NewsEuropeWar in Ukraine: What to know on the 500th day of the...

    War in Ukraine: What to know on the 500th day of the conflict

    Ukraine entered counter-offensive mode, Russia hit by Wagner’s aborted rebellion, a human toll that continues to grow… The invasion of Ukraine began 500 days ago. Here’s what you need to know.

    “It’s been almost 500 days since Russia attacked Ukraine. And in almost 500 days it’s a failure for her. She hasn’t achieved any of her goals: Kiev hasn’t fallen, Ukraine won’t fall. collapsed,” Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said on May 23.

    While this Saturday, July 8 officially marks the 500th day of the conflict, the blitzkrieg wanted by Vladimir Putin has finally turned into a long-term conflict. Here’s what you need to know.

    • Ukraine enters the counter-offensive

    For about 14 months, Ukraine suffered repeated assaults from Russian troops, gradually giving way or gaining ground as the fronts shifted. At the beginning of June, Volodymyr Zelensky ended up starting a long-awaited counter-offensive with the aim of driving the enemy forces out of the territory. For the time being, kyiv is making difficult progress, although Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar announced on Telegram small advances in the South and East.

    The commander of the Ukrainian forces, Valery Zaluzhny, underlined last week with the washington post that these advances come at a heavy human cost. “It’s not a show that the whole world is watching, betting on or anything. Every day, every yard is given in blood,” he insisted.

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    War in Ukraine, map provided by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, July 5 to 7, 2023
    War in Ukraine, map provided by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, July 5 to 7, 2023 © Ministry of the Armed Forces

    • Zelensky, the hypermobilized warlord

    Volodymir Zelensky, the actor turned warlord, continues his role as a diplomat. As recently as Thursday, he visited his counterpart in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His tour of the summits, his handshakes and his communication efforts have enabled the Ukrainian president to obtain crucial support from the international community. Arms, logistical or medical support, billions are sent to support the Ukrainian war effort. The United States also announced new military aid on Friday, including cluster munitions, crossing a new threshold in the type of armaments provided to kyiv.

    The next key step in his international political calendar: the meeting of NATO members in Vilnius on July 11 and 12. Volodymir Zelensky asked the Allies for a “clear signal” of Ukraine joining the group. Its secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has already announced that they were going to “reaffirm” their desire to integrate Ukraine.

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    • Wagner made Putin waver

    Since June 23, the cracks within the Russian camp have been exposed. That day, the paramilitary group Wagner began an insurrection, led by its leader Prigojine, before giving up.

    How Prigozhin went from close to Putin to
    How Prigozhin went from close to Putin to ‘traitor to the nation’

    This break within the Russian camp has weakened Putin’s image and grip. The Head of State addressed the nation several times after these events, to warn against the “chaos” brought about by a hypothetical internal war. The events have also brought to the fore Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian leader, who claims to have played the role of mediator at the worst of the crisis. A staunch ally of Putin.

    • Zaporizhia centralizes concerns

    Even on the 500th day, the specter of a Chernobyl still hangs over the Zaporijia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe. Several incidents – including a fire – had raised fears for the safety of the building. On this strategic point, both kyiv and Moscow accuse each other of increasing the pressure. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency are worried about a possible “serious nuclear incident” in the area. The Ukrainian authorities are preparing for the “worst case scenario”.

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    Tensions are particularly heightened since the launch of the kyiv counter-offensive, the building being in the middle of a gray zone. The threat of an imminent incident in the area, occurring at the right moment for the forces of Moscow, would make it possible to push back the Ukrainian soldiers significantly. Natalia Goumeniuk, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian army for the southern front, nevertheless noted a reduction in “tensions”, “little by little”, thanks to “foreign partners” from Kiev.

    • A growing human toll

    The fatal attacks follow one another and the human toll continues to increase. However, it remains difficult to find reliable and fixed figures of victims and injuries. A real vagueness on both sides of the conflict, but which is a real omerta in Russia.

    For the first anniversary of the conflict, the Norwegian Chief of Staff gave estimates. Over the first 365 days, the war in Ukraine left nearly 180,000 dead or injured in the ranks of the Russian army, and 100,000 on the Ukrainian side, not counting 30,000 civilians killed. The latest report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights takes stock of 9,000 Ukrainian civilians killed since February 24, 2022. Among these victims, 525 children.

    Source: BFM TV

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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