War in Ukraine: What to Remember on the 233rd Day of the Russian Invasion

War in Ukraine: What to Remember on the 233rd Day of the Russian Invasion

THE ESSENTIAL

Russia announced on Friday it would order repairs before July 1, 2023 to the Crimean bridge, which was partially destroyed in an explosion last Saturday that Moscow blames Kyiv for. The government “sets the deadline for the end of state contracts for the execution of works to July 1, 2023,” according to an order signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mikhoustin.

According to Moscow, the Crimean Bridge, a symbol of the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of the same name and crucial for supplying supplies to the Russian troops deployed in Ukraine, was partially destroyed by a truck bomb attack.

Information to remember:

  • Russia orders Crimean bridge repairs by July 1, 2023
  • Russia is organizing the evacuation of the population of the Kherson region to its territory
  • Vladimir Putin has proposed creating a “gas hub” in Turkey to export Russian hydrocarbons
  • According to NATO, Spain is to deliver four “Hawk” medium-range ground-to-air systems to Ukraine

The Russian Security Services (FSB) claimed that this “terrorist attack” was organized by the Ukrainian military intelligence service and assured that an agent from Kyiv coordinated the transport of explosives through several countries and was in contact with various intermediaries.

In response, Russia carried out massive bombing raids across Ukraine on Monday and Tuesday, including on civilian power infrastructure, causing widespread power and water outages. On Wednesday, the FSB said it had arrested eight people – five Russians and “three Ukrainian and Armenian nationals” suspected of involvement in the attack. However, road and rail traffic on the bridge has partially resumed for a few days.

Putin says he is not planning any new “massive” attacks on Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he was not planning new “massive” attacks on Ukraine “immediately” or expanding the mobilization he ordered three weeks ago to counter his army’s backlash. At a press conference following a regional summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, he assured that Russia “is not aiming to destroy Ukraine,” where it has been conducting an offensive since February 24.

“There is no need for massive strikes in the immediate future. There are other goals now. First of all, then we’ll see,” he said. Russia carried out massive bombings in Ukrainian cities on Monday, damaging electrical infrastructure as well as residential areas and even a playground in Kyiv. These attacks came two days after the explosion on Russia’s Crimean Bridge, a key piece of infrastructure Vladimir Putin attributed to Ukrainian intelligence.

Russia is doing “everything right” in Ukraine, according to Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday pledged to do “everything right” in Ukraine after nearly eight months of fighting and numerous setbacks for Russian forces.

“It’s not nice what’s happening now, but (if Russia hadn’t attacked Ukraine on February 24) we would have been in the same situation a little later, only the conditions would have been worse for us. So we’re doing everything right.” ‘ he told reporters after a regional summit in Kazakhstan.

Russia evacuates part of the Ukrainian population

Russia announced Thursday that it would organize the evacuation of the population of the Kherson region of southern Ukraine to its territory, saying it was responding to a request from local occupation authorities threatened by the progress of the counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces.

As Russia remains in trouble amid Ukrainian counter-offensives on the ground, despite its massive strikes across the country this week, the European Union has issued a new warning to Vladimir Putin. “Any nuclear attack on Ukraine will lead to a reaction, not a nuclear one, but a military one, strong enough to destroy the Russian army,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in Bruges on Thursday.

In the near future, the focus in Moscow will be on the evacuation of the population. “Following the appeal of the head of the Kherson region (…), the government decided to organize help for the departure of residents of the region to other regions of the Russian Federation,” Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khousnullin said on TV.

“We will provide everyone with free accommodation and everything they need,” the minister continued, without giving any information on the number of people affected.

The Russian occupation authorities in the Kherson region had previously asked Moscow to organize the evacuation of civilians from this area, which was annexed with three other Ukrainian territories at the end of September. Residents are being taken to the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014, and to the southern Russian regions of Rostov, Krasnodar and Stavropol.

Ukrainians say they recaptured five locations in the Kherson region

The announcement comes as the Ukrainian army said on Thursday it had recaptured five locations in the region, after claiming it had captured five more communities on Wednesday.

For several weeks, the Ukrainian army has been conducting a counteroffensive in this area, which has been occupied since the Russian offensive but last week claimed to have captured more than 400 km2 in seven days. The Ukrainian authorities had not yet reacted to the evacuation announcements at the beginning of the evening. Kyiv has in the past accused Russia of bringing thousands of residents of the occupied territories to its territory under the guise of evacuation.

Putin proposes creating a “gas hub” in Turkey

At the diplomatic level, the Russian and Turkish presidents met Thursday in Kazakhstan on the sidelines of a regional summit in Astana, but did not publicly discuss Turkey’s mediation proposal previously mentioned by the Kremlin. Vladimir Putin has proposed creating a “gas hub” in Turkey to export Russian hydrocarbons.

“It makes no sense for us to create new infrastructure that would allow us to import more Russian gas,” said the French Presidency.

For its part, Ukraine continues to reaping promises to supply anti-aircraft systems to neutralize the threat of Russian missiles. After announcing the arrival of a German system and the upcoming delivery of American models, the United Kingdom announced that it would supply ammunition suitable for launching cruise missiles.

According to NATO, Spain will deliver four “Hawk” medium-range ground-to-air systems. “We hope for more from France and Italy in this area of ​​air defense,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday via video conference before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

In his daily speech in the evening, he emphasized that Russia is currently sending “thousands of its mobilized soldiers to the front”. “The use of these people by the Russian generals as cannon fodder allows them to increase the pressure on our defenders. It’s a pressure you can feel.”

The fights continue

The situation on the ground “is complicated, but under control,” said Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Army Valery Zaluzhny. “The superiority of enemy artillery shows the need to increase the firepower of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” he said. “The question of integrated air defense is also essential.”

Russian forces, retreating on several fronts, are on the offensive against Bakhmout, an eastern town of 70,000 before the war that is now largely deserted and devastated by artillery fire.

Further north, in Iampil, near the strategic Lyman railroad junction recently recaptured by Ukraine, AFP journalists heard heavy artillery fire on Thursday. According to a soldier returning from the front, the village of Torske was under Russian fire.

In Belgorod, Russia, a Ukrainian missile hit a residential building without causing any injuries, local authorities reported. In the evening, according to the region’s governor, a Ukrainian strike blew up an ammunition depot near this big city in a border region of Ukraine.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba announced that he met with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Rafael Grossi, who returned to Ukraine on Thursday, in an air-raid shelter in Kyiv. “I reiterated that Russia must exit the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant to secure it and stop the kidnapping and intimidation of its Ukrainian personnel,” Kouleba said.

Mr. Grossi intends to negotiate a formula that will make it possible to secure this nuclear power plant, which is occupied and annexed by the Russians and regularly the target of gunfire.

Rapes in Ukraine, ‘a military strategy’ and a ‘premeditated tactic’

The rapes and sexual assaults attributed to Russian forces in Ukraine clearly represent “a military strategy” and “a deliberate tactic to dehumanize the victims,” ​​says UN special envoy Pramila Patten, denouncing “horrific cases and very brutal violence.” ” on.

“All the evidence is there,” said Ms Patten, who was interviewed by AFP in Paris about rape as a weapon of war in Ukraine.

Reference: www.europe1.fr

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