Ukraine rejects concessions as Russia attacks east

Ukraine rejects concessions as Russia attacks east – Mail Bonus

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Ukraine ruled out a ceasefire or concession to Moscow as Russia intensified its attacks in the east and south of the country, beating the Donbas and Mykolaiv regions with airstrikes and artillery fire.

Kyiv’s stance has become increasingly inflexible in recent weeks as Russia faces military strikes as Ukrainian officials feared they could be pressured to sacrifice the country for a peace deal.

“The war must end with a complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Ukraine’s Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

Polish President Andrzej Duda offered Warsaw’s support and told parliament in Kyiv on Sunday that the international community would have to demand that Russia give up completely and that sacrificing any of it would be a “huge shock” to the whole of the West.

“Concerns have been raised that Ukraine should give in to Putin’s (President Vladimir) demands,” said Duda, the first foreign leader to address the Ukrainian parliament in person since the Russian invasion on February 24.

“Only Ukraine has the right to decide its future,” he said.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine, addressed the same session and again called for tougher economic sanctions against Moscow.

“Semi-measures should not be taken when aggression should be stopped,” he said.

Shortly after the two had finished their speeches, a bomb blast was heard in the capital, reminding them that the war was raging even though its battle lines were now hundreds of miles away.

Zelinskiy told a news conference with Duda that 50-100 Ukrainians die every day on the eastern front of the war in what appears to be a reference to military casualties.

Russia is launching a major offensive in Luhansk, one of the two provinces in the Donbas, after putting an end to weeks of resistance from the last Ukrainian fighters in the military southeast of Mariupol.

The heaviest fighting took place around the twin cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, Interior Ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko told Ukrainian television on Sunday.

The cities are the eastern part of Ukraine’s pockets, which Russia has been trying to overrun since mid-April after failing to reach Kyiv and shift its focus to the east and south of the country.

Russian shelling and “heavy fighting” near Sievierodonetsk have continued, but the invading forces have failed to secure the nearby village of Oleksandrivka, a statement from the Ukrainian military said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that its forces had attacked Ukrainian command centers, troops and ammunition depots in the southern Donbas and Mykolaiv region with airstrikes and artillery.

Reuters could not independently verify these battlefield reports.

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Russian-backed separatists have already controlled part of Luhansk and neighboring Donetsk, but Moscow wants to take control of the remaining Ukrainian territory.

A Russian mayor in the town of Enerhodar was seriously injured in an explosion, the Russian RIA news agency reported. Reuters could not immediately confirm what caused the explosion.

NO concessions, NO ceasefire

Ukraine’s chief negotiator, Zelenskiy’s adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, ruled out any concessions in territorial waters and rejected demands for an immediate ceasefire, saying it meant Russian troops would be in occupied territories that Kyiv could not accept.

“Russian forces must leave the country and after that it will be possible to start the peace process again,” Podolyak told Reuters in an interview on Saturday, referring to calls for an immediate ceasefire as “very strange”.

Concessions would come back because Russia would use the break in the fight to come back stronger, he said.

Recent demands for an immediate ceasefire have been received from the US Secretary of Defense

Austin and Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy.

The end of the fighting in Mariupol, Russia’s largest city, has given Putin a rare victory after a series of shocks in nearly three months of fighting.

The last Ukrainian troops to dig a hole in the large Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol have surrendered, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday. While Ukraine has not confirmed a full evacuation, the head of one of the units in the factory said in a video that the Ukrainian military command had ordered troops there to surrender to save their lives.

Full control of Mariupol gives Russia control of the land route connecting the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow occupied in 2014, to mainland Russia and parts of eastern Ukraine in the custody of separatists who support Russia.

RUSSIANS GO TO FINLAND

Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom said on Saturday it had halted gas exports to Finland, which has rejected Moscow’s demands to pay rubles for Russian gas after Western countries imposed sanctions on the invasion.

Most European gas supply agreements are in euros or dollars, and last month Moscow shut down Bulgaria and Poland after rejecting the new terms.

In addition to sanctions, Western nations have increased their stockpiles and other aid to Ukraine, including a new $ 40 billion package from the United States.

Moscow says Western sanctions and arms shipments to Kyiv are tantamount to a “proxy war” between Washington and its allies.

Putin calls the invasion a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of radical anti-Russian nationalists. Ukraine and its allies have dismissed it as a baseless pretext for the war, which has killed thousands of people in Ukraine, displaced millions and destroyed cities.

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