Summary: Fear of dozens killed in attack on school in Luhansk, UK doubles war aid
These are the main developments from Saturday night and the night from Saturday to Sunday:
- At least two people have been killed in one attack on a school on Saturday in the village of Bilohorivka in Luhansk. About 90 civilians were hiding in the complex at the time, regional authorities report, and 30 of them have since been rescued. Sixty others are said to be still under the rubble – their lives are feared. The village of Privilja in Donetsk was also the target of an attack. According to regional authorities, at least two minors were killed. The Russians have not yet responded to the report.
- Britain has it again £ 1.3 billion in military aid committed to Ukraine. This was stated by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before a meeting with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the G7 countries. With the contribution, Britain will double the contribution it has made to Ukraine so far. According to Johnson, Russia threatens not only Ukraine but “peace and security throughout Europe.”
- It is all women, the elderly and children who sought refuge in the besieged Azovstal factory now evacuated† This has been announced by Ukrainian authorities. This week, several evacuation operations took place in and around the Mariupol factory. The steel factory is considered the last part of Mariupol that is not yet in the hands of Russian armed forces. Ukrainian soldiers, including from the Azov regiment, continue to resist from the complex.
‘All women, the elderly and children have left the Azovstal factory’
All women, the elderly and children have since been evacuated from the besieged Azovstal factory. This was announced by one of Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Ministers, Iryna Vereshchuk, on Saturday. “This part of the humanitarian operation in Mariupol is over.” It is not clear how many people – civilian and military personnel – are still at the factory.
Read also: Freed from the Azovstal factory: ‘No sun for two months, no color seen’
This week, also earlier Saturday, several evacuations took place from the steelworks that served as shelters for civilian and armed forces after the fall of the southern port city of Mariupol into Russian hands. NRC spoke with a number of evacuees earlier in the week. They said they had not seen sunlight for two months, that food and medicine were gradually becoming scarce, and that they were sleeping on planks.
Russia has set up 66 camps across the country for Ukrainian refugees
Russia has prepared 66 camps across the country to receive Ukrainians fleeing – forced or voluntary – to the country. It concludes the British daily I based on investigation of reports in local Russian media. Currently, 6,250 Ukrainians are said to be staying in 38 camps. About a third of them come from the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol. In total according to I room for 10,800 refugees, including 1,000 children.
Ukrainians would be accommodated in old sanatoriums and former tourist sites, as well as old nature camps for children and a former chemical weapons dump. To reach some of these places, the refugees had to travel thousands of kilometers: according to I camps in Siberia, but also near the very eastern areas around Vladivostok and Kamchatka and northern Murmansk. Kamchatka is located almost 10,000 kilometers from Mariupol, Murmansk more than 3,000.
Ukrainians fleeing besieged towns and villages in eastern Ukraine are often only able to take evacuation routes toward Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky previously spoke of “forced deportations”, while the Russians say they are rescuing people in this way. Stories reported by international media and human rights organizations suggest that for many, fleeing to Russia is too voluntary. There are also stories of ‘filter camps’ that Ukrainians have to go through to determine if they have links to far-right battalions and what they think of the Ukrainian government. There is no hard evidence for these camps, nor is it clear what would happen to the ‘filtered’ ones.
This is what Tanya Lokshina from the human rights organization Human Rights Watch tells the newspaper I to be ‘very concerned’ about possible deportations to distant Russian territories. “People who want to be evacuated to safer areas of Ukraine are instead being taken to Russia – in some cases to remote areas far from Ukrainian or European borders,” Lokshina said. “They are vulnerable, distressed, often without identity papers and at the mercy of the occupying power.”
Also read: Flights to Russia seem more like a deportation
Windows shattered in twelve cars of Ukrainian refugees in Rotterdam
Twelve cars belonging to Ukrainian refugees were destroyed overnight from Thursday to Friday in Rotterdam. Windows were smashed and objects were stolen from the cars, a police spokesman confirmed after reporting from RTV Rijnmond on Saturday morning. According to the spokesman, all twelve cars had Ukrainian license plates.
The cars are parked at Merwehaven, where the cruise ship De Volendam is at the quay. Ukrainian refugees are housed in that ship. Police say they are investigating if asked and can not say anything about the perpetrators and their motives at this time.
Summary: Sunny Lies on the Road to Gibraltar and the First UN Security Council Declaration on Ukraine
- That Sunny Liger, a ship with a cargo of Russian oil, sailed off the Dutch coast off IJmuiden on Friday night and set course for Gibraltar, according to shipping tracker My Ship Tracking. The oil tanker had been anchored in the sea near IJmuiden since last weekend because Amsterdam port employees did not want to unload the ‘contaminated’ cargo. FNV Havens director Niek Stam opposes NRC that he will send the port staff of Gibraltar information about Sunny Liger and the origin of the oil.
- That UN Security Council issued a statement on the situation for the first time more than two months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Security Council members, including previously frustrated Russia, have expressed “strong support” for UN chief António Guterres’ efforts to find “a peaceful solution”. However, no support for actual mediation from Guterres was expressed. Due to aggressor Russia’s permanent membership and veto, the Security Council can not play a significant role in the war.
- Fifty burgers are out on Friday Azovstal factories in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, informs Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk and the Russian Ministry of Defense. The factory site is the last Ukrainian resistance stronghold in the port city conquered by Russia. According to Vereshchuk, the fifty people who were relieved were women, children and the elderly. President Zelensky said Friday night that “influential states” are working to rescue soldiers trapped in the complex.
Italy seizes luxury yacht with connection to Putin
The Italian government has ordered police to seize a luxury yacht linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Reuters news agency reported. The ship Scheherazade has been in the port of Marina di Carrara since September. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy called in a speech to the Italian parliament in March last year that the yacht be seized to put pressure on Putin and those around him.
According to the Italian Ministry of Finance, the owner of the ship has links to “prominent figures in the Russian government” and to people on the European sanctions list. An organization set up by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny claimed in an investigation report published in March last year that it had evidence that Vladimir Putin himself is the owner of Scheherazade.
The 140 meter long superyacht is registered in the Cayman Islands and built by the German Lürssen Yachts. New York Times wrote earlier that it sailed to the Russian city of Sochi in both 2020 and 2021, where Putin has his preferred land retreat. The six-storey Scheherazade is worth about 664 million euros and according to The Guardian “of privacy” no outdoor pool while it is normal for such yachts.
Ship with Russian oil banned from the port of Amsterdam leaves Dutch waters
Sunny Liger, a ship with a cargo of Russian oil, sailed off the Dutch coast on Friday night and set course for Gibraltar, according to the shipping website My Ship Tracking. The ship had been anchored in the sea near IJmuiden since last weekend because port employees in Amsterdam did not want to unload the cargo.
This is what FNV Havens director Niek Stam says late Friday night NRC not knowing if the ship is welcome to Gibraltar and if it will try to unload the cargo there. He says he will send the port staff there information about Sunny Liger and the origin of the oil.
The ship sails under the Marshall Islands flag, but originates from the Russian port of Primorsk. The oil tanker was previously rejected in Sweden. As Sunny Liger does not fly under the Russian flag, it is not subject to EU sanctions against Russia. But Stam protested earlier NRC to find the “stained work” due to the war in Ukraine to unload Russian oil.