War in the neighborhood: PN updates

Massacre witnessed in Donbas

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky called the situation in Donbas “extremely difficult,” saying Russian forces were mounting a massive assault on Severodonetsk and several other cities. Russian troops advanced in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, pounding key cities and aiming “to destroy everything there,” President Zelensky said.

As the adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs Viktor Andrusov explained, there is no “treason” in the retreat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Svetlodarsk and Mironovsky. Andrusiv stressed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine use mobile defense. “This means that our fighters do not hold on to specific settlements, but strive to inflict maximum losses on the enemy while maintaining our strength.”

According to British intelligence, Russian troops stepped up their offensive in the Donbass, seeking to encircle Severodonetsk, Lisichansk and Rubizhne. Now, there are 25 kilometers between Russian units surrounding this territory, which are defended by the Ukrainian military. The seizure by Russia of the Severodonetsk pocket will lead to the fact that the entire Lugansk region will be under Russian control.

President Joe Biden: Crisis in Ukraine is a global issue

The crisis in Ukraine is a global issue, not a regional one, U.S. President Joe Biden said at a meeting of the Quad grouping of countries in Tokyo on Tuesday.

“This is more than just a European issue. It's a global issue,” Biden said. The world is navigating a dark hour in our shared history with Russias invasion of Ukraine, he noted.

Oil sells badly if it’s Russian

Some 62 million barrels of Russia's flagship Urals crude oil, a record amount, are sitting in vessels at sea, data from energy analytics firm Vortexa showed, as traders struggled to find buyers for the crude.

The volume of Urals crude oil on the water is triple the pre-war average, Vortexa said, even as Russian seaborne oil exports fell to 6.7 million barrels per day (bpd) so far in May, down about 15% from the 7.9 bpd in February.

Most of Ukrainians want to join NATO

81% of Ukrainians consider entry into NATO or guarantees from the big world powers can ensure Ukraine’s security, shows a poll conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

42% of the respondents consider entry into NATO should be refused in the current conditions, but security guarantees should be received instead rom such counties as the U.S., the UK, Germany, France and others.

39% of the citizens insist entry into NATO can ensure Ukraine’s security so that the accession cannot be rejected.

Also, 4% of those polled disagreed with all the options, while 15% find it hard to answer.

Grain stolen by ships from Ukraine

The Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs said Russia exports Ukrainian grain from the occupied territories. “Russian thieves steal Ukrainian grain, load it on ships, pass through the Bosphorus and try to sell it abroad. I call on all states to remain vigilant and reject such offers. Do not buy stolen goods, and do not become accomplices in Russian crimes. Theft has never brought anyone good luck”, Kuleba wrote.”

Ukraine must win war

Asserting that Russia's aggression against Ukraine must be countered, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday said Ukraine must win this war and Europe was committed to doing everything to ensure that.

Addressing the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 here, she said the playbook of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine comes straight out of another century.

The EU leader said Ukraine will have to be helped rise from the ashes and that is where reconstruction operations would be needed.

Today, we must address the costs and consequences of Putins war of choice. This is putting our whole international order into question. And that’s why countering Russia's aggression is a task for the entire global community," she said.

Skim chances for Ukraine to obtain EU candidate status

Ukraine’s chances of obtaining EU candidate status soon are slim because many member countries oppose the idea and it would be unfair to the Western Balkans that have been waiting for membership for so long, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told parliament on Monday.

However, Rutte believes Ukraine could still obtain potential candidate status and then be told what reforms it must make to help ensure Ukraine is “not demotivated”.

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