As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 70th day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here are the key events so far on Wednesday, May 4.
- Belarusian armed forces began surprise large-scale drills on Wednesday to test their combat readiness, the defence ministry of Ukraine’s neighbour said.
- Russia has deployed 22 battalion tactical groups near Ukraine’s eastern city of Izium in an apparent effort to advance along the northern axis of the Donbas region and capture the cities of Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk, the UK said.
- A convoy of buses left Mariupol on Wednesday in a new attempt by Ukraine, the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to evacuate civilians from the southern Ukrainian city, the regional governor said.
- Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadoviy said air raids had damaged power stations, cutting off electricity in some districts.
- Russia’s air force attacked 39 military facilities in Ukraine, state news agency TASS reported, citing a representative from Russia’s defence ministry.
- Russian attacks in Donetsk have killed at least 21 civilians, the highest daily death toll in a month, according to Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
Business and economy
- EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has called on the bloc to stop importing Russian oil by the end of the year as officials prepare a new round of sanctions, but some EU states, including Slovakia and Hungary, say they will not support sanctions.
- Russia was set to avoid a debt default after overdue payments on two of its sovereign Eurobonds were sent to creditors, four sources told Reuters news agency.
- US President Joe Biden visited a Lockheed Martin facility in Alabama that manufactures the anti-tank Javelin missile, spotlighting a weapon that has helped Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin put the West on notice that he could terminate exports and deals, the Kremlin’s toughest response yet to the sanctions burden imposed by the US and its allies.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced another $376m in UK military aid for Ukraine and hails the country’s resistance to Russia as its “finest hour”.
- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says no one should assume that Russia would not attack other countries given its violation of international law in Ukraine, and Germany would support Finland and Sweden if they decide to join NATO.
- Taiwan has donated $150,000 in aid for Ukrainian refugee children in Slovakia.
- Australia has moved to further sanction more than 70 Russian politicians and more than 30 “puppet” Ukrainian government officials installed in the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES