War in Ukraine: Airstrikes, €3 billion a year, Russian jailed for 5 years… Update on the situation

Every day, Midi Libre takes a look at the situation in Ukraine. This Wednesday March 20, 2024, find out the latest news about this clash.

Russia and Ukraine have condemned the airstrikes

Russia and Ukraine said they repelled numerous airstrikes on Tuesday evening and Wednesday in areas near the border, prompting the evacuation of civilians.

Russian officials said air defense systems destroyed missiles and drones fired by Ukraine in Belgorod, Kursk and Voronezh regions near the border with Ukraine. Drones were also shot down in Saratov region in western Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that Russia will punish Ukraine for the attacks and that a buffer zone with more Ukrainian territory could be created to protect Russia from Western bombs. “The first thing to do is to ensure our safety. There are many ways to do this, none of them easy, but we will do it.”Vladimir Putin made the announcement during a meeting in the Kremlin on Wednesday.

Russia controls less than 20% of Ukraine. With Ukrainian forces coming under intense pressure on the front lines, Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to advance into Ukraine after capturing the city of Avdiivka in February. On the ground, Russian forces are pushing back Ukrainian soldiers, the Russian Defense Ministry said, which also announced the creation of two new forces.

“Groups of Russian troops continue to drive the enemy out of its positions. The United States and its satellites are very concerned about the success of the Russian armed forces.”, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told the generals. Russia has recruited hundreds of thousands of soldiers and will create two new armies and 30 new formations, 14 divisions and 16 brigades, Sergei Shoigu said.

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Russia's intense bombing of the Sumy region in northeastern Ukraine has prompted Kyiv to order the evacuation of civilians. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack “Levels” In Russia's daily speech against the Sumy region.

Regional officials said one person was killed in Velika Byzarivka; According to local authorities, around 200 people were evacuated last week. In northern Ukraine, a Russian missile hit an industrial zone in the city of Kharkiv on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding at least five others, local officials said.

The strike also caused a terrible fire in the press. Initial reports suggest that it is a Russian cruise missile. A significant fire is going on at the scene of the attack., regional governor Oleh Sinehobov noted on Ukrainian television. The governor added that up to 10 people may be trapped in the debris.

The EU offers to pay Ukraine up to 3 billion euros a year from frozen Russian assets

The European Commission proposed on Wednesday to give Ukraine up to three billion euros in aid each year from frozen assets of the Russian central bank in Europe. A major part of this income, ie 90%, will be paid through funds European Peace Facility It would allow Ukraine to buy weapons.

The rest will finance the reconstruction of the country. The total amount of aid Kyiv could receive depends on interest rates that affect returns on frozen Russian assets in the EU, which total around 210 billion euros. Ukraine will also benefit from a 25% tax levied by the Belgian government on these revenues. In 2024, this tax should reach 1.7 billion euros, and 1.5 billion euros will be paid this year.

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Once the Commission's proposal is approved by the Member States, the stipend will be paid in two installments each year, with the first installment disbursed in July. Custodians holding Russian assets will retain 3% of the proceeds to cover their expenses and temporarily set aside 10% to cover potential legal costs. The commission has mentioned that this amount can be increased if required.

After the war, these reserves will be given to Ukraine if not used. European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrowski said Russia must be held accountable for the massive damage it caused, adding that the EU had coordinated its decision with the other G7 countries, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The EU is not currently considering confiscating Russian assets. “We demand confiscation of all assets”The Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Simihal announced during the conference in Brussels.

Sentenced to 5 years in prison for Russian documentary

This Wednesday, a Russian court sentenced a 36-year-old man to three years in prison. The suspect posted messages online on social networks condemning the actions of Vladimir Putin's army in several cities in Ukraine, AFP quoted him as saying. Parisian.

He had posted messages described as “lies”More precisely on the massacres carried out by the Russian army “Massacres of Civilians”, explains the daily. These facts would have happened in March and April in the spring of 2022. The thirty-year-old has also made several films about artist Alexandra Skotsilenko and journalist Maria Ponomarenko, who are serving prison terms for criticizing Vladimir Putin's February 2022 invasion of Kyiv.

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Vsevolod Koroliov was arrested in July of the same year NGO MemoryFound guilty “Spreading Misinformation” On the Russian Army, by the Vyborsky District Court of St. Petersburg.

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