Ukrainian army withdraws from Severodonetsk

Did you miss the latest events on the tensions in Ukraine? Do not panic, 20 minutes takes stock for you every evening at 7:30 p.m. Who did what ? Who said what? Where are we ? The answer below:

news of the day

Bombarded for weeks, Severodonetsk gave way. Ukrainian forces were ordered to withdraw from the ruined city, admitting their exhaustion. “The Ukrainian units are exhausted, bloodless. They had terrible losses with completely neutralized battalions”, explains a high-ranking French officer on condition of anonymity, evoking units of 300 or 400 men of which there remained only about twenty able-bodied.

“It no longer makes sense to stay in positions that have been constantly bombarded for months,” said Sergei Gaïdaï, the governor of Lugansk. “All essential infrastructure has been destroyed. 90% of the city is damaged, 80% of the houses will have to be destroyed,” he estimated.

sentence of the day

“Hitler under his banner had brought together a large part of Europe to wage war against the Soviet Union”

This Godwin point is signed Sergei Lavrov. The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs thus denounced the will of the EU and NATO to want to “wage war on Russia” by creating a “contemporary coalition” with the validated candidacies of Moldova and Ukraine for the EU. But the Russian was also reassuring, believing that this represented “no risk” for Russia, the EU not being a military union.

The number of the day

450 million euros. This is the “record” amount of the loan granted by the Council of Europe’s development bank to Poland, to help Warsaw take care of refugees from Ukraine. “This loan is the largest ever approved by the CEB. It will support the Polish government’s plan to deal with the massive influx of people fleeing the war in Ukraine,” the Council of Europe said in a statement.

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The trend of the day

Western analysts have been warning lately: the rain of Russian bombs has ended up wearing down the morale of the kyiv troops, their units, their equipment. Seeing Severodonetsk fall, after several weeks of deadly fighting, is therefore logical. “Perhaps we are witnessing a phase of changeover on moral wear and tear,” said a senior French officer, referring to the euphoria of the first weeks during which the Ukrainians had blocked the Russian advance and forced Moscow to focus on the east of the country.

With fewer and fewer soldiers for Zelensky, and a “victory for Russian propaganda”, is the war changing? “The overall vision – a slow war of entrenched positions – has hardly changed,” replies Ivan Klyszcz, a researcher at the Estonian University of Tartu. The withdrawal from Severodonestk was anticipated, and Russian forces are still trying to “avoid direct contact” by advancing under cover of their artillery, said Alexander Grinberg, an analyst at the Jerusalem Institute for Security and Strategy.

“To fight intelligently in the current context is to adopt a defensive posture,” wrote former French colonel Michel Goya a week ago. For the Ukrainians, “we must defend in depth, accepting to lose ground in front to save our forces, while making people and time pay dearly for each square kilometer gained by the Russians”. It is therefore likely that the days to come will resemble the previous ones.

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