Russian shelling intensified in eastern Ukraine, where an attack on a school left 60 missingaccording to local authorities, and further south, in Mariúpol, the last entrenched fighters feared the final attack this Sunday, on the eve of an important military parade in Moscow.

After the bombing in the town of Bilogorivka, from the Lugansk regionIn the east, 60 people who were taking refuge in a school were missing, the regional governor, Serguii Gaidai, reported on Sunday. “The bombs fell on the school and unfortunately it was completely destroyed,” he said on his Telegram account. “There were 90 people in total. 27 were saved.”

“The enemy does not cease its offensive operations in the eastern operational zone to establish full control on the territory of the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kherson regions, and to maintain the land corridor between these territories and occupied Crimea” since 2014, the state said. Ukrainian major on Sunday.

According to him, in the Donetsk region, Russian troops continued their offensive operations around Lyman, Popasnyansky, Severodonetsk and Avdiivka. The situation was “tense” near Moldova.

evil returned

On the Russian side, the Defense Ministry claimed Sunday the destruction of the “command post of a mechanized brigade” in the Kharkov region, as well as “the communication center of the Chervonoglinskoye military airfield, near Artsyz.”

For days, the Ukrainian authorities have warned against the possible intensification of Russian attacks on the eve of the May 9 commemorationthe date on which Moscow celebrates the victory against Nazi Germany in 1945.

The Ukrainian president, who this Sunday has to participate in a telematic meeting of the leaders of the G7 powers, wanted to mark the anniversary of the end of World War II with a message comparing the current situation.

“Decades after World War II, darkness returned to Ukraine“said the president in a black and white video broadcast on social networks.

“Evil is back, in a different uniform, with different slogans, but with the same goal,” he warned, attempting to turn Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “anti-Nazi” rhetoric against him.

Putin also took advantage of the date to draw numerous comparisons between the Second World War and the conflict in Ukraine and reaffirm Russian objectives.

“Today our soldiers, like their ancestors, are fighting shoulder to shoulder for the liberation of their homeland from Nazi filth, confident that, as in 1945, victory will be ours,” Putin said, on the eve of the celebrations of the Victory Day.

Evacuated civilians

In Mariupol, after multiple attempts, civilians were evacuated from the Azovstal steelworks, Zelensky said on Saturday night. “Now we are preparing the second phase (…): the wounded and the medical personnel.”

Hundreds of civilians took refuge in the intricate network of galleries of the huge Azovstal steel complex, where the last Ukrainian fighters from Mariupol are also found.

Moscow had announced on Wednesday a three-day unilateral ceasefire from Thursday in order to evacuate civilians. But according to the Ukrainian authorities, Russian forces attacked the factory during these days.

“The order of the (Ukrainian) president was executed: all women, children and elderly people were evacuated from Azovstal,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced on Saturday.

According to kyiv, these operations, sponsored by the UN and the Red Cross, allowed the removal of nearly 500 people in a week.

And, “of course, we also work to evacuate our military. All these heroes who defend Mariupol,” continued the president, without giving figures. “It’s extremely difficult, but it’s very important.”

I will fight until the end

According to Yevgenia Tytarenko, a military nurse whose husband, a nurse and member of the Azov battalion, and his companions are still inside the steel mill, “many soldiers are in serious condition, wounded and have no medicine.” “There is also a lack of food and water.”

“I will fight until the end,” her husband Mijailo wrote to her in an SMS that AFP was able to consult. They were married two days before the Russian invasion.

“Our units in the Azovstal factory area are still blocked,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its report on Sunday morning, mentioning “Russian assault operations” “supported by artillery and tank fire.” .

Mariupol, a southeastern port city that had about 500,000 inhabitants before the war, has been almost completely destroyed after two months of Russian bombing.

Between Friday and Saturday, Russian forces managed to make a limited advance around Severodonetsk, one of the main towns in Donbas still in Ukrainian hands.

So far Russia can only claim complete control of one major city, Kherson.

In Kharkiv, the Ukrainian counteroffensive to keep Ukraine’s second city from coming within range of enemy artillery was gaining ground, with several Russian positions seized, the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said on Saturday.

“Ukrainian forces are gaining ground in a wide arc near Kharkiv and are no longer concentrating on a limited advance, demonstrating an ability to launch offensive operations on a larger scale than hitherto in this war,” the center said.

To the point that the Russian army had to blow up three bridges “to stop the counteroffensive” in this region, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

The Ukrainian Navy also claimed to have destroyed a hundred kilometers off the coast of Odessa, the Russian landing ship “Serna”, thanks to a combat drone. This information was not confirmed by Russia, which stated instead that it sank “the Ukrainian assault ship “Stanislav””.

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