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Bonpara Natore Dhaka Zelenskyy says Ukraine invasion only the beginning

On Friday, Russia’s Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekayev disclosed that Moscow’s goal is to fully control Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region as well as southern Ukraine as part of the second phase of the invasion. It was, however, unclear if the comments reflected official policy from Russia.

He also claimed, without evidence, that the Russian-speaking population in Transnistria was being oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Ukraine’s Zelenskyy said late Friday that the comments meant that Russia had ambitions to invade other nearby nations.\

 

Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said Saturday that Russia has resumed its offensive against forces in Azovstal, a steelworks and the last Ukrainian stronghold in the besieged city of Mariupol.

“The enemy is trying to strangle the final resistance of the defenders of Mariupol in the Azovstal area,” Arestovych said on national television, according to Reuters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week ordered his military to ditch a plan to storm the Azovstal steel plant, where several thousand Ukrainian troops as well as civilians are encamped, opting instead to continue to seal off the facility via blockade.

Matt Clinch

Evacuations from Mariupol to start at midday, deputy PM says

Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, said Saturday that evacuations from the besieged city of Mariupol would commence at midday local time if all went to plan, according to Reuters.

“Today, we again will be trying to evacuate women, children and the elderly,” she said in a social media post.

Moldova expresses deep concern over Russian military commander comments

Moldova’s Foreign Ministry says it has summoned its Moscow ambassador and has expressed deep concern about comments made by a top Russian military commander.

Russia’s Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekayev had claimed, without evidence, that the Russian-speaking population in Transnistria was being oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Russian forces have been stationed in Transnistria since the 1990s, and Kyiv has warned that Moscow could stage false flag operations there to justify an invasion.

Moldova’s Foreign Ministry updated a statement onto its website saying “these statements are unfounded and contradict the position of the Russian Federation supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, within its internationally recognized borders.”

—Matt Clinch

Zelenskyy says Ukraine invasion ‘only the beginning’

In his regular nightly address, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed comments made by a Russian military official on Friday.

Russia’s Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekayev had earlier disclosed that Moscow’s goal is to fully control Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region as well as southern Ukraine as part of the second phase of the invasion. It was, however, unclear if the comments reflected official policy from Russia.

Minnekayev claimed, without evidence, that the Russian-speaking population in Transnistria was being oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Russian forces have been stationed in Transnistria since the 1990s, and Kyiv has warned that Moscow could stage false flag operations there to justify an invasion.

Zelenskyy said late Friday that the comments meant that Russia had ambitions to invade other nearby nations. “The invasion of Ukraine is only the beginning. Then they want to invade other countries,” he said, according to a NBC News translation. 

“Of course, we will defend ourselves for as long as necessary in order to break this ambition of the Russian Federation. But all the peoples that believe in the victory of life over death like we do, have to fight alongside us, have to help us,” he added.

“Because it’s us who became the first ones on this path. But who is next? If those who can be next want to remain neutral today in order to not lose something, in reality it is the riskiest bet, because you will lose everything.”

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