Moscow intensifies its bombardments on the Donbass, in the east of Ukraine. Designated by the military staff as the key offensive of the invasion of the Russian army, the region is at the heart of all the battles. The fighting has been concentrated in recent hours around Severodonetsk, an industrial city in the Lugansk region. The situation is becoming “more and more difficult”, says kyiv.
Meanwhile, the verdict in the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier was delivered on Monday, while Volodymyr Zelensky will speak at the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland, where he will be the first head of state to speak. Discussions are expected to focus around the war in Ukraine, which began almost three months ago. Our point at the 89 day of the war.
The first Russian soldier to be tried for a war crime since Russia invaded Ukraine was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison on Monday in kyiv for the murder of a civilian. The man intends to appeal the sanction.
Sergeant Chichimarine, 21, admitted to shooting dead Oleksandre Chelipov, a 62-year-old civilian, in the northeast of the country during the first days of the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine. While riding alongside other soldiers near the village of Choupakhivka, in the Sumy region, the soldier opened fire on the old man who was pushing his bicycle while on the phone.
“I was nervous in this situation. I didn’t want to kill. I want to apologize for what I did,” said the young man earlier on Friday before saying he was deeply sorry. An element on which his lawyer, Viktor Ovsiannykov, relied during his argument on Friday. Without success.
According to the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office, the country has opened more than 12,000 war crimes investigations since February 24, the start of the Russian invasion.
In the Donbass, bombs are raining down, in the words of the governor of the Lugansk region. Severodonetsk, industrial city of the region and crucial point of the Russian conquest, is bombarded “24 hours a day”. “They are using scorched earth tactics, they are deliberately destroying the city” with aerial bombardments, multiple rocket launchers, mortars or tanks that fire on buildings, detailed Governor Serguiï Gaïdaï.
Severodonetsk, after Mariupol, has established itself as the new obsession of the Russian army. In the same way as the port city, the city today presents an apocalyptic landscape after several weeks of siege. Several neighborhoods are nothing but a tangle of sheet metal and debris, bars of buildings ripped open by missiles and shells. Thousands of inhabitants fled, others died.
This intensification of the bombardments is explained by the concentration of Russian forces in the Donbass. Units withdrawn from the Kharkiv region (north-east), attackers from the siege of Mariupol (south-east), militias from the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, Chechen forces and troops mobilized as reinforcements from Siberia and the Russian Far East are grouped in the area, according to Ukrainian authorities. “Everything is concentrated here,” confirmed Serguiï Gaïdaï. Weapons are also plentiful in the area. We find the anti-aircraft and anti-missile complexes S-300 and S-400, equivalent to the American Patriot, particularly strategic equipment.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that 87 people died in a Russian attack on May 17 against a Ukrainian military base in the north of the country.
“Today, under the rubble in Desna, there are 87 victims. 87 corpses, victims who were killed,” said Volodymyr Zelensky who spoke by videoconference at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos (Switzerland). ). The strike targeted this village which houses a military base, located about sixty kilometers north of kyiv.
US President Joe Biden said in Tokyo on Monday that Russia “must pay a long-term price” for its “barbarism in Ukraine” in terms of sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies. “It’s not just about Ukraine,” Joe Biden said. Because if “the sanctions were not maintained in many respects, then what signal would that send to China on the cost of an attempt to take Taiwan by force?”, he wondered.
A central question raised by the continuation of the fighting in Ukraine, which began 89 days ago, Ukraine’s accession to the European Union received strong support. Polish President Andrzej Duda gave his approval to Ukraine’s candidacy on Sunday during a speech before the Ukrainian parliament. He is the first Head of State since the beginning of the war who has come out in favor of Ukraine’s entry into the Union.
“We must respect” the peoples who “shed their blood” to belong to Europe, said French President Emmanuel Macron, who supports a proposal for a “European political community”. A solution to which Germany seems more attached. Its Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has expressed his opposition to granting the country led by Volodymyr Zelensky a “shortcut” in favor of joining the European Union.