Moscow raises its voice against Vilnius and advances east

Moscow on Tuesday promised “serious” retaliation against Lithuania after Vilnius imposed European sanctions linked to the invasion of Ukraine, where Russian troops continue to advance east.

Two days before the summit of European Union leaders, France’s Minister for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, is holding the rotating presidency of his country, who called on Ukraine to decide on granting candidate country status to the European club that Kiev desires. The European Council, in its meeting with its counterparts in Luxembourg, announced that a “complete agreement” had been formed within the Twenty-Seven to accede to this request.

During his visit to this Russian enclave, Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev described the restrictions imposed by the Lithuanian authorities on rail transit of goods hit by European sanctions in the Kaliningrad direction as “hostile acts”. The Baltic said “appropriate measures” will be “soon to be adopted” and “will have serious negative consequences for the Lithuanian population”.

As Russian troops accelerate their advance in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass, a US official announced in Washington that US Attorney General Merrick Garland is making a surprise visit to Kiev, where he will meet with Ukraine’s Attorney General Iryna Venicetova. International efforts to help Ukraine identify, arrest and prosecute those involved in war crimes and other atrocities.”

“Epicenter of Confrontation”

In eastern Ukraine, the Russians “completely control” on the front line the village of Tochkivka, a few kilometers from Severodonetsk and Lyssytchansk, where the fighting was fierce, recognized Roman Vlasenko, the head of the Severodonetsk region. “The entire Lugansk region is now the epicenter of the conflict between the Ukrainian and Russian armies,” Vlasenko told Ukrainian television. This area is almost entirely controlled by Moscow forces. Only the Ukrainian resistance group in the vicinity of Lyssytchansk and Severodonetsk still escapes the control of the Russian army.

According to Mr. Vlasenko, “violent fighting is taking place around the industrial area” of Severodonetsk, where 568 people, including 38 children, primarily workers and their families, are currently taking shelter at the Nitrogen plant, according to local officials. This is the symbol of this industrial city, which had a population of about 100,000 before the war. The capture of the city by Moscow would be an important step towards the conquest of the entire Donbass, a predominantly Russian-speaking region that has been partially held by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

“Catastrophic destruction”

On his side, the governor of the Lugansk region, Serguiï Gaïdaï, reported “catastrophic destruction in Lyssytchansk”, a twin city separated from Severodonetsk by the Donets, an impassable river as bridges there collapsed.

The area, which is bombarded every day, has been the scene of fierce artillery battles between Russian and Ukrainian forces for weeks. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the Ukrainian military to “continue” and said the outcome of the war would depend on its resistance and its ability to hold back and harm the Russian army. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said he “appreciates” Berlin’s efforts to assist Kiev militarily, and announced the purchase of the German Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled artillery after weeks of negotiations between Ukraine and its Western allies. Russian attacks.

Several cities in the Donbass still under Kiev’s control are preparing for a new advance of Russian troops, such as Sloviansk and Kramatorsk east of Severodonetsk. “The front has come within 15-20 kilometers in recent weeks,” the mayor of Sloviansk, who hopes “new weapons” will arrive quickly, including the Ukrainian army, told AFP. “So far everything is fine here, but it is very difficult psychologically when you see what is happening in other cities on TV,” said 48-year-old Svitlana, a butcher in the Kramatorsk market.

At the military level, again, Russia claimed to have repelled a “frantic” attempt to retake Snake Island, a symbolic and strategic region in the Black Sea that had been conquered by Moscow, at the beginning of the Kyiv forces offensive against Ukraine in February. 24.

“Courage and professionalism

“We are proud that our fighters (in Ukraine) act with courage and professionalism, like real heroes,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a speech at the Kremlin to young graduates of Russian military academies and the most senior army officers. said. He also decided that he was “confident” that the sanctions that had hit Russia would be “overcome”.

A Moscow court began the trial Tuesday of municipal elected official Alexei Gorinov, who was accused of “spreading false information” after criticizing the attack in Ukraine. That charge could get him 10 years in prison, and the human rights organization Amnesty International has called for his immediate release, denouncing a “high-visibility case” aimed at sending a “deterrent message”.

In the south of Ukraine, conquered by Moscow from the very first days of the war, “specialists from the transmission units of the Russian Armed Forces connected and reconfigured the last of the seven television transmitters in the Kherson region to broadcast Russian channels”. Statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Additional

According to the text, one million residents of the region now have “free” access to the main Russian channels, in particular the channels of the public audio-visual group VGTRK, which actively broadcasts the Kremlin line.

Since the region came under Moscow’s control, the occupation forces have been pursuing a policy of Russifying the regions there: the Russian currency, the Ruble, was introduced and Russian passports began to be issued. According to the Russian state news agency TASS, Kirill Stremoussov, one of the new pro-Russian officials of the Kherson region, claimed that this region could be annexed to Russia “by referendum”, “before the end of the year”.

The bodies of 1,333 Ukrainian civilians, whom he said were killed by Russian forces, were found on Tuesday, of which 213 were unidentified, Ukraine’s Kyiv state police chief said on television. He added that 300 people have been missing since the withdrawal of Russian forces from the area.

According to Madrid, a Spaniard who left to fight Russian troops in Ukraine died in that country on Saturday.

Moscow on Tuesday promised Lithuania “serious” retaliation after Vilnius imposed European sanctions linked to the invasion of Ukraine, where Russian troops continue to advance east. club o kiiv…

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