On the 78th day of the conflict in Ukraine, the Russian offensive in the East is marking time. Russian gas giant Gazprom has announced it will stop transporting gas through a key pipeline that passes through Poland. Before the UN Human Rights Council, Ukraine denounced the abuses and torture imposed by the Russian army. Here is what we know about the evolution of the conflict this Thursday.
- Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine stalls
- Gazprom announces it will stop moving gas through a key pipeline through Poland
- Before the UN Human Rights Council, Ukraine denounces the abuses and torture of the Russian army
- The UN Security Council meets this Thursday afternoon
The situation on the military front
Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine stalls
The Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine is stalling, while the Ukrainian counter-attack northeast of Kharkiv is still gaining ground. “Russian forces made no significant advance anywhere in Ukraine on May 11 and Ukrainian forces continued to gain ground northeast of Kharkiv,” summarizes the American Institute for the Study of War. “The withdrawal of Russian forces from the Kharkiv region is a tacit recognition of Russia’s inability to take key Ukrainian towns where it expects limited resistance from the population,” believes the British Ministry of Defence.
A Russian airstrike on the city of Novgorod-Siversky, in northeastern Ukraine, left at least three dead and twelve wounded overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, emergency services told AFP on Thursday. .
Fighting affects gas supply in Lugansk region
Fighting in the Luhansk region affect the transport of Russian gas via Ukraine : 50.6 million m3 must transit this Thursday via the Soudja station, against 72 million yesterday, according to the Russian giant Gazprom, i.e. a fall of almost 30% after an 18% decrease recorded on Wednesday.
Mariupol calls on Elon Musk for help
In Mariupol, the resistance fighters, still sheltered in the Azovstal steelworks, were constantly bombarded. The factory represents the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the strategic port city. Commander of the Mariupol 36th Marine Brigade, Sergei Volyna, made a direct appeal to American billionaire Elon Musk : “People say you come from another planet to teach people to believe in the impossible. Where I live, it’s almost impossible to survive.” “Help us to leave Azovstal for a third country. If not you, who else? Give me a clue”continued the commander.
The diplomatic situation and international reactions
Gazprom stops moving gas through key pipeline through Poland
Russian gas giant Gazprom announces it is ceasing to use a key gas pipeline for transiting gas to Europe via Poland. A decision taken in response to Western sanctions imposed on Russia. On Wednesday, the Kremlin announced that it was sanctioning more than 30 companies from Europe, the United States and Singapore. Among these companies, EuRoPol GAZ SA, the owner of the Polish part of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. This major gas axis transports Russian gas through Belarus and Poland to Germany.
EU to help Ukraine unblock grain exports
The European Commission will help Ukraine to unblock its grain exports. It will create a networking platform to mobilize increased freight capacities and coordinate their storage with the Member States. As Russia imposes a blockade on Ukrainian ports, “20 million tonnes of grain stored in silos must leave Ukraine within three months (by the next harvest) via EU infrastructure (…) We must optimize logistics chains, avoid bottlenecks strangulation” at the borders, explained the Commissioner for Transport.
Before the UN, Ukraine denounces “the endless list” of Russian abuses
In front of UN Human Rights Council, meeting in extraordinary session in Geneva, Ukraine denounced “the endless list” of abuses committed by Russia. “Torture and enforced disappearances, sexual and gender-based violence, the list of Russian crimes is endless”, denounced the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. In particular, she showed a sheet on which a little boy raped in front of his mother drew a whirlwind of black lines. “Russian aggression is accompanied, every day, by ever more macabre and unsustainable discoveries”, affirmed the French ambassador Jérôme Bonnafont.
In the wake of this meeting, the 47 member states of the Council must vote on a draft resolution calling for an investigation by the UN international commission on Ukraine, in connection with serious human rights violations.
UN Security Council meeting
The United Nations Security Council is also due to meet on Thursday, at the request of France and Mexico, to examine the situation in Ukraine. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for maintaining contact with Russia to save lives in Ukraine and prepare for peace.
Ukraine asks to be “reserved” for it a place in the European Union
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy asked Thursday that a place be “reserved” for his country in the European Union, even if the accession negotiations must last a long time.
Towards Finland joining NATO, a “threat” judges Russia
The President and Prime Minister of Finland said they were in favor of their country’s “immediate” accession to NATO. They will announce the country’s decision on Sunday. “Being a member of NATO would strengthen Finland’s security”, affirmed the two members of the executive. The official position of the executive marks the Finnish line seesaw, who shares a 1,300 kilometer border with Russia and a painful past with its powerful neighbor. Finland, which has 5.5 million inhabitants, is now very favorable to this membership: 76% of the population is in favor of membership, ie three times its level before the war in Ukraine.
This entry of Finland into NATO would be “certainly” a threat to Russia, which would respond with “military-technical” measures to such membership, Moscow judged.
Siemens leaves Russia
The German industrial group Siemens will withdraw from the Russian market because of the war. This decision to leave Russia represents a loss of 600 million euros for the group’s activity in the second quarter.
The humanitarian situation and solidarity with Ukrainians
The French generous with the Ukrainians
The French are generous and supportive of refugees, according to the barometer of the Apprentis d’Auteuil, “Solidarity in the test of crises”, produced by the Ipsos institute and published this Thursday, reveals franceinfo.
Nearly half of the population say they have done or plan to to donate to help Ukrainian refugees or victims of the conflict in 2022. 17% of French people have already made a donation and 29% plan to do so. In details, three-quarters of French people with high incomes have donated or plan to donate: 46% have already helped Ukrainians, and 27% plan to donate in 2022.