Putin demands neutrality and recognition of Crimea

Putin demands neutrality and recognition of Crimea

Four days after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, negotiators from both sides have started talks on a ceasefire. The delegations met on Monday at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border. Ukraine declared a ceasefire and aimed at the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory. The Russian side initially kept a low profile about the purpose of the talks.

Later, Putin made demands for peace. As a condition for ending the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he demanded its demilitarization and recognition of Crimea, which had been annexed by Russia, as Russian territory. Putin also called again for a “denazification” of the Ukrainian government and for Ukraine’s “neutrality,” the Kremlin said on Monday after Putin spoke on the phone with French President Emmanuel Macron.

During the peace talks with Ukraine, Macron had called on the Russian president to end offensives against civilians in particular. All attacks on private individuals and places of residence should be stopped, the civil infrastructure should be preserved, Macron demanded in a phone call with Putin, according to the Élyséepalast. Roads should also be secured, especially in the south of Kiev. It was said from Paris that Putin had shown himself willing to work on the points.

Violent attacks on the city of Kharkov

Despite this, Russian forces continued their offensive in Ukraine. In the second largest city of Ukraine, Kharkiv, there were violent attacks. Ukrainian Interior Minister Advisor Anton Herashchenko released a video at midday showing several rocket hits in a residential area. “The whole world should see this horror,” Herashchenko wrote. There are dozens dead and hundreds injured. Russia, on the other hand, claimed that the Ukrainian “nationalists” would themselves shell the cities surrounded by Russian troops.

A video showing a burning oil tank is said to have come from the city of Ochtyrka in the north-east of the country. According to the Ukrainian agency Unian, it was published by the mayor.

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Rush on Kyiv?

Meanwhile, there were increasing signs of a massive assault by the Russian army on the capital, Kyiv. As the US news channel CNN reported on Monday night, a “huge Russian military convoy” is on its way there. In northern Kiev, the army is trying to build a pontoon bridge across the Irpin River, the Ukrainian General Staff wrote. An attempt to conquer the city of the same name was unsuccessful.

The Kiev city administration called on people to leave their homes only if absolutely necessary. Street fights continue to take place in practically every district of the city. Overall, Monday night was relatively quiet, apart from a few skirmishes and fights with sabotage and reconnaissance groups, it said. The city was mainly busy preparing further for its defense. So, should people leave the house, they would see new fortifications, tank traps, and other defensive structures.

Ukraine: situation “difficult”

The Ukrainian general staff admitted on Sunday that the situation was “difficult” because Russian shelling “continued from practically all directions”. Specifically, reference was made to the Wassylkiv air base south of Kyiv, where bitter resistance against Russian attackers continued.

The Unian agency reported that Belarusian paratroopers were ordered to fly to Ukraine at 5 a.m. She relies on information from Andrej Strischak from the non-governmental organization Bysol (Belarus Solidarity Foundation), which works for those affected by political repression in Belarus. US general and former NATO commander Wesley Clark told CNN that intervention by Belarusian soldiers would only increase the problem of the defenders of Kiev. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Belarusian President Lukashenko had assured on Sunday that he did not want to intervene in the war.

Russia: Largest nuclear power plant in Europe taken over

According to British information, the advance of Russian troops on Kyiv has slowed down. This is due to the strong resistance of the Ukrainian armed forces and logistical problems, the British Ministry of Defense said on the basis of intelligence information. Most of the Russian ground forces are still around 30 kilometers from Kyiv. The strategically important Hostomel airport will also continue to be held by Ukrainian soldiers.

According to information from Moscow, Russian troops have meanwhile conquered the Ukrainian cities of Berdyansk and Enerhodar in the south-east of the country. They are under Russian control, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in Moscow on Monday. Berdyansk, whose capture had previously been reported by the Ukrainian side, is on the Azov Sea, Enerhodar northwest of the embattled city of Mariupol. According to Konashenkov, Russia has gained air sovereignty over all of Ukraine. There was initially no confirmation from the Ukrainian side.

According to Russian troops, they have taken control of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia in the south of the country. It is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The staff continue to control and maintain the system, said Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, on Monday. The state-owned company Energoatom denied the representation. It is false news. The information has not been independently verified.

USA: “Ukrainians put up fierce resistance”

The US Department of Defense stressed that the Ukrainians’ fierce resistance was slowing down the advance of the Russian army. “Ukrainians are putting up fierce resistance,” a senior ministry official said in a briefing for journalists on Sunday (local time). “It’s heroic, it’s inspirational, and it’s very clear for the world to see.” One also observes “fuel and logistics bottlenecks” of the Russian troops.

“In our estimation, they did not anticipate the level of resistance they would encounter,” the government official said. However, it can be assumed that the Russian armed forces would adapt and overcome the challenges. According to US estimates, Russian President Vladimir Putin has deployed only two-thirds of the “combat power” he had mobilized for the border invasion in Ukraine.

Latvians could support Ukrainians

Support for the fighters in Ukraine could soon come from Latvia. Parliament allows nationals to fight in Ukraine. According to a statement released on Monday, the decision was unanimous. “Our citizens who want to support Ukraine and want to volunteer there to defend Ukraine’s independence and our common security must be able to do so,” said Juris Rancanis, chairman of the parliamentary commission on defence, home affairs and corruption prevention drafted the bill.

UN: 94 civilians killed so far

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian General Staff announced a new record of Russian losses. Since the war began on Thursday, the Russian side is said to have lost 4,500 soldiers, it said. Helicopters, tanks and other military vehicles were also destroyed. This information could not be checked independently. It was also unclear how these losses (those killed, wounded and missing) were broken down. On Sunday, Russia had acknowledged the death toll in the war for the first time, but did not give any figures.

According to the United Nations, 376 civilians have been injured since the fighting began, 94 of them fatally. According to the report, the fighting would have “severe humanitarian consequences” and the number of victims could be significantly higher.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government is asking hackers for help in the war against Russia, which is also being waged online. “If you have information about vulnerabilities in Russia’s cyber defenses (bugs, backdoors, credentials), please report them,” the State Communications and Information Protection Agency wrote on Twitter on Monday. Ukrainian officials have previously reached out to hackers around the world asking them to help fight the Russian invasion.

Source: Nachrichten

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