Ukraine: Heavy losses in the Dnieper, NATO announces heavier weapons
LThe toll from this weekend’s strike in eastern Ukraine’s Dnieper rose to at least 35 dead on Monday, a day after NATO announced future arms shipments to western heavyweights.
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of “positive dynamics” for his frontline troops, and the Russian-Belarusian air drills that began earlier this week in Belarus, Russia’s ally Minsk, ensured they were only “defensive.” nature.
At least 35 people, including two children, were killed and dozens injured as a result of a Russian strike that destroyed a building in Dnieper on Saturday, according to the governor of the Ukrainian region Valentin Reznichenko. He added on the social network: “39 people were rescued, 75 people were injured.
“The fate of the other 35 residents of the building is unknown” as rescue operations continue, he said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that Vladimir Putin “overestimated” the power of his troops by invading Ukraine. “We see their missteps, their lack of morale, their team problems, their poor equipment” and “heavy losses,” he said.
“The recent (Western) promises to deliver heavy weapons are significant – and I expect more in the near future,” he said, days before a new coordination meeting of Western aid to Ukraine in Germany on January 20. .
Westerners have long been reluctant to deliver heavier weapons to Kiev, fearing they would be drawn into the war. But in early January, France, Germany and the United States finally promised to send armored infantry or reconnaissance tanks – 40 German Marders, 50 American Bradleys and French AMX-10 RCs.
Britain announced on Saturday that it will deliver 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine “in the coming weeks” – the first to supply Western-made heavy tanks to Kiev.
Russian diplomacy believed that this shipment of weapons “will in no way speed up the end of hostilities, on the contrary, it will intensify them.”
Kyiv had already received heavy tanks of Soviet design from its allies – about 300, but still none of Western production.
Poland said on Wednesday it was ready to hand over 14 German Leopard 2 heavy tanks, subject to Berlin’s approval.
“According to plans”
While his army appears to be struggling against Western-backed Ukrainian forces, Vladimir Putin assured Russian public television in an interview on Sunday that “everything is going according to plan.”
“The dynamics are positive and everything is going according to the plans of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff. I hope that our fighters will still please us many times with their military results.” About the “news from Soledar”, which the journalist of the Rossia-1 chain confirmed that the Russian army had conquered on Friday.
The capture of this small Ukrainian town was presented to Moscow as a success, but Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar insisted on Sunday evening that Ukrainian forces had captured their positions in Soledar.
“The battle for Soledar, Bakhmut, the entire Donetsk region, Luhansk region continues without the slightest respite,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is expected to be in Ukraine on Monday. In a tweet before his departure, he stressed that his organization would expand its presence in the country “to prevent a nuclear accident during the ongoing conflict.”
After the Dnieper strike, the US condemned “a new example of Russia’s merciless and brutal war against the Ukrainian people.” The spokesman of the National Security Council assured that they “will continue to provide Ukraine with everything it needs to defend itself.”
In southern Kryvyi Rih, one person was killed and another injured when apartment buildings were destroyed on Saturday, according to an official report.
On Sunday, Russian forces again heavily bombarded Kherson, hitting infrastructure and Red Cross buildings and wounding seven people, including one seriously, according to provincial governor Yaroslav Yanushevich.
According to the Ukrainian authorities, after these new attacks, there have been blackouts in most parts of the country.
“After the attack, there is a huge production deficit in the electricity system. Several thermal power plants are no longer working,” Serguii Kovalenko, CEO of energy company YASNO, said on Facebook, announcing that the entire supply of electricity had been restricted. in the country, especially in Kyiv.
“The damage is huge. All energy companies are working on repairs, but we have to be prepared for interruptions to last for a long time,” Kovalenko said.
16/01/2023 11:48:52 – Kyiv (Ukraine) (AFP) – © 2023 AFP