Is Odessa The Next Mariupol?
Other top news breaking: UN says civilian toll much higher, Moscow metro workers may be forced to fight, Lithuanian Parliament calls war "genocide", special Pulitzer for Ukrainian journalists, and more.
A new Russian overnight offensive aimed at the southern port city of Odessa may signal a new focus in the Ukraine war.
Ukrainian newspaper Pravda reports that at least one person was killed and five injured as Russian rockets pounded Ukraine’s third largest city, targeting a shopping center and a depot and leaving emergency services scrambling to put out fires and rescue civilians.
These are not the first attacks by Russian missiles on the city, but officials imposed martial law for the first time yesterday.
Odessa is a key target for Putin’s because of its strategic location on the Black Sea, near the border with Molodva. The fear is that the city could face a situation similar to Mariupol, 380 miles to the east, which has been under siege for more than two months.
“Our concern is that the city could be surrounded,” Odessa’s Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov said last month in an interview with The Washington Post.
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky has appealed to the international community for help in ending Russia’s blockade of the port city (see below) also in light of possible food shortages. “For the first time in decades, there is no usual movement of the merchant fleet, no usual port functioning in Odessa. Zelensky said. This probably has never happened in Odessa since World War II.”
UN Team: Thousands More Civilians Killed Than Reported
Graves at the Starokrymskoye cemetery in Mariupol
According to the U.N. team that includes 55 monitors in Ukraine, most of the deaths unreported have been due to missiles and bombs striking in civilian areas, leading to deaths well beyond the official U.N. death toll of 3,381.
“Underground” Mobilization? Moscow Metro Workers May Be Forced To Fight In UkraineMoscow Metro Station | Mike Norton | Flickrwww.flickr.com
Employees of the Moscow Metro are being forced to undergo "unscheduled medical examinations” for possible deployment to the war in Ukraine, Russian media Verstka reported, citing an NGO that supports conscientious objectors.
According to the wife of a Moscow metro worker who’d contacted a hotline for those who refused to join the invading Russian forces, employees have been threatened with dismissal from their job or criminal charges if they refuse to undergo medical examinations.
Novaya Gazeta reports that human rights organizations believe the initiative among the city’s metro employees is just one of the tools of the “hidden” mobilization led by the state. Such a recruitment is evidence that a nationwide mobilization in Russia is actually already underway, even if it has not been officially announced.
British Intel: Russia Underestimated Ukrainian Resistence
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 10 May 2022\n \nFind out more about the UK government's response: http://ow.ly/1UUr50J3AaI\u00a0\n\n #StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/1c0D5OtBGX— Ministry of Defence \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7 (@Ministry of Defence \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udde7) 1652160243
The UK Ministry of Defence said it believed that underestimating Ukraine’s resistance, as well as “operational failings” have prevented Vladimir Putin’s war from succeeding.
In its intelligence update on Ukraine, British defense officials stated that Putin’s invasion plan was “highly likely to have been based on the mistaken assumption that it would encounter limited resistance.” As a result, the Russian military attempted to carry out the operation with a “light, precise approach intended to achieve a rapid victory with minimal cost.” However, that tactic has backfired, leading to “unsustainable losses.”
German Foreign Minister Lands In Kyiv After Polemics Over Blocked Presidential Visit
Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in Ukraine on Tuesday, the highest German government official to visit the country since the war began in February.This comes after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had been reluctant to visit Ukraine since Kyiv had refused to receive German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who Ukrainians blamed for having too many ties to Moscow.
Unblocking Ukraine’s Ports To Prevent Global Food Crisis
Odessa harbor before invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine and the EU met to seek measures to unlock Ukraine’s ports for grain exports, after Russia blocked several key Black Sea ports. Global health and trade officials have warned of the risks of major food shortages, after the invasion threatened production, export capacities and domestic transportation infrastructure.
During his talks with European Council President Charles Michel following his visit to Odesa, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted to prevent “a global food crisis” caused by the war. “This badly needed food is stranded because of the Russian war and blockade of Black Sea ports causing dramatic consequences for vulnerable countries,” warned Michel. “We need a global response.”
Lithuania Parliament: Russian War In Ukrainian Is Genocide
The Parliament of #Lithuania (#Seimas ) voted unanimously for recognition of genocide being committed by the russian forces against #Ukraine.pic.twitter.com/Mr8KPLxkVt— Petras Austrevicius (@Petras Austrevicius) 1652171906
The Lithuanian Parliament voted unanimously to recognize Russia’s war as a genocide. The resolution Tuesday morning, which passed with 128 votes in favor and no abstentions, stated that Russia had committed multiple war crimes on Ukrainian territory.
"The Russian Federation, whose military forces deliberately and systematically target civilian targets, is a state that supports and perpetrates terrorism," the resolution reads.
Last month, the Parliaments of Ukraine and Canada become the first to apporve a similar resolution that uses the term “genocide.”
Biden Reboots World War II Military Aid Program To Help Arm Ukraine
SIGNED: Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 pic.twitter.com/OgTG4sqHbv— Angela Perez (@Angela Perez) 1652123538
Rebooting a World War II-era procedure, Joe Biden has signed into law a procedure to make it much easier for the U.S to supply military aid to Ukraine. The so-called “lend-lease” program was considered instrumental in equipping Allied forces to help defeat Nazi Germany.
Under current procedures, Biden could already supply military equipment to Kyiv, but the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 signed Monday will ease the requirements for doing so. In return, Washington will get guarantees that the equipment will be replaced at a later date. The move comes after Biden promised a new weapons package for Ukraine last week $150 million, bringing Washington’s total military aid commitment to $3.8 billion since the invasion began.
Japan Imposes New Sanctions On Russia, Moscow Retaliates With P.M. Ban
Embassy of Russian Federation in Japancommons.wikimedia.org
Japan announced new sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, targeting eight Russian citizens and 133 members of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic. Tokyo will also ban the export of some cutting-edge technologies to Russia, including manufacturers and research institutions.
Russia retaliated by issuing an entry ban to Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Special Pulitzer Prize To Ukrainian JournalistsFile:Pulitzer Prizes (medal).png - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org
The Pulitzer Prize jury has awarded a special prize to Ukrainian journalists. “The Pulitzer board awards a special citation to the journalists of Ukraine for their courage, endurance, and commitment to truthful reporting during Vladimir Putin’s ruthless invasion of their country and his propaganda war in Russia,” the citation reads.