On Sunday, mourning his mother Inna, 86, Oleg, 56, who was killed during the war against Russia in Pucha, a suburb of Kiev, Ukraine. (Rodrigo Abd, Associated Prss)
Estimated reading time: 7-8 minutes
KYIV, Ukraine – When Ukrainian forces were exhumed on Sunday, Russia deployed more firepower and knocked down a decorated general to take control of the war’s center ahead of a decisive clash in eastern Ukraine that could begin in a few days.
In a speech to the nation on Sunday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “Russian troops are moving toward larger operations in the east of our state.”
He also accused Russia of trying to escape responsibility for war crimes in Ukraine.
“When people do not have the courage to admit their mistakes, apologize and learn to adapt to reality, they become monsters. When the world ignores it, the monsters decide that the world itself must adapt to suit them,” Zelenskyy said.
“The day will come when they will have to accept everything. Accept the truth,” he added.
Experts say the next phase of the war could begin in full swing. It can determine the course of the conflict, which has razed cities to the ground, killed thousands of people and isolated Moscow economically and politically.
In an interview that appeared on Sunday night in “60 Minutes”, Zelenskyy said the fate of Ukraine as the war in the south and east changed would depend on whether the US could help match the expected uprising in Russian arms in those regions.
“It really depends on whether we can (survive),” Zhelensky said through the translator. “I have 100% confidence in our people and our armed forces. But unfortunately, I do not have the confidence that we will get everything we need.”
To date, Zhelensky has thanked US military aides President Joe Biden, but said he had sent Ukraine a long list of specific items that were most needed, and that Biden’s response would be determined by history.
When people do not have the courage to admit their mistakes, apologize, and learn to adapt to reality, they become monsters. When the world ignores it, the monsters decide that the world itself must conform to them.
– President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zhelensky
“He has a list,” Zhelensky said. “President Biden can go down in history as the one who stood shoulder to shoulder with the victorious Ukrainian people and chose the right to own their own country. (It also depends on him. ‘
After the advance in the capital Kyiv by Ukrainian guards, there are questions about the ability of Russia’s weakened and depressed forces to capture many areas. Britain’s Defense Ministry announced on Sunday that Russian forces were trying to make up for the growing casualties by recalling soldiers discharged over the past decade.
In Washington, a senior U.S. official said Russia had appointed one of its most experienced military leaders, General Alexander Duvorniko, to oversee the invasion. The officer was not authorized to identify or speak anonymously.
So far, Russia has no central warlord.
The new battlefield leadership comes as the Russian military prepares for what is expected to be a major, focused focus on expanding control in the east of Ukraine. Russia-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces in eastern Donbass since 2014, declaring parts of the country independent.
Dwornikov, 60, was prominent as the leader of Russian forces sent to stabilize President Bashar Assad’s government during the devastating 2015 civil war in Syria. U.S. officials say he has brutal records against civilians in Syria and other battlefields.
Russian officials have generally not confirmed such appointments, and Duvornikov, who received the Hero of Russia medal, one of the country’s highest awards from President Vladimir Putin in 2016, has said nothing about a new role.
U.S. National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan underscored the importance of the appointment, speaking Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
“What we have learned in the first several weeks of this war is that Ukraine was never subject to Russia,” Sullivan said. “It does not matter what general president Putin is trying to appoint.”
Western military analysts say Russia’s attack has focused heavily on eastern Ukraine’s sickle – curve, from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, to Kersen in the south.
The short-term effort could help spread Russia’s preoccupation problem with its preoccupation with large areas of geography.
By focusing mainly on eastern Ukraine, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Friday that “if you look at it on a map, you can see that they can bring more power in a more concentrated fashion.”
Newly released Maxar Technologies satellite images show 8-mile military vehicles heading south to Donbass via Ukraine, reminiscent of a convoy parked on the road to Kiev a few weeks before Russia abandoned its attempt to seize the capital.
On Sunday, Ukrainian military command said Russian forces had shelled government-controlled Kharkiv and sent reinforcements to the isthmus in the southeast in an attempt to break through Ukrainian security. The Russians continued their siege of Mariupol, a major southern port of attack and besieged for nearly 10 months.
A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said the Russian military had used aerial missiles to attack Ukraine’s S-300 air defense missile systems in the southern Mykoliv region and at the air base in Suzhou. Kharkiv.
Konashenkov said Russian naval missiles fired from the sea had destroyed a western Ukrainian military base stationed in the Dniebro region. Neither Ukrainian nor Russian military claims have been independently verified.
The airport in Ukraine’s fourth largest city, Dnipro, was also hit twice by missiles on Sunday, according to the regional governor.
On Sunday night, Zelenskyy again called on Western nations to provide more aid to Ukraine. During the talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholes, Zhelensky said he had discussed “how to strengthen sanctions against Russia and … to force Russia to seek peace.”
“I am pleased to note that the German position has recently changed in favor of Ukraine. I find it completely logical,” Zelenskyy said.
The head of the European Commission said in a statement to CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that Zelensky’s response to Ukraine’s questionnaire would help determine whether to nominate the country as a candidate to join the EU.
The process usually takes several years, but Ursula van der Leyen said Ukraine’s application could take weeks to consider.
“Yesterday, someone told me: ‘You know, when our soldiers die, they want their children to be free and to be part of the EU,'” Van der Leyen said.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russian forces of committing war crimes against civilians, including airstrikes on hospitals, a missile attack on a train station that killed at least 57 people, and other violence as Russian soldiers exited the outskirts of Kiev.
A day after meeting Zhelensky in Kiev, Austrian President Carl Neummer announced on Monday that he would meet with Putin in Moscow. Austria, a member of the European Union, is militarily neutral and not a member of NATO.
Ukraine has blamed Russia for killing civilians in Pucha and other cities outside the capital, where hundreds of bodies, handcuffed and found with signs of torture, have since been withdrawn by Russian troops. Russia has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia’s intelligence have been made more than once.
Maria Vasselenko, 77, who lives in Porodianka, said her daughter and son-in-law were killed and her grandchildren were orphaned.
“The Russians were firing. And some wanted to come and help, but they were firing at them. They put explosives under the dead,” Vasselenko said. “That’s why my children have been under the rubble for 36 days. They are not allowed to do that.”
In Mariupol, Russia stationed Chechen fighters, particularly fierce. If it captures the city in the Sea of Azov, Russia will provide a ground bridge to the Crimean peninsula, which it captured from Ukraine eight years ago.
Residents had no food, water or electricity as Russian forces surrounded the city and deceived evacuation workers. Ukrainian authorities believe hundreds of civilians were killed in an airstrike on a theater used as a bomb shelter, and Zhelensky said he expects more evidence of the atrocities once Mariupol is no longer under siege.
In the campaign to capture Donbass, which includes Ukraine’s industrial hub, Russian forces from the southeastern city of Kharkiv predict that Russian forces will “renew offensive operations in the coming days,” according to the US think tank War Research.
But in the eyes of think tank analysts, “the outcome of Russia’s forthcoming operations in eastern Ukraine is highly questionable.”
Contributes: Jessica Fish, Robert Burns, Calvin Woodward and Associated Press journalists around the world