August 17, 2022

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Ukraine warns of new Russian attack;  Sweden and Finland are close to joining NATO

Ukraine warns of new Russian attack; Sweden and Finland are close to joining NATO

  • Ukraine warns of new southern Russian attack
  • Ukraine says strike force targeted president’s hometown
  • The United States and Italy agree to Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO
  • Ukraine calls on China to help end war, says SCMP

Kyiv/WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (Reuters) – Ukraine said Russia has begun building a military offensive force targeting President Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih, as NATO approaches its biggest expansion in decades as the alliance responds to the invasion of Ukraine. .

The US Senate and Italy’s parliament on Wednesday approved Finland and Sweden’s entry into the 30-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Under NATO membership, which must be ratified by all 30 member states, an attack on one member is an attack against all. Read more

“This historic vote sends an important signal to the United States’ continued bipartisan commitment to NATO, and to ensure our alliance is prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement.

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Russia, which invaded Ukraine on February 24, has repeatedly warned Finland and Sweden against joining NATO.

The 30 NATO allies signed the accession protocol last month, allowing them to join the US-led nuclear alliance once its members ratify the resolution. Read more

Certification may take up to a year.

Ukraine on Wednesday rejected former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s suggestions that Russia wants a “negotiated solution” to the five-month war, saying any dialogue would depend on a ceasefire and the withdrawal of its troops.

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Initial attempts at peace talks in March yielded nothing.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported Thursday that Ukraine is seeking an opportunity to speak “directly” with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help end the war.

In an interview with the Syrian Center for Missing Persons, Zelensky urged China to use its political and economic influence over Russia to end the fighting.

“It is a very powerful country. It is a strong economy … so it can influence politically and economically Russia. China (also) is a permanent member of the UN Security Council,” the report quoted Zelensky as saying.

New southern attack

In its update on Thursday, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that the Russian forces took part on the battlefield in a major military activity, firing from tanks, barrel and rocket artillery in several parts of Ukraine.

Earlier, Ukraine warned that Moscow may prepare for new offensive operations in southern Ukraine. Read more

Dmytro Chivitsky, governor of the Sumy region on the border with Russia, said three towns were bombed by Russian forces on Wednesday with a total of 55 missiles. There were no injuries, but homes and commercial buildings were damaged.

He said that eight artillery shells hit residential parts of the Krasnobilska community.

The mayor of Nikopol, Yevhen Yevtushenko, west of Zaporizhzhya in central Ukraine, said via his Telegram channel that his city was bombed during the night.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Aristovich said in an interview that appeared on YouTube that the whole goal of the Russian offensive in the east was to force Ukraine to divert forces from the region that poses a real danger – Zaporizhia.

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Russia was accused in March of dangerously firing missiles near the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which its forces seized in the first weeks of the invasion.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused Moscow of using Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant as a “nuclear shield” in attacks on Ukrainian forces. Read more

Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield reports.

Russia denies targeting civilians, but many towns and cities have been destroyed and thousands killed in Europe’s biggest conflict since World War Two. Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russian forces of war crimes.

food crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent troops to Ukraine in what he called a “special military operation” to rid the country of fascists. Ukraine and the West have said Putin launched an unjustified “imperialist” seizure of land.

The war caused a global energy and food crisis. Russia and Ukraine produce about a third of the world’s wheat and Russia is the main supplier of energy to Europe.

An agreement between Moscow and Kiev, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, to allow the safe passage of grain ships from Ukraine, was hailed as a rare diplomatic success in the war.

The first ship carrying Ukrainian grain since the war began passed through the Bosphorus on Wednesday.

The ship Razzoni left Odessa on the Black Sea in the early hours of Monday morning, carrying 26,527 tons of corn to the Lebanese port of Tripoli. Read more

Zelensky said Ukraine needed to export at least 10 million tons of grain to help urgently reduce its budget deficit of $5 billion a month.

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A senior Turkish official said three ships could leave Ukrainian ports per day after Razoni’s departure, while Ukraine’s infrastructure minister said another 17 ships were loaded with agricultural products and were waiting to set sail.

(Corrects this story, removes the apostrophe)

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Reporting by Reuters offices. Written by Michael Perry and Himani Sarkar

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.