Day 285 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv and the West react strongly against Macron’s statement on Russia

World » UKRAINE | December 5, 2022, Monday // 11:36
Bulgaria: Day 285 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv and the West react strongly against Macron’s statement on Russia Emmanuel Macron

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

800 km from Ukraine, drones destroyed 2 Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers

A big mess has happened at the Russian military airport Engels, located in the Saratov region, and in Ukraine they are commenting that someone has been smoking in an unauthorized place!

Unknown drones have attacked the strategic bombers of the Russian army, Russian Telegram channels claim. According to them, the attack took place that night.

The Russians claim that the airport, which is located more than 800 km from Ukraine, was attacked by drones.

As a result of the attack, two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers were damaged at Engels Airport. A video from the scene appears on Telegram. The footage shows bright flames at the Russian military airport.

According to the ASTRA channel, two Russian servicemen were injured in the attack on the airport.

The Tu-95 is a Russian and Soviet strategic bomber carrying up to 6 missiles. It is with these planes that Russia carries out massive strikes against Ukraine. In particular, these aircraft attacked Dnipro, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lutsk, Odesa and other Ukrainian cities with cruise missiles.

The media recently warned that the next massive Russian strike against Ukraine involving bombers is imminent. Experts have warned that another powerful Russian air attack is likely to come from the Engels-2 airfield near Saratov. The forecast was based on an analysis of satellite images made by Maxar Technologies and Planet Labs. The Russians keep more than two dozen aircraft there.

Zelensky called on his compatriots to be more resilient and united before the coming winter

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on his compatriots to show perseverance and endurance in the face of the coming winter. Macron's statement about the need for guarantees for Russia's security caused sharp reactions in Ukraine and the Baltic countries.

Last night, Russian forces fired missiles at the industrial and energy infrastructure of the city of Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian media reported. According to the local authorities, one of the private enterprises was damaged.

There are also reports of shelling against Kryvyi Rih. There were several loud explosions. Ukrainian media reported one dead and three wounded.

In his traditional late video address, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his country must be more resilient and united than ever. Zelensky said that the Ukrainian people are fighting for freedom and in defense of the truth and emphasized:

"The enemy hopes to use winter against us: to make the cold and hardships of winter part of his terror. We must do everything in our power to survive this winter, no matter how harsh it is. Russia has the advantage in missiles and artillery, but we have something that the occupier does not have and will not have: we defend our home and this gives us the greatest possible motivation".

Meanwhile, fierce criticism followed French President Emmanuel Macron's remarks that the West should consider the need for security guarantees for Russia if Moscow agrees to talks to end the war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Zelensky's adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said that it is the world that needs security guarantees from Russia, not the other way around. According to the secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, a "denuclearized and demilitarized" Russia would be the best guarantee of peace not only for Ukraine, but also for the world.

Macron's words also drew criticism from some of the Baltic countries, which share a border with Russia and see it as a growing threat. Former Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevičius said Russia has security guarantees as long as it does not "attack, annex or occupy" its neighbors. Former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said he "fundamentally" disagrees with the French president. "Russia must first ensure that it will not attack other (countries)," he tweeted.

Macron's speech on European security also caused confusion among German politicians. Foreign policy experts of the Social Democrats and Free Democrats emphasized that NATO has never threatened Russia, and aggression has always come from Moscow. According to Johan Vadefull from the opposition Christian Democratic Union, the French president is "turning things upside down" because Ukraine needs security guarantees first. The far-right Alternative for Germany, however, said that Russia's "legitimate interests must be taken into account," while the Left called for a study of the proposal.

Zelensky: Ukraine is starting to restore electricity

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky urged his countrymen to be patient and strong to withstand harsh winter conditions as officials continue efforts to restore power and other services that were disrupted by Russian airstrikes.

Since early October, Russia has been striking Ukraine's energy infrastructure, causing blackouts and leaving millions without heating as temperatures plummet.

"To survive this winter, we must be even more resilient and even more united than ever," Zelensky said in his evening address to the nation.

"We cannot allow any internal conflicts and strikes that can weaken all of us, even if someone out there thinks it will somehow strengthen him personally."

Western countries have condemned waves of Russian airstrikes on civilian and energy infrastructure.

US Undersecretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said Russian President Vladimir Putin was taking the war to a new level of "barbarism" by trying to cut off the lights and heat of civilians.

Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said on Telegram that from today power outages would be limited to planned "stabilizing" outages to restore the grid, but added that the situation remained "difficult".

The country's largest electricity supplier, DTEK, said power cuts were planned in three other regions - Odesa, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk in southern and eastern Ukraine.

In Kherson, which was left largely without power when Russian forces left the southern city last month, the regional governor said 85% of consumers now have electricity.

A storm of criticism against Macron's statement about Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron's statement that the West should consider the need for security guarantees for Russia if Moscow agrees to talks to end the war in Ukraine was met with a storm of criticism in Kyiv and the Baltic states at the weekend, Reuters reports.

In an interview with France's TEF1, Macron said Europe must prepare its future security architecture and also consider "how to give guarantees (for security) to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table."

Mykhailo Podolyak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said it is the world that needs security guarantees from Russia, not the other way around. "The civilized world needs 'security guarantees' against barbaric intentions from post-Putin Russia," he tweeted yesterday.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said a "denuclearized and demilitarized" Russia would be the best guarantee of peace not only for Ukraine but for the world. "Anyone want to provide security guarantees for a terrorist and murderous country?" Danilov asked on Twitter, adding: "Instead of Nuremberg - sign an agreement with Russia and shake hands?"

Macron's speech also drew criticism from some of the Baltic countries, which share a border with Russia and see it as a growing threat.

In Kyiv, David Arahamiya, a lawmaker and member of Ukraine's negotiating team at the time talks with Russia were underway, said Ukraine was ready to give Russia security guarantees as long as four conditions were met. "For this purpose, it will be enough: to leave the territory of our country, to pay reparations, to punish all war criminals, to voluntarily hand over its nuclear weapons," Arahamia wrote in Telegram, adding: "After that, we are ready to sit at the table of the negotiations and to talk about security guarantees".

Macron's interview caused negative reactions from representatives of the ruling coalition in Germany, as well as from the opposition Christian Democratic Union.

EU price cap on Russian oil comes into effect

The EU price ceiling on Russian oil comes into effect today.

This price will not remain fixed and will be reviewed every two months, with the first review scheduled for mid-January.

The changes will require a unanimous decision from all EU members. The price ceiling will be set each time at a level that is 5% lower than the market price calculated on the basis of data from the International Energy Agency.

The OPEC+ alliance met on December 4 before the above restrictions took effect. It was agreed to maintain the current oil production quotas. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak commented on the decision and the upcoming embargo, saying Russia would not accept an oil price cap even if it had to cut production. He added that such restrictions are interference with market instruments, and Russia is ready to work only with those users who will work under market conditions.

From the OPEC+ countries, no one has yet commented on these actions of the West in relation to the fate of the oil agreement. But in early October, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said OPEC+ did not know what would happen to the European embargo on Russian oil and its price ceiling, who would support it and how the market would react.

On the day of the decision to cap the price of Russian oil, a senior European source in Brussels said that the introduction of the cap would have a positive effect on both global markets and inflation.

He also assures that the regulated ceiling, according to the EU, will allow the continuation of the supply of Russian oil at a price lower than the market price.

Again with a hammer on the head: Russians executed a convict because his soldiers deserted

A second case has emerged in which the Russians killed a conscript prisoner with a hammer on the head. His wife received his body with a fractured skull. Similarly, PMC Wagner recently killed another convict Yevgeny Nuzhin, who was returned from Ukrainian captivity.

According to the Russian publication “The Insider”, on November 20, private Viktor Sevalnev, who commands the 7th motorized rifle company of the so-called People's Militia "LNR", called his wife Lilia and said that he was being taken to be shot. The command decided to execute him because the soldiers from his company deserted.

"Today me, tomorrow another, that's it. They have us as slaughter material. The Ministry of Defense is shooting at people. They know we're ‘Gruz 200’, we're nothing. I want to go back to where I was, but they don't let me. If I knew it was such a war... I'm Sevalnev Viktor Anatolyevich, born on September 27, 1979. Don't send people here, that's enough. They want to kill everyone," Viktor says in his last phone call a conversation with his wife.

She recorded the call and the recording was given to The Insider reporters.

On December 1, an official from the Russian Ministry of Defense informed the wife that her husband had died in the DPR on November 25 from shrapnel wounds and a severe blow to the head.

"My condolences, I'm sorry," he said.

Sevalnev was recruited by representatives of PMC "Wagner" in the colony where he is serving his sentence. First, the mercenaries recruited his son Oleg, who was imprisoned in the same colony. The man died and his father went to war. He signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense and on the night of October 3-4 he was transported from the colony to a mobilization camp in the Luhansk region.

He fought in the 7th motorized rifle company and when the company commander was killed, he became the commander because he had combat experience in Chechnya. Soon Sevalnev was even awarded a medal for the company under his command that escaped from encirclement. In November, however, the unit suffered heavy losses - some of its soldiers were killed, and the rest ran away.

The head of the site Vladimir Osechkin, who provided the journalists with data for this story, is sure that Sevalnev was executed in the same way as the "Wagner" mercenary Yevgeny Nuzhin - with a hammer on the head.

However, the head of PMC "Wagner" Yevgeny Prigozhin denies that he executed Sevalnev. According to him, the man did not fight as a member of his private army.

"If we believe the words of the representative of the Ministry of Defense, who examined the deceased Sevalnev, the injuries on his body may be the result of a blow with a blacksmith's hammer. The head was hit hard and the skull was fractured," reported Osechkin.

He also noted that Sevalnev may have been executed by "Wagner analogs" in the LDPR and that responsibility for his assassination rested with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

"This whole story is solely the responsibility of Defense Minister Shoigu and Commander-in-Chief Putin, and Prigozhin is here to distract attention," Osechkin believes.

The Insider also published a photo of the contracts that the "prisoners" sign. These contracts were not concluded with Prigozhin and his military company, but directly with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

According to human rights activist Olga Romanova, she has information on 40 cases of "executions" of convicts recruited for the war.

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