War in Ukraine: kyiv strikes on Russian territory, Finland wants to join NATO … the point on the 78th day of fighting

How long will the war in Ukraine last without a major victory on one side or the other? On the 78th day of fighting, launched by Russia, the situation seems dramatically frozen: the Donbass is still the target of Russian strikes, Mariupol is hanging by the hair of the Azovstal steelworks, the Ukrainian forces are resisting with the help of the Western armaments. According to the United Nations human rights agency, as of midnight on May 10, Russia’s war against Ukraine had killed 3,496 civilians and injured 3,760, figures fatally underestimated given the the situation on the ground.

Russia “threatened” by a Finland in NATO

The President and Prime Minister of Finland said they were in favor of the Nordic country joining NATO “without delay”, in a huge step towards a candidacy to be announced on Sunday. Also out of military alliances for decades, neighboring Sweden is also expected to announce its decision in the next few days, likely after a key meeting of Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democratic Party on Sunday.

“Being a member of NATO would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the alliance as a whole. Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay,” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement.

Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president who is now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, and a close ally of Putin, was quick to warn against this likely NATO expansion. “NATO countries dumping weapons into Ukraine, training troops to use Western equipment, sending mercenaries and the exercises of Alliance countries near our borders increase the likelihood of direct conflict and open between NATO and Russia,” he said in a message posted on Telegram. And to warn: “Such a conflict always has the risk of turning into a real nuclear war”

Three dead and 12 injured in a Russian strike in the northeast

A Russian airstrike on the city of Novgorod-Siversky, in northeastern Ukraine, left at least three people dead and 12 injured overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, local emergency services announced on Thursday. AFP. “There are three people killed and twelve injured following a strike” on Novgorod-Siversky, said a spokesman for relief, giving an initial assessment.

“Today, around 00:10 and 00:23, the enemy carried out an air strike, probably from a Su-30SM (fighter), “the Ukrainian forces said in a statement. “The (Russians) hit critical infrastructure, including schools. Other administrative buildings and residential houses were also damaged,” Chernigiv region governor Vyacheslav Chaouss said earlier in the morning.

One dead in Russian territory after Ukrainian strike

One person was killed and three others injured in the village of Solokhi, located in Russia about ten kilometers from the Ukrainian border. According to the governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, a house was partly destroyed by shelling from Ukraine. “At the moment, one person has lost his life, he died in the ambulance, and there are three injured,” he announced on Telegram.

Authorities in Ukraine’s border regions regularly accuse kyiv forces of launching attacks against Russia. In April, Vyacheslav Gladkov accused Ukrainian helicopters of attacking a fuel depot in Belgorod. kyiv had neither confirmed nor denied the destruction.

Ukraine and Russia used cluster bombs, accuses HWR

Russian forces have used cluster munitions at least six times in attacks that have killed civilians and damaged homes, hospitals and schools. Ukrainian forces have used it at least once, according to a 20-page report by the NGO Human Rights Watch, published on Thursday, which documented several attacks in populated areas of the cities of Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Vuhledar.

“In Mykolaiv, for example, Russian forces fired cluster munitions at populated areas on March 7, 11 and 13, killing civilians and damaging homes, businesses and civilian vehicles. One of the March 13 attacks killed nine people who were queuing at an ATM, local media reported. As for Ukraine, HRW validates the information given by the New York Times, of the use of Uragan cluster munitions during an attack against Husarivka, in the Kharkiv oblast, on 6 or 7 March, when the village was under Russian control.

Cluster munitions can be fired from the ground by artillery systems such as rockets and projectiles or dropped from aircraft. According to the definition of the International Red Cross, cluster munitions are armaments “that release enormous quantities of explosive submunitions over very large areas”, up to more than 30,000 m2 depending on the wind. particularly. Apart from indistinct civilian casualties, not all submunitions explode and leave “vast areas contaminated by deadly explosive devices”. Neither Russia nor Ukraine have denied using cluster bombs.

Azovstal soldier appeals to Elon Musk

“If not you, who else?” A Ukrainian commander who is among the fighters besieged by Russian forces at the Azovstal factory in Mariupol on Wednesday evening appealed for help directly to US billionaire Elon Musk to intervene on their behalf. “People say you come from another planet to teach people to believe in the impossible. (…) In the place where I live, it is almost impossible to survive”, tweeted Sergei Volyna, commander of the 36th Marine Brigade of Mariupol. “Help us to leave Azovstal for a third country. If not you, who else? Give me a lead,” he continued. In mid-March, Musk had challenged Vladimir Putin in a “man-to-man” fight, the stake of which was Ukraine.

Volyna’s post was retweeted widely.

kyiv wants to exchange Russian prisoners for the wounded of Azovstal

Ukraine has offered to release Russian POWs in exchange for the safe evacuation of seriously injured fighters trapped in the Mariupol steelworks. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Wednesday evening that negotiations were underway to release wounded fighters who are entrenched in the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol. She said there were different options, but “none of them are ideal”. For the moment the discussions do not seem to have succeeded.

Around Kharkiv, the Russians give way

According to the British Ministry of Defense daily summary, Ukrainian forces are continuing their counterattack north of Kharkiv, retaking several towns and villages towards the Russian border. “Russia’s prioritization of operations in Donbass has left elements deployed in Kharkiv Oblast vulnerable to the mobile and highly motivated Ukrainian counter-attack force,” British intelligence said, adding that “the withdrawal of forces forces in Kharkiv Oblast is a tacit recognition of Russia’s inability to capture major Ukrainian cities where it expected limited resistance from the population”.

However, Moscow is tightening its forces in the region, with, probably, a different objective: to deploy on the eastern bank of the Seversky Donets River to protect its troops on the western flank and cut off nearby supply routes. of Izium. This is why the Ukrainian forces destroyed two bridges over the river. They broadcast images of the destroyed infrastructure overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, without indicating the date on which the bridges were destroyed.

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