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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

War against Ukraine: That is the situation

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kyiv (AP) — The end of the fighting in Ukraine is not yet in sight. Alarm was reported from several cities in Ukraine overnight. Negotiations between representatives of Russia and Ukraine on ending the war have been suspended and are scheduled to resume today.

Selenskyj cautiously optimistic

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed cautious optimism about talks with Russia. The negotiating positions sounded more realistic, he said in a video message. But it will be a while before Ukraine can be satisfied. “We all want peace and victory as soon as possible,” said the President. “But it requires effort and patience. We still have to fight and work.” Every war ends with an agreement. “The meetings will continue.”

Both sides negotiated in a video conference earlier in the week. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said Tuesday night that the talks would continue on Wednesday. Ukraine demands the end of the war and the withdrawal of Russian troops. Among other things, Moscow is demanding that kyiv recognize the annexed Black Sea peninsula of Crimea as Russian and breakaway Ukrainian areas as independent states.

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Ukraine: the Russian army lost up to 40 percent of units

According to the Ukrainian general staff, the Russian army has already lost up to 40 percent of the units that have been involved in the fighting since the February 24 invasion. These troops were completely crushed or lost their combat effectiveness, the general staff in kyiv said in a situation report on Wednesday night. He did not give a specific number. Information cannot be independently verified.

The worst situation continues to prevail in the area around the beleaguered port city of Mariupol, he said. Here the Russian army is trying to blockade the city on the western and eastern edges. However, she suffers significant losses. According to the authorities, some 20,000 people in the Azov Sea city, which was surrounded by Russian troops, were able to reach safety on Tuesday.

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In total, nearly 30,000 civilians were able to withdraw from conflicting cities and towns across the country on Tuesday, Zelenskyj said. However, Russian soldiers continue to block a column carrying relief supplies to Mariupol. In the Odessa region, the coast was shelled by Russian ships, Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko said. But there was no attempt to land.

EU Heads of Government in kyiv

The heads of government of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia pledged solidarity and support for Selenskyj at a meeting in besieged kyiv. “Here in war-torn kyiv, history is being made,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stressed. “Here freedom fights against the world of tyranny. The future of all of us hangs in the balance here,” he said on Twitter.

According to Ukrainian media reports, Selenskyj described the visit as a big and brave step. At a time when many foreign embassies had left Ukraine due to the Russian invasion, “these leaders of independent European states” would show that they were not afraid.

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EU politicians had traveled to kyiv by train. According to a Polish government spokesman, the visit was planned in the strictest secrecy in consultation with the EU and NATO. The Ukrainian capital is bombed repeatedly. It was considered possible that the three politicians returned shortly after meeting Zelenskyy.

That will be important on Wednesday.

A significant and permanent strengthening of the eastern flank is being considered in NATO. At a meeting of defense ministers on Wednesday, a discussion on strengthening long-term security in all areas is due to start, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg explained.

For the first time since the invasion, an international court will rule on the attack. The United Nations Supreme Court in The Hague will decide today on Ukraine’s emergency action against the neighboring country.

The Council of Europe is preparing to exclude Russia due to the Ukraine war. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to exclude Russia after an emergency session in Strasbourg on Tuesday night. The Committee of Ministers intends to hold a special meeting this Wednesday to prepare for the exclusion.

International efforts to end the fighting also continue: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu travels to Moscow, Polish President Andrzej Duda to Turkey. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself delivers a speech to the US Congress via video broadcast.

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