Putin accuses US of dragging out conflict with Ukraine to ‘destabilize’ the world

Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the United States of dragging out the conflict in Ukraine, initiated by a military offensive by Moscow almost six months ago, when a new incident occurred at a Russian base in Crimea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the United States of dragging out the conflict in Ukraine, which began with a military offensive by Moscow almost six months ago, when a new incident took place at a Russian base in Crimea. . At the same time, a humanitarian ship transporting cereals to Africa left Ukraine on Tuesday: a first since the agreement was signed in July by kyiv and Moscow, mediated by Turkey and under the aegis of the UN, agreements on the export of Ukrainian cereals blocked because of the conflict.

The war, which began on February 24, has resulted in very heavy Western sanctions against Russia and historic financial and military aid for Ukraine, causing unprecedented tensions, particularly between Washington and Moscow. Vladimir Putin more generally criticized the United States for seeking to “destabilize” the world, also citing the recent visit to Taiwan by the Speaker of the American House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. “The situation in Ukraine shows that the United States is trying to drag out this conflict. And it is doing the same by cultivating the possibility of conflict in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America,” Putin said in a statement. an address to the International Security Conference in Moscow. The Russian president denounced an “insolent demonstration of their lack of respect for the sovereignty of other countries and their international obligations”.

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This accusation comes as Russian military bases in the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, which serves as a logistics rear base for Russian forces, are suffering fires. Tuesday, a fire caused an explosion of ammunition in a base located in the district of Djankoï (north), according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. Two civilians were injured and residents of a nearby village were being evacuated, according to Crimean Governor Sergei Aksionov. The “operation + demilitarization + in the goldsmith style of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will continue until the complete emptying of Ukrainian territories. Our soldiers are the best sponsors of our good mood. Crimea is Ukraine”, commented the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriï Yermak, on his Telegram channel.

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“Nuclear Attack Deterrence”

Last week, ammunition intended for military aviation exploded as a result of a fire at a depot located on the territory of the Saki military airfield in western Crimea. These explosions left one dead and several injured. The incident was presented by Moscow as the result of an accident, but experts and satellite images seem to reveal the result of a Ukrainian attack. Since the invasion of Ukraine, Crimea has played a key role in Russian strategy. The offensive on southern Ukraine, which allowed Moscow to capture large swaths of territory in the first weeks of the war, started from there.

Russian planes also take off almost daily from Crimea to strike targets in areas under kyiv’s control; several areas of this peninsula are located within the range of Ukrainian guns and drones. Despite the conflict, Crimea has remained an important vacation spot for many Russians who continue to enjoy summer on its beaches. The Zaporijjia nuclear power plant, under Russian control in southern Ukraine, has also remained a source of major tension for days: several strikes, of which Moscow and kyiv mutually accuse each other, have targeted the installation, the largest in Europe. If the fear of a nuclear disaster has been brandished as far as the UN Security Council, the Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, tried to reassure on Tuesday about Russian intentions in the nuclear field. “The main purpose of Russian nuclear weapons is deterrence of nuclear attack,” he said.

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Cereals for Africa

As the conflict has led to the blockage for months of Ukrainian grain exports, worsening food insecurity in many developing countries, the first UN ship loaded with grain for Africa left on Tuesday. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure, the ship left the port of Pivdenny in southern Ukraine with some 23,000 tonnes of grain on board for Ethiopia.

According to the World Food Program (WFP), a record 345 million people in 82 countries are now facing acute food insecurity, while up to 50 million people in 45 countries are at risk of starvation without humanitarian aid. Since the agreements on the export of Ukrainian cereals signed at the end of July, more than 15 boats in total have left Ukraine, according to kyiv’s count, but no humanitarian cargo from the UN has yet set sail. Present at the port of Pivdenny on Sunday, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said he hoped that “two or three” additional ships chartered by the UN could leave soon.

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