In an interview with Ukrainian media on Thursday evening, Deputy Prime Minister Irina Weryshuk spoke about another attempt to “manipulate” Russia. “We don’t believe anyone, not a single beautiful sentence,” Zelensky said in his speech. He was referring to assurances given by Russian negotiators on Tuesday that Moscow would “drastically” scale back its attacks on Kyiv and Chernihiv in the north.
However, according to the Ukrainian authorities, the bombing of Chernihiv continued. Ukraine’s General Staff said it expects even a “intensification” of Russian fire in the short term. “We will not give up anything. We will fight for every meter of our territory,” warned Zelensky.
On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that it had “regrouped” its forces near Kyiv and Chernihiv. She added that the purpose of the transfer of troops is “above all, to complete the process of complete liberation of Donbass.”
According to their statements, Russian forces continue their attacks in eastern Ukraine. Today, Thursday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the village of Solota Niwa, southwest of Donetsk, is now under Russian control. Russian units have advanced 6 km there since Wednesday. Up to 60 opponents were killed. This information cannot be independently verified.
Meanwhile, units from the separatist Luhansk region, which Russia recognized as independent, advanced five kilometers and fought the Ukrainian “nationalists” near the town of Kremina northwest of Luhansk. Spokesman Konashenkov confirmed the destruction of fuel depots in the city of Dnipro and Novomoskovsk, as well as in two other towns from which Ukrainian forces were supplied with fuel in the Donbass.
Meanwhile, US officials said that Russian forces began withdrawing from the area around the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant. “We think they’re leaving, but I can’t tell you they’re all gone,” said a Pentagon official, who asked not to be identified.
“In order for this humanitarian operation to succeed, we propose the direct participation of representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross,” a Russian statement said. It is said that the humanitarian corridor leads through the city of Berdyansk, under Russian control, to Zaporizhia, 250 kilometers away.
The Russian Ministry asked the government in Kyiv to confirm its “unconditional commitment” to the ceasefire by sending written notification to the Russian side, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Russia has already made several such statements. However, the evacuation efforts mostly failed, with both sides blaming each other.
According to Ukrainian negotiator David Arashamiya, negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on a diplomatic settlement of the conflict will continue online on Friday. Recently, negotiators met face to face in Istanbul on Tuesday, without achieving a breakthrough.
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