Mariupol defenders turn to Musk, "grain" corridor through Belarus: last night's highlights
12 May, 2022

The Ukrainian military, which is under siege at Azovstal, is calling for Elon Musk's help; Lithuania offers to export grain from Ukraine through the humanitarian border via Belarus; and Ukraine warns foreign countries about the grain stolen by the occupiers. Here is a round-up of what you may have missed from the previous night.

Defenders of Mariupol turn to Musk

Acting Commander of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade named after Rear Admiral Mykhailo Bilynsky, Serhiy "Volyna" Volynsky, who is defending Mariupol, called on entrepreneur Elon Musk to help Azovstal fighters reach the mediation country.

"They say you were teleported from another planet to teach people to believe in the impossible. Our planets are close by, because I live where it is almost impossible to survive. Help us to leave Azovstal for a third country. If not you, then who? Give us a hint," Volyna writes.

The issue of grain exports

Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis sees only two real ways to export grain from Ukraine: to unblock Ukrainian ports with the help of international institutions or to create a humanitarian freight corridor through Belarus.

According to Skuodis, negotiations on such a corridor are currently underway, but it should be the responsibility of international institutions — the UN or the European Commission.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has warned consumer countries that consignments of grain sold by Russia may contain grain stolen from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine as a result of looting.

The Foreign Ministry demands that Russia stop stealing grain, unblock Ukrainian ports, restore freedom of navigation and allow the passage of merchant ships.

Czechs in the ranks of the Armed Forces

On May 11, Czech President Milos Zeman signed a decision to allow 103 citizens to join the Armed Forces on the basis of their applications. The Czech PM must now sign the decision once again.

Losses from the war

As of May 10, the total amount of direct documented damage to Ukraine's infrastructure due to the destruction during the war has already exceeded $94.3 billion or almost 2.8 trillion hryvnias.

The total loss of Ukraine's economy due to the war ranges from $564 to 600 billion. These are both direct and indirect losses — declining GDP, cessation of investment, outflow of labor, additional spending on defense and social support, and so on.

Other important news:

  • The eastern Ukrainian, predominantly Russian-speaking city of Kharkiv unilaterally severed "twinning relations" with the Russian cities of Belgorod, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, and St. Petersburg.
  • Since the beginning of the war, 271 cases of kidnappings have been confirmed in the temporarily occupied territories of Zaporizhia Oblast, said Oleksandr Starukh, head of the regional state administration. 118 people are still being held hostage.
  • The National Police opened 74 criminal proceedings over the enemy opening fire and shelling evacuation columns. 33 civilians were killed in 45 shellings, including five children.
  • Soldiers of the 126th separate brigade of territorial defense of Odesa found ancient amphorae during fortification works.
  • Elon Musk, an American businessman, said that his Starlink satellite network was resisting Russian attacks, but that they were stepping up their efforts.
  • The European Union wants to spend about 195 billion euros over the next 5 years to ensure energy independence from Russia.