UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – Le Figaro provides an update on the latest information from journalists, Ukrainian and Russian statements, Western sources and international organizations.
The Russian Navy says it repelled drone attacks in Sevastopol, one dead and 25 injured in Zaporizhia, Zelensky went to the front… Le Figaro provides an update on the war in Ukraine this Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
Ukraine ‘will respond to all attacks’ from Moscow, says Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine “will respond to all attacksof Moscow, after a drone attack by Moscow which killed at least seven people in the kyiv region, and a strike against a building in Zaporizhia (center-east). “We will respond with certainty to the occupier to all attacks against our cities (…) All Russian strikes will receive a military, political and legal response“, he assured in his daily address.
Zelensky on the front, near Bakhmout
The Ukrainian president visited the front line in the Bakhmout area on Wednesday, the epicenter of the fighting in eastern Ukraine, his press service said. “Donetsk region. Frontline positions of the Ukrainian military in the direction of Bakhmout. Honored to be there today and decorate our heroes“, Volodymyr Zelensky said in a message on Telegram, posting a video of this trip. The trip comes as pro-Russian separatists fighting alongside the Russian military claim the city is “almost surrounded“.
In these images, we see him in a hangar without protective equipment but accompanied by heavily armed bodyguards handing out decorations to the soldiers, who are also armed and in combat gear. “I am honored to decorate the best of our heroes, to shake your hand and give thanks for the defense of our State and sovereigntyVolodymyr Zelensky told the military.
France trains Ukrainian pilots for Mirage 2000 fighter jets
French instructors have been training Ukrainian pilots for more than a month and a half in Mirage 2000 fighter planes, designed by Dassault Aviation*. The decision was taken before Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Paris on February 8. France thus joins the United States, which also provides training for Ukrainian pilots on F-16s.
China has not yetcrossed the line delivery of lethal weapons to Russia, assures Blinken
China has not yetcrossed the lineConsisting of delivering lethal weapons to Russia, US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said on Wednesday. “AT this day we haven’t seen them cross that linesaid the US Secretary of State in response to a question during a Senate hearing in Washington.
For several weeks, American diplomacy has exerted intense diplomatic pressure on China to prevent it from delivering important military equipment to Moscow, mired in the conflict in Ukraine. In mid-February, Washington announced that China was considering such an option, and there were reports of small shipments being sent by Chinese companies to Moscow.
And, during a two-day visit to Russia, President Xi Jinping reiterated his call for peace talks for the conflict in Ukraine, a solution that worries Washington, fearing it could militarily advantage Russia. Xi Jinping also left Moscow on Wednesday morning.
” SEE ALSO – Vladimir Putin accuses Ukraine of not wanting Chinese peace plan
Moscow calls delivery of depleted uranium shells a ‘serious’ aggravation
The delivery by London to Ukraine of ammunition containing depleted uranium, recently mentioned by a British official, would represent a “serious aggravationof the conflict, warned Wednesday the head of Russian diplomacy.
“It’s a step towards further aggravation, serious aggravationof the conflict, said Sergei Lavrov during a press conference in Sochi, in the south of Russia, referring in particular to the consequences on the health of the population and a risk of contamination of the soil.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that “Russia will be forced to respondif such a delivery took place, without providing details. Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that the use of such shells would have serious health consequences, citing the example of the wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990s where such ammunition was used.
Russian Navy ‘repelled’ drone attack on Sevastopol
Russia has announced that it haspushed backWednesday a drone attack on the port of Sevastopol, just four days after a visit by Vladimir Putin to this city in Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Moscow. “All three aircraft were shot downsaid Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, pointing out that two of them had been destroyed by two military women. “I would like these young women to be decorated and paid a bounty for destroying enemy (drones)“, he added.
Shortly before, the local governor Mikhail Razvojayev, installed by Russia, had announced that “the Black Sea Fleet repelled a surface drone attack on Sevastopol“. The assault caused no casualties andthe situation is under control“, he assured on Telegram, adding that the explosions had broken windows of neighboring buildings. Among these buildings is a cultural center called “The House of Moscow», located next to the port and very well known in town. “They tried to enter our bay, our sailors fired at them with small arms. Air defense also workedadded Mikhail Razvojayev.
411 billion dollars will be needed for the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine
Ukraine will need 411 billion dollars for its recovery and reconstruction after the first year of the conflict caused by the Russian invasion, launched on February 24, 2022, according to an estimate published on Wednesday by the World Bank (WB), the UN, the European Union and the Ukrainian government. As the fighting continues, these organizations and institutions anticipate an immediate need of $14 billion starting this year, in order to achieve “critical and priority investmentsto start the reconstruction.
The safety of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in a “precarious” state, warns the IAEA
The nuclear safety of the Ukrainian power plant in Zaporizhya (south-east) is in a “precarious state”, warned Wednesday the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, in a press release. According to the organization, the “last emergency power line” of the plant, damaged since March 1, remains “disconnected and under repair”. However, it allows it as a last resort to ensure nuclear safety and security, in particular by cooling its reactors.
The plant has been dependent for three weeks on electricity supplied by a single 750 kV main external line, and “any damage (on this line) will result in the total loss of all offsite power to the plant”. “Nuclear safety within the (central) remains in a precarious state”said Rafael Grossi. “I once again call on all parties to commit to ensuring nuclear safety and protecting the security of the plant.”
»SEE ALSO – Vladimir Putin accuses Ukraine of not wanting the Chinese peace plan
*The Dassault group owns the “Figaro”.
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