Ukraine’s security chief said on Friday that the country’s main battles were in Donbass, the industrial heartland of the east, with Russia deploying more and more troops every day. Meanwhile, the United States will convene a meeting next week in Germany with defense officials and military leaders from more than 20 countries to discuss Ukraine’s immediate and long-term defense needs.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday that one serviceman died, 27 others were missing and 396 were rescued after a fire on the guided-missile cruiser Moskva last week.
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Russian bombardment kills 2 in Popasna
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said two people were killed by Russian shelling in the town of Popasna. Haidai said on the Telegram messaging app on Saturday that residential buildings in the area had been bombed 12 times the day before, and that Popasna had taken advantage.
In addition to the fact that street fighting continues in the city for several weeks, the Russian army constantly fires at multi-storey residential buildings and private houses. Just yesterday, local residents withstood five enemy artillery attacks. Not all of them survived, Haidai wrote. He added that some houses were also destroyed in Lysychansk and Novodruzhesk.
G20 can’t work with Russia at the table, says Canada
The Group of 20 major economies cannot operate effectively as long as Russia remains a member, Canada’s finance minister said on Friday after a week of protests against Moscow’s war in Ukraine at meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington.
The divisiveness over Russia’s presence at the meetings has been evident throughout the week, with officials from the United States, Canada, Britain and other Western nations staging walkouts three days in a row whenever Russian officials were talking.
G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, who met in Washington on Wednesday, failed to agree on its traditional statement outlining economic policy goals, with Russia blocking strong language condemning its invasion of Ukraine.
The IMF’s Governing Board and the World Bank-IMF Development Committee have also not issued joint statements.
“The G20 cannot operate effectively with Russia at the table,” Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said during a press conference with Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko in Washington.
“Russia has no place at the table of countries that have come together to maintain global economic prosperity,” Freeland said, adding that Russia had violated longstanding international rules with its invasion of southern Russia. Ukraine. “You can’t be a poacher and a game warden at the same time.”
The tensions have called into question the effectiveness of the G20, which includes Western countries that have accused Moscow of war crimes in Ukraine, as well as China, India, Indonesia and South Africa, which do not have not joined Western-led sanctions against Russia over the conflict.
UN chief to meet Putin and Zelensky next week
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will travel to Moscow next week to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, then travel to Ukraine for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Guterres will travel to Moscow on Tuesday and meet with Putin as well as a working meeting and lunch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Eri Kaneko, associate spokesperson for Guterres, said at a press briefing in New York. York Friday.
“He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently,” Kaneko said.
He will meet with Zelenskyy, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and staff of UN agencies on Thursday to discuss stepping up humanitarian aid efforts, the UN spokesman’s office said in a statement.
Zelenskyy warns that Russia is watching other countries after Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that Russia’s invasion of his country is just the beginning and that Moscow intends to capture other countries, after a Russian general said he wanted a total control over southern Ukraine.
“All nations who, like us, believe in the victory of life over death must fight with us. They must help us, because we are the first. And who will come next?” Zelenskyy said Friday evening in a video address.
Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia’s Central Military District, was quoted by Russian state news agencies as saying that full control over southern Ukraine would give him access to breakaway Transnistria. from Russian-occupied Moldova to the west.
This would cut off the entire coastline of Ukraine and mean that Russian forces would push hundreds of kilometers west beyond the current lines, past the main Ukrainian coastal cities of Mykolaiv and Odessa.
The statement was one of the most detailed on Moscow’s ambitions in Ukraine and suggests that Russia does not plan to end its offensive anytime soon.
Ukraine says Russia is moving elite units east
Ukraine’s security chief said on Friday that the country’s main battles were in Donbass, the industrial heartland of the east, with Russia deploying more and more troops every day. Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told The Associated Press that more than 100,000 Russian troops are currently fighting in Ukraine, including mercenaries from Syria and Libya.
Some of Russia’s elite military units left the strategic Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, which was declared liberated by the Kremlin on Thursday, and are now moving east to join the fighting there, Danilov said. Danilov said an overnight helicopter delivery brought weapons to the steel plant in Mariupol, the last stronghold of Ukrainian forces in the city. He urged Ukraine’s western partners to speed up the delivery of arms to his country.
Russia: 1 dead and 27 missing from the Moskva ship
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday that one serviceman died, 27 others were missing and 396 were rescued after a fire on the guided-missile cruiser Moskva last week. The statement comes a week after the sinking of the ship.
Shortly after the incident, the ministry said the entire crew of the vessel, which was believed by media to be around 500 people, had been rescued. The ministry did not provide an explanation for the conflicting reports. Ukraine said it hit the cruiser with a missile strike.
US convenes talks on Ukraine’s defense needs
The Pentagon says US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will convene defense officials and military leaders from more than 20 countries in Germany next week to discuss Ukraine’s immediate and long-term defense needs. . Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Friday that about 40 countries, including NATO members, were invited and responses are still coming in for Tuesday’s session at Ramstein Air Force Base. He did not identify which nations have agreed to attend, but said more details would be provided in the coming days.
The meeting comes as Russia prepares for what is expected to be a major offensive in eastern Ukraine. The agenda will include an updated assessment of the Ukrainian battlefield as well as a discussion of efforts to maintain a steady flow of weapons and other military aid, Kirby said.
It will include consultations on Ukraine’s defense needs after the war, but should not consider changes in the US military posture in Europe, he said.
Officials of Mariupol: Discovery of a second mass grave
Another mass grave was discovered outside Mariupol, the city council and an adviser to the mayor announced on Friday. The city council released a satellite photo provided by Planet Labs showing what it said was a 45-by-25-meter mass grave that could hold the bodies of at least 1,000 Mariupol residents.
He said the newly reported mass grave is outside the village of Vynohradne, east of Mariupol. Earlier this week, satellite photos from Maxar Technologies revealed what appeared to be rows upon rows of more than 200 freshly dug mass graves in the town of Manhush, located west of Mariupol.
The discovery of mass graves has led to accusations that the Russians are trying to cover up the massacre of civilians in the city.