It appears that the Russian’s are working for a stop in the conflict which would freeze their gains and cut off the anticipated Ukraine Spring Offensive…The US and the Ukraine state such a stop in the fight can ONLY be done if the Russian’s retreat from Ukraine territory…..
Zelensky says his countries ‘Spring Offensive’ is about to launch…
Russia and the Ukraine keep sending rockets at each other…..
In Kyiv, city officials pledged that shelters would be operational around-the-clock, after residents seeking cover from a Russian attack Thursday found a nearby shelter locked. Three of those residents were killed in the attack.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov’s presence in Singapore “reminds us that we can never take our peace and security for granted,” Austin said at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue. He added that U.S. security policy in Asia remained primarily focused on deterrence and that “the whole world has a stake in maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” The invasion of Ukraine has renewed worries for many in Taiwan about threats from China, which claims the self-governed island of Taiwan as its own.
- Of 4,800 shelters inspected Saturday, nearly a quarter were unusable or closed, the Ukrainian National Police Telegram page said, citing Internal Affairs Minister Ihor Klymenko. He said audits of shelters are ongoing. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko also said he inspected some of the city’s shelters Saturday, and he vowed to improve conditions. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused local officials of negligence this week after families said they were unable to enter the nearest basement to shelter from an attack. Nearly 12 people were injured in the missile attack Thursday.
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held bilateral talks with foreign ministers from Brazil, Iran and the United Arab Emirates on Friday, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry. The ministry said on Telegram that “significant attention was paid to Brazilian efforts to find ways to resolve the situation in Ukraine.” Lavrov sought to shore up support at a summit of BRICs foreign ministers, and their allies, in Cape Town, South Africa. The bloc, in addition to Russia, includes Brazil, India, China and South Africa — countries that have largely described themselves as neutral in the conflict in Ukraine.
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he opposed cease-fires or concessions of Ukrainian land in any “land for peace” deals, which he said would amount to a “Potemkin piece.” In Finland, Blinken laid out a long-term U.S. strategy for building up Ukraine’s military in a speech on Friday and said lasting peace requires Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
- Zelensky said Ukraine is ready to launch its much-trumpeted counteroffensive to recapture Russian-occupied territory, in an interview published Saturday. “I don’t know how long it will take,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “But we are going to do it, and we are ready.” He said that while Russia’s superior air power may lead to a large number of casualties, Ukraine’s ground troops were “stronger and more motivated” than their Russian counterparts.
- Ukraine’s deputy defense minister declined to comment directly about recent drone attacks on Russian territory. Russia has “a lot of internal events that are of course linked to this war,” Volodymyr Havrylov told Reuters. “We have a lot of people inside Russia who support Ukraine.” Ukraine has denied a role in a drone attack on Moscow this week and other attacks on Russian border towns, while the Kremlin has said Kyiv was responsible. The attacks are seen as a prelude to a major escalation in hostilities.
- Russian rockets struck the area “between two two-story residential buildings” in the city of Dnipro on Saturday night, according to Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials. Zelensky shared a video on his Telegram channel of rescue workers picking through the debris. “Unfortunately, there are people under the rubble,” Zelensky said. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said they rescued four people, but believed other residents remained missing.
- Training for Ukrainians to operate U.S. Abrams tanks is underway in Germany, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Friday, according to the Associated Press. Some 200 Ukrainian soldiers are taking the training course that started last week. The first 31 Abrams tanks are expected to arrive in Ukraine by the fall. Milley also said the United States was in talks with allies about plans for training Ukrainians on F-16 fighter jets.
- Indonesia’s Defense Minister put forward a plancalling for an immediate cessation of hostilities; mutual withdrawal by 15 kilometers by both parties to create a demilitarized zone; and referendums in disputed territory. “Let us not put blame on any side,” Prabowo Subianto said at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. However, the proposal from Indonesia — which has engaged in shuttle diplomacy between Moscow and Kyiv during the war — would leave Russia in control of swaths of Ukrainian territory. Russian officials and Kremlin proxy leaders organized staged referendums in four partially occupied regions last year before illegally annexing them.
- A Chinese official called for an end to the provision of weapons for the war in Ukraine to prevent escalation of the conflict, after concluding a tour of European capitals aimed at positioning China as a mediator. Li Hui, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, underscored China’s calls for a political settlement. Beijing’s diplomats have recently shifted into promoting its vision for a negotiated cease-fire after China, one of Moscow’s closest diplomatic partners, initially kept a distance from the war.
A night in Ukraine’s sleepless capital, taking cover from Russian bombs: For many residents in Kyiv, a full night’s sleep has become nearly impossible in recent weeks, Samantha Schmidt and Kostiantyn Khudov report from the Ukrainian capital.
Kyiv has suffered a wave of air attacks, most during the night, sending people into closets, bathrooms, basements or subway stations for shelter…..
The Ukraine now has at least one Sikorsky ‘Black Hawk Helicopter in service…
The US has shipped ex- Afghan Mi-17’s helo’s to the Ukraine….
Croatia has also sent Mi-8 helo’s to the Ukraine….
The Ukraine has requested Black Hawk’s, Chinook’s and Apache attack Helo’s…..