Situation on the ground, international reactions, sanctions: we take stock of the third day of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
On the third day of the invasion led by Russian President Vladimir Putin, heavy fighting is taking place in Kiev, the capital which has become a ghost town with a curfew introduced on Saturday until Monday 8 a.m.
The Ukrainian army says it destroyed a column of five Russian vehicles, including a tank. A tall residential building was hit by a missile strike. Kiev and Moscow reject responsibility for this shooting.
The Kiev metro is at a standstill and serves as an anti-aircraft “shelter” for the inhabitants. Ukrainian forces also reported “violent” fighting 30 km southwest of the capital where the Russians “are trying to land paratroopers”.
The Russian army “expands the offensive”
The Russian army received the order on Saturday to expand its offensive on Ukraine, “in all directions”.
Russian forces have penetrated deeply from the north, east and south, but are facing resistance from the Ukrainian army and have so far not taken full control of any Ukrainian city, according to several sources. Western.
Russia has committed to Ukraine “more than 50%” of the force it had massed on the country’s borders and appears “increasingly frustrated” by the firm resistance of the Ukrainian army, said a senior Pentagon official .
Moscow on Saturday published images taken in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, the capture of which took place on Thursday, arousing concern.
Nearly two hundred civilians killed, influx of refugees
The Ukrainian government has reported 198 civilians killed, including three children, and more than a thousand wounded since the start of this invasion. Dozens of soldiers also lost their lives.
Russia does not give any assessment of its losses. The Ukrainian Minister of Defense claims that 3,500 Russian soldiers have been killed since Thursday, without providing material elements.
Greece will summon the Russian ambassador to Athens to protest against the death of six civilians from the Greek minority during the bombardment of the Ukrainian village of Sartana, near Mariupol.
Two Danish journalists were injured by gunfire near Okhtyrka in the northeast of the country, but their lives are not in danger. Ukrainian refugees are flocking to neighboring countries, particularly Poland, which announces that it is already hosting 115,000.
Western aid becomes clearer
Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky said that “weapons and equipment of our partners are on their way to Ukraine”.
Underlining “a change of times”, the German government has decided to authorize the delivery to Ukraine of 1,000 rocket launchers and 500 surface-to-air missiles, thus breaking its policy of banning all exports of lethal weapons in a conflict zone.
Washington announced a new military aid of 350 million dollars. Belgium, the Czech Republic, or the Netherlands have notably announced the sending of weapons or equipment, defensive in the case of France.
The penalties are increasing
Volodymyr Zelensky called on Germany and Hungary to have the “courage” to approve Russia’s exclusion from the Swift interbank system, which is being considered by the European Union and which Italy and France have promised to support.
Germany said on Saturday it was ready to accept a “targeted restriction” of access to Russia for Swift, while wanting to “limit the collateral damage” of such a sanction.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had previously denounced the “concrete selfishness” of certain Western countries, including Germany, calling for “crushing” sanctions against Russia.
Moscow has decided to close its airspace to planes linked to Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic, after a similar decision taken by these three countries against Russian companies. Romania in turn closed its airspace to Russian airlines on Saturday.
Russian national media have been ordered to remove from their content any reference to civilians killed by the Russian military. Officially, Moscow calls its intervention a “special military operation” intended for “peacekeeping”.