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Russia adds troops to Ukraine war, US: Sign of weakness

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Russia adds troops to Ukraine war, US: Sign of weakness
Russia adds troops to Ukraine war, US: Sign of weakness Moscow - The partial mobilization ordered by President Vladimir Putin is a sign of "weakness", said the US ambassador in Ukraine on Wednesday (September 21).

"References and mobilizations are signs of Russia's weakness, failure," Bridget Brink wrote on Twitter.

"The United States will never recognize Russia's purported annexation of Ukrainian territory, and we will continue to support Ukraine for as long as necessary," he said.

Putin ordered a partial military mobilization on Wednesday and vowed to use "all available means" to protect Russian territory, after Moscow-controlled Ukrainian territory abruptly announced an annexation referendum.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's adviser, Mykhaylo Podolyak, mocked Moscow's latest move in a Twitter message.

"Everything is still according to plan right? Life has a great sense of humor," he wrote.

On Tuesday, separatist officials in the Moscow-controlled region of Ukraine announced an urgent vote on Russia's annexation.

Pro-Russian authorities in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as in the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, said they would hold a five-day vote starting Friday this week.

Washington, Berlin and Paris condemned the vote and said the international community would never recognize the result, while NATO said the vote marked a "further escalation" of the war.

Putin "still refuses to understand Ukraine", said the British ambassador in Kiev.

"Partial mobilization and fake referendums are not change that essential weakness," wrote Melinda Simmons on Twitter.

Putin says war in Ukraine is making Russia stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that his country has absolutely nothing to lose from its military operations in Ukraine and has strengthened Russia's sovereignty.

Speaking at an economic forum, Putin said all Russia's actions were "directed at helping the Donbas people."

"This will ultimately lead to the strengthening of our country from within and for its foreign policy," said Putin, as quoted from the VOA Indonesia page, Thursday (8/9/2022).

Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. And after abandoning its advance to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, Russia has now focused its military efforts on Eastern Ukraine's Donbas region, where pro-Russians have been battling Ukrainian forces since 2014.

Putin also criticized a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that restarted shipments of Ukrainian grain amid the global food crisis. He said the exports would not reach the world's poorest countries.

The Joint Coordination Center which oversees the implementation of the deal said that as of Tuesday, more than 2.2 metric tons of grain and other foodstuffs had left Ukrainian ports in about 100 ships. The ships' destinations include Italy, Turkey, Iran, China, Romania, Djibouti, Germany and Lebanon.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, told Reuters that Russia's comments about the deal were "unexpected" and "baseless."

Meanwhile the British Ministry of Defense said early Wednesday that in the previous 24 hours there had been heavy fighting in Donbas, near Kharkiv in northern Ukraine and in Kherson Oblast in southern Ukraine.

"Several simultaneous threats spreading 500 km away will test Russia's ability to coordinate operational designs and reallocate resources to different power groups," the ministry said. "Before the war, Russia's failure to do this was one of the underlying reasons for the military's poor performance."

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