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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,585
    https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-kharkiv-offensive-f05456d648a341970ce446c35fa69173   Zelenskyy says Ukraine has taken back control in areas of Kharkiv region, aerial attacks continue

    Zelenskyy says Ukraine has taken back control in areas of Kharkiv region, aerial attacks continue
    By SAMYA KULLAB and ELISE MORTON
    Yesterday

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces have secured “combat control” of areas where Russian troops entered the northeastern Kharkiv region earlier this month, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

    Meanwhile, two people were killed Saturday in an aerial attack on the city of Kharkiv, which is the region's capital, according to local officials.

    Kharkiv is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Russian border. Moscow’s troops have in recent weeks captured villages in the area as part of a broad push, and analysts say they may be trying to get within artillery range of the city. Ukrainian authorities have evacuated more than 11,000 people from the region since the start of the offensive on May 10.

    “Our soldiers have now managed to take combat control of the border area where the Russian occupiers entered,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address on Friday evening.

    Zelenskyy’s comments appeared to be at odds with those made by Russian officials.

    Viktor Vodolatskiy, a member of Russia‘s lower house of parliament, said Russian forces now controlled more than half of the town of Vovchansk, 3 miles (5 kilometers) inside the border, Russian state news agency Tass reported Friday.

    Vovchansk has been a flashpoint for fighting since Russia launched the offensive in the Kharkiv region. Vodolatskiy was also quoted as saying that once Vovchansk was secured, Russian forces would target the cities of Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and Pokrovsk in the neighboring Donetsk region.

    Independent confirmation of the claims wasn't immediately possible.

    Russia’s Kharkiv push appears to be a coordinated new offensive that includes testing Ukrainian defenses in the Donetsk region further south — where Russia's Defense Ministry said Saturday that its forces had taken over the village of Arkhanhelske — while also launching incursions in the northern Sumy and Chernihiv regions.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the Kremlin’s army is attempting to create a “buffer zone” in the Kharkiv region to prevent Ukrainian cross-border attacks.

    The Russian push is shaping up to be Ukraine’s biggest test since Moscow’s full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022, with outnumbered and outgunned Ukrainian forces being pressed at several points along the about 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) front line that snakes from north to south in eastern Ukraine.

    In addition to the ground offensive operation along Ukraine's northeastern border, Russia is continuing to bombard the Kharkiv region with missiles, guided aerial bombs and drones.

    Regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said that two people were killed and 33 others wounded when an aerial bomb hit a large construction supplies store in the city of Kharkiv on Saturday afternoon, causing a huge fire to break out. He said that more than 200 people could have been inside the store, later noting that the fire had been contained. A second bomb hit the city's central park, Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said.

    Zelenskyy called the airstrike on the store “a manifestation of Russian madness" and appealed to Western countries to provide Ukraine with air defense systems.

    “When we tell world leaders that Ukraine requires adequate air defense protection ... we are literally talking about how not to allow such terrorist strikes,” he said in a post on X.

    Ukraine’s problems have been mounting in recent months as it tries to hold out against its much bigger foe, and the war appears to be at a critical juncture.

    ___

    Elise Morton reported from London.

    ___

    Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine


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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,585
    https://apnews.com/article/czechia-ukraine-russia-nato-blinken-441c9624d95f8193e99cf08effced44f   Biden partially lifts ban on Ukraine using US arms in strikes on Russian territory, US officials say


     
    Biden partially lifts ban on Ukraine using US arms in strikes on Russian territory, US officials say
    By MATTHEW LEE, AAMER MADHANI and ZEKE MILLER
    56 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has given Ukraine the go-ahead to use American weaponry to strike inside Russia for the limited purpose of defending Kharkiv, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

    The officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, underscored that the U.S. policy calling on Ukraine not to use American-provide long-range missiles and other munitions to strike inside Russia offensively has not changed.

    The move comes as Ukrainian officials have stepped up calls on the U.S. administration to allow its forces to defend itself against attacks originating from Russian territory. Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, is just 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Russian border.

    Biden's decision was first reported by Politico.

    Ukrainian officials, most notably Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have been increasingly vocal in making the case that the restriction was putting Ukrainian forces in an untenable situation as Russia has intensified attacks around the northeast Kharkiv region.

    The advances came with Russia exploiting a lengthy delay in replenishment of U.S. military aid and as Western Europe’s inadequate military production has slowed crucial deliveries to the battlefield for Ukraine.

    But since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022, Biden has been steadfast in his opposition to the Ukrainians using American-made weaponry offensively out of concern that the action could be seen as provocative and lead to Moscow widening the war.

    The decision comes Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday assailed Russian attempts to sow discord in democracies with misinformation after hinting the Biden administration may soon allow Ukraine to use American-supplied munitions to strike inside Russia.

    With an increasing number of officials saying Ukraine must be able to defend itself by attacking targets in Russian territory, Blinken joined NATO foreign ministers for a meeting in Prague, where he said Moscow’s use of misinformation and disinformation was a “poison” and signed an agreement with the Czech government to combat it.

    He also toured a Czech military base, where he saw armored vehicles that Prague is sending to Kyiv to help fight Russia’s invasion and received a briefing on a Czech initiative to supply Ukraine with a million rounds of ammunition by the end of the year.

    “We know that a major front in the competition that we have, the adversarial relationship that we have, notably with Russia, is on the information front,” Blinken said.

    He said the agreement with the Czechs — the 17th such accord the U.S. has signed with partner nations — would help “to effectively deal with misinformation and disinformation, which is a poison being injected into our democracies by our adversaries.”

    "The more we’re able to do together both between our countries but also with other countries, the more effective we’re going to be exposing it and dealing with it,” Blinken told reporters at a signing ceremony with Czech Foreign Minister Minister Jan Lipavsky.

    Lipavsky agreed, noting that Czech authorities had recently exposed a major Russian-backed misinformation campaign.

    "We are facing confrontation between democracies and autocracies,” Lipavsky said. "The Kremlin has started targeting targeting democracies all around the world with cyber warfare, propaganda and influence operations and this danger simply cannot be underestimated any more.”

    At a separate NATO-related event on Thursday, Lipavsky said Ukraine needs resources to counter Russia's relentless assault.

    “Ukraine cannot fight against Russia with one hand tied behind its back," he said. "Ukraine must be able to fight against Russia’s barbaric invasion even on Russian territory. Political resolve must be backed by credible capabilities.”

    Norway's foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that his country believes Ukraine “has a crystal-clear right under international law to attack Russia inside Russia as part of the defense of its territory.”

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine and support for Ukrainian attempts to repel it will be a major focus of the NATO foreign minister meetings on Thursday and Friday — the alliance's last major diplomatic gathering before a leaders' summit in Washington in July to mark the 75th anniversary of its founding.

    On Wednesday in Moldova, Blinken said that U.S. policy on how Ukraine deploys American weapons is constantly evolving, suggesting that Washington may rescind an unwritten prohibition on Ukraine’s use of them for attacks on Russian territory.

    Although U.S. officials insist there is no formal ban, they have long made clear that they believe the use of American weapons to attack targets inside Russia could provoke an escalatory response from Moscow, something that Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised.

    That position, Blinken noted, was a “hallmark” of the Biden administration's stance on Ukraine to “adapt and adjust” as needed. Blinken visited Kyiv earlier this month and heard a direct appeal from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to use U.S. military assistance to strike positions in Russian from where attacks on Ukraine are launched.

    “As the conditions have changed, as the battlefield has changed, as what Russia does has changed in terms of how it’s pursuing its aggression, escalation, we’ve adapted and adjusted too, and I’m confident we’ll continue to do that,” Blinken said at a news conference in Chisinau.

    “At every step along the way, we’ve adapted and adjusted as necessary, and so that’s exactly what we’ll do going forward,” he said. “We’re always listening, we’re always learning, and we’re always making determinations about what’s necessary to make sure that Ukraine can effectively continue to defend itself, and we’ll continue to do that.”

    Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that Western countries should not object if Ukraine needs to strike inside Russia to defend itself. Stoltenberg reaffirmed that position on Thursday.

    “I believe that time has come to (re)consider some of these restrictions to enable the Ukrainians to really defend themselves,” he said. "We need to remember what it is. This is a war of aggression launched by choice by Moscow against Ukraine.”

    The right to self-defense, he said, " includes also striking legitimate military targets outside Ukraine.”

    ___

    Lee reported from Prague. Associated Press writer Karel Janicek contributed to this report.

    ___

    Follow the AP's coverage of Secretary of State Antony Blinken at https://apnews.com/hub/antony-blinken.


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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,585
    https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-kharkiv-biden-missiles-9da696ff36130fe8c7033f3960eff382   Berlin lets Ukraine use German weapons against targets in Russia after the US also eases its stance

    Berlin lets Ukraine use German weapons against targets in Russia after the US also eases its stance
    By ILLIA NOVIKOV, MATTHEW LEE and KAREL JANICEK
    Today

    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Germany joined the United States on Friday in authorizing Ukraine to hit some targets on Russian soil with the long-range weapons they are supplying — a significant policy change that comes as depleted Ukrainian troops are losing ground in the war.

    Ukrainian officials have expressed frustration over restrictions on the use of Western weapons — especially as the border region of Kharkiv has endured a Russian onslaught this month that has stretched Kyiv's outgunned and outmanned forces.

    Both Germany and the U.S. specifically authorized the use of weapons to defend Kharkiv, whose capital city of the same name lies only 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Russia. Russian ballistic missiles slammed into an apartment building in the city overnight, Ukrainian officials said, killing at least six people.

    Beyond offering Ukraine a chance of better protecting Kharkiv by targeting Russian capabilities in the region, it’s not clear what effect the easing of restrictions might have on the direction of the conflict in what is proving to be a critical period. But it drew a furious response from Moscow and warnings it could draw Russia into war with NATO.

    The German government said Ukraine can use weapons it supplies against positions just over the border, from where Russia launches its attacks on Kharkiv. A day earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden gave Kyiv a green light to strike back with American weapons at Russian military assets targeting the region, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

    Blinken said Kyiv had asked Washington for permission to use U.S.-supplied weapons against the Kremlin's troops amassing on the Russian side of the border for attacks inside Ukraine. Biden's approval was for that purpose, Blinken said at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Prague.

    U.S. officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, stressed that the U.S. policy calling on Ukraine not to use American-provided ATACMS or long-range missiles and other munitions to strike offensively inside Russia has not changed.

    In response, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, said Friday that “Ukraine and its NATO allies will receive such a devastating response that the alliance won’t be able to avoid entering the conflict” — an eventuality that Western governments have ruled out.

    Western leaders have hesitated to ease the restrictions on their weapons because of the risk it would provoke Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has repeatedly warned that the West’s direct involvement could put the world on a path to nuclear conflict. Last week, Russia said military drills involving tactical nuclear weapons had begun.

    But as Russia has recently gained the battlefield initiative in some parts of the 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front line, some Western leaders have pushed for a policy change allowing Kyiv to strike military bases inside Russia with sophisticated long-range weapons provided by its Western partners.

    The Kremlin’s bigger and better-equipped army is exploiting Ukrainian shortages in troops and ammunition after a lengthy delay in U.S. military aid. Western Europe’s inadequate military production has also slowed crucial deliveries to Ukraine.

    The German government statement noted that, in recent weeks, Russia has prepared, coordinated and carried out attacks on the Kharkiv region, in particular from areas just over the border in Russia.

    “Together we are convinced that Ukraine has the right under international law to defend itself against these attacks,” the statement said. “For this, it can also use the weapons delivered for that purpose in accordance with its international legal commitments, including the ones delivered by us,” it added.

    The question of whether to allow Ukraine to hit targets on Russian soil with Western-supplied weaponry has been a delicate issue since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

    NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Friday he supported lifting the limits on Ukraine's use of Western weaponry, saying it's “a matter of upholding international law — Ukraine’s right to self-defense."

    “Putin wanted to deter the NATO allies from supporting Ukraine. But we are not and we will not be deterred,” Stoltenberg said.

    Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström noted that his country had not restricted Ukraine's use of its weapons at all, while Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Rome won’t let Kyiv use Italian weapons outside its territory.

    In Moscow, Medvedev repeated Russian warnings that the steps being taken could set NATO and Russia on the path to a nuclear conflict. “It’s not an attempt to scare or any sort of a nuclear bluff,” he said.

    Russia’s newly appointed defense minister, Andrei Belousov, claimed Friday that Russian troops are “advancing in all tactical directions,” including in the Kharkiv region where he said they have pushed Ukrainian forces back by as much as 9 kilometers (5 miles). Russian forces captured 28 towns and villages over the past month, he said.

    Overall since the start of the year, Russian forces have taken control of 880 square kilometers (340 square miles) of territory, he added.

    It was not possible to verify his battlefield claims.

    Overnight into Friday, Russia launched five ballistic missiles at Kharkiv, Ukraine’s air force said. One of them struck a residential building close to midnight and was followed by another missile 25 minutes later that hit first responders, according to regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov.

    Six people were killed, according to Syniehubov, and at least 25 were wounded.

    Ukrainian officials have previously accused Russia of targeting rescue workers by hitting residential buildings with two consecutive missiles — the first one to draw emergency crews to the scene and the second one to wound or kill them. Russia used the method in Syria’s civil war.

    Apart from Kharkiv, Moscow's troops are pressing in the Donetsk region further south and are assembling a force for an expected attack in the Sumy region further north, according to Ukrainian officials.

    ___

    Lee and Janicek reported from Prague. Associated Press writers Geir Moulson in Berlin and Ellen Knickmeyer, Aamer Madhani and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

    ___

    Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

     

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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,585
    G7 agrees to begin using seized russian assets to help ukraine, starting at fifty billion dollars...

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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,585
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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