Russian invaders storm Azovstal factory in Mariupol, blow up a bridge in Luhansk Oblast

13 May, 09:56 AM
Residential buildings in Mariupol destroyed by Russian shelling (photo May 12, 2022) (Photo:REUTERS/Pavel Klimov)

Residential buildings in Mariupol destroyed by Russian shelling (photo May 12, 2022) (Photo:REUTERS/Pavel Klimov)

Today, May 13, is the 79th day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion.

6.55 p.m: Most of the active battles with Russia will end by the end of the year, Ukraine's Military Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov told Sky News.

The turning point in the war with Russia will come in August, and by the end of the year, most of the battles will be over, Budanov said.

He assured that Ukraine would return to all the occupied territories.

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5.51 p.m: Some 170,000 Mariupol residents, who stayed in the destroyed city, suffer from starvation,  Ukrainian Human-Rights Ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova has said in a statement.

Denisova has stated that the incompetence of the Russian occupiers, who currently control Mariupol, led to catastrophic food shortages in the city.

At the same time, the Russian occupiers boasted of delivering 3,500 food kits and "providing hot food" to 6,000 people - only 6.5% of the city's population, Denisova added.

She said that during the two months of the blockade of the city, the occupiers did not allow any humanitarian convoy from Ukraine or international organizations to enter Mariupol.

She added that the actions of the aggressor country are the genocide of the Ukrainian people, and called on the UN Commission to investigate human rights violations during Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

4.58 p.m: Zelensky has named countries that help in negotiations with Russia. 

"We took civilians out of the factory, now there is a question about the wounded and the living. And I will honestly say that we do not want to leave the killed people there," Zelensky said.

"We passed information to Russia, we even used the mechanism of involving third countries. Israel, Switzerland, and Turkey are working on this today, " he added.

1.45 p.m: Russians shelled Kharkiv airport, Kharkiv Oblast governor Oleh Synehubov said in a statement. 

During the day, three people have been injured in the shelling of Saltivka district. Dergachi village suffered the most from the shelling. Two people were killed and four others were injured there, Synehubov said.

1.24 p.m: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is ready for negotiations, but only with Russian president Putin, Zelensky said in an interview with the Italian TV channel Rai 1. 

"I am ready to talk to Putin. But only to him. Without any intermediaries. And in terms of a dialogue, not in terms of ultimatums," Zelensky said.

1.10 p.m: Ukraine enters the long-term phase of the war. Russia suffered a strategic loss before May 9, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said in a statement.

"We are entering a new - long - phase of the war. To win it, you need to carefully plan resources, avoid mistakes, design our strength so that the enemy finally could not keep fighting anymore," Reznikov said.

According to him by May 9 Russia had suffered a strategic defeat - it could not destroy Ukraine through military intervention, could not overthrow the government, and set up a puppet regime instead.

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Yesterday, the Russians changed their mind about Ukraine's membership in any non-Russian organization, and stated they are now not only against Ukraine joining NATO, but also against Ukraine joining the European Union.

"We weren't too worried about the European Union," Russia's representative at UN Dmitry Poliansky told Unherd News.

"But the situation changed after Mr. Borrell's statement that this war should be won on the battlefield."

"I think our position on (Ukraine's accession) to the EU is more similar to Ukraine's position on Ukraine's accession to NATO." 

At the same time, Russia still calls the war against Ukraine a "special military operation." 

Although Ukraine still aims to negotiate the release of more than 600 wounded Ukrainian soldiers from the besieged Azovstal factory in Mariupol, Russia refuses to allow the extraction. Furthermore, Denis Pushilin, the Russian chief proxy of Donetsk, wants to "finish" those soldiers or put them on trial on a "war tribunal". 

Yesterday evening, the exhausted Ukrainian defenders successfully counterattacked the invaders. This morning, Russian infantry is once again storming the Azovstal steelworks again under cover of shelling, Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, said via Telegram messenger.

For several days in a row, Luhansk Oblast has been a battlefield for some of the heaviest combat in the war. More than 90 percent of local infrastructure has been destroyed across the oblast. Russian invaders blew up a bridge that connected Sievierodonetsk and Rubizhne, completely cutting the connection between the two towns, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai has reported.

Russia renewed shelling of the northern Ukrainian border regions. A day after it bombed Chernihiv Oblast, killing three and wounding 12 people, Russia shelled Sumy Oblast.

"Tonight, the occupiers shelled Ochkine, a border settlement in  Sumy region, twice, from the territory of Russia," Operational Command North said in a statement.

As of now, no casualties have been reported, but this information is being clarified.

In Kharkiv Oblast, the invaders are regrouping their forces and are getting ready to renew their offensive, after several days of Ukrainian advances in the region. 

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