Ukraine: Faced with kyiv's counter-offensive, Russia will evacuate the population from the south | War in Ukraine

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Ukraine : faced with the counter-offensive of kyiv, Russia will evacuate the population of the south | War in Ukraine< /p>

Local elders talk to a group of Russian soldiers in Kherson (photograph taken during a trip organized by the Russian Defense Ministry). (Archives)

Russia announced on Thursday that it would organize the evacuation to its territory of the population of the Kherson region, in the south of the x27;Ukraine, claiming to respond to a request from the local occupation authorities threatened by the progress of the Ukrainian forces' counter-offensive.

Despite its massive strikes this week across the country, Russia remains struggling on the ground against Ukrainian counter-offensives. In this context, the European Union issued a new warning to Vladimir Putin.

“Any nuclear attack against the #x27;Ukraine will result in a response. Not a nuclear response, but a military response so powerful that the Russian military will be annihilated. »

— Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy

In the immediate term, it is rather the evacuation of the population that is being talked about in Moscow .

Following the appeal of the head of the Kherson region […], the government decided to organize assistance for the departure of residents of the region to other regions of the Russian Federation, Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khousnullin told television.

We will provide everyone with free accommodation and everything necessary, the minister continued, without giving any indication of the number of people affected.

The occupation authorities Russians from the Kherson region had previously asked Moscow to organize the evacuation of civilians from this “annexed” territory at the end of September along with three other Ukrainian territories.

The inhabitants will be taken to the Crimean peninsula, annexed in 2014 by Moscow, and to the Rostov, Krasnodar and Stavropol regions in southern Russia.

This announcement comes as that the Ukrainian army said on Thursday that it had recaptured five localities in the region, after having already claimed on Wednesday the capture of five other municipalities.

Ukrainian soldiers stand on their truck near Kalenyky, Donetsk region, October 13, 2022.

For several weeks, the Ukrainian army has been carrying out a counter- offensive in this territory occupied since the Russian offensive. She recently claimed to have taken over 400 km2 of it in a week.

The Ukrainian authorities had not yet reacted to the evacuation announcements in the early evening. kyiv has in the past accused Russia of taking thousands of people from the occupied territories to its territory under cover of evacuation.

On the frontlines diplomatically, the Russian and Turkish presidents met in Kazakhstan on Thursday on the sidelines of a regional summit in Astana, but did not publicly discuss the Turkish mediation proposal previously mentioned by the Kremlin.

< p class="e-p">Mr. Putin has proposed the creation of a gas hub in Turkey to export Russian hydrocarbons.

There is no sense for us to create new infrastructure which would make it possible to import more Russian gas, reacted the French presidency.

Ukraine continues for its part to reap promises of delivery of systems anti-aircraft to neutralize the threat of Russian missiles.

After the announcement of the arrival of a German system and the upcoming delivery of American models, the United Kingdom announced that it would supply munitions capable of shooting down missiles cruise ships.

Spain to supply four medium-range “Hawk” surface-to-air systems, according to NATO.

We hope for more from France and Italy in the field of air defence, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday, addressing the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly by videoconference. ;Europe (PACE).

He stressed during his daily address in the evening that Russia was currently sending thousands of its mobilized soldiers to the front. The Russian generals' use of these people as cannon fodder allows them to increase the pressure on our defenders. This is tangible pressure.

The situation on the ground is complicated, but under control, said the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, Valery Zaluzhny.

“The superiority of enemy artillery illustrates the need to increase the firepower of the Ukrainian Armed Forces . The question of integrated anti-aircraft defenses is also essential.

—Valery Zalouzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Army

The Russian forces, in retreat on several fronts, are on the offensive on that of Bakhmout, a city in the east which had 70,000 inhabitants before the war and which is today largely deserted and ravaged by artillery fire.

Further north, in Iampil, near the strategic Lyman railway junction recently reconquered by Ukraine, journalists from the Ukraine AFP heard heavy artillery fire on Thursday. According to a soldier returning from the front, the village of Torske was under Russian bombardment there.

In Belgorod, Russia, a Ukrainian missile hit an apartment building without causing any casualties, local authorities reported.

In the evening, a Ukrainian strike blew up an ammunition depot in the area of ​​this major city located in a border region of Ukraine, according to the governor of the region.

The Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kouleba announced that he spoke with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi, who returned to Ukraine on Thursday, in an air raid shelter in kyiv.

I reiterated that Russia must leave the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in order to secure it and stop kidnapping and intimidating its Ukrainian personnel, Mr. Kouleba.

Mr. Grossi intends to negotiate a formula capable of securing this nuclear power plant, occupied and annexed by the Russians and regularly targeted by shooting.

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