LAST UPDATE: 13.59
The deputy commander of the political and military authorities deployed by the Russian occupation forces in the Ukrainian province of Kherson, Kirill Stremusov, said on Wednesday that the authorities would ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to annex the province to Russia. Russian news agency Ria Novosti.
“The city of Kherson is part of Russia. No KNR (People’s Democratic Republic of Kherson) will be established in the territory of the Kherson region, there will be no referendums. It will be a single decree that will include an appeal by the leadership of the region. “Kherson to the President of the Russian Federation for annexing the region to the Russian Federation,” Stremusov said. He added that by the end of the year the region will be fully integrated into the Russian regime.
In addition, by the end of May, the region will have a bank for the circulation of the ruble, which in the long run will be integrated into the Bank of Russia. It is noted that the ruble has already been imposed as a currency in the region, while the Russians have banned the Ukrainian television networks and have installed exclusively Russian Internet service providers.
Successful Ukrainian counterattack in Kharkov
Ukrainian forces recaptured towns near Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, pushing Russian troops away from its environs and driving them close to the Russian border.
The settlements of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova and Slobozhanske have now passed under the control of the Ukrainian forces, according to a representative of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Ukraine’s campaign in the northeast of the country continues to successfully repel Russian forces, as estimated by international military analysts, according to the British network BBC.
The Institute of War, a US-based think tank, citing a Russian source, said Russian forces were now just 10 kilometers inside Ukrainian territory in the Kharkiv region and were being pushed back to the border.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke about the counterattack on Tuesday night in a televised message, calling for restraint and restraint.
“I want to call on all our people … not to spread wild emotions and reactions.
“We must not create an atmosphere of outrageous moral pressure, so that we demand victories on a weekly or even daily basis from our fighters,” said the Ukrainian head of state.
In Fidonisi, moreover, in the Black Sea, fighting continues, according to the British Ministry of Defense.
The Ukrainian island has been occupied by Russia since the beginning of the conflict, but attempts by the Russians to reinforce the unit they have set up there have failed, as Ukraine hits Russian air defenses and Bayraktar drone refueling vessels.
Russian vessels have had little protection since the withdrawal of much of the Russian fleet since the sinking of the Moskva flagship by the Ukrainians.
Fidonisi is of strategic importance, because it offers access to important ports of Ukraine, mainly that of Odessa.
The island was home to a group of 13 Ukrainian soldiers who had defied Russian calls for surrender and were initially thought to be dead. It was later confirmed that they had just been captured by Russian forces.
The pro-Russian separatists reportedly reached the borders of Luhansk province
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have advanced to the borders of the Luhansk region, according to Moscow, as Russia continues operations to seize the entire eastern part of the country, one of the main goals of the February 24 war.
According to the spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Igor Konashenkov, the small town of Popasna, where heavy fighting was taking place as before, was “cleared” by Ukrainian forces.
Moscow has already stated that its goal is to seize the whole of Luhansk (s.s. Lugansk in Russian) from the hands of Ukrainian forces.
The Ukrainian governor of the region, Sergiy Haidai, denied the Russian announcement of the advance, calling it a “fantasy”. The Ukrainian military had to withdraw from Popasna, he admitted, but Russian forces have not broken through the defenses, he added via Telegram. It did not become clearer.
In the south, new Russian pounding was reported in Azovstal, the factory that is the last stronghold of Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, and in Odessa.
Strategic ports are located in both urban centers. The road that connects eastern Ukraine with the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014, also passes through Mariupol.
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian Orthodox Archbishop Onoufrios appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow, as a good Christian as he put it, the Azofstal steel besiegers to leave, or to areas controlled by a state or three. Ukrainian officials claim that about 100 civilians remain at the facility. Russian sources say that in the vast factory are fortified 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers, far-right and foreign mercenaries, who have rejected the repeated offers of the Russian army to lay down their arms for a living.
The war, which is in its 11th week, has claimed the lives of at least 3,381 civilians, according to the UN human rights office in Ukraine, of whom about 1,000 were killed in Mariupol alone.
The actual death toll among the civilians, however, is probably much heavier, as it is impossible to record them completely in the midst of hostilities.
According to the United Nations, the conflict uprooted much of the population of Ukraine. The number of internally displaced people has reached eight million, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM); while 5.9 million people have sought refuge abroad, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).