Ukraine prepares for new offensive in Donbass as Russia’s reinforcements move

Ukraine and its international allies are seeking to launch a new offensive in Russia, a top official in Moscow has warned on Monday that there are signs that the Pentagon may begin strengthening and re-deploying its forces in the eastern Donbass region. Let go of hostility before the next round of peace talks.

Earlier this month, US intelligence reported that Russia’s capture of the strategically important city of northeastern Ukraine was heading south towards Isiam, and could now be used by the Pentagon to carry out attacks on major cities in the south. Spokesman John Kirby. Kirby adds that while Russian military commanders focus on Donbass, “the same brutal tactics, ignoring civilian life and civilian infrastructure, will probably continue.”

The dark assessment of the United States came amid renewed concerns about the possibility of a chemical weapons attack, and Austrian President Carl Nehemmer became the first Western leader to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin face-to-face since the infiltration began in late February. Nehamar’s visit was, according to officials in Vienna, intended to inform the Russian leader that, morally, Putin had already lost the war.

“This is not a friendly visit,” the Chancellor said in a statement. “I came from Ukraine and saw with my own eyes the immeasurable suffering caused by the Russian war of aggression.”

Amid global outrage over allegations that Russian troops targeted civilians in the area around the capital Kiev, French law enforcement officials arrived in Ukraine on Monday to prepare to work on investigations. Lawyers in France have opened several investigations into war crimes committed against French citizens there.

Meanwhile, President Biden almost met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him not to increase Russian energy imports because the international community is trying to impose more financial pressure on Moscow to end the war. After the meeting, Biden said the United States and India were in “close consultation” on managing the “uncertain” consequences of Russia’s actions.

As Russia withdraws from the suburbs of Kiev and other parts of northern Ukraine, Putin’s forces continue to attack elsewhere.

Ukrainian military officials say Russia continues to fire artillery, rockets and mortar shells on the northern city of Kharkiv. Russian forces tried to attack the city of Siverodonetsk in the Donbass region on Monday, but were unsuccessful.

In a video address to South Korean lawmakers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky said on Monday that the Russian structure in eastern Ukraine “includes tens of thousands of soldiers and ample equipment.” He said that with its new offensive, Russia aims to “break our national opposition.”

Zelensky pointed to the destruction of the southern port city of Mariupol, which had been bombed for weeks.

“Tens of thousands have died,” the Ukrainian leader said in his speech. “But despite this, the Russians did not stop the attack. They want to turn Mariupol into a demonstrated destroyed city.

Vadim Boychenko, mayor of Mariupol, said in an interview with the Associated Press that 10,000 civilians had been killed. He estimated that the death toll would double amid the relentless onslaught of Russians, making it difficult for rescue workers to reach the dead and wounded.

The Pentagon estimates that the death toll in Mariupol may have been higher than that described by Zhelensky.

“I think no one really knows until the Ukrainian authorities can go there and see and see,” Kirby said. “But if you look at the pictures and see how much the Russians have hit Mariupola from the air, there can be no civilian casualties and it is unimaginable that it could be a significant number.”

In a separate video speech released late Monday, the Kiev government took the obvious threat of unleashing chemical weapons on the remaining Ukrainian units in Mariupol “as seriously as possible,” saying on social media the day before that such an attack. Has already happened there.

Kirby acknowledged that US officials were aware of the allegations but could not confirm their authenticity, saying the Pentagon would closely monitor the situation. “If these reports are true, they deeply reflect our concerns about Russia’s ability to use various riot control agents in Ukraine, including tear gas mixed with chemical agents.”

The Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rescue teams on Monday recovered seven more bodies from the rubble in Borodianka, northwest of Kiev, which was devastated by airstrikes. The bodies were found in the rubble of two apartment buildings, the Ukrainian Emergency Service said in a telegram. According to the update, 19 victims have been removed from the rubble and rescue efforts are continuing.

Joseph Borel, a senior EU official, said during an official visit to Kiev with European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen that he had “witnessed the brutal, brutal aggression of Russian troops against civilians” and that the EU would support it. The work of prosecutors in Ukraine and the International Criminal Court is gathering evidence of war crimes committed by Russian forces.

Borel, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, predicts further bloodshed as Russia prepares to deploy troops in the east and intensify operations in the coming days.

A senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity over Pentagon rules, said it was unclear when Russia could launch a new offensive, but there were signs that it was preparing to do so. So far, the official says, Russia has strengthened its military position around the city of Donetsk, where Ukrainian forces have been fighting Russian separatists for years, adding artillery units to the southwest.

The convoy, now pressed south from the Russian border, includes a command element, a support battalion, helicopter support and infantry for defense, and the U.S. official said it was “clear evidence” that Russia was pursuing its goal of capturing Donbass after the defeat. Take Kiev. The official said Russia had concentrated most of its air strikes on the Donbass region in recent days.

U.S. officials say Moscow’s decision to appoint General Alexander Dvornikov as commander-in-chief in Ukraine is unlikely to change Russia’s tactics. Dornikov has been called “Syria’s butcher” for the violence perpetrated by his forces during Russia’s military campaign over the past few years.

Kirby told reporters on Monday: “We are turning another page of the same book on Russian brutality.

Russia will not suspend its military operations in Ukraine before the next round of peace talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with state television Rossiya 24 on Monday. Putin has ordered a moratorium on military action. After talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations, Moscow changed its position.

“After we firmly believe that the Ukrainians do not plan to retaliate, during the next round of talks, there will be no suspension until a final agreement is reached and signed,” Lavrov said.

In the interview, Lavrov also appeared to be reconsidering Moscow’s goals, saying that its activities in Ukraine would end the US trend towards “world domination”. Russian officials have previously justified their invasion, calling it an attempt to “reduce” Ukraine.

Amid the bloodshed, the UN Development Program announced a new initiative to support Ukraine over the next two years, which seeks to tackle the disaster and rebuild its institutions for the post-war future.

UN officials said the project would provide services including infrastructure repairs, garbage disposal and new ways to earn a living for those who lost their jobs. They cited earlier research findings that war could destroy 18 years of socio-economic progress if not resolved decisively in Ukraine.

UNDP executive Achim Steiner said in a statement that “the war in Ukraine continues to cause human suffering.

Lamotte from Washington, Belver from Chicago and Ilyushina from Riga, Latvia reported. David L. Stern Mukachevo, in Ukraine, Annabel Timchid in London, and Karun Demirjian, Reyes Debalt, Felicia Sonmas and Paulina Firozi in Washington contributed to this report.

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