If the Russian president still claims to “hope” for a diplomatic solution through negotiations with Ukraine, the Russian army continues its offensive in the Donbass and in the south of the country. In the face of this aggression, the countries allied with Washington will organize their meetings to agree on the aid that will be provided to Kef.
Vladimir Putin said: “If someone intends to interfere from abroad in what is happening (in Ukraine, editor’s note) and to create unacceptable threats to Russia, they should know that our response (…) will be swift and light.” Wednesday in front of the Russian Parliament. According to him, Russia will not hesitate to use its latest weapons.
Western weapons destroyed by Moscow “in large quantities”
Faced with intensifying Western military aid to Kyiv, Russia is adjusting its strategy in Ukraine by targeting strategic supply points while pursuing its goal of controlling part of its territory. The Russian army claimed, on Wednesday, that it had destroyed in a strike a “large amount” of weapons delivered by the United States and European countries to Kyiv, at a time when Western efforts to arm Ukraine in the face of Moscow were intensifying.
However, according to Oleksandr Staruch, the district governor who was interviewed by BFMTV, there were no “weapons” destroyed by the Russians at the plant in Zaporizhia.
The Russian military also claims to have carried out airstrikes against 59 Ukrainian targets, including 50 where troops were stationed and four ammunition depots.
The day before, a missile strike by Russian forces destroyed the road and railway bridge linking Ukraine with Romania, according to Oleksandr Kamyshin, director of Ukrainian Railways. The Russians touched that bridge again on Wednesday.
On Monday, railway facilities were targeted in the Vinnytsia region (central-west), which is an important railway hub for both Ukraine’s internal lines and for communications with foreign countries. “We are entering a new stage: Western countries have announced the strengthening of their military assistance, so the Russian side must strike at these strengthening capabilities and the ability of Ukrainians to supply themselves with weapons,” emphasizes Jean-Pierre Molnay, deputy director of the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS).
“The point of Western aid is to allow Ukrainian forces to remain under Russian bombardment, so this is bad news for the Russians as they try to scale back,” adds Pascal Aussieur, director general of the Mediterranean Foundation for Strategic Studies. (FMES).
Several localities in the east were captured by the Russians
The Ukrainian army recognized the advance of Russian forces in the east of the country, with the capture of several positions 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 Parvinkovy 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.
Moscow bans British parliamentarians from entering
Russia has banned 287 members of the British House of Representatives from entering the country, in response to a similar move by London against Russian lawmakers who supported the attack on Ukraine. The Russian diplomat said that “the targeted personalities, whose entry into Russia was denied, participated more actively in London’s imposition of anti-Russian sanctions.”
Brussels proposes to suspend tariffs on Ukrainian products
The European Commission has proposed suspending all customs duties on Ukrainian products imported into the European Union for one year in order to support the economy of the country attacked by Russia. The European Commission said in a statement that the proposal, which still needs approval by the European Parliament and the 27 member states, is an “unprecedented gesture of support for a country at war”. The United Kingdom had already announced on Monday the abolition of its tariffs on products imported from Ukraine.
The European Union wants to review its immigration policy
The European Commission has also proposed a reform of EU immigration law to better attract skills that are lacking, particularly from Ukraine, and facilitate the movement of these workers between the 27 member states. Brussels therefore wants to simplify the procedure allowing citizens of other countries to jointly obtain an EU work and residence permit, while reducing processing times.
These include allowing people to come from their countries of origin and improving their rights. This single permit will not be tied to a single employer, and therefore its beneficiaries will be able to legally change their entire job.
Gas: the European Union to save Bulgaria and Poland
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that the suspension of Russian gas shipments to Bulgaria and Poland, for not paying them in rubles as required, is the result of unprecedented hostilities against Russia. “The conditions set are part of a new payment method that has been developed after unprecedented unfriendly actions in the economic and financial spheres” after the Russian attack on Ukraine, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that Bulgaria and Poland are now supplying gas “from their EU neighbors” after Gazprom suspended Russian shipments. “We will ensure that Gazprom’s decision has the least possible impact on European consumers,” the head of the European Executive confirmed in a brief speech to the press in Brussels.
Vladimir Putin said last month that Russia would now only accept payments for gas shipments in its national currency. Ursula von der Leyen contradicts the master of the Kremlin on Wednesday: “About 97% of contracts (between EU groups and Russian gas suppliers) provide for payment in euros or dollars (…) Companies with such contracts should not surrender to Russia’s demands, It would be in contravention of the sanctions” imposed by Twenty-seven, it was announced.
Guterres in Moscow for a ceasefire before heading to Kyiv
On Tuesday, during his first visit to Moscow since the offensive began, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for a ceasefire “as soon as possible”. He said he was “concerned by the repeated reports of possible war crimes,” considering that they “require an independent investigation.”
During this meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that “in spite of everything, negotiations are continuing (…) I hope that we will reach a positive result.”
Ukraine retains control of its airspace
The British Ministry of Defense said in a statement issued on Wednesday that Kyiv “retains control over the majority of its airspace. Russia failed to effectively destroy the Ukrainian Air Force or suppress Ukraine’s air defenses. Ukraine continues to put Russian air assets at risk. »
Russian air activity is mainly focused on southern and eastern Ukraine, where it provides support to the Russian ground forces. Russia has very limited air access to northern and western Ukraine, which limits offensive operations to deep strikes with long-range weapons. The statement added that Russia continues to target Ukrainian military assets and logistical infrastructure throughout the country.
“It is likely that the majority of Russian air strikes in Mariupol will be carried out using unguided free-fall bombs. These weapons reduce Russia’s ability to effectively distinguish in their strikes, increasing the risk of civilian casualties.”
Ukrainians bomb Snake Island
The Ukrainian army claimed that it bombed Russian positions on Serpent Island in the Black Sea, which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance since the start of the invasion by Russian forces on February 24. A “checkpoint” and an anti-aircraft system were reportedly destroyed. Russia has not confirmed these separations.
Moldova strengthens its security
Authorities in the pro-Russian breakaway republic of Transnistria say a village on the border with Ukraine that hosts a Russian army ammunition depot has come under fire after drones hovered over it. “Last night, several drones were seen over the village of Kolbasna,” the Transnistrian Interior Ministry said in a statement, adding that on Wednesday morning, “shots were fired towards Kolbasna from Ukraine” without causing any casualties.
Moldova called for calm the day before and announced that it would beef up its security after the bombings in the breakaway region of Transdniestria, and Kyiv accused Moscow of seeking to “destabilize it”. The United States has warned against attempts to “escalate tensions” in this pro-Russian Moldovan separatist region bordering Ukraine after a series of bombings. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States “remains concerned about any possible attempt to escalate tensions,” without going so far as to hold Moscow responsible for the bombings, as Kyiv does.
Expect the Bulgarian Prime Minister in Kyiv
The Bulgarian government announced, on Tuesday, that Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov and his allies in the government coalition, with the exception of the pro-Russian Socialists, will leave for Ukraine on Wednesday, amid a political row over military aid to Kiev.