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War in Ukraine: Iran will supply drones to Russia, assure the United States

Arms deliveries are not the prerogative of Europeans alone. The Iranians should, according to American intelligence, deliver “hundreds of drones” to its Russian ally. Playing a central role in the development of the war, these remote-controlled aircraft have been employed since Russia’s attack on Ukraine on February 24, both for reconnaissance operations and to facilitate the dropping of bombs. The United States, for their part, are continuing their strategy of unpacking their intelligence in real time, in order to shake up Moscow.

Quite discreet until then since the start of the war in Ukraine, Iran should be much more present with its Russian ally. The country led by Vladimir Putin should receive drones from the Iranian weapons reservoir. “Our intelligence indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to deliver up to several hundred drones, including combat aircraft, to Russia at very short notice,” the US national security adviser said Monday. Jake Sullivan.

In the occupied regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia, in southern Ukraine, military support could come to counter the Ukrainian sabotage attacks targeting Russian army officials and the occupiers’ installations which have been increasing for several weeks. In recent days, the occupation authorities announced the occurrence of a bomb attack that killed the head of the administration installed by the Russians in Veliki, in the Kharkiv region.

EU finance ministers approved on Tuesday 12 July a new financial aid of one billion euros to help Ukraine cope with the consequences of the war. The assistance, in the form of loans, “adopted today aims to meet Ukraine’s most urgent immediate financing needs, and to ensure that the Ukrainian state can continue to perform its most essential functions” , Czech Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura said in a statement.

This amount brings to 2.2 billion euros the total macro-financial assistance of the Twenty-Seven to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion of the country at the end of February. kyiv needs five billion dollars a month to keep the country’s economy running, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergey Marchenko said in May.

The billion euros released by the EU on Tuesday corresponds to the amount proposed by the European Commission on July 1. It is the first part of a scheme for a maximum amount of 9 billion in 2022 which was proposed by the European executive on May 18 to help Ukraine cope with the consequences of the war.

Some €13.8 billion in assets of oligarchs and other entities have been frozen in the EU, mostly in five member countries, following sanctions against Russia in response to the war in Ukraine, European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders announced on Tuesday. “It’s quite huge but I must say that a very large part, more than 12 billion (is frozen) by five Member States”, declared the Belgian commissioner on the occasion of a meeting in Prague of European ministers of Justice.

He did not specify which countries these were. But the German Finance Minister, Christian Lindner, had in mid-June quantified the amount frozen only in Germany at 4.48 billion euros. “We must continue to convince other (countries) to do the same,” continued Didier Reynders. “I hope that in the next few weeks we will see an increase in these kinds of procedures in all member states.”

At the end of June, the “task force” of the Western allies – which includes the United States, Australia, France, Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom and the European Commission – charged to Track Russian Elite Assets (Repo) reported that $30 billion in assets held by sanctioned Russian oligarchs or elites had been blocked, along with some $300 billion from the Russian Central Bank.

On Monday, Moscow announced to facilitate access to Russian nationality for all Ukrainians. The measure applied since May to Ukrainian territories occupied by Russian forces, in the regions of Zaporijjia, Kherson but also Donetsk and Lugansk. The “citizens of Ukraine (…) have the right to apply for citizenship of the Russian Federation according to the simplified procedure”, indicates the decree signed by the hand of Vladimir Putin and published on Monday.

After the announcement by the Russian authorities of their desire to organize a referendum on the annexation of the occupied areas to Russia, Moscow is taking a further step in denying the sovereignty of its neighbour. This did not fail to make the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry react, denouncing “a new encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, incompatible with the norms and principles of international law”. Russia’s passport distribution policy is not new. She had already cut her teeth in the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in Georgia, and that of Transnistria, in Moldova.

The death toll from the shelling of an apartment building in Chassiv Iar, in the Donetsk region, on Sunday now stands at 33, including a child in his 10s, the Ukrainian situation service said on Monday. emergency. Relief operations in the rubble continue. Nine people have been extracted alive since the start of the investigations.

At the same time, Moscow said seven people were killed in a Ukrainian strike overnight Monday-Tuesday in the town of Nova Kakhovka, near Kherson. “There are already seven dead and about 60 injured,” said the head of the military-civilian administration installed in the locality, Vladimir Leontiev, on Telegram. No media has confirmed these accusations. For several weeks, Ukraine has been leading a significant counter-offensive in the region in order to regain control of the territory.

The Ukrainians also anticipate fierce fighting in Donetsk, in the Donbass. “There are signs that enemy units are preparing to intensify combat operations in the direction of Kramatorsk and Bakhmout,” the Ukrainian general staff warned. These two cities are still controlled by kyiv but Moscow dreams of taking control. Kramatorsk and Bakhmout stand out as the next targets of the Russian army.

A sign that part of Ukraine wants to resume the course of its life, football is reappearing in the programs. The recovery is scheduled for August. “The new season of the Ukrainian football championship will start on the 23rd,” Sports Minister Vadym Gutzeit said on Facebook. The competition had been suspended and then canceled in reaction to the Russian invasion at the end of February.

The matches will take place behind closed doors so as not to endanger the spectators. Meetings will be put on hold in the event of air raids. The recovery will not be without difficulty. Much of the sports infrastructure was damaged by the strikes and many foreign players left Ukrainian territory without the will or contractual obligation to return to play in a country at war.

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