NU.nl provides you with an ongoing overview of the situation in Ukraine. This time: Russian troops shelled residential areas in Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown of Kriviy Rih on Saturday morning. The Ukrainian president visited the city on Friday, where he visited the front line. At the same time, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on the Chinese secretary to speak out against Russian aggression.
Ten rockets carrying cluster bombs were fired at the central city of Krivi Rih on Saturday morning. A local military commander said it most likely happened from a distance of more than 70 kilometers. Two people were killed and three others were injured.
To the east in the Donetsk region, a Russian attempt to attack the area around the Vuhlehirska power station was repelled, Ukrainian military general staff said.
Russian units are continuing their offensive in the western part of Lysizansk, the last town in eastern Luhansk region that Ukraine had to give up a week ago. Moscow appears to be concentrating its offensive on the Donetsk cities of Siversk, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Four more people were killed in an attack by Russia in Chiverskil on Saturday, it writes BBC†
The Russian military said it shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet in southern Russia on Saturday. A US weapons depot near Sasov Yar in Donetsk was also reportedly hit. Those claims have not been independently verified.
Firefighters put out a fire in Kramatorsk after a Russian missile hit it.
US Secretary of State speaks out against China’s impartiality
According to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, China cannot continue its neutrality as long as it supports Russia.
The foreign ministers of the United States and China met for five hours on Saturday on the Indonesian island of Bali. The G20 conference was held there for the past few days. It was the first time the two met since October. The aim was to prevent recent tensions from accidentally escalating into conflict.
Both the ministers felt positive about the meeting. According to Blinken, the talks were “helpful, honest and constructive”. His Chinese Premier Wang Yi said an agreement had been reached to improve relations.
However, Blinken strongly criticized China’s attitude towards Russia. Russia criticized at G20 summit, US secretary of state says it’s time to condemn China as “clear aggressor”.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during an earlier meeting in 2015.
Zelensky fires Ukrainian ambassador after Holocaust riots
Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk was dismissed on Saturday, President Zelensky said. Melnik has recently been accused of downplaying the Holocaust. He denied it, calling the allegations “absurd”.
Melnyk has been ambassador to Germany since 2015 and has been featured extensively in German media since the Russian invasion. He is also a frequent critic of the German government. He was discredited after he supported the controversial Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera in an interview.
Bandera was seen as a resistance fighter during the Soviet Union, but a collaborator during the Nazi occupation. Bandera’s radical nationalist group is responsible for racially motivated mass killings. Melnyk refused in the interview, which led to angry reactions, especially from Poland and Israel.
According to German media, Melnyk will now be offered a senior position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv. It has not been officially confirmed.
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