Day 85 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv Extends Martial Law and Mobilization by 90 Days, US Warned Moscow, Russia used Laser Weapons
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Ukraine extended martial law and mobilization by 90 days
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree to extend the martial law and mobilization in the country for another 90 days. Talks over the evacuation of fighters from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol were described as "very difficult" by an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency. Kyiv has announced that it has ordered the garrison to withdraw there but has not yet commented on the fate of the fighters.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said he relied on parliament to support the decree he signed. The continuation of the martial law and the general mobilization for 90 days must be approved by at least half of the Ukrainian deputies. In his last video address, he addressed the residents of the occupied settlements:
“Kherson, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Energodar, Mariupol, and all settlements under temporary occupation must know that Ukraine will return. Our country does not abandon anyone and regains what belongs to it. We remember Crimea and we will never forget the genocide of 1944, which the Soviet government staged against the Crimean Tatars, nor the year 2014, the second wave of destruction of the free Crimean peninsula.”
Shelling on border settlements
Ukrainian forces shelled a border village in Russia's western Kursk region early this morning, Reuters reported. At least one civilian has been killed, said District Governor Roman Starovoit.
At the same time, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry announced shelling of Sumy and Chernihiv regions by the Russian side for about two hours.
Earlier, the adviser to the head of the presidential administration in Kyiv Oleksiy Arestovych predicted that the war in Ukraine is unlikely to end by autumn. He pointed out that the martial law in the country could be lifted at any time but also suggested that it could be maintained in some regions of Ukraine. Arestovych also said that one of the main tasks in rebuilding the country would be demining.
Evacuation of Ukrainian soldiers and use of laser weapons
So far, nearly 1,000 Ukrainian fighters have left the Mariupol steel plant since Monday. They were taken to Russian-controlled territory, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Adviser to the Ukrainian presidency Mykhailo Podolyak said the evacuation talks were a challenge, "because people's lives are at stake and because the defenders of the port city are ‘symbolic’ but in a negative way for Russia.”
Russia, meanwhile, said it was using a new generation of powerful laser weapons to burn drones in an attempt to counter the flow of Western weapons supplied to Ukraine. However, the Ukrainian president drew a parallel with Nazi Germany's claim that it invented the "miracle weapon" in the last days of World War II, when it became clear that it would lose.
According to him, in the third month of the full-scale war, Russia is trying to find its "miracle weapon", which shows the complete failure of the mission.
Electricity from Zaporizhzhia
“TheZaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is currently connected to Ukraine's energy network”. Thus, the company Ukrenergo responded to Russian claims that in the future Kyiv will have to pay for electricity from the plant. In a statement from the company explained that the facility is under the control of Ukrainian specialists. In addition, the country's electricity transmission system is not connected to that of Russia and Belarus, and delivery to Russian territory is virtually impossible.
Earlier, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said Ukraine would be able to receive electricity from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant if it paid for it. The plant was captured by Russian troops in early March.
The United States has warned Moscow not to do nonsense while Finland and Sweden wait for NATO
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned that the United States "will not tolerate any aggression" against Sweden and Finland as the Nordic countries prepare to join NATO.
He told a White House briefing that under Article 5, an attack on a NATO nation was equivalent to an attack on a military bloc. This does not apply to Finland and Sweden until they are approved without exception by the 30 Member States, but the United States and the Alliance are prepared to show any potential aggressor that no attacks on either side will be allowed during the application process
The National Security Adviser also said that practical measures are and can be taken in this direction.
This sounds like a warning, especially to Russia, which said last week that it could take "retaliatory" action against Finland and Sweden if necessary if they joined the pact.
According to Sullivan, if necessary, the United States is ready to provide defense capabilities to Finland and Sweden, although Article 5 does not apply to them until they are formally admitted to NATO.
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