1. On May 11 Pope Francis met with the wives of two Azov officers who are now at the Azovstal plant. Azov wives recently wrote a letter to the pontiff about their husbands and received an unexpected invitation to a meeting. Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk said that about a thousand Ukrainian defenders remained at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, hundreds of whom were injured. Russia does not give a corridor to the defenders of Mariupol, who continue to hold the defense at the besieged plant. They are ready to evacuate with the support of a third party with their weapons, taking away the wounded and the bodies of the dead; defenders have repeatedly asked to apply the extraction procedure to them. (Source: NV).
1. General Staff AFU: The Armed Forces have stopped and successfully deterred Russia’s large-scale offensive. The RAF was ten times more numerous in some areas than the Armed Forces not only in terms of personnel but also in terms of military equipment. In particular, after an unsuccessful attempt to surround Kharkiv, the enemy moved to the defense. In the Izyum direction, the Russians moved to the defense and transferred forces to the Luhansk direction. The representative of the General Staff said that the Headquarters continues to consider the possibility of an enemy naval landing operation on the Black Sea coast as a significant threat. Russian ships and submarines continue to operate in the Black and Azov Seas. (Source: Liga).
2. AFU: In the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, Russians are torturing and shooting pro-Ukrainian activists and trying to put pressure on locals with threats and lies that Russian troops have allegedly seized the entire south of Ukraine. In the Kherson and Mykolaiv areas in parallel with imposing the ideology of “Russian measure” occupiers continue total looting. The occupiers steal grain, machinery, property, and people and take them to Russia. Identified activists with a pro-Ukrainian position are being tortured by Russians and shot for refusing to cooperate. Exits from Russian-occupied settlements are blocked. They are accumulating strength and trying to restore the broken equipment. (Source: Liga).
1. Before the war, the lion’s share of the country’s foreign trade went through the seaports of Ukraine. Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, and Mariupol combined Ukrainian business with the world market. 70% of all cargo from the country was exported through the sea gates. The war dramatically changed all logistics. The airline was the first to feel the effects of hostilities, then most seaports stopped. The lion’s share of the country’s foreign trade has shifted to rail, and Ukraine’s export potential has fallen by more than half. And these are billions of potential revenues. According to the Ministry of Economy, in March 2022, compared to February, exports fell by half ($ 2.7 vs. $ 5.3 billion), and imports – by more than three times ($ 1.8 billion against $ 5.9 billion). To understand: in 2021, Ukraine exported goods worth $ 68.2 billion, $ 47 billion – sent by sea. Revenue from last year’s exports was a record high. Now everything is different. “Every day the economy loses about $ 170 million from the port blockade,” said Oleh Nivyevsky, vice president of the Kyiv School of Economics. According to him, under normal conditions, the role of ports is estimated at 3% of GDP, but in conditions of war, almost all key industries are stopped. According to his calculations, farmers alone did not receive $ 25 billion in revenue during the two months of the war. And they account for up to 20% of Ukraine’s GDP. (Source: Liga).
Economy, Social life, and Culture
1. The SES removes an average of 2,000 to 5,000 explosive devices a day. The volume of demining of our territories has increased almost 10 times. In total, about 20,000 hectares have been surveyed since the beginning of the war. More than 103,000 mines and ammunition were removed and disposed of. Of which almost 2,000 are aircraft bombs of various calibers. “One of the negative consequences of the invasion of our territory by the occupying Russian armed forces was the large-scale contamination of territories and settlements with explosives. Including those prohibited by international conventions. The enemy uses remote mining systems. “These mines and ammunition were found in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions,” the SES said. The SES received more than 10,000 applications for explosives through an interactive map site. Currently, the total number of detected and disposed of various mines, cluster munitions, and specially installed explosive devices is only 10%. Therefore, for the safety of the civilian population, the SES has intensified the work and training of the population in the event of the detection of such dangerous objects. Based on international experience, demining can take from 5 to 10 years. After the liberation of Ukrainian towns and villages from the occupiers, a number of measures were taken. First of all – inspection of highways and transport links. Secondly, it is about ensuring the safety of emergency response crews on power lines, gas pipelines, and water mains. “Currently, the main efforts are also focused on the survey of Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy regions. And the elimination of the consequences of constant shelling of Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions,” the SES said. (Source: LB).
2. DBR: “Investigators have found important documents of the Russian Armed Forces, which clearly show that Russia was preparing to seize the entire territory of Ukraine. All this information will be studied and attached to the case file. ” DBR employees continue to document the facts of violations by the military of the Russian Federation in Trostyanets. All the information received will go to international bodies, and none of the perpetrators will escape fair punishment. DBR investigators inspected more than 2,000 hectares of the city actually destroyed by the Russian military. Law enforcement officers established the location of the aggressor’s combat units and the firing positions from which the shelling was carried out. Seized documents and personal belongings of the Russian military. DBR investigators found 322 residential buildings and civilian objects in Trostyanets, which were fired at with artillery and mortars. During the investigation, places, where Russian soldiers tortured civilians, were identified. At least 34 cases of unlawful deprivation of liberty and torture of civilians have been reported. Batons, handcuffs, metal ticks, and the clothes of the victims with traces of blood were found at the crime scene. Law enforcement officers conducted 29 inspections of the scene and exhumed the bodies of 23 victims, including two children. DBR officers neutralized several explosive devices and handed over unused weapons and ammunition to the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. (Source: Telegram).
1. Czech President Milos Zeman has officially authorized more than a hundred Czech volunteers to join the Armed Forces. The permits were signed on the basis of 103 applications submitted in accordance with the law on military service. The president’s decision must be confirmed by the country’s prime minister. (Source: Liga).
1. ANTAC: European Commission allocates 400 million euros to Ukraine to support agriculture and fisheries; The EU has agreed to provide € 600 million in macro-financial assistance to Ukraine; Poland is ready to deliver more than 200,000 tons of fuel per month from Ukraine to its ports; Japan has imposed additional sanctions against 70 Russian companies and 133 oligarchs and officials from Russia; The Lithuanian Seimas unanimously recognized Russia as a terrorist state, and Russia’s actions as genocide; The German Foreign Minister stated that they insist on Ukraine’s full membership in the EU in the future, plan to reduce dependence on Russian energy to zero and forever, and compromises and understanding with the current Russia are impossible; The speaker of the Bundestag stated that she supports the acceleration of the process of granting Ukraine membership in the EU; The Chinese leader stressed his respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the need to reach a ceasefire immediately. (Source: Facebook).
2. ANTAC: Nurminen Logistics launched the first container route from China bypassing Russia; Czech universities impose restrictions on students from Russia and Belarus; Russians were excluded from the jury of the most prestigious Italian literary award Stratega; attendance at shopping centers in Russia has fallen by an average of 15%, and foreign companies are beginning to terminate leases; in March, production of refrigerators and washing machines in Russia fell by half, and sales of new cars fell by almost three times in April; more than 75% of databases and infrastructure and 90% of RuTube backups were damaged. (Source: Facebook).