Russian forces took control of part of the key city of Severodonetsk on Tuesday, May 31, their current priority in eastern Ukraine, where the situation is tense for kyiv forces after more than three months of fighting. On the Donetsk side, “the enemy is attacking our troops with mortars, artillery and grenade launchers along the front line. Efforts are focused on taking control of Severodonetsk”, indicated in particular the Ukrainian army.
On Tuesday evening, Washington decided to beef up its military aid to Ukraine, providing it with advanced multiple and mobile rocket launcher systems, but against the assurance that they will not be used to strike Russian territory.
The United States has announced the shipment of “more advanced missile systems” to Ukraine, which is about to cede the eastern city of Severodonetsk, where a chemical plant was bombed by Russian forces. While the European Union has just tightened economic screws with a sixth package of sanctions against Moscow, including an embargo on Russian oil, Washington is advancing on military support.
US President Joe Biden wrote in the New York Times on Tuesday that his country will “provide the Ukrainians with more advanced missile systems and ammunition that will allow them to more accurately hit key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine”. It is, according to a senior White House official, Himars (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), that is to say multiple rocket launchers mounted on light armored vehicles, with a range of about 80 kilometers .
In yet another domino effect of the invasion of Ukraine, Denmark votes by referendum, this Wednesday, on its entry into the defense policy of the European Union, turning the page on three decades of exception. The yes is the big favorite among the 4.3 million voters called to the polls. He progressed to more than 65% of voting intentions in the last poll published on Sunday.
But caution is still called for because of the expected high abstention, in a country used to saying “nej” (no) to referenda on Europe, the last in 2015. “I believe with all my heart that we must vote yes. When we have to fight for the security of Europe, we have to be more united with our neighbours,” said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, during a final televised campaign debate on Sunday evening.
Russian forces seized a large part of the strategic city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. They are accused of “madness” by the Ukrainian president for having bombed a chemical factory. Diplomatically, kyiv won a battle with a European agreement on a gradual embargo on Russian oil.
“Given the presence of large-scale chemical production in Severodonetsk, the strikes of the Russian army in this city, with indiscriminate aerial bombardments, are simply crazy,” thundered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a message. Tuesday night video. “But on the 97th day of such a war, it is no longer surprising that for the Russian military, for the Russian commanders, for the Russian soldiers, any madness is absolutely acceptable,” he added.
German MEP Manfred Weber has said war-torn Ukraine’s EU membership is a priority, after his election on Tuesday as leader of the struggling pro-European right-wing European People’s Party. The only candidate to succeed former EU Council President Donald Tusk, he faces the difficult task of restoring the influence of the EPP after crushing defeats in France and Germany.
“The first message that we must give at this time (…) yes, you can become a member of the European Union”, engaged Manfred Weber in a speech after being elected at a Congress in Rotterdam (Netherlands). Down). “The EPP supports candidate status for our Ukrainian friends and also for the Republic of Moldova”, he added, in the presence of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, authorized to leave Ukraine to take part in the event.
Russian household debt hit an all-time high in the first quarter of this year, Russia’s central bank said in a report on Tuesday. “Just before the start of the crisis (linked to the sanctions due to the Russian offensive in Ukraine, editor’s note), the personal loan market reached the highest level of household debt at a macro level since the beginning observations”, or 10.6% of the disposable income of the population, against 10.2% in the same period in 2021, according to this report.
The central bank notes that in the context of the deteriorating economic situation and a rise in the cost of credit last March, when it had suddenly increased its key rate, the issuance of new consumer credits nevertheless fell, in March-April, by 3.4%. The bank does not note any significant deterioration in the quality of loans to individuals.
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, hoped on Tuesday that French President Emmanuel Macron, who has not been to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion, visits kyiv before the end of the French presidency of the EU on June 30.
“He is welcome no matter when. It would be good for Mr. Macron to come during the French EU presidency, and the best would be for him to come with other arms deliveries for Ukraine, here is the the most precious help we can receive from France,” said Dmytro Kouleba in an interview with the LCI television channel.
Emmanuel Macron, who went to Moscow and then to kyiv on February 7 and 8 before the Russian invasion, has not returned to Ukraine since. He is also one of the only European heads of state to continue to meet regularly with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Several European officials, as well as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have visited kyiv since the start of the conflict.