Lithuanian PM Ingrida Simonyte: ‘Russia is losing, so Putin is attacking civilians’
15 October 2022 | 2:24 pm
In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 following Russia’s recent missile attacks on Ukraine, Lithuania’s Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said the reason civilians are being targeted is because Russia is “losing on the battleground”, and want to “create panic and exert pressure on Ukrainian society - and us”.
With Russia in retreat on the battlefield, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the stakes on Wednesday with the announcement that Russian reservists would be mobilised and referendums held in areas of Ukraine on joining Russia, all while he made threats to the West.
The Ukrainian president has promised to protect Russian soldiers who voluntarily surrender. Meanwhile, pro-Russian authorities have accused Ukraine of targeting a hotel in Kherson.
Moroccan prisoner of war, Brahim Saadoun, returned home on Saturday after Russia agreed to release 10 foreigners captured in Ukraine following a prisoner exchange brokered by Saudi Arabia.
The 25-year-old was reportedly upset that his friend who had no prior military experience had received draft orders. The shooting follows Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement of partial mobilization.
The EU denounced the "illegal" annexation votes Russia held in occupied Ukrainian regions and proposed a new raft of sanctions over the development.
While China is providing rhetorical and some forms of economic support to Russia, there are other forms of support that China will be warier about, says Andrew Small, senior transatlantic fellow with at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
In an interview with FRANCE 24 from Kyiv, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba struck a defiant tone, saying that the planned annexation this Friday by Russia of four Ukrainian regions following so-called referendums changes "nothing" for Ukraine and the world.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court spoke about alleged war crimes in Ukraine with FRANCE 24, Karim A. A. Khan KC urged Russia to cooperate with the ICC and said "we've got no political agenda".
NATO countries and other allies of Ukraine have been quick to slam Russia's illegal annexation of parts of the country, and some have already hit back with fresh punitive measures.
Numerous reports indicate Russia's partial mobilization has been disorganized and arbitrary. DW spoke to some who received draft notices even though they should not have.
Russia's military has called up over 300,000 reservists for duty in its war against Ukraine. But countries bordering Russia report almost 200,000 Russian nationals have crossed since the mobilization was declared. Others are staying and protesting.
The head of Europe's largest nuclear power plant was kidnapped, Ukraine's nuclear power company said. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces surrounded some 5,000 Russian soldiers in the key city of Lyman.
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