Military situation:

Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk urges residents of Kherson to evacuate the southern region immediately. “I urge you to evacuate as soon as possible in any case. Don’t wait,” Vereshchuk said.

She warned residents that they could be used by the Russians as human shields and that staying in the occupied districts of Zaporizhia and Kherson regions is dangerous.

Political situation:

The US wants to support Ukraine in defense against Russia’s war of aggression with further arms deliveries worth around 400 million US dollars. The new package includes four Himars multiple rocket launchers, 1,000 155mm high-precision artillery shells, artillery surveillance radars and spare parts, a senior US Defense Department official said on Friday. Saturday marks the 136th day of war in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in late February.

According to his most important foreign policy adviser, Pope Francis could travel to Kyiv this summer. Curial Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the secretary for relations with states and thus something like the Vatican’s foreign minister, told the Italian broadcaster Rai1 on Friday evening. When asked if such a trip was possible in August, Gallagher replied: “It’s possible, I wouldn’t rule it out.”

Francis has been calling for peace in Ukraine for months and has always been open to a trip to Kyiv. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyj and Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko had invited him. Francis is also ready to travel to Moscow.

Ukrainian authorities have confiscated corporate rights and real estate from 11 Russian companies. It is about a total value of around 57 million euros, said the SBU secret service in Kyiv on Friday. A total of 46 properties are said to have been transferred to the Ukrainian state. The companies include Gazprom, Rosneft and Rosatom. The accusation is that the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, which has been ongoing since February, was financed.

In the Russian war of aggression against his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy intends to continue sending messages abroad. His last video address to the Slovenian parliament was already the 24th speech to an EU member state parliament. Three speeches to the parliaments of the remaining 27 EU member states are still pending.

“I hope that the three other EU countries will also feel that these appeals are not about politics, but about protecting our common freedom, and that is why we will get to the point where one day I can say: All 27 parliaments of the European Union hear the freedom struggle better than any Russian manipulation,” stressed the President.

Outlook: That will be important on Saturday

Since Russia took control of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, the focus of fighting has shifted to neighboring Donetsk. The Russian army is particularly targeting the cities of Kramatorsk and Slowjansk.