War in Ukraine what to remember from Friday May 12

War in Ukraine: what to remember from Friday May 12

Ukraine has claimed gains near the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, the epicenter of fighting with Russian forces.

Ukraine has claimed gains near the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, the epicenter of fighting with Russian forces. Meanwhile, organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest refused to allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to speak in Saturday’s final. Franceinfo takes stock of the most important information of this new day of conflict.

Ukraine claims a breakthrough at Bachmout

Ukraine has claimed gains near the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, the epicenter of fighting with Russian forces. The head of Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigoyine, confirmed the Ukrainian breakthrough at Bakhmout, where his men are on the front line, and accused the Russian regular army holding the flanks of “fleeing” their positions.

“Taking Bachmout will not bring Russia anything because the flanks are crumbling and the front is collapsing,” he warned in a video and accused the Russian general staff of wanting to “water down” the situation.

The Russian army, in turn, said it had repelled 26 Ukrainian attacks along a 95-kilometer front in the Soledar sector near Bakhmout. “All attacks by Ukrainian units were repelled. No breakthrough in the defense of the Russian Armed Forces was allowed,” the ministry added.

Political storm surrounding a ‘possible Russian missile’ found in the heart of Poland

The announcement of the discovery of the remains of a “probably Russian” missile in the heart of Poland caused a political storm in Warsaw, with the opposition clamoring for the defense minister’s resignation.

For his part, the victim, Mariusz Blaszczak, accused the commander of the emergency services of neglecting to search for the remains of the projectile and not informing anyone about the incident. However, he did not call for his resignation or his suspension.

For his part, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki assured that he was only informed about this matter at the end of April, although the Chief of the Defense Staff, General Rajmund Andrzejczak, says he disclosed it to the officials “at the time of the facts”.

Russian military helicopter crashes in Crimea, killing two

A Russian army Mi-28 helicopter crashed during a training exercise in annexed Crimea, claiming the deaths of its two pilots, the Russian Defense Ministry said, believing it was a technical defect.

“Today, during a planned training flight in the Yankoy District of Crimea, a Mi-28 helicopter crashed” with no ammunition on board, the ministry said in a statement, assuring that “there was no damage to the ground.” “Both pilots are dead. The preliminary cause (…) is a technical failure,” he added.

The Mi-28 is a multi-role attack helicopter designed to destroy armored vehicles and troop concentrations day and night. The crew consists of two people.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to speak in the Eurovision final, but the organizers refuse

Due to the Russian invasion, the country was unable to organize the competition, which Ukraine won last year, and delegated the organization to the United Kingdom, which took second place. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that he wanted to speak in the final on Saturday.

No question, the organizers decided on Thursday evening. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the broadcasting organization overseeing the competition, said it had rejected their application on the grounds of “the non-political nature of the event”: “This policy prohibits political or similar statements during the competition,” the EBU said in a press release. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the government was “disappointed” with the decision, noting that Eurovision organizers had decided to exclude Russia from the competition after invading Europe. Ukraine.

New Belgian aid to Ukraine thanks to taxes on frozen Russian assets

The Belgian government has announced the release of a new amount of almost 100 million euros to support Ukraine and its people. The aid comes from tax revenues from the Russian assets frozen in Belgium.

Half of the 92 million provided will be in the form of armored vehicles, weapons and ammunition, with initial deliveries planned “very quickly,” he said in a press release.

The other half is intended for the civilian population, for humanitarian aid in major cities in coordination with the United Nations and for the “consolidation” of the Belgian diplomatic presence in the region. Belgium will therefore open two diplomatic missions in Chisinau in Moldova and Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

Since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022, Belgium has already provided around 300 million euros in military and civilian assistance to Ukraine, including this new amount.

Pernod Ricard is ceasing operations in Russia following a controversy over its Absolut vodka

The world’s second largest spirits maker Pernod Ricard has finally caved in to controversy erupting in Sweden over discreetly resuming its exports of Swedish Absolut vodka to Russia. The French group announced on Friday May 12 that it would stop selling its products there.

Pernod Ricard, which owns Havana Club rum, Jameson whiskey and Mumm champagne, among others, “can confirm that it stopped all exports of its international brands to Russia at the end of April 2023,” he said in a statement. “We will also stop distributing our wallet in Russia, a process that we believe will take a few months,” he added. Specifically, the group will no longer deliver anything to Russia, but the stocks that are still there are to be distributed in the coming months.