After more than two months of the war in Ukraine, the Russian army continues to bombard the Donbass, which, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, can turn into a ruined field, like Mariupol.
For her part, the Deputy Prime Minister accused Russia of using Ukrainian civilians as hostages, saying that a large number of Ukrainians were deported across the border.
We take stock of the events that marked the last few hours.
During a press trip to Mariupol organized by the Russian army, teams from France Press agency They managed to find out the extent of the damage to the city in southeastern Ukraine.
Among charred buildings, sunken ships and shrapnel, the port of Mariupol is now completely destroyed, bearing the scars of the siege that made the strategic city on the Sea of Azov one of the symbols of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.
If no more fighting happens, the noise of the bombing regularly comes from the industrial area where the Azovstal mineral complex is located, the final stronghold of Ukrainian forces, where several hundred Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are entrenched in underground galleries dating back to the Soviet era. times.
France Press agency Heavy shelling could be heard in Azovstal in the morning and into the mid-afternoon. In the early afternoon, the eruptions were only a few seconds apart, some of which looked especially powerful. Columns of gray smoke sometimes rose over the industrial area.
Another sign that the danger has not yet been completely removed, mine clearance operations are taking place in the port area, where missile fragments are scattered on the ground. Two unexploded shells were stuck vertically in the tar. “The waters of the port and the port itself have been extracted. We are removing mines to secure them.”Sergey Nika, a senior official in the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Department of Pro-Russian Separatists, said.
Volodymyr Zelensky says Russia is trying to destroy Donbass and its people
In the words of Volodymyr Zelensky, Mariupol, which was once one of the most developed cities in the region, is now “A Russian concentration camp amongst the ruins”.
In his daily video speech, the Ukrainian president described the Russian strike that was carried out yesterday on Kyiv during the visit of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, ‘Deliberate and brutal humiliation’sorry for staying Without a strong answer.
in the Donbass, The constant brutal bombing and permanent Russian strikes on infrastructure and residential areas show that Russia wants to empty this area of all its inhabitants. Therefore, defending our land, defending our people, is literally a battle for life.The Ukrainian president announced.
Volodymyr Zelensky calls on the residents of Donbass towns and villages to resist. If the Russian invaders were able to implement their plans even partially, then they would have enough artillery and aircraft to turn all the Donbass into stone. As they did in Mariupol. »
The situation in Kharkiv, a large northern city ” cruel “ But the Ukrainian forces and intelligence agents ‘Great tactical success’He said without further details. Fierce explosions were heard Friday and Saturday night in the country’s second city, which has been bombarded by Russian artillery for weeks.
Deportation of Ukrainian civilians
According to Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Moscow attempted to exchange Ukrainian civilians for Russian military prisoners, which is prohibited by the Geneva Convention.
Irina Vereshuk told BBC His government rejected this prisoner exchange and asked Russia to return the captured Ukrainian civilians.
There is mounting evidence that Russia has forcibly removed large numbers of civilians across the border since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, according to the BBC. That is why they took all these hostages – civilians, women, local council workers…. to try to useDeputy Prime Minister said.
Volodymyr Zelensky has been accusing the Russians for several weeks of deporting Ukrainians to their lands.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, there were about one million people “evacuation” From Ukraine to Russia since February 24.
Russia avoids defaulting in dollars
Russia took what appeared to be a belated turn to avoid a debt default on Friday, making a number of interest payments in dollars on its foreign bonds, as it had previously committed to paying in rubles only as long as its reserves remained frozen.
Russia’s $40 billion international bond has become the focus of a financial strategy in the context of Western sanctions. Investors and rating agencies did not expect Russia to be able to convert the ruble into dollars before the 30-day grace period expires next week, indicating that Moscow is heading towards a historic default on its debt.
A senior US official confirmed that Moscow paid the amount without using frozen reserves in the US, adding that the exact source of the funds was unclear.
Since the United States imposed sanctions on the Russian Central Bank at the start of the conflict, Russia has had little choice but to use either new revenue from activities such as oil and gas sales, or foreign currency reserves held outside the country, it explains. the world.
Joe Biden opposes inviting Vladimir Putin to the G20
After the Indonesian president invited Russian and Ukrainian leaders to the G20 summit in November, the United States said on Friday that the world could no longer treat Vladimir Putin as it once was.
US President Joe Biden “He publicly expressed his opposition to President Putin’s presence in the G-20.”White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, however, that she welcomed the Ukrainians’ invitation to the summit.
She added that the United States is in contact with the Indonesians and that Russia’s invitation dates back to before the invasion, which began on February 24.
He is not “Don’t act as if nothing happened.” Regarding Russia’s participation in international summits, said a spokeswoman for the State Department, which did not say whether Washington would refuse to join the meeting or not.
Since the beginning of Russia’s military offensive on Ukraine, the West has sought to isolate Russia in the diplomatic arena.
Unlike Ukraine, Russia is a member of the Group of Twenty, which includes the world’s largest economies.