After two months in Lviv, Yulya Solodko and her family recently returned to their apartment in the Tatarka district, in the center of Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.

Life has yet to return to normal before the Russian invasion. But Ms. Solodko relishes the beauty of spring as she walks around the neighborhood.

“It’s probably the most beautiful time of the year, when everything is in bloom,” she said Tuesday morning during a telephone interview. We are lucky. The apartment is in good condition. On the other hand, we have a family house in the suburbs which was quite damaged, in particular to the roof and the windows. »

The Tatarka district has not yet found all its inhabitants or its effervescence, continues the Kievan. “Some businesses are open,” she said. We have access to all regular services: food, pharmacy, post. But it still lacks that background noise of passing cars, construction, people talking or listening to music…”

Yulya Solodko, her husband and their two children are among some 2.7 million people who, after leaving their homes at the start of the conflict, have since returned, according to statistics released on Tuesday by the International Organization for migration, a UN agency.

The organization also said that since February 24, some 13.6 million Ukrainians have fled the war, including 8 million inside the country. For a population estimated at 43.2 million inhabitants, this means that more than 30% of Ukrainians ended up on the roads.

“People our age are almost all gone. We feel a responsibility to our children,” Ms. Solodko said seconds before an air raid siren forced her to ask us not to leave. “We’re used to it,” she said on the way back. It’s more disturbing than worrying. »

However, the neighborhood where Yulya Solodko lives was targeted by two missiles two weeks ago. “They fell 700 meters from my house,” she observes. The country’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, told Maltese lawmakers on Tuesday that Ukrainian cities had been hit by 2,250 Russian missiles in two and a half months of war. Mr. Zelensky added that Ukraine had not received the amount of weaponry needed to end the siege of Mariupol and liberate the city. He also claimed to have tried everything, including diplomatic means, to free the last defenders of the Azovstal steel plant, but that Russia had rejected all proposals.

In Washington, CIA director Avril Haines told a Senate committee that Vladimir Putin plans to expand the invasion westward, specifically to Transnistria, a region of Moldova that seceded in 1990. According to Ekaterina Piskunova, a lecturer in the political science department at the University of Montreal, Russia is strategically seeking to establish a buffer zone. “I never thought the Kremlin’s goal was to take Kyiv or go to western Ukraine,” she said. On the other hand, in the history of the USSR and even of the tsarist empire, there has always been a very present desire to establish a buffer zone all along the western and southern borders. I therefore see in Putin a desire to control the bordering regions, from Kharkiv towards the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk to Mariupol on the Black Sea, and to attach Crimea by land, therefore [to take] Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odessa. »

Germany reopened its embassy on Tuesday, following the example of Canada and several other countries in recent weeks. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was in the Ukrainian capital after visiting Irpin and Boutcha. She said the embassy would operate with a minimal staff under the leadership of Ambassador Anka Feldhusen. Ms. Baerbock also said that Germany aims to reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuels “to zero and forever”. Greece also reopened its embassy in Kviv on Tuesday.

In Brussels, the European Union (EU) issued a statement accusing Russia of carrying out a cyberattack against communications satellites operated by Viasat one hour before the start of the invasion of Ukraine on 24 february. “The attack caused significant communications disruptions that affected public services, businesses and citizen users in Ukraine,” it said. Several EU countries also suffered the consequences of the attack, it adds.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here