The head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriï Yermak, announced on Saturday a new exchange of prisoners with Russia.
The West would notably provide long-range bombs and a ground-to-air defense system in support of the Ukrainian army.
Ukraine has been promised longer-range Western weapons, military aid its President Volodymyr Zelensky is counting on to end “Russia's brutal aggression”. p>
These are in particular GLSDB (Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb) bombs, small-diameter devices fired from the ground that can reach a target located 150 km away and therefore threaten Russian positions behind the front lines.
The handover of the GLSDBs will not take place for several months, however, said a Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Garron Garn, citing production and delivery schedules. He was also unable to specify the number for security reasons.
If arms deliveries pick up speed, especially long-range weapons, not only are we not going to withdraw from Bakhmout, [but] we are going to start ending the war. x27;occupation of Donbass, an eastern region partly in the hands of the Russians, affirmed the Ukrainian president.
The army will defend as long as it can this key city in the east which Russian soldiers have been trying to seize for months, no one will abandon this fortress, Mr. Zelensky hammered.
Nearly a year into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Bakhmut has become the epicenter of the fighting and Moscow's forces have made small territorial gains in recent weeks. in the region at the cost of heavy losses.
Paris has announced that France and Italy will supply a MAMBA medium-range surface-to-air defense system in the spring for help Ukraine defend against attacks by Russian drones, missiles and aircraft.
Portugal, meanwhile, said on Saturday it was willing to send German-made Leopard 2 heavy tanks to Ukraine, but said it needed to work with Berlin first to hand over a part of his armored vehicles in working order.
In addition, the United States Secretary of Justice announced on Friday the first transfer of Russian funds confiscated from an oligarch in the amount of $5.4 million to help Ukraine, according to CNN.
AFP journalists noted on Friday the violence of the clashes which reduced certain neighborhoods on the outskirts of Bakhmout to rubble.
According to the authorities, this city counts today x27;Today about 6,500 inhabitants compared to about 70,000 before the war.
The bombing also continued in Kherson, a large southern city taken and then abandoned by the Russians, where a person was killed and another injured on Friday, authorities said.
On Saturday, the major port city of Odessa suffered major power cuts following a technical incident at an electricity station, which has been the target of constant Russian bombardment in recent times, announced Prime Minister Denys Chmygal.
“The situation is complex, the scale of the accident is significant, it power is impossible to quickly restore power, including to critical infrastructure. »
— Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal
Meanwhile, the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, announced on Saturday a new major prisoner exchange that has allowed kyiv to recover 116 people. Russian news agencies, for their part, refer to the announcement by the Ministry of Defense of the return of 63 soldiers thanks to the mediation of the United Arab Emirates.
We brought back 116 of our own, defenders of Mariupol, supporters of Kherson, snipers from the Bakhmut front and other heroes, Andriy Yermak wrote on Telegram.
Volodimir Zelensky's chief of staff added that the bodies of Andrew Bagshaw and Chris Parry, who were killed during a humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians from Donbass last month, had been returned in Ukraine as part of this exchange.
Ukrainian prisoners of war pose for a photo after an exchange at an unknown location in Ukraine.
On Friday in Kyiv, European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and other senior European officials met with Mr. Zelensky.
The latter affirmed that his country would not waste a single day in moving towards entry into the European Union and considered it possible to initiate discussions on this subject as early as this year.
European leaders welcomed progress in creating independent and effective institutions to fight the corruption that plagues this country.
Ukraine has been an official candidate for membership of the European Union since June 2022, an arduous process requiring many reforms that could last for years.
Von der Leyen said she was working on new sanctions against Russia by February 24, the first anniversary of the invasion, saying she should pay for the destruction she caused. /p> Start of widget. Skip widget? End of widget . Back to top of widget?
She said the punitive measures taken over the past year have already set back the Russian economy by a generation, noting that capping the price of Russian oil exports at $60 a barrel is costing Moscow $160 million. x27;euros a day.
Superimposed on this will be a cap on the price of refined petroleum products, which the ambassadors of EU member states approved on Friday, before final adoption by the European Council.
A European embargo on these same petroleum products sent abroad by sea must already come into force on Sunday , as the Kremlin blasted a negative move that will further unbalance markets.
European leaders have also said they want to step up efforts to use frozen Russian assets to support reconstruction of Ukraine and for repair purposes.
With information from Ag ence France-Presse, and Reuters