Ukraine enters its 127th day of war, this Thursday, June 30, 2022. The country was at the heart of discussions during from the NATO summit in Madrid, Wednesday. The opportunity for member countries to reaffirm their support for Ukraine against the ” cruelty “ of Russia. Vladimir Putin, for his part, denounced them “imperialist ambitions” of the Atlantic Alliance.
NATO countries stand united
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke of a moral and political duty regarding Ukraine and the support that member countries must provide.
The British government took advantage of the day on Wednesday to announce additional military aid of more than one billion euros to Ukraine.
The member countries of NATO have also made it clear that they have agreed on a new aid plan through the “delivery of non-lethal military equipment”as well as a strengthening of Ukrainian defenses against cyber-attacks.
These announcements were welcomed by the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba.
He also welcomed the enlargement of NATO to Sweden and Finland.
A new strategic concept
NATO also adopted on Wednesday a new strategic concept identifying Russia as “the most significant and direct threat” to transatlantic peace, and China as a ” challenge “ to “interests”to “values” and to their ” security “.
The United States also intends to significantly increase its military presence in Europe. The objective: that NATO can better face Russia, according to US President Joe Biden.
Additional troops and equipment will therefore be deployed in Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, Romania, Spain, Italy and the Baltic countries.
Putin hits back
Vladimir Putin for his part denounced a “hegemony” from NATO, during a press conference in Ashkhabad, the Turkmen capital.
Regarding the accession of the two Nordic countries, he said that he did not see any ” problem “, provided, however, that there is no deployment of military contingents and military infrastructure. In which case, he warned, “we will be forced to respond in a symmetrical way and create the same threats for the territories from which the threats for us emanate. »
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In the field
Ukraine has suffered new deadly attacks against civilians, such as in the south, in Mikolaiv, where regional authorities report that five people died in a strike on a residential building.
These bombings come two days after the strike that devastated shopping center in Kremenchuk330 kilometers southeast of kyiv, leaving at least 18 dead and around 40 missing, according to the Ukrainian government.
Russia denies responsibility
On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin rejected the responsibility of his army, assuring that this one “does not hit any civilian infrastructure sites”.
In eastern Ukraine, in Lyssytchansk, the bombardments are also increasing according to the governor of the Lugansk region Serguiï Gaïdaï. He estimates that 15,000 civilians still remain in the city.
Lyssychansk is the last major city to be conquered for Russia in the Lugansk region. It is one of the two provinces of the industrial basin of the Donbass, which Russia seeks to fully control.
The Ukrainian authorities have also announced that they have recovered 144 soldiers, 95 of whom are defenders of the Azovstal Metallurgical Plant in Mariupol and 43 of the Azov regiment, a unit integrated for several years in the Ukrainian army, within the framework of an exchange with prisoners from Moscow. It would be the biggest exchange since the beginning of the conflict.
Zelensky cuts ties with Syria
On Wednesday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that he was ending diplomatic relations with Syria. The move comes after the Damascus regime recognized the independence of the pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, backed by Moscow since 2014.
“There will be no more relations between Ukraine and Syria”Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video posted on Telegram, saying that “the pressure of sanctions” against Damascus, an ally of Russia, “will be even greater”.
For his part, the British Defense Minister, Ben Wallace, assured that this war already had a significant financial cost for Moscow. He spoke on London radio LBC and estimated at 25,000 the number of Russian soldiers who had been killed since the beginning of this war.