EXTRAORDINARY ONLINE Putin orders to cancel attack on Azovstal: Mariupol is allegedly under the control of the Russian army – Topky.sk

Live from Ukraine Destroyed Russian military equipment in Ukraine ONLINE 10:12 The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that more than five million people have left Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. UNHCR on Wednesday reported 5.01 million refugees from Ukraine, of whom more than 2.8 million went to Poland. Many of them remain in Poland and the number of those who continue on their way is not known, writes AP. 10:03 In the city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine, all grocery stores were destroyed during the Russian attacks. This was announced on Thursday on the social network Telegram Governor of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine Serhiy Hajdaj. “Not a single warehouse in Severodonetsk has remained intact,” Hajdaj said, noting that the locals now only get to eat through humanitarian supplies. In addition, several buildings in the cities of Rubižna and Novodružesk were also destroyed. Pro-Russian separatists recently announced that they had managed to take control of Rubizna. Ukrainian authorities later confirmed at least a partial conquest of the city by Russian troops. However, the DPA points out that it was unable to verify this information independently. 10:00 “Mariupol has been liberated. The situation in the city is calm. We control the whole city except the Azovstal steelworks – but they are safely blocked. There are more than 2000 nationalists,” the Russian defense minister told the Kremlin chief during Thursday’s meeting. The president called the Russian military operation in Mariupol a success, congratulated Shoigu on his success and ordered the relevant units to be honored. “They’re all heroes,” Putin said. He told the Shogu chief of the Kremlin that the Azovstal steelworks had to be occupied within three to four days. However, Putin replied that he wanted to save the lives of Russian soldiers and ordered the Russians to hermetically close the metallurgical complex. 09:53 Four evacuation buses with people left on Wednesday from the besieged and destroyed port city of Mariupol, where Ukrainian forces were still fighting and trying to seize it again. This was announced on Thursday by the Kiev government, which was referred to by the AFP news agency. “Four evacuation buses managed to leave the city through a humanitarian corridor yesterday,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereščuková wrote on social networks, adding that the evacuation of women, children and seniors will continue on Thursday. “The security situation is difficult. Things are changing,” she said. 09:50 “I consider the proposed attack on the industrial zone unnecessary,” Putin told Shogu during a meeting in the Kremlin broadcast by Russian state television. Putin added that his decision not to attack Azovstal was motivated by a desire to protect the lives of Russian soldiers. “There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities,” the Kremlin chief said. “Block this industrial area so that not even a fly can pass through it,” he added. Putin also called on the remaining Ukrainian fighters in the metallurgical complex, who had not yet given up, to do so. According to him, Russia will treat them with respect and provide medical assistance to the injured. 09:42 Ukrainian Mariupol is under the control of the armed forces of Russia, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the People’s Republic of Luhansk, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin today, according to the TASS agency. The remaining Ukrainian defenders are blocked at local ironworks and steelworks Azovstal, he claims. 09:34 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered the Russian army to stop its plans to attack the Azovstal metallurgical complex in besieged Mariupol in eastern Ukraine. Instead, he wants the object to remain securely blocked. Putin said this during a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. 09:30 Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrived in Kiev on Thursday, where they are in talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Sanchez’s visit is intended to express Spain’s support for Ukraine and to reject the war started by Russian President Vladimir Putin, writes El País. However, the prime minister is also to inform Zelenský that Spain will continue to send humanitarian and military aid. 09:18 3456 people from Ukraine crossed the border crossings on Wednesday (April 20). There were 767 men, 1982 women and 707 children. 572 people requested temporary refuge. Soňa Valášiková, the director of the press department of the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic, informed about it. “Activities in connection with refugees from Ukraine were provided by 246 police officers, 74 firefighters, 96 customs officers, 329 soldiers, three clergy, 136 volunteers, 52 members of foreign forces and 26 employees of the migration office,” Valášiková clarified. 09:10 Almost 900 pediatric oncology patients from Ukraine have already been transferred to Poland. Most of them are already treated in specialized clinics in several countries. Their transfer was provided by the American organization St. Jude Global, who even before the Russian invasion focused on the availability of cancer treatment in Eastern European countries. 09:03 The Ukrainian president said that he had “very detailed talks” on defense and financial matters and sanctions with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who visited Ukraine on Wednesday. He spoke with the head of the European Council of Zelensky about the threat of the food and energy crisis in Europe and the possibility of resuming Ukraine’s agricultural exports and blocking Russia’s “ability to blackmail Europe.” Ukraine’s top official also spoke with Michel on Wednesday about Ukraine’s move towards European integration, writes The Guardian. “This is a historic moment and we can develop the maximum speed of integration into the European Union … I see all our partners in the European Union willing to help us in this shift as much as possible,” Zelenskyj said. Photo gallery (2) Source: SITA / Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP 08:57 The United States will announce a new round of “fast-track” security aid for Ukraine, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday night. Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukrainian territory is still going on, according to the American portal CNN. Psakio told CNN that Russia’s “next-generation” intercontinental ballistic missile test would not change the White House’s stance on aid to Ukraine, and said emphatically that the United States would continue to provide military and security assistance to Kiev. 08:50 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the European Union is already planning the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. The BBC reported on Thursday. “We are working to make it really painful for the Russian military machinery and for the Russian state as a whole,” Zelensky said in his regular evening speech. “Sanctions will include, in particular, restrictions on the Russian energy sector, the banking sector, exports, imports and transport,” Zelenskyj added. 07:49 Police in the Kiev region have found two more graves in the town of Boroďanka, with the bodies of nine other locals killed during the city’s occupation. They found the bodies of two 35-year-old men and a 15-year-old girl, as well as the bodies of four men and two women. 06:33 The expected Russian offensive in Ukraine has not yet begun, said the secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) Olexij Danilov. The DPA reported on Thursday. According to Danilov, the attacks began along the entire front line in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday morning, but they were probably just “test attacks”. He explained that Moscow could continue to accumulate its resources and build up reserves over the next two to four weeks. Danilov also warned against the view that the Battle of Donbas would be the last and decisive one in this war. “I would not be so optimistic, there can be many different things ahead of us,” he added. 06:28 Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has announced that the Azovstal metallurgical complex in besieged Mariupol in eastern Ukraine will be under Russian control on Thursday. TASR has taken over the report from DPA. “Today in the afternoon or afternoon, Azovstal will be completely under the control of the Russian armed forces,” Kadyrov, whose troops are fighting in Ukraine, said on Thursday. Kadyrov added that the Ukrainian fighters who remained Azovstale still had the opportunity to surrender in the morning. 06:22 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday indicated that discussions with Russia on ending the war in Ukraine are likely to fail. He described the negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin as negotiations with “a crocodile when he has your leg in his jaw.” The BBC station informs about it. The British prime minister, in an interview with reporters during the flight to India, indicated that Putin can only negotiate if he gains a strong position in Ukraine. However, he warned that the Russian leader could then try to launch a new attack on the capital Kiev. 06:13 Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asked Bulgaria on Wednesday to join other Western countries and send military aid to Ukraine. The AFP and AP agencies informed about it. However, Bulgaria, which has long had close relations with Russia, has so far refused to provide such assistance. The AP recalls that Bulgaria, together with Hungary, is the only EU member state that has not yet been willing to send arms to Ukraine. “The Bulgarian government and the Bulgarian parliament know very well what the Ukrainian requirements are … When you are fighting in a war, you need everything; from ammunition to military aircraft. We have sent the same list (requirements) to all NATO members,” Kuleba said after meetings he graduated from the Bulgarian Parliament on Wednesday. 06:08 Ukraine is ready to hold a “special round of talks” with Russia in Mariupol “without any conditions”, said on Wednesday an adviser to Ukrainian President Mykhailo Podoljak. TASR took over the news from Sky News. “Yes. Without any conditions. We are ready to hold a ‘special round of negotiations’ directly in Mariupol. One on one, two on two. Save our men, Azov, soldiers, civilians, children, alive and wounded. All. Because they are ours. Because they are in my heart. Forever, “Podoľak wrote on Twitter. According to Sky News, there are still about 100,000 people in Mariupol, southern Ukraine. 06:01 The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epiphany, on Wednesday asked the priests to move the night Easter services to daytime in the areas affected by the fighting and to celebrate them several times with smaller groups of believers. The metropolitan fears that the Russian bombing will continue during the holidays. Council of Europe calls for humanitarian corridors for civilians from the Mariupol steel plant On Wednesday, the Council of Europe (RE) called for the immediate creation of humanitarian corridors for civilians from the besieged steel plant in the devastated Ukrainian city of Mariupol so they could evacuate to safety. The TASR rapporteur in Brussels informs of this, referring to the call of the RE Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovičová. In a formal call, the commissioner said that as the fighting over the besieged steel plant in the ruined Mariupol intensified, uncertainty and concern for the lives and human rights of those who still remained in the besieged areas also increased. “Many civilians, including women, children and the elderly, are reportedly still stranded in areas of Mariupol besieged by Russian forces. They spent many weeks in dire conditions and with limited supplies,” Mijatovich said. She emphasized that international humanitarian law must be respected in all circumstances, including with regard to captured soldiers and surrenders, as well as with wounded soldiers and the sick. “They must be treated humanely and with respect for their natural dignity and fundamental human rights,” Mijatovicova said. Poland has asked the United States to speed up the supply of military equipment Poland is asking the United States to speed up the supply of ordered military equipment. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said this on Wednesday after a meeting with his American colleague Lloyd Austin in Washington. The PAP agency informs about it. Blaszczak said that Poland was still waiting for the delivery of the Patriot missile system, HIMARS mobile volley launchers and F-35 fighters. He added that last year and this year, Poland also bought Javelin anti-tank missiles and 250 Abrams tanks from the USA. Regarding the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Polish Minister of Defense said that the presence of American troops in Poland was a sufficient deterrent against aggression by Russia. According to him, Warsaw is open to further defense cooperation with Washington.