Day 378 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Pro-Ukrainian Group might be behind the Attack on the Nord Stream Gas PipelineUkraine | March 8, 2023, Wednesday // 11:33| views
Day 378 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- "New York Times": Pro-Ukrainian group blew up "Nord Stream”
- Peskov: Nord Stream shareholders should demand an investigation
- "Wagner" has taken over eastern Bakhmut
- Ukraine establishes a branch of the International Criminal Court
- China has pledged 0,000 for Ukraine's nuclear security
"New York Times": Pro-Ukrainian group blew up "Nord Stream”
New intelligence indicates that a pro-Ukraine group - possibly made up of Ukrainians or Russians - attacked the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September, but there are no firm conclusions, reported the New York Times.
There is no evidence that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or other Ukrainian officials were behind the attacks.
The explosions took place on September 26 in the exclusive economic zones of Sweden and Denmark.
Both countries concluded that the blasts were deliberate, but did not say who might be responsible.
The United States has "full faith and confidence" in the investigations led by Germany, Sweden and Denmark into the possible causes of the Nord Stream explosion last September, said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
"There are actually three countries that are investigating exactly what happened - our German allies, as well as our partners from Sweden and Denmark. They have launched an investigation into what happened. Those investigations are ongoing. As we always do - we will let those investigations play out and develop before commenting on any potential findings and conclusions," the spokesperson said.
Peskov: Nord Stream shareholders should demand an investigation
The Kremlin believes that the shareholder countries in "Nord Stream" should insist on an urgent transparent investigation.
"It smells like a monstrous crime," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti.
New York Times reported that there was intelligence indicating that a pro-Ukrainian group, whose plans are not always known in Kyiv, was behind the disruption of the main route for the supply of Russian gas to Europe. For its part, the German newspaper "Zeit" wrote that the traces of the attack on the gas pipelines lead in the direction of Ukraine.
"We have not yet been admitted to the investigation. Just a few days ago, we received notes about this from the Danes and Swedes," said Peskov, commenting on the publications in the New York Times and Zeit.
"Wagner" has taken over eastern Bakhmut
The founder of the Russian private military company (PMC) "Wagner" Yevgeny Prigozhin announced that his organization has taken full control over the eastern part of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.
????????⚔️???????? Battle for Bakhmut, situation as of 11.00(09:00 CET time) a.m. on 8 March 2023— AZ ???????????????? (@AZgeopolitics) March 8, 2023
◽️Evgeny Prigozhin,announced the liberation of the entire eastern part of Bakhmut. Everything east of the Bakhmutka River is under the control of "Wagner". pic.twitter.com/grs51fjPSL
This comes days after Ukraine withdrew some units but sent new ones to the city, for which the battle rages on for 8 months, and reports emerged that some of Wagner's elite units had entered the fighting. Prigozhin warned of a shortage of resources and admmited that a withdrawal of his forces would mean the collapse the entire Russian front.
"Everything east of the Bakhmutka River is completely under the control of PMC Wagner, we can report with certainty," was said in a 17-second recording distributed by Prigozhin's Concord Group press office in Telegram.
Prigozhin's earlier announcements of territorial control were repeatedly belatedly confirmed by the Russian military. He has increased his posting and video engagement activity in the past few days. The presence of "Wagner" forces in the city center (on the west side of the river) that he spoke of last week has not yet been confirmed.
Hours before Prigozhin's announcement, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in a new summary of the conflict that Russian forces likely held eastern Bakhmut after a controlled Ukrainian withdrawal from there. It is noted that geolocated footage circulated online shows Russian positions 200m from the river and Russian forces operating calmly in the perimeter.
ISW at the same time continued the dispute in absentia with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said, "after Bakhmut, the way to other cities along the Donetsk direction will be opened". According to the think tank, Russian forces would not be able to deploy tactical success at the operational level, and their offensive would reach a climax.
The advances on Sloviansk and Kramatorsk in the northwest and Konstantinivka in the west will not support each other, so Russia will have to choose one, and Ukrainian forces have built good fortifications along the way. In addition, Russian troops are experiencing a shortage of armored vehicles.
Ukraine establishes a branch of the International Criminal Court
The Ukrainian government has approved the creation of a branch of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the country, the chief prosecutor of the court, Karim Khan, announced, quoted by world agencies.
The creation of this branch "will make it possible to significantly strengthen the presence on the ground, increase the number of missions throughout Ukraine and, most importantly, deepen cooperation with the victims and with civil society", the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court pointed out in a statement.
During his visit to Ukraine in early March, Khan met with President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin.
He took part in the "Unity for Justice" conference in the city of Lviv and spoke with a group of ICC investigators and analysts working on the ground since May last year.
Until now, Ukraine had not recognized the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, but previously submitted two declarations and recognized the court's jurisdiction over possible crimes committed on its territory since November 21, 2013.
China has pledged 0,000 for Ukraine's nuclear security
China will provide 200,000 dollars to guarantee nuclear security in Ukraine, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning announced, quoted by TASS. She specified that Beijing will direct funds for technical support of projects in this area through the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Chinese authorities will continue to provide assistance to the peaceful dialogue and the political process of resolving the Ukrainian conflict, Mao Ning also said.
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