The Ukrainian military, hit in the early days of the war by the fierce fury of the Russian invasion, strengthened and began the difficult task of regaining territory captured by Russia’s initial offensive.
A senior Pentagon official this week described the resistance of Ukrainians as quick and agile, and, for the first time, seeking to regain lost ground. Russian forces remain largely at a standstill around the capital, Kyiv, said the official, who described intelligence assessments to journalists on condition of anonymity.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine claims that its forces drove the occupying Russian troops out of Makarov – a small suburb of Kiev, but important because it provides control over the highway in the west. These efforts also blocked Russian troops surrounding Kiev from the northwest and gave the Ukrainian military a much-needed success story.
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An assessment published Wednesday by the UK Ministry of Defense described the battlefield in northern Ukraine as “largely static”. Russian troops are likely to be reorganized before resuming large-scale offensive operations, the ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday.
In the south of the country, Ukraine’s efforts to prevent the victim of Mariupol from Russian hands prevented Russian President Vladimir Putin from opening another permanent land connection with the Crimean peninsula with Russia.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in his daily speeches to his nation and from time to time appeals to foreign lawmakers unites Ukrainians to fight. But he is also lobbying for direct talks with Putin to stop the carnage.
“We will find a way to push Russia to agree to a peaceful solution,” Zelensky said on Thursday in a virtual address to Japanese lawmakers.
Zelensky continues to ask the West for help, in particular, to create a “no-fly” zone over his country. The United States has said a resounding no, but President Joe Biden on Wednesday embarks on a multi-day trip to Europe, which begins Wednesday, to meet with allies on the response to the Russian invasion continuesincluding military aid to Ukraine and new sanctions against Russia.
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said Biden was working on a long-term effort to strengthen defense in Eastern Europe and reduce the continent’s dependence on Russian energy.
►Assistance to Putin Anatoly Chubais has resigned, left the country and does not intend to return, according to many media outlets. Chubais is the tallest person to retire since the start of the war, according to Reuters.
►Poland states that it seeks to send 45 Russian special services officers, using diplomatic status as a cover, to stay in the country. Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski wrote on Twitter: “We are beating up Russian special services agents in our country.
►The war has threatened wheat and barley crops in Ukraine, increasing the likelihood of famine in poor areas around the world.
►In a daily address to the people, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that 100,000 civilians remain in the port city of Mariupol, which was also attacked by the sea after several weeks of air and ground strikes.
► The United Nations will face three resolutions on Wednesday on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine after Russia decided to call for a vote on its Security Council resolution, which does not mention Russia’s aggression against its smaller neighbor.
Ukraine has said that Russia has seized aid workers in the Mariupol convoy
Ukrainian leaders have accused Russia of capturing 15 rescuers and drivers from a humanitarian convoy of 11 buses that were to evacuate residents.
“Employees of the State Emergency Service and bus drivers have been taken prisoner,” Zelensky said. “We are trying to organize stable humanitarian corridors for the people of Mariupol, but almost all our attempts, unfortunately, are stopped by the Russian occupiers, shelling or deliberate terror.
He estimated that 100,000 civilians remained in Mariupol, where more than 400,000 people once lived, after weeks of shelling in the city.
“They have been bombing us for the last 20 days,” said 39-year-old Victoria Totzen, who fled to Poland. “For the past five days, planes have been flying over us every five seconds, dropping bombs everywhere – on homes, kindergartens, art schools, everywhere.”
Biden leaves for Europe
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden will travel to Europe, where he will meet with NATO leaders in Brussels on Thursday to coordinate a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Thursday’s meeting would provide “another platform to demonstrate our unity, our support for Ukraine, but also our readiness to defend and defend all NATO allies.”
Biden will arrive on Friday Poland and will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda. Poland has accepted more than a million of the 3 million Ukrainians who have been displaced since the Russian invasion began last month.
Biden will discuss with Duda how the United States and others are responding to the humanitarian and human rights crises, the White House said. Poland has offered to create a peacekeeping force, but officials have said they do not know whether NATO is ready to take such provocative action.
Ukrainian agency: Russian troops destroyed a laboratory in Chernobyl
A laboratory at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which is working to improve radioactive waste management, has been destroyed, a Ukrainian agency overseeing the area around the station said on Tuesday.
The lab contained “highly active samples and samples of radionuclides, which are now in the hands of the enemy, who, we hope, will harm themselves and not the civilized world,” the agency said.
Ukraine’s Atomic Regulatory Agency also said on Monday that radiation monitors around the station had stopped working.
Russia seized control of Chernobyl at the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine along with the Zaporozhye power plant. Chernobyl is the site of the world’s largest nuclear disaster in 1986, when a reactor exploded. The exclusion zone is a contaminated area around the plant.
Putin does not rule out the use of nuclear weapons, the spokesman said
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out the possibility of using nuclear weapons in the nearly four-week war with Ukraine, his longtime spokesman told CNN on Tuesday.
Asked by CNN’s chief international presenter Christian Amanpour whether he was convinced Putin would not take such a drastic step, spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected the option.
“Well, we have a concept of internal security, and, well, it’s public,” Peskov said. – You can read all the reasons for the use of nuclear weapons. Thus, if it is an existential threat to our country, then it can be used in accordance with our concept. “
This is not the first time a high-ranking Russian official has touched on a nuclear threat that could sow fear among opponents. Three days after the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces to be on high alert in response to harsh Western sanctions.
Contributed by: Associated Press