No end in sight to Ukraine war as Putin hailed D-Day


Zaporizhia, Ukraine (AFP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin used his country’s biggest national holiday on Monday to justify his war in Ukraine once again, but he didn’t even declare a limited victory or indicate where Conflict is trendingwhile his forces tightened their offensive with few signs of progress.

Russian leader Supervise the Victory Day Parade on Red Square in Moscowwith troops marching in formation and military equipment on display to celebrate the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany in 1945.

But his long-awaited speech offered no new insights into how he intended to salvage the grinding war, instead sticking to claims that Ukraine is a threat to Russia, even though Moscow’s nuclear armed forces are superior in number and firepower.

“The danger is increasing day by day,” Putin said. Russia gave a preemptive response to the aggression. It was the obligatory, timely, and only right decision.”

Stay away from the details of the battlefield, fail to mention A potential pivotal battle for the vital southern port of Mariupol Not even pronounce the word “Ukraine”.

Meanwhile, fierce fighting erupted on the ground in eastern Ukraine, the vital Black Sea port of Odessa in the south was once again bombed, and Russian forces sought to eliminate the Ukrainian defenders who had taken their last stand at a steelworks in Mariupol.

Putin has long worried about NATO’s eastward march into the former Soviet republics, and on Monday argued that Russia should invade Ukraine before an “inevitable” confrontation occurs. Ukrainian leaders and their Western backers denied that Kyiv or NATO posed any threat.

As he did all along, Putin falsely portrayed the fight as a fight against Nazism, thus linking the war to what many Russians consider their best time: the victory over Nazi Germany. The Soviet Union lost 27 million people in what Russia calls the Great Patriotic War.

He also sought to portray the ongoing offensive to take control of the Donbass region in the east – the focus of Moscow after its failed attempt to storm the capital, Kyiv – as a fight for Russia’s “historic lands”. He always sought denial Ukraine’s 1000-year history.

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However, progress in the east has been slow, and many analysts have suggested that Putin might use his rhetoric to declare some kind of victory – perhaps in Mariupol – to counteract resentment at the heavy losses in Russia’s ranks and the punitive effects of Western sanctions at home. .

Others suggested that he might declare the fighting a war, not just a “special military operation,” and order a national mobilization, with reservists called in, to replenish depleted ranks for an extended conflict.

Neither step has been announced.

Critics said the rhetoric went beyond some of the uncomfortable realities Putin faces: With the campaign in Ukraine faltering, he did not ask the Russians to accept sacrifices to overcome sanctions and diplomatic isolation.

It also left unanswered the question of whether and how Russia would mobilize more forces in the face of heavy losses.

O’Brien, Professor of Strategic Studies at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Despite Russia’s efforts to suppress dissent, anti-war sentiment seeped through. A few protesters scattered across the country on D-Day were arrested, and editors-in-chief at a pro-Kremlin media outlet rebelled by publishing a few dozen stories critical of Putin and the invasion briefly.

In Warsaw, anti-war protesters sprayed the Russian ambassador to Poland with what appeared to be red paint as he arrived at a cemetery commemorating Red Army soldiers who died during World War II.

When Putin laid a wreath in Moscow, sirens sounded again in the Ukrainian capital. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared in his Victory Day speech that his country would eventually defeat the Russians.

“Very soon there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine,” he said in a video clip. “We are fighting for freedom for our children, so we will win,” he added.

Russia has about 97 tactical battalions in Ukraine, mostly in the east and south, a slight increase from last week, according to a senior US official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the Pentagon’s assessment. According to the Pentagon, each unit has approximately 1,000 soldiers.

The official said the Russian effort in Donbass has not made any tangible progress in recent days and is still facing stiff resistance from Ukrainian forces.

The Ukrainian military has warned of a high possibility of missile strikes near the holiday, and some cities have imposed curfews or warned people not to gather in public places.

More than 60 people It is feared that they will die during the weekend Ukrainian officials say Russian bombing has destroyed a Ukrainian school that was being used as a shelter in the eastern village of Belhorivka.

With the war raging into its eleventh week, Russia was perhaps the closest to a victory at Mariupol. The US official said approximately 2,000 Russian soldiers were around Mariupol, and the city was being bombarded by airstrikes. It is believed that up to 2,000 Ukrainian gunners held out at the steel mill, the last bastion of resistance in the city.

The fall of Mariupol would deprive Ukraine of a vital port, allow Russia to complete a land corridor into Crimea, and free up forces to fight elsewhere in the Donbass. It will also give the Kremlin the much-needed success.

Odessa has also been increasingly bombed in recent days. Ukrainian officials said Russia launched four cruise missiles targeting the city on Monday from the Crimean peninsula. It added that no civilians were injured, but did not give details about the strike.

The war in the country known as the “Breadbasket of Europe” disrupted the global food supply.

“I saw silos full of grain, wheat and corn ready for export,” Charles Michel, President of the European Council, tweeted after a visit to Odessa. This much-needed food has been stranded by the Russian war and the blockade of the Black Sea ports. Causing disastrous consequences for weak countries.”

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Gambrell reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Yesica Fisch in Bakhmut, David Keyton in Kyiv, Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Mstyslav Chernov in Kharkiv, Lolita C. Baldor in Washington, and AP staff around the world contributed to this report.

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Follow the Associated Press’ coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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