What’s left of it…..
The Ukraine says it’s forces will try to encircle what’s left of the city….
Moldova , a former Soviet Satellite, wants into the EU…..
Russia’s claim of victory in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut suggests that the brutal urban combat that marked the deadliest battle of its war in Ukraine might be over. But what comes next is far from clear.
While Moscow is trumpeting a “Mission Accomplished” moment in its war, Ukraine — even as it insists Bakhmut has not completely fallen — sees an opening to seize the initiative from the city’s outskirts if Russian forces are no longer pressing forward inside the city’s center.
Russia’s capture of Bakhmut would be a powerful symbolic success for Moscow. It would represent the first Ukrainian city it has seized since Lysychansk last summer, and be a setback for Kyiv, which expended precious ammunition and sent some of its most capable forces to try to thwart Russia’s devastating monthslong assault on the city. Thousands of troops from both sides are believed to have been killed in nearly a year of intense fighting there.
But the city is now in ruins, and controlling it would not necessarily help Moscow toward its larger stated goal — conquering the entire eastern region of Donbas — now that Ukrainian troops have worn out Russian forces and broken through their defenses in some areas to the city’s north and south.
“You have to understand, there is nothing,” President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said of the razed city, once home to 80,000 people, during a news conference in Hiroshima, Japan, where he sought aid and weapons from the world’s wealthiest democracies.
“They destroyed everything,” Mr. Zelensky said. “There are no buildings. It’s a pity, it’s a tragedy, but for today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts. There is nothing on this space, just ground and a lot of dead Russians.”…..
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected Russia’s recent claim that it captured Bakhmut after he sparked some confusion when he said the eastern city was now “only in our hearts.” Speaking at a news conference Sunday, Zelensky clarified his earlier comments: “Bakhmut is not occupied by Russian Federation as of today. There are no two or three interpretations of those words.”
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Bakhmut is “just dead and a lot of dead Russians,” Zelensky told reporters, lamenting the city’s destruction.“They came to us. Our defenders in Bakhmut, they did strong work, and of course we appreciate them” for their effort, he said. Russia claimed control of the eastern Ukrainian city on Saturday, but the Ukrainian armed forces said Sunday that battles were continuing there.
- Troops are still fighting in Bakhmut, Ukraine’s eastern military commander said later Sunday. Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Telegram that his forces are making gains in the suburbs in an attempt to surround the battered city.
- The United States will support a joint effort to train Ukrainian pilots to fly fighter jets, including the coveted F-16s, Biden said Sunday, with the understanding that Kyiv would not use the jets to escalate the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders. “I have a flat assurance from Zelensky that they will not, will not, use it to go into Russian geographic territory,” Biden told reporters.
- Zelensky and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had their first face-to-face meeting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. India has been reluctant to join the Western coalition against Moscow’s invasion, ramping up its imports of Russian crude oil while other countries cut back. Zelensky also met the heads of state of Italy, France and Germany, he said, adding that his focus at the summit is to press for more weapons. After concluding several days of meetings with world leaders, the Ukrainian president said in his nightly address that “we have an understanding with the world majority on every important point for Ukraine.”
- The leaders of G-7 nations are aiming for the “double containment” of Russia and China, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a televised conference Saturday, according to Reuters. A joint statement by the G-7 members — made up of the United States, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada — called on China to help end the war in Ukraine and underlined China’s growing economic and military power.
- Berlin police are investigating the alleged poisoning of two Russian exiles at a conference last month in the German capital. Berlin State Criminal Police Office spokesman Martin Stralau told The Washington Post that investigators had “opened a case,” though he declined to comment on potential motive. Natalia Arno, whose Free Russia Foundation criticizes Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine, wrote on Facebook that she found her hotel door ajar and was immediately hit with the “foreign and sharp smell of cheap perfumes in the room.” She woke up in pain hours later, flew back to the United States and went to a hospital.
- Arno blamed the Kremlin, which has been linked to the poisoning of its enemies in recent years — including Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Arno had been attending a conference led by a Kremlin-opposition figure, media outlets reported.
- An accounting error means the Pentagon may be able to send about $3 billion more in aid to Ukraine,national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday. Defense Department spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told the Wall Street Journal last week that the Pentagon discovered “inconsistencies in equipment valuation for Ukraine” during a regular review, meaning the aid may flow more easily because it already has congressional approval. On Sunday, Sullivan told CNN that the Defense Department was using “the replacement cost for the equipment we provided” to Ukraine rather than “just the actual cost of that equipment,” meaning “we can spend to provide even more weapons to Ukraine.”
- The International Criminal Court rebuked Russia’s move to add the court’s top prosecutor to a wanted list. In a statement, the ICC called the move “unjustified.” The court, which in March issued warrants for Russian officials including Putin for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, said “coercive measures” will not deter it from ensuring accountability.
- German defense manufacturer Rheinmetall is looking to join hands with Ukrainian state-owned defense company Ukroboronprom to build German tanks, the company’s chief executive, Armin Papperger, told the German newspaper Bild. The focus, he said, will remain on addressing Ukraine’s battlefield needs such as maintenance and repair before moving to manufacture armored vehicles.
- About 70,000 Moldovans gathered in the capital Sunday to express their support for the country’s bid to join the European Union, speakers who addressed the demonstration said. The former Soviet republic, which borders Ukraine and is governed by a pro-Western administration, has been subject to intensifying Russian pressure since the invasion of its neighbor. “Moldova’s place is undeniably within the EU,” President Maia Sandu tweeted.
- A Russian victory over Ukraine could endanger Moldova and the region, former U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates warned Sunday. “If Vladimir Putin wins … there’s no doubt in my mind that Moldova is next,” Gates said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” He added that Putin’s territorial ambition “creates great danger to the Baltic states and to Poland, where we have treaty alliances that would require American forces to confront the Russians.”….
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