Scholz and Macron ask Putin for ‘serious direct negotiations’ with Zelensky

Scholz and Macron ask Putin for 'serious direct negotiations' with Zelensky
The situation on the map

The context

Live hosted by Florian Lefèvre and Eléa Pommiers

Cover image: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP

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  • In the Donbass, the Russian army confirmed the conquest of the key locality of Lyman, a crossroads that opens the road to the major cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. “As a result of the joint actions of the militia units of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Russian Armed Forces, the town of Lyman was completely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists”the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, confirming an announcement made the day before by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
  • While Ukraine, a major agricultural power, can no longer export its cereals Due to the blocking of its ports, Vladimir Putin said he was ready on Saturday to discuss the resumption of Ukrainian grain deliveries, during a telephone interview with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.“Russia is ready to help find options for the unhindered export of grain, including the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports” the Kremlin said, as the country denies responsibility for the global food crisis. On Thursday, the Russian president offered to help overcoming the food crisisprovided that Western sanctions against Moscow are first lifted, which has earned him accusations of blackmail.
  • “The Donbass will remain Ukrainian,” says Volodymyr Zelensky. “The situation in the Donbass is very, very difficult,” but “we protect our land and do everything to strengthen it” the defense of this region, said the Ukrainian president on Friday in his daily video intervention. “If the occupiers think that Lyman and Sievierodonetsk will soon be theirs, they are mistaken,” he added.
  • Under a deluge of fire, Sievierodonetsk seems about to be surrounded. A police official from the pro-Russian separatist republic of Luhansk, quoted by the Ria Novosti agency, said on Friday that “the city of Sievierodonetsk is currently surrounded” and that Ukrainian troops are trapped there. Information denied by the governor of Luhansk, Serguiï Gaïdaï, judging even erroneous to say that the region will fall under the “entire control of the enemy” russian in “one, two or three days”. But he admitted that, “to prevent the troops from being surrounded, there could be, perhaps, an order of withdrawal which is given to them”.
  • In the south of the country, the Kherson region was also shelled. Russian forces have massed 30 T-62 tanks, as well as other armored vehicles and Grad missile systems in the Kherson region (south), bombarded by Mi-8 helicopters, the southern command of the army said on Saturday. Ukrainian army on Facebook.
  • The Moscow branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has cut ties with the Russian spiritual authorities, who support the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, a historic initiative. At the end of a council was pronounced “full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”according to a press release, which specifies that the relations of the Ukrainian Church with its Moscow leadership were “complicated or non-existent” since the beginning of the conflict. This is the second Orthodox schism in Ukraine in a few years. Part of the Ukrainian Church, represented by the kyiv Patriarchate, had already broken with Moscow in 2019 because of the Kremlin’s interference in the country. Ukraine is central for the Russian Orthodox Church, some of the most important monasteries of which are located in this country.
  • The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) calls on Russia to cooperate. Karim Khan asks Russia to cooperate in the investigation, which he opened four days after the Russian invasion, into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine. Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, but Kyiv has accepted the court’s jurisdiction.

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