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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Ukraine accuses Russia of ‘terrorist missile strategy’

LEOPOLIS, Ukraine ( Associated Press) — Complaining that the West is “loading Ukraine with weapons,” Russia bombed train stations and other targets on supply lines across the country on Wednesday, as the European Union imposed new sanctions on Ukraine. Was prepared. Moscow to War, a proposal to ban Russian oil imports.

According to the mayor, heavy fighting also took place at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, which represents the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the destroyed port city. A Russian official denied that Moscow troops were raiding the compound, but the commander of the main Ukrainian military unit at the site said Russian troops entered the plant’s grounds.

The Russian Armed Forces said they used air and sea missiles to destroy electrical installations at five railway stations in different parts of Ukraine, in addition to carrying out air and artillery strikes, which used military defenses and ammunition. and fuel depots.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba accused Russia of “using terrorist missile tactics to spread fear in Ukraine”.

Airstrike sirens were fired in several cities across the country on Wednesday night, with strikes reported near the capital Kyiv; in Cherkasy and Dnipro in central Ukraine; and in Zaporizhia, in the southeast. In Dnipro, officials reported that a railway facility was affected. Videos on social networks indicated that a bridge in the city was also attacked.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or extent of damage.

The series of attacks came as Russia was preparing to celebrate May 9 as Victory Day, which marks the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. The world is watching closely whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will use the occasion to declare victory in Ukraine or what he describes as a “special military operation”.

Declaring war would allow Putin to enforce martial law and mobilize reservists to compensate for the mass casualties among his troops.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the speculation, calling it “nonsense”.

Meanwhile, Belarus, from where Russian troops launched part of their ground offensive, on Wednesday announced the start of military exercises. A senior Ukrainian official has said that his country will be ready to act if Belarus joins the conflict.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the attacks on railway infrastructure were aimed at disrupting arms supplies from the West. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the West was “loading Ukraine with weapons.”

A senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the Pentagon’s assessment, said Moscow has attempted to attack critical infrastructure around the city of Lviv, specifically targeting rail lines, Ukraine. There has been no “obvious effect” on the re-supply efforts. , Lviv, near the Polish border, has been a major transit point for NATO-supplied weapons.

The weapons entering Ukraine helped its forces thwart Russia’s initial push to capture Kyiv, and it seems likely that they will play a key role in the battle for the Donbass, an industrial region in eastern Ukraine, which became a target. has gone. Moscow Main.

In addition to supplying weapons to Ukraine, Europe and the United States have tried to punish Moscow with sanctions. The top EU official on Wednesday called for sanctions on imports of Russian oil from the 27-nation bloc, a significant source of revenue for the Russian government.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We will ensure that we remove Russian oil in an orderly manner, allowing us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and reduce the impact on global markets.” meets.” Before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

The proposal requires the unanimous approval of EU countries and is likely to be the subject of intense debate. Hungary and Slovakia have already said they will not participate in any oil embargo. They can be exempted.

The European Union is also talking about a possible ban on Russian natural gas. The block has already approved reduction in coal imports.

The Russian economy is highly dependent on oil and natural gas exports. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba said European purchases of Russian energy generate billions of dollars in revenue and are the basis of the Kremlin’s “war machine”.

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Anna reported from Zaporizhia, Ukraine.

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Associated Press journalist Yesika Fisch in Zaporizhia, Ukraine; Inna Varenitsia and David Keaton, in Kyiv, Ukraine; Yuras Karmanau, in Lviv, Ukraine; Mstislav Chernov, in Kharkiv, Ukraine; Lolita C. Baldor in Washington; And Associated Press employees from around the world contributed to this report.

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