Home World News Ukraine, no truce in sight for Orthodox Easter

Ukraine, no truce in sight for Orthodox Easter

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The Ukrainian authorities wanted to try again on Saturday April 23 to evacuate civilians from the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, largely controlled by the Russian army, while calls for a truce in Ukraine on the occasion of the Orthodox holiday of Easter seems to remain a dead letter on the ground. Russian strikes have thus hit the city of Odessa killing at least five people, according to the Ukrainian authorities.

As the war enters its third month on Sunday, a new attempt to evacuate civilians from the city of Mariupol was being considered at midday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, adding that civilians had started to gather near a commercial center in the city with the aim of being taken to the town of Zaporizhia, some 200 km to the northwest.

This new attempt comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded on Friday evening, on the eve of the Orthodox Easter weekend, a “humanitarian break” to evacuate civilians from the main Ukrainian cities besieged by the Russians, starting with Mariupol, where many civilians, women, children and the elderly, still live as refugees in cellars and underground passages.

Although this strategic port on the Sea of ​​Azov is now largely controlled by Russian troops, the last Ukrainian fighters, notably belonging to the Azov battalion, are entrenched in the immense Azovstal metallurgical complex. However, Moscow and kyiv reject responsibility for the continuation of the fighting in this strategic city.

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→ EXPLANATION. War in Ukraine: Azovstal, symbol of the iron will of the defenders of Mariupol

Strikes on Kharkiv

The truce demanded for several days by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, who is due to travel to Moscow and kyiv on Tuesday 26, by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Patriarchate of In any case, Moscow seemed ineffective on the ground.

Missile strikes would have hit Odessa, the great Black Sea port, killing five people and injuring 18, the chief of staff of the Ukrainian presidency. The Russian army carried out during the night from Friday to Saturday 23 high-precision missile strikes against 11 Ukrainian military targets, including seven concentrations of troops and equipment, and three ammunition depots near the town of Chervonnoe, as well that airstrikes against 66 Ukrainian targets, including three ammunition depots, according to its spokesman Igor Konashenkov,

In Kharkiv, in the East, the inhabitants thus lived through another night of terror. “That night was scarytold theAFP a mother, Yelena, her eyes dark and red with tears. There were two strikes, later there were more, we couldn’t sleep, we spent the whole night in a corridor. »

Ukrainians continue to resist in the east and south

This week started the “second phase of the special operation” launched in Ukraine on February 24 by Moscow. “One of the objectives of the Russian army is to establish total control over Donbass and southern Ukraine”a senior Russian military official said on Friday.

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Russian troops, which withdrew from the kyiv region and northern Ukraine at the end of March, have already occupied much of the east and south of the country. It is now, according to him,“ensure a land corridor” to Crimea and access to Transnistria, a pro-Russian Moldavian region where there is a Russian garrison.

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“It only confirms what I have said many times: the Russian invasion of Ukraine was only supposed to be the beginning, and then they want to capture other countries”, reacted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Ukrainian armed forces, which in recent days have obtained more substantial armament aid from the West, continue according to him “to contain the attacks of the Russian invaders” in the East and South.

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They claimed to have taken over on Saturday 23 three localities near Kharkiv, the country’s second city. “Our armed forces succeeded in a counter-offensive launched yesterday morning. After long fierce battles, our units dislodged Russian troops from Bezrouki, Slatin and Proudyanka”said Oleg Synegoubov, governor of the Kharkiv region.

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