October 3, 2022
Ukraine’s allies see risk in Russia’s response to battlefield failures

Ukrainian soldiers sit on infantry fighting vehicles as they drive near Izium in eastern Ukraine on September 16, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Juan Barreto | AFP | Getty Images

The top US general warned on Sunday that it was unclear how Russia would react on the battlefield in Ukraine, as Britain said Moscow’s military had launched attacks on civilian infrastructure and sought to further expand their targets. Chances are.

Ukraine’s General Staff said Ukrainian forces repulsed attacks by Russian troops in the Kharkiv region in the east and Kherson in the south, where Ukraine launched retaliatory strikes this month, as well as some areas of Donetsk in the southeast. Even in parts.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed that the fight would be defeated.

“Maybe some of you feel that after many victories we now have a kind of peace,” he said in his regular nightly speech. “But there will be no silence. There is preparation for the next series … Ukraine should be free. That’s all.”

Ukrainians who had returned to the northeast in Kyiv’s lightning advance earlier this month were searching for their dead while Russian artillery and air strikes pounded targets east of Ukraine.

Putin, Biden Warns

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected Ukraine’s swift retaliatory strike and said Moscow would respond more strongly if further pressure was put on its troops.

Such repeated threats have raised concerns that Putin could at some point turn to small nuclear weapons or chemical warfare.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, US President Joe Biden asked what he would say to Putin if he were considering using such weapons: “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It’s the face of war.” Unlike anything since World War II.”

Some military analysts have said Russia may also stage a nuclear incident at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya, which is owned by Russia but operated by Ukrainian employees.

Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of shelling around the plant, damaging buildings and disrupting power lines needed to keep it cool and safe.

US Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for caution after visiting a base in Poland to aid Ukraine’s war effort. His remarks were reminiscent of the risks of escalation in the form of remote aid to Ukraine by the United States and its NATO allies.

“The war is not going very well for Russia right now, so it is up to all of us to maintain a high level of readiness, alertness,” he said after his visit to the base.

Regional governors said on Sunday that Russian attacks in the eastern Donetsk region in the past have killed five civilians and further west in Nikopol, affecting several dozen residential buildings, gas pipelines and power lines.

In an intelligence update, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure, including power grids and dams, have intensified.

It added, “As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia may have expanded the locations it plans to attack in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the people and government of Ukraine.” ready for.”

mass graves

On Saturday, Zelensky said authorities had found a mass grave in Izium containing the bodies of 17 soldiers, some of which he said had signs of torture.

Izium residents are searching for dead relatives at a forest grave site where workers began removing bodies last week. Ukrainian officials said last week they found 440 bodies in a forest near Izium. Most of the dead were civilians and the cause of death was not known, he said.

The Kremlin has not commented on the discovery of the tombs, but in the past Moscow has repeatedly denied intentionally attacking or torturing civilians.

Making his way between the tombs and the trees where excavation was going on, Volodymyr Kolesnik was trying to match the numbers on the wooden cross with the names in a neatly handwritten list to locate the relatives to whom In he was killed in an air raid at the beginning of the war. Kolesnik said he got the list from a local funeral company that digs graves.

“They buried the bodies in bags, without coffins, without anything. I was not allowed here before. They (Russians) said it was mined and asked to wait,” he told Reuters. “

In Kozacha Lopan, a village about 45 km (30 mi) north of Kharkiv and only 5 km (3 mi) from the Russian border, a Reuters reporter was taken to a derelict cellar with rooms furnished with iron bars, which The authorities were said to have served as a temporary prison during the occupation. District Mayor Vyacheslav Zadorenko said the rooms were used as a “torture cellar” to detain civilians. Reuters was unable to verify those accounts.

Elsewhere in the region, residents of towns recaptured after six months of Russian occupation were returning with a mixture of joy and bewilderment.

“I still have the feeling, that at any moment a shell can explode or an airplane can fly away,” said Natalia Yelistratova, who flew with her husband and daughter to her hometown from Kharkiv. Traveled 80 km (50 mi) in a train. Balaklia retained his apartment block, but was wounded by the gunfire.

“I’m still scared to be here,” she said after finding a piece of shrapnel in a wall.

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