Ukraine demands that the soldiers trapped in Mariupol be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war. Ukrainian soldiers deliver a heavy blow: they destroy the Russian pontoon bridge. There are apparently hundreds dead. All news about the attack on Ukraine can be found here in the ticker.

6:15 a.m.: The 17th Armored Brigade of the Ukrainian army has struck a heavy blow against the Russian troops. When Putin’s soldiers tried to use a pontoon bridge to cross the Siverskyi Donets River near Bilohorivka, they came under Ukrainian artillery fire. The bridge was destroyed, according to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. In addition, dozens of vehicles burned, others fell into the water.

Experts assume that up to 60 Russian vehicles were destroyed. A Ukrainian officer who claims to have been involved in the operation speaks of 1,500 dead Russian soldiers. This number cannot be independently verified. Observers assume a few hundred. But even if the true number is well below 1,500, Russian casualties are still likely to be high.

3:05 a.m .: The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office announced the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier on Wednesday. A 21-year-old Russian man is accused of killing a civilian who witnessed the theft from the window of a stolen car, a statement said. Together with four comrades, the soldier wanted to flee in the car after an attack on his convoy in northern Ukraine.

The 62-year-old civilian was cycling near his home in the village of Chupakhivka. According to Ukrainian sources, he had no weapon.

According to prosecutors, the suspect fired on the orders of another Russian army officer. The Russian soldier, who is in Ukrainian captivity, faces a life sentence for war crimes and murder. Prosecutors released a blurred photo of the suspect. She did not provide any information about the circumstances of the capture or the fate of the other four Russian soldiers.

Thursday, May 12, 2:35 a.m .: Russian and Ukrainian troops fought again in the region between Cherson and Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. The defenders gave the Russian attackers “no opportunity to advance,” as the Ukrainian military leadership announced on Thursday night. In the course of the fighting, at least 23 Russian soldiers were killed and two tanks were destroyed, as was an ammunition depot, the Unian agency quoted from the statement. The information could not be independently verified.

11:22 p.m .: The Ukrainian leadership is proposing to the Russian military an exchange deal for the last defenders of the port city entrenched in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol. “As a first step, we offered the Russians the following exchange: We’ll transport our seriously wounded boys in a humanitarian corridor from Azovstal,” said Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Wednesday evening, according to Ukrajinska Pravda. At the same time, the Ukrainian military is releasing Russian prisoners of war “according to standard rules for their exchange”. Negotiations are still ongoing and no agreement has yet been reached.

In the past few days, there have been several reports of the suffering of the wounded Ukrainian soldiers in the steelworks. According to a paramedic, there is now an absolute shortage of medication.

The spacious steelworks is the last bastion of the Ukrainian troops in the now heavily damaged port city of Mariupol. The Russian military is demanding that the defenders surrender, while the Ukrainian troops categorically refuse.

11:16 p.m .: Apparently to facilitate their own attacks, the Russian military leadership has called on international organizations to evacuate eastern Ukrainian locations. “In view of the looming catastrophic humanitarian situation of most civilians in Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, we call on the international community, the UN, the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross to immediately take all measures for the quick and safe evacuation of civilians from these cities under the control of the Ukrainian armed forces,” Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev of the Russian Defense Ministry was quoted as saying by the Interfax agency on Wednesday evening.

According to Mizintsev, the Ukrainian troops have entrenched themselves in these places and are using their own civilian population as a living shield. Around 90,000 civilians were staying in Slowjansk and Kramatorsk. Kramatorsk and Sloviansk are considered the cornerstones of the Ukrainian defensive lines in eastern Ukraine.

8:40 p.m .: The Russian regions of Belgorod and Kursk near the Ukrainian border have reported new attacks from the neighboring country. Russia is waging a war of aggression against Ukraine, against which the country is defending itself. The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, announced on Wednesday evening in the Telegram news channel that one person was killed and three other residents injured in the shelling of the village of Solokhi. First he had spoken of an injury and destruction in the place. A person died in the ambulance, said Gladkow. It is the most difficult situation since the shelling began.

The information was not independently verifiable. According to the authorities, a Ukrainian drone was shot down by the Russian air defense in the Kursk region. No one was injured, it said. In Kursk, there is an increased terror alert level, which has been extended to May 25 due to other incidents in recent weeks.

6:17 p.m.: The Ukrainian military leadership has dampened hopes of freeing the fighters trapped in the Mariupol steelworks with an offensive. “As of today, such a deblocking operation would require a significant number of troops because Ukrainian forces are 150-200 kilometers from Mariupol,” Deputy Chief of General Staff Oleksiy Hromov said on Wednesday. Because the Russian troops have also built powerful defense systems in the meantime, such an operation costs many victims.

In the past few weeks, around 500 civilians who were also staying at the steel mill have been rescued via refugee corridors. Russia rejects a free withdrawal of the fighters. They should lay down their arms and go into captivity.

According to the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Wereshchuk, around 1,000 defenders are still in the factory, half of them are injured. According to Russian information, 2,500 Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries are said to have holed up in the steelworks.

5:33 p.m .: According to a report, Russian President Vladimir Putin has replaced the secret service responsible for the Ukraine war. As the “Center for European Policy Analysis” reports, it is no longer the domestic secret service FSB, but the military secret service GRU that is responsible for reconnaissance in the Ukraine war.

Vladimir Alekseev, first deputy head of the GRU, is held responsible by the West for the poison attack on former GRU agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Great Britain. The US has Alekseyev on its sanctions list for cyber interference in the 2016 US election.

12:58 p.m.: The Russian news agency Ria Novosti reports that the Russian-held Ukrainian region of Kherson plans to adopt the legislation of the Russian Federation by the end of the year. The authorities in the region turned to Putin to be incorporated into Russia. According to Ria Novosti, the deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the region said so.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to President Zelenskyy of Ukraine, reacted quickly to the news. “The only appeal Kherson region leaders can prepare is a clemency petition following a future court ruling. The occupiers might ask to join Mars or Jupiter. The Ukrainian army will liberate Kherson no matter what puns the occupiers invent.”

The Ukrainian President Selenskyj recently said in view of small successes in the Kharkiv region: “The armed forces of Ukraine are doing everything to liberate our country and our people,” said Zelenskyj. “All our cities will be liberated – Kherson, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Mariupol and all others.”

Cherson is the only major city in Ukraine that Russia has been able to capture. There has always been concern that Russia could hold a – possibly fake – referendum there in the near future in order to create facts. In Cherson there had been repeated protests by the population against the occupying forces.

You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.


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