On the 83rd day of Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, Russian troops continue their attempts to seize populated areas of the neighboring country. Ukraine’s armed forces and territorial defense units are resisting the aggression. It is impossible to verify the statements of representatives of both sides of the conflict from independent sources. Some 12.8 million Ukrainians have already left their homes. DW continues to follow developments on Tuesday, May 17 (Moscow time).
The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned about the state of the system in Ukraine and is calling for an investigation into Russian strikes on medical facilities. The WHO has documented 226 attacks on hospitals and similar facilities since the Russian invasion on Feb. 24. “These strikes cannot be justified and must be investigated,” Hans Kluge, head of the WHO’s European directorate, said in Kyiv. According to him, one in three patients in Ukraine does not have sufficient access to medication, one in five needs psychological help, there is a risk of cholera outbreaks, and sexual violence is on the rise.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky spoke via video link at the opening ceremony of the 75th Cannes Film Festival. The audience greeted him with applause. In his speech, Zelensky mentioned The Great Dictator
by Charlie Chaplin and Apocalypse Now
by Francis Ford Coppola. He compared the war and the dictators shown in the films to those Ukraine is facing now. “I’m sure the dictator will lose,” Zelensky stated. “We will win this war.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned in a May 17 report that the war in Ukraine, along with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, will lead to a 16 percent increase in the price of therapeutic foods for children within six months and, as a result, an increase in child mortality.
Ukraine’s application for EU membership will be considered in June. French President Emmanuel Macron told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky this in a telephone conversation, the press service of the Elysee Palace reported.
The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, reported a casualty of the shelling of the village of Bezimeno from Ukraine. According to him, the victim has a minor injury. “There is destruction. Now an assessment and a house-to-house inspection of the area are being carried out,” the message reads. Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, authorities in Russian settlements near the border between the two countries have repeatedly reported shelling.
The Russian Investigative Committee will interrogate Ukrainian servicemen removed from the territory of the Azovstal plant, the agency has said. Investigators intend to check the soldiers for “involvement in crimes committed against civilians,” the Russian side noted, without specifying where exactly the interrogations will take place.
EU to continue military assistance to Ukraine
EU countries will continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said. “We cannot let Ukraine run out of equipment. And we will not. The battle in the Donbass is at a moment when the counter offensive of the Ukrainians and the push against the Russians are having some extraordinary success,” the European diplomacy chief stressed.
Finnish state-owned operator Gasum refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles and appealed to the arbitration court. Gasum points out that they had a long-term contract with Gazprom export, which provided for payment in euros. The Finnish operator warned of the "increased risk" of Russian gas supplies being cut off under the existing contract.
Russian air strikes hit the territory of an off-operation Knauf plant, a Ukrainian “subsidiary” of the German company specializing in building materials, the head of the Donetsk regional administration Pavel Kyrylenko said. As a result, a fire broke out, which the emergency services are trying to put out. No one was injured during the airstrike, Kyrylenko noted.
The Israeli Embassy in Ukraine has resumed its work in Kyiv. The Israeli Ambassador hoisted his country’s flag outside the diplomatic mission.
A telephone conversation between the Presidents of Ukraine and France
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported a “long and extensive” telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. According to official Kyiv, the Ukrainian leader informed the French President about “the operation to save the military from Azovstal and the vision of the prospects of the negotiation process (with Russia. - Ed.)”, and also discussed fuel supplies to Ukraine.
They also discussed defense support from France, preparation of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, options for exporting Ukrainian agricultural products and Ukraine’s application for EU candidate status. The Elysee Palace has not yet commented on the content of the conversation.
Every day, 2-3 trains with grain leave Ukraine, said Richard Lutz, head of the German concern Deutsche Bahn. They go to Poland, from where the grain is distributed to the EU countries, Lutz added. Previously, most of the grain was exported through seaports, which are no longer available because of the war.