The United States challenged Moscow on Saturday by pledging another $200 million worth of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine, as Russian and Ukrainian soldiers clashed on the outskirts of Kiev. The announcement came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to attack Western aid convoys, potentially taking the war to a new level.
US President Joe Biden’s pledge to send more weapons to Ukraine includes anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. Russia warned that the equipment would be considered “legitimate targets” for its forces, according to Russian Vice Chancellor Sergei Ryabkov.
The rhetoric escalated on the back of 90-minute talks between Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz – who failed to get the Kremlin to agree to a ceasefire.
Throughout the day, Russian forces intensified their bombardment of Ukraine’s main cities, hitting apartment buildings, shops and civilian buildings as part of a strategy to subdue Ukraine’s cities.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of intimidation in an attempt to destroy Ukrainian morale, called the attack a “war of annihilation” and acknowledged for the first time the loss of 1,300 troops in the war.
In the capital, Kiev, a final assault is expected at any moment. This Saturday, Russia resumed bombing the outskirts of the city. In Irbin, as Ukrainian and Russian soldiers fought street to street, residents tearfully carried their belongings into the rubble, trying to escape death.
Russia stepped up attacks on Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk, two cities in western Ukraine, on Saturday, undermining the sense of security in a region that had until then been spared from war and safe for refugees, businessmen, journalists and others. Diplomats.
Until now, Western Ukraine has played the role of a corridor for the delivery of weapons and military equipment from Europe and the United States, which can explain the fact that it has become the target of Russian artillery. “There are no more peaceful cities in Ukraine,” said Myroslav Kozyuba in the central square of Ivano-Frankivsk.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia on Saturday of using tactics similar to those adopted in Syria’s civil war. He acknowledged that the city of Mariupol is under siege but still under Ukrainian control. Kuleba also said the Russians were trying to set up a logistics base near the Chernobyl plant.
According to news agencies, about 13,000 Ukrainians managed to escape through humanitarian corridors on Saturday. However, the Donetsk governor said that the bombing of the city had complicated the supply of supplies, as well as prevented the refugees from leaving.
About 6,500 Russian tourists are stranded in Thai resorts because of the invasion of Ukraine. With many of their properties locked up due to international sanctions and no money to stay, they have no way to return.
All flights to Russia have been canceled by airlines that have grounded flights. According to Yuthasak Supasorn, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, some have chosen to delay their return.
“There are still some companies that fly to Russia, but passengers have to make a connection in another country. We are trying to research flights for them,” Yudasak said. Although almost all direct flights have been suspended, connections are still available through major Middle Eastern carriers.
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