UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday April 19 proposed to the Ukrainian and Russian armies to stop the fighting for a “humanitarian break” of four days on the occasion of the Orthodox Easter, in order to “allow the opening of a series of humanitarian corridors”. Call remained a dead letter for the moment, while Russia is stepping up its offensive in the east of the country. Franceinfo takes stock of what to remember from this day of war in Ukraine where there were many diplomatic announcements.
The Russian offensive has begun in the east of the country
“The new phase of the special operation begins in Ukraine”, announced Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister. Dozens of strikes have been carried out since Monday evening in the Donbass region. On Tuesday evening, three people were killed and 21 others injured in new Russian bombardments on Kharkiv, regional governor Oleg Sinegoubov announced on Telegram. The latter adds: “The intensity of the shelling has increased.”
The fights “are incessant” in several cities, “it’s hell”, said the Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region, Sergiï Gaïdaï, calling on the inhabitants to flee.
The Ukrainian army reinforced by deliveries of fighter jets
The Pentagon announced a delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine, as well as spare parts. But his spokesman John Kirby was stingy with details. He declined to specify their number, the type of device or their origin. “Today they have more fighter jets at their disposal than two weeks ago,” he limited himself to declaring. “Without going into detail on what other countries are providing, I would say that they have received additional aircraft and spare parts to increase their fleet. Other nations that have experience with these kinds of aircraft have could help them get more devices in service.”
Strengthening of sanctions against Russia in sight
“We will once again strengthen our sanctions against Russia,” European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen tweeted after a meeting with key Western leaders. The European Union and the United States have succeeded in “a broad consensus on the need to increase pressure on the Kremlin, in particular through the adoption of new sanctions”. The allies also agreed on the need “to increase the international isolation of Moscow”, specifies the Italian government, which gave details of the content of the meeting.
The Russian and Ukrainian economies hard hit by the war
Russia’s gross domestic product, under massive sanctions since its invasion of Ukraine in late February, is expected to contract by 8.5% this year and Ukraine’s GDP to collapse by 35%, according to the latest economic forecasts. of the IMF. Supported by government programs, the Russian economy is holding up better than expected. After collapsing by 60%, the ruble even returned to levels close to those before the invasion. According to IMF experts, Western sanctions are not yet producing their maximum effects.