Sanctions-Hit Russia Turns To India For Supplies In Key Sectors

Russia has sent India a list of more than 500 products for potential delivery, including parts for cars, aircraft, and trains, four sources familiar with the matter said, as sanctions squeeze Russia’s ability to keep vital industries running, reported Reuters.

An Indian government source said the request was unusual in its scope. India is keen to boost trade as it tries to narrow a ballooning trade deficit with Russia.

Some companies have expressed concern about potentially falling foul of sanctions. Russia’s requests were made weeks ahead of Jaishankar’s visit to Moscow starting November 07. It was not immediately clear what was conveyed by New Delhi to Russia during the visit.

India has not joined Western countries in openly criticizing Moscow for the war in Ukraine. New Delhi has sharply increased purchases of Russian oil that have cushioned it from some of the impacts of sanctions. Jaishankar said India needed to boost exports to Russia to balance bilateral trade, reported Reuters.

An industry source in Moscow, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade asked large companies to supply lists of raw materials and equipment they needed.

The source added that further discussion would be needed to agree on specifications and volumes and that the outreach was not limited to India, reported Reuters.

Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Indian foreign and commerce ministries and the prime minister’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Western sanctions have crippled supplies of some crucial products in Russia.

Airlines are experiencing an acute shortage of parts because almost all planes are foreign-made. Car parts are also in demand, with global automakers have left the market.

A source in Russia’s car sales industry said the trade ministry had sent a list of car parts needed to corresponding ministries and state agencies in other countries, including India, reported Reuters.

The list of items from Russia, which runs to nearly 14 pages, includes car engine parts like pistons, oil pumps, and ignition coils. There is also demand for bumpers, seatbelts, and infotainment systems.

For aircraft and helicopters, Russia requested 41 items including landing gear components, fuel systems, communication systems, fire extinguishing systems, life jackets, and aviation tyres, reported Reuters.

Also on the list were raw materials to produce paper, paper bags, and consumer packaging and materials and equipment to produce textiles including yarns and dyes, according to the document reviewed by Reuters.

Russian metals producers like nickel and palladium giant Nornickel (GMKN.MM) have said Western sanctions and self-sanctioning by some suppliers have made it difficult for industrial companies to obtain imported equipment, spare parts, materials, and technologies in 2022, posing a challenge to their development programmes. The list includes nearly 200 metallurgy items, reported Reuters.

Russia has been India’s largest supplier of military equipment for decades and it is the fourth-biggest market for Indian pharmaceutical products.

But with purchases of Russian oil soaring and coal and fertilizer shipments also strong, India is looking for ways to rebalance trade, the first Indian government source said, reported Reuters. (ANI)

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Russia-Ukraine war Farooq

Farooq Hopes Modi Will Be Successful In Ending Russia-Ukraine War

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Monday expressed hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be successful in “ending the Russia-Ukraine war” that has stretched for nearly nine months.

The NC chief stated that the war has created havoc on the global economic situation.
“I am happy that India has got the presidency of the G20 Summit. It could be that India has the burden of all these countries. And I hope that the Prime Minister will be successful in ending the Russia-Ukraine war which has created havoc on the economic condition,” Abdullah said while talking to the reporters here.

The war that started in February this year has claimed the lives of thousands of people on both sides.

Abdullah’s statement comes after the G-20 communique in Bali echoed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as it said that “Today’s era must not be of war.”

PM Modi, in his statement to Putin in a bilateral meeting on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Samarkand in September this year, had said “now is not the time for war”, referring to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

The G 20 communique said, “It is essential to uphold international law and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability. This includes defending all the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and adhering to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and infrastructure in armed conflicts. The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible. The peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to address crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue, are vital. Today’s era must not be of war.”

The NC chief further took a swipe at Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his “will talk to Kashmiri youth instead of Pakistan” remark during his rally in J-K, and said that India has a fight with Pakistan and that we will have to talk to the neighbouring country.

“The other thing is that regarding the problems that we have with our neighbour, it may be possible that the countries will find a solution to it. Home Minister says that he will talk to the youth and not Pakistan. But the fight is against Pakistan, not the children. I am tired of telling him to have talks with Pakistan. India has to talk to Pakistan at some point in time,” he said.

“There is nothing like radicalisation. We are fighting a low-intensity war. There is no other way,” Abdullah added.

The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, talking about the elections that are due to be held in the Union Territory, said that it is up to the Election Commission and the Centre to conduct the polls.

“As far as the elections are concerned, we don’t know when they will be conducted. It is my duty to come and talk to the people and bring out their condition in front of the parliament and the Centre. It is up to the Election Commission and the government of India when to conduct the elections,” he said. (ANI)

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S Jaishankar on Russian oil imports

Would Like To Keep It Going: Jaishankar On Russian Oil Imports

India’s relationship with Russia has worked to its advantage and New Delhi would like to keep that going, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday, as he reaffirmed strong ties with Moscow, describing the country as a steady and time-tested partner.

Jaishankar made these remarks during a joint press conference along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.
Answering a question about India’s increasing oil import amid western outcry, he said, “There is stress on the energy market created by a combination of factors. But as the world’s third-largest consumer… a consumer where the level of income is not very high, it is our obligation to ensure that the Indian consumer has the best possible access to the most advantageous terms on the international market.”

“…in that respect, the India-Russia relationship has worked to my advantage. If it works to my advantage, I would like to keep that going,” he added.

The external affairs minister said his presence in Moscow to review bilateral cooperation speaks volumes about India-Russia cooperation.

“The fact that I am here today with a delegation to review our cooperation speaks about India-Russia cooperation to see how we can take it forward to create a long-term and sustainable basis, says it all,” he said.

He further pointed out, how for India, Russia has been a steady and time-tested partner.

“…I said any objective evaluation of our relations for many decades would confirm that it has served both our countries very well., If it has served my country for many many decades. I think you can see the obvious interests and commitment I would have in keeping that relationship strong and steady,” he added.

The war in Ukraine which started in February has had a significant impact on global food security and has led to a sudden increase in crude prices following western sanctions on Moscow.

Earlier, India said its oil imports will be determined by its national interest and its large consumer base.

New Delhi has not condemned Russia since the start of the conflict and has maintained its independent position. However, on several UN forums, New Delhi has consistently called for a cessation of violence and advocated peace and diplomacy. (ANI)

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Russia An Acute Threat, China Only A Competitor: US Defence Secy

The US on Thursday (local time) described “Russia as an acute threat” and China as “the only competitor” at the Department of Defence National Defence Strategy.

At a conference at the Pentagon detailing the DoD National Defence Strategy, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “And we remain vigilant against the ongoing threat from global terrorist networks–as well as from climate change, pandemics, and other dangers that don’t respect borders. At the same time, the NDS bluntly describes Russia as an acute threat. And we chose the word ‘acute’ carefully”.

“As the President’s National Security Strategy notes, the PRC is the only competitor out there with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the power to do so,” added Austin.

The Defence Department for the first time released the public versions of three strategic documents — the National Defence Strategy, the Nuclear Posture Review and the Missile Defence Review — together after having developed both the classified and unclassified versions of all three in conjunction with one another.

“I am pleased to announce that the Department is publicly releasing our unclassified National Defence Strategy. And this strategy nests beneath President Biden’s National Security Strategy, which was released earlier this month,” said Austin.

Producing the documents together, Austin ensured tight linkages between DOD strategy and resources.

“By weaving these documents together, we help ensure that the entire department is moving forward together, matching our resources to our goals,” Austin said. “The strength and combat credibility of the joint force remains central to integrated deterrence.”

The 2022 National Defence Strategy, or NDS, places a primary focus on the need to sustain and strengthen US deterrence against China. It also advances a focus on collaboration with a growing network of US allies and partners on shared objectives.

In addition to addressing both China and an increase in the importance of partnerships, the NDS also takes into account the challenges posed by Russia — especially considering its invasion of Ukraine — along with threats posed by North Korea, Iran and violent extremist organizations. The NDS also includes a focus on challenges to security, such as pandemics and climate change, read the US DoD press release.

“And above all, the NDS demands even deeper investments in our people. They will always be this department’s most valuable resource, and the bedrock of American security,” said Austin.

The US Defence Secretary also laid out four top-level defence priorities the department must pursue.

They include: Defending the homeland, paced to the growing multi-domain threat posed by China; Deterring strategic attacks against the United States, allies, and partners; Deterring aggression while being prepared to prevail in conflict, when necessary; prioritizing the challenge posed by China in the Indo-Pacific region the Russia challenge in Europe and Building a resilient joint force and defence ecosystem.

He also provided three ways to advance those priorities. These include integrated deterrence, campaigning, and the building of an enduring advantage.

“First, we’re seamlessly integrating our deterrence efforts to make a basic truth crystal-clear to any potential foe. And the truth is: The costs of aggression against the United States or our allies and partners far outweigh any conceivable gains. Second, the NDS emphasizes the day-to-day work of campaigning. That means conducting and sequencing military activities that, over time, shift the security environment in our favour. And third, we’re building enduring advantages to further strengthen the foundations of our defence enterprise,” said Austin.

With the US nuclear capability remaining the “ultimate backstop” for strategic deterrence, the secretary said the department plans to continue modernization efforts on the nuclear triad. The fiscal 2023 budget request, for instance, includes some USD34 billion to sustain and modernize nuclear forces, he said.

The budget request also includes more than USD 56 billion for air-power platforms and systems, more than USD 40 billion to maintain US dominance at sea, and nearly USD 13 billion to support and modernize land forces, added the press release.

“Integrated deterrence isn’t just about steps that we take on our own,” he said. “It also means working even more closely with our unparalleled network of allies and partners to deter aggression in the region after region,” he said.

In the Indo-Pacific region, he said, that’s evident with Australia, UK, US, or AUKUS agreement, and in the trilateral cooperation agreement with Japan and Korea.

Across the Atlantic, he said, partnerships that support integrated deterrence efforts include NATO and the recently created Ukraine Defence Contact Group, which helps support Ukraine’s self-defence goals.

A campaigning, Austin said, means conducting and sequencing the military activities which over time shift the security environment in favour of the United States, said the release.

“It means working to limit and disrupt malign activities by our competitors,” he said. “We’re building and exercising the forces we’ll need in a crisis or a conflict, including requesting USD 135 billion in last year’s budget to further invest in our readiness.”

To build an enduring advantage for the United States, Austin said, the department is working to further strengthen the foundations of the defence enterprise, added the release.

“Innovation is central here,” he said. “Last year, for instance, we established the Rapid Defence Experimentation Reserve, which funds different parts of the department to work together to fill critical joint warfighting gaps. And our fiscal year 2023 budget request included more than USD 130 billion for research, development, testing and evaluation — that’s the largest R&D budget number in DOD history.” (ANI)

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Martial Law In Annexed Regions Of Ukraine

Putin Declares Martial Law In Annexed Regions Of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced the imposition of martial law in four areas of Ukraine that Russia announced it had annexed last month.

The four regions occupied by Russia are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia. Putin made these comments during a security council meeting, CNN reported.
“In this regard, let me remind you that in the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, as well as in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, martial law was in effect before joining Russia,” Putin said during a televised address.

“Now we need to formalize this regime within the framework of Russian legislation,” he said, adding that a decree of martial law in these four regions of the Russian Federation has been introduced formally and will be immediately sent to the Federation Council, CNN reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian leaders in the annexed regions started relocating people in huge numbers amid global condemnation.

After Russia annexed four Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia, concerns have sparked globally that Moscow could resort to nuclear weapons.

Putin formally announced the annexation of four regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia recently and claimed that “this is the will of millions of people,” according to CNN.

Putin said the residents in the four annexed regions will now be Russia’s “citizens forever”.

Russia’s annexation has sparked wide criticism from around the world. The United States announced that it will impose a “swift and severe cost” on Russia.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the “United States unequivocally rejects Russia’s fraudulent attempt to change Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders.”

After Putin’s formal announcement of the annexation of the said four regions, western leaders condemned it, termed it “illegal” and vowed that they will “never recognize” these areas. (ANI)

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Desperate And Reprehensible: US condemns Attacks On Kyiv

The United States on Monday condemned early morning drone strikes on Kyiv as it rebuked Russia for “reprehensible” attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

“More desperate and reprehensible Russian attacks this morning against civilians and civilian infrastructure. We admire the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people. We will stand with you for as long as it takes,” the US embassy in Ukraine tweeted.
Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv was rocked by multiple explosions early on Monday in an attack by “Kamikaze” drones, according to a Ukrainian official. Andriy Yermak, head of the presidential office of Ukraine, said kamikaze drones targeted the city.

“The Russians think it will help them, but these actions look like desperation,” Yermak said in a statement, blaming Russia for the attack, CNN reported.

Several residential buildings were damaged in the attack. In a Telegram message, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the “drone attack” caused a “fire in a non-residential building.”

Kyiv says Moscow has used Iranian-supplied drones in the strikes against major Ukrainian cities in recent weeks and pleaded with Western countries to step up their assistance in the face of the new challenge, CNN reported.

On Monday, at least three explosions were heard in Kyiv at around 6.45 am (local time). One of the blasts was in the Shevchenkivskyi district in the center of the Ukrainian capital. In order to tackle the situation, emergency services have been sent on-site.

The war between Russia and Ukraine has only escalated after a truck recently exploded on the Crimea road bridge, causing seven fuel tanks of a train heading to the Crimean Peninsula to catch fire. Three people were killed in the blast, which also led to the partial collapse of two spans of the road bridge.

The Crimean Bridge was opened in 2018 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, four years after Moscow annexed Crimea, and was designed to link the peninsula to Russia’s transport network.

The 19-kilometer bridge, which runs across the Kerch Strait and connects Crimea with mainland Russia, consists of a railway and vehicle sections. It became fully operational in 2020.

Earlier, the transport ministry had said the bridge, which consists of two parallel routes for automobiles and trains, will possibly open to trains by 8 pm Moscow time (1700 GMT) on Saturday. (ANI)

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Kashmir At UNGA Vote On Russia

India Slams Pak’s Remarks On Kashmir At UNGA Vote On Russia

India on Wednesday gave a befitting response to Pakistan after it raked up the Kashmir issue during the United Nations General Assembly debate on Russia.

In his explanation of the vote at the UNGA concerning the Russia-Ukraine war, Pakistani diplomat Munir Akram brought up the issue of Kashmir, in an attempt to draw parallels between the two situations.
In a strongly worded response, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj said, “We have witnessed, unsurprisingly, yet again, an attempt by one delegation to misuse this forum and make frivolous and pointless remarks against my country.”

The Indian diplomat said such a statement deserves collective contempt from a mindset that repeatedly utters falsehoods.

To set the record straight, Kamboj said, “entire territory of Jammu and Kashmir is and will always be an integral part of India… We call on Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism so our citizens can enjoy their right to life and liberty.”

Earlier, the UNGA adopted a resolution condemning the Russian annexation of the four Ukrainian regions. 143 members voted in favor of the resolution while five voted against it. A total of 35 countries abstained from the resolution, including India.

After abstaining on the UNGA resolution condemning Russia, India on Wednesday expressed deep concern at the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, including the targeting of civilian infrastructure and deaths of civilians.

The latest resolution, which comes after Russia vetoed a similar proposal in Security Council, condemns Russia’s “attempted illegal annexations” of the four Ukrainian regions following “so-called referendums”.

Delivering her explanation of the vote before the member states, ambassador Kamboj said India has consistently advocated that no solution can be reached at human cost and escalation of hostilities is in no one’s interest.

“We have urged that all efforts be made for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an urgent return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy,” she said. (ANI)

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Martial Law In Annexed Regions Of Ukraine

Russia won’t Sell Oil At Lower Price: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced that Moscow would not sell oil at a lower price cap after the Group of Seven (G7) pledged to put a cap on the price of Russian oil sold across the world.

Speaking at the Russian Energy Week 2022 event at the Russia state-affiliated media – RT, Putin said, “I have to say that Russia will not act against our own benefit, we will not act to decrease our standing by providing oil or gas at lower prices. No, we will not succumb to this. We will not play by the rules others set and will not act to our detriment.”
Western countries are stepping up efforts to strip Russia of its largest source of income ‘oil’.

As the war in Ukraine nears its eighth month with no resolution in sight, the West suspects the Kremlin is bankrolling the invasion with its profits from the continued sale of fossil fuels, which make up over 40 per cent of its budget, reported Euronews.

The cap by G7 would prevent Russian cargoes from selling oil that exceeds the still-undefined G7 limit. As a result, Russia would be deprived of a significant portion of the oil revenues that it would otherwise earn without the cap.

According to Russia’s central bank, crude oil exports accounted for Euro113 billion in 2021, on top of the Euro70 billion earned from refined products, such as gasoline and diesel, reported Euronews.

Recently, Saudi Arabia and Russia, acting as leaders of the OPEC Plus energy cartel, agreed to their first large production cut in more than two years in a bid to raise prices, countering efforts by the United States and Europe to choke off the enormous revenue that Moscow reaps from the sale of crude.

President Biden and European leaders have urged more oil production to ease gasoline prices and punish Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine. Putin has been accused of using energy as a weapon against countries opposing its invasion of Ukraine, and the optics of the decision could not be missed, reported The New York Times.

The White House was not happy. “The president is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC Plus to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, and Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said in a statement.

The cut of two million barrels a day represents about 2 percent of global oil production.

By reducing output, OPEC Plus was also seeking to make a statement to energy markets about the group’s cohesion during the Ukraine war and its willingness to act quickly to defend prices, analysts say.

Out of all sanctions imposed by the bloc, this gradual ban on Russian oil is arguably the most radical decision owing to its potentially disruptive impact on the economies of both Russia and Europe. It was also subject to fraught negotiations between EU countries, reported Euronews.

The West now plans to go beyond national embargoes.

An international price cap “will help deliver a major blow for Russian finances and will both hinder Russia’s ability to fight its unprovoked war in Ukraine and hasten the deterioration of the Russian economy,” said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

But analysts warn the G7 initiative is untested and ridden with risks and unknowns, many of which escape Western control. A botched implementation, they say, could reverberate on a global scale. (ANI)

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Harsh Reprisals After Crimea Bridge

Putin Threatens Harsh Reprisals After Crimea Bridge Attack

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday warned of “harsh” reprisals after the Crimea bridge attack on Saturday.

In a television appearance Monday, Putin said Russia had struck military and infrastructure targets across Ukraine following the Crimea bridge blast.
Putin threatened further “harsh” responses that correspond “to the level of threat to the Russian Federation, have no doubt about it,” while accusing Kyiv of “terrorism.”

In what appears to be the heaviest wave of missile and rocket attacks since the opening week of the war, Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities were rocked by deadly Russian strikes on Monday.

Officials said they targeted critical energy infrastructure and several regions of Ukraine are now suffering power outages.

The Kremlin said today that a huge missile salvo across Ukraine launched by its forces was within the framework of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack on the Kerch bridge, a key link between the Russian mainland and Crimea.

Eleven sites of critical infrastructure have been struck in Kyiv and eight other regions of Ukraine, according to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

Some of the regions are experiencing blackouts,” Shmyhal said. “We must be ready for temporary disruptions with power connections and water supply.”

A senior Ukrainian military official has said “generations of Russians will answer” for a wave of explosions that struck multiple Ukrainian cities on Monday.

“The Russians are shameful losers. Did you intend to scare us?” Andrii Yermak, head of President Zelenskyy’s office, said of the attacks.

“There will be a harsh response to every hit. You will be held responsible for every death and suffering. And not only you. Entire generations of Russians will answer,” Yermak said on Telegram.

“We will continue to destroy everyone who comes to Ukraine with weapons. These hits make us even angrier. These hits will only speed up our progress.

“We are not afraid. We are only getting angrier and more accurate,” Yermak added.

Powerful explosions rang across Kyiv on Monday morning, leaving multiple people dead. At the same time, regional authorities also reported missile and rocket attacks in Kharkiv, Lviv, Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk, partly aimed at critical civilian infrastructure.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the missile strikes targeted Ukraine’s energy facilities and its people.

“They have especially chosen the time and the targets to create the most damage,” he said while standing outside his office in the center of Kyiv.

Moscow wanted to destroy Ukraine’s “energy system,” Zelenskyy said, adding that the Ukrainians shot down 38 incoming projectiles. He urged people to stay in shelters on Monday.

Further south, a Ukrainian official also confirmed that Russian missiles are targeting power infrastructure in the Mykolaiv region.

“They are hitting the infrastructure, trying to leave us without electricity,” Vitalii Kim, head of the Mykolaiv regional military administration, said on Telegram.

After reports of Russian missile attacks across Ukraine on Monday morning, Kyiv’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will not break Ukraine down.”

“Putin’s only tactic is a terror on peaceful Ukrainian cities, but he will not break Ukraine down. This is also his response to all appeasers who want to talk with him about peace: Putin is a terrorist who talks with missiles,” Kuleba tweeted.

Amid multiple explosions in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities early Monday, Zelenskyy said Russia was trying to annihilate Ukraine.

The series of Russian missiles launched at Ukraine on Monday morning was aimed at “critical infrastructure to destroy the country’s energy supply,” according to a Ukrainian government official.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, also warned Ukrainians to be prepared for blackouts.

“Power facilities from Lviv to Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv to Khmelnytskyi region, Dnipro and Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Sumy region, Kharkiv region, Zhytomyr region, Kirovohrad, and the entire south are targeted,” Tymoshenko said on Telegram.

“This may affect the stability of the energy supply, so we need to be prepared for the consequences of such shelling, up to rolling blackouts,” he added.

The Ukrainian State Emergency Service said there is no electricity supply in five regions — Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv, and Ternopil — and power supply has been partially disrupted in the rest of the country.

Meanwhile, the G7 group of nations will hold an emergency meeting via video conference on Tuesday, the office of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed to CNN. Scholz is the current G7 president under its rotating leadership.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he would address the meeting. “My speech is scheduled, in which I’ll tell about the terrorist attacks by [the Russian Federation], he said on Twitter.

The G7 consists of the seven leaders from some of the world’s largest economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Russia was indefinitely suspended from the group — then the G8 — in 2014 after its illegal annexation of Crimea.

At least 10 people have died and 60 are injured in Ukraine after a wave of Russian attacks across the country on Monday morning, police spokesperson Maryana Reva said in an interview on Ukrainian TV.

Multiple European political figures roundly condemned Russia’s spate of attacks on Ukrainian cities on Monday.

“Deeply shocked by Russia’s attacks on civilians in #Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine. Such acts have no place in (the) 21st century. I condemn them in the strongest possible terms,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell said. “We stand with Ukraine. Additional military support from the EU is on its way,” Borrell tweeted Monday.

“Again, Putin is massively terrorizing innocent civilians in Kyiv and other cities in [Ukraine]. (The Netherlands) condemns these heinous acts. Putin does not seem to understand that the will of the Ukrainian people is unbreakable. Ukraine remains determined, and we continue to support Ukraine,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted.

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeted that the “bombardment of Kyiv and of civilian targets in many other cities is a reprehensible act by Russia. It is an unacceptable escalation of violence that strengthens Belgium’s resolve in supporting the people of Ukraine and their brave fight for a free and sovereign nation.”

“Shocking images are coming once again from Ukraine this morning! I strongly condemn Russian missile attacks against civilian targets and critical infrastructure in Ukraine. The only intention behind these attacks is to terrorize the civilian population. Stay strong Ukrainians!” tweeted Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger tweeted that he condemns “today’s cowardly attacks of Russian forces on #civilians and civilian infrastructure in #Ukraine.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna also tweeted to condemn the attacks. “I condemn in the strongest terms today’s indiscriminate Russian strikes against Ukrainian cities. Intentionally targeting civilian populations is a war crime,” she said.

And Italy also reiterated its “unwavering and steadfast support for Ukraine, its people, and its resilience.”

The Italian foreign ministry said it was “horrified by the cowardly missile attacks which hit the center of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.” (ANI)

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Russia Appoints New General To Command Forces In Ukraine War

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Saturday appointed Army General Sergey Surovikin to command the joint group of forces involved in the Ukraine war.

“Army General Sergey Surovikin has been appointed to command the joint group of forces in the area of the special military operation in Ukraine based on the Russian defense minister’s decision,” reported TASS quoting Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashekov telling reporters.

He earlier served as Commander of Russia’s Eastern Military District and led Russian troops in Syria, reported TASS.

Notably, Russia recently annexed four regions of Ukraine – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions.

The war between Russia and Ukraine appears to be entering a new phase after Kyiv dealt a big blow to Moscow’s grip after it recaptured 2,400 square kilometers of territory in the Kherson region in the south of the country “since the beginning of the full-scale war,” a senior Ukrainian official said Friday, reported CNN.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office said six settlements had been liberated in the Kherson district as well as 61 in the Beryslav district.

Tymoshenko said the evacuation of civilians continued amid massive destruction to critical infrastructure in towns like Arkhanhelske, Vysokopillia, and Osokorivka, all of which saw weeks of heavy fighting and indirect fire. Demining is in progress, he added.

Ukrainian forces have been making steady progress in Kherson since beginning an offensive at the end of last month, and their successes have sparked rare criticism of Moscow’s war effort among pro-Russian figures.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised his forces’ counteroffensive in his evening address on Tuesday. “The Ukrainian army is making a rather fast and powerful advance in the south of our country in the course of the ongoing defensive operation,” Zelenskyy said in his evening address.

“Our warriors do not stop. And it is only a matter of time before we will expel the occupier from all our land.” (ANI)

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