April 16, 2024

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Live – War in Ukraine: Zelensky lowers age of mobilization from 27 to 25

Below is the key information related to the last 24 hours of conflict:

– The head of US diplomacy Antony Blinken is in France on Monday, where he will discuss support for Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East with President Emmanuel Macron, his counterpart Stéphane Séjourné and the French Minister of the Armed Forces. US Secretary of State Sébastien Lecornu will visit Versailles, near Paris, with Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu, at the Nexter site, a subsidiary of Franco-German group KNDS, which produces the Caesar cannons supplied to Kiev. France, which organized a summit at the end of February to spark “an uprising” in support of Ukraine, asked its allies to redouble their efforts to defeat Russia. Since the February 2022 Russian invasion, the US has been Kyiv's main supporter, well ahead of France. But in Washington, a $60 billion military aid package for Ukraine has been blocked for months by Republican opposition in Congress.

– Valéri Tchaika, a local official in the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian region of Lugansk (east), died on Monday in a “car bomb” explosion in Starobilsk, pro-Russian officials said. A local investigation team said he was killed when an “unidentified device exploded” in the car. An investigation has been opened for a “terrorist act” and, according to the same source, the circumstances of the incident are being established. In the past, car bombings blamed on Ukraine have repeatedly targeted pro-Russian officials in occupied Ukrainian territories.

– French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said in Beijing on Monday that France expects China to send “very clear messages” to its close ally Russia about the war in Ukraine. “We expect China to send very clear messages to Russia,” the minister declared, pleading for a “balance of power favorable to Ukraine” during a press conference with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. Because “obviously China plays an important role in independence, respect for international law, including Ukraine's sovereignty,” he said. China, which presents itself as a neutral party but whose ties to Russia have deepened since the beginning of the conflict, is calling for a political solution to end the fighting in Ukraine. It is constantly called upon by the Western community to play a more active role in this conflict, using its influence over Russia.

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