(CNN Spanish) — Russia has assembled some 20 tactical groups of battalions in Belgorod, a Russian city near the Ukrainian border, and is concerned about the possibility of Ukrainian counterattacks, according to a senior Ukrainian official.
“According to the General Staff [de las fuerzas armadas ucranianas]they are very worried about our counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region, in the north of the Kharkiv region, to be precise,” Vadym Denysenko, adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, told Ukrainian television.
However, Russian forces have enough strength to attack the area again, he said.
fighting south: The most active battles this Wednesday are further south, Denysenko said, “in the direction of Luhansk. It’s about Rubizhne, Severodonetsk.”
He denied a claim made by the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday that Russian forces had reached the Luhansk border.
Russian forces are trying to break through southern Izium to take other parts of the Donetsk region, but there has been little movement on the ground.
“In the direction of Izium, they carry out fairly massive aerial reconnaissance, first of all. It’s more about drones than aviation,” Denysenko said.
Zelensky thanks the US House of Representatives for passing a $40 billion aid bill
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and his country’s “friends” in the US House of Representatives for passing a bill that Washington will deliver $40 billion worth of aid to Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
The House approved the bill Tuesday night with broad bipartisan support, by 368 votes in favor and 57 against. The 57 votes against the measure were from Republicans.
thank you @SpeakerPelosi and all friends of 🇺🇦 in 🇺🇸 House of Representatives for the quick approval of the law on additional financial support for our state initiated by @POTUS. We are looking forward to consideration of this important document for us by the Senate.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) May 11, 2022
The measure must now pass the Senate before it can go to President Joe Biden for signature into law.
Pelosi paid an unannounced visit to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, earlier this month to meet with Zelensky.
Russia does not want a war in Europe, says its foreign minister
Russia does not want a war in Europe, but Western countries constantly say that Moscow “must be defeated”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a joint press conference with Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr. Albusaidi, after talks held this Wednesday in Muscat.
“If you are worried about the prospect of a war in Europe, we do not want it at all, but I draw your attention to the fact that the West constantly insists that Russia must be defeated in this situation. Draw your own conclusions,” Lavrov said.
According to Lavrov, Russia has enough buyers of energy resources in addition to Western countries.
“We have enough buyers for our energy resources. We will work with them and let the West pay them much more than it paid the Russian Federation and explain to its population why it should get poorer,” he said.
Lavrov denounced that Kyiv has blocked dozens of ships in its ports and will not let them leave, including those that must deliver wheat to various regions of the world.
According to Lavrov, Ukraine refuses to cooperate and does not accept Russia’s proposals to withdraw these ships through humanitarian corridors, while their “Western masters” do not try to help.
Lavrov said that from now on Russia will rely only on itself and its trusted partners.
“We have a complete understanding of how we should continue to live: the main conclusion is not to trust our plans to the fact that the West is willing to negotiate,” the minister said.
Leader of self-proclaimed Russian-backed region calls for ‘liberation’ of more territory
The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) made new demands for release while speaking on the anniversary of its declaration of independence on Wednesday.
“Today, a new stage in our life is the liberation of the DPR territory within its constitutional boundaries,” separatist leader Denis Pushilin said in a statement shared on the Telegram channel. “Like all the history of the formation of our State, this stage is not easy. But the Republic was born to win, and we will achieve our goals.”
“Russian Donbas celebrates this holiday with a special feeling this year in the status of a recognized state,” Pushilin said.
a bit of context: President Vladimir Putin signed the decrees of recognition of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic days before beginning the invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine and the vast majority of European countries have spoken out against these claims as illegitimate.
Ukraine suspends the flow of some Russian gas exports to Europe
Ukraine will suspend some Russian gas exports to Europe flowing through pipelines through the country due to disruptions at key transit points, the country’s gas transmission system operator (GSTOU) said in a statement on Tuesday. .
In the midst of the Russian invasion, Ukraine has continued its operations to transport Russian gas through the country.
But GSTOU said it is currently “impossible to fulfill obligations” with European partners due to “interference by the occupying forces.” He said Russian interference, including unauthorized gas taps, had “jeopardized the stability and security” of the Ukrainian gas transportation system.
Consequently, it had decided to suspend operations from 7 a.m. local time on Wednesday at the Sokhranivka entry point gas metering station and at the Novopskov border compression station, through which almost a third of the gas coming from Russia destined for Europe, up to 32.6 million cubic meters per day.
Ukraine said it could possibly transfer temporarily unavailable capacity from Sokhranivka to the Sudzha point, located in Ukrainian-controlled territory.
However, Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom said it was “technologically impossible” to switch gas transfers to Ukraine to a new entry point, the agency said in a statement.
Russia calls Lithuania’s decision to declare it the perpetrator of terrorism a “provocation”
Lithuania’s decision to declare Russia “a state that supports and perpetrates terrorism” is a provocation and extremism, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a comment on Russian radio Sputnik on Wednesday.
“The countries that approve these kinds of documents, statements and communiqués, take such extremist measures, there is no other way to call it. All these countries are members of NATO. Over the past decades, we have repeatedly seen the illegal actions and aggressive NATO actions, which led to heavy loss of life,” Zakharova said.
“This must be treated exactly as an element of provocation, extremism and political hypocrisy,” he added.
a bit of context: The Lithuanian Parliament, the Seimas, approved on Tuesday a resolution declaring that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a “genocide” and that Russia is the author of terrorism.
The parliament also called for the creation of an international tribunal to investigate alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
“We clearly have reasons to call this an act of genocide,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in an interview with CNN in Washington.
“Putin clearly stated that he does not believe that Ukraine has a right to exist as a country and is trying to prove his point by basically killing entire civilian cities full of civilians,” he added.
Russia opens more “temporary accommodation centers” for refugees from Ukraine
Russia has opened another nine temporary accommodation centers to accommodate people from Ukraine and the self-proclaimed republics, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.
“523 temporary accommodation centers operate in 53 Russian regions, housing 34,140 thousand people, including 11,790 thousand children,” RIA Novosti reported according to the representative of the emergency services.
There are currently 66 centers operating in the Rostov region, the main “gateway” to Russia for people from Ukraine.
Ukrainian authorities say Russia is forcibly deporting people from Mariupol and regional areas, calling it a war crime. Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that more than half a million Ukrainians have been deported to Russia since the start of the war.
“They were forced to go there. Their documents and means of communication are confiscated. They are sent to distant regions of that foreign land to assimilate there,” Zelensky said on May 6.
CNN cannot independently confirm the number of Ukrainians who have been taken across the border into Russian territory.