Kyiv, Ukraine, June 25, 2022 (AFP) – Ukraine said Saturday (25) that “intensive bombardment” of Russian missiles hit its territory, and that it was launched from Belarus, an ally of the Kremlin, despite providing logistical services to Moscow. , is not an official party to the conflict, which has entered its fifth month.
The Northern Command of the Ukrainian forces said that “intensive missile strikes hit the Chernihiv region.”
Twenty missiles fell on the city of Desna, launched from Belarusian territory [e também] From the air,” he said, adding that the attacks hit the infrastructure, but no casualties.
Despite not participating in the conflict with Ukraine, Belarus provided logistical support to Moscow’s forces, especially in the first weeks of the Russian offensive, which began on February 24.
“Today’s bombing is directly related to the Kremlin’s efforts to lure Belarus into war in Ukraine as a warring party,” the Directorate General of Ukrainian Intelligence Services of the Ministry of Defense said on Telegram.
The attack came before a meeting Saturday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in St Petersburg.
On the other hand, Ukraine’s western allies will gather from Sunday at the summit of the Group of Seven – the world’s largest economies – in Germany. Facing a conflict that threatens to prolong itself in time, members of NATO, of which Ukraine is not a part, will meet in Madrid next week.
– Severodonetsk and Lysichansk – During these meetings, Western countries will assess the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia and Belarus and will study the possibility of providing new aid to Ukraine.
On Saturday, the Spanish government announced a new plan for direct aid to its 9 billion-euro population. In addition to the first package of measures of 6 billion euros approved in March, this direct aid will represent, by the end of the year, about 15 billion euros,” the head of government, Pedro Sanchez, said at a press conference. one of the gross domestic product.
Kyiv insists it needs more weapons to neutralize the advance of Russian forces and “stabilize” the situation in eastern Donbass, where fierce fighting is raging. This will “allow us to stabilize the situation in the most threatened Luhansk region,” said the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, Valery Zaluzhny, on Friday.
The situation is particularly difficult in the industrial city of Severodonetsk, which has been bombarded by Moscow for weeks and where Ukrainian forces were ordered to withdraw on Friday. The governor of the Luhansk region, where the city is located, said: “(…) 90% of the city was damaged, and 80% of the houses had to be demolished.”
Moscow’s forces are also focusing their offensive on the nearly besieged nearby Lyschansk region. The situation is bleak for the residents who decided to stay.
Lilia Nestrenko explains that her house does not have gas, water and electricity, so she cooks with her mother over a campfire. However, the 39-year-old is optimistic. “I believe in our Ukrainian army, they should [ser capazes de] Face [os russos]”, He says.
Both Severodonetsk and Lysichansk play a key role in controlling eastern Ukraine, which has been partly under the control of pro-Russian separatists since 2014.
Experts emphasize that the withdrawal of Ukrainian soldiers from Severodonetsk does not necessarily mean a fundamental change on the ground.
“The slow war” – Ivan Kliches, a researcher at the Estonian University of Tartu, told AFP that “the outlook – a slow war on entrenched positions – has not changed.”
“It is possible that the withdrawal was planned in advance and could be considered tactical,” he said, stressing that the Ukrainian resistance allowed Kiev to strengthen its rear force.
A Pentagon official, who asked not to be identified, said Ukrainian forces are strengthening their “forces in locations where they can best defend themselves.”
Mykolaivka, for example, about 20 km southwest of Lyschansk, is already in the hands of the Russian army, according to Governor Gaidai. He added that they are now trying to “invade Herceg”, a neighboring town.
To the south, in Donetsk, the other region that makes up with Luhansk Donbass, “no city” in the region is “safe,” its governor Pavlo Kirilenko said Thursday.
Today, Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Russia claimed to have killed “up to 80” Polish fighters in an air raid in this region, specifically in Konstantinovka. In northern Ukraine, Russia has also stepped up its attacks on Kharkiv in recent days, with explosions heard early on Saturday.
In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have attempted to recover lost cities in the south. In Kherson, for example, under Russian control, a high command installed by Moscow was killed in an attack with explosives placed in his car, according to a pro-Russian official.
Russia’s ‘weakness’ The Russian invasion of Ukraine is entering its fifth month and there is no sign of it ending any time soon. Leaders of the 27 European Union member states agreed on Thursday to grant Ukraine candidate status for the bloc’s membership, a symbolic moment celebrated by EU President Volodymyr Zelensky.
But for the Russian government, the decision is a Western ploy to geopolitically contain Moscow. Resolution “confirms that the acquisition of CIS space [Comunidade de Estados Independentes, que agrupa várias ex-repúblicas soviéticas] “It continues to actively pursue the containment of Russia,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
And Ukrainian diplomat Dmytro Kuleba responded on Twitter to these Kremlin condemnations only “show weakness” of Russia.
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