When yesterday afternoon the last families, the last children, leave the steel mills Azovstal, we understand that the final word has come for the martyr city. The humanitarian corridors worked for civilians, now it remains there war more bitter, the battle against those who delayed the conquest Russian from Mariupol. About two thousand fighters still refugees inside the plant: they do not hope to save themselves but send their last message to the West, to those who are watching this made impossible comfortably seated in front of a television.
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Odessa under siege, the agony of Azovstal
It is once again Serhiy Volyna, the commander of the 36th brigade of the Ukrainian marines who is inside together with the men of the Azov battalion, who shouts desperation on the Facebook page: “It seems as if I found myself in a reality show hellish – there is no peace – where we are the military, we fight for our lives, we try every chance to save ourselves, and the whole world is just watching an interesting story. The only difference is that this is not a movie and we are not fictional characters. We are waiting for the result of your actions. Time is running out and time is our life », he concludes.
It is difficult to imagine a peaceful solution, even if President Zelensky says they are doing everything to evacuate them from there. While Russia seems to want to intensify its offensive, in view of 9 May, the symbolic date for the president of the Federation, when the victory over Nazism will be celebrated. On the one hand, the Moscow troops aim to ban the influx of weapons and aid from NATO, on the other hand to hinder the supply of the Ukrainian war effort by depriving it as much as possible of the fuel necessary to move the means. «Putin – confirms CIA director William Burns – is doubling the war in Ukraine. He is in a state of mind in which he believes he cannot afford to lose, I think he is convinced that redoubling his efforts will allow him to make progress ».
And in fact the confrontation between great powers is getting more bitter. The Duma accuses the United States of participating “directly” in the hostilities. The war in Ukraine is moving towards “decisive weeks”, estimates NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. And he notes that, at the moment, there are no signs from Russia of an “escalation” with the Atlantic Alliance. Moscow, however, insists and accuses Westerners of having already fully entered into the conflict. Especially the USA. “Not only with the supply of weapons and equipment, but also with the coordination and development of military operations,” said the president of the Duma Vyacheslav Volodin. A clear reference to the information that US intelligence would have passed on to the Ukrainians to hit Russian targets. Enough to anger Joe Biden, who warned Pentagon and CIA leaders about the risks associated with these leaks. Recent press reports – underlined the president – are counterproductive and “distract from our goal”.
With this in mind, the expectation is growing for the signal that the Tsar will give to the world. The “great patriotic war”, won by the Soviet Union against Hitler’s Germany, is for Putin the totem of the true identity of a country fighting Western aggression, masked by the expansionism in Eastern Europe of NATO, which among the Another continues to oppose the “illegal” annexation of Crimea: “The members of the Alliance will never accept it”, warns Stoltenberg despite Ukrainian President Zelensky hinting that he is willing to give up the peninsula in exchange for peace.
Analysts and observers make their predictions. For the British government, Putin, frustrated by the poor results on the ground, could up the ante by abandoning the expression “special military operation” to move to a real “declaration of war” on Ukraine. Meanwhile, fears of an intensification of bombing are driving several regions to impose a curfew to reduce the risks to the population. That May 9 is seen as a watershed date, the mayor of Kiev, Vitalij Klitschko also underlined, inviting the inhabitants who fled the capital – over a million – to return only the following day. And an appeal to stay safe was launched directly by Zelensky, who asked “all citizens not to ignore the anti-aircraft sirens”. In fact, a curfew has been established in Odessa until the whole day of the 9th.
The fighting continues very hard on the various front lines. Starting with the Kharkiv region in the north-east, whose control is crucial for the offensive on the Donbass. Small arms firefights took place in the suburbs of Severodonetsk, Lugansk oblast, between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian units using snipers and drones. Threats from missile raids remain strong across the country, with attacks reported from Sumy, in the north-west, to Mykolaiv, a hinge between Russian-held areas of southern Ukraine and the Odessa region, once again targeted by launches. of missiles that damaged various infrastructures. Bombs also rained on a school in the village of Belogorovka, in Lugansk, while at least 90 people were hiding in the basement, of which only 30 are safe: a massacre is feared.
The Russians then continue to hit the country’s infrastructure with missile attacks launched by ships and submarines of the Black Sea Fleet and by strategic bombers that keep themselves safe within their airspace. The objectives are above all railway lines and junctions, electrical stations and fuel depots. At the moment, it is not easy to assess the impact of these attacks and understand if the Kremlin’s military industry will be able to guarantee sufficient supplies of weapons systems, cruise missiles are much more expensive than “simple” guided bombs, just as a bomber sortie costs more than a tactical fighter sortie.
THE OLD BUILDING
Moscow troops also destroyed the National Literary Memorial Museum of Hryhoriy Skovoroda in the town of Skovorodynivka, eastern Kharkiv region. A missile hit the roof of the 18th century building causing a fire that engulfed all the premises. The director’s son who was on guard at night was pulled out of the rubble with several injuries.
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Ukraine, Putin accuses the US: «Biden at war with us». The agony of Azovstal: civilians taken out of the steel mill. Odessa under siege
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