(Kyiv) Russia’s army continued its advance on Wednesday in eastern Ukraine where it is at the gates of the city of Severodonetsk, and Kyiv, which admits the situation is “very difficult” for its troops after three months of war, blamed NATO for doing “strictly nothing” against Russia’s aggression.
Updated yesterday at 8:58 am
What you need to know
- The head of Ukrainian diplomacy accused NATO of “doing nothing” against Russia’s aggression;
- Russia has enacted a law removing the age limit for enlistment in the army;
- Russia has called for the removal of sanctions to prevent a global food crisis;
- Brussels wants to facilitate the confiscation of the assets of the oligarchs;
- The Russian government is closely monitoring the strengthening of the ruble;
- Ukraine’s invasion will have a ‘long -term negative impact’ on regional security around the Baltic Sea, say heads of state border diplomacy;
- Moscow to consider replacing the prisoner in Kyiv after the trial;
- Ukrainian President Zelensky in Davos denounced the lack of “unity” of Western countries;
- In Mykolaiv, the inhabitants are faced with water shortage, eleventh hardship of a troubled life.
Ukraine, which continues to demand that the West provide it more quickly with heavy weapons lacking to deal with Russia’s war machine, also called at the international community meeting in Davos (Switzerland) to “kill exports of Russia.
Moscow must stop “making money and investing it in a war machine that kills, rapes and tortures Ukrainians”, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba launched at the World Economic Forum, while a European embargo on oil Russia is struggling to fulfill.
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 risk their health, their lives for the population and the children of Donbass (eastern Ukraine, editor’s note), for the good of Russia, are all heroes”, he assured.
In Donbass in particular, this industrial basin in eastern Ukraine has been partially under the control of pro-Russian separatists since 2014, and is where Moscow has refocused its offensive after failing to take Kyiv and overthrow President Volodymr Zelensky, the Russians are trying by all means. to tighten their grip on the Luhansk region.
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 Interfax, said that Severodonetsk was “surrounded” from three sides and the only bridge that came out of it was now under Russian control.
The AFP could not verify these claims.
Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandre Motouzianyk, however, denied any defeated interpretation.
“In some areas the 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 the “maneuvers of defense ”in a“ very innovative ”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”, that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24..
In a village near Kharkiv, north of Donbass, recently freed from Russian forces, and journalists brought to the area by Ukrainian soldiers were asked to keep the name, residents were still surprised by the accusation 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 tens of km from Severodonetsk, where Natalia, 47, climbed into the open air “to see the 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 blockade.
Faced at the Davos forum, the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs asked to achieve by all means to strangle Russia.
“There is another way” to reduce oil revenues, he said. “For example, most of Russia’s oil sold on the global market is transported by sea,” he explains, saying that those who continue to produce it must “face problems”.
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 (Ukrainian) grain for its own consumption, “the British minister said.
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.
Thousands of civilians and soldiers were killed in this war, without any number. For the city of Mariupol alone, Kyiv speaks 20,000 dead.
More than eight million Ukrainians are internally displaced, according to the UN. It added 6.5 million who fled abroad, more than half of them —3.4 million — in Poland.