Moscow says Western aid cannot prevent Russian victory in Ukraine

Thursday - 05/05/2022 09:17
Kyiv's Western allies have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia to punish Moscow for the invasion
Since failing to take Kyiv early on, Russia has focused its efforts on the east and south of Ukraine
Since failing to take Kyiv early on, Russia has focused its efforts on the east and south of Ukraine

Russia on Thursday said Western aid to Kyiv had slowed its offensive in Ukraine but would not thwart its victory, as conflicting reports emerged about efforts to rescue civilians from a besieged steel plant in the devastated city of Mariupol.

Nearly 10 weeks into a war that has left thousands of people dead, flattened Ukrainian cities and uprooted more than 13 million people, the Kremlin conceded that Western countries had prevented a "quick" end to Russia's military campaign.

"Coupled with the flow of weapons that these countries are sending to Ukraine, these are all actions that do not contribute to the quick completion of the operation," he told reporters.

Peskov was responding to a New York Times article on Wednesday that said intelligence provided by the United States has helped the Ukrainian military target "many" of the approximately dozen Russian generals who have been killed so far in the war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has tirelessly campaigned for help from allies, on Thursday launched a global crowdfunding platform to help Kyiv win the war and rebuild the country's infrastructure.

"In one click, you can donate funds to protect our defenders, to save our civilians and to rebuild Ukraine," Zelensky said in English in a video on his Twitter page, launching the United24 platform. "Every donation matters for victory." 

Hundreds of soldiers and civilians have been trapped in the factory's Soviet-era underground tunnels in what has become the last pocket of resistance in the area. 

"With the support of aircraft, Russia resumed the offensive in order to take control of the plant," it said.

Peskov said on Thursday that humanitarian corridors to get civilians out of Azovstal "are functioning today". 

- 'Bloody battles' -

Some 200 civilians are still believed to be stuck inside the huge plant, according to the mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko.

He also asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help "save" wounded troops in Azovstal.

A commander of the Azov battalion, leading the defence of Mariupol, said late Wednesday that Russian soldiers had entered the Azovstal plant and there were "ongoing, bloody battles." 

Elsewhere, the governor of the Donbas region Pavlo Kyrylenko said at least 25 civilians were wounded in an overnight Russian strike on the city of Kramatorsk.

As well as sending money and weapons to Ukraine, Kyiv's Western allies have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia to punish it for the invasion.

The European Union on Wednesday proposed a gradual ban on Russian oil imports, in what would be the bloc's toughest move yet over Moscow's invasion of its neighbour.

Hungary -- whose populist leader Viktor Orban is one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's few European partners -- said it could not support the plan "in this form", as it would "completely destroy" the security of its energy supply.

As May 9 approaches, the day when Russia marks the Soviet Union's victory over the Nazis in World War II, Ukraine suspects that Russia is planning to hold a military parade in Mariupol.

He is the first high-ranking EU official to propose the confiscation of oligarchs' assets, his spokesman confirmed to AFP.

Ukraine's government in April estimated the cost of rebuilding after the war to be at least $600 billion (565 billion euros).

Author: Editors Desk

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 Keywords: Ukraine, Russia

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