Update on the situation in Ukraine, Wednesday, April 27, on the 63rd day of the conflict with Russia.
Several localities captured by Russian forces in the east
The Ukrainian military on Wednesday acknowledged the advance of Russian forces in the east of the country, with the capture of several localities in the Kharkiv region and in the Donbass. From Izyum, which was already under its control, the Russian forces led an offensive in the direction of Parvinkovi, to the south.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in its morning report that they had captured the town of Zavodi and the northeastern suburbs from Velika Komichovaka locality. And heading east towards Lyman, the Russian army captured the town of Zarchny and “made offensive attempts near Yampel,” he continued. Near Severodonetsk, one of the main cities of the region with a pre-war population of 100,000, forces from Moscow have taken control of the Novotochkivsky district and are leading an offensive in the direction of Nizhny and Orekhov, according to the same source.
Since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, the Ukrainian army has rarely acknowledged the Russian advance or the capture of localities. On April 18, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the start of the Russian offensive in the east of the country, part of which had been in the hands of pro-Russian separatists since 2014 and which is now Moscow’s number one target.
Poland and Bulgaria were deprived of Russian gas
The Polish and Bulgarian authorities said, on Tuesday evening, that the Russian gas group Gazprom warned them of its intention to cut off gas shipments to these two countries the next day, despite the contracts binding on them. However, these two members of NATO and the European Union say they are ready to get the missing gas from other sources.
It was organized in order to speed up shipments of military equipment required by Ukraine to repel the Russian invasion, said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the beginning of a meeting with about 40 countries at the US air base in Ramstein (Germany). “We will continue to move heaven and earth to be able to satisfy them,” the minister added.
Hand over weapons to allies
After initially hesitating to provide Ukraine with offensive weapons, the United States, as well as Britain, France and the Czech Republic, retreated. Even Germany, which was particularly reluctant, announced on Tuesday that it would allow the delivery of “Guepard” tanks. The Dutch government has confirmed that the Netherlands will supply the Panzerhaubitze 2000 armored howitzers to the kyiv.
According to Mike Jacobson, a civilian artillery expert, the West wants to allow the Ukrainians to respond to Russia’s long-range bombing, which is aimed at holding off most of the Ukrainian forces and then sends tanks and soldiers to occupy the land. More broadly, Lloyd Austin said on Monday, “We want to see Russia so weak that it can no longer do the things it did by invading Ukraine.”
While waiting for the delivery of these weapons, on the Donbass front, the situation is complicated and “in terms of morale, it is not at all rosy,” Irina Rybakova, the press officer of the Ukrainian 93rd Brigade, told AFP.
According to an advisor to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, Russian forces are bombing bridges and railways to slow Western arms shipments. The Russian military said, on Tuesday, that it carried out high-precision missile strikes against 32 Ukrainian military targets, including 20 areas of concentration of troops and equipment, and four ammunition depots near the towns of Slovensk and Druzkovka in the Donetsk region.
Dans les régions du Donbass comme dans le sud, “l’ennemi effectue des frappes sur les positions de nos troupes sur toute la longueur de la ligne de front avec mortiers, artillerie et lance-roquettes multiples”, a expliqué mardi le rainienstère Defense. In the south, two Russian missiles remarkably hit the city of Zaporizhia on Tuesday morning, killing at least one person and wounding another, according to the regional administration.
Zaporizhia, a major industrial center on the Dnieper River, has in recent weeks been a reception point for Ukrainian civilians fleeing besieged Mariupol and other bombed cities in the Donbass. But the city is now preparing for an attack by the Russians from the coast, according to Kyiv.
World ‘on the brink of catastrophe’ with Chernobyl occupation
Zaporizhia is located in close proximity to Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, and its status is closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Its president, Rafael Grossi, who was visiting Chernobyl on Tuesday to celebrate the 36th anniversary of the 1986 nuclear disaster, confirmed that the level of radioactivity was “in the normal range”, increasing at times during the Russian occupation, between late February and late. Walks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday accused Russia of putting the world “on the brink of disaster” by occupying the Chernobyl power plant at the start of its invasion of Ukraine. “The world was again on the brink of disaster, because for the Russian army the Chernobyl region and the power plant served as a natural ground for conducting military operations,” said Volodymyr Zelensky.
Azovstal is still bombing
The situation also appears to be obscured in Mariupol, a strategic port at the southern end of the Donbas River that is almost entirely controlled by the Russians. The region’s governor, Pavlo Kirilenko, said Tuesday, that Russian forces continue to bombard the vast Azovstal mineral complex there, where the last Ukrainian fighters are holed up with nearly 1,000 civilians.
In a phone interview with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Tuesday that “the authorities in Kyiv should assume their political responsibilities and issue the order to lay down their arms” on the militants, according to the Kremlin.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations in Moscow
In this context, the Secretary-General of the United Nations arrived in Moscow, on Tuesday, on his first visit to the Russian capital since the start of the conflict, which disturbed major global balances and destroyed all forms of cooperation between Russia and the West.
“I have proposed the formation of a contact group comprising Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations in order to explore possibilities for opening humanitarian corridors,” declared António Guterres. After meeting with the head of the United Nations in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin said that he still believed in the positive outcome of the negotiations. “Despite everything, negotiations continue (…) I hope we will reach a positive result,” he said.
The Russian-Ukrainian talks seem to be deadlocked more than ever. While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of “pretending” to negotiate, his US counterpart Anthony Blinken said on Tuesday that Vladimir Putin had not shown “seriousness” in his intention to negotiate. The threat of prolonging the conflict remains.
A call to calm in Moldova
Anxiety is mounting in Moldova, southern Ukraine, after a series of bombings on Monday and Tuesday in the breakaway region of Transdniestria backed by Moscow.
“We call on our citizens to remain calm,” Moldovan President Maya Sandu said after meeting the National Security Council. “This is an attempt to increase tensions. The Moldovan authorities will be careful to prevent the republic from being drawn into conflict.”
Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mikhailo Podolak warned that “Russia wants to destabilize the Transdniestrian region and is proposing to Moldova to expect ‘guests.'” Russian General Rustam Minikayev said last week that the capture of southern Ukraine would allow the Russians direct access to this region. Without going to Limiting responsibility for the bombings to Moscow, as Kyiv does, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters: “We remain concerned about any possible attempt to escalate tensions.”