Russia claims 'first stage' of Ukraine war is a success | DW News

Russia claims 'first stage' of Ukraine war is a success | DW News

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While Russia says its invasion of Ukraine has entered a new phase, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated his call for peace talks with Russia to end the war. Zelenskyy has called on energy-rich countries to increase their output to prevent Moscow from using its oil and gas supplies to "blackmail" other nations. Zelenskyy also noted that Muslims in Ukraine would have to fight during the upcoming holy fasting month of Ramadan. "We have to ensure this sacred month of Ramadan is not overshadowed by the misery of people in Ukraine,'' he said. Zelenskyy made the comments during a surprise video appearance at the Doha Forum in Qatar, a leading exporter of natural gas. He told the international conference that no country was safeguarded from the shocks triggered by disruptions to food supply as a result of Russia's invasion. "They are destroying our ports,'' Zelenskyy said. "The absence of exports from Ukraine will deal a blow to countries worldwide.'' "The future of Europe rests with your efforts,'' he added.

The latest intelligence report from the UK's Ministry of Defense has warned that Russia will likely continue to "use its heavy firepower on urban areas as it looks to limit its own already considerable losses." In over a month of fighting, Russian troops have failed to capture and hold onto any major Ukrainian city, although a number of major centers, including Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol remain under siege. The intelligence report said Russian forces were mainly relying on the indiscriminate use of air and artillery bombardments "in an attempt to demoralize defending forces," rather than large-scale infantry operations inside cities. This strategy would come "at the cost of further civilian casualties," the report added.

The office of Ukraine's prosecutor general says the war in Ukraine has killed 136 children since Russia invaded its neighbor a little over a month ago. The death toll was posted in a message on the Telegram app and on Facebook. It said 64 of those children were killed in the Kyiv region. A further 50 died in the Donetsk region in the country's east, it added. Around 200 children have been injured, the prosecutor's office said. The figures have not been independently verified.

Russia has said its invasion of Ukraine has entered a new phase, one signal it may be scaling back its ambitions. Moscow has suffered a series of setbacks and defeats at the hands of the Ukrainian army and Ukrainians fighting against the Russian invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated his call for peace talks with Russia to end the war, but he stressed that Ukraine would not give up territory. In his nightly video address to the Ukrainian people, Zelenskyy may have been responding to Russian Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi, the deputy chief of the Russian general staff. Rudskoi said Russian forces would focus on "the main goal, the liberation of Donbas." Dozens of Ukrainian officials, journalists and activists have been detained or kidnapped by Russian forces, the United Nations has warned. Matilda Bogner, the head of the UN rights team in Ukraine, said human rights monitors have been receiving ever more information on mass graves in the besieged port city of Mariupol. UK intelligence reports Russian forces have been pushed back to 35 kilometers east of Kyiv. The Pentagon said the city of Kherson was again "contested" as Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive. However, Ukraine's air force said the headquarters in Vinnytsia in the western part of the country was hit by numerous Russian cruise missiles Friday afternoon. Western officials said a seventh Russian general has been killed since the war in Ukraine began. Lt. Gen. Yakov Rezanstev, commander of Russia's 49th Combined Arms Army in the southern military district, was killed most recently.

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