Russian Blockade of Bakhmout, Ukrainian soldier beheading video, murdered russian blogger, Warsaw which compares the atrocities of Boutcha to the massacre of Katyn by Stalin… Le Figaro takes stock of the situation of the war in Ukraine this Thursday 13 avril.
Russia claimed to block Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut and prevent any reinforcements from entering the city, hinting that Russian forces are about to take this city, epicenter of fighting since last summer. In a comment to AFP, the Ukrainian army immediately denied, by ensuring that he continues to supply his troops in Bakhmout and inflict daily “crazy losses” on the enemy. AFP could not verify these statements from an independent source.. “The Assault Groups (of the paramilitary group) Wagner continue high-intensity military operations to drive back the enemy from the central neighborhoods of Artyomovsk (name given by the Russians to Bakhmout)», said the Russian Ministry of Defense on Thursday, in his daily report.
“Airborne Troops (russian) support the assault groups on the flanks, blocking the sending of Ukrainian army reserves to the city and the possibility of a withdrawal (de Bakhmouth) enemy units", he continued. “We can fully communicate with our troops, both through technical means, but also to deliver food products, ammunition, medication, everything necessary, and to recover our wounded”, for his part indicated Serguiï Tcherevaty, a Ukrainian military spokesman. The leader of the paramilitary group Wagner, Evgeny Prigozhine, whose fighters are on the front line in Bakhmout, told him that it was still “premature” to speak of a complete encirclement of the locality.
Polish President Andrzej Duda on Thursday compared the abuses committed by Russian forces in Boutcha during the invasion of Ukraine to the Katyn massacre, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the discovery of this massacre of thousands of Polish officers committed by the Soviets during the Stalin era. There are 80 ans, the Nazis discovered in the Katyn forest located in the Smolensk region of Russia the bodies of thousands of Polish officers executed by the Soviet political police in 1940, a massacre that the Kremlin refused to recognize until the years 1990. “This is one of the most tragic episodes in our history, casting a terrible shadow over Russian-Polish relations., said President Duda after laying a wreath in memory of the victims of the Katyn massacre in Warsaw.
The Russian prosecutor's office said on Thursday that it had begun examining a viral video showing a Russian-speaking individual in uniform beheading with a knife a person who appears to be a Ukrainian prisoner of war.. “In order to determine the authenticity of this content and draw conclusions (judicial) which are necessary, (the video) has been forwarded to the investigative bodies for examination”, said the prosecutor's office on his Telegram channel. This decision is a preliminary step that may lead, or not, on the opening of a criminal investigation. The prosecutor's announcement is nevertheless unusual, Russia usually denying immediately, systematically and wholesale the charges of war crimes brought against its troops in Ukraine, like the summary executions of Boutcha.
Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (DEBT), Rafael Grossi, estimated on Thursday that we were "on borrowed time" regarding the "safety" of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, near which two mines recently exploded. “If we do not act to protect the plant, our luck will change sooner or later, with potentially serious consequences for human health and the environment., warned Rafael Grossi in a statement released in Vienna, where is the headquarters of the IAEA. "We are on borrowed time with regard to nuclear safety and security at the Zaporizhia power plant", the largest in Europe, which has been occupied by the Russians since March 2022, he added, reiterating the fears already expressed on several occasions by his organization.
Officials in exile from the organization of opponent Alexei Navalny have been singled out by the Russian security service (FSB), as part of the investigation into the attack that killed a staunch military blogger who supported the assault on Ukraine. A young woman from 26 ans, Daria Trepova, presented as a sympathizer of the anti-Kremlin movement of Alexeï Navalny, is accused of bringing a bomb, camouflaged in a bust and which would have been transmitted to him, according to the FSB press release, by a Ukrainian service agent, Iouri Denisov, who left Russia after the attack.
Gross domestic product (GDP) of Ukraine collapsed from 29,1% in 2022 compared to the previous year due to the Russian invasion which ravaged the country, the Ukrainian State Committee for Statistics said on Thursday. L’Ukraine, which resists thanks to the military and financial aid of the West, has seen whole swathes of its economy swallowed up by the war. The construction sector thus recorded a fall of 67,6%.
Norway announced on Thursday the expulsion of 15 employees of the Russian Embassy in Oslo whom she considers “intelligence agents”, a decision described as “extremely unfriendly” by the legation which promised “a response”. «Ces 15 intelligence agents are declared undesirable because they conduct activities that are not compatible with their diplomatic status”, said Norwegian Foreign Minister, Anniken Huitfeldt, in a press release. “This is an important measure to counter and reduce the scale of Russian espionage activities in Norway”, she added. Present in Norway under diplomatic cover, them 15 Russians must leave Norwegian territory “soon”, said the ministry.
The European Union on Thursday added the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner to its list of individuals and entities sanctioned for “active participation in the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine”. This group of mercenaries, who fights in the east of Ukrainian territory to try to seize the cities of Bakhmout and Soledar, had already been placed in February on another EU sanctions list for violating human rights and “destabilizing” countries in Africa. The European Council, which represents the 27 European Union Member States, explained that the new list of sanctions “complements” the previous one. Wagner, he continued, was listed there for “actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”.