What has happened in the last few hours
These are the most important news at 8:00 p.m. on day 562 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
Zelensky claims that “the war is slowing down” due to the lack of new sanctions and arms deliveries. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated this Friday in a press conference that “the war is slowing down” due to the lack of new sanctions and arms deliveries by Ukraine’s Western allies. “All the processes are getting slower and more difficult,” he said. “If we are not in heaven and Russia is, they are stopping us in heaven. They are stopping our counteroffensive,” said the president, in relation to the delivery of Western fighters. Allies have promised F-16 fighters, but the first deliveries are only scheduled to take place by the end of the year.
Denmark announces that another 10 Leopard tanks are already in Ukraine. The first ten Leopard 1 tanks promised by Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands in February have arrived in Ukraine, the Danish Army announced on Friday, indicating that “more are on the way.” The three European countries had announced in early February the dispatch “in the coming months” of a hundred heavy tanks to support Kiev against the Russian army. “The first ten tanks have been sent to Ukraine. And more are on the way,” the statement said. “Another ten were delivered by the factory.”
One dead and 72 injured in an attack on a police station in Krivoy Rog. One person has been killed and 72 others have been injured in the bombing of a police station in Krivoy Rog, Dnipropetrovsk province, the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In addition to destroying the police station, 10 other buildings (three administrative, seven residential) have suffered damage of varying degrees.
Zelensky claims to be ready to organize elections in Ukraine. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, declared this Friday “ready” to organize elections “if the people need it.” “We are ready,” he said at a conference in kyiv. Legislative elections were scheduled for October, but the Ukrainian Constitution prohibits holding elections under martial law.
A Ukrainian advisor claims that the Pope’s statements about the Russian Empire disavow him as a mediator in the war. Mikhail Podoliak, advisor to the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, stated this Friday that Pope Francis can no longer play a mediating role in the war between Ukraine and Russia after he claimed the legacy of the Russian Empire in a message addressed to young Russians. The Ukrainian presidential advisor has stated in a televised interview that Francis’ words seriously affect “the reputation of the Holy See” and “nullify” the possibility of “any mediation mission” that the Vatican could carry out.
The UN has offered Russia to mediate in weakening sanctions to get Moscow back into the Black Sea grain deal. The Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, has offered four lines of mediation in which the United Nations could intervene to help Russia circumvent international sanctions in the agricultural sector and thus convince the Kremlin to return to the grain export agreement by the Black Sea, which it abandoned last July. In a letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, made public this Friday, Guterres indicates that the UN was immediately ready to adopt all these measures “based on the clear understanding that their implementation will lead to the return of the Russian Federation to the Black Sea Initiative and full resumption of operations.”
The EU is moving towards an agreement on the use of Russian assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine. The European Union is moving towards an agreement on the use of the frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank to finance the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine from the damage caused by the Russian war of aggression, as announced this Friday in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, the European Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis. During a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Dombrovskis said that the European Commission had drawn up a “concept note” in recent days on how Ukraine could use the “tied up” assets of the Russian Central Bank.
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