Russia’s high diplomat mentioned Moscow’s overarching aim is to topple the federal government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, making Russian warfare goals extra specific as its forces maintain pummeling Ukraine with artillery barrages and air strikes.
The comment from Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov comes amid Ukraine’s efforts to renew grain exports from its Black Sea ports, one thing that may assist ease international meals shortages, below a brand new deal examined by a Russian strike on Odesa over the weekend.
Talking to envoys at an Arab League summit in Cairo late Sunday, Lavrov mentioned Moscow is decided to assist Ukrainians “liberate themselves from the burden of this positively unacceptable regime.”
Lavrov accused Kyiv and “its Western allies” of spouting propaganda supposed to make sure that Ukraine “turns into the everlasting enemy of Russia.”
“Russian and Ukrainian folks would proceed to stay collectively, we will definitely assist Ukrainian folks to eliminate the regime, which is totally anti-people and anti-historical,” he mentioned.
Lavrov’s remarks contrasted sharply with the Kremlin’s line early within the warfare, when Russian officers repeatedly emphasised that they weren’t looking for to overthrow Zelenskyy’s authorities.
Lavrov argued that Russia was prepared to barter a deal to finish hostilities in March when Kyiv modified tack and declared its intention to rout Russia on the battlefield, including that the West has inspired Ukraine to maintain preventing.
“The West insists that Ukraine should not begin negotiations till Russia is defeated on the battlefield,” Lavrov mentioned.
It was not but clear when grain shipments would resume following Russia and Ukraine signing equivalent agreements with the United Nations and Turkey on Friday in Istanbul. The offers are aimed toward clearing the way in which for the cargo of hundreds of thousands of tons of desperately wanted Ukrainian grain, in addition to the export of Russian grain and fertilizer.
The Kremlin insisted Monday that the assault on the port of Odesa over the weekend focused navy property and wouldn’t have an effect on grain transport.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised reporters that the strike needed to do “completely with the navy infrastructure.”
“That is by no means associated to the infrastructure concerned in fulfilling the agreements and exporting grain. So this will’t and shouldn’t have an effect on the beginning of the cargo course of in any manner,” Peskov mentioned.
The Kremlin spokesman additionally mentioned that Moscow has little interest in halting all fuel provides to Europe and that latest restrictions on the circulation of Russian fuel to European international locations “are merely the implications of restrictions the Europeans have imposed, and the Europeans themselves are affected by these restrictions.”
“Russia is a accountable fuel provider, and it doesn’t matter what anybody says, the European Fee, in European capitals, within the U.S., Russia has been and continues to be a rustic that to a big extent ensures Europe’s vitality safety,” Peskov mentioned.
In the meantime, Ukraine’s presidential workplace mentioned Monday that not less than two civilians have been killed and one other 10 have been wounded within the newest Russian shelling over the past 24 hours.
Within the japanese Donetsk area, the main focus of the Russian offensive, Russian artillery struck Avdiivka, Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka. An airstrike on Bakhmut broken not less than 5 homes.
“The Russians are utilizing the scorched earth ways throughout all the Donbas, they fireplace from the bottom and from the air to wipe off complete cities,” Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko mentioned in televised remarks.
The Russians additionally struck the Kharkiv area. Within the metropolis of Chuhuiv, a Russian strike ruined the constructing of an area membership and rescue employees eliminated a number of folks from below the particles.
Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Sinyehubov denounced the assault as “mindless barbarity,” saying that “it seems to be like a lethal lottery when nobody is aware of the place the following strike will come and all the area is harmful for residing.”
Within the Dnipro area, a 10-year-old woman was wounded by shelling, and a 7-year-old little one was wounded within the Russian shelling of the Mykolaiv area.
In different developments:
— Russia’s high home safety company mentioned Monday it has thwarted an try by the Ukrainian navy intelligence to entice Russian navy pilots to give up their fight jets to Ukraine.
The Federal Safety Service (FSB), the KGB’s successor company, mentioned Monday that Ukrainians provided Russian pilots money and European Union citizenship to steer them to hijack their warplanes.
In a video launched by the FSB, a person presupposed to be a Ukrainian intelligence officer, is providing to pay a potential defector pilot $2 million if he would give up his airplane throughout a fight mission over Ukraine.
Russian state tv claimed that Western spy companies assisted the Ukrainians within the effort. The Russian claims couldn’t be independently verified.