Ukrainian strikes in Russian towns put pressure on Putin

Following Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in the country’s northeast, the chaotic war started by Russian President Vladimir Putin is now waged directly on his doorstep, with shelling hitting Russian military targets and Russian officials in border towns ordering hasty evacuations.

A new round of airstrikes hit the Belgorod region of western Russia on Saturday, killing at least one person and injuring two.

On Friday, Ukraine reportedly attacked the base of Russia’s 3rd Motorized Infantry Division near Valuiki, nine miles north of the Russia-Ukrainian border. Russian officials did not acknowledge that a military target was hit, but said a civilian was killed and the local power grid was temporarily interrupted.

Russia has blamed Ukraine for the attack, but Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attack on targets on Russian soil.

Kyiv has assured U.S. officials that the donated weapons will not be used against targets inside Russia. But Ukrainian troops are now so close to the border that they can hit targets with their own less advanced weapons.

The effects of the war are starting to be felt directly by Russian citizens, another new source of pressure for Putin, who returned home this weekend from a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan and was publicly condemned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra. Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on war.

In a shocking public rebuke, Modi told Putin, “Today’s era is not an era of war, and I have spoken to you on the phone about this.” After that, Putin admitted he heard from the Chinese president. “concerns and questions” about the war.

Torture, killing, kidnapping: Russia’s retreat from Izyum reveals terror

Ukraine has made amazing progress in the Kharkiv region in the northeastern part of the country over the past two weeks. Along the way, it also uncovered hundreds of mass graves and stories of Russian troops terrorizing residents of the liberated city of Izum.

Citing results and evidence of torture and killings, Ukrainian officials reiterated requests for NATO allies to delay sending modern battle tanks and other heavily armored vehicles.

Modi accuses Putin of Ukraine war

Valuyki and Krasny Khutor are among dozens of small settlements in Russia that the Russian military uses as staging grounds, putting them in the midst of Moscow’s faltering invasion and Kyiv’s growing counteroffensive.

Local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov has ordered the evacuation of hundreds and closed schools in border towns over the past few months. But now Belgorod authorities are facing mounting pressure from disturbed residents who are going through what many Ukrainians have been living for for months: nighttime explosions, houses destroyed, and sometimes casualties.

“I ask again, where is our army that must be protected?” Belgorod resident Tatyana Bogacheva wrote on Gladkov’s VKontakte social media page. “We’re at the border; they’re shooting at us, so we need an army and protection. Who’s going to wake the president?”

Russian troops are depleted after missteps on the battlefield and are scrambling to find personnel and working equipment to gain a foothold in northeastern Ukraine. The recent hasty retreat of Izyum and Baraklia and local Russians’ fears of an imminent war appear to have prompted Moscow to strengthen its borders with young conscripts.

According to reports, Russian soldiers drafted to serve in the Taman Division’s 1st Guards Motor Infantry Regiment are being transferred from the Moscow region to “protect the country’s borders” as part of this spring’s draft.

The BBC’s Russian Service, citing family members of the military, said many conscripts from the Taman division had died when the invasion began and survivors were sent back to Russian territory. But instead of returning to their headquarters in Narofominsk, near Moscow, they were stationed in Valuiki. The BBC said the new recruits should replace those due to be demobilized in October.

Under Russian law, conscripts must undergo at least four months of training before they can go to war. Putin has repeatedly denied Russia’s use of conscripts in Ukraine. But the country’s defense ministry acknowledged back in March that some had been sent to the war by mistake.

Russia’s problems at the border have also drawn criticism from the staunchly pro-Kremlin inside Ukraine. “I wonder if the Russian leadership will react in some way to the constant shelling of Russian territory?” lamented Igor Girkin, a former commander of the Ukrainian separatist hardliners, on his Telegram blog. “Or am I understanding correctly that the Kremlin no longer considers the Belgorod region to be Russian territory?”

The war also appears to have weakened Russia’s ability to fight fires to the south, an area the Kremlin has long considered its backyard.

This week, for example, Armenia sought Russian help when Azerbaijan launched another attack on its border town, according to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who formally appealed to the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), The organization is a regional security alliance. Post-Soviet countries, including Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

But the reaction so far has been slow and tepid, which could undermine Armenia’s trust in Moscow as an ally and the Collective Security Treaty Organization as a credible security broker.

Azerbaijan and Armenia exchange fire in Nagorno-Karabakh border area

Azerbaijan is not part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, but is backed by Turkey, an important mediator in the Ukrainian war. Azerbaijan accused Armenia of “provocation” in the border area, which Yerevan denies.

More than 200 officers on both sides were killed this week in the deadliest confrontation since a six-week war in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region in 2020.

During a face-to-face meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan on Friday, Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev said the border conflict had “stabilized” and a ceasefire had been established for the past three years. sky.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday she planned to visit Armenia over the weekend.

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