War in Ukraine: what to remember from Friday

This 65th day of conflict was marked by the aftermath of the bombings that occurred in several Ukrainian cities. The mayor of Mariupol appeals to the international community for the evacuation of civilians trapped on the site of Azovstal.

Euronews summarizes what should be remembered from this day.

Moscow confirms hitting Kyiv

Russia confirmed on Friday that it had bombed Kyiv the day before in the middle of a visit by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, a strike that caused the death of a Ukrainian journalist from Radio Liberty, an emblematic media financed by the United States.

Russia has confirmed that it struck the capital the day before, claiming to have targeted military and strategic targets even as the UN secretary general was there.

The attack occurred when the head of the United Nations, who made his first trip to Ukraine on Wednesday and Thursday since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, was in Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, however, regretted in a video address on Friday evening, “that such a brutal and deliberate humiliation of the United Nations has gone unanswered”.

Civilians in Mariupol are still waiting

At the same time in Mariupol, the large port city in the south-east fell essentially into the hands of the Russians but where the evacuation of civilians trapped with Ukrainian soldiers in the Azovstal steelworks was envisaged on Friday. The sustained bombardments on the steel complex did not allow such an operation at this stage.

“Civilians have already spent more than 60 days in these conditions begging to be saved. That is why today we implore the international community to step up to save the lives of the local population,” said the mayor of the city Vadym Boychenko.

“Difficult” in Kharkiv

On the ground, Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged that the situation in the Kharkiv region, the major city in the northeast in the area where Russian forces have refocused their offensive, was “difficult”.

“But our soldiers are achieving tactical successes”, he said.

Further south and east, in the Donbass region that the Kremlin has set itself the goal of fully recapturing, “the occupiers are doing everything to destroy all life”, asserted Volodymyr Zelensky, believing that “The constant bombardments on infrastructure and inhabited areas show that Russia wants to make this area uninhabited”.

Russian delay in the Donbass

The Russian offensive in the Donbass “has lagged behind”, a senior Pentagon official said on Friday. “they are far from having made the connection” troops entering from the Kharkhiv region (east), north of Donbass, and those coming from the south of the country, one of the objectives of the Russian army to take in pincers the Ukrainian forces deployed on the front line around the separatist areas from Donetsk and Lugansk.

But “We believe they continue to create the conditions for a sustained, larger and longer offensive,” added the senior US Department of Defense official.

Indonesian president invites Zelensky and Putin to G20 summit

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced on Friday that he had invited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and confirmed that he had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the G20 summit scheduled for November in Indonesia.

Indonesia, which chairs the G20 this year, has come under heavy pressure from the West, led by the United States, to exclude Russia since the start of the invasion of Ukraine.

But Jakarta resisted, arguing that its position as host required it to remain “impartial” and US President Joe Biden, in particular, had suggested Ukraine’s participation to find a balance.

One American killed, two Britons ‘captured’

A 22-year-old American former Marine was killed in Ukraine where he left to fight Russian forces in mid-March, according to family members, the Pentagon urging American nationals on Friday “not to surrender” in this country.

Two British volunteers have been “captured” by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, UK-based nonprofit Presidium Network said on Friday.

The Russian Ministry of Defense released this Friday the images of a wounded British fighter who would have been captured.

British soldiers in Eastern Europe

Around 8,000 British soldiers will take part in exercises in Eastern Europe this summer alongside NATO soldiers, in a “show of solidarity and strength”, according to British Defense Minister Ben Wallace.

Dozens of tanks and 120 armored fighting vehicles will be deployed from Finland to North Macedonia under the long-planned project and boosted since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

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