Ukraine’s leader warns war will cost Russia ‘for generations’

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Ukraine’s president has warned Russians that continuing the penetration would nonstop a toll for “generations” aft tens of thousands attended a nationalist lawsuit to perceive a code by President Vladimir Putin.

The remarks by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy connected Saturday came aft a mass rally was held successful support of Russian forces successful Moscow the erstwhile night.

Noting the 200,000 radical reported to person attended the rally was akin to the fig of Russian forces deployed to Ukraine, Zelenskyy said Friday’s lawsuit successful Moscow illustrated the precocious stakes of the largest crushed struggle successful Europe since World War II.

“Picture for yourself that successful that stadium successful Moscow determination are 14,000 dormant bodies and tens of thousands much injured and maimed,” the Ukrainian person said. “Those are the Russian costs passim the invasion.”

Putin lavished praise connected his country’s subject forces during Friday’s flag-waving rally, which took spot connected the day of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The lawsuit included patriotic songs specified arsenic “Made successful the USSR”, with the opening lines “Ukraine and Crimea, Belarus and Moldova, it’s each my country”.

“We person not had unity similar this for a agelong time,” Putin told the cheering crowd.

Taking to the signifier wherever a motion work “For a satellite without Nazism”, helium railed against his foes successful Ukraine with a assertion they are “neo-Nazis” and insisted his actions were indispensable to forestall “genocide”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets the audience.Russian President Vladimir Putin greets the assemblage arsenic helium attends a performance marking the eighth day of Russia’s annexation of Crimea [Ramil Sitdikov via AFP]

The rally took spot arsenic Russia has faced heavier-than-expected losses connected the battlefield and progressively authoritarian regularisation astatine home. Russian constabulary person detained thousands of antiwar protesters.

Fighting raged connected aggregate fronts successful Ukraine much than 3 weeks aft Russia’s February 24 invasion.

The northwest Kyiv suburbs of Bucha, Hostomel, Irpin and Moshchun were nether occurrence connected Saturday, the Kyiv determination medication reported. The metropolis of Slavutich, 165km (103 miles) northbound of the capital, was “completely isolated”, the medication said.

In the besieged larboard metropolis of Mariupol, the tract of immoderate of the war’s top suffering, Ukrainian and Russian forces battled implicit the Azovstal alloy plant, 1 of the biggest successful Europe, Vadym Denysenko, advisor to Ukraine’s interior minister, said connected Saturday.

Ukrainian and Russian officials agreed to found 10 humanitarian corridors for bringing assistance successful and residents retired — 1 from Mariupol and respective astir Kyiv and successful the eastbound Luhansk region, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

She besides announced plans to present humanitarian assistance to the confederate metropolis of Kherson, which was seized by Russian forces.

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‘Territorial integrity and justice’

In his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said Russian forces were blockading the largest cities with the extremity of creating specified miserable conditions that Ukrainians volition surrender. But helium warned Russia would wage the eventual price.

“The clip has travel to reconstruct territorial integrity and justness for Ukraine. Otherwise, Russia’s costs volition beryllium truthful precocious that you volition not beryllium capable to emergence again for respective generations,” helium said.

Vladimir Medinsky, who has led Russian negotiators successful respective rounds of talks with Ukraine, said connected Friday the 2 sides person moved person to an statement connected the contented of Ukraine dropping its bid to articulation NATO and adopting a neutral status.

In remarks carried by Russian media, helium said the sides are present “halfway” connected issues regarding the demilitarisation of Ukraine.

However, Mikhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Zelenskyy, alleged that Moscow’s characterisation was intended “to provoke hostility successful the media”.

“Our positions are unchanged. Ceasefire, withdrawal of troops & beardown information guarantees with factual formulas,” helium tweeted.

Britain’s overseas curate accused Putin of utilizing the talks arsenic a “smokescreen” portion his forces regroup. “We don’t spot immoderate superior withdrawal of Russian troops oregon immoderate superior proposals connected the table,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told The Times newspaper.

‘Not adjacent enough’

In a telephone telephone with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin laid retired plans for ending the war, according to the Turkish statesmanlike spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin.

“President Putin thinks the positions connected the Donbas and Crimea are not adjacent capable to conscionable President Zelenskyy. What we request is simply a strategic-level gathering betwixt the 2 leaders. There seems to beryllium increasing statement … We are hoping determination volition beryllium much convergence connected these issues, and this gathering volition instrumentality spot sooner than later, due to the fact that we each privation this warfare to travel to an end,” Kalin told Al Jazeera.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, during a Saturday sojourn to NATO state Bulgaria, said the Russian penetration had “stalled connected a fig of fronts” but the United States had not yet seen signs that Putin was deploying further forces.

Major General Oleksandr Pavlyuk, who is starring the defence of the portion astir Kyiv, said his forces are well-positioned to support the city.

“We volition ne'er springiness up. We volition combat until the end. To the past enactment and to the past bullet,” said Pavlyuk.

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