UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES LAUNCHED COUNTERATTACK
The Ukrainian armed forces have successfully launched a counterattack, pushing Russian troops out of the Kharkov region, the Ukrainian President said. According to Volodymyr Zelensky, a counterattack could signal the start of a new phase of the war. “Russia's mass attack did not make a breakthrough in the situation. Now our country starts counterattack,” Zelensky said, noting that Ukrainian troops are showing superhuman strength to drive the Russian army out of the country.
According to the President of Ukraine, there are currently 36 foreign missions in Kyiv. Volodymyr Zelensky also noted that a special group of international experts has developed a roadmap for energy sanctions, which will help create a difficult situation for Russia so that the world economy does not suffer.
MOSCOW-KYIV NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE
Moscow has stated that talks between Russia and Ukraine are continuing. The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova also commented on the statements of the US authorities that Washington does not see a “viable negotiation path” in the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict. “The statements are partial and contradictory,” Zakharova said.
She also referred to the decision of the Lithuanian Seimas to recognize Russia as a “state that supports, carries out terrorism,” calling it extremist. “If Lithuania was really concerned not only about the fate of Ukraine, but also of the European continent, it should have contributed to the implementation of the Minsk agreements by the Kyiv regime,” said a Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. Zakharova stressed that Lithuania’s decision should be treated as a provocation.
UKRAINE STRENGTHENS US-ITALIAN RELATIONS
During a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, US President Joe Biden said that relations between the two countries had “strengthened” amid the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine. During the meeting at the White House, Biden and Draghi addressed energy and food security issues. The Italian Prime Minister has stated that what is happening in Ukraine will lead to radical changes in the European Union. Biden stressed that a strong European Union is in the interests of the United States. Draghi expressed confidence that he could count on Washington's support as a true friend of Europe and Italy.
3.5 THOUSAND CIVILIANS KILLED IN UKRAINE
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reports that more than 3,459 civilians, including 238 children, have been killed since the start of the battles in Ukraine. About 3,173 civilians were injured. About 6 million people have left the country since February 24. The number of internally displaced persons in Ukraine has exceeded 8 million.