A maternity hospital was hit by Russian bombs in the Zaporizhia region in southern Ukraine during the night of November 22 to 23, Ukrainian emergency services said on Wednesday. A newborn was killed by the Russian strike.
“In the city of Vilnyansk in the Zaporizhia region, a two-storey building housing a maternity hospital was destroyed by a missile attack in the area of the local hospital”, where a woman with her baby and a doctor were, the state service for emergencies said on Telegram.
“The terrorist state continues to wage war on civilians,” reacted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, also accusing Russia of “terror and murder”. Emergency services have released a video showing rescuers trying to free a man half buried in the debris.
- Ongoing fighting to retake the Mikolaiv area
Fighting raged Tuesday, November 22 between Ukrainians and Russians on the tip of Kibourne, a piece of land nestled at the tip of the left bank of the Dnieper. This area south of the city of Mikolaiv in southern Ukraine appeared to be the next battleground after the Russians were driven out of Kherson (a little further south) on 11 November.
“We still have three localities to take over on the Kinbourne peninsula” before completely liberating the Mikolaiv region, the regional governor said on Tuesday. On Monday, the spokeswoman for the Southern Command of the Ukrainian army had indicated that “a military operation is underway on the Kinbournska peninsula”.
The capture by the Ukrainian army of the last three villages in the Mikolaiv region would mark an important victory for kyiv. Russia had conquered this area in the early days of its invasion of Ukraine in late February.
- Ukraine: Russia accuses Ukraine of siphoning gas
The Russian giant Gazprom threatened Tuesday to reduce its gas deliveries to Moldova, accusing Ukraine of siphoning off the gas pipeline which passes through its territory. “The volume of gas supplied by Gazprom at the Sudja crossing point to transit to Moldova via the territory of Ukraine exceeds the volume” that reaches the border between Ukraine and Moldova, lamented the gas giant, property of the Russian state. According to Gazprom, Ukraine illegally accumulated 52.5 million cubic meters of gas in November by “raping” part of the deliveries to use for its own purposes. An assertion denied by the Ukrainian gas operator GTSOU.
The Russian giant has thus threatened to “reduce the gas supply at the Soudja crossing point from November 28 at 10:00 a.m.”, if kyiv continues to siphon gas to other countries. This threat comes as temperatures have dropped in recent days in Europe, increasing the demand for gas to be able to heat in particular.
For its part, GTSOU said in a statement that “all gas volumes” arriving from Russia to Chisinau had “been transferred in their entirety” to the two crossing points entering Moldova. “This is not the first time that Russia has used gas as an instrument of political pressure,” lamented the director of government and international affairs at GTSOU.
Russia was the EU’s biggest gas supplier before Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine in February, but the EU27 have since greatly reduced their imports, to less than 10% of all gas imported, according to Brussels. Moldova, a small country of 2.6 million inhabitants neighboring Ukraine, is bearing the full brunt of the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, particularly in terms of energy, while Gazprom has already halved its gas exports to Chisinau .
- World Bank grants 4.5 billion more to Ukraine
The World Bank announced on Tuesday that it would grant an additional $4.5 billion in support to Ukraine to enable it to “operate essential services and the government”. All of this new tranche of aid was funded by the US government.
This support, which is part of the PEACE program set up by the World Bank for Ukraine, should enable the government to “pay the salaries of hospital, government and school employees, as well as retirement pensions , civil servant salaries and social assistance programs,” the institution said in a statement.
This new envelope brings the total amount of WB support to Ukraine to 17.8 billion dollars since the beginning of the conflict, of which more than 11.4 billion have already been disbursed. It “comes at a critical time for the country, which is facing severe power cuts and increasingly cold weather. The World Bank will continue to mobilize all available resources to help the Ukrainian government meet the vital needs of its citizens,” said Bank President David Malpass.
- Three Russians dead near Ukrainian border
Explosions killed three people in the Russian region of Belgorod, bordering Ukraine, the governor of this territory regularly hit by Ukrainian fire announced on Telegram on Tuesday. He claimed a woman had died after suffering head trauma during a bombing in Chebekino, a town eight kilometers from Ukraine. He also said that two other people were killed in the explosion of “an unidentified type of ammunition” in the village of Starosselié, bordering Ukraine and where the state of emergency has been in effect since. October 27.
Localities and infrastructures in the region very frequently suffer from fire, often fatal, attributed by Moscow to the Ukrainian army. The regional capital, also named Belgorod, has been directly hit several times. So much so that the governor indicated on Monday that a line of fortifications was under construction at the border, without specifying the length or its location. He nevertheless published photos showing him inspecting this construction site. We see a crane installing cement anti-tank pyramids along a road and an excavator digging a ravine.
Last week, Russia also announced fortification works in the annexed Crimean peninsula. The leader of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner ordered him to build fortifications in Russia’s Belgorod and Kursk regions, as well as in the Moscow-occupied Lugansk region in eastern Ukraine.
- Crimea hit by drone attack
The strategic Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which kyiv wants to take back from Moscow, which bases its Black Sea fleet there, was targeted on Tuesday by a drone attack. Without much damage according to the pro-Russian local authorities. The governor installed by Moscow reported that the attack caused no casualties, and that no civilian infrastructure was damaged.
He said the air defenses shot down two drones near the Balaklava power station, which has suffered attacks from the Ukrainian army in the past. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was also attacked in late October by what pro-Russian authorities called a “massive” drone attack by the Ukrainian military. This operation, which damaged at least one Russian military vessel, led Moscow to briefly withdraw from the agreement allowing the export of Ukrainian cereals.
kyiv has inflicted several humiliations on the Russian fleet whose cruise missiles regularly hit its territory. In the spring, Ukraine had notably sunk the Russian flagship, the cruiser Moskva. Russia had annexed Crimea in 2014 and kyiv, whose army continues to push back that of Moscow in southern Ukraine, aims to reconquer it.
- Ukraine arrests detention center official who worked for Russians
Ukrainian investigators said on Tuesday November 22 that they had arrested for “treason” a Ukrainian official of the Russian remand centers in the city of Kherson, liberated on November 11 after more than eight months of occupation by Moscow troops. “From the first days of the occupation of Kherson, this employee of a detention center worked for the invaders … as a manager of remand centers and places of execution of sentences,” he said. said the Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigation in a statement. According to the SBI, this employee “enabled the escape of criminals imprisoned just before the liberation of Kherson.”
On November 14, the Ukrainian security services (SBU), for their part, said they had arrested a Russian soldier in Kherson “disguised as civilians”, while fears that Moscow collaborators were still present incognito in the city remained strong. .
- The new Russian nuclear icebreaker for hydrocarbons
Russia inaugurated on Tuesday November 22 a new nuclear-powered icebreaker which should facilitate its hydrocarbon exports to Asia via the Arctic. This announcement comes as Moscow openly reorients its energy strategy due to Western sanctions against its offensive in Ukraine. “The development of northern sea routes will allow Russia to fully realize its export potential and establish an efficient logistics route, including to Southeast Asia,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement. speech broadcast by videoconference during the commissioning ceremony in Saint Petersburg.
This new nuclear-powered ship, more than 170 meters long, can break ice up to three meters deep. It is the third copy in a series launched by the atomic energy giant Rosatom. Named “Ural” in homage to the Russian region of the Urals (central-west), it can carry up to 54 crew members.
Its deployment from December should make it possible to ensure Russian supremacy in the Arctic, a strategy assumed by Vladimir Putin. While the European Union has decided on a gradual embargo on its imports of Russian oil and has greatly reduced those of gas to protest against the Russian attack in Ukraine, the first gas exporter in the world and number two oil wants to concentrate its hydrocarbon deliveries to Southeast Asia, connecting the Atlantic oceans, Pacific and Arctic.
Russia, the only builder and operator of nuclear icebreakers in the world, also launched the “Yakutia” on Tuesday, from the same series as the “Ural”, but its actual entry into service is not expected until “end of 2024”, according to Vladimir Putin. Another gigantic nuclear-powered Russian ship, more than 200 meters long, is also due to see the light of day in 2027.