Ukraine talks about building defense of key cities

Recent developments on Russian-Ukrainian war:

LVIV, Ukraine – The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine says the country is stepping up defense of key cities in the north, south and east as Russia’s offensive has stopped.

A statement on Wednesday early Wednesday said forces around Kiev were resisting Russia’s offensive with unsteady strikes and “holding the line.”

The Ukrainian General Staff said that in the city of Chernihiv in the north of the country, Russian troops are deploying military equipment among houses and farms.

And in the south, as they say, the Russians, dressed in civilian clothes, are advancing on the city of Nikolaev.

Meanwhile, the administration of the border town of Sumy in the northeast says further evacuation of civilians is scheduled for Wednesday.

In a statement to the Telegram, the head of the regional administration Dmitry Zhivitsky said that the safe corridor will be open from 9 am to 9 pm, and 22 buses, which were traveling from Sumy to the southwest of Poltava, will return on Wednesday afternoon to pick up more people who want to escape. The priority will be pregnant women, women with children, the elderly and the disabled.

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The sums are on the border with Russia and have come under deadly fire in recent days. The Sumy-Poltava route is the only one successfully used so far for humanitarian evacuation, and about 5,000 people were deported on Tuesday, including 1,700 foreign students. Other evacuation measures were suspended or disrupted by Russian shelling.

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LVIV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s energy minister has said that Russian forces, which now control Ukraine’s nuclear power plant, are forcing exhausted personnel to write down an address they plan to use for propaganda purposes.

Russian troops control the Zaporozhye plant, the largest in Europe, after capturing it on Friday as a result of an attack that set fire to a building and sparked fears of a nuclear disaster. It was later revealed that there was no radiation.

Energy Minister Herman Galushchenko said on Facebook that about 500 Russian servicemen and 50 units of heavy equipment were at the station. He said that Ukrainian employees were “physically and emotionally exhausted.”

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Russia calls the war a “special military operation” and says it is carrying out targeted attacks. Galushchenko’s reference to propaganda apparently refers to Russia’s efforts to show that it does not threaten Ukrainian civilians or infrastructure.

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LOS ANGELES – Lawmakers in the second most populous city in the United States on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the war against Ukraine.

The Los Angeles City Council voted 14-0 to pass a resolution that also calls for the international sale of holdings in Russia.

The supervisory board of neighboring Orange County unanimously passed a similar resolution on Tuesday. He encourages the district to sever ties with any bank or financial institution supported by Russia. At the moment, the district has no direct investment in Russia.

In Los Angeles, city council members expressed support for Ukraine, condemned “horrific acts against humanity,” and expressed concern that history was repeating itself.

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“What is happening in Ukraine now is close to home for me,” said Rada deputy Paul Korets.

“My mother’s family fled Kyiv a hundred years ago to escape the Russian pogroms, and I was sick of looking at pictures of innocent men, women and especially children who were killed during the invasion,” he said.

Korets also said it was important to support Russian communities and the Los Angeles business.

“They are not responsible for the actions of an uncontrollable lunatic,” he said.

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LOS ANGELES – The former Miss Ukraine winner on Tuesday described her trip with her young son to escape Kiev and her homeland when Russian troops invaded the country last month, and called on countries to do more to arm her compatriots and women.

Veronica Didusenko, who was named Miss Ukraine in 2018, said she and her 7-year-old son were awakened on the first day of the invasion by the sounds of air sirens and explosions, and they joined thousands of others on the way to the evacuation.

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“During my … trip to the Ukrainian border, there was no place where sirens would not sound, where missiles and bombs would not explode,” she said.

Didusenko told her story at a news conference in Los Angeles by women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, who said she befriended the former beauty queen a few months ago.

Didusenko and her son eventually traveled to Moldova and traveled to other European countries before reaching Geneva, Switzerland. Didusenko said she made a “heartfelt” decision to leave her son there to travel to the United States to hold a press conference with Allred.

Didusenko said that she and Allred decided that the situation on the ground in some parts of her homeland is an important story that needs to be covered on International Women’s Day.

“Now millions of Ukrainian children and their mothers are trembling at every sound in subway stations and bomb shelters. It hurts even more that women give birth in such shelters in such conditions, ”Didusenka said.

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She said that Ukrainians are committed to defending their country, but need more help from other nations.

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WASHINGTON – Additional air defense capabilities are the number one priority for Ukraine’s military now, U.S. Defense Attaché Major General Boris Kremenets said Tuesday after returning from a meeting at the Pentagon.

“These could be ground-based air defense systems. It could be fighters that are possible, ”he told .

He said that there are countries in the world that have Soviet-made air defense systems that Ukrainians already know. “The U.S. government can also motivate these countries to give us this equipment,” he said.

To protect against Russian ships in the south, they also need additional anti-tank, anti-armor weapons and coastal defense.

He said Ukraine was grateful for the support it had received from the United States and its allies, which had allowed Ukraine to slow Russia’s advance. “As the fighting continues, we need more now,” Kremenets said. “So we try to work with our partners to make it happen as soon as possible.”

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The United Nations, Natalia Mudrenko, the most senior woman in the UN mission in Ukraine, accuses Russia of actually holding civilians hostage and says that the “critical situation” in Mariupol and other cities requires immediate action. by world leaders and humanitarian and medical organizations. .

She told a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday dedicated to women in conflict that civilians, mostly women and children, “are not allowed to leave and humanitarian aid is not allowed.”

“When they try to leave, the Russians open fire and kill them,” Mudrenko said, her voice trembling with emotion. “They run out of food and water and they die.”

The Russian military denies firing on the convoys and accuses the Ukrainian side of blocking the evacuation.

Mudrenko said that a 6-year-old girl died on Monday in the besieged city of Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov “alone in the last moments of her life, when her mother died as a result of Russian shelling.”

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On Tuesday in the Nikolaev area she reported that “the Russian occupiers fired at the van with group of educators of the local orphanage (and) three of them were killed”. She said there were also “cases of sexual abuse of children by the occupiers.”

Mudrenko said the war highlighted the role of Ukrainian women in defending their country, saying that in early 2021 there were 57,000 women in the army, or 22.8% of the military.

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LVIV, Ukraine – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the leaders of the United States and Great Britain for banning the import of Russian oil.

“This is a powerful signal to the whole world,” he said in his daily address to the people at the end of another day of war. “Either Russia will respect international law and will not wage war, or it will not have money.”

Zelensky said in a speech to the British Parliament, “The worst number was 50 Ukrainian children killed in 13 days of war. But then in an hour there were 52 children. I never forgive that. And I know that you will never forgive the occupiers. “

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Zelensky called for talks with Russia to end the war. “The war must be stopped. We need to sit down at the negotiating table, but for honest, substantive talks. “

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WASHINGTON – The Pentagon said on Tuesday that Poland’s offer to hand over its MiG-29 fighters to the United States so that they could be handed over to Ukraine is a matter of serious concern to NATO, and the plan is not “vital.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement that the prospect of planes leaving the US / NATO base in Germany to fly into the airspace fighting Russia in the war in Ukraine is a cause for concern. He said that it was unclear to the United States that there was a substantial justification for this.

According to him, the United States continues to talk to Poland in this regard.

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