South Africa

Russia stops gas flow to Finland, says siege of Mariupol steel plant – according to SABC News

Russia has cut off gas supplies to Finland due to escalating controversy over energy payments with Western countries and has won a battle at the Mariupol-Azov-Stala steel plant for weeks while pushing for control of Donbass.

Russia has also launched the seemingly the a great attack to occupy the last remaining Ukrainian territory In Luhansk, one of the two provinces that make up the southeastern region of Donbas: where Russian-backed separatists controlled large areas even before the February 24 invasion.

The Russian defense ministry announced on Friday that it had surrendered to the last Ukrainian forces at the steel plant in Azovstall, the Russian defense ministry said, ending the bloodiest siege of the war.

The ministry said 2,439 defenders have surrendered in recent days, including 531 in the final group.

Formerly President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said the Ukrainian army told the last defenders of the steelworks that they could get out and save their lives.. The Ukrainians did not immediately confirm Azovstal’s data.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces did not comment on Russia’s demand in an update on Saturday morning.

The fighting ended in Mariupol, Russia’s largest city to date, with Russian President Vladimir Putin winning a rare victory in the invasion after a series of failures in nearly three months of fighting.

Zelensky told local television that although the fighting will be bloody and victory will be difficult, the end will only be through diplomacy.

“For them, all these victories, the occupation of Crimea or Donbass are very temporary. And it will all come back – this is our area, ”he said on Saturday.

Full control of Mariupol will hand over to Russia the land route connecting the Crimea, occupied by Moscow in 2014, with mainland Russia and the territories of eastern Ukraine owned by pro-Russian separatists.

The Red Cross has announced that it has registered hundreds of Ukrainians who have surrendered to the Mariupol steel plant as prisoners of war, and Kyiv says it wants to exchange prisoners. Moscow says prisoners will be treated humanely, but Russian politicians say some need to be brought to justice or executed.

Gas dispute

Meanwhile, Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM) on Saturday, it stopped gas exports to neighboring Finland after refusing to agree to Russian demands to pay in rubles for Russian gas supplies due to Western sanctions imposed on the invasion of Ukraine.

The move came days after Finland and Sweden decided to join NATO’s military alliance, a decision prompted by the war in Ukraine.

The Finnish state-owned gas wholesaler Gasum, the Finnish government and some gas-consuming companies in Finland have said they are prepared to cut off Russian gas flows and the country will cope without it.

Most European supply contracts are denominated in euros or dollars, and Moscow cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland last month after they refused to comply with the new payment terms.

In addition to trying to isolate Russia through sanctions, Western nations have stepped up arms transfers to Ukraine since the invasion. Kyiv received another huge boost on Saturday when U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill on nearly $ 40 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid to the country.

Moscow says Western arms deliveries to Kiev and the imposition of drastic sanctions constitute a “proxy war” between the United States and its allies.

The Russian army said on Saturday that it had destroyed a major Western arms shipment in Ukraine, west of Kiev, in the Zhytomyr region, using Kalib cruise missiles launched from the sea.

Reuters as an independent was unable to verify the report, according to which Russian missiles collided with fuel depots on the Black Sea coast near Odesa and shot down two Ukrainian Su-25 aircraft and 14 drones.

According to Putin, Russian troops are taking part in a “special operation” to demilitarize Ukraine and free it from radical anti-Russian nationalists. Western countries call it an unprovoked war of aggression.

In Ukraine, thousands of people died and urban areas were shattered in the war. Almost a third of Ukraine’s population has left their homes, including more than 6 million.

Offensive in Luhansk

Russia, which announced in late March that it would focus its military efforts on them took control of Donbasslaunched a serious attack to occupy the territory occupied by the remaining Ukrainians in Luhansk.

The governor of the Luhansk region in Serhiy Gaidai said in a post in the social media on Saturday morning that Russia was trying to destroy the city of Sevierodonetsk and fighting was taking place on the outskirts of the city.

“The cannon shooting lasts from morning to night and all night,” Gaidai said in a video posted in the Telegram messaging app.

Despite losing ground elsewhere in recent weeks, Russian forces have advanced on the Luhansk front.

The city of Sevierodonetsk and Lisichansk’s twin pair on the other side of the Siversky-Donetsk River form the eastern part of a Ukrainian-held pocket that Russia has been trying to run down since mid-April after failing to occupy Kiev.

Russia stops gas flow to Finland, says siege of Mariupol steel plant – according to SABC News

Source link Russia stops gas flow to Finland, says siege of Mariupol steel plant – according to SABC News

Back to top button