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NATO accuses Russia of a false withdrawal to attack kyiv

Ukrainian soldiers, at a checkpoint north of kyiv. / Reuters/Video: EP

The West is suspicious of the Kremlin’s intentions and cools expectations of a peace agreement that will end the war

On February 15, nine days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moscow said it was withdrawing its troops from the border. “We don’t see any real movement. There is still a great deployment, ”said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg shortly. A month and a half later, with an open war that has already caused thousands of deaths, the Alliance still does not trust the Kremlin’s words. “We don’t see any real change on the ground. Everything indicates that the Russian forces are reorganizing,” Stoltenberg said Thursday.

The first round of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul ended with progress that fueled the hope of achieving a ceasefire. However, kyiv, NATO and even Moscow confirmed on Thursday that Russian troops are not withdrawing, they are only moving to focus their offensive on Donbas. And, in the north of the country, this Thursday bombs continued to fall hours after Russia had promised to reduce attacks to “increase mutual trust.”

Once again, Russia lied. “She has repeatedly lied about her intentions. We must judge his actions and not his words,” Stoltenberg stressed. “We see little willingness from Russia to seek a political solution (…). Keep looking for a military way out, “warned the Norwegian.

The United States and Ukraine are also suspicious. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pointed out that what the Kremlin says is one thing and what it does is another. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, warned of Russian movements towards Donbas in a video and assured that “we do not believe anyone.”

Putin to recruit 134,500 more soldiers

The lack of trust between the two parties cools the expectations of success of the peace negotiations, in which kyiv had agreed to renounce its entry into NATO, provided that Western countries guarantee its security. The dialogue will resume this Friday and Turkey is already working to organize another meeting in less than two weeks in Istanbul.

For the moment, with the peace talks in dry dock, kyiv can only resist using force. The Ukrainian Army has already exceeded the expectations of Putin, who expected a quick offensive with almost no resistance, but needs “additional” military help. Zelensky conveyed this to US President Joe Biden on Thursday in a telephone conversation, after which the US approved $500 million in direct aid to Ukraine.

Zelensky continues to seek the support of allied countries and insists on the need to have tanks, planes and anti-missile systems to contain the invader. “Liberty must be as armed as tyranny,” he said in the video broadcast on Thursday.

Despite the fact that NATO has repeatedly assured that it will not intervene directly in the conflict, military training for Ukrainian troops has been crucial in stopping the Russian advance. The EU has also shown its support with a €1 billion aid package to deliver lethal weapons, fuel and humanitarian aid to the country.

Russian economic strategy

While the Ukrainian forces resist, the Kremlin tries to achieve military, political and economic gains. In the global market, Russia is completely isolated – except for its trade relationship with China. With half of the reserves of the Central Bank of Russia frozen, the ban on imports of certain raw materials and electronic components, and the EU’s attempts to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, the West is tightening the fence.

In an attempt to break the deck, Putin will launch a mechanism this Friday that allows him to receive rubles for the gas he imports into Europe. Last week, the Russian leader demanded that the Twenty-seven pay their bill in this currency, instead of in euros or dollars as usual.

Now, those considered “hostile countries” – for imposing sanctions on Russia – must create accounts in the Russian bank Gazprombank, one of the few entities not sanctioned, which will allow Moscow to receive the money in rubles. Just for its energy exports to the EU, Russia receives 800 million euros a day. As of today, 72.021 million rubles.

300 Russian soldiers affected by radiation evacuated from Chernobyl

The military had removed radioactive dust with their tanks or by digging trenches in the area known as the ‘red forest’, next to the sarcophagus of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. This is what witnesses detailed to the Reuters agency this Thursday, when Moscow proceeded to withdraw some 300 soldiers who had been in the area for weeks and who were taken to hospitals due to high levels of radiation. kyiv confirmed this move.

Topics

Vladimir Putin, Volodimir Zelenski, NATO, European Union (EU), China, United States, Istanbul, kyiv, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Russian veto of European products

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