With the Russian military operation in Ukraine entering its 73rd day, today, Saturday, Russian forces continue to destroy Ukrainian military sites as the West prepares to adopt a new sanctions package against Moscow in light of its escalation of military and moral support for Kiev.
In the latest developments, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Nazi formations and Kiev forces were preparing provocations in aarea in which chemical industries are concentrated in Donbass, southeastern Ukraine, “under the direction of their sponsors in the United States and in Great Britain”.
The head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, Lieutenant General Mikhail Mezintsev, said: At the sites of the company “Azot” in Severodonetsk, in the Lugansk People’s Republic, they have deployed heavy weapons, where they keep more than a thousand workers and civilians as human shields, and at the same time the Nazis are systematically bombing the cities of Pervomaisk Stakhanov and Kalinov, to induce Russian forces to respond, with the aim of accusing the Russian army of killing civilians and causing disaster, as he puts it.
On the ground, the President of the Russian Republic of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov announced that Kiev forces had foiled an attempt to launch a counterattack in the village of Voivodovka in Lugansk, inflicting heavy human and material losses on the attackers and destroying their command center.
Russian defense ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov announced that Russian defenses shot down a Ukrainian Su-27 aircraft and intercepted two Ukrainian “Smerch” missiles aimed at the city of Izum in Kharkov province.
In humanitarian terms, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the evacuation of hundreds of civilians from the city of Mariupol in the Donbass region and surrounding areas, in the course of a humanitarian operation carried out in coordination between Russia and Ukraine.
Guterres said yesterday on his Twitter account that about 500 people were evacuated by two convoys from Mariupol, in particularly the Azovstal steel mill, which is still the last stronghold of the Ukrainian government forces there, and the areas surrounding this city, within the framework of a successful operation carried out by the United Nations in collaboration with the International Red Cross Committee.
“I hope that the continued coordination between Moscow and Kiev will lead to more pause humanitarian aid in order to provide safe passage for civilians, “he added.
Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Mariupol, the largest city overlooking the Azov Sea, has witnessed bitter battles, during which the forces of Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic managed to control the entire city, with the exception of the Azovstal Plant.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of violating a ceasefire today aimed at evacuating dozens of civilians trapped underground in the bombed steel plant, after fighting failed attempts to save them the day before.
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