what to remember from the day of Wednesday, June 29

what to remember from the day of Wednesday, June 29

Russian shelling in eastern Ukraine continues to intensify. NATO is increasing its level of preparedness against Moscow, and Vladimir Putin is denying Russia’s responsibility for the strike on a Ukrainian shopping mall that killed 18 civilians. Franceinfo looks back on the highlights of the day on the war front in Ukraine.

‘Frequency’ of shelling on Lysychansk ‘enormous’, regional governor says

“We are witnessing a peak of intensity in the fighting”told Ukrainian television le governor of the Luhansk region, Sergey Gaidai. “The city is constantly bombarded with large caliber weapons”said the Ukrainian official in his daily situation update, adding that the fighting continued in particular “on the outskirts of town”.

The city of Lysytchansk is the last major city in eastern Ukraine that Russian troops have not conquered since the capture of Sievierodonetsk. Sergey Gaidai clarified that“about 15,000 civilians” were still in this city of nearly 100,000 inhabitants before the war, “but that their evacuation was too dangerous at this stage”.

Ukraine announces that it has exchanged 144 soldiers with Russia

kyiv announced that it had exchanged 144 soldiers with Russia, including 95 “Azovstal Defenders” in Mariupol, who had fought in this port city besieged by the Russian army for several weeks before surrendering. Among them are 43 servicemen of the Azov regiment, who were exchanged with 52 other servicemen which were also in the Azovstal steelworks at the time of the Russian assault.

“This is the biggest exchange since the beginning of the Russian invasion”, said the Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate, which did not give further details on the place and date of the operation. The last official exchange of prisoners dates back to the beginning of May.

Russia is a “direct threat” to the “security” of NATO countries, according to its secretary general

“We will say it clearly”during the NATO summit which is due to revise the Alliance’s roadmap for the first time since 2010, “that Russia poses a direct threat to our security”said Atlantic Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “This is the most significant overhaul of our collective defense since the Cold War”he underlined, in reference to the reinforcement of the military presence of NATO on its flank is announced Monday.

“Ukraine can count on us for as long as it takes”said Jens Stoltenberg. Leaders of the Atlantic Alliance say they have agreed with kyiv on a new aid plan, which must in particular “accelerate the delivery of non-lethal military equipment” and “improve defenses” Ukrainians against cyber-attacks.

Vladimir Putin denies Russia’s responsibility for mall strike

“The leading countries of NATO wish (…) to affirm their hegemony, their imperial ambitions”said the Russian President during a press conference in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. “Ukraine and the good of the Ukrainian people is not the objective of the West and NATO, but a means of defending their own interests”added the master of the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin again assured that the Russian army “does not hit any civilian infrastructure sites”two days after the bombing of a shopping center in central Ukraine which killed at least 18 civilians and injured dozens. Of multiple elements point to Russian strikes on buildings housing civilians.

He also said Russia had no problem with Finland and Sweden joining NATO. “We have no territorial disputes (…), there is nothing that could bother us from the point of view of Sweden and Finland joining NATO”assured the Russian leader, who however warned that“in the event of the deployment of military contingents and military infrastructure there, we will be forced to respond symmetrically and create the same threats to the territories from which the threats to us emanate”.

Russia takes steps to integrate southern Ukraine into its administration

The self-proclaimed “Ministry” of the Interior of the Kherson region, occupied since March by Russian troops, said buses would start on Friday between the cities of Kherson and Simferopol, the capital of Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by the Russia in 2014. “Transport safety will be provided by Rosgvardia”the Russian National Guard, the self-proclaimed ministry said in a statement.

The occupation administration of the Kherson region announced on Wednesday the opening of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, responsible for paying pensions. According to the occupation administration, a first Russian bank opened in Kherson on Wednesday. A civil status service obeying “Russian standards” has also opened its doors in Kherson to register births, deaths and celebrate marriages.

Since the capture of these territories in southern Ukraine, Moscow has been pursuing a policy of Russification: the ruble has been introduced, Russian passports issued, critical voices are repressed and economic activity is largely under the control of the occupation administrations. . Vladimir Poutin had affirmed while launching his offensive against Ukraine that his country would not occupy Ukraine.

Norway blocks Russian cargo, Moscow threatens

Oslo blocked the entry on its soil of a shipment intended for Russians on the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. The cargo “was blocked on the basis of the sanctions” taken by Oslo following the invasion of Ukraine, “which prohibit the entry of Russian freight transport companies into Norwegian territory”, said the minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

“We have asked the Norwegian side to settle this question as soon as possible”, said Russian diplomacy in a statement. “We have stressed that unfriendly actions towards Russia lead to retaliatory measures”added the diplomat.

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