Home WORLD EUROPA Rare visit by President Zelenksy to southern Ukraine | War in...

Rare visit by President Zelenksy to southern Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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Volodymyr Zelensky, who had remained barricaded in kyiv for weeks at the start of the conflict when the capital was threatened by the Russian army, went according to the presidency to the troops in the regions of Mykolaiv and Odessa, on the strip coast of the country coveted by Moscow on the shores of the Black Sea.

He thanked the soldiers, who are containing the thrust of Russian troops, supported in the east from annexed Crimea, for their heroic service.

It is important that you stay alive. As long as you are alive, there is a solid Ukrainian wall protecting our country.he told them.

A video, released by the presidency, showed him in Mykolaiv with the local governor, Vitaliy Kim, in front of the gaping facade of the headquarters of the regional administration, hit in March by a Russian strike that left 37 dead.

This port and industrial city of almost half a million inhabitants before the war is still under Ukrainian control, but it is close to the Kherson region, almost entirely occupied by the Russians. A Russian strike left 2 dead and 20 injured on Friday.

It remains a target of Moscow, because it is on the road to Odessa, the largest port in Ukraine, 130 km to the southwest, near Moldova, also still under Ukrainian control and at the center of discussions. on the blocked export of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain.

Russia explains that the waters are mined. It controls this area of ​​the Black Sea despite the firing of Ukrainian missiles against its ships.

Westerners accuse the Russian authorities of threatening the world with famine and of exploiting cereals as they do with hydrocarbons.

Russia has turned the Black Sea into a war zone, blocking grain and fertilizer shipments from Ukraine while applying quota to its own exports, denounced the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell on Saturday, accusing Moscow of blackmail.

It is imperative to allow the resumption of Ukrainian exports by boat to avoid a global food disasterhe added.

Fierce fighting in the Donbass

Further north, fierce fighting is raging near Sievierodonetsk, in the Donbass region, partially controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014 and including Russia, after failing to take kyiv in the first weeks of its offensive launched on February 24, has set itself the goal of taking full control.

The fiercest battles take place near Sievierodonetskwhere the Russians try to break throughsaid Saturday the governor of the eastern region of Lugansk, Sergei Gaïdaï.

The governor also said that Lyssychansk, the neighboring city, was heavily bombed. Russians can’t get near it and that’s why they just shoot the city with airstrikes.

Residents of Lysychansk were preparing to be evacuated: We drop everything and leave. No one can survive such a strikesaid a resident, Alla Bor, a history teacher.

Serguiï Gaïdaï also mentioned more destruction again at the besieged Azot chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, where more than 500 civilians, including 38 children, are hiding.

The pro-Russian authorities in Donetsk, capital of the Republic self-proclaimed of the same name in the part of Donbass which has escaped the control of kyiv since 2014, for their part affirmed that Ukrainian bombardments on the city had left 5 dead and 12 injured among the civilian population.

Massive enemy shelling targets the capital of the Republicthe separatist military forces said in a statement, saying that more than 200 155 caliber artillery shells – that of theNATO – fell on several districts of Donetsk on Saturday.

It is finally in the north, from Belarus from where the Russian forces had attacked on February 24 in the direction of kyiv, that the Ukrainians again fear an offensive. On Wednesday, Volodymyr Zelensky ordered to check the defense lines in this area, according to Oleksiï Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council.

The Ukrainian army, which this week obtained the promise of new heavy Western weapons – including Caesar cannons promised Thursday by French President Emmanuel Macron – is counting on these weapons to push back the Russians.

In an interview published this week by the National Defense Magazinean American specialized publication, General Volodymyr Karpenko, chief of logistics of the Ukrainian army, admitted that Ukraine had lost since February 24%”,”text”:”about 50%”}}”>about 50% of its armaments.

infantry fighting vehicles were lost, 400tanks, 700artillery systems”,”text”:”About 1300infantry fighting vehicles were lost, 400tanks, 700artillery systems”}}”>Some 1300 infantry fighting vehicles were lost, 400 tanks, 700 artillery systemshe said.

We need heavy weaponsDeputy Defense Minister Denys Sharapov repeated in the same magazine, noting that the weapons received so far10 to 15% of needs”,”text”:”cover 10 to 15% of needs”}}”>cover 10 to 15% of needs from Ukraine.

Towards negotiations with Moscow

Only after repelling Russian forces will Ukraine be ready to start new negotiations with Moscow, which should happen in late August, David Arakhamia, the head of the Ukrainian delegation, told the air. Ukrainian radio station Voice of America.

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at least [pour des négociations, NDLR]it would be if we push them back or if they return of their own free will to the positions they occupied before the 24thFebruary”,”text”:”A minimum agreement [pour des négociations, NDLR]it would be if we push them back or if they return of their own free will to the positions they occupied before February 24″}}”>A deal at least [pour des négociations]it would be if we push them back or if they return of their own free will to the positions they occupied before February 24 and the start of the offensive, he said.

In kyiv, hundreds of people attended the funeral of Roman Ratouchny, 24, killed in action in the east on Saturday. He was a figure in the pro-European Maidan movement, which led to the fall of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 after he renounced, under pressure from Moscow, the signing of an association agreement with the European Union (EU).

Eight years later, granting Ukraine the status of a candidate country for entry into theEU is on the table. After the support of the leaders of the three main European powers who came to kyiv on Thursday, the European Commission gave its agreement on Friday, and the question must now be settled next Thursday and Friday at a European summit where the 27 leaders of the ‘EU will have to decide unanimously.

We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for their European aspirations. We want them to live with us, for the European dreamCommission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Brussels on Friday.

Ukraine deserve this positive newsVolodymyr Zelensky said in a video released overnight, expressing his gratitude to Europe for this first stage.

A new stage in the showdown with the West, Moscow is gradually but massively cutting off its gas deliveries to Western Europe, which is very dependent on it.

The Russian giant Gazprom has considerably reduced its deliveries in recent days, particularly to Germany, causing an explosion in prices. In Italy, Gazprom will deliver only 50% of the gas requested by Eni on Friday, the Italian group announced. As for France, it has received nothing since Thursday.

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