Vladimir Putin today held a colossal convention before great many ‘Z’ banner waving Russians packed into Moscow’s World Cup arena. The occasion was to check the commemoration of Russia’s illicit extension of Crimea in 2014, and saw the Russian strongman talk about the progress of his ‘exceptional activity’ in Ukraine. The white ‘Z’ has turned into an image of favorable to Russian patriotism since Putin sent off his ruthless intrusion of his neighbor on February 24, as it is painted on a significant number of Moscow’s tactical vehicles.
The supportive of war occasion was held to check the eighth commemoration of Russia’s unlawful extension of Crimea in 2014
Vladimir Putin today held an enormous meeting to set up help of his intrusion of Ukraine before large number of ‘Z’ banner waving Russians packed into Moscow’s Luzhniki World Cup arena.
The supportive of war occasion, which was immediately compared to assemblies held by previous US president Donald Trump, was held to stamp the eighth commemoration of Russia’s unlawful extension of Crimea in 2014, and saw the Russian strongman talk about the progress of his ‘exceptional activity’ in Ukraine.
Russia sent huge number of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 with an end goal to corrupt the tactical ability of its southern neighbor and root out individuals it called perilous patriots.
Ukrainian powers have mounted firm obstruction and the West has forced clearing sanctions on Russia with an end goal to drive it to pull out its powers.
The white ‘Z’ has turned into an image of supportive of Russian patriotism since Putin sent off his merciless intrusion of his neighbor on February 24, as it is painted on a large number of Moscow’s tactical vehicles.
As his bombs kept on falling only many miles away in Ukraine, Putin bragged Russia and Crimea’s ‘shared predetermination’, and adulated the promontory’s kin for casting a ballot in a mandate to be important for Russia – which was held while it was as yet involved by Russian soldiers.
‘We are joined by a similar fate,’ he said of individuals of Russia and Crimea. ‘This is the way individuals thought and that is the thing they were directed by when they had the mandate in Sevastopol.
They need to impart their verifiable fate to their homeland Russia – let us salute them on this event, it is their event. Congrats,’ he told immense cheers.
At a certain point in Putin’s discourse, the group could be heard reciting ‘Russia, Russia, Russia.’
Moscow police said in excess of 200,000 individuals were in and around the Luzhniki arena for the assembly.
The occasion included notable vocalist Oleg Gazmanov singing ‘Made in the U.S.S.R.,’ with the initial lines ‘Ukraine and Crimea, Belarus and Moldova, It’s all my country.’
Be that as it may, in an unusual second, Russian state TV abruptly remove from Putin mid-discourse on Friday, rather showing enthusiastic tunes being played at the occasion all things being equal. It seemed this was only a telecom mistake.
This is a letting the cat out of the bag story. More to follow…
Putin: ‘Motive of military operation to save people from suffering’
Pictured: Russia’s president Vladimir Putin appears before thousands of flag waving Russians for a pro-Russian rally today
Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a big screen as he delivers his speech at the concert marking the eighth anniversary of the referendum on the state status of Crimea and Sevastopol and its reunification with Russia, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 18, 2022
Captured: Crowds are seen outside the stadium on Friday. Moscow police said more than 200,000 people were in and around the Luzhniki stadium for the rally
The event was held after Russian airstrikes pounded the city of Lviv in the west of Ukraine this morning, with Russia strikes getting closer to NATO-member Poland in Putin’s bloody-minded invasion of his neighbour.
Andriy Sadovyi, mayor of Lviv, said two Russian missiles launched from the Black Sea – likely by warships – had destroyed an aircraft repair facility and a bus garage close to the airport, but there were no immediate reports of casualties because both facilities were shut down. Four incoming missiles were shot down, he added.
Lviv has largely been spared the devastation wreaked by Russia on cities further to the east but is now being dragged into the fighting as Putin’s advance grinds to a halt – forcing his generals to launch long-range strikes on cities in an attempt to weaken their defences and terrorise civilians. Kyiv was also struck in the early hours.
Russia‘s invasion is now grinding into its third week with heavy losses for Moscow, prompting the US warns that Putin will increasingly resort to nuclear threats in order to keep the West out of the conflict because he will no longer be able to rely on the strength of his conventional forces – which will be weakened in the fighting.
Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, director of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress yesterday: ‘As this war and its consequences slowly weaken Russian conventional strength, Russia likely will increasingly rely on its nuclear deterrent to signal the West and project strength to its internal and external audiences.’
While Berrier specified that the nuclear threats will be directed at the West, he also warned that Russia appears determined to increase its attacks on Ukraine as well – with the aim of forcing Kyiv to sign a peace deal favorable to Moscow rather than accept an embarrassing compromise.
‘Despite greater than anticipated resistance from Ukraine and relatively high losses in the initial phases of the conflict, Moscow appears determined to press forward by using more lethal capabilities until the Ukrainian government is willing to come to terms favorable to Moscow,’ he said.
A man with a cat evacuates from a building damaged by shelling, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues in Kyiv
Residents of Lviv have told of their shock at the Russian missile attack on their ‘safe-haven’ city. Families living in a housing estate close to the bomb strike described how buildings shook and windows rattled from the explosion.
Professional dancer Anna Malchevska, 25, told MailOnline: ‘I was woken up by the explosions, there were four of them. The windows were shaking and the building was shaking. It must have been about 6 o’clock this morning.
‘There was no warning. No air raid siren, just boom, boom. Then I looked out of the window and there was a huge plume of black smoke.’
Ira Melnyk, 60, who is retired, said: ‘I’m not sleeping at the moment because of all the stress of the war. ‘So when I heard the first explosion I pick up my dog and rushed into the bathroom where it’s safer.
‘The building was shaking and the windows were rattling. It was awful. When I went up the window I could see a plume of black smoke. It was really scary.’
Father Andriy Mousiyiyev told how he no longer takes his children to the bomb shelter after surviving the bombing raids in his home city of Kharkiv. He told MailOnline: ‘We came from Kharkiv where we lived under the bombs for days on end. We thought we had escaped the war when we got here to Lviv about a week ago.
‘But now the war is everywhere. We have young children do we don’t go to the shelter every time the air raid sirens go off. So this morning we were in the flat when the bombs went off. It was about 6.10. The children were not frightened. They just want to go home to Kharkiv, we all do.’
In city after city around Ukraine, hospitals, schools and buildings where people sought safety from the bombardment have been attacked.
Rescue workers searched for survivors in the ruins of a theater that served as a shelter when it was blown apart by a Russian airstrike in the besieged southern city of Mariupol.
And in Merefa, near the northeast city of Kharkiv, at least 21 people were killed when Russian artillery destroyed a school and a community center, a local official said.
In the northern city of Chernihiv, dozens of bodies were brought to the morgue in just one day.
As Russia’s ground advance has stalled under fierce Ukrainian resistance, Moscow has increasingly turned to air and long-range strikes to gain the upper hand.
According to Pentagon estimates, Russia has now fired over 1,000 missiles at Ukrainian targets since the war began three weeks ago.
In the early hours of Friday air raid alarms again rung in cities from Kyiv in the north to Odessa in the south and Kharkiv in the east.
Ukraine’s government listed a kindergarten and market in Kharkiv among the latest targets.
In his latest late-night video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted the situation in several Ukrainian cities was ‘difficult.’
But, he said,
‘we will not leave you behind and we will not forgive them. You will be free.’
Hoping to sustain the fight, he has beseeched allies for more assistance – even as an arsenal of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles flood into the country.
Slovakia confirmed it is willing to provide powerful Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Ukraine, but only on the condition that it receive a substitute from NATO allies.
On Wednesday Zelensky told German lawmakers that Russia was throwing up another ‘Berlin Wall’, a dividing line between ‘freedom and bondage’ in Europe.
‘And this wall is growing bigger with every bomb,’ he added.
That dividing line is currently drawn around 15 kilometres from Kyiv, where Russian troops are still trying to surround the capital in a slow-moving offensive.
On Wednesday AFP journalists witnessed Ukrainian and Russian forces trade shell and rocket fire to the northwest of the city.
Civilians ran for cover as shelling set fire to a building near a warehouse.
Inside the warehouse’s car park, a Ukrainian soldier carrying a rifle ran in a crouch as gunshots crackled through the air.
A man carried a prone child in his arms into a nearby block of flats, and at least five ambulances raced towards the scene.
‘Our beautiful Odessa,’ said Lyudmila, an elegant elderly woman wearing bright lipstick, as she looked apologetically at her city’s empty, barricaded streets.
‘But thank God we are holding on! Everyone is holding on!’
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that American officials were evaluating potential war crimes and that if the intentional targeting of civilians by Russia is confirmed, there will be
The United Nations political chief, Undersecretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, also called for an investigation into civilian casualties, reminding the U.N. Security Council that international humanitarian law bans direct attacks on civilians.
She said many of the daily attacks battering Ukrainian cities ‘are reportedly indiscriminate’ and involve the use of ‘explosive weapons with a wide impact area.’ DiCarlo said the devastation in Mariupol and Kharkiv ‘raises grave fears about the fate of millions of residents of Kyiv and other cities facing intensifying attacks.’
In Mariupol, hundreds of civilians were said to have taken shelter in a grand, columned theater in the city’s center when it was hit Wednesday by a Russian airstrike. More than a day later, there were no reports of deaths and conflicting reports on whether anyone had emerged from the rubble. Communications are disrupted across the city and movement is difficult because of shelling and other fighting.
Satellite imagery on Monday from Maxar Technologies showed huge white letters on the pavement outside the theater spelling out ‘CHILDREN’ in Russian – ‘DETI’ – to alert warplanes to the vulnerable people hiding inside.
‘We hope and we think that some people who stayed in the shelter under the theater could survive,’
Petro Andrushchenko, an official with the mayor’s office, told The Associated Press. He said the building had a relatively modern basement bomb shelter designed to withstand airstrikes. Other officials said earlier that some people had gotten out.
Video and photos provided by the Ukrainian military showed that the at least three-story building had been reduced to a roofless shell, with some exterior walls collapsed.
Across the city, snow flurries fell around the skeletons of burned, windowless and shrapnel-scarred apartment buildings as smoke rose above the skyline.
‘We are trying to survive somehow,’
said one Mariupol resident, who gave only her first name, Elena.
‘My child is hungry. I don’t know what to give him to eat.’
She had been trying to call her mother, who was in a town 50 miles (80 kilometers) away.
‘I can’t tell her I am alive, you understand. There is no connection, just nothing,’ she said.
Cars, some with the ‘Z’ symbol of the Russian invasion force in their windows, drove past stacks of ammunition boxes and artillery shells in a neighborhood controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
Russia’s military denied bombing the theater or anyplace else in Mariupol on Wednesday.
In Chernihiv, at least 53 people were brought to morgues over 24 hours, killed amid heavy Russian air attacks and ground fire, the local governor, Viacheslav Chaus, told Ukrainian TV on Thursday.
Ukrainian soldiers take cover from incoming artillery fire in Irpin, the outskirts of Kyiv
Ukraine’s emergency services said a mother, father and three of their children, including 3-year-old twins, were killed when a Chernihiv hostel was shelled. Civilians were hiding in basements and shelters across the embattled city of 280,000.
‘The city has never known such nightmarish, colossal losses and destruction,’
The World Health Organization said it has verified 43 attacks on hospitals and health facilities, with 12 people killed and 34 injured.
In remarks early Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was thankful to President Joe Biden for additional military aid, but he would not get into specifics about the new package, saying he did not want Russia to know what to expect. He said when the invasion began on Feb. 24, Russia expected to find Ukraine much as it did in 2014, when Russia seized Crimea without a fight and backed separatists as they took control of the eastern Donbas region.
Instead, he said, Ukraine had much stronger defenses than expected, and Russia
‘didn’t know what we had for defense or how we prepared to meet the blow.’
In a joint statement, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading economies accused Putin of conducting an
‘unprovoked and shameful war,’
and called on Russia to comply with the International Court of Justice’s order to stop its attack and withdraw its forces.
Both Ukraine and Russia this week reported some progress in negotiations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that some negotiators were breaking into working groups.
Zelenskyy said he would not reveal Ukraine’s negotiating tactics.
‘Working more in silence than on television, radio or on Facebook,’
‘I consider it the right way.’
While details of Thursday’s talks were unknown, an official in Zelenskyy’s office told the AP that on Wednesday, the main subject discussed was whether Russian troops would remain in separatist regions in eastern Ukraine after the war and where the borders would be.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive talks, said Ukraine was insisting on the inclusion of one or more Western nuclear powers in the negotiations and on legally binding security guarantees for Ukraine.
In exchange, the official said, Ukraine was ready to discuss a neutral military status.
Russia has demanded that NATO pledge never to admit Ukraine to the alliance or station forces there.he fighting has led more than 3 million people to flee Ukraine, the U.N. estimates. The death toll remains unknown, though Ukraine has said thousands of civilians have died.