Russian troops continue their advance in eastern Ukraine. A refinery is hit by a drone in Russia. The German Chancellor calls for the preparation of a “Marshall Plan” to rebuild the country devastated by the invasion. Franceinfo looks back on what to remember from the day.
Russian troops continue to advance in eastern Ukraine
Forces from Moscow advance towards the strategic cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. Artillery Russian “completely destroyed” Lysytchansk, according to information provided by Ukrainian officials. A representative of pro-Russian separatists said Ukrainian forces defending the two communes were about to be surrounded, after weeks of fighting.
A military representative also said on Russian television that Ukrainian forces had been surrounded in the villages of Hirske and Zolote, the day after the capture of the neighboring town of Tochkivka. The Ukrainian resistance pocket around Lyssytchansk and Severodonetsk is the only one that still escapes Russian forces in the Luhansk region.
At least 22,000 people have died in Mariupol since the invasion began, mayor says
Ukrainian Mayor Vadim Boychenko called this estimate a “cautious”during a press conference. “It’s much more than in two years of occupation by Nazi Germany”added the manager.
Still according to him, 100,000 people still live in this city now controlled by the Russian army, 50,000 are in Russia and 40,000 in other countries. The industrial city and its inhabitants were besieged and bombarded by Russian forces for several weeks.
Suspected drone attack on Russian refinery
A fire broke out on Wednesday at an oil refinery in a region of Russia bordering Ukraine. “According to one version, the fire was caused by a drone attack on the technical installations of the factory. Fragments belonging to two drones were found in the territory” of the refinery, said on Telegram the governor of the Rostov-on-the-Don region, Vasily Golubev, without further details.
According to him, the fire caused no casualties and was extinguished at the end of the morning. Refinery operations will be suspended pending the conclusion of an investigation to assess the extent of the damage, he added.
Olaf Scholz calls for a “Marshall Plan” to rebuild Ukraine
The German Chancellor showed as an example the plan for the reconstruction of Europe which had been established by the United States after the Second World War, during a speech in front of the deputies from across the Rhine. “Like Europe devastated by the Second World War, Ukraine today needs a Marshall Plan for its reconstruction”he said, adding what it will cost “several billion” and will spread over “several generations”.
The German official, who had visited Ukraine last week with his French and Italian counterparts, also recalled the extent of the support already given to Kyiv by the EU. He added that this new “Marshall plan” will only be “possible only by joining forces, in collaboration with international financial organizations, with other major donor countries and with other international organizations”.
“The truth is that we are still far from negotiations between Ukraine and Russia because Putin still believes in the possibility of being able to dictate peace”, judged Olaf Scholz. He therefore invited Westerners to “stay firmly on course” support for kyiv through sanctions, financial assistance and “arms deliveries”.
EU must ‘rise to the occasion’ and grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, says Commission President
It’s a “historical responsibility”. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has again called on the Member States of the European Union to “make the grade” and grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate for entry into the EUin a speech at the European summit.
According to Brussels, the‘Ukraine “has already implemented around 70% of EU rules, norms and standards”even if a “Important work remains to be done”particularly in the fight against corruption. Georgia, which also hoped to join the EU, will still have to carry out reforms, according to the Commission’s opinion.