At least 17 people were killed in strikes on buildings in the Odessa region of southern Ukraine, kyiv said overnight from Thursday to Friday. Fired from the Black Sea by a “strategic aircraft”, they first caused the death of 14 people living in a nine-storey building in the south of the port city, then a second missile killed three people, including a child. Ukraine sees in this act the anger of Russia, which has just lost control of “Snake Island” in the Black Sea.

These bombings come as NATO promised, Thursday, June 30, its unwavering support for Ukraine at the end of its summit in Madrid. “We will stand with Ukraine and the whole Alliance will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes to ensure it is not defeated by Russia,” the US President said. United Joe Biden, adding that the conflict would end in “a defeat for Russia”.

Several NATO member states took advantage of this meeting to announce new military aid. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged a billion-pound extension, while Emmanuel Macron announced on Twitter that France will quickly deliver “the equipment Ukraine needs to defend itself , including six additional Caesar howitzers and a significant number of armored vehicles”.

In addition, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, denounced the establishment, by the West, of an “iron curtain” in Europe, using the expression used by Winston Churchill at the start of the Cold War. He thus expresses the anger of Moscow, presented, in the roadmap adopted by NATO, as “the most significant and direct threat to the security of the allies”. Vladimir Putin, he underlined “the imperialist ambitions” of the Atlantic Alliance, which would seek to assert “its hegemony”. An assertion deemed “ridiculous” by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

One fact, two versions. On Thursday, Ukraine welcomed the departure of Russian forces from Serpents’ Island, located southwest of Odessa. A symbolic victory for kyiv, which claims that it is thanks to the firepower of its artillery – and Western arms deliveries – that it regained control of the island. For their part, the Russians speak of a gesture of “goodwill” on their part, in order to facilitate the export of Ukrainian cereals from the Black Sea.

On the other hand, President Zelensky confirmed that the situation remained “extremely difficult” in Lyssytchansk, a city in the industrial basin of Donbass, a region in eastern Ukraine where most of the fighting is concentrated. Lyssytchansk is the last major city not yet in Russian hands in the Lugansk region, while Severodonetsk definitely fell a few days ago. “There is a lot of shelling from multiple directions. The Russian army approached Lysychansk from different directions,” the region’s governor reported in a video broadcast on the Telegram network.

kyiv also announced that it was severing diplomatic relations with Syria after Damascus recognized the independence of the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Ukraine said it had started exporting electricity in a “significant” way to the European Union, via Romania. “An important step in our rapprochement with the European Union has been taken,” said the President of Ukraine on Thursday, whose candidacy for the EU was endorsed last week by the Twenty-Seven.

“A first step”, for Volodymyr Zelensky who plans to gradually increase deliveries, so that “Ukrainian electricity replaces a considerable part of the Russian gas consumed by Europeans”. In mid-March, the Ukrainian electricity network had been connected to the European network, in order to help the country to preserve its functioning.