War in neighborhood: IPN updates

“Defeated the Nazis — will defeat the racists!”

On May 8 and 9, Ukraine will celebrate the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation and the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II. This year’s slogan of these memorable dates will be “Defeated the Nazis — will defeat the racists!” This was reported at the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory.

Azovstal, symbol of steel resistance

Ukrainian fighters in the tunnels underneath Mariupol’s pulverized steel plant held out against Russian troops Thursday in an increasingly desperate and perhaps doomed effort to deny Moscow what would be its biggest success of the war yet: the full capture of the strategic port city.

The Russians managed to get inside with the help of an electrician who knew the layout, said Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Internal Affairs Ministry.

He showed them the underground tunnels which are leading to the factory," Gerashchenko said in a video posted late Wednesday. “Yesterday, the Russians started storming these tunnels, using the information they received from the betrayer.”

Putin apologizes instead of Lavrov

Russian President Vladimir Putin apologized for comments that his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made about Hitler and Jews earlier this week in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, according to a statement from Bennett’s office.

The Thursday statement said, “The Prime Minister accepted President Putin’s apology for Lavrov’s remarks and thanked him for clarifying the President's attitude towards the Jewish people and the memory of the Holocaust.”

Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine Andriy Yermak called on Israel to take the side of Ukraine.

“Russia poses an existential threat not only to Ukraine,” Yermak wrote in an interview with The Times of Israel, commenting on anti-Semitic statements by the Russian Foreign Ministry and personally by Sergei Lavrov.

“His statement about the 'Jewish blood' of Hitler is more than bad manners. This is not just Holocaust denial and blaming its victims. This is the same revisionism in history that Moscow seems to be fighting against,” he said.

In his opinion, “his denial of the right to the existence of the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian people, the extreme cruelty with which Russian troops torture and execute our civilians, the systematic destruction of our cultural heritage – these actions are too much reminiscent of the views and practices of the Nazis.”

“In the rich common history of Jews and Ukrainians, pages have now been added. Therefore, I called on Israel to respond harshly and decisively to the dismissive and criminal Russian policy, called on to take the side of Ukraine. Since all people who support goodness, democracy, freedom must believe that Ukraine will definitely win,” Yermak also said.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, thanked his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, for humanitarian aid and support of Kyiv “during and after this war”.

Kuleba tweeted that Lapid had assured him that Israel will “stand by” Ukraine, including “by preventing sanctions evasion and helping to rebuild Ukraine”.

Marshall Plan for Ukraine

European Council President Charles Michel believes that a donor conference to be hosted by Warsaw will become a starting point for Europe’s Marshall Plan for Ukraine.

“We must send a very strong signal that we will support Ukraine as much as possible,” Michel told Ukrainian journalists.

I firmly believe this Solidarity Trust Fund can be, and must be, the starting point of a European “Marshall Plan” for this century. An engine of solidarity for the renewal and reconstruction of Ukraine for the prosperity of Europe and for the Transatlantic Alliance”.

German Chan cellor Olaf Scholz Germany will allocate an additional €125 million to Ukraine in humanitarian aid and to help build Ukraine’s resistance against the Russian aggression.

France will increase its overall financial aid to Ukraine this year to US$2 billion from 1.7 billion, announced President Emmanuel Macron.

Steinmeier again by Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier informed him about the situation on the front line and in Mariupol, thanked him for support of Ukraine and expressed hope that this support would be strengthened.

The head of state called the conversation constructive. “Had a good, constructive, important conversation with German Federal President Mr. Steinmeier. Thanked for strong support for Ukraine. Expect it to be intensified. Germany’s leadership is important to counter Russian aggression. Informed about situation on the frontline, critical situation in Mariupol,” Zelensky said.

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