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Kiev prepares for the fall of Mariupol and a Russian attack in the east

On the 47th day of the war in Ukraine, the east of the country expects a major offensive by the Russian army. The Ukrainian army 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.

The necessary

  • Ukrainian army says it expects Russian offensive in east ‘very soon’, prepares for ‘last 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 withdrawal from Russia
  • Listen to: daily podcast from Radio France on the situation in Ukraine

The situation on the military front

Ukrainian army prepares for ‘final battle’ at Mariupol . port

Ukrainian military says it is preparing for “one last fightin the destroyed and besieged port of Mariupol, in the southeast of the country. “We’re running out of ammunition. It will mean death for some of us and captivity for others.” wrote on Facebook the 36th Brigade of the National Navy, which is part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The leader of the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk said in the afternoon that his forces had completely captured the port area of ​​the city.

Several tens of thousands dead in Mariupol?

Tens of thousands of people have probably died in the Russian attack against Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. Mariupol has been destroyed, tens of thousands have been killed, but despite this, the Russians are not stopping their offensive”he complained in front of South Korean parliamentarians.

Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine ‘will take place very soon’

Eastern Ukraine therefore expects a massive offensive by the Russian army. “According to our information, the enemy is almost finished with its preparations for an attack on the east. The attack will take place very soon.”, spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Oleksandre Motouzianik, warned at a press conference. Part of the region has been controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, and Russian authorities have made full control of the region their new goal.

A Russian victory in the Donbass before 9 May?

Analysts believe President Vladimir Putin wants to get a victory in the Donbass for the military parade on 9 May which marks the Soviet victory over the Nazis in 1945 in Red Square.

Ukraine: positions and movements of Russian troops (updated on April 11, 2022 at 8 p.m.).
Ukraine: positions and movements of Russian troops (updated on April 11, 2022 at 8 p.m.). © Visactu

The diplomatic situation and international reactions

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 have no illusions. President Putin has en masse entered a war logic and he is acting accordingly” hoping to record “a military success” soon, he added. He is Europe’s first leader to visit the Russian capital since the beginning of the war.

French gendarmes in Lviv to investigate war crimes

French gendarmes arrive in Lvivin the west of the country, to help their Ukrainian counterparts “in the investigation of war crimes committed around Kiev“, France’s ambassador to Ukraine announced on Monday. This is the “first” foreign unit “to provide such assistance”said the ambassador.

Money has been made available for this research. Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden have agreed to pay around 2.5 million euros to help the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigate alleged war crimes in Ukraine. “It is crucial to preserve all the evidence now, to be able to judge these crimes”said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

Pro-Russian Protests in Germany

Loads of controversial pro-Russian demonstrations took place this weekend in Germany, at the initiative of the country’s large Russian-speaking community. The members consider themselves victims of discrimination since the beginning of the war. About 800 people gathered in Frankfurt on Sunday, under a tide of Russian tricolor flags. In Hanover, in the north of the country, there were 600 people. On Saturday, according to the police, there were also demonstrations in Lübeck, in the north, with 150 participants, and in Stuttgart (southwest).

New European Union Foreign Ministers Meeting

EU ministers met in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss a sixth package of sanctions against Russia. They agreedincrease arms supplies to Ukraine

The first five packages of European sanctions, including an embargo on Russian coal, were all unanimously approved by the Twenty-seven, but consensus is increasingly difficult to find, especially on the issue of Russian gas, which most ministers want to renounce, but which Germany , Austria, Italy and Hungary are still very dependent.

France expels six Russian spies ‘under diplomatic cover’

Six agents of the Russian intelligence services who were present in France under diplomatic cover were… “persona non grata declared”, the Quai d’Orsay announced in a press release. The activities of these six agents “have proven to be contrary to our national interests”

World trade growth could be halved

The war in Ukraine could halve the growth of world trade, according to an analysis by the secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to this analysis, world trade growth should be between 2.4% and 3%. In October, the WTO expected an increase of 4.7%.

Societe Generale withdraws from Russia

Société Générale has announced that it will end its operations in Russia, through the sale of its entire interest in Rosbank, of which it was the majority shareholder. The French bank was heavily involved in the country and was exposed to EUR 18.6 billion, of which EUR 15.4 billion for Rosbank, a heavyweight in the Russian banking sector.

The humanitarian situation and solidarity with 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 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 90% of those who fled Ukraine are women and children, and the Ukrainian authorities do not allow the departure of military-age men. The UN also estimates the number of internally displaced persons at 7.1 million.

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