Ceasefire in Ukraine: “Maybe in a few weeks”

How things will continue now depends on the further course of the war – and on talks that are being held with the help of Turkey. Griffiths says he will next travel to Turkey to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As far as further negotiation opportunities are concerned, the Turks are “closest,” said Griffiths, who recently held talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Griffiths has been tasked by UN chief Antonio Guterres with exploring the possibility of a “humanitarian truce” in Ukraine. From the start, however, there was no great hope that the mission would be successful, even for Guterres. In fact, a ceasefire does not seem possible in Ukraine at this point in time, as the UN chief said at a press conference on Wednesday.

APA/AFP/Ronaldo Schemidt

Kyiv: Russian offensive in east has begun

Kyiv: Offensive started in east

The latest developments in the theaters of war in Ukraine also speak against an imminent ceasefire. According to information from Kyiv, Russian troops launched a major attack in the east of the country on Monday. After more than seven weeks of war, an offensive in the east had been expected for days. According to Moscow, the Russian troops had withdrawn from the greater Kyiv area.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army reported on Monday evening “signs of the start of the offensive”, especially in the areas around the major cities of Kharkiv and Donetsk. There was also heavy fighting in the Luhansk region.

Russian major offensive in eastern Ukraine

Six people were killed in attacks on the Ukrainian city of Lviv. Other major cities were also the target of Russian attacks: according to information from Kyiv, a major offensive in eastern Ukraine that had been expected for days had apparently begun.

According to the Ukrainian governor, Serhiy Hajdaj, Russian forces have taken control of the small town of Kreminna. There are street fights, an evacuation is no longer possible. “The situation is getting worse every hour.” In Kreminna, of the 18,000 inhabitants before the war, around 4,000 are said to be holding out.

Mariupol continued to be contested

Fighting also continued in Mariupol, a city that once had a population of more than 400,000. The Ukrainian General Staff reported rocket and bomb attacks. Tu-22M3 supersonic bombers would also be used. The Ukrainians did not follow the call to surrender. Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal announced a fight “to the end” on US broadcaster ABC. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of wanting to raze Mariupol to the ground. There, several thousand Ukrainian fighters are said to have holed up in a steelworks – and there are also numerous civilians.

Smoke over steel mill in Mariupol

Archyde.com/Alexander Ermochenko

In Mariupol, the last Ukrainian units have entrenched themselves in a steelworks

Dead in western Ukrainian city of Lviv

However, the target of the attacks is also the west: according to the authorities, there were fatalities from Russian rockets for the first time in the city of Lviv – at least six. In addition to the dead, the rocket attack on the city of 720,000 people injured numerous people, including a child, according to the mayor.

Four or five strikes were reported. Civilian buildings such as a tire service and a hotel are also said to have been hit. The Old Town of Lviv is a World Heritage Site. Moscow confirmed the attacks in the evening. A logistics center was also destroyed with weapons from the West.

EU: “Indiscriminate” attacks on civilian targets

The attacks on Lviv and other cities in western Ukraine made it clear “that no part of the country is spared from the Kremlin’s senseless attacks,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels.

Smoke over Lviv

Archyde.com/Roman Baluk

Borrell after attack on Lviv: “No part of the country safe from senseless attacks”.

Major cities, including Kharkiv in north-eastern Ukraine, “continue to be indiscriminately attacked”. This leads to the “destruction of civilian life and civilian infrastructure,” according to Borrell, who thus again accuses Russia of “arbitrary” bombing attacks against civilian facilities. “War crimes must not go unpunished,” Borrell said. “Russia must immediately and unconditionally cease hostilities and withdraw all of its armed forces and military equipment from Ukraine.”

Putin honors “Bucha Brigade”.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin bestowed an honorary title on the brigade believed to be behind the war crimes in the city of Bucha. Putin signed a decree on Monday giving the 64th Motorized Infantry Brigade the honorary title of “Guards,” according to the Kremlin. The award is justified with “heroism and bravery, determination and courage” of the members.

The Kremlin did not provide information on where members of the brigade are currently located or where they were stationed. No further details were given about their duties.

Hundreds of bodies examined

Ukraine had accused the Russian army and above all the 64th Brigade of having carried out a massacre of civilians in the city of Bucha near Kyiv. After the Russian troops left, dead men in civilian clothes, some with their hands tied, were found on the streets of Bucha. According to regional authorities, more than 400 dead have now been recovered in Butscha.

A number of bodies were also found in the city of Irpin, which was also recaptured from the Ukraine, after the Russian soldiers had left. Ukrainian investigators have examined 269 bodies in Irpin so far, a police officer told reporters on Monday, according to the Guardian.

The city, which had a population of around 62,000 before the war, was one of the main battlegrounds with Russian troops before they withdrew from Ukraine’s northern regions to intensify their offensive in the east.

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