May 19, 2024

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Ukraine has been suspended from the end of its allies for accelerating arms supplies

Ukraine has been suspended from the end of its allies for accelerating arms supplies

LYSSYTCHANSK | Ukraine, which is fighting Russian forces in the Donbass, hopes that its Western allies, who may gather around US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Brussels on Wednesday, will decide to speed up the supply of heavy weapons.

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“Brussels, we are waiting for a decision,” tweeted Myhil Podoliak, adviser to the Ukrainian president. “The artillery ratio in Russia / Ukraine ranges from 10 to 1 in some areas. I get daily reports from our fighters that ‘we are waiting, tell us when the guns are coming,'” he said, just hours before the allies’ meeting began.

This new Ukrainian appeal is that Russian and pro-Russian separatist forces continue their offensive against the city of Severdonetsk and its neighbor Lychisansk. Both cities are important in the entire Donbass Basin in eastern Ukraine, which has been under the control of pro-Russian forces since 2014.

On Tuesday evening, the 111th day of the Russian invasion, which began on February 24, President Volodymyr Zhelensky said, “We must tolerate.” “Staying in Donbass is essential (…), and the region needs security to give a signal of who will dominate in the coming weeks,” he added in his daily video message.

Volodymyr Zhelensky addresses the Czech Parliament.

AFP

Volodymyr Zhelensky addresses the Czech Parliament.

For weeks, Ukrainians have been asking for heavy weapons. If Washington and London had promised a slightly larger range than the Russian equivalent of many rocket launcher systems, they would only come in trips and drops.

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“We are [n’avons] Received [qu’]Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malier lamented that “without this, we would not be able to win this war” without about 10% of the weapons needed in Ukraine.

“Yes, there should be more heavy weapons in Ukraine,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg promised Tuesday evening.

NATO has already begun to “accelerate” the supply of arms to Kyiv, adding that the Ukrainians are “completely dependent (on these supplies) to deal with Russia’s brutal occupation”.

Deliveries that the Russian military is trying to intercept. He said on Wednesday that a warehouse of weapons, including M777 155 mm howitzers supplied by NATO near Lviv in western Ukraine, had been destroyed by caliber missiles.

“Intermittent” explosions

Ukrainian authorities have acknowledged that their troops have recently been evacuated from the city of Chevrodonetsk, and have only “complex communication channels” with them following the destruction of all bridges to Lychitsansk.

The mayor of Severodonetsk Oleksandre Striouk said that Ukrainian forces were significantly rooted in the iconic Azote chemical plant in the city, which has a population of 100,000, and more than 500 civilians inside.

Moscow on Tuesday proposed a “humanitarian corridor” that would allow these citizens to be deported to areas controlled by the Russians, but Kiev did not confirm it. On Wednesday morning a pro-Russian separatist official accused the Ukrainians of blocking its establishment.

The situation, reminiscent of the massive Azovstel steelworks that had been the last pocket of Ukrainian opposition for weeks at the port of Mariupol in the Sea of ​​Azov, led hundreds of civilians to take refuge with them and with rare joint evacuation operations.

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The Ukrainian president on Wednesday confirmed that Russian attacks on Severodonetsk and Lysychansk were continuing. Kyiv has so far refused to surround its forces, while pro-Russian separatist forces have called for “surrender or death.”

According to an AFP reporter, roads connecting Lycitsansk and Gramadorsk, another major city in the Ukrainian-controlled Donbass, are used to carry weapons, including large multiple rocket launchers and artillery, while special vehicles carry tanks for repair. .

Like Severodonetsk, Lyssytchansk is now practically deserted, with severed power cables and burnt shops.

“The Russians are always bombing the city center,” a local policeman told AFP. “It’s 24 hours a day, ‘non-stop’,” says his colleague.

The next decision of the European Union

Kiev is awaiting a decision from the European Union by June 24 on whether to accept Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO as an official candidate for the board if it appears to be farther away than ever. Takes years.

In this context, the German media and Italians expect French President Emmanuel Macron, who will be the revolving head of the EU until June 30, as well as German Chancellor Olaf Scholes and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to arrive in Kiev on Thursday.

This will be the first such visit to the leaders of the three major European economies since the start of the Russian invasion.

Without confirming the trip, the French president visited the NATO base in Romania on Wednesday and sent encouraging signals to Kiev.

“I think we are at a time when the EU needs to send clear political signals, in an environment where Ukraine and the Ukrainian people have been fighting valiantly for months,” he said. Macron insisted. “New in-depth discussions” with Ukraine are necessary.

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