Updated 5/17/2022 07:41
- 06:26: ➤ Aid organizations criticize European double standards in Ukrainian refugees
- 5:56 AM: Another rocket attack near Lviv
- 5:15 a.m. EU defense ministers talk to Ukrainian counterparts
➤ Aid organizations criticize European double standards for refugees from Ukraine
The president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Francesco Rocca, accused Europeans of unequal treatment of Ukrainian and African refugees. “Yes, there is a double standard,” Rocca said at a UN press conference in New York on Monday. Although millions of people from Ukraine are greeted with open arms, this is not the case for the people of Africa.
“Those fleeing violence and seeking protection should be treated equally,” he said. “Ethnicity and nationality should not be decisive factors in saving a life.”
“The political, public and humanitarian response to the crisis in Ukraine has shown what is possible when humanity and dignity come first, when there is global solidarity and the will to help and protect the weakest,” said IFRC head Rocca. “It has to be extended to all in need, no matter where they come from.”
Tens of thousands of migrants each year undertake the dangerous and often fatal journey from Africa to Europe. Last year, according to the United Nations, more than 31,000 migrants traveled by sea. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine at the end of February, more than six million people have fled, most of them to Central and Western Europe. (AFP)
The territories of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops with the location of the steelworks in Mariupol. (Note: this infographic is updated regularly)
© dpa infografika GmbH
The situation at a glance:
Since February 24, Russia has been attacking Ukraine from the air and on the ground. Shortly before, President Vladimir Putin questioned Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent state and recognized the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine.
Since then, the Ukrainian army has fought the invaders as best it can. Thousands of deaths have been reported on both sides, but the exact number of soldiers and civilians has not been independently verified. The fact is: the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is getting worse by the day. According to the United Nations, more than 6.1 million people fled from Ukraine (as of May 16), mainly women and children, as men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave the country.
The EU and the US reacted with sanctions. They also supply weapons to Ukraine, and Germany also supports this country with weapons supplies. Ukraine is also to receive Gepard tanks from Germany. So far it has been ruled out that NATO will actively intervene in the war.
On the first weekend in April, photos of the bodies of many civilians in the small town of Bucha near Kiev sparked international outrage. Ukraine talks about serious war crimes and genocide and blames the Russian army for it. Despite numerous indications, Moscow denies any involvement in the death of the civilian population. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, stressed that negotiations with Russia should be continued.
According to a Ukrainian statement, Russia’s long-prepared large-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine began on April 18.
Other reports from May 17:
The Russian border region announces a new shelling
According to the authorities, in the Kursk region of Western Russia, on the border with Ukraine, several buildings were set on fire and damaged. “Today, at five in the morning, the border village of Aleksiejewka in the Głuszkowo region was shelled with heavy weapons,” governor Roman Starowoit said on Tuesday. As a result, three houses, a school and a car were damaged. There was no damage.
According to Russian information, this is an attack by Ukraine. The fire was answered by the border guards. Initially, there was no comment from Ukraine. After the start of the Russian war of aggression at the end of February, Russian border areas have also come under fire in recent weeks. (dpa)
Updated on 05/12/2022 at 10:30
The press agencies dpa and AP published photos from inside the Asovstal steelworks in Mariupol. They were picked up by the Azov regiment of the National Guard of Ukraine, the agencies reported on May 10.
Another rocket attack near Lviv
According to Ukrainian sources, the vicinity of Lviv in western Ukraine was again the target of the air raid on Monday. The attack was aimed at a military facility in the Yavoriv region on the border with Poland, wrote the local military commander Maxim Kositsky in his news channel on the Telegram chat service. Mayor Andriy Sadoviy stressed that there was no confirmed information about missile hits in the city and thanked the anti-aircraft defense.
In mid-March, a Russian air raid struck a military training ground in Yavoriv, killing 35 people, according to Ukrainian sources. In recent years, Ukrainian soldiers have been training with Western instructors in Jaworów. (dpa)
EU defense ministers talk to Ukrainian counterparts
The European Union’s defense ministers will deal with the war in Ukraine on Tuesday (from 10:15). At the meeting in Brussels, representatives of EU countries want to exchange views with Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg via videoconference. Ukraine is counting on more heavy weapons, including from Germany.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also wants to inform defense ministers about the situation in West African Mali. It is also about implementing the new EU security strategy. Among other things, Borrell proposes a rapid reaction force of up to 5,000. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) is expected in Brussels for the federal government. (AFP)
With dpa and AFP material