While the Russian soldier tried since Wednesday for “crime against humanity” asked forgiveness at the bar, the Russian forces, they continue their advance in Ukraine. In particular, they declare that they are on the point of conquering the Lugansk region.
Towards the end of some strongholds of resistance still in place in Ukraine? While kyiv has asked defenders of the Azovstal steel plant to stop fighting, Russia says the takeover of the separatist Luhansk region is almost complete. On the diplomatic level, Turkey is preparing to discuss with the Atlantic Alliance about the candidacies of Sweden and Finland to NATO.
kyiv asks the “heroes” of Azovstal to stop fighting
While they were entrenched on the steel site to face the assaults of the Russian forces, the defenders of Azovstal in Mariupol were summoned by kyiv to stop the fighting, assures this Friday a Ukrainian commander in a video message.
“The higher military command has given the order to save the lives of the soldiers of our garrison and to stop defending the city,” said Denys Prokopenko, commander of the Azov regiment, one of the Ukrainian units present in the steelworks.
“We managed to save the civilians, the seriously injured received the necessary help, we managed to evacuate them for a later exchange,” he continued.
The steel plant was the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, a strategically important port city located on the Sea of Azov. In addition, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Friday that 1908 Ukrainian soldiers entrenched in Azovstal had surrendered to Russian forces since Monday.
Russia says it has almost completed the conquest of Luhansk
Along the same lines, the Russian Defense Minister also declared that the conquest of the separatist province of Lugansk was almost complete.
“Units of the Russian Armed Forces, together with divisions of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, continue to increase control over the territories of Donbass. The liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic is almost complete”, thus said Sergei Shoigu this Friday.
Moscow had already recognized the independence of this region, part of which has been controlled by the Russians since 2014, as well as that of Donetsk. In the Lugansk region, the Russians surrounded Severodonetsk and Lyssytchansk, two localities separated by a river and which constituted the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance.
Seven wounded in Russian shelling targeting cultural center in Lozova
At least seven people, including an 11-year-old child, were injured in a Russian missile strike on a newly rebuilt Ukrainian cultural center in Lozova, in the east of the country, a announced Volodymyr Zelensky in a video message broadcast on Telegram.
According to an emergency services official quoted by the Interfax-Ukraine agency, however, no deaths are to be deplored. On the video that accompanies the message of the Ukrainian president, a powerful explosion pulverizes the building, in a plume of smoke.
“The occupiers have identified culture, education and humanity as their enemies. And they spare no missile for them,” Volodymyr Zelensky commented.
Russian soldier on trial for ‘war crime’ asks for forgiveness
The Russian soldier tried since Wednesday for “war crime”, the first trial of its kind since the start of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, asked forgiveness at the bar on Friday. “I am sincerely sorry,” Sergeant Vadim Chichimarine, 21, told the court. He admitted on Wednesday to having killed Oleksandr Chelipov, a 62-year-old civilian, on February 28 in northeastern Ukraine.
“I regret what I did,” he continued from his box. Before adding: “I was nervous in this situation. I did not want to kill”. “I want to apologize for what I did.”
Following this statement, his lawyer argued that his client initially did not want to carry out the order to shoot in the first place. He then said the 21-year-old soldier was “not guilty”. The verdict of this trial is expected on Monday.
Exchanges between Turkey and NATO expected on Saturday
While he has been opposing the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO for a week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that he will meet on Saturday by telephone with the head of the Alliance. Atlantic, Jens Stoltenberg.
“I spoke today with the Dutch Prime Minister. Officials from the UK and Finland have also requested an interview tomorrow [samedi]. And afterwards, we will also talk to NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg,” he said.
As of last week, the Turkish president declared himself hostile to the accession of these two countries, which he considers that they support the Kurdish “terrorists” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. “We cannot say YES”, he repeated this Friday.