Wednesday, July 6, 2022
31.1 C
New Delhi
spot_img

Ukraine denies hitting depot on Russian soil, talks resume

Kyiv, March 2: Talks to stop the fighting in Ukraine resumed Friday, as another desperate attempt to rescue civilians from the encircled city of Mariupol failed and the Kremlin accused the Ukrainians of launching a helicopter attack on a fuel depot on Russian soil.

Ukraine denied responsibility for the fiery blast, but if Moscow’s claim is confirmed, it would be the war’s first known attack in which Ukrainian aircraft penetrated Russian airspace.

“Certainly, this is not something that can be perceived as creating comfortable conditions for the continuation of the talks,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, five weeks after Moscow began sending upwards of 150,000 of its own troops across Ukraine’s border.

Meanwhile, Russia continued withdrawing some of its ground forces from areas around Kyiv after saying earlier this week it would reduce military activity near the Ukrainian capital and the northern city of Chernihiv to promote trust at the bargaining table.

While the Russians kept up their bombardment of those two zones, Ukrainian troops exploited the pullback on the ground by mounting counterattacks and retaking a number of towns and villages.

Still, Ukraine and its allies warned that the Kremlin is not de-escalating but resupplying and shifting its troops to the country’s east for an intensified assault on the mostly Russian-speaking Donbas region in the country’s east, which includes Mariupol.

The latest negotiations took place by video. At a round of talks earlier in the week, Ukraine said it would be willing to abandon a bid to join NATO and declare itself neutral — Moscow’s chief demand — in return for security guarantees from several other countries.

The invasion has left thousands dead and driven more than 4 million refugees from Ukraine.

Mariupol, the shattered and besieged southern port city, has seen some of the worst suffering of the war. Its capture would be a major prize for Russian President Vladimir Putin, giving his country an unbroken land bridge to Crimea, seized from Ukraine in 2014.

Mariupol’s fate could determine the course of the negotiations to end the war, said Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Ukrainian think tank Penta.

Around 100,000 people are believed left in the city, down from a prewar 430,000, and weeks of Russian bombardment and street fighting have caused severe shortages of water, food, fuel and medicine.

“We are running out of adjectives to describe the horrors that residents in Mariupol have suffered,” Red Cross spokesperson Ewan Watson said.

On Thursday, Russian forces blocked a 45-bus convoy attempting to evacuate people from Mariupol and seized 14 tons of food and medical supplies bound for the city, Ukrainian authorities said.

As for the fuel depot explosion, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said two Ukrainian helicopter gunships flew in extremely low and attacked the civilian oil storage facility on the outskirts of the city of Belgorod, about 25 kilometres (16 miles) from the Ukraine border.

The regional governor said two workers at the depot were wounded, but the Rosneft state oil company denied anyone was hurt.

Discussions

Discussions

Punjabi Khurki
Punjab is no longer just a state but a State of Mind: A way to live!! ...So Let's Burrraaah with Punjabi Khurki!

Related Articles

Stay Connected

67,670FansLike
864FollowersFollow
828SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Articles