Latest Developments in Ukraine: April 23

Ukraine Trying to Evacuate Women, Children, Elderly From MariupolNs News Online Desk:

Ns News Online Desk:  Comments earlier Friday by Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia’s central military district, show that Russia will not stop with Ukraine.

Russian state news agencies quoted Minnekayev as saying that Moscow wanted to seize Ukraine’s entire eastern Donbas region, provide a land corridor to link with the Crimean Peninsula, and capture the country’s entire south as far west as a Russian-occupied breakaway region of Moldova. That would mean carrying the offensive hundreds of kilometers past the current lines and to the border with Moldova.

Moldova summoned Russia’s ambassador Friday to express ‘deep concern’ over the general’s comments.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jalina Porter declined to comment on the Russian general’s statement but said Washington firmly supported Moldova’s sovereignty.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the comments by the Russian general showed that Russia’s previous claims that it had no territorial ambitions were not true.

‘They stopped hiding it,’ Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Twitter, adding that Russia has ‘acknowledged that the goal of the ‘second phase’ of the war is not victory over the mythical Nazis, but simply the occupation of eastern and southern Ukraine. Imperialism as it is.’

Russian President Vladimir Putin previously said Russia had no intention of permanently occupying Ukrainian cities. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, a move that was widely condemned by the international community.

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