The Ukrainian army entered the strategic city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, which was strongly condemned by Kyiv and the West for its annexation by Moscow the day before.
Hailing this important tactical victory, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised that next week “new Ukrainian flags will fly” over the Donbass, where the Donetsk region is located, as Lyman is an important railway junction.
He then addressed Russian soldiers and officers, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Until you all resolve the issue of who started this stupid war against Ukraine, you will be killed one by one and become scapegoats because you do not admit that this war is a historic mistake for Russia.”
kyiv also blamed the “illegal detention” of the boss of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (South), who was arrested on Friday for an as-yet-unknown reason by Russia, which controls the site.
The capture of Lyman was announced late in the afternoon: “Ukrainian air assault forces enter Lyman, Donetsk region,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
In a one-minute video accompanying the news, two Ukrainian soldiers can be seen waving a light blue and yellow national flag next to a “Lyman” sign at the city’s entrance.
“Threatened to be encircled, allied troops were withdrawn from Lyman towards a more favorable route”, the Russian Defense Ministry for its part pointed out in a press release.
Earlier on Saturday, the Ukrainian military said on Friday it had “surrounded” several thousand Russian soldiers in the city in the Russian-annexed Donetsk region.
Reacting to Russia’s withdrawal from the city, Ramzan Kadyrov, president of the Russian republic of Chechnya, condemned the “unloving nature” of the Russian military and called on Moscow not to use “low-powered nuclear weapons” in Ukraine. +Account of Western-American Society+”.
International Court of Justice
Following Moscow’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, kyiv announced it would seize the International Court of Justice (ICJ), urging it to “take up the case as soon as possible”.
On Friday evening, Vladimir Putin, for his part, concluded a day of ceremonies for the annexation of Ukrainian territories.
“Victory is ours,” he said, microphone in hand, before several thousand people gathered for a concert on Red Square in Moscow.
Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, quipped on Twitter on Saturday: “20 hours ago on Red Square, Russian leaders were singing ‘Hurray’ as they annexed new territories. (…) Reality can hurt when you live in a fantasy world”.
EU leaders on Friday “rejected” and “condemned” the “illegal annexation” of four Ukrainian regions.
These links make “very difficult, almost impossible, the end of the war”, assessed on Saturday the head of European diplomacy, Joseph Borrell, who called on Europe to strengthen its military arsenal, “which is necessary, necessary for survival”.
“Russia is losing the war,” he judged, “she lost it on moral and political grounds,” but “Ukraine is not yet won.”
NATO condemned the ‘illegal’ annexation, while the UN in New York The Security Council considered a resolution condemning ‘fake links’ in Ukraine, which was immediately blocked by a Russian veto.
US President Joe Biden has vowed that the US and its allies will not be “bullied” by Mr Putin.
On the ground, 24 civilians, including 13 children, were found dead, gunned down in their cars near Kubiansk in northeastern Ukraine, Kharkiv Region Governor Oleg Sinekobov said on Saturday. AFP found at least 11 dead at the site on Friday.
According to Oleksandr Starukh, the head of the Zaporizhia region’s military administration, the death toll rose to 31 (30 civilians and one policeman) in a strike targeting cars in the traffic hub of this southern Ukrainian city on Friday. Death of injured woman.
Ukraine also condemned the “illegal detention” of Igor Murachev, the general manager of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, who was arrested on Friday for an as yet unknown reason by Russia, which controls the site.
According to Ukrainian nuclear power operator Energoatom, Mr. Muratsov was traveling from the plant to the Russian-controlled city of Ernokhodar when he was arrested by a “Russian patrol” around 4 p.m.
In Germany, a spokesman for the company that operates the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Russia to Germany told AFP that it was no longer leaking under the Baltic Sea.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 infrastructure, built to transport Russian gas to Europe, were damaged by an underwater explosion on a Danish island in the Baltic Sea on Monday, causing extensive seepage.
In addition, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Saturday, her first since the start of the Russian invasion.
Ms Lambrecht traveled to the port city of Odessa in southern Ukraine where she met her Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksiï Reznikov.
Ukrainian leaders have been asking the German government for weeks to authorize the delivery of modern battle tanks that could make a difference against Russian troops.