What are Putin’s plans after declaring martial law in illegally annexed territories? Zelensky: “Ukrainians are being targeted”

New attacks on Ukraine’s energy systems. A Russian missile hit a thermal power station in western Ukraine last night that supplies electricity to three regions.

This happened shortly after Vladimir Putin imposed martial law in four Ukrainian regions annexed by Russia.

“The only tool left for him is to persecute Ukrainian citizens” – declared Joe Biden. The US president says it is increasingly clear that the Kremlin leader is in an “incredibly difficult” situation.

Vladimir Putin: “In the Donetsk People’s Republic, Luhansk People’s Republic, and Zaporizhia and Kherson regions, martial law was in force before joining Russia. Now, this regime should be formalized, already within Russian law. Therefore, in the decree to introduce martial law in these four entities of the Russian Federation I signed.

The declaration of martial law in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia gives the Kremlin greater control over annexed areas. Military authorities can be temporarily installed in place of civil administration.

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Ursula van der Leyen

Joe Biden, President of the United States: “I think Vladimir Putin is in an incredibly difficult situation. It shows me that the only tool he has left is to harass the citizens of Ukraine, the citizens he’s trying to intimidate into surrendering. They won’t do that.”

The motive behind the mobilization is related to increasing Putin’s military forces – President Zelensky warns. Also targeted would be Ukrainians from the occupied territories who would be forced to fight for the Kremlin’s army.

Volodomir Zelensky: “Today I want to address our people in the temporarily occupied areas in the south and east of Ukraine. Soon the occupiers will try to recruit people into their army. Everywhere is like Donetsk and Luhansk. Please avoid this as much as you can. Try to leave the occupied area. You can do this. If that is not possible, if you are in a Russian military formation, try to lay down your weapons and come towards the Ukrainian positions at the first opportunity.

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Meanwhile, evacuations announced by Russian-established authorities in the region have begun in Kherson. They plan to move 50-60,000 residents over the next 6 days.

Sergey Surovikhin: “Our further actions and plans regarding the city of Kherson depend on the military tactical situation. I repeat: the situation is very difficult now.

Moscow rarely acknowledges the difficulties on the front, but even the infamous commander of all Russian forces in Ukraine, General Sergey Surovykin, does. The man, nicknamed “General Armageddon” – for the brutal way he conducts the war – spoke on Russian state television. He accused Ukrainian troops of using US HIMARS rocket artillery to randomly attack city infrastructure and homes. But the Ukrainians are proving that HIMARS launchers are where they should be used.

The images were shared by the Ukrainian military on social networks and show them attacking Russian tank convoys in Luhansk. In fact, Kiev’s forces do not appear to have launched large-scale offensives recently.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry in Moscow announced that Russian forces continued to attack targets in Ukraine’s energy sector. Last night, a Russian missile hit a coal-fired power plant in Burstin, near Lviv, in the west of the country. The thermal power plant provided electricity to five million people in three Ukrainian regions, which was more than 10% of the country’s population before the war.

European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen said Russia’s drone and missile attacks on power plants and civilian infrastructure targets in Ukraine were “acts of pure terrorism” amounting to war crimes.

The explosive-laden drones used by the Russians in these attacks were largely supplied by Iran, although neither Moscow nor Tehran have acknowledged this. According to the New York Times, citing US officials, Iran may have sent special personnel to the Crimean peninsula, illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, to help Russian troops deal with problems with a fleet of drones they bought.

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US Representative Vedant Patel: “We welcome the EU’s sanctions on Iran for supplying Russia with weapons. And I reiterate that the US continues to have practical, non-aggressive tools to hold Iran accountable.

On the other hand, Vladimir Solovyov, considered a favorite propagandist of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is calling for attacks on military bases in Europe where Ukrainian troops are trained and airfields where military aid to Kiev’s forces arrives. Also named Romania.

Vladimir Solovyov: “But for those in the West, as we speak, it’s time to explain to those in France, Poland, Germany, Great Britain, the bases where they are currently training Ukrainians. The Polish airfields where US and UK military aid planes land, the bases in Romania and so on. What we consider legitimate targets? Haven’t you seen time and time again that they expand the range and complexity of the weapons provided?”

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