On the 51st day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the day after the sinking of its flagship in the Black Sea, Russia promised Friday to intensify its strikes on kyiv in response to attacks which it describes as “terrorist”. In Kharkiv, at least seven people died after Russian shelling. Europe 1 takes stock of the evolution of the situation.
In the aftermath of the sinking of its flagship in the Black Sea, Russia promised Friday to intensify its strikes on Ukraine, and kyiv in particular, in response to attacks which it describes as “terrorist”. The first of these strikes targeted the manufacturer of the Neptune missiles, in the suburbs of kyiv, for which Europe 1 exclusively obtained the images. It was with these missiles that the Ukrainians claimed to have sunk the “Moskva”, the Russian cruiser in the Black Sea.
Russian bombardments in Kharkiv also reportedly left seven dead and 34 injured, according to an initial assessment by local authorities.
Seven dead and 34 injured in Kharkiv
At least seven people were killed and 34 others injured in Russian shelling of a residential area in Kharkiv, a major city in northeastern Ukraine, the regional governor announced on Friday. Almost all of those found dead in Boutcha, near the Ukrainian capital, were shot and killed, the kyiv region police chief said. The inhabitants buried the victims themselves during the occupation of the city by the Russian army, which lasted almost a month.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday that Russian artillery killed around 30 ‘Polish mercenaries’ in northeastern Ukraine, risking heightened tensions between Moscow and Warsaw.
EU deems Moscow’s expulsion of 18 members of its representation “unjustified”
The European Union on Friday denounced the “unjustified” expulsion of 18 diplomats from its representation in Russia, believing that this measure would “only worsen” the international isolation of Moscow.
“The diplomats in question carry out their duties within the framework and in full respect of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” said the spokesman for the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell in a press release. “The decision taken on Friday by the Russian authorities has no reason to be, if not a pure retaliatory measure,” he laments.
kyiv threatened again by Russia
Russia announced on Friday that it had destroyed an arms factory in the suburbs of kyiv and assured that strikes on the Ukrainian capital would be intensified to respond to attacks on Russian territory, of which it accuses Ukraine. A factory in the kyiv region, manufacturing Neptune missiles that the Ukrainian army said it used to strike the Russian cruiser Moskva, was hit overnight by a Russian strike, AFP journalists noted on Friday.
According to Moscow, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet sank on Thursday following a fire and the crew was able to be evacuated, but experts consider it credible that it was hit by Ukrainian missiles. A Ukrainian army official also said that the crew could not be evacuated.
Russia to step up strikes
The spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense also indicated that Russia had destroyed a workshop for the production of surface-to-air missiles in the Vizar factory near kyiv by means of a cruise missile. On Thursday, Russia accused Ukraine of bombing two Russian border villages and injuring several people. Ukraine has denied these accusations.
Five million refugees
More than five million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, according to figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday. The UNHCR counted exactly 4,796,245 refugees on Friday. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), around 215,000 non-Ukrainians have also fled Ukraine.
Finland and Sweden joining NATO would have consequences, warns Moscow
NATO membership of Sweden and Finland would have consequences for these countries and European security, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned on Friday. These countries “must understand the consequences of such a step for our bilateral relations and for the European security architecture as a whole,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.
However, it is “very likely” that Finland will apply to join NATO, as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finnish Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen said on Friday, “but the decision has not yet been made.”
Thirty Polish mercenaries killed by Russian forces
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday that Russian artillery killed around 30 ‘Polish mercenaries’ in northeastern Ukraine, risking heightened tensions between Moscow and Warsaw. The Ukrainian prosecutor’s office said on Friday that seven civilians were killed and 27 injured Thursday in Russian fire on buses evacuating residents of the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine.
A future embargo on Russian oil?
The European Union is preparing to stop buying oil from Russia to sanction it over the war in Ukraine, but the measure is “complex” and will take “several months”, sources told AFP on Friday. Europeans.
“The adoption of measures on oil requires unwinding existing contracts, finding alternative solutions and avoiding their circumvention. This will not happen overnight,” explained a European official involved in the discussions. “The Commission is considering the options,” he noted. Among these, the payment of the sums paid into a blocked account.
Five dead in the Donbass
Five people have been killed in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, in the past 24 hours as explosions sounded overnight south of kyiv, apparently causing no damage or injuries, it said. the Ukrainian presidency on Friday.
Biden is considering sending US officials there
US President Joe Biden said on Thursday he was considering sending senior US officials to Ukraine, where several European leaders recently visited in solidarity with kyiv in the face of the Russian invasion. Joe Biden then said, in a tit for tat exchange with the press, that he himself would be ready to go to Ukraine.