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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Russia continues to beat Kiev, other Ukrainian cities despite promise to scale back | Nation World News

Russian forces have bombed areas around Kiev and another city just hours after promising to scale back military operations in those places to help advance peace talks, Ukrainian authorities said on Wednesday.

The shooting – and intensified Russian attacks on other parts of the country – dampened optimism about any progress in the talks aimed at ending the civil war.

The Russian military’s announcement on Tuesday that it would de-escalate near Kiev, the capital, and Chernihiv to “increase mutual trust”, was greeted with deep suspicion by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the West.

Shortly afterwards, Ukrainian officials reported that Russian shelters had hit homes, shops, libraries and other civilian sites in and around Chernihiv and on the outskirts of Kiev.

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Russian troops have also intensified their attacks around the eastern city of Izyum and in the eastern Donetsk region after redeploying some units from other areas, the Ukrainian side said.

Chernihiv city council secretary Olexander Lomako said the Russian announcement was “a complete lie”.

“At night, they did not decrease, but conversely, the intensity of military action increased,” Lomako said.

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Korolenko Chernihiv Regional Universal Scientific Library was damaged by night shelters in Chernihiv on Wednesday. (Vladislav Savenok / The Associated Press)

“Civilian infrastructure facilities, libraries, shopping malls, many houses were destroyed in Chernihiv,” said Viacheslav Chaus, governor of Chernihiv, adding that there were also strikes in Nizhyn, about 100 kilometers to the south.

From Russia’s statement that it would cut back on its military activities, he said: “Do we believe that? Of course not.”

Oleksandr Pavliuk, head of the capital region’s military administration, said on Wednesday that there had been 30 Russian shelters from the residential areas and civilian infrastructure in the Bucha, Brovary and Vyshhorod regions around Kiev over the previous 24 hours.

KYK | Zelensky expresses skepticism about Russian withdrawal:

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Zelensky expresses skepticism about the Russian withdrawal from Kiev

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there was no reason to believe that Russia’s announcement that it would reduce military activity near Kiev, given what was happening on the ground. 6:06

Economic repercussions

Five weeks after the invasion, with the death toll estimated at thousands on both sides, the number of Ukrainians fleeing the country exceeded a staggering four million, or about a 10th of the population, according to the United Nations. Half of those who fled are children, the UN said.

“I do not know if we can still believe the Russians,” said Nikolay Nazarov, a refugee from the northeastern city of Khakriv, who had been firing heavily since the beginning of the invasion on February 24, when he joined his father’s wheelchair. a border crossing to Poland.

“I think more escalation will take place in eastern Ukraine. That’s why we can not go back to Kharkiv.”

Meanwhile, the economic consequences of the war and the West’s sanctions against Moscow increased.

Russia usually supplies about 40 percent of its gas to Europe, but the possibility of supply disruption since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has increased over the past week, with G7 countries rejecting a demand for payment in rubles.

Germany and Austria on Wednesday activated early warning plans amid concerns that Moscow could cut natural gas supplies, while Poland announced steps to end all Russian oil imports by year-end.

The German government said it was setting up a crisis team to step up monitoring of gas supply, and it called on companies and households to save energy.

But hours later, German officials said Chancellor Olaf Scholz had received assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin that European companies would not have to pay for Russian gas supplies in rubles, but could continue to pay in euros, as stipulated by existing contracts.

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Irpin evacuees gather Wednesday in an aid center on the outskirts of Kiev. (Rodrigo Abd / The Associated Press)

During a round of talks held in Istanbul on Tuesday, the faint outline of a possible peace agreement apparently came to the fore when the Ukrainian delegation presented a framework according to which the country would declare itself neutral. It will abandon its bid to join NATO, as Moscow has long demanded, in exchange for security guarantees from a group of other nations.

Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation, said Ukraine’s readiness to consider neutral status would meet a key Russian demand.

Medinsky said in a comment on television that the proposals indicated Ukraine’s readiness to reach agreement “for the first time in years.” If Ukraine accepts its offer, he said, “the threat of creating a NATO bridgehead on Ukrainian territory will be removed.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also sounded a positive note, but included a warning: “We can not say there was anything promising or any breakthroughs.”

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Ukrainians are queuing up for further transport in Medyka, Poland, after crossing the border on Tuesday. (Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP / Getty Images)

After the Kremlin’s announcement that it would scale down some of its military operations, Zelensky responded by saying that when dealing with the Russians, “you can only trust concrete results.”

“We judge the Russian military machine according to its actions, not just its words,” British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab also told Sky News. “There is, of course, some skepticism that it will regroup to attack again rather than get seriously involved in diplomacy.

“Of course, the door to diplomacy will always be left open, but I do not think you can trust what comes out of Putin’s war machine.”

The skepticism seemed grounded on Wednesday.

KYK | Ukraine’s latest victims of war:

Ukraine’s latest victims of war

Inside the Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kiev, exhausted medical staff are removing scrap metal, repairing limbs and repairing the physical wounds of war in Ukrainian children. Hospital’s press secretary Anastasia Magerramova says the hospital shows images of the children to let the world know the truth about the war in Ukraine. 14:44

Consultations following discussions

Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation, said negotiators would take Ukraine’s proposals to Putin, and then Moscow would give an answer, but he did not say when.

Talks are expected to resume on Wednesday, but with what Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has made “significant” progress, the two parties have decided to return home for consultations.

Ukraine’s delegation on Tuesday offered neutrality in exchange for security guarantees by a group of third countries, including the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Turkey, China and Poland, in an arrangement similar to NATO’s “attack on one an attack on everything “principle.

KYK | Experience in serving Ukrainian soldiers well, says coach:

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Training, experience, morale serve Ukrainian soldiers well, says Canadian military coach

Canada’s training of Ukrainian soldiers and their combat experience in the Donbas serve them well in the war with Russia, says former military coach Lt. Col. Melanie Lake, but so is their powerful motivation, she said. “I do believe they will win.” 7:48

Ukraine has said it will also be willing to hold talks over a 15-year period on the future of the Crimean peninsula, which was seized by Russia in 2014.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. had seen over the past 24 hours that some Russian troops were moving north away from Kiev to Belarus, but did not consider it a withdrawal, merely an attempt by Moscow to resupply, repair and then reposition its troops.

Top Russian military officials have said in recent days that their main goal now is the “liberation” of Donbas, the predominantly Russian-speaking industrial heartland in the east, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.

Western officials say Moscow is strengthening troops in Donbas.

Some analysts have suggested that the apparent downsizing of the Kremlin’s war goals and promise to de-escalate is merely an attempt to give a positive twist to reality: Moscow’s ground troops have been thwarted – and suffered heavy losses – in their attempt to seize the capital and several other cities.

Meanwhile, a missile destroyed part of an apartment block in the rebel-held city of Donetsk early Wednesday, killing two people. Separatists blamed Ukrainian forces for the attack.

“I was just sitting on the couch and – scared! – the window glass jumped, the frames came down. I did not even understand what happened,” said resident Anna Gorda.

Brovary Warehouse
A destroyed logistics warehouse in the Brovary district of Kiev. About 50,000 tons of food became unusable after it was hit by Russian shelters on March 13. (Metin Aktas / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)

The number of refugees is more than 4 million

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency said on Wednesday that more than four million people had now fled Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, a new milestone in Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has posted on a website monitoring refugee flows around the world that 4.01 million people have now fled Ukraine. Of that, 2.3 million entered Poland.

KYK | Survivors describe what they lost:

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Heartbreaking stories of loss and survival of the war in Ukraine

Two refugees share their personal stories of fleeing the Ukraine war – Olga Sairova lost her husband and parents in a Russian missile attack, and Lesia Bondarenko barely survived when she escaped with her nine-month-old baby. 3:56

Aid workers say the flow has eased in recent days as many people wait for developments in the war. An estimated 6.5 million people have also been displaced from their homes in Ukraine.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization has said it provides emergency aid to one million people in Ukraine. It said the food contained 330,000 loaves of bread for families in Kharkiv.

“Children are suffering, and our city, and everything,” said Tetyana Parmynska, a 28-year-old from the Chernihiv region who is now at a refugee center in Poland, while a man was playing songs on a battered piano playing with a peace is decorated. emblem.

“We have no more power.”

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