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Friday, January 27, 2023

Russian Shelling Targets Ukraine’s Mykolaiv, U.N. Denounces Annexations

Only four countries sided with Russia and voted against the resolution

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UKRAINE. Kyiv: Russian missiles pounded the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv on Thursday, according to local officials, after the U.N. General Assembly resolution condemned Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s territory as “illegal” and Ukraine’s allies pledged more military aid.

“A five-storey residential building was hit; the two upper floors were completely destroyed, the rest – under rubble. Rescuers are working on the site,” Mykolaiv’s Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said in a social media post, adding the southern city was “massively shelled.”

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Moreover, a shipbuilding centre and a port on the Southern Bug River off the Black Sea, Mykolaiv has suffered heavy Russian shelling since the inception of Putin’s “special military operation” that began on February 24.

Russia also targeted a settlement in the capital region of Kyiv, using explosive drones early on Thursday, the region’s administration said on the Telegram messaging app. However, there were no details about confirmed casualties.

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Governor of the Kyiv region, Oleksiy Kuleba, said that based on preliminary information, the strikes were mainly caused by Iranian-made loitering munitions, also popularly called ‘kamikazes’.

Critical infrastructure was also severely hit in the heavy Russian bombardments, said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s presidential office.

United Nations General Assembly

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Meanwhile, in New York, a three-quarters quota of the UNGA, 143 countries, voted on Wednesday in favor of a resolution that called Moscow’s forced referendums in four Ukrainian regions, comprising Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson, illegal.

The UNGA’s resolution further deepens tensions with Russia, leading to the country’s isolation from the world stage.

Only four countries sided with Russia and voted against the resolution- North Korea, Syria, Belarus, and Nicaragua. Russia’s strategic partner, China, abstained from voting altogether, along with 34 other countries.

India was also diplomatic enough to steer clear of the voting since Russia has long been a profitable ally and supplier of gas, energy, and military arms.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter he was “grateful to 143 states that supported historic #UNGA resolution …(Russia’s) attempt at annexation is worthless.”

In Brussels, more than 50 Western countries pledged military support to Kyiv to bolster strong resistance to Moscow’s continued shelling in strategic locations across the country.

While France vowed a radar and air defence systems package to Ukraine, Britain pledged air missiles, and Canada said it would provide artillery rounds, among other supplies.

The Minister of Defense of Lithuania said, “We will give the Armed Forces of Ukraine winter clothes and equipment and allocate additional funds for material support for the next year.”

Despite several battle gains against Moscow in the last few weeks, Ukrainian forces were able to reclaim huge tracts of Russian-annexed territory, especially in the Kherson region.

U.S. Defence Secretary Llyod Austin said Ukraine needs more help. “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that they have what’s required to be effective,” Austin told reporters.

In other news, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that the Russian army uses chemical hand grenades against the Ukrainian military.

The Russians are attempting to drop tear gas grenades K-51 on the Ukrainian Armed Forces using drones. Using electronic warfare equipment, Ukrainian soldiers landed a UAV in the Zaporizhzhia region that was carrying a K-51 with a highly irritating substance.

The criticism heaped further on Russia as British Defense Minister Ben Wallace smashed Russia’s superiority to smithereens. After the strategic failures in Ukraine, the Russian Federation is no longer a superpower.

“He (Putin) just discovered that (Russia) is not a superpower. This is a key point. On the one hand, you believed in your own hype, parades where tanks were counted, they thought they were invulnerable, but in fact, they are not,” he said.

Wallace noted that all of Putin’s strategic assumptions are wrong. “Firing at random civilian targets when you should be firing at military targets is not a strategic or wise use of your limited resources,” the British minister said of Putin.

Also Read: Joe Biden Doubts Putin’s Use of Nuclear Weapons in the Ukraine War

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