Russia accused of wanting to ‘freeze’ Ukrainian population and ‘forced evictions’
The United States on Friday accused Russia of wanting to “freeze” Ukraine’s population this winter because it cannot win on the battlefield, as Vladimir Putin announced the continued expulsion of residents of the southern region of…
The United States on Friday accused Russia of wanting to “freeze” the Ukrainian population this winter for lack of power on the battlefield, as Vladimir Putin announced the continued expulsion of residents of the southern Kherson region in the face of pressure from the Kiev army.
Ukraine has denounced a policy of “deportation” to the east of its territory under Russian control, even to Russia itself, and called on the international community to testify.
The latter, on the same day, multiplied initiatives trying to force Moscow to halt its offensive, from Chancellor Olaf Scholz urging Chinese President Xi Jinping to “use his influence” over the Kremlin to that effect at the G7 meeting Munster (Germany), which reiterated its full support for Kyiv.
Heating secured, authorities say
In particular, the foreign ministers of the seven industrialized countries agreed to set up a “coordination mechanism” to help Ukraine “repair and defend” its power and water supply systems, which were massively destroyed by the Russians.
It will also be about delivering water pumps, heaters, accommodation containers, toilets, beds, blankets or tents.
Because Russia is trying to compensate for its military defeats in Ukraine by targeting vital infrastructure in order to subjugate this country by “freezing its inhabitants in the coldest months”, estimated US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the occasion of the G7 summit.
The Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmygal nevertheless wanted to calm down: “We are preparing for all scenarios. We store power generation systems for emergencies,” he said on Friday.
“Today, almost half of the buildings across Ukraine have heating. These are schools, kindergartens, hospitals, apartment buildings (…) In Kyiv, 78% of buildings are currently heated,” Chmygal said.
“There are enough reserves in the underground gas deposits. 14.5 billion m3 of gas have been accumulated. Taking into account the expected foreign deliveries, these volumes will be enough to get through the season” when heating is required, always d ‘according to the head of government.
“We have already received 700 generators from (foreign) donors. Another 900 will be delivered by them soon,” said Chmygal.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will increase its activities in Ukraine so that farmers can continue to produce despite the conflict.
battle in the east
At the same time, the fighting continued, “the fiercest” was “concentrated this week in Donbass (east), in Bakhmout and Soledar,” stressed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the evening.
But “we are holding our positions,” he assured, insisting on what he saw as significant losses in the Russian ranks.
“During the day, the Russian occupiers fired three rockets and carried out five airstrikes and two multiple rocket launchers,” reported meanwhile about the regions of Lviv (west), Kharkiv (northeast), Dnepropetrovsk (centre) and Zaporizhia (south). Personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Faced with this situation, the West continues to provide large-scale military assistance to Ukraine: the United States will finance the modernization of T-72 tanks and HAWK surface-to-air missiles within the framework of about $400 million.
“We recognize the acute need for anti-aircraft defenses at this critical time when Russia and Russian forces are raining down Iranian missiles and drones on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure,” Jake Sullivan, Kyiv’s adviser on the issue, told the U.S. National Security Committee on Friday. President Joe Biden.
“More than 5,000” displaced persons per day
For his part, the Russian president, in Red Square on National Unity Day, did not deviate from his usual rhetoric.
“By continuously supplying arms to Ukraine, the West sends mercenaries there”, “the West favors its geopolitical goals, which have nothing to do with the interests of the Ukrainian people”; and this is “also aimed at weakening, undermining, destroying Russia,” pounded Mr. Putin.
Referring to the ongoing evacuation of the population from southern Ukraine, he said that “those currently living in Kherson” should be “kept away from the most dangerous combat zones”.
“The Russian occupation administration has started mass forced expulsions of residents of this region,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry responded, confirming that “similar expulsions are also being carried out in other provinces.
Last week, the Russians announced that 70,000 residents of Kherson and its environs had been relocated to the left bank of the Dnieper, where Moscow has better control of the situation.
However, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced on Friday that these population movements are continuing at a rate of “more than 5,000” people a day.
In Arkhangelské, a village in the region that was recently captured by Ukrainian troops and that still bears the marks of intense fighting — bloodstained Russian uniforms in the streets, destruction and the smell of dead bodies emanating from certain buildings — a resident said that they did so hailed Ukrainian soldiers as heroes.
“The soldiers hugged me so tightly that I felt like they were my children,” said Tamara Propokiv, 59, with tears in her eyes.
In a bid to curb Ukraine’s military dynamics, Vladimir Putin boasted in Red Square that he had exceeded the targets for mobilizing reservists.
“We have already mobilized 318,000” and “volunteers are still coming. The number of volunteers is not decreasing,” said the Russian head of state.
However, relatives of Russian soldiers told AFP about the “chaos” of this September 21 mobilization.
“Everything we’re shown on TV is cake. It feels like the decision to mobilize was made suddenly and nobody was ready,” said Tatiana, a woman whose nephew was recruited in Krasnogorsk in early October.
Thousands of Russian men have also fled their country for fear of mobilization, while the Wagner paramilitary group with a strong presence in Ukraine opened its first official headquarters on Friday in Saint Petersburg, northwestern Russia.
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