Ukraine’s president demands more military assets

by Associated Press

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia intends to respond to US sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s daughters as it sees fit.

“Russia will certainly respond, and will do as it sees fit,” Peskov said on Thursday.

The US announced on Wednesday that it is approving Putin’s two adult daughters as part of a new batch of punishments on the country’s political and economic systems in retaliation for their alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that the sanctions “combine a completely manic line of different sanctions” and the fact that the restrictions target family members “speaks for itself.”

“This is something that is difficult to understand and explain. But, unfortunately, we have to deal with such opponents,” Peskov said.

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Major Developments in the Russo-Ukraine War:

– Ukraine’s waistband for new Russian offensive on the Eastern Front

– Russia is moving troops and focusing east, but that strategy also carries risks

The General Assembly will vote on Thursday on suspending Russia from the UN Council of Rights

— Refugees from Ukraine have found the fastest way to the US via Mexico

— Watching Buka’s atrocities is turning point for media, audience

— Russia makes loan payments in rubles, a move that could result in a historic default

— Visit here for more coverage

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Other Developments:

BRUSSELS – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is due in Kyiv on Friday.

EU Commission chief spokesman Eric Mammer said von der Leyen would send a message of “absolute solidarity” and reiterated the support provided by the 27-nation bloc to Ukraine.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell will also be on the visit.

Von der Leyen is the second president of an EU institution to visit Ukraine, following the visit of EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola last week.

Von der Leyen’s visit will come a day before she will attend a pledge for Ukraine in Warsaw.

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LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Britain’s new energy strategy will ensure that his country is not “blackmailed” by outsiders such as Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Speaking outside the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, Johnson said on Thursday that the UK would take a “sensible and pragmatic approach” on domestic hydrocarbons. He says the country would “license goods in the North Sea instead of importing high-carbon fossil fuels from Russia.”

Johnson says the strategy is to ensure the country is “never again subject to the uncertainty of global oil and gas prices and … to blackmail, as it was from people like Vladimir Putin.”

The strategy has been to cut energy supplies as oil and natural gas prices soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

High energy prices are creating a cost-of-living crisis in the UK, where domestic gas and electricity prices have risen 54% this month.

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ATHENS, Greece – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says his country needs anti-aircraft defense systems, artillery systems, munitions and armored vehicles to deter Russian aggression.

“The sooner Ukraine gets this help, the more lives we can save in Ukraine,” Zelensky said in an address to the Greek parliament on Thursday.

Zelensky emphasized the destruction inflicted on the southern port city of Mariupol, which is home to a large Greek-Ukrainian community, and to help prevent a similar fate to Odessa, another Ukrainian port city with deep ties to Greece. requested.

The Ukrainian president called for an embargo on all Russian banks and a ban on Russian ships entering ports, in order to hinder Russia’s ability to finance the war.

“Russia has full confidence in their invincibility and they can do whatever they want without punishment. We have to stop this. We must bring Russia to justice,” Zelensky said.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Satellite images show a Ukrainian naval vessel setting fire to the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Images from Planet Labs PBC, analyzed Thursday by The Associated Press, show the Ukrainian command ship Donbass in port after a nearby building also burned down at around 2:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

The cause of the fire remained unclear.

Russian forces are strangling the city on the Sea of ​​Azov as they advance in their battle that began on February 24. Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine accused Ukrainian forces of setting the ship on fire as a “provocation”. Russian army. ,

Ukrainian officials did not immediately comment on the fire.

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LONDON – Britain’s defense ministry says Russia is bombing infrastructure targets to degrade Ukraine’s government and military as it prepares for a renewed attack in the country’s east.

The ministry said in an intelligence update on Thursday that “advancing offensive operations in eastern Ukraine is the main focus of Russian military forces.”

It said Russia is targeting a “line of control” in the Donbass between Ukrainian-occupied territories and artillery and air strikes by Russia-backed separatists.

The Russian military is also targeting infrastructure in the Ukrainian interior “to reduce its ability to re-supply the Ukrainian military and increase pressure on the Ukrainian government.”

Nevertheless, the UK maintains that “Russian forces may face morale issues and shortages of supplies and personnel.”

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine is accusing Hungary of undermining EU unity by backing Moscow as Russia suppresses its offensive.

Hungary is a member of the European Union, and Ukraine wants to join the 27-nation bloc. Ukrainian officials are angered by Hungary’s response that Russian troops recently indiscriminately killed people before retreating from Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, which has been condemned by the European Union.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Thursday that “Hungary’s reluctance to accept Russia’s responsibility for the atrocities in Bucha reinforces Russia’s sense of impunity and encourages it to commit new crimes.” Is.”

Nikolenko also criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s statement about Hungary’s readiness to pay in rubles for Russian gas, due to the EU’s rejection of Moscow’s demand for a currency. Was described as unfriendly and flighty.

In a statement, Nikolenko dismissed Orban’s offer to host talks between Russia and Ukraine as cynical, saying that “if Hungary wants to help end the war, it must be sent to the European Union.” should stop harming the unity of the United States, support new sanctions, offer military aid to Ukraine and stop creating additional resources to finance the Russian war machine.”

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LVIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s deputy prime minister says the Russian military has agreed 10 humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians in Ukraine’s three eastern regions on Thursday.

Russia is expected to intensify its military campaign for control of Ukraine’s industrial east in the coming days and weeks, and Ukraine has appealed to NATO for more weapons to help stop it.

Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said that citizens of the Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya regions will be able to move to the cities of Zaporizhzhya and Bakhmut.

Vereshchuk said on the messaging app Telegram that it would be possible to travel by car from Mariupol and Enerhodar to Zaporizhzhya, and from Berdyansk, Tokmak and Melitopol by car and buses.

Evacuation to Bakhmut, a city in the Donetsk region, will take place in Severodonetsk, Lisichansk, Popasna, Girske and Rubizan in the Luhansk region.

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BRUSSELS – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called on members of the organization to provide more weapons for Ukraine, and not just defensive anti-tank and anti-craft weapons.

As NATO defense ministers gathered in Brussels on Thursday, Stoltenberg said, “I urge allies to support many different types of systems, both light weapons but also heavy weapons.”

Stoltenberg says NATO countries, but not NATO as an organization, are supplying Ukraine with a variety of weapons and other aid but 30 allies can do more.

He says that “Ukraine is waging a defensive war, so this distinction between offensive and defensive weapons really has no real meaning.”

Stoltenberg is emphasizing that it is also important for NATO not to be dragged into a wider war with Russia.

“NATO is not sending troops to stay on the ground. We also have a responsibility to prevent this conflict from progressing beyond Ukraine and becoming even more deadly, even more dangerous and destructive,” he said.

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BRUSSELS: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dimitro Kuleba has urged NATO to provide weapons to his war-torn country to help it survive this week’s atrocities in the city of Bucha.

Arriving at NATO headquarters on Thursday for talks with the military organization’s foreign ministers, Kuleba said: “My agenda is very simple … it’s weapons, weapons and weapons.”

Kuleba says that “we know how to fight. We know how to win. But without the durable and adequate supplies requested by Ukraine, these victories will be accompanied by enormous sacrifices.”

“The more weapons we get and the sooner they reach Ukraine, the more human lives will be saved.”

He urged Germany in particular to move forward, and to accelerate the dispatch of much-needed equipment and weapons, saying “while Berlin has time, Kyiv does not.”

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WASHINGTON – The US Senate will take legislation Thursday to end normal trade ties with Russia and ban imports of its oil.

Both bills have been implicated in the Senate, frustrating lawmakers who want to speed up America’s response to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Russian President Vladimir Putin should be held accountable for Schumer’s war crimes against Ukraine.

The trade suspension measure paves the way for President Joe Biden to impose higher tariffs on some Russian imports.

The bill banning Russian oil would codify sanctions that Biden has already imposed through executive action.

In a virtual speech to Congress last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “a new package of sanctions is needed every week until the Russian military machine shuts down.”

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