► kyiv gives pledges on the use of cluster munitions
On his Twitter account, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov tried to respond on Saturday July 8 to concerns about the delivery of cluster munitions promised the day before by Washington. Ukraine undertakes to respect five key principles in the use of these weapons: they will be used for the liberation of the occupied territories, “not on the officially recognized territory of Russia”. They will not be used in urban areas, but “in areas where there is a concentration of Russian soldiers, to break through enemy defense lines with minimal risk to the lives of our soldiers”. Kyiv will hold a “strict record of the use of these weapons and the areas where they will be used”. After the release “these territories will be prioritized for mine clearance purposes” by the Ukrainian Defense Minister. Finally, Ukraine will return “accounts to its partners for the use of this ammunition”.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the delivery of these weapons constituted ” an admission of weakness in the context of the failure of the alleged Ukrainian counter-offensive”.
►Volodymyr Zelensky prays alongside Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew
Volodymyr Zelensky, visiting Istanbul, prayed Saturday July 8 alongside the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew for the victims of the war with Russia. The Ukrainian president went in the morning to the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, on the Golden Horn in Istanbul. After a short prayer, the two men spoke away from the cameras. “Our fight has been going on for 500 days already, since the start of the full-scale invasion. We received here the support of His Holiness and prayers for our fighters, our nation, our people, for life in Ukraine”Volodymyr Zelensky said after the interview, saying to himself “very grateful to His Holiness for being with us”
► A visit to Snake Island
To mark the 500th day of the conflict, the Ukrainian president visited Serpents’ Island, which Moscow had seized shortly after the start of the invasion on February 24, 2022 before having to abandon it. “Today we are on Serpents’ Island, which will never be conquered by the occupier, just like the rest of Ukraine, because we are the country of courage”, Volodymyr Zelensky said in an undated video posted Saturday, July 8 on social media. The Ukrainian contingent stationed on this small rock at the start of the invasion refused to surrender and called on the Russian warship Moskva “to go f…”, during a radio exchange that has become cult. These Ukrainian soldiers had ended up being captured before being exchanged with Russian prisoners.
► 9,000 civilians killed, including 500 children, according to the UN
The UN has denounced the loss of civilian life caused by the Russian offensive in Ukraine. More than 9,000 civilians, including 500 children, have been killed since the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said in a statement Friday July 7, with the actual number likely to be many. higher.
On the ground, a Russian strike on the town of Lyman, an important railway junction, left at least eight dead and 13 injured on Saturday July 8, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior. On the other side of the front, a Ukrainian bombardment killed two people overnight in the occupied town of Olechky, in the south of the country, according to local emergency services.
► Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s support for Ukraine’s NATO membership
Turkish Head of State Recep Tayyip Erdogan, receiving Volodymyr Zelensky in Istanbul on Friday July 7, estimated that Ukraine “deserved” to join the Atlantic Alliance and called on Ukraine and Russia to “return to peace talks”. A hope quickly showered by Washington: kyiv “still has many steps to take before you can become a member”warned White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, days before the Vilnius summit on July 11-12.
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