Day 392 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Putin and Xi reaffirmed the Principle that Nuclear War should Never StartUkraine | March 22, 2023, Wednesday // 11:35| views
Day 392 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Putin and Xi reaffirmed the principle that nuclear war should never start
- Zelensky has offered China to support Kyiv’s formula for peace in Ukraine
- The US does not believe that China can be a mediator in the Russia-Ukraine conflict
- Russia attacked again with Shahed drones, three dead and 7 wounded in Kyiv region
- The USA will send 31 tanks a year earlier
- To the horror of the Kremlin: London will Ukraine shells with depleted uranium
- London has defended its decision to send depleted uranium projectiles to Kyiv
- Ukraine receives the first ever IMF loan for a country at war
Putin and Xi reaffirmed the principle that nuclear war should never start
In a joint communique after official talks yesterday in the Kremlin, the leaders of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, reaffirmed the principle that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it should never begin.
In a statement to the media after the talks, Vladimir Putin called Russian-Chinese relations "a model of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction."
Putin supported the "Position of China on the Political Regulation of the Ukrainian Crisis" published in February.
"We believe that many of the provisions in the peace plan proposed by China correspond to the Russian approach and can be taken as the basis of the peace settlement when they are ready for it in the West and in Kyiv," Putin said, adding that so far there is no such readiness and gave as an example the intention of Great Britain to deliver to Ukraine not only tanks, but also shells with depleted uranium.
"If all this happens, then Russia will be forced to respond accordingly, given that the collective West is beginning to use weapons with nuclear components."
Xi Jinping's three-day state visit to Russia ends today.
Zelensky has offered China to support Kyiv’s formula for peace in Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has offered China to support Kyiv’s formula for peace in Ukraine, but there is still no response from Beijing. Representatives of the International Monetary Fund and Ukraine reached an agreement on a financial package in the amount of more than 15 billion dollars.
President Zelensky announced the proposal made to China after the talks in Kyiv with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, specifying that there is still no response from the Chinese side. Beijing's 12-point peace plan does not include Kyiv’s firm condition for a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from occupied Ukrainian territories.
Zelensky again emphasized the need for additional ammunition for the Ukrainian defense and marked one year since the first victorious battles of the Ukrainian army:
"We will achieve such a result in other combat operations as well. In the heroic battles for Donbas, where the Ukrainian flag will inevitably fly. In the ongoing opposition to the south, which will restore normal life in the Azov region. In the return of our Crimea, from where the migration of the most far-sighted rats of the terrorist state has already begun."
A Russian drone was shot down last night in Kyiv region. Two Kh-59 air-to-air missiles were destroyed in the Odesa region. Three casualties were reported in the Black Sea city.
Ukraine has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a financial package worth more than $15 billion. The loan is for a period of 4 years and its granting is to be approved by the management board of the fund. The institution expects an increase in Ukraine's gross domestic product this year.
The US does not believe that China can be a mediator in the Russia-Ukraine conflict
The US administration said it does not consider China capable of being an impartial mediator between Moscow and Kyiv in connection with the war in Ukraine, reports AFP.
"I don't think China can reasonably be seen as an impartial mediator in any way," White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
He noted that China has refrained from criticizing Russia's invasion of Ukraine and continues to buy Russian oil even as the West imposes sanctions on Moscow's energy industry to deprive the Kremlin of money to pay for the war.
China, Kirby added, also "continues to repeat Russian propaganda" that the US and other Western countries are to blame for the war because they have exerted such strong influence over the years.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Russia and met with President Vladimir Putin, with the war in Ukraine high on their agenda.
After the talks yesterday, they welcomed what they called a "new era" in Russian-Chinese relations.
China has presented a 12-point position paper on the war, which includes a call for dialogue and respect for the territorial sovereignty of all countries.
Putin said he was open to talks on Ukraine and praised Beijing's position paper.
Kirby pointed out that Russia and China "want to change the rules of this game," referring to the international legal order.
Still, the United States wants to maintain channels of communication with China, he said.
Kirby added that he was not aware of China providing military aid to Russia. The United States has said that China is considering such a major step, but China denies these claims.
Russia attacked again with Shahed drones, three dead and 7 wounded in Kyiv region
Tonight, Russia attacked several areas of Ukraine with Iranian Shahed kamikaze drones. According to the Kyiv Regional Military Administration, there were dead and wounded in the area as a result of the strikes.
It is reported that as a result of the night attack of the Martyrs in the Kyiv region, a civilian object was damaged.
"Until now, we know of 3 dead and 7 wounded. The information is being clarified," the military administration reports.
Among the victims is an 11-year-old child.
Rescuers, police and emergency services are on site. The victims are given the necessary assistance. By 05:50 a.m., the fire was contained.
At the same time, in the Telegram channel of the Kyiv City Military Administration, in connection with the latest air alert in Kyiv, which lasted more than four hours, it is noted that according to the final information, in the airspace around Kyiv, about eight enemy unmanned aerial vehicles of the type " Shahed" were spoted.
Later, the State Emergency Service and the General Prosecutor's Office in Kyiv showed the consequences of the attacks in Kyiv region that night.
Russian munitions hit the top two floors of two five-story buildings, and in addition, a three-story academic building of a vocational lyceum in Rzhyshchiv, Kyiv Oblast, was partially destroyed by the enemy attack with subsequent ignition.
The US will send 31 tanks a year earlier
The United States will deliver tanks to Ukraine faster than planned. The Pentagon has announced that the Abrams tanks will arrive this fall. When Washington decided to send heavy war machines, the manner of the delivery caused astonishment. The tanks would not be taken from available units, but newly produced. That meant delivery in 2024.
Now the Pentagon says there is a change in plan. Another modification of Abrams tanks will be sent. They can run on diesel fuel, like the rest of the machines in the Ukrainian army. This will make their use easier from a logistical point of view.
"In close cooperation with Ukraine, it was decided to deliver the M1A1 model of the Abrams tank. This will allow us to significantly accelerate the delivery time. Ukraine will receive this important equipment in the fall. This will give them a very similar combat capability, with upgraded armor , a 120 mm cannon and a 12 mm heavy machine gun," Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said.
Japan will Ukraine with a grant of 470 million dollars
Japan is providing Ukraine with a $470 million grant for energy and other needs and another $30 million for non-lethal military equipment. This was announced by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida after his surprise visit to Kyiv. He invited the Ukrainian president to attend the G-7 summit to be held in Hiroshima in May via video conference. Kishida's trip coincided with Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Russia. In response to Kishida's trip, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that two of its strategic bombers flew over the Sea of Japan for more than seven hours.
“Our discussions with Mr. Kishida were quite fruitful. It is important to note that this visit occurs during Japan's tenure as head of the G7, the head of the seven major democracies. Japan has expressed readiness to join our recovery efforts, to be a leader in these economic and infrastructural processes. But also today I saw a very concrete readiness of Japan to work with us for an even greater mobilization of the world to protect the world order from aggression, to protect it from Russian terror," said Volodymyr Zelensky.
To the horror of the Kremlin: London will Ukraine shells with depleted uranium
The UK will send armor-piercing projectiles containing depleted uranium to Ukraine. They will be used by a tank squadron provided by the British Army. This was announced by British Deputy Defense Minister Baroness Annabel Goldie in response to a written parliamentary question from her colleague Lord Hylton, reports Declassified UK.
"These rounds are very effective against modern tanks and armored vehicles," says Goldie.
Depleted uranium munitions are not recognized as chemical weapons and their use is not regulated in any way.
A White House spokesman declined to confirm whether the US was supplying such weapons to Ukraine when asked by a journalist in January.
Russia has previously warned that it would regard the use of depleted uranium in Ukraine as a "dirty bomb".
"If such projectiles for NATO's heavy military equipment are delivered to Kyiv, we will consider this to be the use of dirty nuclear bombs against Russia with all the ensuing consequences," Kremlin spokesman Konstantin Gavrilov said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reacted almost instantly to Britain's intention to supply depleted uranium shells for the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Challenger 2 tanks.
"It seems that the West has really decided to go to war with Russia to the last Ukrainian, not in words, but in deeds. Russia will be forced to react, given that the collective West is starting to use weapons with a nuclear component," he said.
Depleted uranium projectiles are not related to nuclear weapons and have never been classified as such. The peculiarity of depleted uranium lies in its high density and, as a result, also high armor-piercing qualities.
London has defended its decision to send depleted uranium projectiles to Kyiv
Britain has defended its decision to send depleted uranium projectiles to Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would be "forced to respond" to such an act.
The UK has confirmed it will provide Kyiv with armour-piercing shells, along with Challenger 2 tanks, saying there is too low a radiation risk.
"Depleted uranium is a standard component and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. The British Army has used depleted uranium in its armor-piercing projectiles for decades," the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
Chemical weapons expert Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon told the BBC that Putin's comments were "classic disinformation" regarding depleted uranium munitions.
He specified that the depleted uranium projectiles used by the Challenger 2 tanks contained only trace elements of depleted uranium.
Depleted uranium projectiles were used in Iraq and the Balkans, and some say it was linked to subsequent birth defects, the BBC reported.
Ukraine receives the first ever IMF loan for a country at war
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it has reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine on financing worth $15.6 billion. The organization's first loan to the country at war is expected to be approved in the coming weeks, the BBC reported.
This will also be one of the largest financial packages that Ukraine has received since the Russian invasion of its territory.
The IMF recently changed a rule that allows lending to countries facing "extremely high uncertainty."
"Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues to have a devastating impact on the economy: activity has shrunk by 30% in 2022, much of the capital stock has been destroyed, and poverty levels have risen," IMF official Gavin Gray said.
"The program was developed in accordance with the fund's new policy of lending under an extremely high degree of uncertainty, and serious guarantees of financing are expected from donors, including the G-7 and the EU."
Mr. Gray also said the agreement would "mobilize large-scale preferential financing" for Ukraine from international donors and partners, without elaborating. The IMF expects the Ukrainian economy to experience slight contraction or growth this year.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the IMF tranches will help the country "finance all critical expenses and ensure macroeconomic stability, as well as strengthen our interaction with other international partners."
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who made a surprise visit to Ukraine last month, said: "An ambitious IMF program with appropriate conditionality is critical to support Ukraine's reform efforts."
The US is the largest shareholder in the IMF and the largest donor to Ukraine in terms of funds spent.
Earlier this year, President Joe Biden announced nearly half a billion dollars more in US military aid to Ukraine. That's on top of the $112 billion Congress spent in 2022 alone.
Military aid, which accounts for more than half of US spending on Ukraine, pays for drones, tanks, missiles and other munitions systems, as well as training, logistics and intelligence support.
Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February last year, money from around the world has continued to pour into the conflict. The IMF said last week that its executive board had approved a rule change to allow financing for countries facing "extremely high uncertainty". Without mentioning Ukraine, the fund said the measure applies to countries experiencing "exogenous shocks that are beyond the control of the country's authorities and the scope of their economic policies".
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