Ukraine: Rear Admiral Chris Parry on current situation
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Russian state TV has seen a furious clash between the chief of Kremlin-backed station Russian Today, Margarita Simonyam, and her fellow guests over the progress of Putin’s war in Ukraine. Ms Simonyan launched into a furious rant after a fellow guest seemed to “complain” about the slow progress of Russia’s military operation.
Ms Simonyan told Russian state tv: “We’re waging war against NATO.
“We’re fighting a huge, armed enemy.
“Maybe it is not that simple for Russia to fight all of NATO over there.
“There must be objective reasons as to why we haven’t won yet.
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“We should be helping our army and our Commander-in-Chief to persuasively win.
“Rather than complaining that they are yet to win in 49 days.
“I didn’t complain! I didn’t complain,” defended her fellow guest.
“You complained they were indecisive!,” snapped Ms Simonyan.
Ukraine: Expert details Russia’s ‘ground assault’
Russia gave Ukrainian fighters holding out in Mariupol a new ultimatum to surrender by Wednesday afternoon as it pushed for a decisive victory in its offensive in the east, while Western governments promised to give Ukraine more military help.
Thousands of Russian troops backed by artillery and rocket barrages were attempting to advance in what Ukrainian officials have called the Battle of the Donbas – a final push by Moscow to seize two eastern provinces it claims on behalf of separatists.
Russia’s nearly eight-week-long invasion has failed to capture any of Ukraine’s largest cities. Moscow was forced to retreat from northern Ukraine after an assault on Kyiv was repelled last month, but has poured troops back in for an assault on the east that began this week.
The biggest attack on a European state since 1945 has led to nearly 5 million people fleeing abroad and reduced cities to rubble.
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In the ruins of Mariupol, the site of the war’s heaviest fighting and worst humanitarian catastrophe, Russia was hitting the last main Ukrainian stronghold, the Azovstal steel plant, with bunker-buster bombs, Kyiv said. Ukraine says hundreds of civilians are sheltering beneath the factory.
“The world watches the murder of children online and remains silent,” presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
Russia has been trying to take full control of Mariupol since the war’s first days. Its capture would be a big strategic prize, linking territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimea region that Moscow annexed in 2014.
But not a single Ukrainian soldier had laid down their weapons after an ultimatum to surrender lapsed on Tuesday, Russia’s defence ministry said.
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