Fighting Intensifies in Eastern Ukraine, US Steps Up Arms Deliveries

Missiles also targeted the Odessa region, the Ukrainian army counting seven strikes and deploring one dead and five wounded. The President of the European Council Charles Michel, on a surprise visit to this large southern city, was forced to take shelter.

“You are not alone. The EU is on your side” facing the“assault” Russian, said Michel alongside Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmygal. “We will be with you as long as it takes”he continued.

Moreover, “very intense battles were taking place around Rubizhne and Bilogorivka” in the Lugansk region (east), said Governor Serguiï Gaïdaï.

The Ukrainians can count on American military aid which has already amounted to some 3.8 billion dollars since the beginning of the conflict.

It should be further facilitated by the signing on Monday by President Joe Biden of the“Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act”. This law of “lend-lease” resumes the device adopted in 1941 by Roosevelt giving the American president extensive powers to support the war effort in Europe.

“I am convinced that Putin believed he could break NATO, that he believed he could break the European Union”added Mr. Biden a little later during a political fundraising operation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saw in the adoption of this law a “historic milestone”: “I am convinced that we will win again together. And we will defend democracy in Ukraine. And in Europe. Like 77 years ago”he wrote on Twitter.

“Denial”

The date of this signature, May 9, coincides with the great military parade in Red Square celebrating the 77th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany, during which Russian President Vladimir Putin repeated his arguments to justify his invasion of Germany. Ukraine, launched on January 24.

He claimed that Ukraine was preparing an offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, that it wanted to acquire the atomic bomb and was supported by NATO.

European Council President Charles Michel (l) and in a bunker with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal in Odessa, May 9, 2022 EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESS SERVICE/AFP / Dario Pignatelli.

“An absolutely unacceptable threat was forming, directly at our borders”he said.

After his speech, 11,000 soldiers, dozens of vehicles, including strategic missile launchers and tanks, crossed Red Square. Among them, units presented as returning from the Ukrainian front. The aerial part had to be canceled due to unfavorable weather, according to the Kremlin.

Westerners reject Mr. Putin’s arguments. The Russian President “is in the completely revisionist justification of the motives for war. It has a discourse of denial and reversal of responsibility”regretted the head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian on the television channel BFM TV.

An hour before the Russian President’s speech, Volodymyr Zelensky released a video in which he hammered: “We will not let anyone annex this victory, take it over”.

“On VE Day, we are fighting for another victory, the road to victory is long but we have no doubts”he insisted, walking in Khrechtchatyk, the central avenue of kyiv. “We won then, we will win now”.

Overturned vehicle in Mariupol, Ukraine, May 9, 2022 AFP/STRINGER.

Same determination in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in kyiv. “It’s completely stupid everything that’s going on, Putin is rewriting history”is in despair Lera Nelioub came to flower the monument with her father, a veteran of the Second World War.

French President Emmanuel Macron, however, called on Monday not to “humiliate” Russia because “Tomorrow we will have a peace to build”.

Rather than kyiv joining the EU, which would take “several decades”Mr. Macron proposes the creation of a “European political community” which could accommodate Ukraine and other “democratic European nations adhering to our core values”.

Sessions at the UN

Washington is also monitoring the Russian arms industry which, according to the Pentagon, is beginning to suffer from international sanctions and is struggling to replace guided missiles used in Ukraine because of the embargo on electronic components which hits Russia.

US President Joe Biden signing the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, in Washington, May 9, 2022 AFP / Nicholas Kamm.

John Kirby, spokesman for the Pentagon, also assured that Ukrainians had been “sent against their will” in Russia, without being able to give a figure. kyiv advances that of 1.2 million people deported to Russia and placed in camps.

The UN Human Rights Council will organize Thursday at the request of Kyiv, supported by dozens of countries, an extraordinary session on “the deterioration of the human rights situation in Ukraine”.

On the same day, the UN Security Council should meet for the 16th time since the start of the Russian invasion, at the request of France and Mexico. This session follows the bombing this weekend of a school in eastern Ukraine, in which 60 civilians were killed, according to kyiv.

In Mariupol, a port in southeastern Ukraine almost entirely under Russian control, where the Ukrainian soldiers who are still resisting in the huge Azovstal steelworks have ruled out surrendering, the pro-Russian separatists marched for May 9.

In Belgrade, Sofia and Vienna, hundreds of people also marched with Russian flags.

In Warsaw, the Russian ambassador to Poland was sprayed with a red substance reminiscent of blood and attacked by pro-Ukrainian demonstrators, as he prepared to lay a wreath at the Warsaw cemetery where the Soviet soldiers who died in World War II.

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