French Minister Delegate for European Affairs Clément Beaune estimated on Sunday that Ukraine’s accession to the European Union would take “probably 15 or 20 years”, at the risk of making kyiv cringe.

Here is an update on the situation on the 88th day of the war based on information from AFP journalists on the spot, official Ukrainian and Russian statements, Western sources, analysts and international organizations.

– Russian gains in the East –

Russian forces have “gained ground” in the Rubijne-Severodonetsk-Lyssychansk area and have “intensified their efforts to capture Severodonetsk”, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

In particular, they destroyed a bridge between Lyssychansk and Severodonetsk, showing their desire to encircle the city, according to this American research center, for which Russian advances in the nearby town of Popasna were “not possible to confirm”.

Popasna is “clearly the new axis of effort” Russian, estimated Saturday the former French colonel Michel Goya.

The capture of the city, “a high point”, would make it possible “to observe and therefore to strike with artillery all Ukrainian movements, in particular between the road junction of Bakhmut (77,000 inhabitants) and Lyssytchansk-Severodonetsk”, he said. -He specifies.

The British Ministry of Defense underlined on Sunday the probable deployment in Severodonetsk of the only Russian company of BMP-T Terminator tanks, technologically advanced machines compared to the tanks destroyed by the hundreds by the Ukrainian troops these first three months of conflict.

“With a maximum of Terminators deployed, they should not have a significant impact on the campaign”, however observed London.

“The Russians are throwing all their efforts to capture Severodonetsk” where the strikes “have been multiplied several times in recent days”, assured Saturday evening on Telegram the governor of Lugansk, Serguiï Gaïdaï, who also reported a death and of two wounded in his region.

On Saturday, seven civilians were killed and 10 others injured in shelling in the Donetsk region, governor Pavlo Kyrylenko announced on Telegram.

According to the Ukrainian presidency, Russian bombardments targeted the cities of Mykolaiv (south), Kharkiv (north) and Zaporijjia (south) overnight from Saturday to Sunday.

– Martial law and mobilization prolonged in Ukraine –

Martial law and general mobilization in Ukraine were extended on Sunday by three months, until August 23. In two votes, the Ukrainian parliament, the Rada, on Sunday approved by an absolute majority the presidential decrees on martial law and general mobilization.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed these two decrees on February 24. They have already been extended twice for a period of one month.

– 15 or 20 years for Ukraine’s accession to the EU –

Ukraine’s accession to the European Union will take “probably 15 or 20 years”, the French Minister Delegate for European Affairs estimated on Sunday, recommending that kyiv enter the European political community proposed by the French president. Emanuel Macron.

“You have to be honest. (…) If we say that Ukraine will join the EU in 6 months, 1 year or 2 years, we are lying. It is not true. It is probably 15 or 20 years, it’s very long,” said Clément Beaune on Radio J.

“In the meantime, we owe the Ukrainians (…) a political project into which they can enter”, continued Mr. Beaune, who notably qualified the European political community put forward by President Macron as an “open door” and a “project concrete” for Ukraine.

– Tens of thousands dead –

There is no overall assessment of the civilian victims of the conflict. In Mariupol (southeast) alone, the Ukrainian authorities spoke of 20,000 dead. And Ukrainian investigators claim to have identified “more than 8,000 cases” of alleged war crimes.

On the military level, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense estimates Russian losses at more than 28,700 men, 204 planes and more than 1,200 tanks since the start of the invasion on February 24.

The Kremlin admitted “significant losses”. Western sources mention up to 12,000 Russian soldiers killed.

President Zelensky said around 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and some 10,000 injured.

No independent statistics are available.

– A third of displaced or refugee Ukrainians –

More than 8 million Ukrainians were internally displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Added to this are 6.4 million who have fled abroad, more than half of them – 3.4 million – to Poland.