War in Ukraine: Mobility age lowered to 25, drone attack on Russian refinery… update on the situation

Every day, Midi Libre takes stock of the situation in Ukraine. This Tuesday, April 2, 2024, find the latest news surrounding this conflict.

Ukraine drone strike hits major Russian refinery

Ukraine on Tuesday struck one of Russia’s largest refineries, located about 1,300 km from Ukraine, in a drone strike that caused significant damage, according to Kyiv. Ukrainian drones targeted the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, a highly industrialized area southeast of Moscow, early Tuesday morning, causing injuries, according to Tatarstan leader Rustam Minnikhanov.

Russian defense systems intercepted a Ukrainian drone near Tatneft’s Tenneko refinery in the city of Nizhnekamsk, Russian news agency RIA reported. The fire broke out before it was extinguished after twenty minutes without disrupting production, RIA added. A Ukrainian drone strike hit the CDU-7 primary oil refining unit of the Tenneco refinery, according to footage showing the impact of the attack analyzed by Reuters.

This is one of the most advanced Ukrainian-led drone attacks on Russian territory. The Tenneko refinery is the largest and newest in Russia, with a production capacity of 360,000 barrels of oil per day. According to Rustam Minnikhanov, factories in Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk were attacked by drones. “There is no serious damage, the technological process of the companies has not been disrupted”The manager said in a release on Telegram.

Zelensky lowers the age of mobility from 27 to 25

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi signed a bill on Tuesday to lower the military conscription age from 27 to 25, citing a lack of men in the armed forces to counter Russian aggression.

The bill, which was voted on by deputies a year ago and which until then was awaiting promulgation by the president, takes effect on Wednesday, the Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, indicated on its website.

The Ukrainian government must then bring various regulatory texts into compliance with the new era of mobility within six months. Ukraine has been discussing military conscription for months.

The Ukrainian military has suffered losses, the extent of which has been kept secret, and today, unlike at the start of the conflict, is struggling to find volunteers for the front. After the first draft prepared by the government was sent back for rewriting a few weeks ago, the Rada voted in February for a series of measures to facilitate consolidation at a first reading.

Volodymyr Zelenskyi said in December 2023 that the army had offered to mobilize up to 500,000 additional people, a number that was revised downward by the new commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military, Oleksandr Sirskyi.

The current recruitment system is considered unfair, inefficient and often corrupt by many Ukrainians. And those who have been at the front for a long time are also being called to demand demobilization.

Putin accuses ally NATO of helping Ukraine attack Russia

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council and a top supporter of Vladimir Putin, said on Tuesday that NATO is effectively fighting Russia in Ukraine and that the US-led military alliance has helped orchestrate attacks on Russian sovereign territory. “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a real part of the Ukrainian conflict and is actively involved in planning bombings of Russian territories,” Nikolai Patrushev told the Russian newspaper the arguments and facts.

“Within this framework, collective decisions are made on new deliveries of weapons with increased technical capabilities and range, and NATO instructors train mercenaries and saboteurs in many countries to participate in anti-Russian operations.he added.

Nikolai Petrushev, a hard-liner in the Kremlin, has described NATO as an American tool to destroy Russia and steal its natural resources. “The West saw the collapse of the Soviet Union as a stage in its confrontation with Russia”.Nikolai Patrushev said.

The statements came on the eve of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday. The conflict in Ukraine will be high on the agenda of the discussion in the presence of United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

In Paris, Blinken speaks of a “decisive moment” for Ukraine

Ukraine is at a “critical stage” in its war with Russia and urgently needs Western support, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Tuesday. Antony Blinken arrived in Paris for a meeting with several senior officials, including President Emmanuel Macron, whom he was due to meet at the Elysee in the evening.

“We are at a critical moment where it is absolutely essential to provide the Ukrainians with what they still need to defend themselves, especially in terms of munitions and air defense.”, Antony Blinken announced during a press conference with the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sebastien Lecornu. The two officials visited the factory of arms manufacturer Nexter which specifically manufactures the Caesar cannon. “This Caesar cannon has become the symbol of this artillery coalition, with a significant increase in production capacity: two per month, now six per month and (…) in the coming time we will increase the production to 12 cannons per month.”Sébastien Lecornu suggested.

If Ukraine is high on the agenda of Antony Blinken’s visit to France, the situation in the Gaza Strip is also expected to be discussed hours after an Israeli airstrike killed seven aid workers in the Palestinian enclave. An Israeli strike also hit the Iranian embassy in Damascus on Monday, killing a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard officer, military officers and diplomats.

Antony Blinken is due to meet his counterpart Stéphane Sjourne in the afternoon after France sent a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on Monday aimed at exploring possible means of implementing ceasefire monitoring in the Gaza Strip and proposals to help the Palestinian Authority. Based in the West Bank, assume responsibilities. The United States, which last blocked a French-backed resolution in 1997, abstained from a vote last month, allowing passage of a text calling for an immediate ceasefire for the Ramadan period that ends next week. (Written by John Irish, with contributions from Blandin Henault, Bertrand Boucy for the French version)

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