Russia blames war on NATO as it pounds Ukraine, demands territory for talks

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pressed connected pinch his shuttle diplomacy to execute a ceasefire successful Ukraine, visiting Beijing connected Monday aft passing done Kyiv and Moscow.

Ukrainian friends NATO and nan European Union disavowed nan mission, saying Orban was not undertaking an inaugural connected their behalf. Russia, aft initially dismissing Orban’s effort, said it could beryllium “very valuable”.

“He has shown his governmental will for dialogue. We return it very, very positively. We judge it tin beryllium very useful,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said connected Monday.

That marked a alteration from his first assessment.

Orban visited Kyiv connected July 2, instantly aft Hungary assumed nan rotating presidency of nan European Union, and Moscow 3 days later.

Peskov said astatine nan time, “we don’t expect anything” from Orban’s sojourn to Kyiv, adding that he would beryllium obliged to service “Brussels’s interests alternatively than Hungary’s nationalist interests”.

Orban, a populist who is often astatine likelihood pinch nan EU, has been calling for a ceasefire arsenic a first measurement towards negotiating a peace. Both Moscow and Kyiv person rejected it, saying it would springiness nan different broadside an opportunity to regroup militarily.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed harsh conditions connected immoderate acceptance of a ceasefire.

“We request to guarantee that nan other statement agrees to return demilitarisation steps that are irreversible and acceptable to nan Russian Federation,” Russian authorities news agency Tass quoted him arsenic saying successful Astana, Kazakhstan, wherever a acme of nan Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was being held. “A ceasefire without reaching this statement is impossible.”

Putin spelled retired his position successful a reside astatine nan Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs connected June 14.

“Ukrainian troops should beryllium wholly withdrawn from nan Donetsk, Lugansk people’s republics, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions,” he said, referring to 2 republics proclaimed by Russian-backed separatists that are not internationally recognised and 1 of which is simply a region known successful Ukraine arsenic Luhansk.

Putin besides specified that Ukraine should cede nan entirety of these regions, which Russian troops only partially occupy.

“As soon arsenic Kyiv declares that they are fresh for specified a determination and statesman a existent withdrawal of troops from these regions arsenic good arsenic officially notify of nan rejection of plans to subordinate NATO, from our broadside immediately, virtually astatine nan aforesaid moment, nan bid will beryllium followed by a ceasefire and commencement of negotiations,” nan president said.

Putin added that Russia had been prepared astatine 1 constituent to talk Ukrainian sovereignty complete Zaporizhia and Kherson successful speech for Russian entree done them to Crimea but that connection was disconnected nan array aft Russia formally annexed nan 4 regions successful September 2022.

The time aft his Astana speech, Putin met pinch Orban successful Moscow to talk nan Hungarian premier’s ceasefire proposal, only to repetition nan June 14 conditions.

Not to beryllium deterred, Orban wrote a missive to EU leaders connected Tuesday, urging them to backmost his telephone for a ceasefire successful Ukraine.

“There is simply a bully chance now,” nan German news agency dpa quoted Orban arsenic saying successful nan letter.

Continuing his ngo successful Beijing connected Monday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping appeared to backmost Orban’s call.

“It is successful nan interests of each parties to extremity hostilities and find a governmental solution arsenic soon arsenic possible,” China’s authorities broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi arsenic saying.

“We highly admit your bid initiative,” Orban responded, referring to a Chinese bid connection made a twelvemonth into nan war. Among different things, China projected a ceasefire and an extremity to sanctions.

Russia strikes Kyiv

As Xi and Orban spoke, Putin’s forces unleashed waves of deadly missiles crossed Ukraine, sidesplitting astatine slightest 36 people.

Two of those fatalities occurred erstwhile 2 missiles struck nan Okhmatdyt children’s infirmary successful Kyiv, destroying its toxicology ward.

The 2 waves contained astatine slightest 44 missiles, Ukraine’s aerial unit said, of which it changeable down 32.

Amid a world outcry complete nan attack, Russia tried to deflect blame, saying a NASAMS aerial defence rocket struck nan hospital.

Al Jazeera’s verification unit, Sanad, said: “Our verification of nan circulating videos showing nan infinitesimal a rocket struck nan Ukrainian children’s infirmary reveals that nan rocket is identical to nan Russian KH-101 missile.”

The UN quality authorities monitoring ngo successful Ukraine said connected Tuesday that Russia was astir apt to blame.

Rescuers transportation nan assemblage of a personification recovered nether debris astatine nan tract wherever an flat building was deed by a Russian rocket strike, amid Russia's onslaught connected Ukraine, successful Kyiv, Ukraine July 9, 2024. Press work of nan State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYRescue workers transportation nan assemblage of a personification recovered nether nan debris of an flat building that was deed by a Russian rocket successful Kyiv, Ukraine, connected July 9, 2024 [Handout: State Emergency Service of Ukraine via Reuters]

“Analysis of nan video footage and an appraisal made astatine nan incident tract indicates a precocious likelihood that nan children’s infirmary suffered a nonstop deed alternatively than receiving harm owed to an intercepted limb system,” said Danielle Bell, caput of nan mission.

Putin besides utilized a sojourn to Moscow by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi connected Monday and Tuesday to airs arsenic peacemaker successful nan warfare it started.

Modi gave Putin a uncommon infinitesimal of acceptance connected nan world stage, calling nan India-Russia narration “a business betwixt people” and hugging nan isolated Russian leader for nan cameras.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said they considered nan Shanghai Cooperation Organisation “one of nan highest privilege platforms for some Moscow and New Delhi”.

In his June 14 reside astatine nan Russian Foreign Ministry, Putin referred to nan BRICS group arsenic perchance becoming “one of nan halfway regulatory institutions of nan multipolar world order”. It consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Lavrov besides said Russia supports India’s bid for a imperishable spot connected nan United Nations Security Council.

Ukraine’s friends were staging their ain negotiated show of force.

The 75th NATO summit kicked disconnected successful Washington connected Tuesday pinch nan announcement that nan confederation would spot a elder charismatic successful Kyiv to “deepen Ukraine’s organization narration pinch nan alliance”, successful nan words of Jake Sullivan, White House nationalist information adviser.

Opening nan summit, United States President Joe Biden said US and European friends would beryllium providing aerial defences to Ukraine. As portion of that effort, nan US announced connected July 4 that it was drafting down $2.2bn successful aerial defence interceptors for NASAMS and Patriot systems.

Slow slog connected nan ground

The representation of Russian conquest successful Ukraine did not alteration overmuch during nan past week, but location was fierce fighting successful Chasiv Yar, a cardinal Ukrainian stronghold connected nan eastbound beforehand that protects low-lying onshore to its west.

On July 3, Russian troops seized an area known arsenic Kanal Microraion, which forms nan easternmost extremity of Chasiv Yar, said Ukraine’s Khortytsia group of forces defending nan area. That meant Russian troops had reached nan Siversky Donetsk-Donbas Canal, which runs done nan municipality and which Ukrainians person utilized arsenic a earthy protect line.

A Ukrainian brigade confirmed that nan canal had go nan statement of interaction aft nan July 3 Russian advance.

A personification carries a swimming ringing adjacent tetrapods utilized arsenic barriers against Russian subject landing ships, amid Russia's onslaught connected Ukraine, connected nan formation successful nan metropolis of Chornomorsk, Odesa region, Ukraine July 9, 2024. REUTERS/Nina LiashonokA personification carries a swimming ringing adjacent tetrapods utilized arsenic barriers against a potentional onslaught by Russian subject ships connected nan formation successful nan metropolis of Chornomorsk successful nan Odesa region [Nina Liashonok/Reuters]

But Ukrainian troops appeared to shape a comeback connected Monday. Geolocated footage showed them battling connected a thoroughfare successful nan occidental portion of Kanal Microraion connected nan eastbound broadside of nan canal.

Another area of aggravated combat was nan bluish Kharkiv region, wherever Russia staged a caller incursion connected May 10 successful an evident bid to distract Ukrainian forces and weaken nan defence of Chasiv Yar.

Kharkiv forces spokesperson Yuriy Povkh said connected Thursday that a Russian reconnaissance and sabotage group had crossed nan separator from Russia and entered nan colony of Sotnytskyi Kozachok, wherever Ukrainian forces were engaging them.

North of Kharkiv city, Ukrainian forces repelled a platoon-sized mechanized assault.

Ukraine besides maintained heavy strikes against Russia.

On Friday, its drones struck a gunpowder works astatine Kotovsk successful Russia’s Tambov region, 400km (250 miles) from Ukraine. It besides struck a awesome lipid depot successful Rostov-on-Don, starting a occurrence there.

On Sunday, Ukrainian drones struck an ammunition depot successful Sergeevka successful nan Voronezh region. The Security Service of Ukraine said nan depot contained missiles, artillery shells and vessel shells. Geolocated footage showed secondary explosions astatine nan site.

Ukrainian information work sources besides said connected Tuesday that they had struck nan Akhtubinsk subject airfield successful nan Astrakhan region, an electrical substation successful Yudino successful nan Rostov region and an lipid depot successful Kalach-on-Don.


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