War in Ukraine: kyiv under the missiles, major summit of the 27 EU countries, Russian threats… an update on the situation

War in Ukraine: kyiv under the missiles, major summit of the 27 EU countries, Russian threats... an update on the situation

Un immeuble à Kiev touché par l'attaque de missiles russes le 21 mars 2024. XinHua – Li Dongxu

Tous les jours, Midi Libre fait le point sur la situation en Ukraine. Ce jeudi 21 mars 2024, découvrez les dernières actualités autour de ce conflit.

Russia will retaliate if EU uses frozen Russian assets to arm Ukraine

Russia will take retaliatory measures in accordance with its own interests and will use all legal mechanisms at its disposal if the European Union uses income from frozen Russian assets to arm Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

"Naturally, we will use all possible legal mechanisms, those that are available now and those that will be available in the future", declared Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, during a press briefing held before a European summit in Brussels on Defense and aid to Ukraine.

"On the basis of reciprocity, we will not retaliate in the same way but we will choose different methods that suit our own interests", he added.

Russia subjects kyiv to its biggest missile attack in a month and a half

Russia on Thursday bombarded Kiev and the surrounding area of ​​Ukraine's capital with missiles, the largest such attack in about a month and a half, injuring at least 17 people and damaging schools, residential buildings and industrial sites, Ukrainian authorities said.

The Ukrainian Air Force claimed its defenses had shot down all the missiles fired by the Russians, with the damage likely caused by falling projectile debris. "Every day and every night there is this terror. World unity can put an end to this if it helps us with air defense systems. We need this defense now here in Ukraine", reacted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Telegram messaging.

Kiev city and regional authorities said at least 13 people were injured in different districts of the capital and four others on its outskirts. An 11-year-old girl is one of four victims hospitalized. Russia denies targeting civilians as part of its invasion of Ukraine launched in February 2022.

According to the Ukrainian army, Russia has fired more than 8,000 missiles against Ukraine in two years of war and air warning sirens have sounded at more than 1,020 recoveries in Kiev. The Ukrainian capital was placed on alert for almost three hours Thursday morning after 44 days of calm. "We feel hatred, terrible hatred. It's not fear, it's hatred. Towards Russia in general and all those there in particular", said Kostiantin, a resident of Kiev, interviewed by Reuters alongside his wife in front of a house damaged.

His wife added, in reference to the re-election of Russian President Vladimir Putin last weekend: "I sent a hello message to my parents in Crimea who went to vote (…) They took part in the election and voted for Putin. Mom, and Dad, thank you so much for the fact that my husband and I were almost killed today. Thank you."

The Russian army attacked Kiev from several directions using strategic bombers and missiles fired from its own territory, said Serhiy Popko, head of the Russian army ;military administration of the Ukrainian capital.

A major summit of the 27 countries of the European Union begins this Thursday

From this Thursday, March 21, 2024, the 27 countries of the European Union are meeting to discuss the war in Ukraine and that between Hamas and Israel. The goal is to respond to the threat without escalation on one side and to ease tensions and provide humanitarian support on the other.

The goal is to prevent any escalation. Faced with the threat posed by Russia in the war in Ukraine and the seriousness of the situation in the Gaza Strip, the 27 countries of the European Union are meeting.< /p>

They will discuss the aid to be given to Kiev and the response to be given to Vladimir Putin, freshly re-elected. Concerning the alarming situation in the ;Palestinian enclave, the 27 call for a humanitarian pause.

Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, explains to Euronews that the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine are centralizing the interests of& ;nbsp;European political actors: “We see Russian bombs and rockets falling on Ukraine every day, Russia’s terrible attack on Ukraine with all its consequences. This will again play an important role in our consultations. Europe must ask itself how to support Ukraine in its struggle for independence and integrity. "

The European Union must also give a response to Vladimir Putin, who, particularly since Emmanuel Macron's statements on a possible sending of troops,  multiplies allusions to its nuclear power.

The worrying promise of the Vice-President of the Russian Assembly

The vice-president of the Duma declared this Thursday, March 21, 2024, that he intended to "kill all French soldiers" in the event that they come to fight on Ukrainian soil.

For Russia, the possible sending of French soldiers to Ukraine is unacceptable. After the recent statements by Emmanuel Macron on this possibility, and the threatening responses of Vladimir Putin, our colleagues from BFMTV have published a video of the  vice-president of the Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy, in which he castigates such involvement of France.

"We don't care about his opinion, said the vice-president of the Duma , we don't care about its limits, we don't care about Macron, about what Macron says". Over the past two weeks, the President of the Republic, in opposition to the position of NATO, has said that sending French troops to Ukraine was a option.

Also read: War in Ukraine: Macron reaffirms the hypothesis "of&#39 ;field operations" without "wishing them"

"We're going to kill everyone, don't worry", assures Pyotr Tolstoy. He recalled that Russia counted 147 volunteer French soldiers who died while going to fight on the ground it covets.

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