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War in Ukraine: what to remember on the 111th day of the Russian invasion

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On the 111th day of the conflict in Ukraine, Russian forces on Tuesday opted to encircle entrenched Ukrainian soldiers in Severodonetsk, trying to break their last resistance after weeks of shelling this key city in Donbass, in eastern Ukraine. . Europe 1 takes stock of the evolution of the situation.

THE ESSENTIAL

The war continues to rage in Ukraine, on the 111th day of clashes. On Tuesday, Russian forces opted to encircle Ukrainian soldiers entrenched in Severodonetsk, a key city in Donbass, in eastern Ukraine. Taking this city of 100,000 inhabitants would give the Russians a major advantage in controlling the Donbass basin. This mainly Russian-speaking region has been partly held by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

The Ukrainian presidency also reported five civilians killed and 11 injured in 24 hours in the regions of Kharkiv (north-east), Lugansk and Donetsk (east) and “night bombardments” in particular in Sumy, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv. Here is a full update on the situation.

The outcome of the battle “will give an indication” on the continuation of the war

The Ukrainian army’s defense of Donbass (east), Moscow’s priority target, is “vital” for kyiv because its outcome “will give an indication” of the continuation of the war with Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr said on Tuesday evening. Zelensky. “It is vital to stay in Donbass. (…) The defense of the region is essential to give an indication of who will dominate (on the ground) in the coming weeks,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily address. to Ukrainians broadcast on Telegram.

Ukraine needs ‘more heavy weapons’, says NATO chief

Western countries should send more heavy weapons to kyiv to help fight the advancing Russian army in eastern Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday evening. “Yes, Ukraine should have more heavy weapons,” Stoltenberg told a press conference in The Hague after meeting with leaders of seven European countries that are members of the Atlantic Treaty Organization north, on the eve of an important summit.

Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk constantly bombed

The Russian army said it had launched missiles on “about twenty areas” of Donbass and Kharkiv with airstrikes on a hundred areas of enemy “manpower and military equipment”. In Severodonetsk, the large Azot chemical plant, where some 550 people have taken refuge, is constantly bombarded, according to the head of the city administration. If refueling is “difficult, there are” some reserves “in the factory, he said.

A humanitarian corridor on Wednesday for the civilians of the factory

Russian forces have destroyed a third bridge linking Severodonetsk with the nearby city of Lysychansk, but Ukrainian troops are not blocked, according to a local official. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday the establishment of a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation, to a locality under Russian control, of civilians who had taken refuge in the Azot factory. Moscow called on them to put an end to their “absurd resistance”.

According to the British Ministry of Defence, Russian forces “probably recorded small advances in the Kharkiv sector” for the first time in weeks. The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), for its part, estimates that the Russians “conducted ineffective ground assaults, with the aim of cutting the Ukrainian lines of communication, near Popasna and Bakhmout”. Fighting was also observed southeast of Izium and north of Sloviansk, ahead of a possible Russian assault on Siversk, the institute said.

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Air battles in southern Ukraine

The Ukrainian army reported dogfights and Russian helicopter attacks on Mykolaiv and Kherson. Russians and Ukrainians are also fighting each other in the north-west of the Kherson region.

London does not argue with Moscow

London “did not approach” Russia to interfere on behalf of the two British nationals who were fighting on the Ukrainian side and were sentenced to death by pro-Russian separatists, according to the Kremlin. “Everything will depend on a request from London (…) but I am sure that the Russian side will be ready to listen,” said his spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

The pope castigates the ferocity of the fighting

Pope Francis castigated “the ferocity with which this war is being waged by the troops, usually mercenaries, used by the Russians”. “But the danger is that we only see that, which is monstrous, without seeing all the drama that is playing out behind this war, which may have been, in a certain way, provoked or not prevented,” he said. he nuanced.

Emmanuel Macron in Romania

French President Emmanuel Macron was due to travel to Romania on Tuesday to greet the 500 French soldiers deployed on a NATO base, before a jump in Moldova and a possible trip to kyiv. His visit to Ukraine – which would be a first since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24 – could take place in the company of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, according to German and Italian media. Paris has not confirmed.

Ukraine continues to demand arms

On Monday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky once again called for “modern” weapons. An acceleration of deliveries should be discussed on Wednesday in Brussels, during a meeting of the Contact Group for Ukraine, around the American Minister of Defense Lloyd Austin. Washington has started sending heavy equipment, such as howitzers, but also advanced equipment such as truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers (“Himars”), and high-precision artillery pieces and a range greater than that of the Russian army.

Tens of thousands of deaths since the start of the conflict

There is no overall assessment of the civilian victims of the conflict. For the city of Mariupol (southeast), which fell in May after a terrible siege, the Ukrainian authorities had mentioned some 20,000 dead. On the military level, Western security sources are now talking about 15,000 to 20,000 Russian soldiers killed. Ukrainian forces are losing around 100 soldiers every day, according to kyiv. No independent statistics are available.

More than seven million Ukrainians are internally displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Added to this are 7.4 million who have fled abroad, more than half of them to Poland. Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine had 37 million inhabitants in the regions controlled by kyiv.

The prefect of Seine-Maritime re-examines the situation of Armenians in Ukraine

Eight Armenians living in Ukraine and refugees in France won their case on Monday before the Rouen administrative court. The urgent applications judge at the Rouen administrative court issued eight separate orders on Monday, in which he ordered the prefect to rule again on the situation of these Armenians living in Ukraine “within three weeks” with the provision of a temporary residence permit until their situation is re-examined.

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Refugees in Normandy, these Armenians from Ukraine were threatened with deportation, after being refused temporary protection by order of the prefect of Seine-Maritime. Until then, they benefited from the support set up within the framework of the reception of refugees from Ukraine.

One of the applicants argued in particular that he could not “reintegrate his country of origin in lasting conditions”, having returned only “once to Armenia in 32 years”, where he has no family. “It was up to the prefect of Seine-Maritime to verify (…) that a return to Armenia could be envisaged under safe and lasting conditions”, considers in particular the court, in an order. “It was up to the prefect of Seine-Maritime to verify (…) that a return to Armenia could be envisaged under safe and lasting conditions”, considers in particular the court, in an order.

In another, the court considers that the fact that the prefect of Seine-Maritime did not carry out “a personalized examination of the applicant’s situation” is “likely to give rise to serious doubt as to the legality” of its stopped.

UN calls for no food export restrictions

Two UN leaders on Monday called on WTO member countries not to impose restrictions on food exports to avert the risk of a global food crisis posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This open letter is signed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General of UNCTAD, the UN trade and development body.

“The war in Ukraine is inflicting terrible suffering on the Ukrainian people and has increased the risk of hunger and starvation for tens of millions of people who are on the verge of becoming or are already food insecure,” they said. written for the Ministers of the member countries of the World Trade Organization meeting this week in Geneva.

They ask them to “refrain from imposing export restrictions on essential foodstuffs purchased by the least developed countries and by net food-importing developing countries, as well as on those purchased by the World Food Program from humanitarian purposes”.

EU extends set-aside derogations in 2023

Brussels plans to extend derogations on environmental rules concerning fallow land in 2023, in order to allow the Twenty-Seven to strengthen their cereal production in the face of the impact of the war in Ukraine, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said on Monday. .

To compensate for the lack of Russian and Ukrainian cereals, the Commission had validated in March a “temporary” derogation for the year 2022 from its rules on fallow land, authorizing “any crop intended for human and animal consumption”, i.e. a potential of four million additional hectares.

In the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), farms larger than 15 hectares must have at least 5% of “areas of ecological interest” (meadows, hedges, trees, fallow land) to benefit from European funds. The requirement will be at least 4% fallow (uncultivated land) in the new CAP starting in January 2023, in order to strengthen biodiversity and soil enrichment.

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