Monday, May 23, was marked by the first conviction for war crimes in Ukraine since the Moscow offensive, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for his part called for international sanctions “maximum” and the end of all trade with Russia.
Twenty countries have also promised to supply additional weapons to Ukraine. Here’s what to remember from the day.
Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison
In kyiv, the verdict in the first trial for war crimes is in. A 21-year-old Russian soldier, Vadim Chichimarine, who admitted to having killed, at the start of the Russian offensive, a 62-year-old civilian who was pushing his bicycle while on the phone, has been found guilty by a court in the capital. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The soldier with the youthful face and the shaved head listened to the verdict, alone in a glass box. “The murder was committed with direct intent”said the judge, for whom “Chichimarine violated the laws and customs of war”.
During the trial last week, Vadim Chichimarine had admitted to having shot the sexagenarian but had “request forgiveness” to the widow of the victim, justifying his act by the “orders” received at that time. Arguments swept away by the prosecution who had claimed life imprisonment. “He was carrying out a criminal order and was well aware of it”, launched one of the prosecutors. The soldier will appeal his sentence, according to his lawyer.
Zelensky pleads for near-total isolation from Russia
In his speech broadcast in Davos to the cream of the world economy, from which the Russians have been excluded this year, Volodymyr Zelensky urged the international community to take the necessary sanctions “maximum” and to no longer have “any trade with Russia”. He also called for more weapons for his country: “Ukraine needs all the weapons we ask for, not just the ones that have been supplied”.
During a virtual meeting of the “Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine”, 44 countries discussed military assistance to Ukraine on Monday. Twenty of them have pledged to provide additional weapons to Ukraine, and others will train the Ukrainian military, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has announced.
Ukraine can’t wait for Europe to crack down on Moscow again, kyiv warns
While the United States and the United Kingdom have given up importing Russian oil, the European Union is struggling to agree on the subject, because some of its member countries are very dependent on Russian gas and oil. .
At the end of an unsuccessful meeting on the subject a week ago in Brussels, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell conceded that finalizing the 6th package of sanctions against Russia would take “time”. An extraordinary European summit is scheduled for May 30 and 31.
“We understand that Europe is trying to estimate the cost that this will have for its economy. But on the other side, there is Ukraine, there is a real war”insisted Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko, who also came to Davos. “Russia wants to destroy Ukraine (…) and threatens the world with famine. We definitely don’t have time for analysis. We need to cut Russia off from the civilized world, completely”she hammered.
The situation is getting worse in the Donbass
On the ground, kyiv admitted that the situation was “extremely difficult” in the Donbass (east), where Moscow, which gathered its forces there after failing to take kyiv, is bombarding Severodonetsk intensely. “All Russian forces are concentrated in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions”which form the Donbass, said the governor of Luhansk on Telegram.
Crucial point of this battle of Donbass, Severodonetsk, in the Lugansk region, is under fire from Moscow “Round the clock”the governor was indignant. “They’re using scorched earth tactics, they’re deliberately destroying the city“with aerial bombardment, multiple rocket launchers, mortars and tanks firing at buildings,” he added.
The fate of Severodonetsk resembles that of Mariupol (southeast), which today presents an apocalyptic landscape after several weeks of siege. Several neighborhoods are nothing but a tangle of sheet metal and debris, bars of buildings ripped open by missiles and shells.
President Zelensky also announced that 87 people had died in a Russian attack on May 17 against a military base in the north of the country, according to a new report which makes it one of the deadliest Russian bombardments since the beginning of the war. war.