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Kiev (Ukraine) (AFP) – Russian forces on Tuesday intensified their attack on the last bags of resistance in the Luhansk region, located in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, at a time when the war was entering its fourth month.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, Kiev, with the help of Western countries, has managed to counter the advance of its neighbor’s forces in many areas, including the capital, Kiev. However, Russia is now focused on securing and expanding its profits in the Donbass and Ukraine’s east coast.
“The coming weeks of the war will be difficult, and we need to be aware of this,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily speech on Monday night, and his comments came after local officials and residents reported heavy bombing.
He stressed that “the most difficult fighting situation is now in the Donbass,” referring specifically to the villages most affected by the villages of Bakhmut, Bobsana and Severodonetsk.
The governor of Lugansk, in Donbass, said that Russia had brought in thousands of troops to occupy the whole region and that Severodonetsk was under intense attack, warning the people that it was too late to leave.
“At this point I will not say: get out, leave. Now I will say: stay in a shelter,” he said on Telegram, “because the intensity of the bombing will not allow us to quietly mobilize people and to fetch them. “
Residents of Bakhmut, the village at a crucial crossing that is the command center for many of the Ukrainian efforts in the war, told AFP that they had been subjected to airstrikes.
“I raised my head while praying and I heard a terrible noise,” said Maria Mayashlapka, 82, who was sitting near the ruins of her ruined house.
She added: “I pray to God every day to spare our injuries. And God answered me. God saves me.”
– Calls on Davos leaders –
In his speech, Zelensky said that in the first three months of the war, Russia carried out almost 1,500 missile attacks and more than 3,000 airstrikes against Ukraine.
Prior to that, officials meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which Russia was banned from participating in this year, warned that slow military aid was causing unexplained deaths while Ukrainians were “paying a heavy price for freedom and independence”.
It was announced that 87 people had been killed in a Russian attack earlier this month on a military base in the north, which is perhaps one of the largest attacks recorded during the war.
Western countries sent large quantities of weapons and money to Ukraine to help ward off the Russian attack, and Moscow responded with unprecedented economic sanctions.
However, Zelensky said in his video speech that tens of thousands of people could be saved if Kiev received “100 percent of our needs once in February” when Russia launched the invasion.
He also increased his demands to isolate Russia from the world economy, and called for the imposition of an international oil embargo on it, sanctions on all its banks, and a boycott of its information technology sector.
– A war crime conviction –
A court in Kiev on Monday convicted a 21-year-old Russian soldier of the war crime of the death of an unarmed civilian and sentenced him to life in prison, the first sentence imposed on a Russian army since Russia’s neighbor three started invading months ago.
The soldier listened to the verdict presented alone in a glass cage.
Vadim Shishimarin admitted in court that he killed a 62-year-old Ukrainian named Alexander Shelepov in the northeastern village of Chubakhivka.
He reported last week that he shot Chelipov under pressure from another soldier as they tried to withdraw and flee to Russia in a stolen car on February 28.
Prosecutors, however, said he fired three or four bullets with the intent to kill the civilian, and Judge Sergei Agafonov sentenced him to life in prison.
According to the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office, more than 12,000 war crimes investigations have been opened since the invasion began.
International bodies are also investigating alleged violations committed by Russian forces in places such as Bucha and Mariupol, which became symbols of destruction and suffering during the war.
In this context, the adviser at the Russian mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Boris Bondarev, announced his resignation after 20 years of his diplomatic duties, in protest against the Russian invasion.
In a letter received by a number of diplomatic missions in Geneva and seen by Agence France-Presse, he condemned the war “not only as a crime against the Ukrainian people, but perhaps also as the most serious crime against the Russian people. “
“I have never been so ashamed of my country,” he said.
More than six million people have fled Ukraine, while eight million have been internally displaced since the outbreak of war, according to United Nations figures.
© 2022 AFP