DIRECT War in Ukraine Zelenskyy is deprived of participation in

DIRECT. War in Ukraine: Zelenskyy is deprived of participation in the Eurovision Song Contest


Beginning of Ukraine’s measures to prepare its counter-offensive?

According to a senior US military official quoted by CNN, Ukrainian forces had started action before the counter-offensive. This “shaping” is a standard tactic developed before large joint operations. Targets such as weapon depots, command centers, armored vehicles and artillery systems are attacked in order to prepare the battlefield for the advance of the forces. Such operations can also be carried out to confuse the enemy.


China’s special envoy will visit Ukraine on Monday

He is also expected to visit Poland, France, Germany and Russia, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. According to the ministry, this visit was “an attempt to promote peace talks”.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, promised in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart last month that he would send a delegation to the region to help facilitate peace talks. It was the first time the two presidents had spoken to each other since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.


Ukraine reiterates progress at Bachmout

The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine confirmed that the Ukrainian armed forces advanced 2 kilometers towards Bakhmut and did not lose a single position. Conversely, Moscow denied the Ukrainian advances in the morning and said the situation was “under control”.


On the way to extending the Grains Agreement

The extension of the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain is nearing completion, said Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. According to people familiar with the case, this extension should be at least two months. The Russians had previously stated that they wanted to end this agreement from May 18.


Wagner boss invites the Russian defense minister to Bachmut to find out about the situation

In a letter, the head of Wagner’s forces, Evgueni Prigojine, invited Russian Defense Minister Sergueï Choïgou to come to Bachmout to take stock of the situation. In the past few days, Wagner’s chief had accused the Russian army of incompetence and demanded weapons.


Japan’s $1 billion aid to Ukrainian refugees

Japan will provide $1 billion in aid to Ukrainian refugees. According to CNN, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki announced on May 11 that his country would provide the sum to help Ukraine’s neighboring countries that have taken in refugees.


740 air raids on Kiev since the beginning of the war

Altogether, the air alerts over Kiev have lasted 851 hours and 38 minutes since the beginning of the war.


Zelenskyy could meet Pope Francis

According to the Ansa press agency, President Zelenskyy could travel to Italy tomorrow. He is expected to meet Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

The Vatican has not officially confirmed the visit for the time being. President Zelenskyy will also travel to Germany at the invitation of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.


Moscow denies advances by Ukrainian forces in Bachmout

Moscow has denied reports of a breakthrough by Ukraine at various locations, including on the front line at Bachmout. For Moscow, the situation is “under control”.


Slight slowdown in runaway inflation in Ukraine

In April 2023, inflation in Ukraine slowed to 17.9% from 21.3% in March. According to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), the country benefited from substantial food supplies, but also from larger-than-expected fuel reserves.


Good for Google in Russia

According to the Wall Street Journal, Russia has just fined Google for failing to remove content discrediting the armed forces. According to the court, Google refused to “remove material it believes promotes same-sex relationships and discredits the country’s armed forces.”


US Abrams tanks to train Ukrainian troops arrive in Germany

According to the Associated Press, US Abrams tanks needed to train Ukraine’s armed forces have arrived in Germany and are on their way to the Grafenwoehr army base, where training will begin in the coming weeks. Around 250 Ukrainian soldiers will be trained in the maintenance and use of the tanks for ten weeks. These tanks are expected to arrive in Ukraine in early autumn.


A loud explosion is heard in the occupied city of Melitopol

According to the exiled governor of the region, Ivan Fedorov, this explosion happened “early this morning”.


“Prohibited Political Statements”

Political or similar statements are “prohibited” during the competition, the organizer of Eurovision also explained.

The competition is taking place in Liverpool (north of England) this year. The UK had offered to host the Eurovision Song Contest in place of Ukraine, which won last year’s Eurovision, and as such should have organized the event but had to forgo it because of the Russian invasion.

The final, which will take place on Saturday and will feature 26 countries, will pay a strong tribute to Ukraine as 11 Ukrainian artists will be present on stage, including Kalush Orchestra, last year’s winner, the EBU said.


Zelenskyy will not speak at the Eurovision Song Contest

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will not be able to speak via video message at the final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, the organizer of the song contest announced on Thursday. “Unfortunately, Mr Zelensky’s request to address the Eurovision Song Contest audience, although made with laudable intentions, cannot be granted as it would be against the rules of the event,” said the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), organizing the competition.


South Africa offended by US allegations

The US ambassador in Pretoria on Thursday accused South Africa of providing military support to Russia. According to him, the United States is convinced that “weapons and ammunition” were loaded aboard a Russian freighter that was docked near Cape Town in early December “before leaving for Russia.” Responding to questioning in Parliament, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ship, the Lady R, had been “reviewed” and added that “we can talk in due course”. His spokesman Vincent Magwenya said that “no evidence has yet been presented to support allegations of arms sales from South Africa to Russia” and assured that the case was under investigation. In the evening, the presidency issued a statement reiterating this lack of evidence and deploring that “the ambassador’s statements undermine the spirit of cooperation and partnership between the two countries.”


Good morning !

Welcome to this new Direct dedicated to the war in Ukraine.