update on the 94th day of the war in Ukraine

update on the 94th day of the war in Ukraine

The Moscow army is nibbling ground in the Donbass while, for the first time in several weeks, a new interview between Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and Vladimir Putin was held.

As fighting continues in eastern Ukraine and Russia announces several significant advances on this 94th day of conflict, new diplomatic negotiations have taken place between Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Russian President Vladimir Cheese fries.

• Fighting intensifies in Donbass

Symbol of the violent fighting which is currently hitting the Donbass, the city of Severodonetsk where the bombardments have been incessant for several days. “The army is simply destroying the city,” said Luhansk region governor Sergey Gaidai on his Telegram account. According to him, the Russian army entered the outskirts of the city where they suffered “heavy losses”, while Ukrainian forces tried to dislodge the Russians from a hotel.

According to this same governor, “Severodonetsk is not cut off” by Russian and separatist forces and access to humanitarian aid is still possible. Despite the less and less favorable situation for kyiv in the region, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov assured that Russia had “suffered losses and retreated to previously occupied positions” in the “zones of districts of Severodonetsk, Oskolonivka, Toshkivka”.

For his part, during his daily speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Moscow of “genocide” in the Donbass. He also pledged to “do everything” to defend the region.

“We are protecting our land and doing everything to strengthen” the defense of this region, he assured, acknowledging a “very very difficult” situation.

• Russia confirms the capture of Lyman

The Russian army confirmed the conquest of the key locality of Lyman, in eastern Ukraine, an important crossroads allowing the opening of the road to the major cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

“As a result of the joint actions of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia units and the Russian Armed Forces, the town of Lyman has been completely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. He thus confirmed an announcement made the day before by the pro-Russian separatists of this self-proclaimed “republic” of eastern Ukraine.

Strategically, Lyman is an important railway junction located northeast of the symbolic city of Sloviansk, taken over from pro-Russian separatists by kyiv in 2014, and Kramatorsk, the capital of the part of the Donetsk region under Ukrainian control. This capture could also allow an attempt to encircle Severodonetsk and Lyssytchansk, two other important Ukrainian cities located further east.

• Phone call between Putin, Macron and Scholz

New attempt at diplomatic negotiation. This afternoon, Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone on Saturday with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for 80 minutes. Between the President of the Republic and his Russian counterpart, it was the first time that they had exchanged since the end of March.

As a first step, Macron and Scholz asked their Russian counterpart for “serious direct negotiations” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and “insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops”, indicates a press release from the German chancellery.

The two Western leaders “took positive note of the Russian President’s commitment to treat captured fighters in accordance with international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions, and to ensure unhindered access to the International Committee of the Red Cross”. . They also asked the release of 2500 fighters from Azovstal.

Regarding the simmering food crisis, a Kremlin statement issued after the call stressed that “Russia stands ready to help find options for the unhindered export of grain, including Ukrainian grain from ports located on the Black Sea”. Ukraine, a major exporter of cereals, especially corn and wheat, is seeing its production blocked due to the fighting and the blockade carried out by Moscow on the port of Odessa.

Finally, the Russian leader denounced this Saturday the “dangerous nature” of the Western arms deliveries to Ukraineand warned of further “destabilisation”.

• Russia announces new hypersonic missile test launch

A show of force thousands of kilometers from the conflict. The Russian military has announced that it has successfully carried out a new test launch of the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile from its Admiral Gorchkov frigate in the Barents Sea to a target in the waters of the White Sea in the Arctic.

The first official firing of a Zircon dates back to October 2020. Other tests have taken place since then, in particular from the Admiral Gorchkov frigate and from a submerged submarine.

Russia, which launched an offensive in Ukraine on February 24, announced in March that it had used hypersonic missiles there – “Kinjal”, a combat remedy that seemed to be a first, Moscow having never mentioned of the use of this type of weapon, except for tests.