Ukrainian official: Russia continues to attack Kiev, this is its plan to continue the fighting

Sources in Ukraine claimed today (Wednesday) that despite Moscow’s promises to reduce attacks in the capital Kyiv, and the besieged Chernivtsi north of it, the attacks are still ongoing, even if there are signs of retreat on the ground. Oleksiy Arstovich, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zlinsky, warned that Moscow’s plan is to move troops from the Kyiv region (northern front) to the east of the country. The purpose of the move, he said, is to try and encircle the Ukrainian army, whose main forces are stationed in this area, in fighting against the pro-Russian rebels in the Donbas region. At the same time, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) updated that the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine has exceeded the four million mark.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin welcomed Ukraine’s publication in writing of its demands for an end to the conflict. “However, there are still no signs of a possible breakthrough,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained in a conversation with reporters. He added that “Russia does not pay attention to anything promising, we are facing a long period of work.” Thus, in fact, the Kremlin’s spokesman contradicts the remarks made last night by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevloth Chebushulu, who claimed that significant progress had been made in talks between the two countries.

As you may recall, yesterday the Ukrainian representatives for talks with Russia said that Kyiv had proposed to adopt a neutral status in exchange for security promises, meaning that it would not join NATO or host military bases but would be protected by NATO’s “Article 5”. They further added that Israel, Poland, Canada, Turkey may be among the Arab security guards of Ukraine under a new system. The sources added that Ukraine’s proposals also included a 15-year consultation period regarding the status of the annexed Crimean peninsula which could enter into force only in the event of a complete ceasefire.

Negotiations in Turkey between Russia and Ukraine (Photo: Handout via REUTERS)

At the same time, Moscow announced its decision to drastically cut its military operations in Kiev and Chernivtsi in Ukraine. Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said the move was intended to “boost confidence in the talks”, after several rounds of negotiations failed to stop what became a bloody campaign of attrition. However, he did not mention other areas where heavy fighting was seen, including around Mariupol in the southeast, Sumy and Kharkov in the east and Kherson and Mykolaiv in the south.

The director of negotiations on behalf of Moscow said he would review the Ukrainian proposals and report them to President Putin, stressing that a meeting between Presidents Zalansky and Putin is possible only if the deal is signed by the foreign ministries. This is contrary to the request of the Ukrainian negotiating team.

By Editor

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