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“If Russia had not invaded Ukraine, we would be in worse conditions later on”

Despite the attacks suffered by its troops in eight months of military operations in both countriesPresident Vladimir Putin assured that Russia is doing “everything right” in Ukraine.

“It is not pleasant what is happening now,” Putin admitted at a news conference in Kazakhstan. But if Russia had not invaded Ukraine, “we would have been in the same situation a little later, only in worse conditions for us,” Putin added.

“So we are doing everything right,” the Russian president concluded.

Russian troops failed in their attempt to take kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, after the invasion began on February 24, and in recent weeks have been forced to withdraw from various positions in the east and south, in the face of a surprising Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The advance of the Ukrainian forces has forced the authorities established by the Kremlin in the Kherson region (south), which Moscow annexed, to request the evacuation of civilians.

Russia also denounces a “considerable increase” in Ukrainian bombing in several Russian border regions.

This Friday, a Ukrainian bombardment caused a fire in an electrical substation in the Russian city of Belgorod, near the border, according to the regional governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov.

Destroyed apartments in Kharkov, Ukraine.  kyiv signals Iran to supply weapons to Russia.
Destroyed apartments in Kharkov, Ukraine. kyiv signals Iran to supply weapons to Russia. – Photo: Reuters / Author: CLODAGH KILCOYNE

Putin rules out new “massive” bombings

Russia launched a massive bombing campaign earlier this week against several Ukrainian cities, including kyiv.in retaliation for an explosion that damaged the bridge in Crimea, a peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

The Russian government, which described the attack as a “terrorist action” perpetrated by the Ukrainian services, announced this Friday that it intends to restore the bridge before July 1, 2023.

The viaduct, built under the orders of the Russian president, is key to supplying Russian troops in Ukraine.

Putin, however, ruled out launching new “massive” bombardments “immediately” and pointed out that he does not foresee a new mobilization of reservists either, after the one announced three weeks ago.

He explained that 222,000 troops, of the 300,000 planned, have already been recruited, and that 16,000 are already in “units involved in the fighting.”

For his part, the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski, promised his citizens victory, in an act to celebrate Defender’s Day.

“On October 14, we thank all those who fought for Ukraine in the past and all those who fight for it now, those who won in the past and those who will certainly win now,” Zelensky said in a video.

“Together to victory!” Launched the head of the Ukrainian army, Valery Zalujny.

On the occasion of this holiday, portraits of some 180 soldiers killed in Mariupol, a port city besieged for months by the Russian army before falling in May, were erected in front of Saint Sophia Cathedral in kyiv.

Galyna Golitsyna lost both of her sons in the war. The oldest in 2014 and Denys on March 23. The 61-year-old woman places her hand, then her forehead, on the portrait of her youngest son, who died at the age of 32.

“Losing a child is the most terrible thing that can happen to you. And I lost my two sons in this same war. It’s Memorial Day for me,” she told AFP, wiping away tears.

On the diplomatic front, kyiv secured an additional $725 million in US military assistance and $400 million in humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia, criticized by Washington for OPEC’s recent decision to cut oil production, something that favors Saudi Arabia. Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on September 30, 2022 that he would not negotiate with Russia while President Vladimir Putin is in power, after Putin annexed four Ukrainian regions occupied by Moscow.  (HANDOUT Photo / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service" - WITHOUT MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CUSTOMERS
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on September 30, 2022 that he would not negotiate with Russia while President Vladimir Putin is in power, after Putin annexed four Ukrainian regions occupied by Moscow. (HANDOUT Photo / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service” – NO MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CUSTOMERS – Photo: AFP

Despite the Ukrainian counteroffensive, Russian forces are making offensive moves in a sector of eastern Ukraine and claim they are in a good position to capture the city of Bakhmut.

Controlling that town would allow Moscow to advance on two other kyiv-controlled cities in the Donetsk region, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

According to Andrei Marochko, a representative of the separatist forces from the neighboring Lugansk region, but who are fighting in the area, “there is ongoing fighting” and Ukrainian troops are being pushed “to the northwest and west of the city.”

The UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, considered, in statements to AFP, that the rapes and sexual assaults attributed to Russian forces in Ukraine were a “military strategy” and a “deliberate tactic to dehumanize the victims”.

“When we hear the testimonies of women talking about Russian soldiers equipped with Viagra, it is clearly a military strategy,” he explained.

*With information from AFP

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