Kyiv received Western air defense systems … and Moscow denies suffering heavy casualties

Kyiv received Western air defense systems … and Moscow denies suffering heavy casualties
Kyiv received Western air defense systems … and Moscow denies suffering heavy casualties

Kyiv received Western air defense systems … and Moscow denies suffering heavy casualties

Russia refutes Western claims of ‘secret negotiations’ with Washington

Moscow on Monday tried to confirm its willingness to continue political negotiations with the Ukrainian side, given the ongoing fierce fighting around Kherson and the different reports from the Russian and Ukrainian sides about the extent of Kiev’s progress in the region. maintaining the previous terms it had presented in order to succeed in them, but the Russian leadership at the same time denied the validity of Western reports that spoke of holding several rounds of closed-door dialogues between prominent officials in Russia and the United States.

Two days after Moscow announced the launch of a large-scale operation to evacuate civilians from large parts of the Kherson region with the aim of strengthening the defenses of the region, which was witnessing a strong attack by Ukraine, a discrepancy emerged between Russian and Ukrainian to reports on the extent of the Ukrainian advance.

In return for statements by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirming the continuation of the counterattack, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that it had succeeded in repelling the Ukrainian advance attempts. At the same time, separatist authorities in the region acknowledged expanding the frontline of the attack on the strategic city, and emergency services in the Kherson region on Monday announced a power outage in more than 10 residential communities in what was described as a “terrorist act against the power line.”

The representative of the rescue service stated that “a terrorist attack was aimed at the Pereslav-Kakhovka highway, damaging 3 concrete supports of high-voltage power lines. As a result, more than 10 residential communities were deprived of electricity.”

The Ukrainian army had stepped up its attacks on the Axes of Kherson and Novaya Kakhovka with rocket attacks to undermine the ability of the Russian military and the Separatist units loyal to them to use the Antonovsky Bridge, which connects the two banks of the Dnieper.

Last week, Ukrainian forces tried to attack the seaport used to evacuate civilians, but Moscow said air defense forces repelled the attack.

The commander of the Russian joint forces in the field of special operations, General Sergei Sorovikin, had warned of the possibility of a powerful missile attack on the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station, describing the situation in the capital of the Kherson region as “very dangerous and difficult”.

Kherson authorities were moving civilians to the left bank of the Dnieper, according to pro-Moscow governor Vladimir Saldo, who announced plans to evacuate up to 70,000 people.

In the same vein, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday in a summary of the results of last day’s operations that its forces “eliminated more than 300 Ukrainian soldiers and foreign mercenaries while responding to enemy attacks on 3 main battle axes.” She said, that “all Ukrainian attacks were successfully repelled and enemy losses amounted to more than 110 dead on the Nikolaev-Krivoy Rog (Kherson) axis and up to 100 soldiers on the Kobyansk axis (north of Lugansk), in addition to about 120 dead and 130 wounded on the Krasny axis Lyman (Northern Donetsk)».
Kyiv received Western air defense systems … and Moscow denies suffering heavy casualties
Ukrainian artillery on the Bakhmut front in the Donetsk region (Reuters)

The statement said that 7 command posts and 72 artillery units in firing positions, armed forces and military equipment in 186 areas were hit in the last day. Also, two radar stations of the Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system and one self-propelled launcher of the Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missile system were destroyed.

In return, Ukraine announced on Monday that it had received new air defense systems from Western countries. “The (NASAMS) and (Speed) air defense systems have arrived in Ukraine,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov wrote on Twitter, thanking “our partners in Norway, Spain and the United States.”

And US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken earlier announced that Washington is working to deliver two NASAS air defense systems to Ukraine this month.

Russian military analysts warned that Washington’s handing over of these systems to Kyiv “means direct NATO involvement in the confrontation with Russia in Ukraine; It cannot be used without the help of western satellites.”

In addition, the Russian Defense Ministry has denied the validity of data circulated by a number of Russian bloggers who spoke about Russian forces suffering “heavy casualties” in the recent attacks on the Donetsk region. The ministry said in a statement that the data on the soldiers of the 155th Brigade of the Russian Marines who suffered “heavy and unjustified losses in people and equipment” are unfounded.

The ministry said that units of the 155th brigade “have been conducting effective offensive operations against the Ukrainian army and foreign mercenaries towards the town of Aglidar over the past 10 days,” adding that the brigade has made progress in its area of ​​responsibility to a depth of 5 kilometers in the Ukrainian defensive positions.

* Denials and “Fake News”

Politically, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted news published by foreign media about “secret negotiations taking place between the US President’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, and senior Russian officials.” “Western media publish a lot of fake news,” he said.

“We have nothing to say about these releases,” Peskov explained. There are many lies spread by the Anglo-Saxon newspapers. So in this case, the information should be requested from the newspaper or the White House.” At the same time, the spokesman for the Russian president said his country “is still open to negotiations with Ukraine, but there is no way to continue these negotiations so far.” .

He added during a press conference on Monday: “We have repeatedly said that the Russian side remains open to achieve its goals in the negotiations, but we have also more than once made everyone aware that we currently do not see one.” such possibility; Since this file was closed by Kyiv and laws were passed confirming the discontinuation of any negotiations with the Russian side.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had made behind-the-scenes contacts with senior Russian officials to reduce the likelihood of a major conflict over Ukraine and to once again warn Russia of the dangers of using nuclear weapons.

According to the newspaper, Sullivan has been in contact with Yuri Ushakov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy assistant, and Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Russian Security Council, with the aim of “reducing the risks of escalation and keeping the channels of communication open”. not to discuss a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine conflict.

Officials indicated that the United States’ intention is to avoid an escalation of the war in Ukraine while Russia works to deploy some of its nuclear arsenal, and that these talks come amid fears that President Putin is planning to deploy more tactical Nuclear weapons weapons in Ukraine after a series of military setbacks and advances Ukrainian forces retaking some areas controlled by Russian forces.

The report on the talks between Sullivan, Ushakov and Patrushev came a day after the Washington Post reported that the Biden administration was encouraging Kyiv in particular to signal its willingness to negotiate with the Russians over an end to the war. The newspaper said the goal is not to bring Ukraine to the negotiating table, but to help it retain the support of other governments.

Government officials, in public statements to reporters, emphasize the position “Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine” and that no decisions affecting its security and future will be made without its involvement and support.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Sullivan “not only played a leading role in coordinating Washington’s policy on the Ukraine conflict, but also participated in diplomatic efforts, visiting Kyiv last week to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “.

According to the newspaper, the National Security Advisor “urged the Ukrainian leadership to show publicly that they are ready to resolve the conflict and try to end hostilities.”

Ukrainian President Zelenskyi ruled out negotiations after Russia held an illegal referendum on the annexation of four Ukrainian regions last September. “He could negotiate with a new Russian president, not with Vladimir Putin,” he said.

After more than 8 months of military fighting, intensive discussions are taking place in the White House on how to move forward in dealing with the Ukraine crisis. Where Sullivan insisted on keeping the line of communication with Russia open, unlike other senior White House officials who think communications with Moscow “will not be fruitful at this point.”

Over the past month, senior military figures such as General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been in touch with Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, while Defense Secretary General Lloyd Austin and Defense Secretary Sergei Shoigu spoke by phone twice in 3 days after Moscow claimed , Ukraine plans to “detonate a dirty bomb with the help of the United States and blame the Russian armed forces”.

The United States denied the allegations, warning that it “could be an excuse for Russia to carry out this provocation itself.”

It is noteworthy that after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, contacts are almost broken and diplomatic relations are generally limited, and the last communication between President Joe Biden and Putin was last February, warning him against “plans for to track the invasion. ”

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