Polish and Baltic presidents show support for Ukraine

Kiev, Ukraine (AP) – Presidents of four countries arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday at the doorstep of Russia following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s promise to continue his bloody offensive. Until its “full completion”

The presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – all NATO nations worried that Russia would face a future attack if Ukraine falls – traveled by train to Kiev to meet with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zhelensky.

Russia says one of the most important battles of the war was the surrender of more than 1,000 Ukrainian troops in the besieged port of Mariupol, where Ukrainian forces are staying in the city’s pockets. Unable to verify information.

According to Western officials, Russia invaded on February 24 with the aim of capturing Kyiv, overthrowing the government and establishing friendship with Moscow. In seven weeksGround progress has stalled, Russia has lost thousands of fighters – and the war has displaced millions of Ukrainians, shaking the world economy and threatening global food supplies. And broke the balance of post-Cold War Europe.

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday called Russia’s actions in Ukraine “genocidal.” For the first time, he said, “Putin is trying to dispel the notion of being a Ukrainian.”

Zhelensky praised Biden’s use of the word, saying “it is necessary to call things by their names to fight evil.”

“We are grateful for US assistance so far and urgently need more heavy weapons to prevent Russian atrocities,” he added in a tweet.

European leaders visiting Ukraine plan to deliver “strong message of political support and military assistance”, said Lithuanian President Kidanas Nouseda.

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Nauseda, Estonian President Alar Garris, Poland’s Andrzej Duda and Latvia’s Egils Levits also planned to discuss alleged investigations into Russian war crimes, including the massacre of civilians..

An expert report commissioned by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said it had “found clear patterns of violations in the hostilities of Russian forces (international humanitarian law).” The report was written by experts selected by Ukraine and released on Wednesday by the Vienna-based organization that promotes security and human rights.

“Some violations and problems have been identified in connection with the procedures that caused Ukraine,” it added.

Ukraine has previously acknowledged that there could be “isolated incidents” of irregularities and said an investigation would be launched.

However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Putin’s forces, and insisted that Russia had no choice but to invade Russia on Tuesday. “It will continue until its full completion and completion of the prescribed tasks,” he vowed.

After the capture of the capital, he insisted that Russia’s campaign be carried out as planned, despite a major withdrawal. And suffered significant losses.

Following those setbacks, Russian troops are now preparing for a major offensive in the eastern Donbass region, where Moscow-allied separatists and Ukrainian forces have been fighting since 2014, and Russia has recognized the separatists’ demands for independence. Military strategists say Moscow believes local support, logistics and territory in the region will favor its larger, better-armed military, which will eventually allow Russia to take advantage of it.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that “the inability to coordinate and coordinate military operations has hampered Russia’s invasion to date.” Western officials say Russia has recently appointed Alexander Dvornikov, the new top general of the war, to try to gain a foothold in his campaign.

An important part of that campaign was Mariupol, located in Donbass, which had been besieged and attacked by the Russians almost since the beginning of the war. Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mikhail Podoliak tweeted that the city’s defenders were short of supplies, but “fighting under bombs for every meter of the city”.

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General. Igor Konashenkov said 1,026 troops from the Ukrainian 36th Marine Regiment had surrendered at a metal factory in the city. It is not clear when this happened or how many forces were defending Mariupol.

According to the BBC, Aidan Aslin, a British man fighting in the Ukrainian army in Mariupol, called his mother and friend and told them he and his comrades had run out of food, ammunition and other supplies and would surrender.

Russian state television broadcast on Wednesday showed dozens of men in camouflage clothing walking with their arms raised and others on stretchers or chairs from the port city. One was holding a white flag in one hand and the handle of a stretcher in the other. In the background was a tall industrial building with its windows broken and its roof missing, which was identified by the broadcaster as Iliich metalworks.

Another Zelensky adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, did not comment on the surrender request, but said in a post on Twitter that elements of the same regiment had been able to join other Ukrainian forces in the city as a result of “dangerous maneuvering”.

An drone in Ukraine is being investigated for allegedly throwing poison. The insistence of the Azov Brigade, a far-right group now part of the Ukrainian military, has not been independently verified. The regiment indicated that there were no serious injuries.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hannah Malier said phosphorus explosives may have been used in Mariupol. Mark-Michael Bloom, former laboratory head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said phosphorus explosives are not formally classified as chemical weapons, but they do cause terrible burns and deliberately firing them in a closed space would violate the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In Washington, a senior U.S. defense official said the Biden administration was preparing to announce another military aid package for Ukraine in the coming days, totaling $ 750 million..

Biden used the word “genocide” about Russia’s actions, he said, adding that prosecutors should decide whether the country’s behavior meets international standards for genocide, but “it certainly seems that way to me.”

French President Emmanuel Macron has refused to use the word, but said “war crimes have been confirmed by the Russian military.”

“We must find those responsible and bring them to justice,” he told France-2 television.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating war crimes in Ukraine. Moscow’s retreat from the Kyiv region, where Ukrainian officials say more than 720 people have been killed, with 403 bodies found in the city of Pucha alone.

Residents of the village of Yahidne, near the northern city of Chernihiv, said Russian troops had been staying in the basement of a school for almost a month.They will only be allowed to go to the bathroom, cook on the open fire – and bury the dead in the mass grave.

In one room, residents wrote down the names of those who died during the search. 18 people were counted on the list.

“An old man near me died, and then his wife died,” said resident Valentina Saroyan. “Then a man lying there died, and then a woman sitting next to me. … She is dead too. Another old man was very healthy, he was exercising, but he sat up and fell. That’s it. “

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vareshchuk said on Wednesday that humanitarian corridors evacuating people from cities under Russian attack would not be operational due to poor security.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities arrested the fugitive Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvetsk., Both former leader of the pro-Russian opposition and a close ally of Putin. Medvetsuk was under house arrest before the war began and disappeared shortly after the outbreak of hostility.


Stashevsky reported from Yahitnev, Ukraine. The report was co-authored by Associated Press writer Robert Burns in Washington and AP journalists around the world.


Follow AP’s War Coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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