Russian combat air force has destroyed 86 Ukrainian military facilities since the evening of April 9, Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday.
“Operational and tactical aviation of the Russian air force hit 86 Ukrainian military objects. Among them are two control points, two ammunition depots, three fuel bases, three multiple-launch rocket systems, as well as 49 fortified strongholds and areas of concentration of Ukrainian military equipment,” Konashenkov told reporters.
Kyiv: As Moscow start withdrawing its forces from around Kyiv, a Ukrainian politician has claimed that Russian soldiers have raped minor girls as young as 10-years-old and branded women’s bodies with ‘swastika-shaped’ burns.
Ukrainian Member of Parliament Lesia Vasylenk said on twitter, Russian soldiers also looted the cities they captured and couriered ‘endless’ packages to their homeland “with what they stole.”
“Russian soldiers loot, rape and kill. 10 y.o. girls with vaginal and rectal tears. Women with swastika-shaped burns. Russia. Russian Men did this. And Russian mothers raised them. A nation of immoral criminals,” Vasylenk wrote on Twitter.
Russia Rejects Ukraine’s Claim Of War Crime
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has strongly rejected the accusations that Russian troops committed atrocities against civilians in Ukraine and pushed for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the Ukrainian claims that Russian troops had killed hundreds of civilians outside Kyiv can’t be trusted, adding that “we categorically reject the accusations.”
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) informed the indian army successfully carried out the test firing of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile air defence system off the coast of Odisha’s Balasore.
“MRSAM-Army missile system flight tested from ITR Balasore, Odisha at around 1030 hours intercepting a high-speed aerial target at long range,” DRDO said in a tweet.
“The system is part of the Indian Army. In the test, the missile secured a direct hit at the target at a very far off distance,” DRDO officials said.
Washington: Joe Biden is not seeking “regime change” in Russia, the White House said Saturday, after the US president declared in a major speech that Vladimir Putin “cannot stay in power”.
“The president’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region,” a White House official said.
“We will have a different future, a brighter future rooted in democracy and principle, hope and light,” Biden said at the conclusion of the sweeping address.
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” he said at end of a speeche in Poland’s Capital.
White house official saying that Biden’s line was not in his prepared remarks in which the US president said that Putin is lying in a bid to justify the war.
Biden chided Russia’s action in Ukraine saying “It’s nothing less than a direct challenge to the rules-based international order established since the end of World War II, and it threatens to return to decades of war that ravaged Europe before the international rule-based order was put in place. We cannot go back to that. We cannot.”
Biden’s remark prompted a swift reaction from Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov who said it is not to be decided by Biden.
Meanwhile, Russia signalled a potential new front in the invasion of Ukraine as rockets struck the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his demand from Western nations to send military hardware, asking whether they were intimidated by Moscow.
“We’ve already been waiting 31 days,” Zelensky said during his nightly address.
NATO leaders are set to agree extra support for Ukraine to deal with chemical and nuclear threats as it battles Russia’s invading forces, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.
“Tomorrow, I expect allies will agree to provide additional support, including cybersecurity assistance as well as equipment to help Ukraine protect against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats,” Stoltenberg said ahead of an urgent NATO summit in Brussels Thursday.
Ahead of Thursday’s emergency meeting, NATO warns Russia against using chemical weapons in Ukraine and pledges extra support for Kyiv including cybersecurity assistance and equipment.
Washington: US President Joe Biden said Monday that India was an exception among Washington’s allies with its “shaky” response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Biden lauded the US-led alliance, including NATO, the European Union and key Asian partners, for its united front against President Vladimir Putin.
This includes unprecedented sanctions aimed at crippling Russia’s currency, international trade and access to high-tech goods.
However, unlike fellow members of the Quad group — Australia, Japan and the United States — India continues to purchase Russian oil and has refused to join votes condemning Moscow at the United Nations.
Addressing a meeting of US business leaders in Washington, Biden said there had been “a united front throughout NATO and in the Pacific.”
“The Quad is, with the possible exception of India being somewhat shaky on some of this, but Japan has been extremely strong — so has Australia — in terms of dealing with Putin’s aggression.”
Biden said that Putin was “counting on being able to split NATO” and instead, “NATO has never been stronger, more united, in its entire history than it is today.”
Indian oil refiners have reportedly continued to purchase discounted Russian oil, even as the West seeks to isolate Moscow.
An Indian government official said last week that the world’s third-biggest consumer of crude relies on imports for almost 85 percent of its needs, with Russia supplying a “marginal” less than one percent of this.
Swiss President Ignazio Cassis said, “Switzerland is ready to become a mediator in resolving the Ukraine conflict and could organize talks between Kyiv and Moscow.”
“Switzerland combines neutrality with a humanitarian tradition,” Cassis said at a Saturday rally in Bern, as quoted by the Swiss RTS broadcaster. “It’s a small country with a strong commitment to freedom. It is ready to play the role of a mediator behind the scenes or host negotiations,” the Swiss president added.
According to RTS, Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Bern crowd via video link from Kyiv and thanked Switzerland for its solidarity with Ukraine. However, Zelenskyy critiqued the fact that Swiss businesses, such as Nestle, continue to operate in Russia.
In the early hours of February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against the Kyiv forces. Russia said that the aim of its special operation is to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine and that only military infrastructure is being targeted – the civilian population is not in danger. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.
In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow, which includes airspace closures and restrictive measures targeting numerous Russian officials and entities, media, and financial institutions.
The Russian Defence Ministry on Saturday claimed that they demolished an underground storage facility through an advanced Kinzhal Hypersonic missile. The missile has reportedly been used by the Russian forces for the first time in the ongoing war and it demolished a missile depot in the Ivano-Frakivsk region.
These Kinzhal Hypersonic missiles are also known as ‘daggers’ and comprise 480 to 500 kgs payload. These air-launched ballistic missiles claim a wide range of 1,500 to 2,000 km. What distinguishes this missile apart from others is its capability to fly at 10 times the speed of sound, which means it can overcome air-defence systems considering it was designed in a way in which it can destroy high-value ground targets. It has an integral land-attack role in the northern parts of Europe, as it can fly at a speed of 4,900 km/hour and can reach speeds of up to 12,350 km/hour. Notably, these hypersonic missiles become difficult for European radars to detect.
According to official telegram channels of the Russian Federation, he stated, “You are being persistently told that your current difficulties are the result of Russia’s hostile actions and that you have to pay for the efforts to counter the alleged Russian threat from your own pockets. All of that is a lie.” He accused Western governments of being ‘obsessed with their own self-serving interests and super profits’.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday, “We have been in touch, of course, with Indian leaders at a range of levels, (however) not through the president.”
Psaki was responding to a question on the US’s stand with respect to India’s decision to buy Russian oil, despite the severe sanctions imposed on Russia by most of the Western countries.
India has been under tremendous pressure to take a side in the ongoing conflict, particularly from the US, which has imposed severe sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in late February this year.
US officials have said in recent weeks they would like India to distance itself from Russia as much as possible, while also recognizing its heavy reliance on Moscow for everything from arms and ammunition to missiles and fighter jets.
Last week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told Indian Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri in a phone call that the country is keen to increase its oil and petroleum product exports to India along with Indian investments in the Russian oil sector, according to a statement issued by Moscow.