Live Updates | Official: plans to merge Kherson

An official set up by Russia in Ukraine’s Kherson region says the region’s administration will ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to take over the region.

The deputy head of the administration set up by Russia in Kherson, Kirill Stremosov, told reporters on Wednesday that there are no plans to create a self-declared “Kherson People’s Republic” in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions. But, he said, there are plans to ask Putin to add to it.

“The city of Kherson is Russia,” the state RIA Novosti news agency quoted Stremosov as saying. “There will be no (Kherson People’s Republic) on the territory of the Kherson region, there will be no referendum. This will be a decree based on the appeal of the Russian President on behalf of the Kherson regional leadership, and the inclusion of the region in the proper territory of the Russian Federation. will be requested.

Control of Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine and much of the surrounding area at the start of the war, has arguably been Russia’s most important advantage in the war.

Ukrainian officials have speculated that Russia is planning to hold a referendum in the region to declare its independence, as it did in 2014 in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Moscow recognized the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk republics two days before invading Ukraine. and used it as an excuse to send troops to his former Soviet neighbor.

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Major Developments in the Russo-Ukraine War:

– Ukrainians make profit in the east, stop Russian gas at a hub

— Wartime birth in Ukrainian hospital amid air raid sirens

– US, Western Europe fret over uncertain Ukraine war end

– The appeal of the fighters to evacuate the wounded from the Mariupol Mill

– House approves $40B in aid to Ukraine, moves Biden request

— Leonid Kravchuk, the first President of independent Ukraine, passed away

– Ambassador nominee for Ukraine demands the reopening of the embassy

– Follow all Associated Press stories on Russia’s war against Ukraine https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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Other Developments:

Ukraine’s natural gas pipeline operator has halted Russian shipments through a major hub in the country’s east.

Wednesday’s move marks the first time natural gas supplies have been affected by a war that began in February. This could force Russia to move its gas flows through an area controlled by Ukraine to reach its customers in Europe.

Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom initially said it could not reroute the gas, although preliminary flow data suggested higher rates moving through a second station in Ukrainian-controlled territory.

The pipeline operator said Russian shipments through its Novopskov hub in territory controlled by Moscow-backed separatists would be cut off due to interference from “occupation forces”, including apparent siphoning of gas.

The Ukrainian pipeline operator said the hub handles about a third of Russian gas moving from Ukraine to Western Europe. Russia’s state-owned natural gas giant Gazprom put the figure at about a quarter.

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LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian officials say a Russian rocket attack targeted the area around the city of Zaporizhzhya.

The city’s military administration says rockets exploded over the city on Wednesday, destroying infrastructure, but did not say what was destroyed.

There were no immediate reports of death or injury from the explosion.

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Vatican City – Wives of two Ukrainian soldiers guarding the Mariupol steel mill meet with Pope Francis and ask him to intervene to help soldiers arrange a third-party evacuation before Russian soldiers can be captured or killed .

Katerina Prokopenko and Yulia Fedusyuk greet Francis at the end of their weekly public audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday.

Later speaking to reporters, he said Francis made no promises but said he was praying for her.

Prokopenko, whose husband, Denis Prokopenko, is the commander of the Azov regiment at the Azovstal Mill, said the men would be willing to travel to a third country—he mentioned Turkey or Switzerland—if an evacuation could be organized.

He said: “Our soldiers are ready to move to a third country. They are ready to lay down their arms in case any third country is evacuated. We are all ready to help them, I hope.”

The women are in Italy to mobilize international support for a diplomatic solution to the standoff at Azovestal.

The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross have organized a series of evacuations of civilians, but not soldiers, from the mill, who have been holed up with little water, food and medical supplies.

Fedusiuk said her husband, Arseny Fedusiuk, recently asked her to research how to survive without water.

“Water is running out. They have no food, no water, no medicine. They are dying every day. Every day one or two wounded soldiers are being killed.”

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Russia’s foreign minister has made a surprise visit to the Gulf Arab state of Oman for a meeting with officials about Moscow’s war on Ukraine.

Oman’s state news agency reported that Sergei Lavrov briefed Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said about the war in Muscat on Wednesday.

The statement said Sultan Haitham stressed the need to comply with international law and intensify efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution to the crisis, “in a manner that guarantees the independence, sovereignty and co-existence of countries and peoples”. be maintained.”

Oman, a country of 4.6 million on the Arabian Peninsula, serves as an island of neutrality in a region long torn by sectarian and political conflicts. Sultan Haitham has continued the policies of his predecessor in pursuing quiet diplomacy to help resolve international crises.

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The British military says the Russian military on Snake Island in the Black Sea is helping to obstruct Moscow’s efforts to expand its influence in the Black Sea by targeting Ukraine.

In a daily intelligence briefing posted on Twitter on Wednesday, the British Defense Ministry said “Russia (is) repeatedly trying to strengthen its exposed garrison located there.”

It added: “Ukraine has successfully attacked Russian air defenses and re-supplied the ships with Bayraktar drones. Following the Russian Navy’s retreat in Crimea following the loss of Moscow, Russia re-supply ships. has minimal security in the western Black Sea.

This matches satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press later this week showing the fighting there.

The British military warned: “If Russia strengthens its position on the (Snake) island with strategic air defense and coastal defense cruise missiles, they could dominate the northwestern Black Sea.”

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WASHINGTON – The US House on Tuesday approved a fresh $40 billion Ukraine aid package, as lawmakers approved an initial request by President Joe Biden, a move to thwart Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bloody three-month-old offensive. Magnified, indicated bipartisan commitment.

The measure proceeded to pass by a margin of 368-57, providing $7 billion more than Biden’s request since April and splitting the increase equally between defense and humanitarian programs.

The bill would give Ukraine military and economic aid, help regional allies, replenish weapons sent overseas by the Pentagon, and address a global food shortage caused by the war crippling Ukraine’s normally strong production of many crops. will provide $5 billion for

The new legislation would bring US support for the nearly $54 billion effort, including $13.6 billion in Congress’s support enacted in March.

That’s about $6 billion more than the US spent on all of its foreign and military aid in 2019, according to a January report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which studies issues for lawmakers.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday cited some good news from the front, where he said Ukrainian forces were gradually pushing Russian troops away from Kharkiv.

The Ukrainian General Staff said its military had driven the Russians out of four villages northeast of Kharkiv as it tried to push them back towards the Russian border.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Ukrainian officials say Russian missiles struck the vital port of Odessa, apparently as part of efforts to disrupt vital supply lines and weapons shipments defending Kyiv.

Ukraine’s ability to deter a larger, better armed Russian force has surprised many who feared a much faster conflict.

The war is now in its 11th week and with Kyiv crushing Russian forces in several places and even counter-attacking in others, Ukraine’s foreign minister expressed confidence that the country would allow Russia to defend itself or its allies. Can expand its target beyond pushing back into areas. Held on 24 February the day of the invasion.

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