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Monday, November 28, 2022

Ukraine’s Mariupol hopes for humanitarian corridor

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The besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol awaits Friday to see if Russia will honor a humanitarian corridor that could allow aid into the city and allow evacuations.

Ivan Watson, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said on Friday: “We are hopeful, we are moving to Mariupol … but it is not yet clear whether this will happen today.”

Aid convoys and evacuation buses were stopped by Russian forces on Thursday.

Turkey’s top diplomat Mevlut Kavusoglu said in a televised interview on Thursday that Turkey is working to get both sides back on the bargaining table.

The head of the Ukrainian delegation, David Arkhamia, said on Friday that talks would resume via videoconference.

A Russian regional official says two Ukrainian helicopters carried out an airstrike on a fuel depot in the Russian city of Belgorod early Friday, setting the facility on fire. The incident is the first time Russia has reported on Ukraine’s attack on Russian territory.

Ukraine’s president said in his nightly address on Thursday that he had removed two top generals from their posts.

Volodymyr Zelensky called the generals “antiheroes”. One of the generals was the head of internal security in the country’s main intelligence agency, while the other was the head of the intelligence agency in the Kherson region.

The Ukrainian leader said that he “does not have time to deal with all the traitors, but gradually all of them will be punished.”

Ukrainian officials estimate that Russia withdrew 700 units of equipment from the Kyiv region overnight, moving them back to Belarus, writes VOA’s Jamie Detmer from Vinnitsia, Ukraine.

General Oleksandr Gruzhevich, deputy chief of staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said the departing armored personnel carriers could be redeployed to the Donbass in eastern Ukraine to strengthen an offensive there.

“The troops leaving the area around Kyiv are very important,” Gruzhevich said.

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The withdrawal appears to be in line with Russian announcements that it intends to concentrate around Kyiv and on the Donbass. Ukraine’s General Staff said on Friday it believes Russia aims to seize territories in Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts it does not currently occupy, as well as Kramatorsk and Slovaksk. It also blockades the cities of the U.S. and predicts that the Russians will continue to move troops into eastern Ukraine. ,

However, Russian ground forces are facing stiff resistance in efforts to increase their hold in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian military officials say seven Russian attacks overnight in the Donetsk and Luhansk blasts were foiled. They claimed that three Russian tanks, two armored personnel carriers, two artillery systems were destroyed and one Russian drone was shot down.

But Russia is also moving more missile units to Belarus – a possible prelude to intensifying ballistic missile attacks on targets across Ukraine.

Britain’s military intelligence warned early Thursday that most of Russia’s forces were in place near Kyiv “despite the withdrawal of a limited number of units”.

British Defense Attache Air Vice Marshal Mick Smith said in a statement: “Heavy fighting is expected in the city’s suburbs in the coming days.”

A senior US defense official described Russian movements as “modest”, warning that Russian forces would continue to target Kyiv and other northern cities with airstrikes and artillery.

“It has by no means been bulk, nor has it been rapid,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said later on Thursday, adding that less than 20% of Russian forces were moved against Kyiv and Chernihiv. was given.”

“It’s not quite clear … where they’re going, for how long, and for what purpose,” Kirby said. “But we don’t see any signs that they are being sent home.”

US defense officials believe that most of the Russian military is headed to Belarus for supplies and maintenance before moving back to Ukraine, possibly to help Russian forces fight in the eastern part of the country.

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However, even there US officials believe that the Russian army has been hoaxed.

“For real progress, shut it down or shut it down and fix the Ukrainian Armed Forces [in the Donbas]They are disappointed and not successful,” a senior US defense official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.

Russia has made more efforts in the Donbass, with the official warning that “this could mean a longer, more drawn out conflict.”

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden authorized the largest-ever release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, announcing the release of 1 million barrels a day for six months – a move aimed at easing domestic oil prices. Because sanctions on Russian oil and gas have sent prices globally skyrocketing.

This is the third time Biden has ordered a release from the strategic reserve. The first two did not lead to a meaningful fall in prices in global oil markets.

Sanctions

Russia said on Thursday it would expand the list of EU officials banned from entering the country in response to a wide range of Western sanctions that have been imposed on Russia following the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

The travel ban applies to the EU’s “top leadership”, which includes “several EU commissioners and heads of the EU military structure” and the “vast majority” of parliamentary members, Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday. said. Other public officials and “media workers who are personally responsible for promoting illegal anti-Russian sanctions” were also targeted.

VOA national security correspondent Jeff Seldin, Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb, United Nations correspondent Margaret Beshir and White House correspondent Anita Powell contributed to this report.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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