The eighty-second day of the war in Ukraine was marked by an official request from Sweden to join NATO, which provoked multiple reactions on the international scene.
As Russia continued its bombing of Ukraine on Monday, killing at least a dozen people in the Luhansk region, Kyiv claimed to have regained control of part of its border. On the economic front, the American fast food giant McDonald’s and the French car maker Renault have formalized their withdrawal from Russia. But on the international scene, the eighty-second day of the conflict was marked by an official request from Sweden to join NATO, despite threats from Vladimir Putin and Turkey.
• Russian bombing kills 10 in Luhansk region
At least 10 people were killed in a Russian bombing of the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk on Monday. This was indicated by the governor of Luhansk, Sergeyevich Gaidic, on his account on Telegram.
“At least 10 people were killed. It is currently very difficult to verify the situation on the ground due to the new bombing,” the governor said, calling on residents who did not flee to stay safe.
In an earlier message on Monday, the governor warned of an “extremely powerful” artillery bombardment of Severodonetsk, a city “virtually besieged” with troops from Moscow and pro-Russian separatists from Donbass, according to the city’s mayor, who gave an update on the situation on the ground on Sunday.
• Kyiv claims to have regained control of part of the border with Russia
On the military front, the Russian forces seem to be stagnating, and in some places even retreating. The authorities in Kyiv announced, Monday, that the Ukrainian forces succeeded in regaining control of part of the border with Russia in the northeastern Kharkiv region. It was also said that Russian forces had been brought back to a border post.
“The 227th Battalion of the 127th Regional Defense Brigade of the Kharkiv Armed Forces expelled the Russians and settled on the border,” the Defense Ministry said on its Facebook page, and posted a video of armed soldiers in front of a border post marked in yellow and yellow. Blue, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and the coat of arms of Ukraine with a trident.
Along the same lines, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared in a new video speech that “the occupiers refuse to admit that they are in trouble” in Ukraine, and that “their so-called special operation has failed.”
• Moskva recording revealed before it sank
On the Russian side, it was one of the biggest losses, both strategic and symbolic, since the beginning of the conflict. Last April, Moscow saw that the ship “Moskva”, the flagship of its navy, was sinking in the Black Sea. A major ship was, according to the official version of the Kremlin, the victim of a storm. After the sinking, Kyiv, for its part, claimed that it had succeeded in neutralizing the ship thanks to missile strikes.
This Monday, the Ukrainian military posted an online recording made a few minutes before the sinking, in which we can hear Moskva’s commanders pleading for help.
“Tugboat, will you receive me? Emergency on Moskva: two collisions, the boat will turn on its side, tilt 30 degrees, the propeller is smashed. The impact is below the water line. It is impossible to approach the tugboat. Ask to rescue the crew!”, we hear.
An exchange contrary to the Russian version, in which the officers themselves mentioned the effects on the structure.
Sweden requests to join NATO
After Finland’s request to join NATO on Sunday, Sweden’s request appeared to be just hours away. It became official Monday afternoon, through Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson, who spoke of a new “era” for the Scandinavian country.
“The government has decided to inform NATO of Sweden’s desire to join the alliance,” she told a news conference. “We leave an era to enter a new era,” the Swedish leader said.
The Swedish ambassador to NATO will send the candidacy to Stockholm “soon”. Sweden and Finland have already announced their desire to apply simultaneously. And soon this official form provoked many reactions. If the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, declares that he supports this approach “in full”, as did British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who considered that the two countries should be integrated into NATO “as soon as possible”, then this request would still not be accepted. on the side of Turkey.
On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already expressed his opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO. He kept a line on Monday asserting that he “won’t give up” on the point.
In a statement, the Elysee immediately confirmed that France “will stand by Finland and Sweden” in the event of an attack.
• Putin asserts that “the expansion of NATO will provoke reactions from us.”
During a speech on the sidelines of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin returned to Sweden and Finland’s desire to join NATO. He warned that if the Russian president claims that it is an “artificially created problem” and that “Russia has no problems with these countries.”
He warned that “there are no direct threats from the entry of these countries into NATO, but the military expansion in these areas will provoke our response, which will be on the basis of threats. Of course, we will respond appropriately.”
Regarding the Russian invasion, the head of state once again emphasized that “in our neighboring country, Ukraine, Nazism has long regained the upper hand,” justifying what is still referred to in Russia as a “special operation.”
Vladimir Putin also stressed that this presence of “Nazis” in Ukraine was accompanied by an explosion of fear of Russia “in the so-called civilized countries.”