Situation on the ground, international reactions, sanctions: update on the situation in Ukraine after the military operation led by Russia.
Pending the possible beginning of a ceasefire, “nearly 100,000 people” are still stuck “in inhuman conditions” in the ruins of Mariupol, “in a state of total siege, without food, without water, without medicine, under constant bombardment,” Volodymyr Zelensky lamented in a video released early Wednesday.
In kyiv, where the curfew introduced Monday evening ended Wednesday morning, at least four people were injured in Russian bombardments, according to the town hall of the capital. They hit a shopping center, houses and apartment buildings.
In a video posted Tuesday evening on Telegram, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff called on Westerners to deliver “offensive weapons”, a “means of deterrence” against Moscow, before an extraordinary NATO summit on Thursday, at which Volodymyr Zelensky will address via videoconference.
Moscow on Wednesday accused the United States of obstructing the “difficult” Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, saying Washington’s goal was to “dominate” the world order, including through sanctions.
“The negotiations are difficult, the Ukrainian side is constantly changing its position. It is difficult to get rid of the impression that our American colleagues are holding them by the hand,” according to Moscow.
The Ukrainian side also described the talks as “difficult”, stressing for its part that it had “clear and principled positions”.
Volodymyr Zelensky denounced Wednesday the functioning of the UN which could not prevent the offensive, and called for deep reforms of this institution, in video-conference in front of the Japanese Parliament.
The Ukrainian president must also address the French parliament during the day.
NATO, G7 and EU summits
Joe Biden, who is flying to Europe on Wednesday, will attend the three international summits organized on Thursday in Brussels: NATO, G7 and the European Union.
The American president, who will strive to strengthen the unity of Westerners and to increase the sanctions against Russia, will visit Friday and Saturday in Poland, the first destination for the majority of the 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees.
China spoke out on Wednesday against excluding Russia from the next G20 summit, envisaged by Washington after the armed operation in Ukraine.
“Russia is an important member country (of the G20), no member has the right to expel another country,” a spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy told the press.
The Russian offensive in Ukraine “is getting bogged down despite all the destruction it causes day after day,” said Olaf Scholz on Wednesday.
The “truth is that war destroys Ukraine, but by waging war, (Vladimir) Putin also destroys the future of Russia”, added the German Chancellor before the Bundestag, assuring that kyiv could “count on the ‘help’ from Germany.
A senior Pentagon official said Tuesday evening that, “for the first time”, the Russians had fallen “a little below 90% of their available combat power” massed in Belarus and on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
However, the New York Times, relying on Pentagon sources, explains that the loss of 10% of an army’s military personnel (dead or wounded) greatly hampers its ability to fight.
Moscow will use nuclear weapons in Ukraine only in the event of an “existential threat” against Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN International on Tuesday.
Biden: A chemical attack is not ruled out
Before flying to Europe on Wednesday, where a diplomatic marathon awaits him, US President Joe Biden did not rule out the possibility of a Russian chemical attack against Ukraine.
A Russian chemical weapons attack in Ukraine is “a credible threat”, he warned.