Day 37 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Regroups Troops, the US Released Oil from its Reserves
Russian forces in Ukraine are regrouping to redouble their attacks in the east of the country, said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
The United Kingdom says Russia is bringing in between 1,200 and 2,000 Georgian troops as reinforcements.
On Tuesday, Moscow said it would reduce its military activity in northern Ukraine and focus on “liberating” the Donbas region in the southeast.
Stoltenberg said Russia's goal of pursuing military victory has not changed.
“We see that the shelling of cities continues and that Russia is redirecting some troops, relocating some of them, most likely to intensify its efforts in the Donbas region,” he said.
“At the same time, Russia continues to put pressure on Kyiv and other cities. So we can expect further offensive action that will bring even more suffering and destruction.”
“Putin is not the force he used to be,” said the British defense minister. “Now he's a man in a cage he built himself.”
The Russian leader threatens to suspend gas supplies to “unfriendly” countries if the EU does not trade in Russian currency. Germany has said it will investigate the details of the request, but that there can be no “political blackmail” over gas imports.
In a video address, Ukrainian President Zelensky announced that he had fired two generals because they were “traitors to national interests.”
Zelensky used some colorful metaphors, portraying Russian forces as “evil.” He said that “the invaders are trying to penetrate and gain a foothold in our house from different directions - from the earth, from the sky, from the sea. They are crawling, flying, sailing. There is so much evil in them, so much thirst for destruction that they remind us not of humans, but of something extraterrestrial. They are monsters that burn and plunder that attack and are like hellish chimeras.”
President Joe Biden has announced the release of an unprecedented 180 million barrels of oil from US strategic reserves.
The Ukrainian government is sending dozens of buses to Mariupol in a new effort to evacuate people and deliver humanitarian aid today.
Russia has warned that EU sanctions will not go unanswered. On Friday, RIA Novosti quoted a senior foreign ministry official as saying the confrontation with Moscow would not be in the bloc's interests. “Irresponsible sanctions from Brussels are already having a negative impact on the daily lives of ordinary Europeans,” Nikolay Kobrinets told the media.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola has said she is on her way to Ukraine, making her the first EU leader to visit a war-torn country. The Maltese MEP, who was elected in January, wrote on Twitter on Thursday: “On the way to Kyiv” against the background of the Ukrainian flag, but did not give more details about her visit. In mid-March, the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia left for Kyiv to show solidarity with Ukraine.
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