On the 47th day of the war in Ukraine, the east of the country awaits a major offensive by the Russian army. The Ukrainian military says it is preparing for a final battle in Mariupol, an already devastated port in southeastern Ukraine. French gendarmes are in Lviv to investigate war crimes.
- Ukrainian Army Says It Expects Russian Offensive In East ‘Very Soon’, Prepares For ‘Final Battle’ In Mariupol
- The Austrian chancellor, who visited Moscow, said he was “pessimistic”
- EU foreign ministers meet for new sanctions package
- French gendarmes arrived in Lviv to investigate war crimes
- Société Générale announces its withdrawal from Russia
- To listen: daily podcast Radio France on the situation in Ukraine
The situation on the military front
The Ukrainian army prepares for the ‘final battle’ in the port of Mariupol
The Ukrainian military says it is preparing to “one last battle” in the devastated and besieged port of Mariupol, in the south-east of the country. “Our ammunition is running out. It will be death for some of us and captivity for others,” the 36th National Army Brigade, which is part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, wrote on Facebook. The leader of pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk said in the afternoon that his forces had completely conquered the city’s port area.
Several tens of thousands dead in Mariupol?
Several tens of thousands of people were probably killed in the Russian assault against Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “Mariupol has been destroyed, there are tens of thousands of dead but even despite that, the Russians do not stop their offensive”he lamented in front of South Korean parliamentarians.
The Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine “will take place very soon”
Therefore, eastern Ukraine expects a massive offensive by the Russian army. “According to our information, the enemy has almost completed its preparation for an assault in the east. The attack will take place very soon.”, the spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksandre Motouzianik, warned at a press conference. Part of the region has already been controlled since 2014 by pro-Russian separatists, and the Russian authorities have made full control of this region their new goal.
A Russian victory in Donbass before May 9?
Analysts believe that President Vladimir Putin wants to achieve a victory in the Donbass before the military parade on May 9, on Red Square marking the Soviet victory over the Nazis in 1945.
The diplomatic situation and international reactions
The Austrian chancellor meets with Putin and says he is “pessimistic”
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who traveled to Moscow on Monday for talks with Vladimir Putin, said “pessimistic”: “We should not have illusions. President Putin has massively entered into a logic of war and is acting accordingly” waiting to record “a military success” quick, he added. He is Europe’s first leader visit the Russian capital since the beginning of the war.
French gendarmes in Lviv to investigate war crimes
French gendarmes arrived in Lvivin the west of the country, to help their Ukrainian counterparts “in the investigation of war crimes committed in kyiv“, the French ambassador to Ukraine announced on Monday. This is the “first” foreign unit “to provide such assistance”the ambassador said.
Funds for this survey have been released. Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden have agreed to pay around €2.5 million to help the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate alleged war crimes in Ukraine. “It is crucial to preserve all the evidence now, in order to try these crimes”German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.
Pro-Russian protests in Germany
Various Controversial pro-Russian rallies were held this weekend in Germany, at the initiative of the country’s large Russian-speaking community. Its members consider themselves victims of discrimination since the beginning of the war. Some 800 people gathered in Frankfurt on Sunday, under a tide of Russian tricolor flags. In Hannover, in the north of the country, there were 600 people. Demonstrations were also held on Saturday in Lübeck, in the north, with 150 participants, according to the police, as well as in Stuttgart (southwest).
New meeting of foreign ministers of the European Union
EU ministers met in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss a sixth package of sanctions against Russia. agreedincrease arms deliveries to Ukraine.
The first five European sanctions packages, including an embargo on Russian coal, were adopted unanimously by the 27, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a consensus, particularly on the issue of Russian gas, on which most ministers they want to do without. , but on which Germany, Austria, Italy and Hungary still depend heavily.
France expels six Russian spies ‘under diplomatic cover’
Six agents of the Russian intelligence services present in France under diplomatic cover were “declared persona non grata”announced the Quai d’Orsay in a press release. The activities of these six agents “they have proven to be contrary to our national interests”.
Global trade growth could be cut in half
The war in Ukraine could cut world trade growth in half, according to an analysis by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat. According to this analysis, world trade growth should be between 2.4% and 3%. In October, the WTO expected an increase of 4.7%.
Société Générale withdraws from Russia
Société Générale has announced that it will end its activities in Russia, by selling its entire stake in Rosbank, of which it was the majority shareholder. Heavily involved in the country, the French bank was exposed to the tune of €18.6bn, including €15.4bn for Rosbank, a heavyweight in the Russian banking sector.
The humanitarian situation and solidarity with the Ukrainians
More than 4.5 million refugees
More than 4.5 million Ukrainian refugees have fled their country since the start of the war, according to figures from the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 90% of those who fled Ukraine are women and children, the Ukrainian authorities do not allow men of military age to leave. The UN also estimates the number of internally displaced persons at 7.1 million.