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New effort to evacuate civilians from Ukrainian factory ‘under way’

A third UN-led operation is underway to evacuate civilians from the Mariupol and Azovstal steelworks, as Russia accuses the West of waging a global economic war and the fighting enters its 72nd day.

A new UN convoy was expected in Mariupol to evacuate civilians from the besieged steelworks. (AP)

Friday, May 6, 2022

Ukraine says new efforts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol steel mills underway

A senior Ukrainian official said a new attempt was underway “right now” to evacuate civilians trapped with Ukrainian fighters at the Azovstal steelworks in the southern city of Mariupol.

“The next stage of rescuing our people from Azovstal is underway at the moment. Information on the results will be provided later,” said Andriy Yermak, the presidential staff chief. He gave no details and it was not immediately clear what stage the new rescue effort was at.

He said nearly 500 civilians had been evacuated from the city and its beleaguered factory since a UN-led rescue operation began.

UK: Russia aims to take Mariupol before V-Day

The British military believe Russia wants to take the port city of Mariupol and its vast steelworks ahead of its VE Day on Monday.

The UK Ministry of Defense made the comment in a daily intelligence briefing it does on Twitter. The British military said: “Russia’s renewed effort to secure Azovstal and complete the capture of Mariupol is likely linked to the upcoming May 9 VE Day commemorations and Putin’s desire for symbolic success in Ukraine.

The Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol was the scene of weeks of fighting. Victory Day marks the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Russia claims to have destroyed a major ammunition depot in eastern Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry said its missiles destroyed a major ammunition depot in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk.

He also said his air defenses shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets, a Su-25 and a MiG-29, in the eastern Lugansk region.

EU changes Russia oil sanctions plan in bid to win over reluctant states – source

The European Commission has proposed changes to its Russian oil embargo plan, in a bid to win over reluctant states, a European source said.

The amended proposal would include a transition of three months before the introduction of a ban on maritime services to transport Russian oil, instead of the initial month.

This would also involve aid for investments to modernize oil infrastructure and mitigate the impact of sanctions.

UK says Russia continued ground assault on Azovstal steelworks for day two

Russian forces in Mariupol in Ukraine continued their ground assault on the Azovstal steelworks for a second day, British military intelligence said in a tweet.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address that Russian forces continued to storm and shell the Soviet-era Azovstal factory, where civilians and military forces were sheltering.

Meanwhile, a new UN convoy was expected in Mariupol to evacuate civilians from the beleaguered steel mill which has become the last pocket of resistance against Russian forces in the southern port city.

Official: US provided information before Ukraine sank Russian warship

The United States says it shared intelligence with Ukraine on the location of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva before the attack that sank the warship, an incident that was a high-profile setback for the Russian military .

A US official said Ukraine alone decided to target and sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet with its own anti-ship missiles. But given Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s coast from the sea, the United States has provided “a range of intelligence” that includes the locations of those vessels, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly. and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said the United States was unaware that Ukraine was planning to strike the Moskva until it carried out the operation.

Pentagon denies helping Ukraine ‘target’ Russian generals

The Pentagon has denied providing intelligence on the locations of Russian generals on the battlefield so that Ukrainian forces could kill them.

Reacting to a bombshell New York Times report on US support for the Ukrainian military, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said it was true that the United States was providing kyiv forces with military intelligence ” to help Ukrainians defend their country”.

“We do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military officials on the battlefield or participate in Ukrainian military targeting decisions,” Kirby said.

US first lady to meet with Ukrainian refugees during border visit

US First Lady Jill Biden is on her way to Europe for a visit to Romania and Slovakia.

During her visit, the First Lady is scheduled to meet with members of the U.S. services, U.S. Embassy staff, displaced Ukrainian parents and children, aid workers and educators.

Pentagon: most Russian forces have left Mariupol

The Pentagon said the majority of Russian forces that were around the port city of Mariupol departed and headed north, leaving about the equivalent of two battalion tactical groups, or about 2,000 troops, there. .

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby says even though Russian airstrikes continue to bombard Mariupol, forces in Moscow are still making only “heavy” and incremental progress as the main battle continues in the eastern region of Donbass.

He said he saw no change in Russian momentum heading into May 9. Kirby said the United States still believes Russia is behind the times and not making the progress in Donbass it expected.

Zelenskyy describes lack of medical access

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described a “catastrophic” lack of access to medical services and medicines in areas of the country under Russian control.

In those areas, he said, almost no treatment was available for people with cancer and where insulin for diabetics was hard to find or non-existent. He said antibiotics were in short supply.

Zelenskyy also said that during the offensive, the Russian military has already fired 2,014 missiles at Ukraine, while 2,682 flights of Russian fighter jets have been recorded over Ukrainian skies. He said the destroyed or damaged infrastructure includes nearly 400 hospitals and other medical facilities.

Russian oligarch’s yacht seized in Fiji at US request

Authorities in Fiji have seized Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov’s $300 million yacht after the US Justice Department requested that the vessel be detained for violating sanctions and for alleged links to corruption, the report said. department.

‘Amadea’, five years old and 348ft, was moored in Lautoka, Fiji, in the South Pacific, when local authorities took control of it based on a US warrant and request from the ministry of Justice.

“The Amadea is subject to forfeiture based on probable cause of violations of U.S. law, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, money laundering and conspiracy,” the department said in a statement. .

For live updates from Thursday, May 5, click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies