A Ukrainian soldier at the front in the Kharkiv region on July 11, 2022 (AFP / Anatolii Stepanov)
Ukraine expects a new offensive by the Russian army on strategic cities in the eastern region of Donbass – a priority target for Moscow – while President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Canada on Monday of undermining sanctions against Russia.
Europe, for its part, has entered a period of uncertainty over the continuation of gas deliveries by Russia, the Russian giant Gazprom having started maintenance work on the two Nord Stream 1 gas pipelines which supply Germany and other countries in western Europe.
This stop for ten days was in theory to be only a technical formality. But with the war in Ukraine and the showdown between Moscow and the West over energy, no one can bet on the restoration of deliveries, which have already been greatly reduced.
In order not to give Moscow any additional pretext, Germany obtained from Canada the return of turbines under maintenance for the same gas pipeline. This gesture aroused the ire of Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday, who announced the summons of the Canadian ambassador to kyiv “due to an absolutely unacceptable exception to the sanctions regime against Russia”.
Graph showing Nord Stream 1 natural gas flow in millions of cubic meters per day from February 1 to July 10, 2022 (AFP/)
This decision “will be perceived in Moscow only as a sign of weakness”, he warned, believing that Russia could in any case, if it wished, “completely stop the gas supply to Europe at the moment the sharper”.
The turbines were undergoing maintenance at a Canadian site belonging to the German group Siemens, and Russia blamed their absence for the reduction in deliveries via the gas pipeline.
– 33 dead in Chassiv Iar –
On the ground, the Ukrainians anticipate fierce fighting in the Donetsk region (east), in the Donbass. “There are signs that enemy units are preparing to intensify combat operations in the direction of Kramatorsk and Bakhmout,” the Ukrainian general staff warned.
Rescuers on the spot after the deadly shelling of a residential building in Chassiv Iar, eastern Ukraine, on July 10, 2022 (AFP / Anatolii Stepanov)
Kramatorsk, the administrative center of Donbass still under Ukrainian control, and its neighbor Sloviansk are considered to be the next targets of the Russian military in their plan to completely conquer Donbass, four and a half months after the start of the invasion of Ukraine.
This mining basin has been partially controlled since 2014 by separatists supported by Moscow, after the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
The embassy of the separatist region of Donetsk will be inaugurated on Tuesday in Moscow, in the presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The death toll from Sunday’s shelling of an apartment building in Chassiv Iar, Donetsk region, has risen to 33, including a child in his 10s, the Ukrainian Emergency Service said on Monday. . Nine people were pulled alive from the rubble, where rescue operations will continue on Tuesday.
A teacher cleans rubble after a gymnasium was destroyed by Russian fire, in Kharkiv on July 10, 2022 (AFP / SERGEY BOBOK)
The spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Igor Konashenkov, for his part assured that “more than 300” Ukrainian fighters had perished near Chassiv Iar, without saying when.
In Kharkiv (northeast), “civilian buildings – a shopping center and housing – came under enemy fire. Several missiles hit houses,” said the head of his administration, Oleg Synegoubov. According to the regional prosecutor’s office, “31 people were injured, including two children aged four and 16. Six civilians, including a 17-year-old boy and his father, were killed”.
Russian planes also fired four missiles Monday at the region of Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea, kyiv said. According to the Southern Operational Command, the strikes – which caused no casualties – hit port infrastructure, a home and agricultural land.
Rescuers evacuate a body after a Russian strike on a building in Chasiv Yar, Ukraine, on July 10, 2022 (AFP/Anatolii Stepanov)
According to Serguii Khlan, an adviser to the head of the military administration loyal to the Ukrainian government in the Kherson region (south), a Russian military command center, radars and air defense systems were destroyed overnight by the Ukrainian army in Tavryisk, a locality occupied by the Russians located about sixty kilometers east of Kherson.
– Drones –
While the Ukrainian army has reported numerous bombardments throughout eastern Ukraine, it sees a pause in Russian ground attacks.
“The enemy in our operational area remains behind the lines of defense, does not advance by land, does not have the possibilities and capabilities to create new strike groups,” the Southern Operational Command commented on Monday.
“The quantitative advantages of the Russian army are offset by the precision of the missiles and artillery available to Ukraine,” said the secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiï Danilov.
Map of the front line in eastern Ukraine locating a deadly strike in Chassiv Iar on the night of Saturday to Sunday (AFP / )
“This war could last longer than we had planned or hoped for (…) We must stay focused and continue to support Ukraine in any way possible,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, visiting kyiv.
Faced, according to Washington, with problems to maintain its armament, Russia should receive, for its part, “hundreds of drones” delivered by Iran.
“Our intelligence indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to deliver up to several hundred drones, including combat aircraft, to Russia at very short notice,” the White House national security adviser said Monday. , Jake Sullivan.
Drones have played an important role since the start of the war on February 24, for reconnaissance operations, missile launches or bomb drops.
The occupation authorities announced that a bomb attack had claimed the life of the head of the administration installed by the Russians in Veliki, in the Kharkiv region, partially conquered by Moscow.
This “terrorist act” was committed, on an unspecified date, by a group of Ukrainian saboteurs who infiltrated behind Russian lines, according to these sources.
In recent weeks, attacks against officials put in place by Moscow have multiplied in the occupied regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia, in southern Ukraine.
In this context, Russia has made it known that, through a decree by Vladimir Putin, it wants to facilitate access to Russian nationality for all Ukrainians. A measure that the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has “strongly” condemned as constituting “a new encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, incompatible with the norms and principles of international law”.