May 13 events in Babelʼs review: famine begins in Mariupol, EU may postpone embargo on Russiaʼs oil because of Hungary

Dmytro Rayevskyi

From the very beginning of Russiaʼs full-scale war against Ukraine, Babel has been conducting daily live text coverage and promptly informing the main news on the Telegram channel. We also do a daily digest of the highlights of the day in case you havenʼt been able to follow live.

The day before, 12 Russian missiles struck the infrastructure of Kremenchuk. Most of them hit the oil refinery, which did not work. The fire that resulted from rocket attacks on Kremenchukʼs infrastructure was extinguished. Today, the Russians continued to storm the settlements of the Girska and Popasna communities. The occupiers shelled the residential building 31 times. The bridge over the Borova River between Severodonetsk and Rubezhnoye was destroyed. Under cover of shelling, Russian troops are trying to break into Azovstal. They also struck at the Dergachiv House of Culture near Kharkiv, which housed the humanitarian headquarters.

Almost 170,000 people in Mariupol are suffering from hunger. The Russians do not allow humanitarian convoys from Ukraine and international organizations into the city. At the same time, in their propaganda, they talk about the distribution of scarce food packages, which are barely enough for several thousand people.

Russian troops fired on a civilian convoy leaving the occupied Kherson Oblast from “Grads”. It happened on May 12 near the village of Karenne. A 10-year-old child was injured in the shelling.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul from the Republican party has blocked another $ 40 billion in aid to Ukraine. He wants to establish a general inspector who could be able to control the spending [of this money]. Voting in the Senate under the accelerated procedure required a unanimous decision, and this single vote means that the Senate will consider this issue only on Monday, May 16.

Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said that Ukraine had already spent 245 billion hryvnias (more than $ 8 billion) on the war with Russia. According to him, the money that was meant for other programs is now spent on everything from weapons to social assistance. Marchenko said that in April, the government collected only 60% of the planned taxes. In May-June this number could drop to 45-50%.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, had another telephone conversation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Millie. He said the Russians had begun using supersonic X-22 anti-ship cruise missiles. According to Zaluzhny, such a decision was made because the Russian army is afraid to use aircraft.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has returned to parliament a law banning propaganda of the Russian regime and armed aggression against Ukraine. In particular, the President proposes to add to the bill that the symbols of Russiaʼs invasion should be legally placed in museum exhibits, thematic exhibitions, library collections, textbooks, and scientific research.

The European Union allocates another € 500 million in military aid to Ukraine. It will be used for the purchase of heavy weapons. The total amount of EU military aid to Ukraine is currently nearing € 2 billion.

EU member states admit that they will postpone the embargo on Russiaʼs oil in order to impose other sanctions because Hungary is still blocking it. The EU wants to reach a consensus by the end of the week, but there are rumors about removing the oil embargo from the sixth package of sanctions. Some countries oppose this, as it will be a “sign of weakness” and disrupt the European Unionʼs unity.

Britain has expanded sanctions against Russia and added sanctions against Russian gymnast Alina Kabayeva, known as Putinʼs mistress, to the list. In addition to Kabayeva, sanctions were imposed on: Kabayevaʼs grandmother Anna Zatsepilina, Putinʼs ex-wife Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, Putinʼs cousins Igor Putin, Roman Putin, and Mikhail Shelomov, another relative of the Russian President, Mikhail Putin, and many close friends of the dictator.