Russia admits Kremlin aims to oust Ukraine’s Zelensky

0
19
Russia admits Kremlin aims to oust Ukraine's Zelensky

Russia’s top diplomat has admitted that the Kremlin’s overarching goal in Ukraine is to boot out President Volodymyr Zelensky — as Vladimir Putin’s forces continued pounding the neighboring country with artillery barrages and airstrikes.

Ukraine’s presidential office said Monday at least two civilians were killed and 10 wounded in Russian shelling over the preceding 24 hours.

In the contested eastern Donetsk region — the focus of the Russian offensive — Russian artillery struck the cities of Avdiivka, Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka. An airstrike on Bakhmut damaged at least five houses.

“The Russians are using the scorched-earth tactics across the entire Donbas. They fire from the ground and from the air to wipe off entire cities,” Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said in televised remarks.

A residential building burns after being hit by a Russian airstrike in Mykolaiv, Ukraine.
Ukraine Emergency Service/AFP vi
Ukrainian officials said Monday at least two civilians were killed and 10 wounded in Russian shelling over the last 24 hours.
Ukrainian officials said Monday at least two civilians were killed and 10 wounded in Russian shelling over the last 24 hours.
Ukraine Emergency Service/AFP vi
In the city of Chuhuiv, a Russian strike wrecked a local club, injuring several people.
In the city of Chuhuiv, a Russian strike wrecked a local club, injuring several people.
AFP via Getty Images

Another airstrike damaged a residential building in Mykolaiv near the Black Sea, leaving several people trapped under the rubble and others injured, among them a 16-year-old boy, according to a local official.

The Russians also struck the Kharkiv region. In the city of Chuhuiv, an airstrike wrecked a local club, and rescue workers removed several people from under the debris.

Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Sinyehubov denounced the attack as “senseless barbarity,” saying: “It looks like a deadly lottery when no one knows where the next strike will come.”

As Russian forces continued pummeling Ukrainian cities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with fellow diplomats in Cairo and openly advocated for the removal of Ukraine’s democratically elected leader.

Speaking at an Arab League summit on Sunday, Putin’s lackey said Moscow is determined to help Ukrainians “liberate themselves from the burden of this absolutely unacceptable regime.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday that Moscow's aim is to help Ukrainian "liberate themselves" from Volodymyr Zelensky's "unacceptable regime."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday that Moscow’s aim is to help Ukrainians “liberate themselves” from Volodymyr Zelensky’s “unacceptable regime.”
RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY/AFP via
Lavrov claimed President Zelensky was standing in the way of peace between Ukraine and Russia.
Lavrov claimed President Zelensky was standing in the way of peace between Ukraine and Russia.
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER

Lavrov accused Zelensky’s government and its Western allies of spouting propaganda intended to ensure that Ukraine “becomes the eternal enemy of Russia.”

“Russian and Ukrainian people would continue to live together. We will certainly help Ukrainian people to get rid of the regime, which is absolutely anti-people and anti-historical,” he said.

Lavrov’s remarks were an about-face from the Kremlin’s line early in the war, when it repeatedly emphasized that Russia wasn’t seeking to overthrow Zelensky’s government, even as Moscow’s troops closed in on Kyiv.

Russia later retreated from around the capital and turned its attention to capturing Ukraine’s industrial Donbas region in the east. The fighting is now in its sixth month.

A firefighter covers his face as fellow first responders remove debris to find bodies of people at the Central House of Culture in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv region, after a military strike.
A firefighter covers his face as fellow first responders remove debris to find bodies at the Central House of Culture in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv region, after a military strike.
REUTERS
A view of the grounds and school destroyed in a rocket attack a few days ago outside of Kramatorsk in Donetsk region on July 25.
A view of the grounds and school destroyed in a rocket attack a few days ago outside Kramatorsk in Donetsk region on July 25.
AFP via Getty Images
Paramedics carry a wounded man after Russian shelling to an emergency unit in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, July 24.
Paramedics carry a wounded man after Russian shelling to an emergency unit in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, July 24.
AFP via Getty Images

Lavrov argued that Russia was ready to negotiate a deal to end hostilities in March when Kyiv changed tack and declared its intention to rout Russia on the battlefield. He said the West has encouraged Ukraine to keep fighting.

“The West insists that Ukraine must not start negotiations until Russia is defeated on the battlefield,” Lavrov said.

With Post wires

Source link