The French flag flies again in kyiv. The French embassy in Ukraine, which had been transferred to Lviv, in the west of the country, at the beginning of March, returned to the capital. With the withdrawal of Russian ground forces from the north of the country, a large number of inhabitants are also choosing to return. From 40,000 to 50,000 people are said to return to the capital every day, according to the deputy head of the city administration, Mykola Povoroznyk, quoted by the Ukrainian newspaper Kyiv Independent.
The mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, however, warned that it was still too early to return because the demining of the outskirts of the city is in progress and could take several more weeks. In addition, the capital remains under threat from Russian airstrikes.
A military equipment factory was targeted on Saturday morning April 16 in a residential area of kyiv, on the left bank. No information on the number of victims was yet available, while a black plume of smoke could be seen escaping from the place of the strike, carried out by means of one or more missiles.
Russia responds to loss of cruiser Moskva
Friday, April 15, another military factory in the kyiv region was targeted. Russia intensifies its attacks on kyiv after the loss of the Russian cruiser Moskva, which sank in the Black Sea. Russia claimed the loss of the ship was accidental. The Ukrainian army, on the contrary, claims to have hit the ship with Neptune missiles, of Ukrainian design. And it is precisely the factory which manufactures these missiles which was targeted by a Russian bombardment on Friday, April 15, which rather accredits the Ukrainian version.
This latest version is also confirmed by a senior Pentagon official. “We think there were victims, but it is difficult to assess how many”, he said, noting that the United States observed survivors being picked up by other Russian ships in the vicinity. The crew of the Moskva ship was 500 people.
Germany decides on new military aid
While the Ukrainian government expects a Russian offensive targeting eastern Ukraine any day now, it continues to ask for help. In a video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Europeans and Americans on Friday April 15 in these terms: “You can make the war much shorter. The sooner and in greater quantity we receive the weapons we have requested, the stronger our position will be and the sooner peace will come.”.
Germany has signaled its readiness to release more than €1 billion in additional military aid for Ukraine, responding to growing criticism over its apparent lack of support for kyiv. The United States also recently pledged $800 million worth of new military aid to Ukraine, including helicopters and armored personnel carriers.
Russia sent a formal complaint to the United States this week warning the US government of “unforeseeable consequences” following this military aid, reveals the American daily washington post.
According to this unsigned diplomatic note, Moscow warns the United States and NATO against sending weapons “more sensitive” to Ukraine, judging that such military equipment would put“oil on the fire”. The note does not specify the content of these threats, even if an American intelligence official mentioned a risk of the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, as a retaliatory measure, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was now banned from entering Russia.