Russia bombs Ukraine cities, despite pledge to pull back from Kyiv
Russian forces bombed the outskirts and a city besieged in northern Ukraine after promising to reduce the attacks there. The West dismissed the attack as a ploy to stop heavy losses and regroup for future offensives.
Five weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, there is no sign that Russia has captured any major cities. The top U.N. human rights official stated that Moscow had bombed 50 hospitals and homes in Ukraine. This may be considered war crimes.
Russian officials were criticized by Ukrainian officials for claiming that Russia had said Tuesday it would cut off operations in the vicinity of Kyiv and Chernihiv, “to increase mutual distrust” for peace negotiations.
Vitali Klitschko, the Kyiv mayor, said that it was not true in a video address to European Union regional officers. “We listened to sirens and rocket attacks all night and heard huge explosions to the east and north of Kyiv. People still die in the midst of huge battles.
On Wednesday morning, you could hear an intensified bombardment in Kyiv from the suburbs where Ukrainian forces had regained territory in the past days. The constant artillery firing from its outskirts rattled windows.
The southeast of Irpin is a Kyiv suburb that has been the scene of intense fighting for weeks. It was surrounded by shelling and the sound of ordnance being exploded on the ground. Ukrainians fleeing the area spoke of heavy shelling in Irpin’s north and landing shells in Irpin.
Ukraine’s leaders and those from the West warned that Moscow’s apparent gesture of peace at Tuesday’s talks was an attempt to reorganize forces that failed to seize Kyiv.
Russia claimed Wednesday that its forces have achieved their objectives close to Kyiv, Chernihiv, and are now reorganizing to concentrate on the “liberation of the eastern Donbass region.”
According to the Pentagon, Russia has begun to reposition its forces around Kyiv under a fifth of them. However, Moscow was warned that it would refit and resupply them for redeployment.
While Russia has been subject to Western sanctions as a punishment for its invasion, Moscow remains the largest supplier of oil and natural gas to Europe. The West has rejected Russia’s request for payment in roubles. This raises concerns about energy shortages in Europe and increases the risk of recession.
Germany, Russia’s largest gas customer, issued an “early warning”, Wednesday, about a possible emergency in case Russia cuts off supplies. Robert Habeck, Economy Minister, urged people not to consume as much as possible and said that “every kilowatt hour counts”.
Russian sources said that Russia might continue to use the same energy contract currency, but with final payment in roubles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that payments could be made to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in euros. The money would then be sent to Gazprombank which would convert it to roubles.
Gazprombank is the main channel for Russian oil and natural gas payments.
The spokesperson stated that Scholz didn’t agree to the procedure during the conversation but requested written information in order to better understand it.
Vladyslav Astroshenko, Chernihiv’s Mayor, stated that Russian bombardment had intensified in the last 24 hours and more than 100,000 people were trapped within with enough food and medical supplies for a week.
He said to CNN, “This is yet more proof that Russia always lies.” He claimed that 25 civilians were injured in a mortar attack on the city’s centre.
Reuters was unable to verify the situation in Chernihiv. Russia’s defense ministry did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Reuters journalists entered the Kyiv suburb Irpin on Tuesday, captured by Ukrainian forces. On Tuesday, Ukrainian troops were seen patrolling an abandoned ghost city of ruined buildings with the bodies of an elderly man and a woman.
About 25% of Ukrainians have been forced from their homes, and the United Nations stated Wednesday that the number of people fleeing the country has risen to over 4 million. The majority of refugees are children, with more than half being children.
The Ukrainian forces have retaken towns and villages in the outskirts Kyiv and broken the siege on Sumy, the eastern city, and pushed back the Russian forces to the southwest.
Two destroyed tanks and their turrets were found near houses in Mala Rohan, eastern Kharkiv. Maksym, a Ukrainian soldier said that the Russians were being pushed back slowly but steadily.
“Most of them know that they made a terrible mistake when they arrived here. They have no chance here. We will win.
Russia’s defense ministry stated that Kharkiv’s humanitarian situation was becoming worsening and accused Ukrainian forces of shooting at civilians. Russian news agencies reported the accusation without providing evidence.
Russia claims it is conducting a “special operation,” to disarm and “denazify,” its neighbor. The West claims that Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine was completely unprovoked.
Russia has stated that it will now concentrate its efforts in the Donbas region. This includes Mariupol, which was once again subject to heavy fighting on Wednesd
Mariupol, with a population of over 400,000, was destroyed in less than a month. According to the United Nations, thousands may have been killed there.
According to the governor of Donetsk (which is part of the Donbas), Russian forces attacked almost all cities on the frontline of the region’s territory on Wednesday.