The British Ministry of Defense said, on Sunday, that the poor performance of the Russian armed forces during its invasion of Ukraine appeared to lead to a change of leadership.
The ministry said General Alexander Vladimirovich Dvornikov, who had been assigned the general command of the operation in Ukraine, was dismissed from his post last week. The ministry said General Colonel Alexander Zhuravlev, who has commanded Russia’s Western Military District since 2018, missed the Russian Navy’s day in St. Petersburg a week ago and is likely to have been replaced. in her assessment of the war.
The ministry said that another general had been relieved of commanding the Southern Assembly forces.
“These separations were compounded by the deaths of at least 10 Russian generals on the battlefield in Ukraine,” the assessment said. “The cumulative effect on command consistency is likely to contribute to Russia’s tactical and operational difficulties.”
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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken kicked off his three-nation Africa tour on Sunday in South Africa, one of several countries on the continent that have remained neutral regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and French President Emmanuel Macron have also visited Africa in recent weeks, seeking support for their positions on the war.
District Governor Serhiy Heidi reports that five civilians were killed in recent Russian and separatist attacks on cities in the Donetsk region, a part of Donbass still under Ukrainian control.
Local officials say the city of Mykolaiv, an important shipbuilding center near Ukraine’s largest port in Odessa, now faces daily Russian bombing.
The Russian invasion that began on February 24 is “about to enter a new phase” in which fighting is shifting west and south along a 217-mile line stretching from near Zaporozhye to the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, the British Ministry of Defense. He said.
One prominent senator from each party is pushing the Biden administration to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism over its invasion of Ukraine, and they are jointly taking their case to the airwaves.
Democrat Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, both with more than a decade in the Senate, told CNN Sunday that if President Joe Biden does not stand behind the designation, they will work to get Congress to pass a bill. single edition. Such appointments are usually made by the State Department.
“I hope the president will decide to voluntarily adopt this position, and not take it off the table,” Blumenthal said.
Graham, who served in the Senate with Biden, has been more focused on trying to persuade the president to put more pressure on Russia by adding it to the The current US list of state sponsors of terrorismWhich includes Iran, North Korea, Syria and Cuba. Listing will result in four categories of penalties.
“Whether or not we have to legislate to make that happen – we’re ready for it,” Graham said. “I’m urging the administration to act now.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who described the idea of designating her country as a sponsor of terrorism as “stupid” and “naive”, threatened to sever diplomatic relations between the two countries if the United States took such a decision.
“Washington finally risks crossing the point of no return – with all the consequences that this entails,” she said last week. “This should be well understood in Washington.”
Six more grain shipments were launched from the ports of Ukraine
Six more ships carrying agricultural goods stopped by the war in Ukraine have been given permission to leave the country’s ports on the Black Sea, carrying more than 236,000 tons of grain.
The board overseeing an international deal aimed at taking 20 million tons of grain out of Ukraine to feed people in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia said the laden ships were cleared of departure on Sunday. Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations agreed last month to create a sea corridor that would allow cargo ships to travel safely from Ukraine’s southern coast.
Lebanese officials said the process is proceeding slowly, and that the ship that left Ukraine last Monday amid much fanfare, as the arrival of the first ship under the agreement to Lebanon was postponed on Sunday. The reason was not immediately clear.
The shipments are a hopeful first step, but they are far from solving the global food crisis exacerbated by the war.
Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator Energoatom reported that Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, located in southeastern Ukraine, came under Russian fire late Saturday. The bombing of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant damaged three radiation monitors and injured one worker. Russia has blamed Ukraine for the bombing.
Russian forces occupied the station for months. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, recently said he is concerned about the way the plant is being run and that the fighting around it poses serious health and environmental threats.
Grossi, who issued a statement on Saturday saying that the attack did not cause significant damage, said “every principle of nuclear safety” at the plant was violated.
The head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine branch resigned after the human rights organization released a report alleging that Ukrainian forces are putting civilians in danger by stationing themselves in populated areas. In a Facebook post, Oksana Pokalchuk accused Amnesty International of failing to learn the facts of the war in Ukraine and of ignoring advice from staff, who urged the group to review its report.
The report, which angered senior Ukrainian officials and Western researchers in international and military law, alleged that Ukrainian forces violated international humanitarian laws by setting up bases and operating weapons systems in schools, hospitals and other populated areas.
Pokalchuk claimed that the Ukrainian Defense Ministry was not given enough time to respond to the findings, describing the report as a “tool of Russian propaganda.” Russian forces defended attacks in civilian areas by suggesting that Ukrainian fighters establish firing positions at the target locations.
Contributing: Ella Lee, USA Today; Associated Press
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