Day 207 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Zelensky hinted Kyiv could regain Crimea through Diplomatic ChannelsUkraine | September 18, 2022, Sunday // 12:47| views
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
More evidence of torture was found in Izyum
Ukrainian authorities continue exhuming bodies from mass graves discovered in the recaptured city of Izyum. According to official sources, hundreds are buried there. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the Russian armed forces of massively resorting to torture in the recently occupied part of the Kharkiv region.
Representatives of the Emergency Service and police experts and investigators are working in the forest near Izyum, examining the bodies, some of which are Ukrainian soldiers, others civilians. More evidence was found that the people whose bodies were found in the mass grave had been tortured. And in liberated towns and villages of the Kharkiv region, more than ten premises adapted for torture were discovered. This is what the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in his late night address:
"Torture was a widespread practice in the territories occupied by Russia. So did the Nazis. So are doing ‘rucists’. But they too will be held accountable in the same way - both on the battlefield and in the courtrooms."
The Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU has called for the creation of a new international tribunal to establish the truth about what happened in Izyum and other places in Ukraine where war crimes are suspected.
Meanwhile, Russian-appointed occupation authorities in the southern Kherson region reported fighting in the center of Kherson city. There were also several explosions. It is assumed that the Russian anti-missile defense system has been activated, reports the TASS agency. According to a Ukrainian agency, it is possible that it is a question of clashes between groups of Russian soldiers.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army announced that the counter-offensive to recapture the Kherson region continues and Russian forces are preparing to withdraw from there.
Zelensky hinted that Ukraine could regain Crimea through diplomatic channels
President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Crimea could be returned to Ukrainian control through diplomatic means.
"It can happen in this way. Of course, people in Ukraine are more favorable to the diplomatic way of solving this issue. (But) what circle of people will discuss this issue and when it will happen, I cannot say now," Zelensky answered a question from Reuters about the prospects for the return of Crimea.
Zelensky stressed that he cannot disclose details for now, but Ukraine "will be able to live peacefully only if it gets all the land back".
"There is no other chance, there is simply no way out, we must de-occupy the territory," he was categorical.
In the first weeks of the war, the Ukrainian authorities allowed the search for a compromise with Russia on the Crimea issue and offered, among other things, to abandon a military solution to the issue for 15 years. Kyiv now allows negotiations with Russia only after its complete withdrawal from Ukrainian territories, notes "Meduza" media.
In August, the Ukrainian military struck Russian air bases in Crimea. In early September, VSU Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhniy, in an article on the prospects for war in 2023, explained that a military operation to liberate Crimea was possible, noting at the same time that it would require the use of "the production bases and reserves of the leading (Western) countries".
Russian troops around Lyman are threatened by encirclement
The Russian grouping around Lyman in the Donetsk region is at risk of encirclement by Ukrainian forces, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Analysts write that the Ukrainian Armed Forces (VSU) appear to be expanding their positions east of the Oskol River and north of Seversky Donets. This, in turn, could allow the Ukrainians to encircle the Russian troops stationed around Liman.
A further Ukrainian advance east along the northern bank of the Seversky Donets River could render the Russian positions around Lyman unusable and open the approaches to Lysychansk and possibly Sievierodonetsk.
"The Russian defenders in Lyman still appear to consist mostly of BARS (Russian Combat Army) reservists and remnants of the units routed during the VSU counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast, and the Russians do not appear to be sending reinforcements to the area," the report said. .
Yesterday, servicemen from the 66th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the VSU announced the liberation of the village of Shturovo in the Donetsk region. The village is located 12 km from the city of Liman in the Donetsk region.
The counter-offensive of the Ukrainian armed forces continues in the southern and eastern parts of the country. A day earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that almost the entire territory of the Kharkiv region had been liberated.
Law enforcement agencies continue to find human remains of soldiers and civilians with signs of torture in the de-occupied territories, reports UNIAN.
"The successes of VSU in the southern part of the country are due to very hard battles and efforts. The progress is not as fast and swift as we would like, but it is quite effective," said the spokesperson of OK "South" Nataliya Gumeniuk.
In the area of the hydroelectric plant in Nova Kakhovka, the occupiers sank 9 wagons to build a crossing to prepare escape routes.
The Russian armed forces are preparing for defense both in the east (the Svatovo-Kremina strip) and in the south, in Kherson. Civilian checks have been stepped up, and the Russians continue to arrest civilians who are allegedly "connected to the VSU and SBU".
In total, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian armed forces have already liquidated 54,250 occupiers and thousands of units of enemy equipment, notes UNIAN.
Indian PM Modi advising Putin of "today's era is not of war" grabs headlines across leading international media orgs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's advice to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine war during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's summit in Uzbekistan's Samarkand has grabbed the attention of leading international media organizations.
"Today's era is not of war and I have spoken to you about it on the call. Today we will get the opportunity to talk about how we can progress on the path of peace. India and Russia have stayed together with each other for several decades," PM Modi told Putin expressing his concerns about the impact of the war on food and energy security. "We spoke several times on the phone about India-Russia bilateral relations and various issues. We should find ways to address the problems of food, fuel security and fertilizers. I want to thank Russia and Ukraine for helping us to evacuate our students from Ukraine," he added.
International media praised PM Modi's diplomatic acumen, who in a friendly tone pushed the concerns of the global community to its long-standing friend Russia.
American publication -CNN praised PM Modi's hold on world politics and reported "Indian leader Narendra Modi tells Putin: Now is not the time for war"
While another US publication Washington Post headline was "Modi rebukes Putin over war in Ukraine".
"India's Leader Tells Putin That Now Is Not an Era for War," The New York Times said in its headline.
It was the lead story on the webpage of both The Washington Post and The New York Times.
Meanwhile, the leading Japanese publication, NHK's headline was "Indian PM Modi tells Putin to pursue peace", while Hong Kong-based leading daily South China Morning Post reported: Now is 'not a time for war', India's Modi tells Russia's Putin who vows to 'end this as soon as possible.'
Other publications like Politico reported; "India's Modi tells Putin: This is 'not the era for war" and US News headlines was "Indian PM Modi Tells Russia's Putin Now 'Is Not an Era of War".
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine in February of this year.
The statements were made by PM Modi during a face-to-face meeting on Friday, on the sidelines of a regional summit, and highlighted Russia's increasing isolation on the diplomatic stage. They came just a day after Putin conceded that China had "questions and concerns" over the invasion.
Responding to PM Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he knows about India's position on the Ukraine conflict and "we want all of this to end as soon as possible".
"I know about your position on the Ukraine conflict. I know about your concerns. We want all of this to end as soon as possible," Putin said.
"But the other party, the leadership of Ukraine has claimed... that they refuse to engage in the negotiation process. They said they want to achieve their objectives, as they say, on the battlefield militarily. We will keep you abreast of everything that is happening over there," he added.
"The rare reproach showed the 69-year-old Russian strongman coming under extraordinary pressure from all sides," the Post said.
Putin said that relations between Russia and India are in the nature of a privileged strategic partnership and continue to develop very rapidly.
"We are actively engaging at international platforms. We are in discussion on international issues. Sometimes these issues are something that is not very good news...," he said.
The meeting comes as heavy shelling continues in areas of southern and eastern Ukraine that have been taken back from Russian forces. Ukrainian officials said they had uncovered at least 440 graves at a mass burial site in the city of Izium in the recently liberated Kharkiv region.
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