Sunday, July 21, 2024

A besieged city, nuclear weapons and a treaty with France


Have you missed the latest on the war in Ukraine? 20 minutes Takes stock for you every evening at 7:30pm. Between strong announcements, front-line developments and battle results, here are the highlights of the day.

Today's reality

On Thursday, a bomb struck a shopping center in the Russian city of Belgorod, Ukraine. Forty km from the Ukrainian border. The governor of the region, which borders Ukraine, said the strike would have killed at least six people and injured 20, including five children.

In Ukraine, the situation is worsening in Avdiyvka, a city in the Donbass, where in the war-torn Donbass, the position of Ukrainian defenders is increasingly precarious in the face of Russian forces who launched an offensive to complete the encirclement of the city in October. “Confirms that the 3rd Assault Brigade has been urgently redeployed as reinforcements in the area,” the division indicated in a message on Telegram on Thursday titled “The Hell of Avtivka”.

The brigade said it was carrying out counterattacks in Russian-held neighborhoods, estimating “seven brigades” of insurgents, or several thousand men, in its area, with reinforcements continuing to arrive.

Today's report

« Information relating to serious threat to national security »

That's the gist of a press release signed Wednesday by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner to his colleagues in the U.S. Congress. Worrying to say the least, the outbreak spread like wildfire and fueled speculation in the US. A White House official is going to Congress this Thursday to brief elected officials on the mysterious issue. It should be said that it is extremely rare for intelligence agencies to communicate publicly about their current files unless there is a direct risk to the public.

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Asked by AFP, a source close to the matter indicated the alleged threat was “serious” but not “urgent”. Citing unidentified sources, several US media spoke of Russian military capabilities as “very worrying”. ABC News first reported that Russia plans to put a nuclear weapon in space against satellites. Atom, the word is out.

For its part, Moscow describes this information as “malicious” and “baseless”, which it considers a maneuver by the US administration through an envelope that has been blocked in Congress for months in Ukraine.

Number of days

486. That's billions of dollars, the minimum amount Ukraine needs to rebuild after two years of war, according to estimates released Thursday by the World Bank, the United Nations, the European Union and the Ukrainian government. The previous estimate, published in March 2023, was $411 billion.

The most significant damage is concentrated in Donetsk (east), Kharkiv (northeast), Luhansk (east), Zaporizhia (south), Kherson (south), located near the current front line, and Kiev (north).


Emmanuel Macron will sign a bilateral security agreement with his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday, a sign of “French determination to defeat Russia's war of aggression” in Ukraine, which will soon enter its third year, the Elysee announced Thursday.

Our file on the war in Ukraine

The agreement will be signed at the Elysée Palace at 6:45pm after the Ukrainian president stopped in Berlin to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Germany is also negotiating a security pact with Kyiv, the outcome of which appears imminent. “Our determination (to support Ukraine) remains, will not weaken, will not weaken,” the adviser to the French head of state stressed. “We are determined to defeat this race that Russia is putting,” he stressed, “in the long run, to our exhaustion.”

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