NU.nl regularly gives you an overview of the situation in Ukraine. This time: on Saturday morning, Russian forces bombed residential areas of Kryvyi Rih, the city where Volodymyr Zelensky was born. The Ukrainian president visited the city on Friday when he also visited the front line. At the same time, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on his Chinese counterpart to speak out against Russian aggression.
Ten rockets with cluster munitions were fired on Saturday morning at the industrial and industrial city of Kryvyi Ri, located in the center of the country. The local army commander said this likely happened from more than 70 kilometers away. Two people were killed and three others were wounded by shrapnel.
To the east in the Donetsk region, an attempt by Russia to storm the area around the Vohlherska power plant was repulsed, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army said.
Russian units continue their offensive west of Lyschansk, the last city in the eastern Luhansk region that Ukraine had to abandon a week ago. Moscow appears to be focusing its attack on the Donetsk cities of Siversk, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Four more people were killed in a Russian attack in Seversk on Saturday, writes BBC†
The Russian military announced that it had shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet in the south of the country on Saturday. It was also said that a US arms depot near Chasov Yar in Donetsk had been bombed. These claims have not been independently verified.
Firefighters put out a fire in Kramatorsk after Russian missiles fell.
US Secretary Speaks Against China’s Neutrality
According to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, China cannot continue to maintain its neutrality as long as it continues to support Russia.
The foreign ministers of the United States and China met for five hours on Saturday on the Indonesian island of Bali. The G-20 summit has been held there in recent days. This was the first time since October that the two met. The goal was to prevent recent tensions from inadvertently turning into conflict.
Both ministers felt positive about the meeting. According to Blinken, the conversations were “helpful, honest and constructive.” His Chinese counterpart Wang Yi said an agreement had been reached to improve relations.
However, Blinken sharply criticized the Chinese attitude towards Russia. Russia was criticized at the G-20 summit, and, according to the US Secretary of State, it is now time for China to condemn the “obvious aggressor”.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his US counterpart Anthony Blinken during a previous meeting in 2015.
Zelensky fires Ukrainian ambassador after Holocaust riots
President Zelensky said Andrei Melnik, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, was fired on Saturday. Melnik has recently been accused of downplaying the Holocaust. He denied this and described the allegations as “ridiculous”.
Melnik has been ambassador to Germany since 2015 and has appeared widely in German media since the Russian invasion. He is also regularly critical of the German government. He lost credibility because he defended controversial Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera in an interview.
Bandera is seen as a resistance hero during the Soviet Union, but was seen as a collaborator during the Nazi occupation. The radical nationalist group Bandera is responsible for ethnically motivated mass murders. Melnik denied this in the interview, which led to angry reactions, especially from Poland and Israel.
According to German media, Melnik will now be given a senior position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv. This has not been officially confirmed.
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