A series of explosions shook Sunday morning Odessa, Ukraine’s main port, located in the southwest, a historic city so far relatively spared from the fighting, AFP journalists noted, but they did not caused no casualties, according to the Ukrainian army. Europe 1 takes stock of the evolution of the situation.
A series of explosions rocked Odessa, Ukraine’s main port, located in the south-west on Sunday morning, a historic city so far relatively spared from the fighting, AFP journalists noted, but they did not caused no casualties, according to the Ukrainian army. In northern Ukraine, Russian forces are withdrawing from key towns near the capital kyiv and Cherniguiv
The localities of “Irpin, Boutcha, Gostomel and the entire kyiv region have been liberated from the invader”, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar said on Saturday. But the Russians, by withdrawing “on their own” or after fighting, leave behind them “a total disaster and many dangers”, denounced the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, on Facebook. “The bombardments may continue,” he warned, also accusing the Russian military of “undermining the territories they are leaving, houses, ammunition and even corpses”.
Explosions in Odessa
A series of explosions rocked Odessa, Ukraine’s main port on the Black Sea on Sunday morning, AFP journalists noted, but they did not cause any casualties, according to the Ukrainian army. Following these explosions, which occurred around 6 a.m. (0300 GMT), several huge columns of black smoke and flames rose above an industrial area, according to the same sources.
It is a rocket attack that did not cause any casualties, said in a press release an officer of the southern regional command, Vladislav Nazarov. “The Odessa region is among the priority targets of the enemy. The enemy continues its sneaky practice of striking sensitive infrastructure,” he said, reiterating the ban on any publication of the location or damage. strikes. “The Russian Nazis carried out a missile strike, some of which were shot down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense,” the city of Odessa had previously said in a statement.
Mass graves near kyiv
Nearly 300 people had to be buried “in mass graves” in Boutcha, a city northwest of kyiv and the scene of fierce fighting, which has just been taken over by Ukrainian soldiers, its mayor told AFP. “In some streets, we see 15 to 20 corpses on the ground”, but “I cannot say how many there are still in the courtyards, behind the palisades”, he continued. AFP saw the lifeless bodies of at least 20 men in civilian clothes lying on a street in Boutcha on Saturday.
Shocked by haunting images of atrocities committed by Russian army in Kyiv liberated region #BuchaMassacre
EU is assisting #Ukraine & NGO’s in gathering of necessary evidence for pursuit in international courts.
Further EU sanctions & support are on their way.
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) April 3, 2022
European Council President Charles Michel on Sunday accused the Russian army of committing “atrocities” in the kyiv region, calling for more sanctions against Moscow. “Shocked by the haunting images of the atrocities committed by the Russian army in the liberated region of kyiv”, wrote Charles Michel on Twitter, mentioning the hashtag “#BuchaMassacre”, named after the Ukrainian locality taken over from the Russians, where near than 300 people were buried in mass graves.
Bucha massacre was deliberate. Russians aim to eliminate as many Ukrainians as they can. We must stop them and kick them out. I demand new devastating G7 sanctions NOW:
-Oil, gas, coal embargo
-Close all ports to Russian vessels and goods
-Disconnect all Russian banks from SWIFT pic.twitter.com/oZkCAETCQp
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) April 3, 2022
“The Boutcha massacre was deliberate,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba denounced on Sunday the day after the discovery of numerous corpses in this city northwest of kyiv, which had just been recaptured from the Russian army. “The Russians want to eliminate as many Ukrainians as they can. We need to arrest them and kick them out. I demand devastating new G7 sanctions NOW,” he wrote on Twitter.
Boris Johnson has called Russia’s “despicable attacks” on civilians in the Ukrainian town of Butcha, where scores of bodies were found, a “war crime”, promising to increase sanctions against Moscow.
“Russia’s despicable attacks on innocent civilians in Irpin and Boutcha are further evidence that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and his army are committing war crimes in Ukraine,” the leader said in a statement.
The Russian Ministry of Defense meanwhile assured that its forces had not killed civilians in Boutcha. “During the period when this locality was under the control of the Russian Armed Forces, not a single local resident suffered from violent actions,” the ministry said in a statement.
kyiv region “liberated”
The Ukrainians have regained control of the entire Kyiv region after the withdrawal of Russian forces, the Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister announced on Saturday. Russian forces are redeploying to the east and south in a bid to “maintain control” of the territories they already occupy there, Ukraine has confirmed. More than a month after the launch of the Russian invasion, the localities of “Irpin, Boutcha, Gostomel and the entire kyiv region have been liberated from the invader”, Ganna Maliar said on Saturday.
Mariupol still under siege
The entire eastern coast of the country, from the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014, to the pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Donbass region (East), is occupied by Russian forces, except for part of the city of Mariupol, where they are still encountering resistance from the Ukrainian army.
A strategic port in the south-east of the country, on the Sea of Azov, Mariupol remains besieged and pounded relentlessly. At least 5,000 people died and 160,000 civilians are still stranded, according to Ukrainian sources. Russian forces also continue “to partially block the city of Kharkiv”, the second city of Ukraine, located in the east, where industrial and residential areas are the target of artillery fire, according to the staff. of the Ukrainian army, which however notes a decrease in their intensity.
An oral agreement with Moscow?
Ukraine’s chief negotiator in the peace talks with Russia, David Arakhamia, said on Saturday that Moscow had accepted the main Ukrainian proposals “orally”, adding that kyiv was now awaiting written confirmation. Speaking on a TV broadcast, he hinted that talks aimed at ending hostilities had made significant progress.
“The Russian Federation has given an official response to all (Ukrainian) positions, namely that it accepts them, except with regard to the question of Crimea”, annexed by Moscow in 2014, assured David Arakhamia. He added that there was “no official confirmation in writing”, the Russian side having accepted it “orally”.
Baltic states stop importing Russian gas
The Baltic states have stopped importing Russian natural gas which “has not been transported to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania since April 1”, the head of the Latvian storage company Conexus Baltic Grid said on Saturday. . On Twitter, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda also called on the rest of the European Union to follow the example of the Baltic countries: “From this month, no more Russian gas in Lithuania”, he said. . According to Eurostat, in 2020 Russia accounted for 93% of Estonian natural gas imports, 100% of Latvian imports and 41.8% of Lithuanian imports.
The impact on growth in OECD countries
The Russian invasion of Ukraine could cost Europe “one to one and a half points” of growth, depending on the duration of the conflict, while inflation could rise further “by two points to two points and half”, estimated the chief economist of the OECD, Laurence Boone, with the Sunday newspaper.
A suppressed demonstration in southern Ukraine
A civilian protest in Energodar, a town in southern Ukraine occupied by Russian forces, was dispersed on Saturday by mortar and stun grenade fire that injured four, a Ukrainian official said.
Protesters arrested in Russia
More than 200 people were arrested on Saturday in Russia during protests against the Russian offensive in Ukraine, said the specialized NGO OVD-Info. At least 211 people were arrested during protests in 17 Russian cities, the NGO said in a statement. In Moscow, a sit-in was scheduled for 11 a.m. GMT in Zariadie Park, in the shadow of the Kremlin. Soon after, police began arresting people sitting on park benches in the middle of a snowstorm.
The pope against the Russian invasion
Pope Francis on Saturday castigated the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Malta, where he said he planned to visit soon, at the invitation of President Zelensky. “Some powerful, sadly locked in their anachronistic pretensions of nationalist interests, provoke and foment conflicts,” he said in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He denounced “the seductions of autocracy” and “the new imperialisms” which threaten the world with the threat of an “extensive Cold War which could suffocate the life of peoples and generations”.
4.1 million Ukrainians fled
The conflict has already forced more than 4.1 million Ukrainians to flee their country, according to the UN. In total, more than ten million people, more than a quarter of the population, have had to leave their homes either by crossing the border to take refuge in neighboring countries, or by finding refuge elsewhere in Ukraine. The UN estimates the number of internally displaced persons at nearly 6.5 million.