The only opponent in the race for the Russian presidential election hopes for the “beginning of the end for Putin”
Boris Nadezhdine, the only opponent of the offensive in Ukraine who tried To his candidacy in Russia's presidential election in March, told AFP he hoped the election would mark the “beginning of the end” for Vladimir Putin. The veteran of political life, little known to the general public, has generated unexpected enthusiasm in recent days. Tens of thousands of Russians mobilized to sign the petition necessary To his candidacy for the vote, which will take place over three days, March 15-17.
He has few illusions because the re-election of Putin, who has been in power since 2000, seems obvious. “I know it will be difficult to beat Putin on March 17 this year. “The power is on his side, the security system is on his side and a significant number of people who have never seen anything other than Putin on TV are on his side,” says this 60-year-old man with a goatee and tight hair -cut gray hair.
Two dead and eight injured in Russian attack in eastern Ukraine
A Russian attack left two people dead and eight injured, including a 16-year-old teenager, in a village in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, regional authorities said. “At least two people were killed and eight injured in a rocket attack on Girnyk,” Donetsk region chief Vadim Filachkine said, accusing Russia of this “targeted” attack against civilians.
“Ten million complaints” expected against Moscow
Ten million complaints could end up in the international register of damage caused by Russia in Ukraine, the head of this register said on Wednesday. “It wouldn’t surprise me if we reached 10 million,” Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi, executive director of Ukraine’s War Damages Register, a new international body backed by the Council of Europe, told the press. The creation of this registry was decided at a Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik last May to track the damage Russia has inflicted on Ukraine since the February 24, 2022 invasion and calculate the amount to ultimately receive reparations .
“The idea is to catalog complaints related to deaths, injuries, torture and other physical suffering, including sexual violence, forced displacement or deportation, loss of income, destruction of homes and businesses and the environment,” said Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi. The Ukrainian lawyer noted that 4 to 6 million Ukrainians are refugees abroad and 2 million have been displaced within the country itself. However, he did not dare to estimate the amount of the final bill.
Until the end of April, Ukrainians will be able to submit their complaints exclusively digitally through an existing public service application, Diia. “It should be as easy as logging in with your phone. Users can easily add any files such as photos, certificates or declarations and submit them to the registry with one click. »
Ukraine and Slovakia promise to “strengthen” their relations.
Ukraine and Slovakia assured on Wednesday that they wanted to “strengthen” their relations after a meeting between Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmygal and his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico. But in a video message, Robert Fico recalled in a much less conciliatory tone that the two countries had “different opinions” and that he did not believe in “a military solution” to the Russian invasion. “It remains true that we will not send weapons to Ukraine,” he admitted.
Denys Chmygal also mentioned the “disagreements” between them right at the beginning on Wednesday. But the two prime ministers assured Ukraine in a joint statement that their countries intend to “strengthen their interstate relations based on mutual trust and respect.” Ukraine and Slovakia also emphasized “the importance of expanding military and technical cooperation on a commercial basis,” without mentioning arms deliveries as part of aid to Kiev.
Were there really Ukrainian prisoners on board the plane?
Ukraine's Military Intelligence (GUR) claimed it had no “reliable information” about the passengers of the Russian plane shot down on Wednesday, which Moscow said was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners, while confirming that an exchange with Russia was planned that day. “We currently do not have reliable and complete information about who or how many people were on board the aircraft,” the secret service said. “Today a prisoner exchange was planned, but it did not take place,” he added, assuring that Ukraine had “not been informed” of the need to secure the airspace in the zone.
The story of the military plane crash on video
The story of the crash of the Russian military plane with 65 prisoners on board can be found below in pictures.
Polish farmers are blocking more than 160 roads across the country
Polish farmers blocked more than 160 roads across the country to denounce “uncontrolled” imports of Ukrainian agricultural and food products. Prime Minister Donald Tusk has promised that his pro-European government, which came to power in Poland after parliamentary elections in October, would try to find solutions in bilateral negotiations with Kiev.
“There are more than 160 blockades of roads and transport axes across Poland,” Adrian Wawrzyniak, spokesman for the Solidarity of Individual Farmers union (Solidarnosc RI), which coordinated the movement, told AFP. The protest is scheduled to last from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. local time. “We are against uncontrolled imports of agri-food from Ukraine and call for a review of the Common Agricultural Policy,” said Adrian Wawrzyniak.
The Russians entered Avdiivka but were repelled
The Russian army managed to enter the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka, a hotspot of fighting in the east, for the first time, but was repelled, its mayor told AFP on Wednesday. “Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups entered the southern part of Avdiivka, but were pushed back,” said Vitaly Barabach. He estimated that the situation remained “difficult but under control” and confirmed that the Russians had advanced “for the first time” here, an industrial city in the Donetsk region.
For the German Chancellor, European military support is not enough
Olaf Scholz called on European countries to increase their military support for Ukraine. “Europe must provide Ukraine with greater support in the defense of the country,” said the German Chancellor in an interview with the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”. “The contributions so far planned by European countries for 2024 are not high enough,” he said.
The Social Democratic chancellor said he was “irritated” that Germany was regularly criticized for being too hesitant in its support. Germany does “much more” than other European countries, he defended himself, pointing out that his country currently provides more than half of the arms support for Ukraine and that it is “vain to believe that we can do this alone in the long term.” . .” “That's why I often call my colleagues and ask them to do more,” he said.
Ukraine continues to target the Belgorod region and Russian military aircraft
The Ukrainian military vowed on Wednesday that it would continue to attack the Belgorod region and Russian military aircraft to protect itself from bombing, hours after an Il-76 transport plane crashed near the border with Ukraine. Ukraine. In a statement released a few hours after the crash, which did not mention it, the army vowed to continue “destroying delivery vehicles and controlling airspace to eliminate the terrorist threat, including in the Belgorod-Kharkiv zone.” to combat Russian attacks in Ukraine.
“A very loud noise,” said a witness to the crash
“We heard a very loud noise and went outside,” said Maria Mezentseva, a Lablonovo resident who witnessed the crash. “There was a fire.” Images circulating on social media showed the device falling almost steeply before a large explosion occurred on the ground, accompanied by flames and black smoke.
The Belgorod region is very regularly attacked by Ukrainian missiles and drones due to its proximity to the border and in response to the multiple Russian bombings in Ukraine, which the Russian army attacked on February 24, 2022.
Meanwhile, Chad declares itself a “brother country” to Russia
Although Chad is an ally of France, it is a “brother country” of Russia, interim President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno said on Wednesday as he was received by Vladimir Putin, who in return assured him that Moscow could help “stabilize the situation” in the country . Russia has set itself the goal of regaining the influence it lost in Africa after the fall of the USSR.
The Kremlin focused its efforts particularly on the Sahel states to compete with France, particularly using paramilitary groups. “I came as a friendly country, as a brotherly country, as a sovereign country that wants to strengthen its relations with a friendly country,” explained General Déby, believing that his visit to Moscow would help “strengthen our bilateral relations.”
Russia officially accuses Ukraine of shooting down the plane
The Russian Defense Ministry accused Kiev of shooting down the Russian military plane carrying 74 people, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, in the Belgorod region on Wednesday, and claimed to have observed “the firing of two missiles.”
“The Kiev regime committed an act of terrorism by shooting down a Russian military transport plane that was flying from Chkalovsky airfield to Belgorod to transport Ukrainian soldiers for an exchange,” the ministry said.
According to the latter, the Ukrainian army knew “perfectly well” that the Russians would take the Ukrainian prisoners by plane to Belgorod and then to a meeting point at the border.
Russian MPs speak of the now famous “French mercenaries”
Russian MPs voted on Wednesday for a resolution denouncing the alleged presence of French “mercenaries” fighting for Kiev in Ukraine. Paris rejected this accusation and sees it as a new disinformation campaign by the Kremlin. These accusations of “mercenaryism” come as France has increased its arms promises to Ukraine in recent weeks and is preparing to sign a security deal with Kiev.
France does not deny the presence of French people in the ranks of the Ukrainian army, but rejects Russian insinuations that Paris was involved in their recruitment. “It is regrettable that the French authorities, who were once one of the initiators of political-military detente in Europe with our country, are prolonging the torment of the Nazi regime in Kiev with their actions,” says the resolution of the Russian MPs addressed to the French National Assembly.
No survivors after Russian military plane crashes
This is an announcement from the Russian authorities. No one survived Wednesday's crash in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, while the plane was carrying 74 people, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, the local governor said.
“Everyone on board was killed,” Vyacheslav Gladkov said in Telegram. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, there were 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, six crew members and three supervisors on the plane.
The Russian Duma speaker accuses Kiev of shooting down the plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners
The speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament on Wednesday accused the Ukrainian army of shooting down the plane with 65 Ukrainian prisoners on board that crashed in the Belgorod region that morning. “They killed their own soldiers in the air, their mothers, their children were waiting for them,” he announced in the hall.
“They shot down our pilots who were carrying out a humanitarian mission with American and German missiles,” Vyacheslav Volodin denounced the Russian MP. It is currently unknown whether the plane's occupants survived the crash.
A Russian military plane crashed with 65 prisoners on board
A Russian Il-76 military transport plane carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war crashed on Wednesday in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said, according to Russian authorities. “An Air Force commission went to the site of the plane crash to determine the causes of the disaster,” he added.
Images circulating on social networks show a device falling almost steeply before a large explosion occurs, accompanied by flames and black smoke. The Russian ministry has not yet provided any information about the fate of the plane's occupants.
New Russian attacks in Kharkiv, several injured
At least nine people were injured by Russian attacks on Tuesday night in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, the regional governor announced, a day after bombings in the country claimed 18 lives.
“At around 10 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m. GMT), the enemy shelled (…) Kharkiv” with “S-300 missiles,” Oleg Synegoubov, the Ukrainian head of the region of the same name, said on Telegram. “Nine people were injured in the attack, including a child and a four-year-old girl who were treated on site,” he lamented, adding that “four people were hospitalized: two men and two women.”
The same source said that houses and telecommunications systems were damaged in this attack.
Orban is now the last obstacle to Sweden joining NATO
Stockholm has just taken a big step towards NATO, but not the last. With the Turkish parliament's positive vote, Hungary now represents Sweden's final step toward joining the Atlantic Alliance. The green light, given overwhelmingly by the Turkish parliament on Tuesday, ends 20 months of negotiations that have tested the patience of Ankara's western allies the test of those who were anxious to form a united front against Moscow.
Zelensky threatens a violent reaction after the attacks on Kiev and Kharkiv
Volodymyr Zelensky promised a strong response after announcing that at least 18 civilians were killed and 130 injured in Russian airstrikes on Kiev and Kharkiv overnight Monday into Tuesday. The Prosecutor General's Office, for its part, reported 19 dead and 120 injured, 15 of them in the Kharkiv region alone.
“More than 200 different locations were affected, including 139 residential buildings […] 130 people were injured, all are receiving the necessary help. “Unfortunately, 18 people died,” the Ukrainian president said on Telegram, hinting that the number of victims could rise.
“Let them know in Russia that the Ukrainian character knows how to respond forcefully enough,” he added. “The Russian war will inevitably show where this evil comes from and where it must be eradicated.”