The Russian army continued to advance on Wednesday in eastern Ukraine, where it is at the gates of the cities of Severodonetsk, and kyiv, which admitted that the situation was “very difficult” for its troops after three months of war, criticized NATO for “doing nothing” against Russia’s aggression.
Ukraine, which continues to demand that the West provide it more quickly with the heavy weapons lacking to deal with Russia’s war machine, also called at a meeting of the international community in Davos, Switzerland, to “kill the terrorists. Russia’s exports.
Moscow must stop “making money and investing it in a war machine that kills, rapes and tortures Ukrainians”, launched by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba, at the World Economic Forum, then a European embargo on Russia’s oil is struggling to come true.
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin was shot, in a white coat, with wounded soldiers in front of the Ukrainian. These men “who will endanger their health, their lives for the people and children of Donbass [est de l’Ukraine]for the good of Russia, everyone is a hero, ”he said.
A new Mariupol?
In Donbass in particular, the Russians are trying at all costs to tighten their grip on the Luhansk region. Moscow has refocused its offensive on this industrial basin in eastern Ukraine, after failing to take kyiv and overthrow President Volodymr Zelensky from power.
Russian forces have already reached the outskirts of Severodonetsk, a city of 100,000 inhabitants where the situation is “very difficult”, the region’s governor announced on Wednesday.
Russian forces are “so close that they can fire mortars” at Severodonetsk, Sergei Gaïdaï told the Telegram, adding that the city was “just destroyed”.
He accused the Russian army of bombing the city with multiple rocket launchers, inaccurate and destructive weapons. According to him, the bombs also targeted the Azot factory, where civilians were hiding, in a situation reminiscent of the siege of Mariupol, the large port in the southeast that was nearly destroyed by the bombs.
An unnamed representative of the pro-Russian separatists, quoted by the Russian news agency Interfax, said that Severodonetsk was “surrounded” from three sides and that the only bridge leading to the outside was now under control of Russia.
The AFP could not verify these claims.
Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandre Motouzianyk, however, denied any defeated interpretation.
“In some areas, Russian forces have had a temporary tactical victory, it’s no secret. But to say that Ukrainian troops are retreating is a completely misinterpretation,” he told reporters, referring to ” defense maneuvers ”in a“ very modern ”situation.
“Sooner or later, counter-offensives will take place […]. We will liberate our land from the Russian occupiers, ”he promised.
“Show me a Nazi”!
The Ukrainian president called for “the support of a united Europe” for it, lamenting the lack of unity of Westerners in the face of this war that is just entering its fourth month, responding on Wednesday morning by videoconference at the Davos forum.
This is specifically to defend Donbass, which has been partially controlled since 2014 by pro-Russian separatists, from an alleged “genocide” driven by the “Nazis”, whose President of Russia, Vladimir Putin , on February 24 launched an invasion of ‘Ukraine.
In a village near Kharkiv, north of Donbass, recently freed from Russian forces, and journalists brought there by Ukrainian soldiers were asked to keep the name, residents are still shocked by the accusations. of Russia.
“Show me a Nazi in the village!” We have a country and we are nationalists, but we are not Nazis or fascists, ”said Laryssa Kossynets, a 57-year-old farmer, before returning to hide as the shells began to fall again.
In the Donbass, the towns on the front line are emptied of their inhabitants, the stubborn, mostly elderly, who spend most of their time hiding in cellars. As in the town of Soledar, a few dozen kilometers from Severodonetsk, where Natalia, 47, climbed into the open “just to see people”. “We need to know that we’re not alone and there’s always life around,” he said.
“Forced issuance” of Russian passports
On the south front, Moscow has been busy consolidating its holdings into the occupied territories for three months.
In Mariupol, the demining and “demilitarization” of the port has been completed and it has already begun to “operate regularly”, said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
Russia has also announced that it will allow residents of the Zaporizhia and Kherson regions to apply for a Russian passport through “a simplified procedure”.
Ukraine immediately condemned a proposal demonstrating Moscow’s desire to conduct a pure and simple annexation of these territories.
“The forced issuance of passports to Ukrainians in Kherson and Zaporizhia is further evidence of the criminal intent of Russia’s war against Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Stop stealing cereals”!
Increasing its pressure on Russia, the United States announced the end of an exemption allowing Moscow to repay its debts in dollars. This decision could push Russia into default. Moscow will pay its debt in rubles, the Russian Finance Ministry replied.
European Council President Charles Michel said he remained “confident” in an agreement on an EU embargo on Russia’s oil at the start of the European Council on Monday, despite the Hungarian deadlock. .
The European Commission has also presented legislative measures to facilitate the confiscation of the assets of Russian oligarchs on the blacklist, noting that 10 billion euros of assets of sanctioned personalities have been frozen in the EU .
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Wednesday called on Russia to “stop the theft” of grain produced by Ukraine and let the country export it, ruling any removal of sanctions that asked Moscow to prevent a global food crisis.
“Stop stealing grain!” “, he launched at the Moscow address.” We see Russia stealing grain [ukrainiennes] for its own consumption, ”said the British minister.
Ukraine, a major exporter of cereals, saw its production blocked because of the fighting, and that of Russia, another cereal power, could not be sold because of sanctions affecting the financial and logistics sectors.