Thursday, 21 September 2023 04:19

What to know after Day 574 of Russia-Ukraine war

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WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

Blasts heard in Kyiv, other parts of Ukraine

Blasts could be heard in Kyiv after an air raid alert on Thursday morning, Reuters witnesses said, as authorities sent rescue teams to at least two locations in the Ukrainian capital.

Air defences are at work and rescuers are on their way to possible blast sites in the city's eastern and southern districts, city Mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Missile debris fell in central Kyiv and non-residential buildings were damaged in the east, causing a fire, he said, with some people seeking medical help.

Officials and local media also reported blasts in Ukraine's Kharkiv, Khmelnytskiy, Rivne, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

** Notable remarks on Ukraine at UN Security Council

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday attended a U.N. Security Council meeting in person for the first time since Russia invaded in February 2022. Following are notable quotes from the meeting:

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY:

"Unfortunately, this seat in the Security Council, which Russia occupies illegally, through backstage manipulations following the collapse of the Soviet Union, has been taken by liars whose job is to whitewash the aggression and the genocide being carried on by Russia.

"Therefore, the U.N. General Assembly should be given a real power to overcome the veto. This will be the first necessary step. It is impossible to stop the war because all efforts are vetoed by the aggressor."

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN:

"It's hard to imagine a country demonstrating more contempt for the United Nations and all that it stands for - this from a country with a permanent seat on this council.

"President Putin is betting that if he keeps doubling down on the violence, that if he's willing to inflict enough suffering on enough people, the world will cave on its principles and Ukraine will stop defending itself.

"But Ukrainians are not giving up for they've seen what life would look like if they submit to Russian control."

RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV:

"Today, the West turns selectively to norms and principles (on) a case-by-case basis exclusively based on their parochial geopolitical needs. This has resulted in a shaking of global stability as well as the exacerbation and the fomenting of new hotbeds of tension, (and) risks of global conflict."

CHINA'S VICE FOREIGN MINISTER MA ZHAOXU:

"The Ukraine crisis has dealt a heavy blow to world economic recovery and global development and severely affected the world food, energy and financial security. Developing countries are the first to bear the blunt brunt.

"Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction and protect the security and the smooth operation of global production and supply chains."

ECUADOREAN PRESIDENT GUILLERMO LASSO:

"When this organization was built, we the peoples of the United Nations determined to preserve and spare future generations from the scourge of war.

"How can we uphold the principles and purposes of the UN Charter for effective multilateralism and at the same time invade a neighboring country or not condemn that invasion?"

GHANA'S PRESIDENT NANA AKUFO-ADDO:

"Russia's aggression against Ukraine is plainly wrong.

"The war is having an increasingly devastating toll on the people in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world.

"The only pathway for a comprehensive peace ... is one that must be just and based on the charter of the United Nations, and international law."

SWISS PRESIDENT ALAIN BERSET:

"With Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, the (U.N.) Charter has been violated on a massive scale. Yet Russia ... has been denying its responsibility. Its responsibility for the thousands of dead and wounded in Ukraine. Its responsibility for the millions of displaced persons. And finally its responsibility for all those plunged into deep insecurity wherever they are in the world, including incidentally in Russia."

JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER FUMIO KISHIDA:

"We condemn in the strongest terms Russia's aggression against Ukraine, which is a clear violation of international law including the U.N. Charter. The aggression must be stopped immediately and the troops must be withdrawn, right now, and unconditionally.

"The occupation and militarization of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant pose a threat to world peace and stability. Russia's nuclear threats, let alone its use of nuclear weapons, are unacceptable."

 

RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE

Kiev’s ‘terrorist attacks’ foiled in several regions – MOD

Russian troops have thwarted Kiev’s plan to conduct “terrorist attacks” in several regions using drones, the Russian Defense Ministry said in the early hours of Thursday. 

According to the MOD, 19 UAVs were “destroyed” over Crimea and the Black Sea. It added that Kursk, Belgorod and Oryol regions were each attacked by a single drone, all of which were intercepted mid-air.

Telegram channel Mash reported that residents heard “explosions” and the sound of anti-air weapons in several locations in Crimea, describing the drone attack as “the most massive one yet.”

On Wednesday, Ukrainian troops shelled the village of Maksimovka, killing a civilian and wounding one more person, Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. A woman was injured during an attack on the village of Tyotkino on Monday, according to Kursk Governor Roman Starovoyt.

Kiev has stepped up drone and missile attacks on Russian territory in recent months, as Ukraine’s ground counteroffensive launched in early June failed to yield any significant victories. On September 13, cruise missiles struck a shipyard in Sevastopol in Crimea, damaging two Russian naval vessels.

** Putin never insults people, Kremlin spokesman says about chances of responding to Biden

Russian President Vladimir Putin never allows himself to stoop to insults, Kremlin Dmitry Peskov said when asked about the chances of a stern response to US President Joe Biden who had described Putin as a "dictator."

"You know that our president never stoops to this - to the level of personal insults against his colleagues. He certainly has his own opinion about this style of rhetoric. But the president, I repeat again, has never stooped to this and will not do so," Peskov said.

According to the spokesman, what is most important is that Putin is supported by the overwhelming majority of Russians, as has been confirmed more than once during presidential elections.

"In his entire career as a politician, Biden has never once garnered the same level of support as Putin. This is what he should probably strive for," Peskov said.

He said Biden faces "a very, very difficult election."

"We understand that the US is now actively clearing the electoral field of undesirable competition. But we have our own concerns, which we will be dealing with," the spokesman said.

 

Reuters/RT/Tass

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