March 27, 2022
By Natalia Zinets and Jarrett Renshaw
LVIV, Ukraine and VARSÁR (Reuters) – Missiles attacked the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Saturday, signaling a possible new battlefield in the Moscow invasion as US President Joe Biden rejected control of Russian President Vladimir Putin and tried to seize Europe in long struggle. ahead.
Heavy fighting erupted in several parts of Ukraine, signaling an end to the month-old war, while Biden put the struggle as part of the historic struggle for democratic freedom in a major speech from Poland at the end of his European tour. aims to promote Western daring.
“In God’s name, this man can not be in power,” said Biden in Warsaw. A White House official later said Biden was not pushing for a change of government, saying “Putin cannot be allowed to control his neighbors or the region.
The Kremlin rejected Biden’s statement, saying it was “not for Biden to decide.
After more than four weeks of fighting, Russia has failed to capture any major city in Ukraine and the conflict has killed thousands of people, sent nearly 3.8 million abroad and driven more than half of Ukraine’s children from their homes, according to the United Nations.
Moscow indicated on Friday that it was reducing its military ambitions to focus on territories claimed by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday called on the West to speed up military aid.
Four rockets were fired on Saturday on the outskirts of Lviv, about 60 km (40 miles) from the Polish border just before Biden made his remarks in Warsaw.
The attack appeared to be the first time the city in western Ukraine was carried out after escaping a major bombing that has devastated other cities closer to Russia.
District Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said five people were injured and residents were told to go to the shelter after the first strike took place in the middle of the day. Reuters witnesses saw black smoke rising from the northeast side of the city, and the mayor of Lviv said an oil depot had been hit.
Ukrainian officials later reported that another strike had severely damaged Lviv’s infrastructure, but that no deaths had been reported so far.
Russian troops also captured Slavutych, a town where workers at the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and three dead, the Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted the local mayor as saying.
Ukrainian workers have continued to work in Chernobyl after Russian troops seized the plant and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed concern over the situation if workers are unable to turn around.
Russian troops have also fired at a nuclear test site in the city of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian parliament said in a Twitter post on Saturday.
In the southern city of Mariupol in the southern part of the country, Mayor Vadym Boichenko said the situation was still serious and street fighting in the center. Mariupol has been in ruins after weeks of Russian fires.
UKRAIN STOP WAITING
Ukraine’s prominent President Volodymyr Zelenskiy demanded in an evening address that Western nations send military equipment and asked if Moscow was afraid of them, saying: “We have already waited for 31 days.
Zelenskiy also expressed disappointment over the lack of transported planes in a phone call with Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda on Saturday, according to Zelenskiy’s office. Washington had rejected an unexpected offer from Poland to transport Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to a US military base in Germany to renew its Ukrainian air force.
The United States, which has already pledged billions in aid, will provide an additional $ 100 million for equipment and other civilian security assistance to Ukraine’s border guards and police, it announced on Saturday.
Earlier, Zelenskiy likened the devastation of Mariupol to the devastation inflicted on the Syrian city of Aleppo by Syrian and Russian forces during the Syrian civil war and spoke to the Doha Forum in Qatar via video link.
He also warned of dire consequences if his country – one of the world’s leading grain producers – could not export its food, urging energy-producing countries to increase production so that Russia could not use its oil and gas resources to “poop” other nations.
BIDEN IN POLAND
Biden sharpened his tone earlier on Saturday, calling Putin a “butcher” after meeting with Ukrainian refugees in Poland – a statement quoted by the Russian TASS news agency in the Kremlin that said it would further damage the possibility of improving relations between Russia and the United States.
Biden also saw Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov in the Polish capital Warsaw at their first face-to-face meeting with Ukraine’s senior officials since the war began.
Biden’s visit to Poland was his final stop on a trip to Europe that has underscored his opposition to the Russian invasion, his solidarity with Ukraine and his determination to work closely with Western allies to tackle the crisis.
“We need to be clear. “This struggle will not be won in days or months … We need to steer ourselves in a long struggle ahead,” Biden said in his speech. He also urged Europe to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy and get rid of Russian oil and gas.
Zelenskiy called for further talks with Russia late on Friday after the Defense Ministry said that the first phase of its operations in Ukraine had largely been completed and that it would now focus on the Donbass region adjacent to Russia, where Russian-backed forces have fought against the government. forces since 2014.
Reorganizing Russia’s goals could help Putin achieve a victory that saves his face, experts said.
Moscow has said so far that its goal for what it calls a “special military operation” is to disarm and “disarm” its neighbors. Ukraine and its Western allies have called it a baseless accusation of unprovoked invasion.
“This is a lie,” Biden said. “Russia has stifled democracy – it has tried to do so elsewhere, not just in its homeland.
The United Nations has confirmed the deaths of 1,104 civilians and 1,754 injured in Ukraine since the invasion on February 24, but says the real toll is likely to be higher. Ukraine says 136 children have been killed.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday. Ukraine says 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed. Reuters could not independently confirm the allegations.
Recordings from Mariupol, where 400,000 people lived before the war, showed destroyed buildings, burnt-out vehicles and survivors of a catastrophic shock fleeing supplies. Residents have buried victims in makeshift graves as the earth thaws.
“This is scary, I do not know how we are going to survive,” said an elderly woman resident, who refused to identify herself by name. “We are lying there hoping they will not blow us up. Look how many bodies we have dug around the building. “
In the north, battle lines near the capital, Kyiv, have been frozen for weeks with two major Russian armored personnel carriers, northwest and east of the city.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said its troops had seized control of a Kyiv suburb and arrested more than 60 Ukrainian soldiers. Reuters could not confirm this immediately.
The Ukrainian military’s staff on Facebook said Russia’s loss was such that Moscow was conducting “hidden weapons” and taking battle tanks out of long-term storage.
A British intelligence report says Russian troops are relying on random bombings rather than risking large-scale ground operations, a move that the report said could limit Russian military casualties but harm more civilians in Ukraine. The second report cited a 60% failure rate among such Russian ammunition.
(News from Reuters journalists in Mariupol, Natalia Zinets and Maria Starkova in Lviv, Jarrett Renshaw in Warsaw; Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington; Humeyra Pamuk in Tel Aviv; David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Alessandra Prentice, Michael Holden and Reuters offices around the world, writing Lincoln Feast, Crispian Balmer; John Davison & Susan Heavey; Editing by William Mallard, Frances Kerry, Timothy Heritage & Nick Zieminski)
Rockets will hit western Ukraine when Biden visits Poland, Putin says
Source link Rockets will hit western Ukraine when Biden visits Poland, Putin says