War in Ukraine: What to Remember on the 224th Day of the Russian Invasion
The military situation in the Ukrainian territories that Russia claims annexation will “stabilize,” Vladimir Putin assured on Wednesday, as his forces suffered a series of setbacks against the Ukrainian army on the 224th day of Russia’s invasion. A few hours earlier, Ukraine had announced that it would regain ground in the Luhansk region (east) after its successes in the Kherson region (south) and Kharkiv region (northeast).
“We expect that the situation will stabilize and that we can develop these areas peacefully,” said Vladimir Putin, who on September 21 ordered the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists to reverse the trend.
Information to remember:
– Putin signs a decree allowing Russia to appropriate the Zaporizhia power plant
– Ukraine claims gains in the east and south
– New US shipment of military equipment
The OECD is tentatively opening the door to Ukraine’s future membership
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday recognized Ukraine as a “potential member country”, the very first step in a very long accession process.
“Following the request received from Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to start the process of Ukraine’s accession to the OECD, the Council of the OECD has decided to recognize Ukraine as a potential member country,” confirmed the Secretary-General of the International Organization, Mathias Cormann, as quoted in an on Wednesday press release. This is a very preliminary stage for potential future membership, during which a dialogue will begin between Kyiv and the international club that brings together developed countries.
Russia confiscates the Zaporizhia power plant
The Russian President signed a decree for Russia to formally appropriate Ukraine’s nuclear power plant in Zaporizhya. For his part, the head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, announced his departure for Kyiv to discuss “the need for a protective zone around the plant more urgently than ever”.
While retreating on the ground, Russia has announced the annexation of four regions of Ukraine (Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia) it partially controls, after denouncing “referendums” by Kyiv and its western allies. The army’s backlash is a sign of disarray in Russia and has prompted a senior parliament official to urge them to “stop lying about their defeats”.
“Our people are not stupid. And they see that we don’t even want to tell them part of the truth. That can lead to a loss of credibility,” said Andrei Kartapolov, chairman of the Duma’s Defense Committee, the Lower House of Parliament and a former military commander.
Ukraine claims further gains in the east and south
Kiev’s troops continue their counter-offensive, claiming new gains in the east and south. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region, which until now has been almost completely controlled by Moscow, announced a breakthrough. “Now it is official. De-occupation of the Lugansk region has begun. Several places have already been liberated,” Sergiï Gaïdaï said in a video posted on Telegram without further details.
The day before, Ukraine had already claimed advances in the north of the southern Kherson region, while almost the entire Kharkiv region (northeast) now appears to be under Ukrainian control, paving the way towards Lugansk, the bastion of the separatists installed by Moscow since 2014 .
Massive Russian strikes near Lyman
For its part, the Russian army on Wednesday said it had carried out “massive strikes” in the past 24 hours near Lyman (Donetsk region), a town recently occupied by Ukrainian forces, inflicting heavy casualties on them. In the Kherson region, “Moscow troops are holding their positions and repelling attacks from numerically superior enemy forces,” she added. Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov assured that the lost territories “will be regained”.
Vladimir Putin had sworn to him that he would defend the annexed territories, even if it meant using nuclear weapons, a threat that failed to stop either the Ukrainian counteroffensive or Western arms supplies. The Russian army had half-conceded retreats on Tuesday, releasing maps showing that Moscow had ceded an entire chunk of the northern Kherson region and that its presence in the Kharkiv region was now minimal.
Zelenskyj welcomes “powerful” progress
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed “mighty” progress on Tuesday, saying that “dozens of places have been liberated this week alone” in the four regions Moscow claims as its own. To the east, the retreat from Kharkiv allowed Ukrainian forces to take the fight further east toward the town of Svatové.
Near Lyman, a strategic railway junction taken over in the Donetsk region (east) last weekend, a Ukrainian paratrooper who was hit by AFP on Tuesday admitted he and his comrades were both “exhausted” and be determined. Oleksandre, 31, said the fighting had been “very tough” but they had to “move forward”.
In Lyman, where AFP journalists went on Wednesday, Tatiana Slavouta, a 62-year-old resident, said she didn’t know “if the situation is getting better or worse since the Ukrainian recapture”. “All the shops are closed, we have no money, we have no light. Nothing,” she explains, but “at least it’s quiet now, no bombing.”
New US shipment of military equipment
On the diplomatic front, US President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a new US shipment of $625 million in military equipment. At your side, The states of the European Union have agreed on a new series of sanctions against Russian organizations and figures.
Russia has claimed to be involved in investigating the leaks of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, Sweden, which is responsible for the investigations, has blocked access to the area of this alleged sabotage in the Baltic Sea. Moscow hinted that if Westerners suspected Russia, the US could sabotage these key pipes for Europe’s energy supply.
On the sporting front, Spain and Portugal have announced that they have included Ukraine in their joint bid to organize the 2030 World Cup, with the Portuguese FA hailing the “tenacity and resilience of the Ukrainian people”. Volodymyr Zelenskyj celebrated a “symbol of victory” in the evening. This candidacy is “more than a symbol of belief in our common victory,” he wrote on Twitter.
The joint bid of Spain, Portugal and Ukraine to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup is more than a symbol of belief in our common victory. Ukraine will survive, assert itself and be rebuilt thanks to the solidarity of its partners. Grateful for the support to & @sanchezcastejon@antoniocostapm
— Volodymyr Zelensky (@ZelenskyyUa) October 5, 2022
“Ukraine will survive, prevail and be rebuilt through the solidarity of its partners,” he added.
A Russian cosmonaut on the way to the ISS
A Russian cosmonaut took off from the United States to the International Space Station on a rocket belonging to the American company SpaceX on Wednesday, a mission particularly symbolic amid the war in Ukraine. Anna Kikina, the only Russian cosmonaut currently on active duty, is part of the Crew 5 crew, which also consists of one Japanese and two Americans, including Nicole Mann, who is the first Native American to fly into space.
The launch took place on Wednesday afternoon from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This is the fifth regular mission to the Space Station (ISS) to be operated by SpaceX on behalf of NASA. Two weeks ago, an American took off for the ISS on board a Russian Soyuz rocket.
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