Zelensky in Bakhmout and new Russian strikes overnight

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news of the day

Another surprise visit by the Ukrainian President to Bakhmout. Volodymyr Zelensky went to the front in the East on Wednesday near this city which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. “Donetsk region. Front-line positions of the Ukrainian soldiers in the direction of Bakhmout,” the Ukrainian president announced on Telegram, posting a video of his trip to the vicinity of this city on Wednesday, “almost surrounded” by Russian forces according to a pro-Russian separatist official.

Volodymyr Zelensky was thus making his second visit to the Bakhmout area, the first dating from December 20, just before making a historic trip to the United States. In the images, he is seen in a hangar without protective equipment but accompanied by heavily armed bodyguards handing out decorations to soldiers in combat gear. “I am honored to decorate the best of our heroes, to shake your hand and give thanks for the defense of our State and sovereignty,” he told them.

sentence of the day

To date, we have not seen [la Chine] cross [la] line” of delivering lethal weapons to Russia.

For several weeks, American diplomacy has exerted intense diplomatic pressure on China to prevent it from delivering important military equipment to Moscow, mired in the conflict in Ukraine. In mid-February, Washington announced that China was considering such an option, and there were reports of small shipments being sent by Chinese companies to Moscow.

And, during a two-day visit to Moscow, President Xi Jinping reiterated his call for peace negotiations, a solution that worries Washington, fearing that it will give Russia a military advantage. “I think the diplomatic, political, and to some extent material support [de la Chine] to Russia is of course against our interest to see this war end,” Antony Blinken told Congress. But “to date, we haven’t seen them cross that line,” the US secretary of state said in response to a question during a Senate hearing in Washington.

The number of the day

$411 billion. This is the sum that Ukraine will need for its recovery and reconstruction after the first year of the conflict caused, according to an estimate published on Wednesday by the World Bank, the UN, the European Union and the Ukrainian government. These organizations and institutions anticipate an immediate need of 14 billion dollars this year, in order to make “critical and priority investments” to start reconstruction.

The total sum of 411 billion is more than twice Ukraine’s GDP in 2021, according to World Bank data. The previous estimate of needs, at the end of October, was 350 billion dollars. “We thank the World Bank for its analysis which will be an important tool for us and our partners in the launch of future recovery projects, which have already started”, commented the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Chmyhal, quoted in the press release. .

The trend of the day

Moscow launched 21 Iranian-made Shahed-136/131 combat drones, an operation that began shortly before midnight, the Ukrainian Air Force said, claiming to have shot down 16 of them. Iranian murderers”, the Russians fired missiles, there were “numerous bombardments”. “All this is just the last night of Russian terror”, denounced Volodymyr Zelensky, condemning “criminal strikes”.

Seven people died and nine others were injured when a vocational high school in Rzhyshchiv, a town about 80 kilometers south of Kiev, was hit in a drone raid overnight Tuesday-Wednesday, according to Andriy Nebytov , the chief of police of the Kyiv region.

In another strike, at least one person was killed and 32 were injured, including three children, according to the rescue services, when “two Russian missiles” fell on an apartment building in Zaporozhye, in the south of the Ukraine, according to local authorities. Volodymyr Zelensky immediately accused Russia of “bombarding the city with bestial savagery”.

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