► In Mariupol, Ukrainian soldiers “will fight to the end”
At 53and day of the war in Ukraine, Russia issued an ultimatum to the last Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol, which has been subjected to a deluge of fire since the start of the Russian offensive on February 24. The Russian Ministry of Defense asked the last Ukrainian fighters entrenched in the Azovstal metallurgical complex to evacuate the premises before 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The ultimatum expired without the last defenders of Mariupol surrendering their weapons. “Our soldiers will fight until the end”assured Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmygal, in an interview broadcast on Sunday by the American channel ABC.
→ THE FACTS. Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky denounces an “inhuman” situation in Mariupol
The situation in the city is “inhuman”Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday April 16, calling on Westerners to provide ” immediately “ the heavy weapons he has been asking for for several weeks.
► Series of strikes on Kharkiv
At least five people were killed and 13 injured in a series of strikes on Kharkiv, a major city in northeastern Ukraine. AFP journalists heard two bursts of gunfire and saw five fires spreading through residential areas in the center of the city.
Ukraine’s second city with nearly 1.5 million pre-war inhabitants, Kharkiv was the target of heavy fighting for several days at the start of the offensive but always remained under the control of Ukrainian forces.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has also announced that it has bombed a military factory on the outskirts of kyiv, while Moscow is intensifying its attacks against the Ukrainian capital.
► Suspension of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from eastern Ukraine
The Ukrainian authorities have announced the suspension of the humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from eastern Ukraine, for lack of an agreement with the Russian army on a cessation of firing.
“This morning, we failed to negotiate a ceasefire on evacuation routes with the occupiers. That is why, unfortunately, we will not be opening any humanitarian corridors today”Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram. “We are sparing no effort to ensure that the humanitarian corridors resume as soon as possible”she added.
► Pope Francis’ call for peace during Easter Mass
During Easter Mass, Pope Francis called on leaders to “hear the cry of peace of the people” in this “War Passover”again referring to Ukraine “martyred”.
“We have seen too much blood, too much violence (…) Stop showing muscles while people suffer”launched Francis during his traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing, in front of some 100,000 faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
→ ANALYSIS. In Rome, the “War Passover” of Pope Francis
The pope said to think of the “many Ukrainian victims”citing “the millions of refugees and internally displaced, families divided, old people left alone, lives shattered and cities razed to the ground. »
However, he welcomed the “encouraging signs” as “the open doors of many families and communities that welcome migrants and refugees all over Europe”seeing it “a blessing for our societies, sometimes degraded by so much selfishness and individualism”.
► Mario Draghi deplores the ineffectiveness of the dialogue with Putin
The head of the Italian government Mario Draghi regretted the apparent inefficiency of the “dialogue” with Vladimir Putin, noting that these contacts did not prevent ” the horror “ to continue in Ukraine.
→ READ. Italy shows its firmness towards Vladimir Putin
He also reaffirmed the need to deliver arms to the Ukrainians. Yes “sanctions are essential to weaken the aggressor, they fail to stop the troops in the short term. To do this, we must directly help the Ukrainians, and that is what we are doing. Not to do so would be to say to them: surrender, accept slavery and submission – a message contrary to our European values of solidarity”underlined Mario Draghi.
These statements come as Italy announced the reopening of its embassy in kyiv from Monday.