Russia has in recent hours increased the intensity of its attacks against the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol. Likewise, according to the last part of the High Command of the Ukrainian Army, Russian troops are advancing in the east of the country with the aim of controlling the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Meanwhile, the UN, unable to mediate to stop the war, focuses on civilian evacuation operations.
The Azovstal plant still stands as the last stronghold of the Ukrainian resistance in the strategic port city of Mariupol. Hundreds of civilians are still hiding there entrenched since the beginning of the invasion on February 24, including children, although some have already been able to leave thanks to an evacuation operation sponsored by the United Nations and the Red Cross.
Moscow aspires to achieve full control of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and maintain a land route between those territories and Crimea.
The Russian Army has also intensified its offensive in the east, where Moscow aspires to achieve full control of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. and maintain a land route between those territories and Crimea. According to the Ukrainian military report, Putin’s troops have attacked Ukrainian positions in the direction of Lyman, Siversk and Popasna, while in the north of the Khérson region and Mykolaiv they have bombed the settlements from which they had withdrawn.
The situation has been calmer in the direction of the South Bug, the second most important river in the country that flows into the Black Sea. According to the Ukrainian command, Russian troops are expanding air defense systems, at the same time that they are regrouping and restoring the combat capacity of their units.
Evacuation of civilians and war crimes
The United Nations has launched another mission to extricate people trapped by the fighting in Mariupol and at the Azovstal steel mill. The operation is carried out together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), like the other two carried out this week, that have allowed the evacuation of almost half a thousand people, of which at least a hundred were in the strategic plant.
“A third operation is underway, but it is our policy not to discuss details before they are completed. so as not to harm the chances of success”announced this Thursday before the Security Council the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres.
The United Nations humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, specified for his part that this mission seeks to remove more civilians from the Mariupol area, including Azovstal. “I hope that continued coordination with Moscow and kyiv will lead to more humanitarian pauses. to allow civilians to safely leave the fighting and for aid to reach those in critical need,” Guterres said.
The UN denounces torture and executions of prisoners of war committed by both sides of the conflict
Since the start of the war, the UN has been confined to a limited role in Ukraine, as Russia’s veto power blocks any action in the Security Council. Besides, Moscow does not see Guterres as impartial and, consequently, does not accept him as a mediator to negotiate peace. Thus, the organization has opted to focus on the humanitarian aspect, coordinating as far as possible the supply of aid and the evacuation of civilians.
The organization has continued to denounce the consequences of the war, especially through its High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. The former Chilean president said that the UN continues to document increasingly serious violations of international law in this conflict, with many cases that may be war crimes.
Among other things, Bachelet denounced indiscriminate attacks on urban areas, summary executions, kidnappings, illegal deportations to Russia and Belarus, and possible rapes of women committed by Russian forces. He also said that they are appearing evidence of torture and executions of prisoners of war committed by both sides of the conflict.