May 28, 2023

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What are Putin’s plans after declaring martial law in the annexed regions. Zelensky: “Ukrainians are targeted”

There were new attacks on Ukraine’s energy systems. Last night a Russian missile hit a thermal power plant supplying energy to three regions in western Ukraine.

It happened shortly after Vladimir Putin instituted martial law in the four Ukrainian regions annexed by Russia.

“The only tool he has left is the persecution of 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 territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, as well as in the Zaporizhia and Kherson regions, martial law was in force before joining Russia. Now, we need to formalize this regime, already within the Russian legislation. Therefore, I signed a decree on the introduction of martial law in these four entities of the Russian Federation”.

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

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Joe Biden, US President: “I think that Vladimir Putin is in an incredibly difficult situation. And this shows me that the only tool he has left at his disposal is the persecution of the citizens of Ukraine, citizens whom he is trying to intimidate and make them capitulate. They won’t do that.”

The purpose behind this mobilization is related to Putin’s need to increase the military forces – President Zelenski warns. And those targeted will be Ukrainians from the occupied territories, who will 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 the same as in Donetsk and Luhansk. Please avoid this as much as you can. Try to leave the occupied territory. If you cannot do this and you are in the Russian military structures, try at the first opportunity to lay down your weapons and come towards the Ukrainian positions.”

Meanwhile, the evacuations announced by the officials installed by the Russians in the region have begun in Kherson. They plan to move 50-60,000 residents in the next 6 days.

Sergei Surovikin: “Our further actions and plans regarding the city of Kherson will depend on the military tactical situation. I repeat: the situation is already very difficult, as of now”.

Moscow rarely admits difficulties on the front, but even General Sergei Surovikin – the infamous commander of all Russian forces in Ukraine – did. The one nicknamed “General Armageddon” – for the barbaric way in which he conducts the war – spoke on Russian state television. And he accused Ukrainian troops of using US HIMARS rocket artillery by randomly hitting city infrastructure and homes. But the Ukrainians demonstrate that HIMARS launchers are used where they should.

These images were shared by the Ukrainian military on social networks and show how they hit Russian tank convoys in Luhansk. In fact, the only region where Kiev’s forces do not seem to have launched large-scale offensives recently.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense 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 Burştin, in the west of the country, near Lviv. The thermal power plant supplied electricity to five million people in three Ukrainian regions, i.e. more than 10% of the country’s population before the war.

Russia’s drone and missile attacks on power plants and civilian infrastructure targets in Ukraine are “acts of pure terror” that amount to war crimes, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

The explosive-laden drones used by the Russians in these attacks are most likely supplied by Iran, although neither Moscow nor Tehran admits this. According to the New York Times, citing US officials, Iran would have sent specialized personnel to the Crimean peninsula, illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, to help Russian troops overcome problems with the fleet of drones they purchased.

Vedant Patel, US representative: “We will welcome EU sanctions imposed on Iran for supplying weapons to Russia. And I also reiterate that the United States continues to have practical, not aggressive, tools available to help us hold Iran accountable.”

On the other hand, Vladimir Solovyov, considered the favorite propagandist of Russian President Vladimir Putin, calls for attacking military bases in Europe where Ukrainian troops are trained and airfields where military aid arrives for Kiev’s forces. He also named Romania.

Solovyov: “But maybe it’s time to explain to those in the West, who are getting more cheeky as we speak, that the bases where they are currently training Ukrainians, those in France, Poland, Germany, Great Britain – maybe they should tell them that we consider Polish airfields where US and UK military aid planes land, bases in Romania and so on as legitimate targets? Don’t you see, again and again, that they are expanding the range and complexity of the weapons provided? “

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