RUSSIA: Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has stated that he is not opposed to holding peace negotiations over Ukraine. Putin stated that African and Chinese initiatives may be used as a foundation for achieving peace in remarks made after meeting African leaders in St. Petersburg.
But Putin also stated that there could be no ceasefire while the Ukrainian military was on the offensive. Following his speech, Russia claimed that a Ukrainian drone attack on Moscow had destroyed two office buildings.
Russia’s national news agency said that flights were briefly suspended from Vnukovo Airport, southwest of the city centre, and that one person was hurt. Regarding the drone incident, Ukraine has not made any comments.
One eyewitness, who only provided her first name, Liya, said that she could see flames and smoke. Everyone jumped when they heard the blast, she recalled. “Then there was a lot of smoke, and you couldn’t see anything. From above, you could see fire.” Both Ukraine and Russia have previously stated that they will not sit down to negotiate a peace deal without a set of prerequisites.
Moscow asserts that Kyiv must accept its country’s “new territorial reality,” despite Kiev’s claims that it will not relinquish any land. Russia invaded its neighbour last year and currently controls parts of that nation’s south and east. There are currently no preparations to step up the fighting on the Ukrainian front, Putin stated during the late-night press conference on Saturday.
Additionally, he defended the detention of dissenting voices by asserting that some individuals were causing internal harm to Russia. The majority of the key opposition figures are imprisoned or exiled, and it is illegal to criticize Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
During a wide-ranging briefing, the Russian president also informed reporters that Moscow launched some “preventive strikes” in response to an incident that occurred on a Crimean bridge earlier this month.
Following the bridge tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of two people, Putin threatened to retaliate against Ukraine for what he described as a “terrorist” act. Officially, Kiev did not claim responsibility for the explosion on the bridge that connects the seized peninsula to Russia.
The Russia-Africa summit follows a meeting between an African delegation, which included the presidents and representatives of seven different nations, and Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky last month.
In recent days, President Zelensky has paid a visit to Ukrainian special troops in the area of Bakhmut, which has seen some of the war’s heaviest combat. According to Ukrainian officials, Kyiv’s troops are advancing steadily closer to the eastern city that Russian forces captured in May.
According to the country’s interior ministry, rockets struck the city of Sumy in northeastern Ukraine overnight, killing one person and injuring five others. On Telegram, the government reported that a Russian missile had struck a school on Saturday night.
Elsewhere, a missile on Saturday struck “an open area” in the city of Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine, killing two people and injuring another, according to an official.
According to Anatoliy Kurtiev, secretary of the city council, the “enemy missile’s” blast wave damaged a supermarket and an educational facility, in addition to blowing out apartment windows.