no truce in sight for Orthodox Easter; Russia plans to “establish complete control of Donbass and southern Ukraine,” says senior Russian officer
The situation on the map

The context

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  • A senior Russian officer, General Rustam Minnekayev, claimed that: “one of the objectives of the Russian army is togain full control over Donbass and southern Ukraine”allow“Provide a Land Corridor to Crimea”thereafter “a corridor to Transnistria”, a pro-Russian separatist region in Moldova. Several experts analyze this statement as: “a distraction” to divert Donbass’ attention to the south, as Russia currently lacks the military capabilities to achieve this goal.
  • in the Donbas, “Heavy shelling and fighting continues as Russia attempts to advance towards places like Lyman, Buhaivka, Barvinkove and Popasna as part of its plan for the region”the British Ministry of Defense reported Friday morning.
  • The strategic port of Mariupolwhich Moscow claims to have “released”, still resists Russian forces, Kiev says, according to which Ukrainian fighters continue to fiercely defend the massive Azovstal metallurgical complex, where civilians are also entrenched. Vladimir Putin accuses Kiev of preventing Ukrainian fighters from surrendering.
  • European Council President Charles Michel, who represents EU member states, asked Vladimir Putin in a telephone interview on Friday to guarantee humanitarian corridors in Mariupol on the occasion of Orthodox Easter. For its part, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate has proposed organizing an Easter procession to the besieged city of Mariupol to evacuate wounded civilians and soldiers. Several humanitarian corridors in this city were canceled at the last minute.
  • Satellite images, released Thursday by US company Maxar Technologies, show: “the existance mass graves in the northwest of Manhouch », a village 20 kilometers from Mariupol. According to Maxar, the images reveal long rows of graves, more than two hundred, near an existing cemetery.
  • Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine have yielded no clear progress and “skate”, said the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously called it a “realistic” the possibility that the war in Ukraine will last until the end of 2023, because of Russia’s determination to continue its offensive.
  • The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres will go to Russia on Tuesday, where he will meet Vladimir Putin for the first time since February 24, before going to Ukraine two days later, where he will be received by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The UN on Friday accused the Russian army of actions “possibly a war crime” in Ukraine since the February 24 invasion.
  • A sailor died and 27 others are still missing after the sinking last week of the cruiser “Moskva”Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday, acknowledging losses for the first time.
  • The Russian opponent Vladimir Kara-Mourza, a fierce opponent of the Kremlin, has been remanded in custody until June, according to his lawyer, as part of an investigation into “false information” about the military’s activities in Ukraine.

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