The Washington Post – Louisa Loveluck / Evacuees from Mariupol steel plant describe brutality of long siege
- From their cold and fetid bunker, deep underground, the survivors of Mariupol’s Azovstal Iron and Steel Works had feared the wreckage that would greet them if they made it out alive.
- As they staggered upstairs and into the light this week, the scene of charred and twisted metal eclipsed their worst nightmares.
- After a three-day-long evacuation from the steelworks under Russian siege, during which Ukrainian soldiers have been staging a dramatic last stand for weeks with hundreds of civilians also sheltering there, the first 100 civilians arrived 140 miles northwest in the relative safety of the town of Zaporizhzhia, and began to tell their stories.
- Women and the elderly said that they had lived for more than a month without sunlight as fear pervaded and food dwindled. Russian bombardments struck the sprawling complex so hard that dust swirled down from the bunker’s ceiling.
- The Guardian – Samantha Lock / Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 70 of the invasion
Financial Times – Amy Kazmin, Sam Fleming and Andy Bounds / Mario Draghi urges EU to deepen economic integration in response to war
- Mario Draghi has urged the EU to streamline its decision-making and deepen economic integration as the union seeks to respond to the upheaval triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- The Italian prime minister told the European parliament on Tuesday that the EU needed to embrace “pragmatic federalism” in multiple policy areas including defence, foreign policy and economic burden-sharing given the crisis unfolding to its east. If the reforms required the EU to reopen its treaties then it should be prepared to do so, he added.
- “The institutions set up by our predecessors over the past decades have served Europe’s citizens well, but they are inadequate given the reality that confronts us today,” he said in Strasbourg. “We need a pragmatic federalism: one that encompasses all the areas affected by the transformations taking place — from the economy, to energy, to security.”
- The EU responded rapidly to the Ukraine crisis, unleashing multiple rounds of sanctions on Moscow and offering generous terms to Ukrainian refugees. However, the crisis is prompting some policymakers to call for bolder reforms given the threat from Russia.
- Italian Government / Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s address to the European Parliament
Financial Times – James Politi / Joe Biden calls on US Supreme Court to uphold Roe vs Wade following leak
- US president Joe Biden called on the Supreme Court to uphold the landmark Roe vs Wade abortion rights ruling following the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn it, which the court’s chief justice condemned as a “betrayal” and insisted was not indicative of its final decision.
- “I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental,” Biden said on Tuesday, following the publication of a document by Politico showing that the court’s conservative majority was poised to unwind Roe vs Wade.
- “Roe has been the law of the land for almost 50 years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” he added.
- Later on Tuesday, the Supreme Court confirmed the draft’s authenticity, but said it did not represent the “final position” of any of its members.
- Politico – David M. Herszenhorn / EU smells trouble, and Trump, in US abortion fight
Euractiv – Frédéric Simon / EU’s von der Leyen to present Russia oil ban in Parliament today
- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected on Wednesday (4 May) to outline new sanctions against Moscow, including a ban on imports of Russian oil by the end of this year.
- EU officials late Tuesday handed over a draft plan to member states on a new package of sanctions to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
- Russia now faces new measures from the EU that would target its oil industry and banks, with a proposed oil embargo coming into effect in several stages.
- The latest round of sanctions would also affect Sberbank, Russia’s top lender, diplomats said, adding it to several banks that have already been excluded from the SWIFT messaging system.
- Financial Times – Camilla Hodgson and Steven Bernard / EU takes bulk of €63bn in Russian fossil fuel exports during Ukraine war
Today’s longer reads:
- Project Syndicate – Joseph S. Nye Jr. / Soft power after Ukraine
- Financial Times – Henry Foy / Nato’s eastern front: will the military build-up make Europe safer?