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News, May 2022
Ukraine War Drags on, With No End in Sight, No Negotiation, Except for Few Civilian Evacuations
May 7, 2022
"The first casualty of war is the truth." General Patton.
Ukraine says all women, children now evacuated from Mariupol steel mill
Women, children and elderly evacuated, deputy PM says Not clear if other civilians remain Russian forces try to storm Azovstal, Ukraine military says CIA director says Putin 'doubling down' on conflict WHO documents 200 attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine
KYIV, May 7, 2022 (Reuters) -
All women, children and elderly civilians have been evacuated from the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol, Ukraine's deputy prime minister said on Saturday, despite what military officers said was an ongoing Russian assault at the plant.
"This part of the Mariupol humanitarian operation is over," Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
The Soviet-era steel mill, the last holdout in Mariupol for Ukrainian forces, has emerged as a symbol of resistance to the Russian effort to capture swathes of eastern and southern Ukraine in the 10-week-old war.
Under heavy bombardment, fighters and civilians have been trapped for weeks in deep bunkers and tunnels criss-crossing the site, with little food, water or medicine.
Russian forces backed by tanks and artillery tried again on Saturday to storm Azovstal, Ukraine's military command said, seeking to dislodge the last Ukrainian defenders in the strategic port city on the Azov Sea.
Weeks of Russian bombardment have left Mariupol in ruins and the steel mill has been largely destroyed. Several groups of civilians have left the sprawling complex over the past week during pauses in fighting.
Earlier on Saturday, Russia's Interfax news agency cited Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine's Donetsk region as saying 50 more people had been evacuated from the besieged steelworks.
However, by 1600 GMT, Reuters journalists had not seen any sign of their arrival at a reception centre in separatist-controlled territory near Mariupol.
The separatists said a total of 176 civilians had now been evacuated from the plant.
Evacuations of civilians began last weekend from the Azovstal plant, brokered by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). They were halted during the week by renewed fighting.
Earlier this week, the city's mayor estimated that 200 civilians were trapped at the plant.
It was not clear after the deputy prime minister's statement on Saturday if civilian men were still in the complex.
On Friday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a late-night video address that Ukraine was working on a diplomatic effort to save fighters barricaded inside the steel works.
The fighters have vowed not to surrender. It was unclear how many remained there, and Ukrainian officials fear Russian forces want to wipe them out by Monday, when Moscow commemorates the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.
In Washington, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns said Russian President Vladimir Putin is convinced "doubling down" on the conflict will improve the outcome for Russia.
"He's in a frame of mind in which he doesn't believe he can afford to lose," Burns said at a Financial Times event.
Putin declared victory in Mariupol on April 21, ordered the plant sealed off and called for Ukrainian forces inside to disarm. Russia later resumed its assault on the plant.
A service member of pro-Russian troops stands in front of people, who were evacuated from Mariupol in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict, outside a bus near a temporary accommodation centre in the village of Bezimenne in the Donetsk region, Ukraine May 7, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
Moscow calls its actions since Feb. 24 a "special military operation" to disarm Ukraine and rid it of anti-Russian nationalism fomented by the West. Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unprovoked war.
In Kyiv on Saturday, the World Health Organization said it had documented 200 attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine, the latest allegations of war crimes by Russian forces. Russia has denied attacking civilian targets.
Mariupol, which lies between the Crimea Peninsula seized by Moscow in 2014 and parts of eastern Ukraine taken by Russia-backed separatists that year, is key to linking the two Russian-held territories and blocking Ukrainian exports.
Ukraine's general staff said Russia's offensive in eastern Ukraine aimed to establish full control over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and maintain the land corridor between these territories and Crimea.
Ukrainian armed forces fighting in the two eastern regions controlled by Russian-speaking separatists said in a Facebook post they fought off nine enemy attacks on Saturday, destroying 19 tanks and 24 other armoured vehicles as well as downing a helicopter.
Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said Russia dropped a bomb on a school in the village of Bilohorivka, where about 90 people were sheltering. Around 30 have been rescued so far, he said on Facebook.
The Russian defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the alleged bombing.
Russian forces also shelled settlements in the northeast, near Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv. The attacks blew up three road bridges to slow counter-offensive actions by the Ukrainian forces, the general staff said.
However, Russian forces lost control of the village of Tsyrkuny in Kharkiv region, the military command said.
Russia's defence ministry said it destroyed a large stockpile of military equipment from the United States and European countries near the Bohodukhiv railway station in the Kharkiv region.
Russian forces hit 18 Ukrainian military facilities overnight, including three ammunition depots in Dachne, near the southern port city of Odesa, the ministry said.
Reuters could not independently verify either side's statements about battlefield events.
Russia's lower house of parliament speaker Vyacheslav Volodin accused Washington of coordinating military operations in Ukraine, which he said amounted to direct U.S. involvement in military action against Russia.
U.S. officials have said the United States has provided intelligence to Ukraine to help counter the Russian assault, but have denied this intelligence includes precise targeting data.
Washington and European members of the transatlantic NATO alliance have supplied Kyiv with heavy weapons, but say they will not take part in the fighting.
A senior Russian commander said last month Russia planned to take full control of southern Ukraine to improve Russian access to Transdniestria, a breakaway region of Moldova.
Pro-Russian separatists in Moldova said Transdniestria was hit four times by suspected drones overnight near the Ukrainian border.
Ukraine has repeatedly denied any blame for the incidents, saying it believes Russia is staging the attacks to provoke war. Moscow, too, has denied blame.
Russian Armed Forces destroy weapons supplied by West in Kharkov Region
MOSCOW, May 7, 2022. /TASS/.
Russia’s Armed Forces have used Iskander missiles to take out the weapons channeled by the United States and the European Union to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and eliminate troops of Ukraine’s 58th Mechanized Infantry Brigade in the Kharkov Region, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
"A heavy concentration of weapons and combat hardware delivered from the US and Western countries, as well as military personnel of the 58th Mechanized Infantry Brigade of Ukraine’s Armed Forces have been eliminated with Iskander operational-tactical missile systems near the railway stations of Krasnograd and Karlovka in the Kharkov Region," Konashenkov said.
Russian Aerospace Forces
Russian aircraft have shot down a Su-24 bomber, a Su-27 fighter jet, three Mi-8 helicopters with paratroopers and two Bayraktar-TB2 drones belonging to Ukraine’s Armed Forces near Snake island, Konashenkov said.
"A Ukrainian Su-24 bomber, a Su-27 fighter jet, three Mi-8 helicopters with paratroopers and two Bayraktar-TB2 UAVs were shot down in midair near Snake Island. The Ukrainian armored assault boat Stanislav was also destroyed," he said.
The Russian Aerospace Forces have used precision missiles to hit 42 areas of the amassment of enemy manpower and two ammunition depots, Major-General said.
"Forty-two areas of concentration of manpower and Ukrainian combat hardware near Volcheyarovka in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) as well as two ammunition depots near Seversk in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have been hit with high-precision air-to-surface missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces," Konashenkov said.
Russian missile, artillery troops
The Missile Troops and Artillery of Russia’s Ground Forces hit 276 targets belonging to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the past 24 hours during the special operation, Konashenkov said.
"The missile and artillery troops have hit 31 command points and 245 strongholds of the areas of amassment of manpower and combat hardware of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the past 24 hours," he said.
Russia’s Armed Forces have eliminated 154 planes and 115 helicopters, 764 unmanned aerial vehicles, 2,902 tanks and other armored vehicles of the Ukrainian Armed Forces since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman said.
"Overall, the following targets have been destroyed since the beginning of the special military operation: 154 aircraft, 115 helicopters, 764 unmanned aerial vehicles, 296 surface-to-air missile systems, 2,902 tanks and other combat armored vehicles, 333 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,378 field artillery guns and mortars and 2,728 special military motor vehicles," the spokesman said.
Russia’s Armed Forces have used precision weapons to destroy aircraft equipment belonging to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft armament near Artsiz, Odessa and Voznesensk, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman said.
"Aircraft equipment belonging to the Ukrainian Air Force, including unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft armament, were eliminated with high-precision, long-range air-to-surface and sea-to-surface weapons at military airfields in Artsiz, Odessa and Voznesensk," Konashenkov said.
Another 50 people evacuated from Mariupol’s Azovstal plant - DPR
DONETSK, May 7, 2022. /TASS/.
A group of 50 people was evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol on Saturday, the Territorial Defense Center of the Donetsk people’s Republic (DPR) said in a statement.
"Fifty people were evacuated from the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol today on May 7," the statement reads. That said, the total number of civilians evacuated from the facility has reached 176.
The battles for Mariupol erupted on February 25. By now, Ukrainian nationalist formations have been driven out of Mariupol’s residential areas and blocked in the Azovstal plant. Russia’s interagency coordination center for humanitarian response said that the Russian Armed Forces would open humanitarian corridors between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm on May 5-7 in order to evacuate civilians from the facility. Russian troops and DPR forces have been opening humanitarian corridors on a regular basis since late March.
Fifty-one civilians evacuated from Azovstal plant since May 5 - Russian Defense Ministry
MOSCOW, May 7, 2022. /TASS/.
Russia, with participation of representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has evacuated 51 civilians from Azovstal steel workshops since May 5, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on Saturday.
"Thanks to the unprecedented measures taken by the leadership of the Russian Federation, with active participation of representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal metallurgical plant has been completed today. During the operation, 51 people (18 men, 22 women and 11 children) have been rescued since May 5, including one person on May 7," said Mizintsev, who heads the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine.
The general added that each civilian was offered security, and provided with medical and psychological assistance.
"The rescued civilians left for chosen places of temporary accommodation, accompanied by representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross," Mizintsev added.
Russian air defenses down 17 Ukrainian dones, three Tochka-U missiles last night
MOSCOW, May 7, 2022. /TASS/.
Russian air defenses downed 17 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles, three Tochka-U missiles and nine Smerch missiles last night, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
According to him, the drones were downed in the Nikolaev region, as well as near the Signalnoye, Luganskoye, Krasnkogorovka, Yasinovatoye and Zugres in the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Olgino settlement in the Kherson region, the Cherneshchina settlement in the Kharkov region.
Konashenkov added that three Tochka-U missiles and nine Smerch missiles had been intercepted above the city of Izyum in the Kharkov region.
Russia’s missile and artillery forces hit 240 Ukrainian military targets last night. "Missile and artillery forces targeted 44 command posts and 196 strongpoints of the Ukrainian army and areas where Ukrainian troops and military equipment were deployed," the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman noted.
According to the ministry, the Russian Armed Forces destroyed 152 Ukrainian aircraft, 112 helicopters, 762 unmanned aerial vehicles, 295 air defense systems, 2,895 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 333 multiple rocket launchers, 1,364 field artillery pieces and mortars, as well as 2,716 military motor vehicles since the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.
Russia receives 117 requests for evacuation from Ukraine in past day - Defense Ministry
To date, 2,754,963 applications from 2,135 populated localities of Ukraine are in the database, said Mizintsev, who heads the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine
MOSCOW, May 7, 2022. /TASS/.
A total of 117 requests from Ukrainians asking to evacuate them to Russia, the Donetsk or Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the Ukrainian areas controlled by the Russian Armed Forces, have come in on a hotline of the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in the past 24 hours, Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on Saturday.
"In the past 24 hours alone, 117 requests have been received from Ukrainian citizens asking to evacuate them to Russia, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and those areas in the Zaporozhye, Nikolayev, Kharkov and Kherson Regions that are controlled by the Russian Armed Forces," said Mizintsev, who heads the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine.
To date, 2,754,963 applications from 2,135 populated localities of Ukraine are in the database, he said.
Over 18,580 people evacuated from Ukraine, DPR, LPR to Russia in past day - top brass
Since the beginning of the special military operation, 1,165,957 people have already been evacuated, including 205,640 children, said Mizintsev, who heads the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine
MOSCOW, May 7, 2022. /TASS/.
A total of 18,583 people, including 1,841 children, have been evacuated from dangerous areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), and Ukraine, in the past 24 hours, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the chief of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, said on Saturday.
"Despite the obstacles and problems created by Kiev, 18,583 people, including 1,841 children, have been evacuated to the Russian Federation from dangerous areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Ukraine in the past 24 hours, without any participation of the Ukrainian authorities," said Mizintsev, who heads the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine.
"Since the beginning of the special military operation, 1,165,957 people have already been evacuated, including 205,640 children," he added.
According to the colonel-general, 150,971 vehicles crossed into Russia since the start of the military operation.
More than 9,500 temporary accommodation centers continue to operate in Russia. They are equipped with required facilities, including areas for rest and hot meals.
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