Home News After defeat at Kherson, Russia conducts fortification works in annexed Crimea

After defeat at Kherson, Russia conducts fortification works in annexed Crimea

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Russia announced this Friday, November 18 to carry out fortification work in the annexed Crimean peninsula, after the withdrawal of its soldiers in the neighboring Ukrainian region of Kherson in the face of a counter-offensive from kyiv.

“Fortification works are being carried out under my control on the territory of Crimea in order to guarantee the safety of Crimeans”said Sergei Aksionov, the governor installed by Moscow after the annexation of this Ukrainian peninsula in 2014. He stressed, however, that the security of Crimea passed “mainly by measures to be implemented in the territory of the Kherson region”which adjoins the peninsula, in southern Ukraine.

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This announcement comes as Russian forces made a humiliating retreat in this region last week, after failing to contain a counterattack by Ukrainian soldiers, armed by the West. The withdrawal of the Russian soldiers, who notably abandoned the regional capital which bears the same name, has enabled the forces of kyiv to bring their guns closer to Crimea, which has been targeted several times in recent months.

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In October, the Crimean Bridge, which connects the peninsula to Russian territory and is used to resupply troops engaged in Ukraine, was partially destroyed in an attack attributed to kyiv by Moscow, which evoked a truck bomb.

Other attacks attributed to Ukrainian forces have also been carried out in Crimea, in particular against the Russian fleet in Sevastopol or against several Russian military infrastructures in the peninsula.

Since its annexation in 2014, Moscow considers Crimea as part of its territory, which is not recognized by the international community. kyiv has repeated several times in recent months wanting to retake the peninsula.

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Reopening of the train line between Kyiv and Kherson

Since the departure of troops from Moscow a week ago to the day, kyiv says it deplores the “atrocities” – including the numerous alleged cases of torture – committed by the Russian army during the eight-month occupation of Kherson.

According to the deputy head of the presidency, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who visited the region, “the Russians not only killed, mined, but also robbed in our cities”he denounced.

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The national railway company announced on Friday the reopening of the train line between the capital kyiv and Kherson. “Today we are launching our first train from Kyiv to Kherson”told AFP Natalia Turtchak, a spokeswoman for Ukrzaliznytsia.

The trip is planned “at 10:14 p.m. from the capital, and will arrive tomorrow around 9 a.m. in Kherson”rejoiced on Facebook a local official, Serguiï Khlan. “About 200 passengers […] will travel on board » of the train ” whose “ the wagons were painted by Ukrainian artists, he said.

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The reopening of the line is however symbolic at this stage, as tickets to buy seats for the next few days are not yet available. “At the moment, it’s only one train. Then we’ll see if it becomes a regular line.” of the Ukrainian railway network, Natalia Tourchak told AFP.

“Ten million Ukrainians are without electricity”

Russia also continues to carry out repetitive bombardments which have targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure since October, regularly depriving many cities of the country of power but also of water.

“Ten million Ukrainians are without electricity”President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday evening.

These power cuts, suffered or preventive in order to avoid an overload of the electricity network, greatly upset the daily life of Ukrainians, while the first snow of winter fell on the country on Thursday. “Multi-hour restrictions are imposed throughout Ukraine during the day”said this Friday morning the national electricity operator, Ukrenergo.

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For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry insisted on Friday that the strikes the day before targeted military and energy infrastructure and that all targets had been destroyed.

These included, according to the ministry, a missile manufacturing plant and an arms depot. “delivered by Western countries”.

According to the statement, the Russian army also claimed to have conquered the locality of Opytne in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

The death toll from a Russian bombardment Thursday on the city of Vilniansk in the Zaporijjia region (center-east) rose from seven to ten dead, including two children according to the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office.

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