War escalates again with Russian bombing and Ukraine’s rejection of surrender ultimatum

In response to the attack on one of its main ships, Russia again fired missiles at Kiev, increased its offensive in the east and called for the enemy’s surrender at Mariupol; Ukrainians say they will fight ‘to the end’

SERGEY BOBOK/AFPFirefighters try to put out a fire in a residential building after bombing in central Kharkiv

On April 1, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrovhe said, during his official visit to the Indiathat the negotiations for a ceasefire in the Ukraine they had progressed. Moscow expected the neighboring country to adopt a position of neutrality, renounce its aspirations to join NATO and give up the Donbass region in the east of the country. The statement expressed optimism with signals from both sides that pointed to a ceasefire. It all came crashing down, however, when, that morning, a fuel depot in the town of Belgorod, Russia, was bombed by Ukrainian forces. From then on, the word “agreement” was dropped from interviews and speeches by the authorities of both countries.

Also on that 1st, images of civilians killed in the Ukrainian city of bushingon the outskirts of Kiev, shocked the world. More than 400 civilians were found dead, strewn across the streets or buried in shallow graves. The event prompted new sanctions on Russia and the West’s repudiation. Joe Biden, President of the United States, has called for Russian leader Vladimir Putin to be tried for war crimes. With 93 votes in favor, 24 against and 58 abstentions (including Brazil), Moscow was suspended from the UN Human Rights Council.

The Kremlin denies the accusations, but the Ukrainians are adamant and pressure Western countries for harsh sanctions on enemies. “We know of thousands of people killed and tortured, with severed limbs, raped women and murdered children,” he accused. Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine. “It’s very difficult to talk when you see what they’ve done here,” he said, making it clear that an agreement has become more difficult.

The result of Belgorod and Bucha was a stunning escalation of violence in the war. Bombings from both sides ruled out the already remote chances of a ceasefire agreement. According to the Kremlin, Ukrainian forces in recent days have bombed two towns on the border between the two countries, injuring dozens. Kiev denies the charge. Putin’s troops have increased the offensive in Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, and attacked Kiev again. Missiles were fired at the Ukrainian capital between Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th. This Sunday, the 17th, at least five people were killed in a Russian attack on Kharkiv. At least 503 Ukrainian civilians have died in the city since the conflict erupted.

The ferocity of the attacks is linked to the bombing of the Russian cruiser Moskva, which sank in the Black Sea after being hit by two Ukrainian missiles. Aware that it has wounded the enemy’s pride, Ukraine has released commemorative stamps. Huge lines formed in front of the post office in Kiev on Friday, the 15th, to acquire a “souvenir” of the episode, which renewed the country’s hope. One example of this is the battle in Mariupol, an important port city in eastern Ukraine. Russia demands the surrender of Zelensky’s troops, but Ukrainians say they will resist. “Our soldiers are still there and they will fight to the end,” declared Prime Minister Denys Shmygal. “Ukraine is ready for big battles and can win them, including in Donbass,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podoliak.

About Abhishek Pratap

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