.
Austin then told reporters that Washington wanted a sovereign democratic Ukraine capable of defending itself and Russia “weakened to the point” so that it could not repeat the current invasion. According to him, Moscow has already “lost many military capabilities” and soldiers, and the USA would like it to be able to restore these capacities.
Today, Russia expelled 40 German diplomats from its territory. This is revenge for the expulsion of 40 Russian diplomats in early April. Berlin justified the exclusion of Russian workers by saying that they were collaborators of the Russian secret services.
According to the local media, Sweden and Finland will jointly express their will to join NATO in May. The pair of northern European countries have long remained a party to the North Atlantic Alliance, but after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they fundamentally changed their current position. Moscow has strongly warned both countries against joining NATO.
Russian invading forces continue the offensive in eastern Ukraine, and in some places the Ukrainian army has managed to repel the attacks. In the south of Mariupol, rocket and bomb strikes are still being held on the positions of Ukrainian soldiers in the Azovstal iron and steelworks, and the Russian shelling of Kharkov is not over.
Today, the Russian army announced its intention to locally suspend hostilities and open a humanitarian corridor for hundreds of Ukrainian civilians hiding in the Azovstal complex in Mariupol. According to Kiev, however, Russian attacks on steel mills did not stop. According to Ukraine, Russia regularly violates the temporary ceasefire, while Moscow blames Kyiv for the same.
According to Ukrainian authorities, five people were killed and 18 others were injured in Russian rocket attacks on the railway infrastructure in the Vinnytsia region in midwestern Ukraine. The head of the state railway company Oleksandr Kamyshyn previously said on the Telegram social network that Russian forces were shelling five railway stations this morning. The Russian Ministry of Defense later announced that Russian forces had destroyed six facilities in Ukraine that powered the railway station, through which foreign weapons were allegedly transported to the Ukrainian Donbas.
Western countries continue to send additional military equipment to the Ukrainian army. Britain announced today that it will send Ukraine a smaller number of Stormer armored vehicles, equipped with air defense launchers. The German armaments group Rheinmetall has asked the federal government to export hundreds of older Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Poland has announced that it is sending tanks to Ukraine.
A massive fire broke out tonight at an oil depot in the Russian city of Bryansk. Its cause is still unclear, according to witnesses, it was preceded by explosions. However, the Ukrainian leadership did not report any action against the facility.
According to Putin, Russia’s FSB has thwarted an attempt by Kiev and the West to assassinate the well-known TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov, who is considered the face of Kremlin propaganda. However, Putin, whose speech was broadcast on state television, did not provide any evidence to support his claim.
The Ukrainian authorities over the weekend asked Russia for a ceasefire and the opening of an evacuation route from Mariupol, but according to Kiev it was unsuccessful. Moscow at the moment does not see the point in declaring an armistice in Ukraine, because it fears that Kyiv would misuse it to join forces and provoke, said Deputy Ambassador of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyansky, according to RIA Novosti.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) will be involved in investigating possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, in which Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine are already cooperating, the EU Judicial Cooperation Office Eurojust has informed. Russia has repeatedly faced criticism from Western countries and non-profit organizations for committing international crimes in its aggression against Ukraine. Moscow denies it.
Source: EuroZprávy.cz by eurozpravy.cz.
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