War in Ukraine: no Olympic truce, a “buffer zone” in Kharkiv… an update on the situation

War in Ukraine: no Olympic truce, a “buffer zone” in Kharkiv… an update on the situation

L'Ukraine a lancé une attaque de drones conséquente contre la Russie au cours de la nuit de jeudi à vendredi. MAXPPP – SERGEY KOZLOV

Every day, Midi Libre takes stock of the situation in Ukraine. This Friday the 17th May 2024, discover the latest news around this conflict.

Russia creates buffer zone in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, Putin says

Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russian forces were advancing into Ukraine's Kharkiv region while creating a "buffer zone" near the border with Russia, adding that capturing the city of Kharkiv itself was not part of their plan at the moment. The Russian president, who made the remarks at a press conference in China, said the recent Russian push into the Kharkiv region was a response to Ukrainian bombing of border regions in Russia such as Belgorod. "As for what is happening in the direction of Kharkiv, it's also their fault because they have bombed and unfortunately continue to bomb residential areas in the border areas , including Belgorod", he said. "I said publicly that if this continued, we would be forced to create a security zone, a buffer zone. “That’s what we do,” he added.

Asked about a potential attempt to seize the city of Kharkiv, Vladimir Putin replied that it"There was no plan in this direction to date". Ukraine launched a massive drone attack on Russia overnight Thursday, according to Russian officials, which killed two people in the Belgorod region and set fire to an oil refinery in Tuapse, on the Black Sea. Belgorod region governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said a mother and her four-year-old son were killed while riding in a car. The fire at the Tuapse refinery has been extinguished, local authorities said. The extent of the damage was not immediately known.

The refinery had undergone several months of repairs, which were only completed at the end of April, after a previous fire in January. At the time, a Ukrainian source also blamed the fire on drones launched by Ukraine, which have repeatedly struck refineries and caused significant disruptions in production. Russian oil company. The Tuapse refinery has an annual capacity of 12 million tonnes, or 240,000 barrels per day, and mainly supplies Turkey, China, Malaysia and Singapore. The Russian Defense Ministry said Russian defense systems destroyed 102 Ukrainian aerial drones and six naval drones in the Black Sea overnight. In annexed Crimea, an electricity substation was damaged in Sevastopol, local pro-Russian governor Mikhail Razvojaev said on Telegram.

He specified that there would be"isolated failures"and that classes in schools were canceled. Furthermore, the Ukrainian army declared that it had shot down the 20 drones launched overnight by Russia over the regions of Kharkiv, Poltava, Vinnytsia, Odessa and Mykolaiv. Kharkiv city mayor Ihor Terekhov reported four explosions during the attack on the Telegram messaging app, adding that one of the strikes caused a fire. The attack damaged five buildings, including one belonging to the local administration, according to Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Syniehoubov on Telegram. Three drones were shot down over the Poltava region without causing any casualties or damage to infrastructure, said regional governor Filip Pronin. For his part, the regional governor of Mykolaiv, Vitali Kim, declared that no casualties were to be deplored after the nighttime attacks.

Putin implies that he will not respect an Olympic truce

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that he will not respect the Olympic truce and will continue fighting in Ukraine during the Paris Olympics, contrary to the wishes of his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. "These Olympic principles, including the Olympic Truce, are very fair. But few countries have respected it in history, with the exception of ancient Greece", Mr. Putin told the Russian press at the end of a two-day trip to China. The Russian leader then implied that since Russia had been excluded from the Paris Games because of its invasion of Ukraine, it did not have to comply with the principles of the International Olympic Committee. "International sports officials are today violating the principles of the Olympic Charter with regard to Russia by preventing our athletes from participating in the Olympics under their flag, with their national anthem, but they want us to comply with the rules they impose on us, he declared. "To demand something from others, you must respect the rules yourself", he concluded.

Mr. Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and demands the annexation of five Ukrainian regions. The Russian army has also just launched a new offensive on the northern region of Kharkiv. Mr. Macron assured that he wanted "to do everything" to have an Olympic truce across the world during the Olympics. He said that President Xi Jinping had given him his support in early May. MM. Xi and Putin, who met at length in Beijing on Thursday, did not publicly discuss the subject. Russia had already waged war on Georgia during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Tbilisi wanted to regain control of a separatist territory supported by Moscow.

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