Ukraine – Zelensky warns Russian army is repositioning itself to attack East

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Zelensky warns that the Russian army is repositioning itself to attack the East

The Ukrainian president assured that the Russian army is repositioning itself in the east of the country in anticipation of “strong attacks”, especially in the besieged port of Mariupol.

Russia said this week that it plans to reduce its activities in Kyiv and Cherniguiv to transfer strike force from the north to the east to Donetsk and Lugansk (separatist) regions. “It’s part of their tactic,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in an overnight speech from Thursday to Friday.

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“We know they’re moving away from the regions we beat them to focus on the others that are very important… it might be difficult for us,” said the Ukrainian president. Especially in the east of the country, the situation is “very difficult”. “In the Donbass and Mariupol, in the direction of Kharkiv, the Russian army is strengthening in anticipation of powerful attacks,” said the President.

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A sentiment shared by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who believes that Russian forces are “not withdrawing, repositioning themselves” in the Donbass region and continuing “pressure on the capital Kyiv and other cities”. The Pentagon warned that this refocusing points to a “prolonged” conflict that could last for months.

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Military experts believe that Moscow abandoned its plan to advance simultaneously on several axes in the north, east and south due to the difficulties encountered in the face of stronger-than-expected Ukrainian resistance. After failing to capture the city, Russia moved about 20% of its troops from the vicinity of Kyiv, according to US officials.

But strikes against the capital continue, and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said troops will likely be relocated to Belarus for re-equipment and resupply and use elsewhere in Ukraine.

More than a month after the occupation of Ukraine, Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of ​​Azov in southeast Ukraine, remains under siege and mercilessly beaten. At least 5,000 people were killed and 160,000 civilians are believed to be still stranded in the city.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Russia’s Caucasian Republic of Chechnya, has thousands of men fighting in this city, assuring 90 to 95 percent of it is under Russian control. He gave the last Ukrainian defenders stationed at the Azovstal metallurgical plant a day to lay down their arms and surrender.

evacuation attempt

The British Ministry of Defense reported “intense fighting in Mariupol” but confirmed that Ukrainians “retain control of the city centre”.

An evacuation attempt is scheduled for Friday. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Ukrainian delegation said on Twitter that it was in the nearby town of Zaporozhye, where buses were supposed to arrive from the besieged town.

We hope that we can facilitate the safe passage of civilians wishing to flee Mariupol. We are also here with two aid vehicles.”

The Ukrainian government announced it was sending dozens of buses to Mariupol, and the local government said on Telegram that civilians could start flying over the neighboring town of Berdyansk on Friday morning.

People and non-governmental organizations who managed to leave the besieged city described the corpses trapped in the cellars in the cellars, deprived of water, food and communication, and scattered on the streets and the disastrous conditions there. The municipality also accuses Moscow of evacuating more than 20,000 inhabitants to Russia “against their own will”.

On the diplomatic front, the EU wants to persuade China to stop helping Moscow defy Western sanctions during a virtual summit with Beijing on Friday.

“unfriendly” countries

Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament Malta, stated on Twitter on Thursday evening that she was “on the way to kiiv”. He would become the first leader of a European institution to visit the Ukrainian capital since the beginning of the Russian occupation.

Vladimir Putin has previously announced that he has banned European leaders and the majority of members of the European Parliament from entering its territory in response to all-out sanctions targeting Moscow.

And it threatened buyers of Russian gas from “non-hostile” countries to cut off their supplies if they didn’t comply with Kremlin demands; This is a move mainly aimed at supporting the ruble, which will affect the highly dependent European Union. “They need to open a ruble account in Russian banks. And they will have to pay the price of the gas delivered from these accounts and from tomorrow.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz immediately replied that European countries will continue to pay for Russian gas in euros and dollars, as it is “written in the contracts”. In this context, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, traveling to Berlin, signaled that France and Germany are “prepared” for a potential cessation of gas imports from Russia.

According to the UN, 4 million refugees fled Ukraine after five weeks of war, adding to that about 6.5 million internally displaced people. 90 percent of those who fled Ukraine are women and children.

Officials in Kiev announced late Thursday that Russian forces had abandoned the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which they had occupied since the first day of their invasion of Ukraine on February 24. “They took National Guard members with them, which they’ve been holding hostage since February 24,” Ukrainian state agency Energoatom said, referring to its employees on Telegram. Their number is unknown.

Posted at 06:36 today

Source From: Google News

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