Russian bombing of Chernihiv and the Kremlin dashes hopes for military progress

Russian bombing of Chernihiv and the Kremlin dashes hopes for military progress The Ukrainian authorities accused Russia of bombing throughout the night the city of Chernihiv in the north of the country, despite Moscow's announcement of "reducing military activities." This is the announcement that the Ukrainian General Staff cautiously received, saying that "the so-called withdrawal of forces is most likely a rotation between individual units."  Ukrainian authorities on Wednesday accused Russia of bombing the northern city of Chernihiv all night, despite Moscow's announcement of a "reduction in military activities", a promise Kyiv and its Western allies received with suspicion.  The Kremlin dashed hopes of decisive progress, declaring that talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul on Tuesday led to neither "very promising" results nor any progress.  Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: "At the moment, we cannot indicate any very promising results or any kind of progress. There is still a lot of work to do."  For its part, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva announced that the number of Ukrainian refugees who have fled the country since the attack of the Russian army on February 24 has crossed the threshold of four million people.  "Chernihiv was bombed all night" with artillery and aviation, Vyacheslav Chaus said on Telegram, explaining that civilian infrastructure had been destroyed, and the city was still without electricity or water.  Chernihiv, after Mariupol in the south, is the city that has been subjected to the heaviest bombardment since the war began on February 24.  For its part, the Mariupol Municipal Council on Wednesday condemned the forcible transfer of patients and staff of a maternity hospital to Russia from this besieged city in southeastern Ukraine, where the Russians bombed another maternity hospital on March 9.  "More than 70 people, women and members of the medical staff, were forcibly removed from the occupiers of maternity ward No. 2," the municipality said on Telegram.  More than 20,000 Mariupol residents were evacuated "against their will" to Russia, according to the municipality, which said the Russians had confiscated their papers and sent them back to "faraway Russian cities".  It was not possible to verify this information from an independent source, because the city has been under siege since the end of February.  On Tuesday, Zelensky accused the Russians of committing a "crime against humanity" in Mariupol.  In and around Kyiv, sirens were heard several times at night.  "In the past 24 hours, the Russians have bombed 30 times populated neighborhoods and civilian infrastructure in the Kyiv region," regional governor Oleksandr Pavlyuk said on Telegram, noting that the northern regions of the capital were the most affected.  Explosions were also heard on Wednesday morning, coming from the city of Irbin, which the Ukrainians announced liberated from Russian forces, according to an AFP journalist.  Judging actions  At the conclusion of the Istanbul talks, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Furmin announced Tuesday that Moscow "drastically reduces its military activities in the direction of Kyiv and Chernihiv."  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke of "positive signs, but we should not forget the Russian explosions or shells."  But the Ukrainian General Staff received the Russian announcement with caution. "The so-called (troop withdrawal) is most likely a rotation between individual units, the goal of which is to deceive the military leadership of the Ukrainian armed forces," she said in a statement on Tuesday evening.  For his part, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby considered this matter a "repositioning" and not an "actual withdrawal."  The British Ministry of Defense wrote on its Twitter account: "It is very likely that Russia is seeking to transfer its strike force from the north towards the (separatist) regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east."  This was confirmed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, saying that Russia had achieved its "goal, which is to significantly reduce the military capacity of the Ukrainian armed forces, which allows focusing attention and efforts on the main goal: the liberation of Donbass."  For Kiev's Western allies, the judgment will be on actions.  US President Joe Biden said Tuesday: "We'll see if they stick to their word," after a phone call with the leaders of France, Britain, Germany and Italy. "There seems to be a consensus that we have to wait and see what they have to offer," he added.  For his part, the head of the Ukrainian delegation, David Arachmia, called for "an international mechanism of security guarantees through which the guarantor states operate in a manner similar to Chapter V of the NATO Charter, and even more stringently."  And Article 5 of the Alliance Charter provides for the common defense in the event of an attack on one of the Allied countries.  temporary disqualification  Arachmia stressed that among the countries that Ukraine would like to be guarantors of are the United States, China, France and the United Kingdom, who are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, in addition to Turkey, Germany, Poland and Israel.  Kyiv also demands that this international agreement in no way prohibit Ukraine's accession to the European Union and that the guarantor states pledge to contribute to this process.  Arachmia pointed out that these guarantees could come into effect as soon as possible, since the lands of Crimea and Donbass under the control of pro-Russian separatists would be "temporarily excluded" from the agreement.

The Ukrainian authorities accused Russia of bombing throughout the night the city of Chernihiv in the north of the country, despite Moscow's announcement of "reducing military activities." This is the announcement that the Ukrainian General Staff cautiously received, saying that "the so-called withdrawal of forces is most likely a rotation between individual units."

Ukrainian authorities on Wednesday accused Russia of bombing the northern city of Chernihiv all night, despite Moscow's announcement of a "reduction in military activities", a promise Kyiv and its Western allies received with suspicion.

The Kremlin dashed hopes of decisive progress, declaring that talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul on Tuesday led to neither "very promising" results nor any progress.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: "At the moment, we cannot indicate any very promising results or any kind of progress. There is still a lot of work to do."

For its part, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva announced that the number of Ukrainian refugees who have fled the country since the attack of the Russian army on February 24 has crossed the threshold of four million people.

"Chernihiv was bombed all night" with artillery and aviation, Vyacheslav Chaus said on Telegram, explaining that civilian infrastructure had been destroyed, and the city was still without electricity or water.

Chernihiv, after Mariupol in the south, is the city that has been subjected to the heaviest bombardment since the war began on February 24.

For its part, the Mariupol Municipal Council on Wednesday condemned the forcible transfer of patients and staff of a maternity hospital to Russia from this besieged city in southeastern Ukraine, where the Russians bombed another maternity hospital on March 9.

"More than 70 people, women and members of the medical staff, were forcibly removed from the occupiers of maternity ward No. 2," the municipality said on Telegram.

More than 20,000 Mariupol residents were evacuated "against their will" to Russia, according to the municipality, which said the Russians had confiscated their papers and sent them back to "faraway Russian cities".

It was not possible to verify this information from an independent source, because the city has been under siege since the end of February.

On Tuesday, Zelensky accused the Russians of committing a "crime against humanity" in Mariupol.

In and around Kyiv, sirens were heard several times at night.
"In the past 24 hours, the Russians have bombed 30 times populated neighborhoods and civilian infrastructure in the Kyiv region," regional governor Oleksandr Pavlyuk said on Telegram, noting that the northern regions of the capital were the most affected.

Explosions were also heard on Wednesday morning, coming from the city of Irbin, which the Ukrainians announced liberated from Russian forces, according to an AFP journalist.

Judging actions
At the conclusion of the Istanbul talks, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Furmin announced Tuesday that Moscow "drastically reduces its military activities in the direction of Kyiv and Chernihiv."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke of "positive signs, but we should not forget the Russian explosions or shells."

But the Ukrainian General Staff received the Russian announcement with caution. "The so-called (troop withdrawal) is most likely a rotation between individual units, the goal of which is to deceive the military leadership of the Ukrainian armed forces," she said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

For his part, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby considered this matter a "repositioning" and not an "actual withdrawal."

The British Ministry of Defense wrote on its Twitter account: "It is very likely that Russia is seeking to transfer its strike force from the north towards the (separatist) regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east."

This was confirmed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, saying that Russia had achieved its "goal, which is to significantly reduce the military capacity of the Ukrainian armed forces, which allows focusing attention and efforts on the main goal: the liberation of Donbass."

For Kiev's Western allies, the judgment will be on actions.
US President Joe Biden said Tuesday: "We'll see if they stick to their word," after a phone call with the leaders of France, Britain, Germany and Italy. "There seems to be a consensus that we have to wait and see what they have to offer," he added.

For his part, the head of the Ukrainian delegation, David Arachmia, called for "an international mechanism of security guarantees through which the guarantor states operate in a manner similar to Chapter V of the NATO Charter, and even more stringently."

And Article 5 of the Alliance Charter provides for the common defense in the event of an attack on one of the Allied countries.

Temporary disqualification
Arachmia stressed that among the countries that Ukraine would like to be guarantors of are the United States, China, France and the United Kingdom, who are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, in addition to Turkey, Germany, Poland and Israel.

Kyiv also demands that this international agreement in no way prohibit Ukraine's accession to the European Union and that the guarantor states pledge to contribute to this process.

Arachmia pointed out that these guarantees could come into effect as soon as possible, since the lands of Crimea and Donbass under the control of pro-Russian separatists would be "temporarily excluded" from the agreement.
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