March 25, 2023

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Ukraine’s warning after Russia’s annexation: “We will exterminate them”

Ukraine warns that it will exterminate the Russians after annexing the four territories.

The announcement comes as Ukrainian troops are making progress on the battlefield, according to Politico.

“Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, announced by President Vladimir Putin on Friday, will not affect Kiev’s determination to liberate them by military force,” said an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“For our plans, the annexation by Russia doesn’t matter,” Mykhailo Podolyak told Politico before Vladimir Putin’s signing ceremony.

The Russian leader attacked the United States and the West, denounced the Ukrainian government and warned: “We will protect our land using all our forces.”

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The annexation came a day after Ukrainian soldiers surrounded thousands of troops near the eastern Ukrainian city of Liman and weeks after a successful counter-offensive that liberated the region near Kharkiv from Russian troops.

Ukrainian troops have almost completely encircled Russian troops in Liman, according to the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War.

“Practically all approaches, logistical routes of the enemy, through which he delivered ammunition and manpower, are already under our control,” Serhiy Cherevatyi, the spokesman for the military group in eastern Ukraine, told Ukrainian television.

Moscow has not commented on the situation.

Podolyak rejected Putin’s announcement of a “partial” mobilization of reservists last week, when thousands were called up for enlistment and thousands more fled the country.

“The mobilization shows that Russia has run out of a professional army,” Podolyak said.

“This army is being replaced by completely untrained people. People have been thrown into the front line and will simply be exterminated,” he added.

“It may sound like a paradox, but the mobilization announced by Russia is to our advantage. This shows that Russia is involved in a war, that it is not handling this war, and the Russians will be the ones to pay the price,” Podolyak added.

The mobilization prompts Kiev to demand more weapons from its Western allies.

On Wednesday, US authorities announced that they would donate $1 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine, including 18 HIMARS missile systems.

“Russia has only one card left to play in this war: nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear nation. It’s absurd,” said Podolyak.

Concerns are about how Putin will react to Ukraine’s push to liberate Russian-occupied territories and whether the Kremlin will see the move as an attack on Russia.

“Without a doubt we will use all the weapons at our disposal. This is not a bluff,” Putin warned last week.

US President Joe Biden warned Putin about the consequences of using nuclear or chemical weapons. Podolyak wants these warnings to be “clearly communicated” to Moscow and to follow “very tough retaliatory measures aimed at destroying Russia’s defense infrastructure.”

“For example, Russia’s naval forces in the Black Sea could be completely destroyed,” he said. “This would be a proportionate response to Russia’s attempt to launch a tactical nuclear strike against Ukrainian military combat positions,” Podolyak added.

Meanwhile, Ukraine “will continue to do its job” to liberate its territories, he said.

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