Situation on the ground, international reactions, sanctions: update on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
kyiv threatened again
Russia announced on Friday that it had destroyed an arms factory on the outskirts of kyiv and assured that the attacks in the Ukrainian capital would intensify to respond to the attacks on Russian territory, of which Ukraine is accused.
This factory that makes Neptune missiles that the Ukrainian military said it used to attack the Russian cruiser Moskva was attacked overnight, AFP journalists said on Friday. According to the Pentagon, the Moskva, the flagship of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, was sunk by two Ukrainian missiles. It is “a big blow” for Russia, its spokesman said.
The Moscow version is that this building was “severely damaged” by fire and sank while being towed.
– Zelensky highlights Russian nuclear risk –
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that “the whole world” should be “concerned” about the risk that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, cornered by his military setbacks in Ukraine, could resort to a tactical nuclear weapon, becoming echo of the previous day’s warning. the director of the CIA.
US foreign intelligence chief William Burns said the threat posed by President Putin’s potential use of low-yield or tactical nuclear weapons should not be “taken lightly” if it “sinks into despair” at the failures of his army.
– New victims –
At least seven people were killed and 34 others wounded in Russian shelling of a residential area in Kharkiv, the main city in northeastern Ukraine, the regional governor announced on Friday.
Nearly all of those found dead in Boutcha, near kyiv, were shot to death, the local police chief said.
Its own inhabitants buried the victims during the occupation of this city by the Russian army, which lasted almost a month.
The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday that Russian artillery had killed some 30 “Polish mercenaries” in northeastern Ukraine, raising tensions between Moscow and Warsaw.
– Moscow expels 18 EU officials –
Moscow announced on Friday the expulsion of 18 diplomats from the European Union representation in Russia, in retaliation for a similar measure taken by Brussels after the Kremlin launched the offensive in Ukraine.
The European Union considered this expulsion “unjustified”, believing that it would only “aggravate” Moscow’s international isolation.
North Macedonia expelled six Russian diplomats accused of breaking diplomatic norms.
– NATO: Finnish bid “very likely” –
Finland is “very likely” to apply for NATO membership as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finnish European Affairs Minister Tytti Tuppurainen said on Friday.
Russian diplomacy warned Finland, as well as Sweden, that such a move would have consequences for these countries and European security.
– Complexity of a Russian oil embargo –
The European Union is preparing to stop buying oil from Russia to sanction it for the war in Ukraine, but the move is “complex” and will take “several months,” European sources told AFP on Friday.
“The Commission is considering the options,” said an EU official involved in the talks.
– RFI website blocked in Russia –
Russia has blocked the website of French radio RFI, which broadcasts information in 15 languages including Russian, amid a crackdown on critics of the offensive in Ukraine.
– Five million refugees –
More than five million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
This is the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.