Ukraine wants “victory this year” and prepares a counter-offensive | War in Ukraine
Families of soldiers killed in action gather in Lviv, exactly one year after the outbreak of the war.
Ukraine said on Friday it was doing everything to “achieve victory this year” against Russia, announcing an upcoming counter-offensive, on the day of the first anniversary of the invasion of the country by the Russian army.
In Moscow, the number two of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev also swore victory, going there with his threat, saying Russia was ready to go to the borders of Poland.
Warsaw has announced that it has delivered the first German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, which have been awaited for weeks.
President Volodymyr Zelensky , which has become the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance around the world, has therefore set the goal of defeating the Russian giant this year.
“ We are ready for anything. »
— Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine
Ukraine has inspired the world. Ukraine united the world, he added, sitting at a desk in chiaroscuro, wearing a black sweater stamped with the Ukrainian coat of arms, a yellow trident.
Mr. Zelensky also swore to punish the Russian murderers […] by an international court, by the judgment of God or by our soldiers.
Kiev is working hard on a counter-offensive, added its Defense Minister, Oleksiï Reznikov, promising to strike Russia in the air, on land, at sea.
According to him, the West sees Ukraine as its shield against Russia. Americans and Europeans are stepping up arms deliveries, now sending tanks and longer-range ammunition to help Kiev overcome its manpower and equipment deficit with more accurate weapons than those of the Russians .
President Zelensky also paid tribute to Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines and those who fell in battle.
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, attends a ceremony dedicated to the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Kiev.
We are all proud of you!, he launched under a gray sky during a decorations ceremony organized in the morning at the foot of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev.
The blue and yellow national flag was hoisted there, before the Ukrainian anthem sounded: neither the glory nor the freedom of Ukraine is dead [. ..]
Mr. Zelensky must still speak by receiving Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Friday, then giving a major press conference.
Ceremonies are also planned locally, notably in Boutcha, the scene of a massacre of civilians attributed to Russian troops.
Galyna Gamoulets, 64, is a resident of this suburb of Kiev and lived there the first weeks of the war: It was so scary that I don't want to memory. She says she is calmer today now that Ukraine has weapons, aid, and [her] army.
My husband's little brother is at war, in Bakhmout […] He says it's very hard, she says, in reference to this city in the East, scene of a fierce battle since the summer.
Around the world, the tone was generally one of solidarity with Ukraine. The UN General Assembly on Thursday demanded in a resolution passed by an overwhelming majority an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops. But there were notable abstentions, starting with China, Russia's strategic ally.
NATO has said it is determined to help Ukraine and the G7 will call on it to refrain from sending #x27;military aid to Moscow, while Westerners suspect Beijing of thinking about taking this step.
The Eiffel Tower lit up in the colors of Ukraine, a year after the start of the war.
President Emmanuel Macron assured Kiev of his solidarity, while the Chancellor German Olaf Scholz has promised that Vladimir Putin will not achieve his imperialist goals.
In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was illuminated on Thursday evening in the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag. In London, a minute of silence and a prayer in the presence of MPs and diplomats will take place before a march to the Russian Embassy.
In the heart of Berlin, the carcass of a partially destroyed Russian tank has been installed in front of the Russian Embassy.
The remains of a Russian T-72 tank destroyed in the Ukrainian village of Dmytrivka, near Kiev, are displayed in Berlin.
Westerns have also planned to tighten the sanctions imposed since a year in Moscow. The White House announced Friday in particular to reduce Russian access to sensitive technologies such as semiconductors.
So far, however, Russia has been able to adapt. Conversely, China has called for Russian-Ukrainian peace talks, citing both respect for Ukrainian territorial integrity and Russian security demands. An equation so far impossible.
Beijing doesn't have much credibility when it comes to Ukraine, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg commented.
In Tokyo, protesters are also expressing their anger over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine entered its second year of great war on Friday. Helped by Westerners, it inflicted unexpected setbacks on Vladimir Putin, who had triggered in the early morning of February 24, 2022 the worst conflict in Europe since the Second World War.
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A year later, Ukrainian cities have been destroyed, part of the country is occupied, and both sides have more than 150,000 killed or wounded each, according to Western estimates. Some eight million Ukrainians have been displaced.
After the initial shock, the Ukrainian army managed to repel the invader from Kiev, from the north, from the northeast and into the south. Since the winter, the front has stabilized, but both sides are preparing new offensives.
In addition to the Crimea annexed in 2014, Russia claims as its own four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin, who is not scheduled to speak on Friday, has all week accused the West of waging a proxy war to wipe out the Russia and claimed that Ukraine is ruled by a genocidal neo-Nazi regime. He vowed to continue his offensive methodically.
Russia, faced with the extent of the losses, has mobilized hundreds of thousands of reservists since September. She still hopes to at least conquer the four partially occupied regions she claims.
Fighting is currently concentrated in the east, around the fortress town of Bakhmout, where Russian forces have been advancing slowly for several weeks. The head of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner said on Friday that his troops had taken the small village of Berkhivka, near Bakhmout.