via Associated Press
UKRAINE – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine begins its 53rd day this Sunday, April 17.
Russia, which had warned it could go after kyiv again, bombed a second nearby arms factory on Saturday and President Volodymyr Zelensky threatened a halt to peace talks with Moscow if the last remaining Ukrainian soldiers in the besieged city of Mariupol were “eliminated”.
As you can see on the map belowthe east of the country was still heavily occupied by the forces of Vladimir Putin before the weekend, while the Ukrainians are doing everything to preserve the capital.
In the field
In terms of human toll, “Marioupol, it can be ten times Borodianka”, a locality located not far from kyiv destroyed after being pounded and the scene of alleged abuses during its occupation, hammered Zelensky this Saturday.
In this context, the President warned that the “elimination” by Russian forces of the Ukrainian soldiers still present in this city on the shores of the Sea of Azov, which had 441,000 inhabitants before the war, “would put an end to any negotiation of peace” with Russia.
“The remains of the Ukrainian group (of fighters) (in Mariupol) are currently completely blocked at the site of the Azovstal metallurgical plant. Their only chance to save their lives is to voluntarily lay down their arms and surrender,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
One person was killed and “several” had to be hospitalized following the strike on Saturday against an industrial complex in the Darnytsky district, on the outskirts of kyiv, which notably manufactures tanks, announced the mayor of the capital, Vitali Klitschko.
Russia for its part claimed that “production buildings of an arms factory in kyiv” had been destroyed. kyiv and its surroundings had been relatively spared from the bombardments since the withdrawal of the Russian army from this area at the end of March, but the loss Thursday of the Moskva, hit by two Ukrainian missiles according to the Pentagon, angered Moscow.
“We are perfectly aware that we will not be forgiven” for the destruction of the Moskva and therefore this blow to Russia’s “imperial ambitions”, had in this regard anticipated on Friday the spokesperson for the military command of southern Ukraine. , Natalia Goumenyuk.
Russian forces also shelled an oil refinery in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, four kilometers from Lysychansk, very close to the front line, local authorities said.
From the road that runs along the site, AFP journalists could see at the end of the afternoon tanks still on fire and a long plume of black smoke pushed by the wind.
“Prepare” for a nuclear attack
Volodymyr Zelensky again called on the world on Saturday to “prepare” for Russia’s possible use of its nuclear weapons, during an interview with several Ukrainian media. “We need” drugs (against radiation), air-raid shelters, “he said.
According to him, around 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died and around 10,000 have been injured since the start of the war. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk pointed out that Russia is holding 1,000 civilians and 700 captured Ukrainian military personnel, with Ukraine having captured around 700 Russian soldiers.
Russians expelled from France
A special plane chartered by Moscow took off on Saturday from Roissy airport to bring back to Russia Russian diplomats expelled by France because of the war in Ukraine. Center thirty-seven passengers, “persona non grata” with their families and loved ones, boarded this flight, which took off at the end of the afternoon, reported this source.
“The Russians sent a plane. Since they do not have the right to fly over France, this has been the subject of a diplomatic agreement. People are leaving under good escort,” an airport source told AFP. France announced at the beginning of the month the expulsion of 41 Russian diplomats who, according to it, engaged in espionage activities under cover of their embassy, specifying that the sanction was part of “a European approach”.
Many other European countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Greece or Croatia have massively expelled Russian diplomats since the start of the invasion of Ukraine .
During a telephone conversation with the Chief of the American Armed Forces Mark Milley, his Ukrainian counterpart Valery Zaluzhny also insisted on the urgent need for weapons and ammunition. But, according to the Washington Post, Russia sent an official complaint to the United States this week, warning the American government of “unforeseeable consequences” if its military assistance to Ukraine continues to increase.
Nearly five million people have fled Ukraine since February 24, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said. A very large number of them will no longer have a home to return to live in, this international institution warned on Saturday, according to which 40,200 more have left their country in the past 24 hours.
See also on The HuffPost: War in Ukraine: What State Chernobyl Is in After Russia Pulls Out
Source: Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr.
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