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Russia claims Israeli ‘mercenaries’ fighting in Ukraine

Russia strikes targets in eastern Ukraine, launching rockets at a steelworks that is Ukraine’s last redoubt in the port city of Mariupol as fighting continues on the 70th day.

“Israeli mercenaries are practically neck and neck with Azov militants in Ukraine,” a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. (AA)

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Moscow says Israeli ‘mercenaries’ are fighting in Ukraine

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman claims Israeli mercenaries were fighting alongside the far-right Azov regiment in Ukraine, further fueling tensions with Israel after Russia suggested Adolf Hitler had “Jewish blood” “.

“Israeli mercenaries are practically neck and neck with Azov militants in Ukraine,” Maria Zakharova told pro-Kremlin radio Sputnik in an interview.

Azov rose to prominence in 2014, when its far-right activists took up arms to fight pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, but have since fallen under the command of the Ukrainian military.

Kremlin denies Russian aggression against Azovstal steel plant in Ukraine

The Kremlin has said Russia will not storm the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, after Ukraine accused Moscow of launching a “powerful” assault on the industrial zone where kyiv forces are entrenched.

“The order was issued publicly by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief to call off the assault,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, referring to President Vladimir Putin’s order on Tuesday. last month not to pursue any attacks in the region.

“There is no assault,” Peskov said.

Oil supply ‘disruptions’ possible with EU ban on Russia: Germany

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said a phased EU ban on Russian oil imports could lead to “disruptions” to supplies and price increases, but backed the measure as a necessary step to sanction Moscow.

“I have said many times that of course we cannot guarantee in this situation that there will be no disruptions, mainly regional disruptions,” he told reporters after a cabinet meeting, adding that Berlin had backed the bloc’s measure in response to the Ukraine conflict.

Russia warns NATO: transporting weapons to Ukraine is a “target”

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the Russian military would consider NATO transports carrying weapons to Ukraine as targets for destruction, the RIA news agency said.

Shoigu also said Ukrainian fighters holed up in the sprawling Azovstal factory in Mariupol were kept under secure blockade after President Vladimir Putin ordered they be sealed off.

Russia bans entry of 63 Japanese, including prime minister

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against 63 Japanese officials, journalists and professors for holding what it called “unacceptable rhetoric” against Moscow.

The list includes Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, among other officials.

The sanctions bar those targeted from entering Russia indefinitely, the ministry said.

Russia claims to have hit 40 Ukrainian military targets, including 4 ammunition depots

The Russian Defense Ministry said it had disabled six Ukrainian train stations used to supply Ukrainian forces with Western-made weapons in the east of the country.

The ministry said it disabled railway stations by bombarding their power supplies with high-precision air and sea weapons. He did not specify which Western-made weapons were supplied to Ukrainian forces through these stations.

The ministry also said it hit 40 Ukrainian military targets, including four depots storing ammunition and artillery weapons.

EU chief proposes ‘orderly’ ban on Russian oil imports

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU would impose a phased ban on Russian oil in retaliation for the conflict in Ukraine.

“We will ensure that Russian oil is phased out in an orderly manner,” von der Leyen said in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg as she presented a sixth sanctions package against Moscow for denying funding for the war effort. against Ukraine.

Von der Leyen also said the EU would ask the bloc’s 27 member states to deny Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, access to SWIFT, the global banking communication system.

Europe will buy Russian oil via third countries – RIA quotes Russian lawmaker

Europe will continue to buy Russian oil via third countries once it introduces an embargo, the RIA news agency said, quoting Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chairman of the chamber’s international affairs committee. Russian high.

Ukraine: dozens of civilians killed, injured

Ukrainian authorities say dozens of civilians have been killed and injured in the latest attacks in the east of the country.

Donetsk Regional Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said 21 civilians were killed and 27 others injured in Tuesday’s Russian attacks.

He said in a statement on a messaging app that it was the highest number of civilian casualties in the region since April 8, when a Russian missile attack on a railway station in the city of Kramatorsk killed in least 59 people.

In the nearby Luhansk region, Governor Serhiy Haidai said at least two civilians had been killed in Russian shelling in the past 24 hours and two others had been injured.

Ukraine, UN and Red Cross step up efforts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol

A bus convoy has left Mariupol in another attempt by Ukraine, the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to evacuate civilians from the southern Ukrainian city, the regional governor said.

The buses were heading towards the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

He did not say whether other civilians had been evacuated from a sprawling steelworks in Mariupol where the city’s last defenders are resisting Russian forces.

Ukraine does not exclude the possibility that Belarus could join the Russian war effort

kyiv does not rule out the possibility that Moscow could at some point use the armed forces of Russian ally Belarus in the offensive in Ukraine, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Border Service said.

Speaking after the Belarusian armed forces began large-scale exercises, spokesman Andriy Demchenko said: “We do not rule out that the Russian Federation may at some point use the territory of Belarus, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, against Ukraine. Therefore, We are ready.”

United Kingdom: Russia deploys 22 battlegroups of battalions near Izium

The British military believe that Russia will make an effort to try to seize the towns of Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine.

The Brits made the comment in a daily briefing they post on Twitter about the war. The Defense Ministry said Russia has some 22 battalion battlegroups near Izium in its bid to advance in the area. Russia uses so-called battalion tactical groups, infantry units usually reinforced with tanks, air defenses and artillery, in its operations. Each group usually has about 800 soldiers.

The British said: “Despite its efforts to break through Ukrainian defenses and build momentum, Russia most likely intends to move beyond Izium to capture the towns of Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk.” He added: “Capturing these locations would consolidate Russian military control of northeast Donbass and provide a starting point for their efforts to cut off Ukrainian forces in the region.

Belarus says surprise army does not threaten neighbors

Belarus’ armed forces have begun sudden large-scale drills to test their combat readiness, the defense ministry in neighboring Ukraine has said.

“It is expected that the (combat readiness) test will involve the movement of a significant number of military vehicles, which may slow traffic on public roads,” the Belarusian ministry said in a statement.

Against the backdrop of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, the ministry said the exercise posed no threat to its neighbors or the wider European community.

Ukrainians wait in Mexico City for US entry

Hundreds of Ukrainian refugees are camping in Mexico City and waiting for the US government to allow them to enter the country.

About 500 evacuees waited in large tents in the scorching sun on a dusty field east of Mexico’s sprawling capital. The camp has only been open for a week and 50 to 100 people arrive every day.

Some refugees have already made it to the US border in Tijuana where they were told they would no longer be admitted. Others arrived at airports in Mexico City or Cancun. The US government announced in late March that it would accept up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Blinken: Conflict in Ukraine aggravates problems in the Americas

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the conflict in Ukraine has compounded problems in the Western Hemisphere caused by the coronavirus pandemic, such as increased poverty.

Blinken said at the annual Conference of the Americas lunch on Tuesday that the effects of the fighting are being felt after the pandemic has inflicted “massive economic damage across the region.”

Delivering the luncheon keynote in Washington, Blinken said, “Now with the Russian government’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine, many of these pre-existing problems, these pre-existing conditions, have been compounded, increasing the commodity prices across the Americas, from fertilizers to wheat to oil, cutting off key export markets for many industries in the Americas and forcing households across the region to make very heartbreaking choices as the cost of life soars.”

For live updates from Tuesday, May 3, click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies