The US Congress has released a gigantic $40 billion package to arm and support Ukraine, as Moscow scores a symbolic victory with images of hundreds of Ukrainian fighters emerging, haggard, from the Azovstal factory in Mariupol where they had been entrenched under the bombs for weeks. Franceinfo summarizes the 86th day of war in Ukraine.
US Congress releases $40 billion in aid
The American Congress has released a gigantic envelope of 40 billion dollars (38 billion euros) to arm and support Ukraine. Within this large aid package, six billion dollars should in particular allow Ukraine to equip itself with armored vehicles and strengthen its anti-aircraft defense at a time when fighting is raging in the east and the south of the country. The bill now only needs to be ratified by President Joe Biden.
In mid-March, Congress had already released nearly 14 billion dollars for the Ukrainian crisis, but Joe Biden had been asking for several weeks for a significant budget extension in order to support Ukraine in the new phase of the conflict.
Nearly 800 Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol
Moscow secured a symbolic victory with images of hundreds of Ukrainian fighters emerging, haggard, from the Azovstal factory in Mariupol where they had been entrenched under bombs for weeks. According to Russia, nearly 800 Ukrainian servicemen have surrendered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,730 since Monday.
Moscow released images showing cohorts of men in combat gear emerging, some with crutches or bandages, after a long battle that had become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion in Mariupol, a martyred city in 90% destroyed in the south-east of the country and where at least 20,000 people died, according to kyiv.
These soldiers, including 80 wounded, “made themselves prisoners”the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
First Russian soldier to be tried for war crimes asks ‘forgiveness’
Sequence this time of high symbolic value for Ukraine, the first trial of a Russian soldier for a war crime has resumed in kyiv. “I know you won’t be able to forgive me, but I beg your pardon”Sergeant Vadim Chichimarine, 21 and with a youthful face, told the widow of the 62-year-old man he is accused of shooting on February 28 in northeastern Ukraine, while, his tank column having been attacked, he tried to rejoin his own.
Life imprisonment was requested against the young soldier, who pleaded guilty. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov again qualified on Wednesday “fakes or staged” the charges against the Russian troops.
Another trial for war crimes has also opened in north-eastern Ukraine: that of two Russian soldiers accused of having fired rockets at civilian infrastructure in the Kharkiv region.
At least 12 dead and 40 injured
Russian bombardments continue to cause casualties. They left 12 dead and 40 injured on Thursday in Severodonetsk, in the Luhansk region, according to local governor Serguiï Gaïdaï. He said most of the shots hit apartment buildings, and the death toll could rise.
An AFP team on the spot noted that this industrial city had been transformed for several days into a battlefield and crushed under artillery fire.