Paris and Berlin “will support Ukraine until the end” of the conflict, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Friday, traveling to Germany. Earlier in the week, Washington had said the same, accompanying its words with $400 million in additional aid. Ditto on the side of the United Kingdom, when Emmanuel Macron estimated Wednesday on Twitter that “any strike against civilian infrastructure constitutes a war crime and cannot go unpunished”.

In short, this week again the international community assured kyiv of its support. But, on the spot, the cold is there weakening troops and morale, while the Kremlin continues to shower the country with cruise missiles. Russia will “achieve its objectives” in Ukraine, even let go of Vladimir Putin to conclude the week, which ends this Friday on the 275th day of conflict.

Keep Bakhmout and Crimea at all costs

Map of the situation in Ukraine on November 24.
Map of the situation in Ukraine on November 24. – SIMON MALFATTO, PAZ PIZARRO, KENAN AUGEARD / AFP

Kherson is liberated, kyiv shelled and without electricity. On the ground, despite the setbacks, Moscow is not giving up to the point of firing a rain of 70 cruise missiles this week, ensuring that it is only targeting military infrastructure. In the South, Crimea remains strongly controlled by the Russian forces on the spot “on alert”. The Ukrainian peninsula was targeted by a drone attack on Tuesday. The second in a few weeks. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and bases its Black Sea Fleet there. kyiv aims to reconquer it and continues to recover territories in the neighboring region of Kherson.

Elsewhere on the front, Ukrainians and Russians clashed Tuesday on the tip of Kinbourne, a piece of land nestled at the tip of the left bank of the Dnieper in southern Ukraine, south of Mikolaiv, according to Ukrainian authorities.

Finally, in Bakhmout, the Russian paramilitary group Wagner is not disarming “despite all military logic”, according to our colleagues from France Info. The city located north of Donetsk, emptied of most of its inhabitants, is now 60% destroyed, according to the regional governor, Pavlo Kirilenko. There, Wagner is said to have recruited “with a vengeance in the prisons, dangling amnesties and high salaries”. “They are used as cannon fodder,” explains Dimitri Minic, researcher at the French Institute of International Relations. Still, “Wagner’s relentlessness seems futile” and that the capture of Bakhmout would not change anything in the operational situation in the region, according to the experts: “His capture would simply be a pinhole in the Ukrainian system. »

Count the dead and victims of the cold

Map of Ukraine showing civilian casualties recorded by the NGO Acled since the start of the conflict on February 24.
Map of Ukraine showing civilian casualties recorded by the NGO Acled since the start of the conflict on February 24. – Jean-Michel CORNU, Sophie STUBER / AFP

There are civilian victims, of course. Their numbers have been increasing since February 24 and the start of what Moscow still calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine. And, as of Friday, patients from Kherson hospitals were still being evacuated due to “constant” Russian strikes, according to the governor. The day before, at least 11 people had been killed and 50 injured in a Russian bombardment on Kherson. On Wednesday, three others were killed and six others injured in kyiv. The same day, in Zaporozhye, the Ukrainian emergency services announced the death of a newborn, killed by a Russian strike on a maternity hospital.

And then there are these millions of Ukrainians, including nearly half of the inhabitants of kyiv, still without power for days or even weeks, in temperatures that have become wintery. In her kyiv apartment, where the gas for cooking and heating has been disconnected, Albina Bilogoub explained that her children now all sleep in one room to keep warm: “It’s our life. A sweater, then a second, a third. We live like that now. »

This strategy by Moscow to bomb energy infrastructure, carried out since October against a backdrop of military setbacks, was denounced this week as a “crime against humanity” by Volodymyr Zelensky. Visiting Ukraine on Friday, British Foreign Minister James Cleverly also announced new humanitarian aid to suffering Ukrainians, including ambulances and “support” for “survivors of sexual violence perpetrated by the Russian army”.

Threatening if oil prices are capped

Evolution of Russian oil exports by sea, before the entry into force on December 5 of the embargo put in place by the European Union.
Evolution of Russian oil exports by sea, before the entry into force on December 5 of the embargo put in place by the European Union. – Anibal MAIZ CACERES, Julia Han JANICKI / AFP

In the middle of the week, Vladimir Putin warned of “serious consequences” in the event of a cap on the price of Russian oil, while the countries in favor of such a measure must soon announce their decision. “Such actions run counter to the principles of trade relations and will most likely lead to serious consequences for the global energy market,” the Russian president said in a phone call with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Chia. al-Sudani, according to a Kremlin statement.

The coalition of states, which includes the G7, the European Union and Australia, has indeed indicated that it wishes to impose a cap on the price of Russian oil and that it will announce the limit envisaged “in the coming days”. . The objective is to arrive at a maximum price for Russian hydrocarbons that can be put in place before the entry into force of new European sanctions, planned from December 5.

Capping the price of oil sold by Russia should make it possible to reduce its financial resources and thus its ability to continue the offensive in Ukraine, but also to contain the rise in energy prices. However, this price must remain higher than the production price, to encourage Russia to continue selling it.

Cut the valves of the power plants

Map locating nuclear power plants in Ukraine, including the three power plants disconnected from the grid after Russian strikes on November 23.
Map locating nuclear power plants in Ukraine, including the three power plants disconnected from the grid after Russian strikes on November 23. – Jean-Michel CORNU, Sophie STUBER / AFP

The three nuclear power plants of Khmelnytsky and Rivne (West) and that of Pivdennoukrainsk (South) were disconnected on Wednesday by the automatic protection system following Russian strikes that hit many Ukrainian electrical installations. The three power plants under kyiv’s control, which can be seen on the map above, could be reconnected to the electricity grid as of Thursday, the Ministry of Energy announced on Telegram on Thursday, specifying that these installations should start delivering electricity by “tonight”.

Across the country, “the situation is generally difficult” but in some regions, “the supply of electricity has already increased”, assured this Friday the Minister German Galouchchenko quoted in the press release of his ministry. According to him, “critical infrastructure across the country” has been able to be reconnected to the electricity grid.

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