► Impossible evacuation of civilians in Mariupol
On the 37th day of the war in Ukraine, Friday April 1, the Red Cross announced that the team sent to Mariupol to evacuate thousands of civilians had to turn back, judging the mission ” impossible “. The planned humanitarian evacuation from the port city besieged by Russian forces included three vehicles and nine people. She was forced to return to Zaporizhie, 250 km to the northwest. “They will try again on Saturday to facilitate the safe passage of civilians from Mariupol”added the Red Cross.
→ READ ALSO. War in Ukraine: Mariupol, strategic target of the Russians
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Britain’s Martin Griffiths, will travel to Moscow on Sunday to try to get a “humanitarian ceasefire” in Ukraine. “He will be in Moscow on Sunday and after he will go to kyiv”said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Until now, Russia has refused any visit by a senior UN official whose main subject is Ukraine.
► A Ukrainian strike in Russia
Russian-Ukrainian talks aimed at ending the conflict in Ukraine resumed on Friday, according to Kremlin negotiator Vladimir Medinsky. “Our positions on Crimea and Donbass have not changed”he said, referring to two regions, one which Russia annexed in 2014 and the other which is partially under the control of pro-Russian separatists.
However, an attack carried out, according to Moscow, by Ukrainian helicopters in Russian territory against a fuel depot, this Friday morning, could weigh on the talks to end the offensive in Ukraine. “It is clear that we cannot consider this as something that will create the appropriate conditions for the continuation of negotiations”estimated the spokesman of the Russian presidency, while Russia relentlessly bombs entire cities in Ukraine.
→ UNDERSTAND. War in Ukraine: the big vagueness of the negotiations
The EU on Friday called on Beijing to “do not interfere” in Western sanctions targeting Russia, warning that any support for Moscow “seriously tarnish the reputation” of China in Europe, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
► On the ground, Russian troops are reorganizing
The Russians announce “continue their partial withdrawal” from the north of the kyiv region to the Belarusian border. In this same area, the villages of Sloboda and Lukashivka, south of Chernihiv, were taken over by Ukrainian troops.
While the Ukrainian authorities claimed to have liberated 11 localities in the Kherson region (south), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky qualified for his part that the Russian army was not withdrawing but “ was repositioning “. The situation in the east of the country remains very difficult. Kyiv is planning in particular “powerful attacks”on the besieged port of Mariupol. “We know they are moving away from areas where we beat them to focus on areas that are very important… where it can be difficult for us,” explained the Ukrainian president.
A sentiment shared by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who believes that Russian forces “do not withdraw but reposition themselves” on the Donbass region, while maintaining “the pressure on the capital Kyiv and other cities”. This refocusing suggests a conflict ” prolonged “which could last for months, warned the Pentagon.
kyiv also announced that it had exchanged 86 of its soldiers for Russians, without specifying the number of the latter.
→ READ ALSO. With the war in Ukraine, the Poland-Hungary alliance is faltering
► 4.1 million refugees
France has welcomed 36,000 displaced people fleeing the war, announced Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate for Citizenship. “More than 6,800 children” Ukrainian refugees are currently educated in schools, colleges and high schools in France, mainly in the academies of Nice and Versailles, added this Friday, the Ministry of National Education.
Their number increasing rapidly, they could be 10,000 as early as next week, estimates the ministry, which underlines “still have capacity”. The conflict has already forced more than 4.1 million Ukrainians to flee their country, according to the UN. In total, more than ten million people, more than a quarter of the population, have had to leave their homes either by crossing the border to take refuge in neighboring countries, or by finding refuge elsewhere in Ukraine.
→ MAINTENANCE. Welcoming Ukrainians to Poland: “The honeymoon is over, we need a long-term strategy”
► Vladimir Putin threatens to cut gas to Europeans
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday threatened buyers of Russian gas from countries “unfriendly” to stop their supply if they did not comply with the demands of the Kremlin. Moscow is calling for Russian gas payments to now be made in rubles, a move to prop up the currency that would mainly affect the heavily dependent European Union. “They have to open ruble accounts in Russian banks. And from these accounts they will have to pay for the gas delivered and that as of tomorrow”said the Russian president.
→ UNDERSTAND. Russia: Vladimir Putin threatens to cut off gas supplies