War in Ukraine, Day 65 | Moscow confirms meeting Kyiv during UN chief’s visit

(Kyiv) Moscow confirmed on Friday it had hit Kyiv the day before amid a visit by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres while an operation to evacuate civilians holed up at the Azovstal factory in Mariupol is planned.

Posted at 6:33am
Updated at 7:22 am

Joshua MELVIN with Emmanuel PEUCHOT in Kharkiv
Media Agency France

what you need to know

  • Russia confirmed on Friday that it carried out a strike with “high-precision” weapons against Kyiv the day before;
  • An “operation” to evacuate the civilians holed up in the Azovstal factory besieged by Russian troops in Mariupol is “planned”;
  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Vladimir Putin invited to the G20 summit;
  • Joe Biden has asked Congress for a $33 billion budget expansion to provide military aid to Kyiv.

“Russian forces using long-range high-precision weapons destroyed the workshops of the Artyom space company in the city of Kyiv,” the Russian Defense Ministry said during a briefing, adding that the army also “destroyed three power plants near railway junctions” on Thursday. , especially in Fastov in the Kyiv region.

This first bombing in Kyiv since mid-April claimed at least one life, an American producer from Radio Liberty. It came as Mr Guterres was in the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday and Thursday for his first visit to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

Mr Guterres was “shocked” but “safe,” UN spokesman Saviano Abreu assured.


PHOTO BY THE PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE OF UKRAINE, SUPPLIED BY AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Antonio Guterres

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the “indiscriminate attacks” by Russian forces on Kyiv and tweeted on Friday his “full solidarity” with the Ukrainian people, as well as Mr Guterres and Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, “who were nearby .

“That says a lot about Russia’s true attitude towards international institutions, the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the UN and everything the organization stands for,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the day before.

According to Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, the Russian strikes have caused at least one death, adding that more than 100 residents of the city have been killed in the past two months.

It is the American producer Vira Ghyrytch, who in turn has been announced by Radio Liberty, an American medium. His body was discovered under the rubble of his building on Friday.

While hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, including dozens of children, are holed up in the huge Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol, the Ukrainian Presidency announced on Friday that “an operation to evacuate civilians from the factory is planned for today.

This strategic port, which has been almost completely destroyed, is controlled by Russian forces after weeks of siege.

On Thursday, the UN coordinator in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, announced he would travel south to prepare an attempt to evacuate Mariupol, with Mr Guterres assuring the organization was doing “everything possible” to help the civilians to evacuate those stuck in “the apocalypse” of this city.

“atrocities”

Guterres on Thursday traveled to Boutcha and other locations where Ukraine blamed Russian forces for abuses and called on Moscow to “co-operate” with the International Criminal Court’s investigation into possible war crimes.

He spoke to Mr Zelenskyy and regretted that the Security Council had not been able to prevent and stop the war that Moscow had started on February 24th.

Hours earlier, Joe Biden reiterated his country’s support for Ukraine in the face of “atrocities and aggression” and asked Congress for a $33 billion extension. The United States is “not attacking” Russia, but “helping Ukraine to defend itself,” the American President assured.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Thursday called for the establishment of an “ad hoc International Criminal Court (ICC)” to try “the perpetrators of the crime of aggression against Ukraine”.

Ten Russian soldiers have been charged with alleged war crimes in Boutcha, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office Iryna Venediktova said on Thursday. This is the first charge since AFP discovered 20 bodies of people in civilian clothes on a street in Boutcha on April 2, drawing condemnation and outrage around the world.


PHOTO RONALDO SCHEMIDT, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ARCHIVE

The Ukrainians accused the Russians of war crimes, but Moscow denied responsibility, saying the bodies were “staged” by Kyiv.

“More than 8,000 cases” of alleged war crimes have been identified by Ukrainian investigators, the prosecutor told DW.

At the same time, fighting continues, especially in the east and south of the country.

5.4 million refugees

“The enemy is stepping up their offensive. The occupiers are conducting strikes practically in all directions,” with particularly intense activity in the Kharkiv and Donbass regions, the Ukrainian General Staff announced on Thursday. According to him, the Russian army is trying to prevent the transfer of Ukrainian forces from the north to the east.

On the Russian side, the governor of the Kursk region bordering Ukraine, Roman Starovoit, announced by telegram on Friday a new mortar attack in his region from Ukrainian territory at a checkpoint in the village of Kroupets.

Since February 24, 3,033,000 people have entered Poland fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, Polish border guards said on Friday. At the same time, 924,000 people crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border in the opposite direction.

According to the United Nations on Thursday, nearly 5.4 million Ukrainian refugees have fled their country since Russia invaded Ukraine.

In addition, around 8,000 British soldiers will take part in exercises in Eastern Europe alongside NATO soldiers this summer, according to London, in a “show of solidarity and strength”. Dozens of tanks and 120 armored fighting vehicles will be transferred from Finland to North Macedonia as part of this long-planned project, reinforced since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On Thursday, London announced that a British national had been killed in Ukraine and another was missing. According to British media, both fought as volunteers against Russian forces.

Ukrainian Presidents Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin are invited to the G20 summit scheduled for November in Indonesia, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced in turn, indicating that after pressure from the West, the Russia group has been at odds with each other since the beginning of the year to rule out a compromise had been reached on his invasion of Ukraine.

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