Ukraine: skepticism after Russian statements, explosions in Chernihiv – All Guadeloupe news on the Internet

Ukrainian authorities on Wednesday accused Russia of bombing the city of Chernihiv in the country’s north all night, despite Moscow’s announcement the day before of “reducing” its military activity, a promise that Kyiv and its Western allies met with skepticism.

The number of Ukrainian refugees who left their country after the invasion of the Russian army on February 24, mostly women and children, crossed the 4 million mark on Wednesday, the High Commission for Refugees in Geneva said for its part.

“The situation does not change, Chernihiv is subjected to artillery and air shelling,” confirmed the regional governor Vyacheslav Chaus, adding that residents were deprived of water and electricity.

The town, which had a population of 280,000 before the war, is also “without communications and we can no longer repair them,” he added, also referring to the strikes on Nizhny in the same area.

After Mariupol in the south, Chernigov became the city most heavily bombed since the start of the war unleashed by Russia on 24 February.

In Kyiv and its environs, sirens sounded several times during the night.

“Over the past 24 hours, the Russians have shelled residential areas and civilian infrastructure facilities in the Kiev region 30 times,” Governor Oleksandr Pavlyuk said on Telegram, noting that areas north of Kyiv (Bucha, Irpen, Vyshgorod, Brovary) suffered the most. ).

On Wednesday morning, frequent explosions could still be heard in the town of Irpin, which Ukrainians declared on Monday “liberated” from Russian troops, AFP reported.

“From the evening and throughout the night, numerous anti-aircraft hostilities took place throughout Ukraine. However, in most regions the night was calm,” the report says.

– Judge on paper –

Russia vowed Tuesday after peace talks in Istanbul to “drastically” reduce its military activity around Kyiv and Chernihiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke of “positive signals,” even if they “do not make us forget either the explosions or the Russian shells.”

The Ukrainian General Staff, for its part, was quite skeptical. “The so-called +withdrawal of troops+ is probably a rotation of individual units in order to mislead the military command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”

“At the moment, unfortunately, we do not see that the Russians are reducing the intensity of hostilities in the direction of Kyiv and Chernigov,” Vadym Denisenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, added on Wednesday.

For US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby, this would be only a “repositioning” and not a “real withdrawal.”

“It is highly likely that Russia will seek to move its strike power from the north to the (separatist) areas of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east,” the UK Defense Department said in a Twitter post.

This was confirmed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Russia has achieved its “goal”: “the military potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been significantly reduced, which allows focusing attention and efforts on the main goal – the liberation of Donbass.”

Kyiv’s Western allies will first of all have to judge on the spot.

“We’ll see if they keep their word,” US President Joe Biden told reporters on Tuesday shortly after meeting with the leaders of France, Britain, Germany and Italy. “There seems to be a consensus that you should look at what they have to offer,” he added.

In London, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said otherwise. London will judge “Putin and his regime by his deeds, not by his words,” he said. The UK will host a donor conference on Thursday to mobilize more deadly weapons for Ukraine.

These Western leaders have previously warned against any “delay” regarding a Russian invasion and have expressed “their determination to continue to increase the price paid by Russia for its brutal attack on Ukraine.”

The US Department effectively warned American citizens on Tuesday that they risk being arbitrarily arrested in Russia, urging them not to go there or leave the country immediately.

– The maternity hospital was evacuated to Mariupol –

In Mariupol, the mayor’s office on Wednesday condemned the forced evacuation of a maternity hospital to Russia.

“More than 70 people, women and medical personnel were forcibly taken away by the occupants of maternity hospital No. 2 in the Left Bank District,” she said in Telegram.

In total, more than 20,000 Mariupol residents were evacuated “against their will” to Russia, according to the municipality, which claims the Russians confiscated their documents and redirected them “to distant Russian cities.”

This information cannot be verified from an independent source, as Mariupol has been under siege since the end of February due to a lack of communications.

President Zelensky said on Tuesday that the Russian attacks on Mariupol are a “crime against humanity.”

According to the UN, two of the six civilian hospitals in Mariupol have been destroyed and three damaged, while other facilities remain in limited operation, understaffed, without water, electricity and equipment.

According to the same source, the shelling destroyed at least 65 buildings and damaged 126.

The conditions for launching a humanitarian operation to assist the residents of Mariupol in the coming days “are not met at this stage,” the French President also said on Tuesday evening after a meeting between French Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The French head of state presented this evacuation operation, proposed late last week by France, Turkey and Greece, to his Russian counterpart, who said he would “think about it” before responding, the French president added.

Some 160,000 civilians are still stranded in Mariupol, exposed to artillery fire, in the throes of heavy fighting and facing a “humanitarian catastrophe”, living in shelters with no electricity, no food or water, according to testimony collected by AFP from people who fled from Mariupol. .

– “Socks and underwear” –

The situation also remains very difficult around Kyiv, where the population is fleeing villages east of the capital, where residents claim that Russian forces continue their brutal occupation there.

“The Russian military came and asked if they could accommodate five or six people for the night,” said resident Valery Koryachenko. “They raised the safety on their rifle and politely asked us to go anywhere, saying they were living there now,” he said, adding that they even took away their “socks and underwear.”

Northwest of Kyiv, the main checkpoint in the direction of Irpin was closed, civilians denied access, the town was still considered too dangerous as it was still within mortar fire range.

“First, we will conduct reconnaissance, and then we will remove the bodies and secure the area,” Petr Kiselev, acting head of emergency services, told AFP.

“The next step will be to secure the area and clear the mines and booby traps as there are reports that the bodies could also be booby traps,” he added.

burks-ahe/pop/pz

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