Russia threatens to attack Ukraine on a large scale as the US presses China on its war stance According to Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian servicemen drive a self-propelled artillery vehicle, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the Donetsk region, Ukraine July 8, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
By Pavel Polityuk
Officials said Ukraine’s defense forces fought on Saturday to contain Russian forces along several fronts, as the United States urged China to align with the West to fight the invasion after the bad G20 meeting.
The governor said a missile attack on the city of Kharkiv in the northeastern part of the country injured three civilians, although the main Russian attacks were concentrated on the southeast of that city in Luhansk and Donetsk.
Those two provinces, parts held by pro-Russian separatists before the conflict began in February, include the industrial area east of Donbas.
Ukrainian officials reported air strikes in both on Saturday, while the British Ministry of Defense said Moscow was assembling reserves from across Russia near Ukraine.
Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on the Telegram messaging service that a Russian missile hit Druzhkivka, a town behind the front lines, and reportedly shelled other population centers.
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Telegram that Russian forces were “opening fire along the entire front line”, although a subsequent Ukrainian counterattack forced Moscow to halt the offensive.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the Russian military had purposefully targeted civilians.
“It fired accurately into residential areas – fully on purpose, on purpose, at ordinary homes and civilian objects,” he said in a statement.
Russia, which declared control of the entire Luhansk province late last week, denies targeting civilians.
Zelenskiy also dismissed several of Kyiv’s senior envoys abroad, saying it was part of “normal diplomatic practice.” He said he would appoint new ambassadors to Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary.
Zelenskiy has called on his diplomats to increase international support and high-end weapons to slow Russia’s advance.
US President Joe Biden signed an arms package for Ukraine on Friday worth up to $400 million, including four additional highly mobile artillery missile systems (HIMARS).
But Ukraine suffered a diplomatic setback on Saturday, when Canada said it would return a repaired turbine that Russian state-controlled Gazprom (MCX:) had once supplied to Germany. Ukraine has argued that a rollback would violate sanctions against Russia.
PICTURE OF CHINA-USA
On Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, calling on the international community to join forces to condemn Russia’s act of aggression, told journalists he had raised concerns with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi about the alignment. of Beijing with Moscow.
The two sides held more than 5 hours of talks on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali. On Friday, Russia’s Sergei Lavrov walked out of a meeting there, denouncing the West for “crazy criticism”.
China’s foreign ministry said, without giving details, that Wang and Blinken discussed the “Ukraine issue”.
The newspaper also quoted Mr. Wang as saying that Sino-US relations were at risk of being led “in the wrong direction”, with many believing that “the US is suffering from a growing ‘fear of China’. “
Just before the Russian invasion, Beijing and Moscow declared a partnership of “unlimited”, although US officials said they had not yet seen China evade US-led sanctions against the US. Russia or provide military equipment to the country.
Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram that, as well as the missile attack, warplanes repelled two Russian attacks near Dementiivka, a town located between the city and the border with Russia.
The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces hit two “bases of foreign mercenaries deployed near Kharkiv”.
Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov also said the army destroyed ammunition depots in the regions of Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk.
Russian-backed forces on the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said three people died and 17 were wounded there in the past 24 hours as Ukrainian forces shelled 10 locations.
Alexei Kulemzin, the mayor of Donetsk, wrote on Telegram that two women had died as a result of shelling in the city’s Kirovskyi district.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield accounts.
After testy exchanges at the G20 on Friday, President Vladimir Putin also signaled that the Kremlin was not in the mood for compromise, saying sanctions against Russia risk triggering a surge in energy prices. “disastrous”.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday said the sanctions were working and repeated calls by the West to provide more high-precision weapons.
Kuleba told a forum in Dubrovnik via videolink: “The Russians trying their best to lift those sanctions prove that they have hurt them. Therefore, the sanctions must be strengthened for them. until Putin abandons his aggressive plans.”
Since Russia, which has also occupied a large portion of territory across southern Ukraine, began what it calls a “special operation” to demilitarize Ukraine, cities have been bombed in heaps. destroyed, thousands of people were killed and millions displaced.
Ukraine and its Western allies say Russia is engaged in an unprovoked land grab.