On this new day of war in Ukraine, Thursday February 8, 2024, a situation “unreal” in places, massive assaults and bombings: the Ukrainian authorities have drawn up a grim assessment of the ongoing fighting in Avdiïvka, the epicenter of the battle in eastern Ukraine. Moscow has, in fact, been trying to conquer it for months, reports theAFP.
According to our colleagues, in Avdiïvka, “unfortunately, the enemy presses us from all sides, there is not a single part of our city that is more or less calm. They attack with very large forces », indicated its mayor Vitaly Barabach on television. Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the fact that his army had “reached the outskirts of Avdiïvka” and held on to it “19 houses”. The mayor of Avdiïvka listed on Thursday “50 massive shell shots” and more than 30 aerial bombardments over the last 24 hours on the city, where 941 civilians still remain.
According to the Rybar channel, close to the Russian army, followed by more than 1.1 million people, Moscow’s forces are advancing to the north and east of the city, getting closer to the supply lines of the Ukrainian troops.
100 prisoners exchanged between Ukraine and Russia
The Russian Defense Ministry said it had exchanged 100 prisoners of war with Ukraine during the day. “On February 8, following negotiations, 100 Russian servicemen who were in danger of death in captivity returned from territory controlled by the Kiev regime. In return, 100 prisoners of war from the Ukrainian forces were handed over”indicated the ministry.
Stop the “forced transfer” of Ukrainian children
Moscow must end the “forced transfer” of Ukrainian children to Russia, provide information about those who have already been subjected to it and ensure they return home, the Human Rights Committee has demanded. the child of the UN.
Ukraine estimates that at least 20,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly sent to Russia since the start of the war in February 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has estimated that this is “clearly genocide”.
At this point, according to kyiv, only around 400 of them have been repatriated. The International Criminal Court, which Russia does not join, last year issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Children’s Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the “illegal deportation » of thousands of Ukrainian children. Moscow firmly rejects these accusations, points outAFP.
Zelensky replaces the leader of his army Zaluzhny
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky replaced the ” popular “ commander-in-chief of his armies, Valery Zalouzhny, by Oleksandr Syrsky, a lesser-known general. A major change which was the subject of persistent rumors. The president assured that he hoped that Valery Zalouzhny would remain in his ” team “, without explaining what this would consist of. According to’AFP, “the time for renewal is now”affirmed the head of state.
He described his new commander as “Ukraine’s most experienced general”stressing that he had commanded the defense of kyiv at the start of the Russian invasion, almost two years ago, and the counter-offensive in the fall of 2022 which had liberated the Kharkiv region.
Divide the EU and conquer?
MEPs expressed, in a resolution adopted on Thursday, their deep concern over the “Russia’s continuing efforts to undermine European democracy”, calling for expanded sanctions against Moscow. This text was adopted by a large majority (433 votes for, 56 against, 18 abstentions). All French MEPs present from the National Rally voted against.
In this resolution, Parliament says “concerned” by the revelations of the Russian investigation site The Insider according to which Tatjana Zdanoka, a Latvian MEP who has not been a member of the Strasbourg Parliament since 2004, has collaborated since 2005 with the Russian security services (FSB). The Kremlin also allowed Marine Le Pen to obtain a loan of 9.4 million euros from a Russian bank in 2013.
While an investigation has been opened in Parliament, MEPs are calling for “determine without delay the appropriate sanctions and criminal procedures”underlines theAFP.
Scholz calls on EU and US to ‘do more’
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called on the United States and the EU to ” Do more “ to help Ukraine defend itself against the war of Russian aggression, before going to Washington to meet with Joe Biden on Friday. A support package of some $60 billion for kyiv has been blocked for months in the US Congress. The European Union, for its part, recently agreed, not without difficulty, on an envelope of 50 billion euros until 2027, after Hungary lifted its veto.
“The time has come when we must do what is necessary, namely jointly give Ukraine the opportunity to defend itself, and at the same time send a clear signal to the Russian President (Vladimir Putin) that he must not count on the fact that our support is diminishing”, underlined the German leader. A Russian victory in Ukraine “would radically change the face of Europe”he writes again.
Putin’s only opponent dismissed