War in Ukraine: massive missile and drone attack, mobilization of detainees into the army… update on the situation

War in Ukraine: massive missile and drone attack, mobilization of detainees into the army… update on the situation

Une attaque massive de missiles et de drones menées par la Russie près de Kiev, ce mercredi 8 mai 2024. MAXPPP – SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Every day, Midi Libre takes stock of the situation in Ukraine. This Wednesday, May 8, 2024, discover the latest news around this conflict.

Russia celebrates May 8 by bombing Ukrainian energy infrastructure

Russia carried out a massive missile and drone attack on Ukrainian energy infrastructure overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, local authorities said, celebrating May 8, which marks the end of World War II, in its own way. Power plants were damaged in several regions, most located far from the front, said Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko. A natural gas storage center was also hit near Lviv, in western Ukraine, according to a local official. Ukraine's air force chief of staff said anti-aircraft defenses shot down 39 of 55 Russian missiles fired overnight, as well as 20 of 21 Shahed drones .

All missiles fired in the direction of kyiv were intercepted, the head of the capital's military administration, Serhiy Popko, said on the Telegram messaging application, while Ukraine would have started to receive American military aid which it has greatly lacked in recent months, in particular missiles for its Patriot anti-aircraft systems. No major damage or injuries have yet been reported in kyiv, Serhiy Popko said. The main Ukrainian private electricity producer, DTEK, however, announced that three of its power plants had been seriously damaged by the Russian strikes.

Russia reiterates its threats against possible French troops in Ukraine

Russia repeated on Wednesday that French soldiers would be legitimate targets of the Russian army if they were to be deployed in Ukraine, a possibility that President Emmanuel Macron said he would not exclude. "It is telling that Macron himself explains this rhetoric by his wish to create a kind of strategic uncertainty for Russia", Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told reporters.

"We must disappoint him. For us, there is no uncertainty: if the French appear in the conflict zone, they will inevitably become targets for the Russian armed forces." "It seems to me that Paris already has proof of this", added Maria Zakharova, affirming that more and more French nationals are being killed in Ukraine. Paris denounced a Russian disinformation campaign after the French ambassador in Moscow was summoned this week to the Russian Foreign Ministry to explain a supposed deployment of French troops in Ukraine.< /p>

UK to expel Russian defense attaché for "malicious activity"

Britain will expel Russia's defense attaché, withdraw diplomatic status from some properties and limit the duration of Russian diplomatic visas, decisions taken in response to what the Home Secretary James Cleverly on Wednesday called the 'malicious activity" from Moscow. This announcement is among others that occurred during the day across Europe with regard to Russia, Estonia having summoned the highest diplomat Russian in the country for a case of jamming GPS signals and Poland having denounced a cyberattack by a group linked to Russia. Britain is already "an extremely delicate operational environment for the Russian intelligence services", but the new measures decided by London will "strengthen our resilience against to the Russian threat", James Cleverly told Parliament.

Since Russia launched its offensive in Ukraine in February 2022, denounced by kyiv and the West as an invasion, Great Britain has taken several sets of sanctions against Russian companies and personalities. James Cleverly stressed on Wednesday that support for kyiv from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's conservative government would not waver. "We will expel the Russian defense attaché, who is an undeclared military intelligence officer", he- he announces. "We will remove diplomatic building status from several Russia-linked properties. We are imposing new restrictions on Russia's diplomatic visas, including limiting the length of time Russian diplomats can spend" in the country, detailed the minister.

In Moscow, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that an "appropriate response" would be brought into the decisions of London. Maria Zakharova also accused Germany of using baseless myths about hackers. Russians with the aim of fueling tensions, warning that Berlin's decision to recall its ambassador to Russia on Monday for consultations would lead to a further deterioration in relations between the two countries.

Parliament approves a text allowing prisoners to join the army

The Ukrainian Parliament on Wednesday approved a bill intended to allow certain detainees to join the army in exchange for possible release on parole, as part of measures intended to reinforce the Ukrainian troops, tired and outnumbered compared to the Russian troops. As the war against Russia has entered its third year, Ukraine is still trying to fill a shortage of soldiers, which some military analysts see as Kiev's main challenge facing an adversary with ;a much larger contingent.

According to a high-ranking parliamentarian, the text should make it possible to have only a few thousand additional soldiers. Another elected official, Oleksiy Honcharenko, declared that detainees convicted of serious crimes – murder, sexual assault, etc. – would not be allowed to join the army. No detainees will be forcibly mobilized, he added via the social network X. The bill must now be submitted to Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky for promulgation. According to the text, prisoners wishing to join the army will have to write a letter to this effect to the prison official, before a decision is taken by a court.

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