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Russia aims to occupy small cities and expand the battle in eastern Ukraine – Chicago Tribune

Russia claimed on Saturday that its troops and separatist fighters occupied a major railroad crossing in eastern Ukraine.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the city of Lyman was “completely liberated” by a joint army of Russian soldiers and Kremlin-backed separatists who had been at war for eight years in the eastern region bordering Russia. Said it was done.

With a population of about 20,000 before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Liman is functioning as a regional railroad hub. The Ukrainian train system carried weapons and evacuated civilians during the war, and dominating the city would give Russian troops another foothold for advancing in larger cities owned by Ukraine.

The Kremlin warns Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday with French and German leaders on the continued transfer of Western weapons to Ukraine, to a global food supply for Western sanctions. He said he blamed the turmoil in the conflict.

During the 80-minute phone call, German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron urged the immediate suspension and withdrawal of Russian troops, according to a Prime Minister’s spokesman. Both spokesmen said they called on Putin to engage in serious direct negotiations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to end the fighting.

The Kremlin’s reading between Macron, Putin and Scholz’s telephones said Russian leaders confirmed “Russian openness to the resumption of dialogue.” According to the information, the three leaders agreed to stay in touch.

However, recent advances in Russia in the two states that make up Donetsk, Luhansk and Donbas could make Putin even more daring. Unable to occupy the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, Russia attempted to occupy the last part of the area not controlled by separatists.

“If Russia succeeds in taking over these areas, it will likely be seen by the Kremlin as a substantive political outcome and portrayed by the Russian people as justifying the aggression,” the British Ministry of Defense said on Saturday. Said in the evaluation of.

On Tuesday, Russian troops hijacked Svitrodarsk, a small municipality that hosts thermal power plants, and stepped up efforts to surround and occupy the larger city of Sieviero Donetsk.

The fighting continued on Saturday around Sieviero Donetsk, the last major Ukrainian-controlled area in Luhansk Oblast, and nearby Lysychans’k. Zelensky said the situation in the east was “difficult”, but he expressed his confidence that his country would win with the help of Western weapons and sanctions.

“If the occupiers think Lyman or Sieviero Donetsk will be theirs, they are wrong. Donbas will be Ukrainians,” he said.

Governor Luhansk warned that Ukrainian soldiers might have to withdraw from Sieviero Donetsk to avoid being surrounded, but reported that they had repelled the attack on Saturday.

“We managed to push the Russians back to their previous positions,” said Governor Selhi Haidai. “But they do not abandon their attempts to surround our army and disrupt the logistics in the Luhansk region.”

Speaking on Ukrainian television late Saturday, the governor said the Russians had seized a hotel on the outskirts of Sieviero Donetsk. The advance of Russian troops has raised concerns that residents may experience the same fears as the people of the southeastern port city of Mariupol, weeks before Mariupol’s collapse.

Severodonetsk Mayor Oleksandr Striuk said Friday that about 1,500 civilians in the city, with a prewar population of about 100,000, died during the war due to lack of medicines and illnesses that could not be treated. About 12,000 to 13,000 inhabitants remain in the city, Striuk said.

Just south of Seberodnetsk, volunteers worked to evacuate people in the threatening soundtrack of air raid sirens and fast-growing cannons. AP reporters saw elderly and sick civilians bundled on soft stretchers and slowly walking down the stairs of an apartment building in the northeastern city of Donetsk Oblast on Friday.

Svetlana Lvova, the manager of two buildings in Bakhmut, tried to persuade the reluctant residents to leave, but she and her husband said they would not evacuate until their son at Sieverodonetsk returned home.

“I have to know he’s alive, that’s why I’m staying here,” said 66-year-old Lvova.

The nearly three-month siege of Mariupol ended last week when Russia insisted on the completion of the city. The city has become a symbol of massive destruction, human suffering and Ukraine’s determination to protect the country. It is feared that more than 20,000 of the civilians will die.

Mariupol’s harbor reportedly resumed operations after Russian troops had cleared landmines in the once vibrant city of the Sea of ​​Azov. Russia’s national news agency, Tass, reported that a ship bound for the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don entered the port of Mariupol early Saturday.

The Kremlin emphasized that Putin is working to “establish a peaceful life in Mariupol’s and other liberated cities of Donbas” in a “close exchange” between Macron and Scholz. Said.

Ukrainian officials said that officials with the Kremlin in the seized city began broadcasting Russian news broadcasts, introduced Russian area codes, imported Russian school curriculum, and merged regions. Reported that the measures were taken.

Russia’s possession of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine has switched to Moscow time, “it does not switch to daylight saving time as is customary in Ukraine,” the Russian state RIA Novosti agency said Krill Stremousov, a local official set up in Russia. Was quoted. It’s Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Navy said on Saturday morning that Russian ships “continue to obstruct the navigation of civilians in the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov” along the south coast of Ukraine, “becoming a hostile zone.”

The war in Ukraine has caused a global food shortage, as Ukraine is a major exporter of grains and other commodities. Moscow and Kyiv exchanged accusations over which side is responsible for keeping the cargo in custody, saying Russia said Ukrainian mines prevented safe passage.

A Ukrainian Navy spokesman said two Russian missile carriers “capable of carrying up to 16 missiles” were ready for action in the Black Sea. It was said that only shipping routes established by multilateral treaties are considered safe.

Ukrainian authorities have put pressure on Western nations in search of more sophisticated and powerful weapons, especially the Multiple Launch Rocket system. The Pentagon did not confirm Friday’s CNN report stating that the Biden administration is preparing to send a long-range rocket system to Ukraine.

Russia’s US ambassador on Saturday branded an “unacceptable” move calling on the Biden administration to “renounce the statement about Ukraine’s military victory.”

A telegram post posted on the official channel of the Russian embassy said, “Unprecedented pumping of weapons to Ukraine greatly increases the risk of widespread conflict,” said Anatoly, Moscow’s top diplomat in Washington.・ I quoted Antonov.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian Navy has succeeded in launching a new hypersonic missile from the Barents Sea. The ministry said a recently developed zircon hypersonic cruise missile attacked a target about 1,000 kilometers away.

If confirmed, the launch could cause problems with NATO’s voyages in the North Atlantic and North Atlantic. The world’s fastest non-ballistic missile, the Zircon, can be armed with either regular or nuclear warheads and is said to be impossible to stop with current missile defense systems.

Moscow’s allegations could not be confirmed immediately, but it happened a week after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia would form a new army in the western part of the country in response to a bid for Sweden and Finland to join NATO.

Russia aims to occupy small cities and expand the battle in eastern Ukraine – Chicago Tribune

Source link Russia aims to occupy small cities and expand the battle in eastern Ukraine – Chicago Tribune

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