Russia held heavy missile drills on Saturday, a new force show from Moscow, while Washington says there is an immediate occupation of Ukraine.
For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky arrived in Germany to meet with his Western allies at the Munich Security Conference, while in eastern Ukraine, incidents between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists are on the rise.
The latter, who accused Kiev of plotting to attack them, announced a “general mobilization of fighting men” on Saturday after ordering the evacuation of civilians to neighboring Russia.
In addition to these intense tensions, President Vladimir Putin personally oversaw the exercises on Saturday With “strategic” “hypersonic” missile attackNew weapons previously called by the Kremlin leader “Invincible” and Capable of carrying nuclear charges.
“The main purpose of the training is to train the tactical attacking forces to inflict a decisive defeat on the enemy.”Russian President Valery Kurosimov said during a meeting via video conference that Putin appeared with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.
“Planned Objectives […] Fully accomplished, all missiles will hit targets. “The Kremlin said the maneuvers involved Tu-95 bombings and submarines.
At the same time, Americans are still accusing Moscow of preparing to attack Ukraine, which has amassed tens of thousands of troops near its eastern border.
Russians “Stop and prepare for strike”US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who is visiting Lithuania, said on Saturday that soldiers from Moscow “Go to the appropriate levels to carry out the attack”.
The day before, US President Joe Biden said.For sure “ Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine and aim to escalate the conflict. “False Proof” To launch an attack.
But he opened the door to conversation. Until an invasion takes place, “Diplomacy is always possible”He estimated.
In this regard, a meeting between its Foreign Minister Anthony Blingen and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled for next Thursday.
The Kremlin has consistently denied any intention of bringing its neighbor the pro-Western Kremlin back into its sphere of influence. But he is demanding guarantees for Russia’s security, such as the withdrawal of NATO’s military infrastructure from Eastern Europe and a guarantee that Ukraine will never join the alliance, which are considered unacceptable by the West.
Moscow’s concerns about Ukraine are essential “To be respected”Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.
From Munich, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for “unity” among Western allies, while US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about NATO’s threat in Eastern Europe. “Hard and fast”.
On the front lines in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian separatists blamed each other on Saturday for new serious ceasefire violations. Kiev announced the death of one of its soldiers during these clashes.
The Ukrainian military has reported a maximum of 66 mortar fires of 82 and 110 mm caliber in the frontier cities until 7 p.m.
And OSCE observers said they observed on Saturday “Dramatic increase” Ceasefire violations, total 870 on Friday.
According to them, the number of armed incidents before July 2020, the date of the agreement to strengthen the ceasefire, is at the forefront.
Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces have been fighting since 2014 in a conflict that has already claimed more than 14,000 lives in eastern Ukraine.
In addition, Moscow on Saturday reported in the media an investigation into a Ukrainian shooting that took place near the Ukrainian border, in Russian territory without damage or casualties.
A state of emergency has been declared in Russia’s Rostov region along the border with Ukraine to deal with the influx of refugees from separatist areas. Nearly 20,000 people have fled the area, according to local pro-Russian officials.
“We decided to go to Grandma’s (in Russia) to be quiet. We had our dose in 2014 and did not want to wait until the last minute”Said Elena Sokela, who lives in “Republic“The Donetsk separatist came to the Russian side on Saturday morning with his 16-year-old son.
Washington and Kiev claim that there are about 150,000 troops in Moscow on the borders of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, and that number rises to 190,000 when the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine are counted.
This “Largest concentration of military troops” Since the Cold War, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.
For its part, Russia has never released the number of its troops concentrated on Ukraine’s borders or its involvement in maneuvers in neighboring Belarus.
The West has vowed to impose catastrophic sanctions on Moscow in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, who argued on Friday that the sanctions would be lifted, again dismissed the threats. “Whatever happens”.
NATO transfers its personnel in Ukraine from Kiev to Lviv and Brussels
NATO has shifted its personnel from Ukraine from Kiev to Liv and Brussels in the west of the country to ensure their security, a coalition official told AFP on Saturday. “The safety of our staff is paramount, so staff have been relocated to Liv and Brussels. NATO has offices in Ukraine.”A NATO official said he did not give staff figures.
In anticipation of Russian military action, many Western nations have already relocated their ambassadors from Kiev to the city of Lviv, near the Polish border.
Brussels hosts NATO headquarters. “NATO and its allies are closely monitoring and assessing the situation and are continuing to take all necessary steps.” Coalition official said.
US President Joe Biden, the US-dominated player in NATO, said Friday “Hope” Russia will occupy Ukraine within a week and its forces will target Kiev.
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