- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.
Azovstal plant in Mariupol - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Humanitarian Corridor For Azovstal Evacuation of Civilians Will Be Open on 5-7 May

In February, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine with the stated goal of putting an end to war crimes committed by Kiev forces against civilians during an eight-year offensive against Donbass.
Russian armed forces and Donbass militias continue their advance in the special operation in Ukraine as what are left of the Ukrainian forces and members of the nationalist Azov battalion remain under siege at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
Earlier, the Russian Defence Ministry said that the remaining Azov neo-Nazis and Ukrainian troops took advantage of the ceasefire at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol and took up firing positions.
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02:32 GMT 05.05.2022
Over 10,000 People Evacuated From Donbas, Ukraine to Russia in Past Day - Defense Ministry
More than 10,000 people have been evacuated to Russia over the past 24 hours from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) and dangerous regions of Ukraine, head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, Col . Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, who also leads Russia's humanitarian response coordination headquarters, said at a briefing.

"Despite all the difficulties and obstacles created by Kiev, over the past day, without the participation of the Ukrainian authorities, 10,617 people, including 1,421 children, were evacuated to the territory of the Russian Federation from dangerous areas of the Donetsk, Lugansk People's Republics and Ukraine, Col. Gen. Mizintsev said.

He said that since the beginning of Russia's special military operation, 1,114,318 people, including 199,348 children, have been evacuated to Russia.
02:25 GMT 05.05.2022
US Pressure Will Not Reach Its Goals, Russian Economy Stable Under Sanctions - Embassy
US pressure will not reach its goals, the strengthening of the ruble indicates the stability of the Russian financial sector and economy as a whole, the Russian Embassy in the United States said in a statement.
"We urge our American colleagues to abandon such a counterproductive course. Pressure measures will not achieve their goals. The continued strengthening of the ruble testifies to the stability of the Russian financial sector and the economy of the Russian Federation as a whole. Experts from Western countries themselves admit this," the embassy said.
It also said the United States recognizes that sanctions against Russia in the energy sector lead to instability on the hydrocarbon market and an increase in the cost of fuel.
02:00 GMT 05.05.2022
Russia Has Supplied Over 17,500 Tonnes of Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine - Defense Ministry
Since March 2, Russia has delivered nearly over 17,500 tons of humanitarian cargoes to Ukraine, head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, who also leads Russia's humanitarian response coordination headquarters, said.

"Starting from March 2, 2022, the Russian Federation has already delivered 17,567.6 tons of essentials, food, medicines and medical supplies to Ukraine," Col. Gen. Mizintsev said.

He added that over the past day, five humanitarian events were held in the Zaporozhye, Kharkov and Kherson regions, during which 195 tons of humanitarian aid were given to the civilian population.
00:19 GMT 05.05.2022
High-Ranking Russian Officials Visit Liberated Donbas Territories - DPR Leader
Russian Presidential Administration First Deputy Chief of Staff Sergey Kiriyenko and United Russia party General Council Secretary Andrey Turchak visited the liberated territories of Donbas, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) leader Denis Pushilin said.

"There was an eventful trip to the liberated territories of Donbas together with Russian Presidential Administration First Deputy Chief of Staff Sergey Kiriyenko and United Russia party General Council Secretary Andrey Turchak," Pushilin said on Telegram.
22:06 GMT 04.05.2022
Over 300 Civilians Evacuated From Mariupol, Other Cities in Ukraine - UN Coordinator
More than 300 civilians have been evacuated from the cities of Mariupol, Manhush, Berdiansk, Tokmak and Vasylivka, the United Nation's humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine Osnat Lubrani said in a statement.

"A new safe passage operation to evacuate civilians stranded in Mariupol and other communities has been completed today," Lubrani said in a press release on Wednesday. "Over 300 civilians from Mariupol, Manhush, Berdiansk, Tokmak and Vasylivka are now receiving humanitarian assistance in Zaporizhzhie."
21:28 GMT 04.05.2022
Biden Would Respect Pope's Possible Decision to Hold Talks With Putin - White House
US President Joe Biden would respect Pope Francis' possible decision to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.

"I have not discussed that with him, but I would suspect that he would respect the decision of the Pope to make any travel or engagements that he so chooses," Psaki said during a press briefing when asked about the possible meeting between Putin and the Pope.

Earlier this week, the Pope said in an interview with the Corriere della Sera that he is ready to meet with Putin in Moscow to help with the settlement of the Ukraine conflict. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there are currently no agreements for such a meeting.
20:35 GMT 04.05.2022
Kremlin Firmly Denies Reports on Plans to Declare Mobilization, War on Ukraine on May 9
Servicemen on Tverskaya Street before the night rehearsal of the military parade marking the 77th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.05.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Kremlin Firmly Denies Reports on Plans to Declare Mobilization, War on Ukraine on May 9
18:37 GMT 04.05.2022
Russian MoD: Humanitarian Corridor For Evacuation of Civilians From Azovstal and Adjacent Areas Will Be Open on 5-7 May From 8 am to 6 pm Moscow Time
The Russian forces will open humanitarian corridors for evaluation of civilians from Mariupol’s Azovstal plant from May 5-7, Russia’s centre for humanitarian response said on Wednesday.

"In accordance with the decision of the Russia authorities, based on humane principles, the Russian armed forces from 08:00 to 18:00 [05:00-15:00 GMT] on May 5, 6 and 7, 2022 will open a humanitarian corridor from the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant to evacuate civilian persons (working personnel, women and children), whose presence in the underground facilities of the plant, once again, was announced by the Kiev authorities," the centre said, adding that the military of Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic will announce unilateral ceasefire during the operation of humanitarian corridors.

The centre added that civilians can evacuate either to Russia or to Kiev-controlled areas of Ukraine.
18:06 GMT 04.05.2022
WATCH: Elderly Woman Tells How Azov Fighters Forced Civilians Out of Bomb Shelter
17:22 GMT 04.05.2022
Slovak Energy Minister: Russian Oil Imports Ban Will 'Destroy' European Economy, Affect Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Ukraine
The ban of Russian oil imports will destroy the European Economy, Slovak Energy Minister Karol Galek told Politico.

"This will destroy our European economy," Galek said, adding that such embargo on Russian oil would hurt supplies for Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.
17:20 GMT 04.05.2022
How Many Ukrainian Soldiers Has the US Trained in Past Several Years?
US soldiers are seen near a military camp in Arlamow, southeastern Poland, near the border with Ukraine, on March 3, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.05.2022
Pentagon Trained Over 23,000 Ukrainian Armed Forces Since 2015, Says US General
16:32 GMT 04.05.2022
War Cemetery in the Netherlands Vandalised With Anti-Russian Slogans
16:25 GMT 04.05.2022
US Decision to Sanction Russia's Central Bank Was Not Taken Lightly, Yelen Says
The Biden administration's decision to sanction Russia's central bank was not one that was taken lightly, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday.

"We have only rarely, I believe in the case of Iran and North Korea, imposed sanctions on a country's central bank, and the decision to do that to Russia is not one that was undertaken lightly," Yellen said during a virtual panel discussion organised by the Wall Street Journal.
16:15 GMT 04.05.2022
Yellen: EU's Move to Cut Off Russian Oil Imports Could Lead to Higher Global Oil Prices
The European Union's plans to cut off Russian oil imports could result in higher global oil prices, but the United States is determined to work with Europe on ensuring needed supplies, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday.

"We need to see the conditions exactly how this is going to be accomplished because it could lead to higher global oil prices as well," Yellen said. "We clearly want to work with Europe to make sure that they have the energy supplies that are needed."
16:12 GMT 04.05.2022
Pentagon Says No Indications That Any Western Aid for Ukraine Has Been Impeded
The United States has seen no indications that any Western aid intended for Ukraine has been impeded, or even struck, a senior defence official said on Wednesday.

"We've seen no indications that any of this Western aid has been impeded, or even struck. We just don't have any evidence of that happening," the official told a briefing.
15:45 GMT 04.05.2022
Senior US Defence Official: Over 90% of 90 Howitzers That Were Pledged to Ukraine are Actually in Ukrainian Forces' Hands
More than 90% of the 90 howitzers that were pledged to Ukraine are actually in Ukrainian hands, a senior US Defence Department official said on Wednesday.

"I can tell you that more than 90% of the 90 howitzers that were pledged to Ukraine in the last two presidential drawdown authorities are actually in Ukrainian hands," the official said.
15:33 GMT 04.05.2022
Czech PM: Prague Supports EU Ban on Russian Oil, But Needs More Time
The Czech Republic supports EU embargo on Russian oil, but needs two or three-year transition period to secure oil supplies from other sources, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Wednesday.

"We support the toughest sanctions against Russia, but they should not harm Czech citizens more than Russia. The Czech Republic needs a certain transition period in order to increase the capacity of that [alternative] oil pipeline through which the Czech Republic could receive oil," Fiala said at a press conference, adding that this would take two to three years.

Earlier in the day, Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela told reporters that Transalpine pipeline from Italian city of Trieste is the most promising source of alternatives for the country. The expansion of the pipeline could take from two to three years, Sikela added.

On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen announced the sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions, targeting Russia’s Sberbank, as well as three big Russian state-owned broadcasters, and high-ranking military and individuals involved in the operation in Ukraine. The package also includes a gradual oil embargo. Some European countries that heavily depend on the Russian oil, such as Hungary and Slovakia, have already obtained an exemption from the embargo.
15:21 GMT 04.05.2022
Biden: US Always Open to Additional Sanctions on Russia
The US President also said that he would speak with G7 about further actions this week.
14:09 GMT 04.05.2022
EU Plans to Finalise Work on 6th Package of Anti-Russia Sanctions by 9 May, Bloomberg Reports
The European Union plans to finalise the work on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia by 9 May the latest, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing diplomats.

According to Bloomberg, Greece, Malta and Cyprus voice doubts over a ban on transporting Russian oil to third countries, arguing that it will only help competitors of the EU.
14:08 GMT 04.05.2022
Gazprom: Germany Stops Physical Reverse of Russian Gas to Poland Via Yamal-Europe
Germany stopped the physical reverse of Russian gas to Poland via Yamal-Europe natural gas pipeline on May 2, but a virtual reversal from Italy and France arose, Gazprom's spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov said on Wednesday.

"On May 2, Germany stopped the physical reverse of Russian gas to Poland via Yamal-Europe. However, a virtual reverse for Poland immediately arose from the applications of consumers in Italy and France, which are provided through the Polish corridor ... At the same time, this week, European consumers' demand for Russian gas in transit through Ukraine increased by an average of 43%," Kupriyanov said in a statement, published on Gazprom's Telegram channel.

After refusing to buy Russian gas for rubles, Poland began to receive Russian gas through a physical reverse via the Yamal-Europe pipeline from Germany, according to the energy giant.

Poland, among other things, uses this gas for injection into its underground storage facilities. At the same time, the storage facilities in Europe are now filled on average by 34%, and by 80% in Poland.
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