War in Ukraine: Moscow plans eight months to repair the Crimean Bridge, Ukraine celebrates its army.
Russia announced Friday to give until 1er July 2023 to rebuild the Crimean Bridge, partially destroyed in an attack attributed to Ukraine, a setback for Moscow which responded this week with massive bombardments.
Ukraine for its part marked the Day of the defenders of the country, celebrating this holiday of the army for the first time since the beginning of the assault of the Russian forces. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised victory on this occasion.
Faced with a Ukrainian counter-offensive which is gaining ground, the authorities put in place by Moscow in the southern region of Kherson have called for the evacuation of civilians, a sign of the difficulties that the Russian army is encountering.
Conversely, in the east, Russian and pro-Russian forces continued their assault on Bakhmout, a city that Moscow has been hoping to conquer since the summer in order to open the way to two large cities controlled by Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk region. , Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.
“On October 14, we thank […] all those who fought for Ukraine in the past and all those who are fighting for it now, those who won then and those who will undoubtedly win now,” Zelensky said in an address Defenders Day video.
He laid a wreath in front of a memorial in kyiv dedicated to the soldiers killed on the front since 2014, the date of the start in the east of a war with separatists, at the instigation of Moscow.
« Together to Victory »
The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army Valery Zalouzhny for his part thanked his troops for their « service ». « We have stopped the invasion and buried the myth of the invincibility of the Russian army, » he said in his address.
« Together towards victory! » “, he launched.
The Ukrainian authorities show this determination despite the massive bombings earlier this week against critical infrastructure and civilian sites, in response to the bombing attack which partially demolished the Russian bridge connecting the territory of Russia to Crimea , Ukrainian peninsula annexed by the Kremlin in 2014.
This viaduct, built at great expense on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin, symbolized Russian power and ambitions, but is also an essential infrastructure for supplying the troops occupying southern Ukraine and facing the counter- Ukrainian offensive.
kyiv has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in this attack carried out, according to Moscow, with a truck bomb.
The damage has not been detailed by Moscow, but it is significant enough for Prime Minister Mikhail Michoustin to sign a decree on its reconstruction by 1er next July, i.e. more than eight months of work.
Two road sections of the viaduct collapsed into the sea and the railway suffered a huge fire after tank cars caught fire. Russia has partially reopened road and rail traffic on the bridge, but it remains limited due to the damage.
In the north of the Kherson region, where the Russian army relies on the bridge for its supplies, Ukrainian forces have continued to advance, village by village, towards the eponymous regional capital all week.
On Thursday, Moscow-installed leader Vladimir Saldo called on the Kremlin to help evacuate civilians. Immediately afterwards, the Russian government promised to get on with it.
Opportunity to leave
Kirill Stremoussov, another pro-Russian official in this region, called, not without a certain sense of euphemism, on the population to “seize the opportunity for a humanitarian stay and rest in Russia”.
« It’s no secret that firing on the Kherson region is dangerous, especially for the civilian population, » he said on Telegram.
On the outskirts of Bakhmout, the Russian and separatist forces said they were in a good position to take this city for which they have been fighting since August.
According to Andrei Marotchko, representative of the separatist forces of the Luhansk region fighting in the area, « fighting is underway in the locality », and the Ukrainian forces are being pushed back « towards the northwest and west from the city « .
This area is the only one in Ukraine where Russian forces are currently on the offensive, while elsewhere they have been experiencing setback after setback for six weeks, abandoning thousands of square kilometers.
The UN special representative in charge of the issue of sexual violence committed in times of conflict, Pramila Patten, for her part denounced to AFP the rapes and sexual assaults attributed to Russian forces in Ukraine, « a strategy military” and “a deliberate tactic” according to her.
Recent Russian failures led Vladimir Putin to demand the annexation of four Ukrainian regions at the end of September and to order the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists, civilians therefore, to try to reverse the trend.
On Friday, the Russian president participated in two summits in Kazakhstan with former Soviet republics, his traditional area of influence.
To see in video