The war in Ukraine: the delivery of German tanks, the east is surrounded … a point on the 62nd day of Russia’s offensive

The war, which was supposed to be an operational operation, is dragging on. On the 62nd day of hostilities, Russia is persistently pursuing its goal of “denazifying” Ukraine and concentrating on the east of the country, waving the threat of World War III. Ukraine’s allies will meet on Tuesday to boost support for the attacked country while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is in Moscow on the same day.

The east of Ukraine is surrounded

British intelligence services to consider that Russia is trying to “surround Ukrainian positions” in the east. The city of Kreminna would fall. Slavyansk and Kramatorsk are under fire, as fierce fighting is taking place in Izyum. Ukrainian troops are also ready to defend the city of Zaporozhye from a Russian attack from the south.

According to British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, Moscow has so far lost “about 15,000 people” in Ukraine, a figure that cannot be verified by independent sources. Moscow has not reported any data since March 25, when it claimed to have lost 1,351 soldiers.

At a meeting of allies, Berlin announces the supply of tanks

About forty countries met in Germany on Tuesday at the invitation of the United States to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities. As Russia seeks full control of southern Ukraine and the Donbass region, the meeting at Ramstein Air Force Base aims to “create additional opportunities for Ukrainian forces,” Lloyd said on Monday, returning from a visit to Kyiv. The US Secretary of Defense announced that these countries, which are now forming a “contact group”, will meet every month to coordinate the actions of “nations of good will to intensify our efforts, coordinate our assistance and focus on winning today’s battle.” and future battles. “

During this meeting, Germany announced the supply of armored vehicles such as the Cheetah, which is a major turning point in the prudent policy pursued so far by Berlin. The number of tanks specializing in air defense is not specified. These vehicles will come from the reserves of the German defense industry, not from the limited reserves of the German army.

France has already announced that it is sending Caesar guns with a range of 40 km, and Britain has handed over anti-aircraft missiles and Starstreak armored vehicles. Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated the support of his Ukrainian counterpart, including financial assistance, sanctions, and defense equipment.

For its part, the United States, which announced new $ 700 million in military aid to Ukraine on Monday, is determined to “move heaven and earth” to defeat Ukraine against Russia, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin assured forty countries.

The United States, which provides major international military assistance to Ukraine, wants to “provide the type of support, artillery and ammunition that will be effective at this stage of the battle,” the Pentagon chief said. Kyiv mostly requires heavy artillery and armor in an attempt to repel Russian troops on the country’s vast southern and eastern plains, but Russian-made equipment used by Ukrainian troops is in short supply.

The meeting also aims to ensure Ukraine’s long-term security. “Ukraine needs our help to win today, and it will be needed again when the war is over,” Lloyd Austin insisted. Among the 40 participating countries are European allies of the United States, as well as more distant countries such as Australia and Japan, who fear that Russia’s victory in Ukraine will set a precedent and contribute to China’s territorial ambitions. Also represented are Finland and Sweden, traditionally neutral countries that are considering joining NATO after invading Ukraine.

Blinken: Putin is not serious about meaningful talks

“So far we have not seen any signs that President Putin is serious about meaningful talks,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The United States will support the Ukrainian government in its diplomatic efforts for a peace agreement, the US foreign minister added, explaining that “our goal is to be able to repel Russian aggression and, in fact, strengthen our forces.” position at a possible negotiating table. “

Anthony Blinken responded to Senator Rand Paul, a Republican who opposes US intervention, who accused President Joe Biden of aiding Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine by “beating the drum of Ukraine’s accession to NATO.”

But it was clear to the chief US diplomat during talks with Russia before the February 24 invasion that Vladimir Putin’s criticism of Kyiv’s integration into the Alliance was a pretext.

Moldova strengthens its security

The President of Moldova on Tuesday called for “calm” and announced measures to strengthen the security of the country bordering Ukraine, after a series of explosions in the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria, which raised fears of escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. this small Eastern European country. Moldova’s pro-European President Maya Sandu has announced increased border patrols and controls on transport, particularly along the Dniester River, which separates Moldova from the separatist Transnistrian territory.

The initiative illustrates the unrest in Moldova following a series of bombings Monday and Tuesday in the Moscow-backed separatist region of Transnistria. On Tuesday, two detonations damaged a radio tower, and on Monday, separatist authorities reported a grenade attack on an office building in the capital, Tiraspol. The two incidents have left no casualties, but increase fears of an overflowing conflict in Moldova that is destroying neighboring Ukraine.

Guterres calls for a ceasefire as soon as possible

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is in Moscow after a visit to Turkey on Monday, a country trying to mediate the conflict. He called for a ceasefire “as soon as possible.” He also called for an independent investigation into “possible war crimes” in Ukraine, and called on Moscow and Kyiv to work with the UN to allow humanitarian corridors to be opened.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation Tuesday with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “They discussed in detail the situation in Ukraine in the context of a special military operation to protect Donbass and Russia’s ongoing efforts to ensure the security of civilians, including the organization of humanitarian corridors,” the Russian presidency said. Ankara is now trying to host a summit in Istanbul between Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky, although Turkish officials acknowledge that the prospects for such talks remain bleak.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he wanted to continue talks with Ukraine, but accused President Zelensky of “pretending” to negotiate with Moscow. “He is a good actor (…), if you look closely and read carefully what he says, you will find a thousand contradictions there,” said Sergei Lavrov.

In the context of unprecedented tensions between Moscow and the West, the head of Russian diplomacy warned against the risk of World War III: “The danger is serious, it is real, we can not underestimate.”

Chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Chernobyl

The level of radioactivity at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine is “within normal limits,” Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Tuesday during a visit 36 ​​years before the accident. the worst nuclear disaster in 1986’s history. The Russian army’s occupation of the area 150 km north of Kyiv from February 24 to the end of March was “very, very dangerous,” he said. There was a power outage.

“Russia’s illegal and unjustified aggression in Ukraine again threatens nuclear security on our continent,” European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell and Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson warned in a joint statement.

More than 8 million refugees are expected

The United Nations (UN) estimates that the number of Ukrainian refugees leaving their country could reach 8.3 million, compared to just over 5.2 million at present. As the situation worsens, the High Commissioner for Refugees, who counted 4 million refugees at the start of the war, is asking for $ 1.85 billion (about 1.7 billion euros) to support his actions and his actions. partners for these people to flee the conflict.

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