LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused the West of cowardice as his country fights to stop Russia’s invading troops, maintaining a defense as a battlefield for fighter jets and tanks. Makes a fierce argument.
After US President Joe Biden said in a scathing speech that Russian President Vladimir Putin could not stay in power – the White House immediately sought to mince words – Zelensky on Sunday called the jets in the West’s “ping-pong who and how”. should be handed over, explained about it.” and other weapons while Russian missile strikes kill and trap civilians.
“I spoke to the defenders of Mariupol today. I am in constant contact with them. Their determination, valor and perseverance are astonishing,” Zelensky said in a video address, referring to the besieged southern city, which has seen some of the war’s worst battles. “If only those who have been thinking for 31 days how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had 1% of their courage.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, Oksana Markova, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that her country had heard Biden “loud and clear.”
“Now, it is up to all of us to stop Putin while it is still localized in Ukraine because this war is not just about Ukraine,” she said, but an “attack on democracy.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its 32nd day, has stalled in many areas. His aim to quickly encircle the capital Kyiv and force it to surrender has faltered against hardline Ukrainian resistance – stronger than the weapons of the US and other Western allies.
Zelensky signed a law Sunday that bans reporting on military and equipment movements that have not been declared or approved by the military. Journalists who violate the law can be jailed for three to eight years. The law does not differentiate between Ukrainian and foreign journalists.
Britain’s defense ministry said Russian troops were trying to encircle Ukrainian forces facing two separatist-held areas in the country’s east. With this, a large part of Ukraine’s army will be cut off from the rest of the country.
Moscow claims its focus is on capturing the entire eastern Donbass region, which has been partially controlled by Russia-backed separatists since 2014. A high-ranking Russian military official said on Friday that troops were being redirected east from other parts of the country.
The leader of a separatist-controlled region of the Donbass said on Sunday he wanted to vote to join Russia, words that could signal a change in Russia’s position. Leonid Pasechnik, the head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, said he plans to hold a referendum on becoming part of Russia “in the near term”.
Russia has backed separatist rebels in Luhansk and neighboring Donetsk since the insurgency began soon after annexing the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. In negotiations with Ukraine, Moscow has sought to accept the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk from Kyiv.
The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, Kyrillo Budanov, accused Russia of trying to divide Ukraine into two parts, like North and South Korea.
“Will try to draw the occupied territories into a single quasi-state structure and pit it against independent Ukraine,” Budanov said in a statement issued by the Defense Ministry. He predicted that a guerilla war by the Ukrainians would derail such plans.
David Arkhamia, a Ukrainian representative in talks with Russia on ending the war, said in a Facebook post that the countries would meet in Turkey from Monday. However, the Russians then announced that talks would begin on Tuesday. The parties have already met and no settlement has been reached.
Ukraine says the West must provide fighter jets, not just missiles and other military equipment, to defeat Russia. A proposal to transfer Polish aircraft to Ukraine via the United States was turned down amid NATO’s concerns about engaging in direct combat.
In his candid remarks, Zelensky accused Western governments of “fearing to prevent this tragedy”. Just afraid to make decisions.”
“So, who’s in charge of the Euro-Atlantic community? Is it still Moscow, thanks to its scare tactics?” He asked. “Our allies should increase their aid to Ukraine.”
On Sunday, a priest repeated his plea in the western city of Lviv, which had been hit by rockets the day before. The airstrikes made it clear that Moscow, despite claims that it intended to move the war east, was ready to strike anywhere in Ukraine.
“When diplomacy doesn’t work, we need military support,” said Rev. Yuri Vaskiev, who reported fewer parishioners in his Greek Catholic Church pews, perhaps out of fear.
Referring to Putin, he said: “This evil is from him, and we must stop it.”
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov confirmed that Russia used air-launched cruise missiles to hit a fuel depot and a defense plant in Liv, about 45 miles (75 km) from the Polish border. did. He said another attack with sea-launched missiles destroyed a depot in Plesetke, west of Kyiv, where Ukraine stored air defense missiles.
A chemical smell erupted in Liv on Sunday, as firefighters trained the flames and black smoke emanating from oil storage tanks in the attack.
A security guard, Yaroslav Prokopyev, said he saw three rockets destroy two oil tanks but no one was hurt.
Russian airstrikes rocked a city that has become a haven for some 200,000 people who have fled the bombed towns and cities. Lviv, which has survived massive bombings, has been a way out for most of the 38 million refugees who have left Ukraine since the February 24 invasion of Russia.
In a dim, crowded bomb shelter beneath an apartment block near the site of the first blast, 34-year-old information technology professional Olana Ukrainetes said she couldn’t believe she had to hide again after fleeing the northeastern city of Kharkiv . One of the most bombed cities.
“We were on one side of the road and looked on the other side,” she said. “We saw the fire. I said to my friend, ‘What is this?’ Then we heard an explosion and the sound of glass breaking.
In his video address, Zelensky angrily warned Moscow that he was sowing deep hatred for Russia among Ukrainians.
“You are doing everything so that our people themselves leave the Russian language, because the Russian language will now be associated only with you, your explosions and murders, your crimes,” said Zelensky.
Along with millions who have fled Ukraine, the invasion has driven more than 10 million people out of their homes, about one-quarter of Ukraine’s population. Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed.
While Russia’s progress on Kyiv has stalled, fighting has broken out in the suburbs, and detonations of missiles fired at the city have shattered St. Sophia’s Cathedral, a 1,000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses Ukrainian spiritual and cultural heritage. National heart. Identification.
Vadim Kirilenko, an engineer and patron who is the church’s most senior manager, said a strike nearby “would be of no return to our milestone because it is too fragile and vulnerable.”
Pointing to the golden domes of the cathedral, Kirilenko said that the cross above the central one fell a month before the outbreak of World War II.
“The cross on the left fell a month before this battle,” he said.