Vladimir Putin will keep Russia on the offensive in Ukraine if he senses weakness from Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelensky has warned.
“If he will feel some blood – smell that we are weak – he will push, push, push,” Mr Zelensky told the Associated Press.
He added that if the fortress city of Bakhmut fell to Russian forces, Mr Putin would “sell this victory to the West, to his society, to China, to Iran”.
Mr Zelensky said he has invited the Chinese president Xi Jinping, a long-term Russian ally, to visit the battered country.
It comes as the first British tanks reached Ukraine, with the Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov pictured giving the UK a thumbs up as he took a ride in what he said was the first Challenger 2 main battle tank received from the British army.
Mr Reznikov wrote on Twitter that the tanks had “recently arrived in our country” and posted a video that showed him sitting in one of a long line of tanks in an open field, all of them flying Ukraine’s yellow and blue flag.
Putin will ‘push, push, push’ if he smells Ukraine is weak, says Zelensky
If Bakhmut fell to Russian forces, Vladimir Putin would “sell this victory to the West, to his society, to China, to Iran,” Zelensky said.
He added: “If he will feel some blood — smell that we are weak — he will push, push, push.”
He also invited the leader of China, long aligned with Russia, to visit Ukraine.
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Arpan Rai29 March 2023 06:28
What is happening on the frontline?
Here is the latest from the battlefield:
* Russian forces are moving forward in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut despite fierce resistance and have almost taken full control of a metals plant there, the Russian-installed leader in the region said.
* Russian forces trying to encircle the town of Avdiivka in recent days have made only marginal gains despite heavy losses in armoured vehicles, including a tank regiment that has likely lost a large proportion of its tanks, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain29 March 2023 07:40
What are tactical nuclear weapons?
Tactical nuclear weapons are intended to destroy enemy troops and weapons on the battlefield. They have a relatively short range and a much lower yield than nuclear warheads fitted to long-range strategic missiles that are capable of obliterating whole cities.
Unlike the strategic weapons, which have been subject to arms control agreements between Moscow and Washington, the tactical weapons never have been limited by any such pacts, and Russia hasn’t released any numbers in its arsenal or other specifics related to them.
The U.S. government believes Russia has about 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons, which include bombs that can be carried by aircraft, warheads for short-range missiles and artillery rounds.
While strategic nuclear weapons are fitted to land- or submarine-based intercontinental ballistic missiles that are constantly ready for launch, tactical nuclear weapons are stored at a few tightly guarded storage facilities in Russia, and it takes time to deliver them to combat units.
Some Russian hawks long have urged the Kremlin to send a warning to the West by moving some tactical nuclear weapons closer to the aircraft and missiles intended to deliver them.
Martha Mchardy29 March 2023 07:00
Xi Jinping invited to Ukraine by Zelensky: ‘We are ready’
Volodymyr Zelensky says he has extended an invitation for Chinese president Xi Jinping to visit Ukraine.
“We are ready to see him here,” he said. “I want to speak with him. I had contact with him before full-scale war. But during all this year, more than one year, I didn’t have.”
The Chinese president has called for an end to the conflict and claimed to be neutral when it comes to the war.
But in a rather public show of partnership, Mr Xi visited Mr Putin in Russia last week, raising the prospect that Beijing might be ready to provide Moscow with the weapons and ammunition it needs to refill its depleted stockpile.
The visit ended without any such announcement. Days later, Mr Putin announced that he would be deploying tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, which neighbours Russia and pushes the Kremlin’s nuclear stockpile closer to Nato territory.
Arpan Rai29 March 2023 06:59
In pictures: Zelensky visits war’s front-line areas
Martha Mchardy29 March 2023 06:00
Russia not making progress in Bakhmut, Avdiivka, says Ukraine
Ukraine’s military officials have said Russia is not making progress in the battle hotspots of Bakhmut and Avdiivka despite relentless attempts in the bombed-out sector.
“They simply try to exhaust our troops with attack after attack,” Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesperson for the military’s eastern group, said on national television, reporting 70 shelling incidents in Bakhmut alone.
As Ukrainian fighters continued to repel the attacks and Russia was suffering high combat deaths, the Britain’s defence ministry said Russian forces had made only “marginal progress” in an attempt to encircle Avdiivka and had lost many armoured vehicles and tanks.
Both towns have been at the forefront of Russia’s attacks, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a statement yesterday evening.
Defending the Russian forces, a Moscow-installed leader from Donetsk region claimed that most Ukrainian forces had pulled back from a metals factory in western Bakhmut and Russian forces were making progress.
Arpan Rai29 March 2023 05:36
Russia starts exercises with Yars intercontinental ballistic missiles
Russia has begun military exercises involving the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile system and several thousand troops, its defence ministry said today.
“In total, more than 3,000 military personnel and about 300 pieces of equipment are involved in the exercises,” the defence ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging service, in a move likely seen as another attempt by Vladimir Putin to show off Moscow’s nuclear strength.
This system can carry multiple independently targetable nuclear warheads and can be mounted on a truck carrier or deployed in silos.
The drills involve both the Omsk missile formation together with a command and staff exercise with the Novosibirsk missile formation equipped with the Yars systems.
The Yars mobile systems will conduct manoeuvres in three Russian regions, the ministry said, without identifying the regions.
“Also, strategic missilemen will carry out a set of measures to camouflage and counter modern aerial reconnaissance means in cooperation with formations and units of the Central Military District and the Aerospace Forces.”
The Russian president is looking to make the Yars missile system, which replaced the Topol system, part of Russia’s “invincible weapons” and the mainstay of the ground-based component of its nuclear arsenal.
Arpan Rai29 March 2023 05:09
What are Ukraine and the west saying about tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Belarus?
Ukraine has responded to Putin’s move by calling for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
“The world must be united against someone who endangers the future of human civilization,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday that U.S. officials “haven’t seen any movement of any tactical nuclear weapons or anything of that kind” since Putin’s announcement on Belarus. He has said Washington has seen nothing to prompt a change in its strategic deterrent posture.
NATO rejects Putin’s claim that Russia only is doing what the U.S. has done for decades, saying the Western allies act with full respect of their international commitments.
“Russia’s nuclear rhetoric is dangerous and irresponsible,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said, adding that the alliance hasn’t yet seen any change in Russia’s nuclear posture.
Lithuania, which borders Belarus, described Putin’s statement as “yet another attempt by two unpredictable dictatorial regimes to threaten their neighbours and the entire European continent,” calling them “desperate moves by Putin and Lukashenko to create another wave of tension and destabilization in Europe.”
Martha Mchardy29 March 2023 05:00
More than 76,500 Russian war crimes recorded, says Ukraine
Ukraine has accused the Russian forces of committing more than 76,500 war crimes and crimes of aggression since it launched a full-scale invasion of the country, officials have said.
The Russian military has committed 76,753 war crimes and crimes of aggression like indiscriminate attacks on civilians, torture, sexual violence, rape and looting, the prosecutor general’s office has said.
Arpan Rai29 March 2023 04:45
Watch: Russian navy fires anti-ship cruise missiles in Sea of Japan war simulation
Russian navy fires anti-ship cruise missiles in Sea of Japan war simulation
Martha Mchardy29 March 2023 04:00
Original News : https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-russia-war-putin-glsdb-bomb-missile-b2309875.html
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