Ukraine: Ukraine Collects Russian Dead as War Continues on Multiple Fronts

KYIV: The bodies of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine have been taken to a rail yard on the outskirts of Kyiv and stacked with hundreds of others in a refrigerated train, awaiting the time they can be shipped back to their families.
“Most of them were brought from the kyiv region, there are some from the Chernihiv region and from other regions as well,” Volodymyr Lyamzin, the top civil-military liaison officer, told Reuters on Friday as stretcher bearers dressed in white, head to head The toe-protective suits lifted body bags onto the cars.
He said refrigerated trains stationed in other regions of Ukraine were being used for the same grim purpose.
While there have been no reliable estimates of the scale of Russia’s losses, the scene filmed by Reuters provided a bitter taste of the price President Vladimir Putin has been paying since ordering the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
A day earlier, Ukraine’s military released aerial photos of the burned and abandoned remains of a Russian armored column caught trying to cross a river in the Donbas region, which has become the main battlefield.
Reuters was unable to verify the Ukrainian report, but the British Defense Ministry said a pontoon bridge and parts of an armored battalion had been destroyed on the Siverskyi Donets River, while Russian forces were trying to breach defenses elsewhere in the Donbas.
“We are entering a new and long phase of the war,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a Facebook post, predicting “extremely tough weeks” in which Ukraine would be largely alone against an “aggressor.” enraged”.
Making their fastest territorial gains since forcing Russian invaders to abandon an advance on kyiv more than a month ago, Ukrainian forces have driven their enemies away from the second-largest city, Kharkiv.
The northeastern city, which had been under fierce bombardment, has been quiet for at least two weeks. Reuters journalists have confirmed that Ukraine controls the territory that extends to the Siverskyi Donets River, some 40 km (25 miles) to the east.
However, Moscow continues to shell nearby towns, including Dergachi, some 10 km (six miles) north of Kharkiv.
“I can’t call it anything other than a terrorist act,” Dergachi Mayor Vyacheslav Zadorenko told Reuters after missiles hit a building used to distribute aid.
Russia, which denies targeting civilians, said its forces attacked an arms depot, shot down a Ukrainian Su-27 plane in the Kharkiv region and disabled the Kremenchuk oil refinery in central Ukraine.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the claims.
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Putin’s most tangible success has been capturing a swath of territory along the southern coast to link the Crimean peninsula, which Russia seized in 2014, with the southeastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where Russian separatists have fought. against Ukrainian forces for years.
Even there, his forces were still trying to extinguish the last bastion of resistance at the Azovstal plant in the southern port city of Mariupol.
Many of those still in the steel mill are members of the Azov Regiment. Deputy Commander Sviatoslav Palamar said Friday that his forces would continue to hold out as long as they could.
“Our enemy, supported by aircraft and artillery, continues to attack. They continue to assault our positions, but we continue to push them back,” he said in an online forum broadcast on YouTube.
Ukraine has offered to evacuate 38 of the most severely wounded defenders and, in return, has offered to release a number of Russian prisoners of war.
“At the moment very complex negotiations are taking place on the next phase of the evacuation mission – the removal of seriously injured doctors,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a late-night speech.
Anna Kuznetsova, deputy head of Russia’s Duma, or lower house of parliament, visited Kherson and offered assistance to residents of the small southern Ukrainian town seized in the first week of the invasion, state news agency RIA reported on Saturday.
There has also been renewed fighting around Snake Island, a strategically located islet that controls vital shipping lanes in the Black Sea.
The Kremlin calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation” to demilitarize a neighbor that threatens its security. Ukraine says it poses no threat to Russia and that the deaths of thousands of civilians and the destruction of cities and towns show that Russia is waging a war of aggression.
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In their first conversation since the invasion, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke by phone Friday with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, seeking an immediate ceasefire and stressing the importance of open lines. Communication.
A day after Finland pledged to apply for NATO membership, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde also advocated her country’s membership, although NATO member Turkey has raised objections.
Joining the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance would end the neutrality the two states have maintained during the Cold War. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his invasion of Ukraine was aimed at preventing he has said one of the war’s goals was to prevent further expansion of the 30-nation Western military group.
Meeting in Germany, the foreign ministers of the group of rich G7 countries backed the delivery of more aid and weapons to Ukraine, and the head of foreign policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, announced another 500 million euros (520 million dollars) in military support that the EU should approve next week. members
Borrell expressed confidence that the bloc would agree to an embargo on Russian oil, although Hungary is demanding compensation before committing.

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