- Ukraine warns of new southern Russian attack
- Ukraine says a strike force targeted the 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 nuclear-armed alliance led by the United States 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 war, saying any dialogue would depend on a ceasefire and the withdrawal of its troops.
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.
“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 United Nations Security Council,” Zelensky told SCMP in an interview.
China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said, Thursday, that the Russian forces are engaged in significant military activity on the battlefield, as they fired from tanks, barrels and rocket artillery in several parts of Ukraine.
Earlier, Ukraine said that Russia has begun to form a strike group in the direction of Kryvyi Rih and that it may prepare for new offensive operations in southern Ukraine. Read more
The steel-producing city of Kryvyi Rih where Zelensky grew up is located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the southern front line.
Pavlo Kirilenko, the governor of the Donetsk region, said on the Telegram app that three civilians were killed in Bakhmut, Marinka and Shevchenko and five were wounded in the past 24 hours.
Governors of the Mykolaiv, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions reported that their areas were bombed during the night, civilian infrastructure and houses were damaged.
“The idea is to put military pressure on us in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk over the next few weeks… What happens in the east is not what will determine the outcome of the war,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Aristovich said in a statement. The interview appears on YouTube.
Aristovich added that the aim of the Russian offensive in the east is to force Ukraine to divert forces from the area that poses a real danger.
The mayor of Nikopol, Yevne Yevtushenko, west of Zaporizhzhya in central Ukraine, said his city was bombed overnight.
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 committing war crimes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin 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” was 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.
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.
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Reporting by Reuters offices. Written by Himani Sarkar. Editing by Michael Perry
Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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