Ukrainian artillerymen fire at a Russian army frontline position on Oct. 11, 2022 in the Donetsk region (AFP / Anatolii Stepanov)
Ukraine on Wednesday said it had recaptured several places from the Russians in the south of the country and welcomed the arrival of a new Western anti-aircraft defense system, predicting “a new era” after two days of intense bombing.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured that the delivery of these systems capable of neutralizing Russian missiles in the Ukrainian skies was “the priority”.
The pledge comes after Ukraine came under “huge” salvos from missiles, missiles and drones Monday and Tuesday, particularly targeting its civilian energy infrastructure. Russian President Vladimir Putin presented the strikes in retaliation for the explosive attack that damaged the Crimean Bridge, which he attributes to Kiev.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has already greeted “a new era of air defense” with the arrival of the “Iris-T system from Germany” and the imminent delivery of “US NASAMS”.
Attending a NATO meeting at the US military base in Ramstein in Germany, he said he was “optimistic” about further announcements.
On Tuesday, during a virtual meeting with the G7, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had asked for help to create an “air shield”, warning that Mr Putin “still had the resources for an escalation”.
At the same time, the 27 members of the European Union agreed to organize a major military mission to train Ukrainian troops in several Member States. According to two diplomats, about 15,000 soldiers should initially be affected.
The Kremlin, for its part, said Wednesday it expects Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Vladimir Putin to make a concrete proposal for mediation in the conflict during their meeting in Kazakhstan on Thursday.
A destroyed bridge in Bakhmout, Donetsk region, on October 11, 2022 (AFP / Yasuyoshi CHIBA)
“The Turks are offering their mediation. If there were (Russian-Ukrainian) contacts, they would be established on Turkish soil,” Kremlin diplomatic adviser Yuri Ouchakov told the press.
In the meantime, Russia has announced the arrest of eight people suspected of participating in the attack on the Crimean Bridge and claimed to have thwarted two attacks by Ukrainian special services on Russian territory.
– Putin’s “miscalculation” –
Vladimir Putin had promised a “severe” response to any attack on Russia and what it considers its territory, with Moscow declaring the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and then four other Ukrainian regions in September.
Map of the situation in Ukraine on October 12 at 8 a.m. GMT (AFP /)
Kiev has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in the explosion on the bridge connecting Russian territory to Crimea, but Ukraine has always emphasized its intention to recapture this peninsula and all Russian-occupied territories since the invasion on February 24.
On the southern front, in the Kherson region, one of four areas Moscow claimed to have annexed, five new places have been recaptured, Ukraine’s presidency said Wednesday, which would be the latest setback for the military’s withdrawal. in this zone as well as in the northeast and east since early September.
But she noted that the Russian artillery resisted “to deter the counter-offensive all along the line.”
The Russian Defense Ministry assured him that he had driven the Ukrainians back into the small area of the Kharkov (northeast) region still under Moscow’s control, in the north of the Kherson region and in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Ukraine, for its part, said that a Russian attack on a market Wednesday morning in the city of Avdiivka, close to the frontline in the east, left at least seven people dead.
Fire on the Crimean bridge after the explosion of a truck, October 8, 2022 near Kerch ( AFP / – )
US President Joe Biden noted on Tuesday that his Russian counterpart had “clearly misjudged” the situation in Ukraine and “made a complete miscalculation” about the resistance he would face.
He also found it “irresponsible” that Mr Putin could threaten to use a tactical nuclear weapon to defend what he considers his conquests, while believing Moscow would not use such a bomb.
– New Mass Graves –
In the east, Ukrainian authorities have announced the discovery of two new mass graves in cities in the Donetsk region that have recently been recaptured from Russian forces.
In Lyman, a railway junction taken over in early October, a forensic team dressed in protective gear exhumed dozens of bodies, an AFP journalist noted.
“We have already found more than 50 bodies of soldiers and civilians. We have a long trench, a mass grave, where we have found bodies and body parts,” said Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region.
A Ukrainian forensic team exhumes bodies from a mass grave on October 11, 2022 near Lyman in the Donetsk region (AFP/SERGEY BOBOK)
Russia has been accused of numerous abuses – torture, rape, summary executions – in the cities from which it has withdrawn. Moscow has consistently denied its soldiers’ involvement, despite mounting evidence.
Finally, on the energy front of the conflict, President Putin confirmed that the ball was “in the court” of the EU for the launch of the supply of Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline unaffected by the explosions of which mutual accusations Russian and Western.