Intensifying battles in East and South

Fighting intensified on Tuesday in southern and eastern Ukraine, where US arms shipments are expected to increase after Joe Biden reactivated an iconic World War II device.

Missiles were also aimed at the Odessa region, where the Ukrainian army counted seven attacks and lamented one dead and five wounded. The President of the European Council Charles Michel had to find shelter on Monday during a surprise visit to this large southern city.

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“You are not alone. The EU is on your side” against the Russian “aggression”, declared Mr Michel together with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmygal. “We will be with you while it lasts,” he continued.

In addition, the Russians “continue to prepare offensive operations in the Lyman and Severodonetsk regions,” in Donbass (east), the Ukrainian General Staff announced Tuesday morning, adding that artillery fire and air strikes continue on the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

“Very intense fighting took place around Roubijné and Bilogorivka” in the East Lugansk region, Governor Serguii Gaïdaï said the day before.

The Ukrainians can count on US military aid, which has amounted to about $3.8 billion since the start of the conflict.

It should be further facilitated by President Joe Biden’s signing on Monday of the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act. This “lend-lease” law takes over the system passed by Roosevelt in 1941 and gives the US 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,” Biden added moments later during a political fundraising campaign.

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

INTERVIEW with interview with Anthony Lebbos, reporter for BFMTV’s special envoy to Ukraine:

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

“An absolutely unacceptable threat was building right on our borders,” he said.

After his speech, 11,000 soldiers, dozens of vehicles, including strategic missile launchers and tanks, crossed Red Square. Among them were units returning from the Ukrainian front. The air portion 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. He has a discourse of denial and reversal of responsibilities,” French diplomacy chief Jean-Yves Le Drian lamented on the television channel BFMTV.

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

“On the day of the victory over the Nazis, we are fighting for another victory, the road to this victory is long, but we do not doubt it,” he insisted, as he walked down Khrechtchatyk Avenue in the center of Kiev. “We won then, we will win now.”

Same determination for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Kiev. “It is downright idiotic what is happening, Putin is rewriting history”, is despairing Lera Nelioub, who came to flower the monument together with her father, a veteran of the Second World War.

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

Instead of Kiev joining the EU, which would take “several decades”, Macron proposes the creation of a “European political community” that could house Ukraine and other “democratic European nations that stick to our value base”.

Washington also oversees Russia’s arms industry, which the Pentagon says is beginning to suffer from international sanctions and struggles to replace guided missiles used in Ukraine due to the embargo on electronic components hitting Russia.

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

At the request of Kiev, supported by dozens of countries, the UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on “the deterioration of the human rights situation in Ukraine” on Thursday.

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

In Mariupol, a port in southeastern Ukraine almost entirely under Russian control, where Ukrainian soldiers still resisting in the massive Azovstal steel factory have ruled out surrendering, pro-Russian separatists marched ahead of May 9. .

Hundreds of people marched with Russian flags in Belgrade, Sofia and Vienna as well.

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

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