Ukraine says Russia wants to divide the nation and demands more weapons

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LVIV, Ukraine — Russia wants to split Ukraine in two, as happened with North Korea and South Korea, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief said Sunday, March 27, vowing “all-out” guerrilla warfare for prevent a division of the country.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged the West to give Ukraine tanks, planes and missiles to help repel Russian forces, which the Kyiv government said were increasingly targeting fuel and weapons depots. food.

Meanwhile, US officials have continued their efforts to soften the words of US President Joe Biden on Saturday March 26, who said in a fiery speech in Poland that Russian leader Vladimir Putin “cannot stay in power”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington had no regime change strategy in Moscow, telling reporters in Jerusalem that Biden had simply meant that Putin could not be ‘qualified to wage war’ against Israel. Ukraine or whoever else.

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After more than four weeks of conflict, Russia has failed to capture any major Ukrainian cities and Moscow signaled on Friday March 25 that it was reducing its ambitions to focus on securing the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian military for the past eight years.

A local leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic said on Sunday that the region could soon hold a referendum on joining Russia, just as happened in Crimea after Russia seized the Ukrainian peninsula. in 2014.

Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to break with Ukraine and join Russia – a vote that much of the world refused to recognize.

“In fact, this is an attempt to create North Korea and South Korea in Ukraine,” Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, said in a statement, referring to the division of Korea after the Second World War.

He predicted that the Ukrainian army would push back the Russian forces.

“Furthermore, the season for an all-Ukrainian guerrilla safari will begin soon. Then there will remain a relevant scenario for the Russians, how to survive,” he said.

Heavy armor

Moscow says the goals of what Putin calls a “special military operation” include the demilitarization and “denazification” of its neighbor. Ukraine and its Western allies call it a pretext for an unprovoked invasion.

The invasion devastated several Ukrainian cities, caused a major humanitarian crisis and displaced around 10 million people, nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s total population.

In a late-night televised address on Saturday, Zelenskiy demanded that Western nations return military hardware that was “gathering dust” to stockpiles, saying his country only needed 1% of NATO aircraft and of 1% of its tanks.

Western countries have so far provided Ukraine with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles as well as light weapons and protective equipment, but have not offered any armored vehicles or heavy aircraft.

“We have been waiting for 31 days already. Who is in charge of the Euro-Atlantic community? Is it really always Moscow, because of intimidation? Zelenskiy said, suggesting Western leaders were withholding supplies because they were afraid of Russia.

Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko said on Sunday that Russia had started destroying Ukrainian fuel and food storage centers, meaning the government should disperse stockpiles of both in the near future. .

Appearing to confirm this, the Russian Defense Ministry said its missiles on Saturday destroyed a fuel depot as well as a military repair plant near the western city of Lviv, just 60 kilometers (40 miles) from the border. Polish.

In its latest military assessment, the British Ministry of Defense said Russian forces appeared to be focusing their efforts on encircling Ukrainian troops directly confronting breakaway regions in the east.

“The battlefield in northern Ukraine remains largely static, with local Ukrainian counterattacks hampering Russian attempts to reorganize their forces,” the ministry said.

historical struggle

Biden has come under fire for his off-the-cuff remarks during a speech in Warsaw that sought to frame the war as part of a historic fight for democratic freedoms.

“For the love of God, this man can’t stay in power,” Biden said of Putin. Previously, he called the Russian leader a “butcher”.

Veteran US diplomat Richard Haass, chairman of the US think tank Council on Foreign Relations, said on Twitter that the comments made “a dangerous situation even more dangerous”.

US officials have tried to backtrack on the president’s words, with a White House official saying it was not a call for Putin’s impeachment, but rather meant he shouldn’t be allowed to exercise power over their neighbors or the region.

US Secretary of State Blinken echoed that sentiment. “As you know, and as you’ve heard us say many times, we don’t have a regime change strategy in Russia – or anywhere else, for that matter,” he said in Jerusalem.

The United Nations has confirmed 1,104 civilian deaths and 1,754 injuries across Ukraine, but says the true toll is likely to be higher. Ukraine said on Sunday that 139 children had been killed and more than 205 injured so far in the conflict.

Ukraine and Russia agreed on Sunday on two “humanitarian corridors” to evacuate civilians from frontline areas, including allowing people to leave by private car from the southern city of Mariupol, the Ukrainian deputy prime minister said Iryna Vereshchuk.

The encircled port, which lies between Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern areas held by Russian-backed separatists, has been devastated by weeks of heavy shelling, forcing thousands of residents to take refuge in sub- soils with little water, food, medicine or electricity. – Rappler.com

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