War in Ukraine: Vladimir Putin wants to complete the annexation of Ukrainian territories

War in Ukraine: Vladimir Putin wants to complete the annexation of Ukrainian territories

THE ESSENTIAL

Russian President Vladimir Putin will complete Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions on Friday. For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called an emergency meeting of his Security Council for Friday. On the contrary, far from laying down arms in this war, Kyiv is demanding more from its Western allies to continue its counter-offensive against Moscow.

Information to remember:

  • Vladimir Putin will complete Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions this Friday.
  • Ukraine continues its counteroffensive in the east and south.
  • Hundreds of thousands of civilian reservists are being mobilized in Russia.
  • Russians preferred to leave everything behind to flee the country.

Vladimir Putin formalizes annexation of Ukrainian regions

After the results of the referendum on the annexation of the Ukrainian regions to Russia are published this Friday, Vladimir Putin will finalize their annexation from Moscow. The Kremlin will therefore hold a ceremony at 12:00 GMT on Friday, formalizing the annexation of Ukraine’s regions of Donetsk and Lugansk (east) and Kherson and Zaporizhia (south).

Vladimir Putin will give “an extensive speech” on this occasion, according to his spokesman Dmitry Peskov. The Russian capital was also preparing for celebrations with limited traffic on Friday and organizing a concert in the shadow of the Kremlin walls, where Putin could perform.

Officials deployed by Moscow in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, Zaporizhia and Kherson are already in the Russian capital, according to local media.

A maneuver that provoked the disunity of the international community. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned a “land grab” by Russia and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ behavior that “has no place in the modern world”.

The Ukrainians continue their counteroffensive

Ukraine condemned these annexations and brushed aside Vladimir Putin’s threats to resort to nuclear weapons while pursuing a counteroffensive in the east and south.

After retaking most of the northeast, Ukraine appears to have begun recapturing Lyman, a town in the Donetsk region and a key railroad hub that the Russian army has controlled since May. “The adversary regularly makes attempts at attack to create the conditions for encirclement,” a senior pro-Russian local separatist official, Alexei Nikonorov, told Russian TV.

On the ground, Russian bombing continued to hit Ukrainian cities, killing one child in particular during the night in Dnipro. At least five civilians were killed in the Ukrainian-controlled part of Donetsk region on Wednesday.

Ukrainian forces have also regained full control of the Kupyansk railway junction in the northeast and managed to drive Russian troops off the city’s east bank, AFP journalists noted on Thursday, who saw five bodies in military uniforms near vehicles with Russian identification marks.

On the other hand, there was another exchange of prisoners between the two camps on Friday, with six Ukrainians released from captivity, including civilians. Russia did not say how many people it recovered.

The mobilization of reservists in Russia

In Russia, the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of civilian reservists to come and reinforce Russian lines continued, as did the exodus of tens of thousands of people afraid of being mobilized.

A young man in his 20s who crossed the land border into Mongolia prefers to remain anonymous to explain his reasons for fleeing. “It was very difficult to leave everything behind. My home, my homeland, my loved ones. But it’s always better than killing people,” he said in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.

As dissatisfaction mounts in Russia amid an often chaotic mobilization, Vladimir Putin on Thursday acknowledged “mistakes to be corrected” and called for “bringing home those summoned without proper reason.” On the international front of the conflict, it was leaks from mysterious explosions in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines that fueled new Russian-Western tensions.

Reference: www.europe1.fr

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