December 8, 2022

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War in Ukraine, day 230 | Despite Russian bombing, Kiev claims new victories

(Kyiv) Ukraine announced on Wednesday that it had recaptured several positions from the Russians in the south of the country and welcomed the arrival of a new anti-aircraft defense system, predicting “a new era” after two days of intense bombing.

Posted at 6:12 am.
Updated at 7:40 am.

Emmanuel PEUCHOT and Sergey BOBOK at LYMAN
French media agency

What do you want to know?

  • A Russian strike on a market in the city of Avdiivka killed at least seven people, the Ukrainian governor of the Donetsk region announced;
  • According to NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, providing Ukraine with anti-aircraft defense systems is a “priority” for allies;
  • In the south, Ukrainian soldiers want to reach Kherson by Christmas;
  • In the east, Ukrainian authorities announced the discovery of two new mass graves;
  • At Lyman, a railway junction in early October, a forensic team in protective gear exhumed dozens of bodies;
  • On Tuesday, in a virtual meeting with the G7, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for help to build an “air shield” over Ukraine.

The country has been hit by missiles, rockets and drones aimed specifically at its civilian energy infrastructure, launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to a bomb attack that damaged the Crimean bridge, a “terrorist” attack Moscow has blamed on Kyiv.

Russia announced on Wednesday that it had arrested eight people suspected of involvement in the attack and said it had foiled two attacks on Russian territory instigated by Ukrainian special services.

Vladimir Putin has vowed a ‘tough’ response to any new attacks on Russia and what it considers its territory and infrastructure, as Moscow announced its annexation of Crimea in 2014, followed by four other Ukrainian regions in September.

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Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in the explosion of the bridge linking the Russian territory of Crimea with Crimea, but Ukraine has always insisted it wants to retake the peninsula, as well as all territories occupied by Russia since the invasion began on February 24.

Putin’s ‘miscalculation’

The Ukrainian president said on Wednesday that five new positions had been recaptured in the Kherson region, one of four that Moscow said it had annexed, in what would be the latest setback for the retreating Russian army in the region. In the northeast and east from the beginning of September.

“The armed forces of Ukraine have liberated five more settlements in the Berislav district of the Kherson region: Novovasilivka, Novogrigorivka, Nova Kamianka, Trifonivka, Chervon,” the Ukrainian president said.

He noted, however, the resistance of the Russian artillery.

“The enemy is continuously shelling the positions of our units to prevent a counter attack on the line of communication,” he noted.

Ukraine has suffered a humiliating backlash against Russian forces since September, leading the Russian president to order the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists to reverse the trend.

The explosion that burned part of the Crimean bridge, in this context, seems a shame, because the viaduct was presented as a symbol of Russian power, which Mr. Putin is a project. The bridge is also essential for supplying Russian troops in southern Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the Russian president had “clearly” misjudged the situation in Ukraine and “totally miscalculated” the opposition he faced.

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He ruled that it was “irresponsible”, Mr. Putin may have threatened to use a tactical nuclear weapon to defend what he sees as his victories. Nevertheless, the US President Mr. Putin said he “didn’t think” he would use such a bomb.

“Protecting Ukraine’s Skies”

Ukraine said it had begun acquiring anti-aircraft defense systems it had been asking for for months to shoot down Russian missiles more effectively, with power and hot water cuts in villages and towns, particularly after Russian bombing that targeted Ukrainian energy infrastructure. .

“A new era of air defense has begun” in Ukraine, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in a tweet. “Germany’s Iris-Ds are already here. American Nasums are coming”.

“This is just the beginning,” Mr. Reznikov continues, “We need more. There is no doubt that Russia is a terrorist state. There is a moral imperative to protect the skies of Ukraine to save our people.

On Tuesday, in a virtual meeting with the G7, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for help to build an “air shield” over Ukraine, Mr.

The massive Russian strikes hit a park, a playground, a bridge and a pedestrian walkway in central Kyiv on Monday, in addition to infrastructure. The capital has not been targeted since late June.

New mass graves

To the east, Ukrainian authorities have announced the discovery of two new mass graves in towns in the Donetsk region recently retaken from Russian troops.

An AFP journalist noted that dozens of bodies were exhumed by forensic teams wearing protective gear at the railway junction in Lyman in early October.

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“We have already found the bodies of more than 50 soldiers and civilians. We have a long trench, a mass grave, where we found bodies and body parts,” said the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrilenko.

A number of abuses — torture, rape, summary executions — have been alleged in cities retaken by Russia. Despite mounting evidence, Moscow continues to deny the involvement of its soldiers.