After the evacuation of around 260 Ukrainian soldiers from the Azov steelworks in Mariupol, the situation of the city’s remaining defenders in the huge industrial complex remains unclear. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj said on Wednesday night that influential international mediators were involved in the efforts to rescue them.

Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, while Russian airstrikes are taking place in other regions.

On May 1, Russia introduced the Russian ruble as official currency in the region. A few days ago, the deputy chief of the pro-Russian administration in Cherson, Kirill Stremoussov, brought up a formal application for Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin to join the conversation. He justified the waiver of a previously considered referendum with the fact that such a referendum on the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, was not internationally recognized.

The Ukrainian government, on the other hand, is convinced that a Russification of the Cherson region will fail.

According to the authorities, seven civilians were killed on Tuesday in the Donetsk region, which was fought over by Russian and Ukrainian troops. Six others were injured, Ukrainian military governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told the Telegram news service. He accused Russian troops of killing the people. Zelenskyi listed rocket attacks and bombardments in the Lviv, Sumy, Chernihiv and Luhansk regions.

The Russian military wants to compensate for the failures in the east and south.

Selenskyj chose slightly different words to describe his conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron. That conversation was “substantial and long,” he said.

Among other things, it was about the next round of European sanctions against Russia and Ukraine’s plans for rapid accession to the European Union. According to the Élysée Palace, Macron promised that arms deliveries from France would continue and intensify. He also confirmed that Ukraine’s accession to the EU should be discussed in June.

Sweden and Finland will jointly submit their NATO membership applications to Brussels on Wednesday. The Nordic countries are thus giving up their long tradition of military non-alignment.

The EU Commission presents its strategy on how the European Union can become independent of fossil fuels from Russia. The authority wants to set more ambitious goals for the expansion of renewable energies and energy saving.