March 30, 2023

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Ukraine: Moscow raises tensions in Kharkiv, kyiv claims tactical success

Russian forces maintained their pressure on eastern and southern Ukraine on Saturday, especially around Kharkiv in the northeast, where they are trying at all costs to increase their control, despite the recessions on the field, according to kyiv.

Violent explosions were heard overnight from Friday to Saturday in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, which has been hit by Russian artillery for weeks. On Friday, the bombings killed at least one person and wounded several others, according to the Kharkiv regional military administration.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky acknowledged that the situation in which Russian forces had re-focused their offensive in the Northeast was “difficult.” “But our army is achieving tactical successes,” he said, despite Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issuing statements to the contrary.

“The special military operation, which began on February 24, is continuing as planned,” he told China News, China’s official news agency on Saturday. Moreover, he adds, “All his aims will be achieved despite the obstacles of our enemies”.

The Russian minister is calling on Ukraine’s Western allies to suspend their arms supplies. “If the United States and NATO are really interested in resolving the crisis in Ukraine, they must first wake up and stop supplying arms and ammunition to the Kyiv regime,” Lao told New China.

Military assistance to the Ukrainian government has increased significantly since the beginning of the conflict. US President Joe Biden asked Congress this week for a $ 33 billion budget extension to further increase the supply of these weapons. Russian forces are sometimes beginning to see effects on the battlefield.

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It is especially located in Ruska Losova, a village occupied by the Ukrainians north of Kharkiv, from where Russian forces attacked the city. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, the village was liberated after heavy fighting and more than 600 residents were evacuated.

“Like hell”

“We had two horrible nights like hell. Last night we thought the sky was burning and the whole village was burning,” 23-year-old Svitlana Perebilitsa told AFP.

“We were in the basement without food for two months and we ate what we had,” Svyadoslav, 40, with tired red eyes, refused to give his last name.

Further south and east, in the Donbass region, where the Kremlin aims to fully recover itself, Volodymyr Zhelensky stressed that “the invaders are doing everything to destroy all life.”

Ukrainian forces’ civilian staff said on Saturday that 14 attacks by Russian forces in the last 24 hours had been thwarted in Donetsk and the Lukansk region.

As for Washington, the Russian offensive is lagging behind. According to a senior Pentagon official, Russian forces are “far from establishing a link” with troops entering the Kharkiv region north of Donbass, with those coming from the south of the country. Take the rear of the Ukrainian forces lined up around the Donetsk and Lukansk separatist zones. But “we hope they continue to create the conditions for a sustained, large and long attack,” he added.

In a bid to further strengthen their resolve, Russian forces made it clear that they had bombed the capital, Queue, the previous day, at the exact moment when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was present on Friday.

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Ten people were injured and at least one died in the blast: Vira Kritch, Ukrainian journalist of Radio Liberty, a media outlet funded by the US Congress in Eastern Europe since the Cold War. The journalist’s body was found in the rubble of his building.

The attack took place while the head of the United Nations, who was making his first visit to Ukraine on Wednesday and Thursday since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, was in kyiv.

“Terrible shame”

Germany and France strongly condemned the Berlin strikes, emphasizing that “(Vladimir) Putin and his regime have once again shown no respect for international law.”

Mr. Zhelensky, in a video conference on Friday evening, lamented that “the United Nations has not responded to such a horrific and deliberate insult.”

Washington, for its part, on Friday accused President Vladimir Putin of “disgrace” and “cruelty” to Russian forces in Ukraine. “Looking at some of the footage, it’s hard to imagine a radical leader doing this,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

UN The Secretary-General traveled to Pucha and other places near Kiev on Thursday, where he accused Ukraine of abusing Russian forces and urged Moscow to “co-operate” with the ICC investigation into possible war crimes.

At the same time, the services of Ukraine’s attorney general Irina Venedikova revealed that ten Russian soldiers had been charged with war crimes in Botswana.

This is the first action taken since the bodies of twenty civilians were found by an AFP on a street in the area on April 2, sparking condemnation and outrage around the world.

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The Ukrainians blamed the Russians, but Moscow denied any responsibility and spoke of Kiev’s “platform.”

A total of more than 8,000 war crimes have been identified in Ukraine, the prosecutor said. In this regard, British Foreign Secretary Lis Truss said on Friday that investigators would be sent by the United Kingdom to assist Ukrainian colleagues.

The evacuation operation is scheduled for Friday in Mariupol, a port city in southern Ukraine. Osnad Lubrani, the United Nations co-ordinator in Ukraine, said on Thursday that he was preparing for this new expulsion effort in the south. Guterres promised that the UN would “do everything possible” to free civilians trapped in the Apocalypse.

Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have been entrenched in underground galleries since Soviet times on Azov Stalin’s massive metallurgical complex.

During a press conference for Mariupol organized by the Russian military, the AFP was able to hear heavy shelling in Azovstal until Friday morning and afternoon.

In the afternoon, the eruptions were a few seconds apart and some seemed particularly powerful. Columns of gray smoke sometimes rose in the sky of the industrial zone.

On the diplomatic front, the US refused to deal with Vladimir Putin “as if nothing had happened” when the Russian president, like the Ukrainian president, was invited to the G20 summit scheduled for November in Indonesia.