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what to remember on the 224th day of the russian invasion

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The military situation will “stabilize” in the Ukrainian territories which Russia claims annexation, Vladimir Putin assured Wednesday, as his forces suffered a series of setbacks against the Ukrainian army on the 224th day of the Russian invasion. A few hours earlier, Ukraine had announced that it was regaining ground in the Lugansk region (east), after its successes in those of Kherson (south) and Kharkiv (northeast).

“We assume that the situation will stabilize and that we can develop these areas peacefully,” said Vladimir Putin, who decreed on September 21 the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of reservists to try to reverse the trend.

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Information to remember:

– Putin signs a decree allowing Russia to appropriate the Zaporizhia power plant

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– Ukraine claims gains in east and south

– New US shipment of military equipment

OECD timidly opens door to Ukraine’s future membership

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday recognized Ukraine as a “potential member country”, the very first step towards a very long process of accession.

“Following the request received from Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to start the process of Ukraine’s accession to the OECD, the OECD Council has decided to recognize Ukraine as a potential member country”, affirmed Wednesday the secretary general of the International Organization Mathias Cormann, quoted in a press release. This is a very preliminary stage for potential future membership, during which a dialogue will begin between kyiv and the international club bringing together the developed countries.

Russia appropriates the Zaporizhia power plant

The Russian President signed a decree for Russia to formally appropriate the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhya. For his part, the head of the IAEA Rafael Grossi announced his departure for kyiv to discuss the “need for a protection zone around the plant more urgent than ever”.

Even as it retreats on the ground, Russia has proclaimed the annexation of four regions of Ukraine (Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporijjia) which it partially controls following “referendums” denounced by kyiv and its Western allies. A sign of disarray in Russia, the army’s setbacks have led a senior parliamentary official to call on it to “stop lying” about its defeats.

“Our people are not stupid. And they see that we don’t want to tell them even part of the truth. This can lead to a loss of credibility,” said Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Defense Committee of the Duma, the lower house of Parliament, and former military commander.

Ukraine claims further gains in east and south

kyiv’s troops continue their counter-offensive, claiming new gains in the East and South. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region, so far under almost total control of Moscow, proclaimed a breakthrough. “Now it’s official. The de-occupation of the Lugansk region has begun. Several localities have already been liberated,” said Sergiï Gaïdaï in a video posted on Telegram, without further details.

The day before, Ukraine had already claimed advances in the north of the southern region of Kherson, while almost all of the Kharkiv region (northeast) now appears to be under Ukrainian control, paving the way towards that of Lugansk , bastion of separatists installed by Moscow since 2014.

Massive Russian strikes near Lyman

The Russian army, for its part, assured on Wednesday that it had carried out “massive strikes” in the past 24 hours near Lyman (Donetsk region), a city recently taken over by Ukrainian forces, and inflicted heavy losses on them. In the Kherson region, Moscow troops “hold their positions, repelling attacks from numerically superior enemy forces”, she added. Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov assured that the lost territories “will be regained”.

Vladimir Putin had sworn to him to defend the annexed areas, even if it meant using nuclear weapons, a threat that did not stop either the Ukrainian counter-offensive or Western arms deliveries. The Russian army had half-acknowledged retreats on Tuesday, publishing maps showing that Moscow had ceded a whole part of the northern Kherson region and that its presence in that of Kharkiv was now minimal.

Zelensky hails “powerful” advances

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed “powerful” advances on Tuesday, saying that “dozens of localities have been liberated this week alone” in the four regions that Moscow claims annexation. In the east, the retreat from Kharkiv enabled the Ukrainian forces to take the fight further east towards the town of Svatové.

Near Lyman, a strategic railway junction taken over in the Donetsk region (east) last weekend, a Ukrainian paratrooper met on Tuesday by AFP admitted that he and his comrades were both “exhausted” and determined. Oleksandre, 31, said the fighting had been “very tough” but they had to “move forward”.

In Lyman, where AFP journalists went on Wednesday, Tatiana Slavouta, a 62-year-old resident, said she did not know “if the situation is better or worse” since the Ukrainian reconquest. “All the shops are closed, we have no money, we have no light. Nothing”, she explains, but “at least now there is silence, no bombardments”.

New US shipment of military equipment

On the diplomatic front, US President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday a new US shipment of military equipment, worth $625 million. On their side, the states of the European Union have agreed on a new series of sanctions against Russian entities and personalities.

Russia has claimed to participate in the investigation into the leaks of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, Sweden, in charge of the investigations, having blocked access to the area of ​​​​this alleged sabotage located in the Baltic Sea. Moscow implied that the United States could sabotage these key pipes for the energy supply of Europe, when the Westerners suspect Russia.

In sporting terms, Spain and Portugal have announced that they have included Ukraine in their joint bid for the organization of the 2030 World Cup, the Portuguese federation hailing the “tenacity and resilience shown by the Ukrainian people”. In the evening, Volodymyr Zelensky hailed a “symbol of victory”. This candidacy “is more than a symbol of faith in our common victory,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Ukraine will endure, prevail and be rebuilt through the solidarity of its partners,” he added.

A Russian cosmonaut en route to the ISS

A Russian cosmonaut took off on Wednesday for the International Space Station from the United States, aboard a rocket from the American company SpaceX, a mission that is particularly symbolic in the midst of the war in Ukraine. Anna Kikina, the only female Russian cosmonaut currently in active service, is part of the Crew-5 crew, also made up of a Japanese and two Americans, including Nicole Mann, who becomes the first Native American to go into space.

Liftoff took place Wednesday noon from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This is the fifth regular mission to the Space Station (ISS) carried out by SpaceX on behalf of NASA. Two weeks ago, an American took off for the ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.

Source: Europe1

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