Russian Defense Chiefs Speak For First Time Since Invasion

Story Highlights
  • Moscow-administered Kherson to ask to be included in Russia.
  • Russia takes losses in failed river crossing.
  • Invasion of Russia is entering 'third phase', says Ukrainian official.

Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu spoke with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday after months of refusing direct contact with his American counterpart. Meanwhile, India abstained from the UN Human Rights Council on a resolution on the deteriorating human rights situation in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression, in which the Council reiterated its demand for an immediate cessation of military hostilities.

The Geneva-based Council on Thursday closed its 34th special session after adopting the resolution. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 33 in favour, China and Eritrea voted against and 12 abstentions. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday that the bloc would provide another 500 million Euros worth of military support to Ukraine and that he was confident a deal could be reached in the coming days to agree on an embargo on Russian oil.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials say their forces took out another Russian ship in the Black Sea. The Russian-imposed military-civilian administration in Ukraine’s Kherson region said it will ask Russia to include it in the Russian Federation, the British defence ministry said on Saturday. Senior Russian lawmaker Anna Kuznetsova visited the Russian-occupied region of Kherson in Ukraine to discuss the social and healthcare needs of the local population.

Russian forces suffered heavy losses in a Ukrainian attack that destroyed a pontoon bridge they were using to try to cross a river in the east, Ukrainian and British officials said in another sign of Moscow’s struggle to salvage a war gone awry. Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Viktor Andrusiv said on Ukrainian television that Russia’s invasion is entering its “third phase” which shows that Moscow is planning for a “long war.”

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