Several explosions resounded, at dawn today, Thursday, in Kiev and other Ukrainian regions, as the authorities appealed to the population to take refuge in safe shelters, according to what the Ukrainian Military Administration announced.
The head of the Civil and Military Administration in the Ukrainian capital, Sergey Popko, said via the “Telegram” application that “debris have been recorded in the Darnitsky district of the capital. Data on casualties and damage is being verified.” He added that anti-aircraft defenses are responding to this air attack.
In turn, the Ukrainian army announced that the Vinnytsia region in the center of the country was being attacked by “cruise missiles,” noting that it had issued warnings to residents throughout the country of the danger of air strikes.
An hour after the alarms were sounded, the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Telegram channel asked residents of the capital to stay in bomb shelters. Alerts were issued for a range of other regions, including Zhytomyr to the west of the capital and Kirovohrad, Cherkassy and Dnipropetrovsk in the center of the country.
A witness in Kiev told Reuters that he heard the sound of anti-aircraft units. There are also reports of explosions in other major cities, without confirming their source.
For his part, the mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, said that “a fire broke out in a commercial store in the Darnitsky district of the capital as a result of falling debris,” noting also that “an explosion was recorded in the Desnyansky district.”
Officials also said that one person was killed today, Thursday, in a Russian missile strike on an industrial facility in the city of Odessa (south). Serhiy Prachuk, a spokesman for the Odessa military department, wrote on Telegram that two people were wounded in the attack on the city.
Ukraine and China
In parallel, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced today, Thursday, that a Chinese special envoy indicated during his visit to Kiev this week that “there is no magic solution to the war in Ukraine” but urged the two sides to create conditions for peace talks.
China’s special envoy for Europe and Asia Li Hui visited Kiev on Tuesday and Wednesday, and exchanged views with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and other officials on ways to end the conflict with Russia through a political settlement, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement.
“China is willing to encourage the international community to find the greatest common ground to solve the Ukraine crisis, make its own efforts to stop the fighting, declare a cease-fire and restore peace as soon as possible,” the statement said.
“China has always played a constructive role in alleviating the humanitarian situation in Ukraine in its own way and will continue to provide assistance to Ukraine within its capacity,” he added.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry said the foreign minister told me on Wednesday that Kiev would not accept any proposals to end the war that would involve a loss of territory or a freeze on the conflict.
Li, a former ambassador to Moscow, will also visit Poland, France and Germany before concluding a multi-day tour in Russia. Li Hui is the most senior Chinese official to visit Ukraine since the war began in February 2022.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Li also discussed bilateral relations during his visit to Kiev. The two sides agreed to work to maintain mutual respect and to continue moving forward in cooperation in their interest.
The two governments said President Xi Jinping’s recent phone call with Zelensky set a direction for the development of relations.
On the other hand, a prominent member of the ruling coalition in Japan said today, Thursday, that his country is preparing to receive injured Ukrainian soldiers in a hospital in Tokyo run by its army, in the latest measure to show support.
The lawmaker added in statements to Reuters, on condition of anonymity, that this will be the first time that the Central Hospital of the Self-Defense Forces treats foreign soldiers.
He said details would be worked out during a meeting between Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Ukrainian Ambassador to Japan Sergey Korsunsky later on Thursday, but the Japanese side was likely to bear most of the costs.
10 years imprisonment
In another context, a court in Bishkek sentenced a Kyrgyz man to 10 years in prison for participating in the fighting in Ukraine with the Russian forces, in a ruling that comes as Moscow is trying to recruit more nationals of former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
Dozens of citizens of these countries have been killed in Ukraine in recent months, according to local media. The overwhelming majority of them were fighting in the ranks of the Russian army or in the ranks of the “Wagner” Russian irregular military group.
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In a ruling issued on Tuesday evening, a court in the capital, Bishkek, convicted the 31-year-old defendant of mercenary charges and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
The convict, who denies having taken part in the fighting, stayed in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine between June and November, in return for a monthly salary of 180,000 rubles (about 2,000 euros) and a promise to obtain a Russian passport, according to the court. .
This unemployed man from Jalalabad province (southwest) was in Moscow when he joined the forces of the “Luhansk People’s Republic”, the separatist entity located in eastern Ukraine and loyal to Russia, which declared its independence before Russia annexed it to its lands.
“This is the first conviction issued in Kyrgyzstan against a citizen on charges of mercenary in Ukraine,” said Gulshire Abdul Rasulova, head of the Kyrgyz human rights organization “Kelim Shami”, to Agence France-Presse, on Wednesday.
Promises and advantages
Russia is one of the most important destinations for immigrants from Central Asian countries. Because of their poor economic conditions, their distance from their countries, and their proficiency in the Russian language, they have become targets for recruitment, whether in the ranks of the Russian army or the “Wagner” group.
In addition to the lucrative salary, those who join the ranks of the Russian or “Wagner” forces receive facilities to obtain Russian citizenship or are promised that their criminal records will be erased.
However, the governments of these countries, which are traditionally considered allies of Russia, are constantly appealing to their citizens not to participate in this war.