kyiv: Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russia of preparing a “mass deportation” of people from recently annexed territories, where the evacuation of civilians from Kherson has begun and Vladimir Putin has declared martial law, a sign that he is now in an “incredibly difficult situation”, according to Joe Biden.
At the same time, Russian bombardments continued in northern Ukraine, including kyiv, in the east and center, but also in the west, an area generally more spared from fighting.
“The enemy carried out four missile strikes, eleven air strikes and more than 100 attacks with multiple rocket launchers”, summarized in the evening the staff of the Ukrainian forces.
He spoke of a “massive attack with cruise missiles and Iranian drones on civilian infrastructure in the regions of kyiv, Cherniguiv (north), Vinnytsia (west), Ivano-Frankivsk (west), Donetsk (east), Dnipropetrovsk (center ), Zaporizhia (south) and Mykolaiv (south)”, as well as Cherkassy (center).
Air defense batteries shot down “several Russian missiles” over the Ukrainian capital, said its mayor, Vitaly Klitschko. Explosions were heard there by AFP journalists in the early afternoon.
Since Monday, kyiv has been attacked several times by Russian suicide drones which have targeted energy infrastructure in particular.
Further north, another Iranian-made unmanned aircraft exploded in Cherniguiv, the Ukrainians said, with three hospitalized injuries.
In the western part, “the enemy hit the Burchtynska coal-fired power plant”, which started a fire that was later brought under control, the Ivano-Frankivsk regional authorities reported.
In southern Ukraine, the Russian administration of the Kherson region assured Wednesday that the evacuations of civilians had begun. It plans to move “50,000 to 60,000” in a few days to the other bank of the Dnieper.
The city of Kherson, occupied since the spring, will also be evacuated, faced with the advance of Ukrainian troops, said the head of the pro-Russian municipal authorities Vladimir Saldo, promising that the Russian soldiers would resist “until death”. .
General Sergey Surovikin, recently appointed head of Russian operations in Ukraine, admitted on Tuesday that the situation there was “very difficult”.
But for the secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, we are rather witnessing “the preparation of the massive deportation of the Ukrainian population” to Russia “in order to modify the ethnic composition of the occupied territories”.
“A crime which should be condemned by the United Nations and which has already been committed in Crimea”, unilaterally attached in 2014 to Russia, he added.
In total, “about five million inhabitants” of the four Ukrainian regions annexed in September by Moscow are currently on Russian soil, where they have “taken refuge”, for his part affirmed the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev. .
These are those of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporijjia in which the Russian president ordered the establishment of martial law on Wednesday, a measure “null and void”, reacted Ukrainian diplomacy.
Vladimir Putin now finds himself in an “incredibly difficult situation”: “it would seem that the only tool left at his disposal is to persecute Ukrainian citizens” in order to “intimidate them into surrender, but that is not what they are going to do”, commented his American counterpart Joe Biden.
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