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War in Ukraine: what to remember from the eighteenth day of the Russian invasion

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On the eighteenth day of the Russian invasion, a Ukrainian military base near Poland was bombarded by the Russian army, which claimed on Sunday to have “eliminated” “foreign mercenaries” and “foreign weapons”, while an American journalist was killed near kyiv. Europe 1 takes stock of the situation.

THE ESSENTIAL

A Ukrainian military base near Poland was bombed by the Russian army, which claimed on Sunday that it had “eliminated” “foreign mercenaries” and “foreign weapons” there, while an American journalist was killed near Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. On the front of the Russian-Ukrainian talks, a Russian negotiator spoke on Sunday of “significant progress”, kyiv indicating for his part that Moscow had stopped issuing “ultimatums” and was beginning to “listen carefully to our proposals”.

The war economy in Ukraine

kyiv is increasingly surrounded. The Russian troops want to neutralize the neighboring localities to block the city. The special envoy of Europe 1, Nicolas Tonev, underlines that the local population is settling in a war economy. A retiree confided to the special envoy of Europe 1 that for the queues, which can be very long in front of pharmacies, it is now possible for the oldest to register so as not to stand for hours. .

When it comes to food available in stores, the war economy results in totally erratic and irregular deliveries. Rays are emptying, notes Nicolas Tonev, in particular fresh meat, fresh fish, and dairy products are rare. Sometimes, on the contrary, it is the inexplicable, unexpected abundance. The shopping center near the hotel of the special envoy of Europe 1 received a huge amount of kiwis on Thursday. The fruits left very quickly, there are already almost none left. The same day, adds Nicolas Tonev, there was a shipment of potatoes. What reassures the inhabitants is that there is bread, the price of which has nevertheless almost doubled. Some stores offer it to the most modest customers.

The other difficulty is to take care of oneself. A few rare hairdressers are still open in kyiv, testifies Nicolas Tonev, but it is more difficult for clothes. All the signs are closed, with a time marker on the storefronts that brings back a few days after the start of the war.

New Russian-Ukrainian negotiations on Monday

A session of negotiations by videoconference between Russia and Ukraine will be held on Monday, confirmed an adviser to President Zelensky. A Russian negotiator spoke on Sunday of “significant progress”, kyiv indicating for its part that Moscow had stopped issuing “ultimatums” and was beginning to “listen carefully to our proposals”. Since the beginning of the Russian offensive, three rounds of talks have taken place in Belarus. They were focused on creating humanitarian corridors for civilians.

Moscow says it killed foreign mercenaries

The Russian army claimed to have killed “foreign mercenaries” during strikes on Sunday against “the locality of Staritchi and the military base of Yavoriv” in western Ukraine, near the Polish border. “As a result of this strike, up to 180 foreign mercenaries and a significant amount of foreign weapons have been eliminated,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing. figure cannot be independently confirmed by AFP.

35 dead in a Russian strike near Poland

Russian airstrikes targeted a military base in western Ukraine, near the Polish border, overnight from Saturday to Sunday, killing 35 and wounding 134, according to a report released by the authorities on Sunday in mid- daytime. “Russia attacked the International Center for the Maintenance of Peace and Security. Foreign instructors work there,” the Ukrainian defense minister said.

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The Yavoriv base, located about 40 kilometers northwest of Lviv, has served in recent years as a training ground for Ukrainian forces under the supervision of foreign instructors, notably American and Canadian. It was one of the main centers used for joint military exercises with NATO.

American journalist killed

An American journalist was killed and another wounded by bullets on Sunday in Irpin, on the northwestern edge of kyiv, where Ukrainian forces are fighting Russian forces, according to concordant sources. The two men were hit at midday while driving with a Ukrainian civilian, who was also injured, a doctor working with the Ukrainian forces told AFP.

The Ukrainian authorities quickly accused the Russians of having fired on the journalists, but the origin of the shots was difficult to establish immediately.

The Russians are trying to encircle kyiv

Russian troops are increasingly surrounding kyiv: present in the suburbs of the capital, they seek to eliminate the defenses to the west and north of the city to “block” it and destroyed the nearby airport of Vassylkiv on Saturday, according to the Ukrainians. In the south of the country, nine people were killed in Russian strikes on the port city of Mykolaiv, near Odessa, authorities said on Sunday.

In the West, a “strike” targeted early in the morning the airport of Ivano-Frankivsk located about a hundred kilometers south of Lviv, according to the mayor of the city.

Humanitarian convoy expected in Mariupol

A humanitarian convoy was blocked for more than five hours at a Russian checkpoint on Saturday, and the hope was that it could reach Mariupol this Sunday, coming from Zaporozhye via Berdyansk, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said on Saturday. The stakes are crucial for Mariupol: this strategic port city, located in the south-east of the country between the Crimea and the Donbass, is plunged into a critical situation, “almost hopeless” according to Médecins sans frontières (MSF), lacking food and deprived of water, gas, electricity and communications.

Attempts to evacuate hundreds of thousands of civilians have repeatedly failed. “Mariupol is still surrounded, which they cannot have by war, (the Russians) want to have it by hunger and despair. Since they cannot bring down the Ukrainian army, they target the population “, analyzes a French military source.

Moscow recognizes that the situation “in some cities” has taken on “catastrophic proportions”, in the words of General Mikhail Mizintsev, quoted on Saturday by Russian news agencies. But the military accused Ukrainian “nationalists” of mining residential areas and destroying infrastructure, depriving civilians of escape routes and basic resources.

Russian strikes in the East

Strikes on a large monastery in the Donetsk region left around 30 people injured overnight from Saturday to Sunday, while phosphorus bombs hit a locality in the Lugansk region, Ukrainian officials from these regions said. east of the country.

According to the police chief of Popasna, located about a hundred kilometers west of Lugansk, the Russians used phosphorus bombs on his locality. This information was immediately unverifiable.

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Bombs on Mykolaiv

Still to the south, the metropolis of Odessa continues to prepare for an offensive by Russian troops, who are currently concentrating about a hundred kilometers to the east in the city of Mykolaiv. The massive bombardments notably affected a cancer center and an ophthalmological hospital, noted an AFP journalist.

Victims litter the streets of some cities, and the tolls are impossible to verify. “About 1,300” Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since February 24, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday, in a first official count provided by the Ukrainian authorities since the start of the invasion.

An anti-Russian demonstration in Kherson

A large demonstration took place Sunday in the city of Kherson, in southern Ukraine, to protest against its occupation by Russian forces, according to local media. Videos posted on the independent media website, Ukraïnska Pravda, showed a crowd shouting “Go home!”, “Go home while you are still alive!” or “Kherson – this is Ukraine”.

A second mayor kidnapped

A Ukrainian mayor was kidnapped by Russian soldiers in the south of the country on Sunday, two days after the kidnapping of another mayor, according to the governor of the Zaporozhye region (south). The latter claimed that the Russian army had captured the mayor of the city of Dniprorudne, after kidnapping that of Melitopol, about 80 km south of Dniprorudne. The European Union has condemned these two abductions.

100,000 refugees in 24 hours, nearly 2,200 residents of Mariupol killed since the start of the invasion

Some 100,000 people in 24 hours have joined the ranks of refugees who have fled the fighting in Ukraine, bringing their number to 2,698,280, according to a count released Sunday by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). “About 1,300” Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since February 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday, in a first official count provided by the Ukrainian authorities.

If at least 596 civilians have been killed, according to the UN count on Sunday, the town hall of Mariupol estimates that more than 2,187 inhabitants have been killed since the start of the Russian offensive.

Between “lies” and “signal”

Vladimir Putin also always displays his determination. On Saturday, the Russian president accused Ukrainian forces of “flagrant violations” of humanitarian law, during a telephone interview with French leaders Emmanuel Macron and German Olaf Scholz. “Lies”, reacted the French presidency. And calls from MM. Macron and Scholz to an “immediate ceasefire” remained a dead letter.

But on the diplomatic front, a change may have emerged this weekend: Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed a “fundamentally different approach” from Moscow in his recent talks with kyiv, noting that Russia was more content with “just issuing ultimatums”.

Asked about statements made Friday by Vladimir Putin referring to “advances” in the Russian-Ukrainian talks, his Ukrainian counterpart said he was “happy to have a signal from Russia”, during a press conference in kyiv. A meeting was held Thursday between the heads of Russian and Ukrainian diplomacy in Turkey, without result. Previously, three sessions of talks had been held at delegation level. Talks that will continue by videoconference, according to the Kremlin.

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