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Battle of the 83rd: Evacuation in Azovstal, Ukraine says Russia increased the scope of hostilities

The war in Ukraine on May 17, the 83rd day of the campaign military Russia, featuring the evacuation of troops at the Azovstal steel plant, in addition to conflicts in many places.

The 83rd War: Evacuation in Azovstal, Ukraine said Russia increased the scope of hostilities - photo 1

Destruction at Bakhmut in Ukraine after a Russian plane launched a rocket on May 17


CNN on the evening of May 17 quoted Ukrainian officials as saying that Russian forces may be expanding their attack range, with the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region being hit by rockets.

According to the Donetsk region police, the missile hit a five-story building. Preliminary information said one person was killed and a 9-year-old child was seriously injured, while the exact number of casualties is unknown.

Bakhmut is an important center for the Ukrainian army and the hospital there is treating wounded soldiers. This place is located about 20 km from the front line near Popasna. Earlier on the morning of May 17, a school and some infrastructure in Bakhmut were also hit by rockets. The Russian side has not commented on this information.

Russia increases air strikes in many places

In the Chernihiv region north of Kyiv, Vyacheslav Chaus, the head of the government there, said the Russian side “fired missiles at the village of Desna” on the morning of May 17 (local time). According to Chaus, eight people died and 12 others were injured. Desna is about 64 km from the Belarusian border, p news. Russia has not commented on this information.

In the northeastern province of Sumy near the Russian border, the Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian army said Russia was shelling from across the border. Mr. Dmytro Zhyvytskyy, Governor of Sumy, noted that this place experienced fierce fighting, with mortars and grenade launchers used by the Russian side.

In addition, Russian officials also confirmed that there was fighting in the area. Roman Starovoit, Governor of Russia’s Kursk region, said that at dawn on May 17 (local time), a village in the Kursk region bordering Ukraine was attacked with heavy weapons. Several houses were destroyed but there were no casualties, according to TASS.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it had launched missiles to destroy aid shipments from the West, including the US, to Russia in the Lviv province, close to the Polish border.

See more: Ukraine war until the evening of May 17: Russia expands the scope of its attack

Evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers in Azovstal

Ukrainian soldiers who have been entrenched in the port of Mariupol for many months began to be “evacuated” on May 16. Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar said 53 wounded soldiers from the Azovstal steel plant were taken to a hospital in the Russian-controlled town of Novoazovsk, about 32 kilometers to the east. Another 211 people were taken to the town of Olenivka in the separatist-held area. These soldiers will be exchanged prisoners with Russia in the future.

Ukraine stops fighting in Azovstal to save soldiers, Moscow says Kyiv has stopped negotiating

The Ukrainian military said it had “ordered the commanders of the units stationed in Azovstal to save the lives of the soldiers” and announced the forces there had completed their combat mission.

The move could mark the end of the longest and bloodiest battle in the Ukrainian conflict to date and a significant defeat for Ukraine, according to Reuters. Mariupol had become desolate after a months-long siege by Russia.

Meanwhile, the Russian side said that by the afternoon of May 17, 265 Ukrainian soldiers at the Azovstal steel plant had “surrendered” according to the agreement with Kyiv. The Russian Defense Ministry said 51 of these soldiers were seriously injured and were taken to a hospital in Donetsk for treatment.

See more: Russia allows wounded Ukrainian soldiers to leave Azovstal, Kyiv ends combat mission in Mariupol

Finland, Sweden are about to apply to NATO

According to CNN, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that the country and Finland will apply to join NATO on May 18.

She said at a joint press conference in Stockholm with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

Putin officially spoke about Sweden and Finland joining NATO

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 16 appeared not too tense about Sweden and Finland joining NATO and said Moscow had no problem if both Sweden and Finland joined the US-led military alliance. .

“I want to inform you, dear colleagues, that Russia has no problem with those countries. So in this respect, expansion [NATO] adding those countries poses no direct threat to Russia. But the expansion of military infrastructure into these countries will inevitably force us to respond. But what the response is will have to wait and see what kind of threat is created against us.”

See more: What did Putin say about Finland and Sweden joining NATO?

Russia withdraws from the Council of Baltic Sea States

Also on May 17, AFP reported that Russia announced its withdrawal from the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) amid tensions with the West after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine.

CBSS is headquartered in Stockholm (Sweden) and is a political forum for regional cooperation with 11 members, including Germany, Finland, Norway and many other European countries. Russia’s Foreign Ministry says CBSS is becoming “a tool for policy anti-Russian” and “increasingly entangled in anti-Russian syndrome and deceit”.

“We consider the further presence of the state (Russia) in the CBSS as inappropriate and counterproductive,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Moscow said CBSS planned to meet in Norway on May 25 without Russia’s participation, and accused the organization of taking Russia’s share of the budget.

See more: Russia withdraws from the Council of Baltic Sea States, accusing the West of ‘waging war’

EU guidelines for companies buying Russian gas

The European Commission (EC) has issued new guidelines to help European Union (EU) countries buy gas from Russia without violating sanctions.

Last month, the EC announced that companies could pay to buy gas from Russia without violating EU sanctions on Moscow if they comply with specific requirements. The announcement comes after Russia forced foreign customers to pay for gas in rubles. Last month, Russia cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria because the two countries refused to pay in rubles as requested by Russia.

See more: EU gives green light to companies buying Russian gas

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