Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged for a sensitive and tonic down approach to persistent tensions with The warnings from Russia and the Western bloc that a invasion is imminent, calling for an encounter with son Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to better understand of Moscow’s demands.
“I do not know what the president of the Russian Federation wants it, so I propose a meeting,” Zelenskyy said at the Munich Security Conference, where he also met with US Vice President Kamala Harris. Zelenskyy said Russia could pick the location for the discussions.
“Ukraine will continue to follow only diplomacy path for sake of a peaceful settlement.
There was no immediate response from the Kremlin.
Zelensky spoke hours after separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine ordered a full military mobilization on Saturday as Western leaders made increasingly serious warnings that a Russian invasion of son neighbor seemed imminent.
The Ukrainian was addressing senior Western security officials amid reports of explosions inside Russian territory east of Ukraine, and in secessionist regions of Ukraine.
“What was shown yesterday in the temporarily occupied territories, some shells would have flown from our sidesome flying all the way in Rostov, these are pure lies,” he said. “They blow up Something on their side.”
He urged Western countries don’t wait for a possible Russian invasion impose penalties on Russia.
In new panels of fears that a war could start within days, Germany and Austria told their citizens to leave Ukraine. German air Carrier Lufthansa has canceled flights to the capital, Kyiv, and to Odessa, a Black Sea port that could be a key target in a invasion.
NATO liaison office in Kyiv said it was relocating from personnel in Brussels and western Ukraine city of Lviv. Meanwhile, top Ukrainian military officials were bombarded attack on a tour of the front of the nearly eight-year separatist conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
Officials fled to an air-raid shelter before rushing out of the area, according to an Associated Press reporter who has been on round.
Violence in eastern Ukraine soared in in recent days as Ukraine and the two rebel-held regions accused each other of escalation. Russia on Saturday said at least two shells fired from a government- party outfit of Eastern Ukraine landed across the border, but Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba dismissed the claim as “a false statement”.
Sporadic violence erupted out for years along the line separating Ukrainian forces from Russian-backed rebels, but recent shelling and shelling spike could set off a fullscale war.
The United States and many Europeans countries alleged for Russia, which has moved about 150,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, has been trying to create pretexts to invade for months.
“They are unfolding and are now ready to strike,” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said during a visit to Lithuania on Saturday.
Harris opened his meeting with Zelenskyy saying the world was at “a decisive moment in history.”
“National borders should not to be changed by force,” she says, warning Moscow against attempts to redraw the borders of Europe.
“We have prepared economic measures which will be rapid, severe and supportive,” she said. “We will target Russia financial establishments and key Industries.”
Earlier on Saturday, Denis Pushilin, the head of pro-russian separatists government in Ukrainian Donetsk region evoked a “menace immediate of aggression” of the Ukrainian forces in his announcement. Ukrainian officials have vehemently denied having plans take rebel-held areas by force.
“I appeal to all men in The Republic who can hold weapons to defend their family, children, wives, mothers,” Pushilin said. “Together we will achieve the coveted victory that we all have need.”
A similar statement followed by son counterpart in the Luhansk region. On Friday, the rebels began evacuating civilians to Russia with a announcement which seemed to be part of their efforts and those of Moscow to portray Ukraine as the aggressor.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said evacuation orders could be a tactic to provide the spark for a wider attack.
“To put it very clearly, Ukraine has not give any pattern for the evacuation that was ordered yesterday,” she said. “These are the facts on ground. We should not allow supposed reasons for war to build out of hot air.”
US President Joe Biden said Friday night that based on on the latest According to services secrets Americans, he was now “convinced” that Russian President Vladimir Putin had decided to invade Ukraine and assault the capital.
“As of this moment, I am convinced that it is made the decision“, Biden said. “We have reason believe that. He reiterated that aggression could occur in the coming days”.
Meanwhile, Russia conducted massive nuclear exercises on Saturday. The Kremlin said Putin, who pledged to protect Russia national interests against what he sees as encroaching Western threats, watched the drills together with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko from the crisis room.
Notably, the planned exercise involves the Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula after seizing it from Ukraine in 2014. .
Highlight Western concerns of an imminent invasionan american defense official say about 40% to 50% of land forces deployed in the neighborhood of the Ukrainian border has shifted towards attack positions closer to the border.
Change is on the way for about a week, other officials said, and does not necessarily mean that Putin has decided to begin a invasion. the defense official spoke on state of anonymity to discuss the internal United States military assessments.
the official also say the number of Russian ground units known as battalion tactical groups in the border area had risen to 125, up of 83 two weeks ago. Each group a 750 to 1,000 soldiers.
Lines of communication between Moscow and the West remain open: American and Russian defense the chiefs spoke on Friday. French President Emmanuel Macron has scheduled a telephone meeting call with Putin on Sunday. american secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed to meet next week.
Concentrated immediate worries on eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian forces have been fighting pro-Russian rebels since 2014 in a conflict that left some 14,000 dead people. Offenses of a 2015 ceasefire agreement, including shelling and shooting along the line of contact, have been common.
A car the bomb exploded in the center of rebel controlled city of Donetsk on Friday. Adding to tensions, two explosions rocked the rebel-held region city of Lugansk early Saturday. No injuries were reported in incidents.
Ukraine military said two of son soldiers deceased in firing of the rebel side on Saturday.
From Saturday morning, the separatists in Lugansk and Donetsk regions, which form Ukraine’s industrial heartland known as Donbass, said thousands of residents of rebel-held areas had been evacuated to Russia.
Russia has issued around 700,000 passports to residents of rebel-held territories. Claims that Russian citizens are in danger could be used as justification for military action.
Pushilin, the head of the Donetsk rebel governmentaldelegated in a video statement indicating that Ukraine was going to order an imminent attack offensive in the area.
Metadata of two videos posted by the separatists announcing the evacuation show that the files were created two days ago, the AP confirmed. US authorities have alleged that the Kremlin’s efforts to come up with a invasion the pretense could include staged and pre-recorded videos.
Authorities in Russian Rostov region that borders eastern Ukraine, a state said of emergency car of the influx of evacuated. Media reports on Saturday described chaos to some of the camps intended to accommodate the people from eastern Ukraine. Reports said there were long lines of buses and hundreds of people expect in cold for hours on end up being housed without access to food or to the toilet.
Putin ordered the Russian government offer 10,000 rubles (about $130) to each evacuee, a amount equivalent to approximately half of an average monthly salary in Eastern Ukraine.
Russia said that for son own long-term security, he needs a commitment that Kiev will never be join NATO military Alliance.
Ukraine and NATO members have refused to rule out Kyiv one daytime joining alliance, although few expect that soon.
But, referring to an explosion in a kindergarten in is occupied, Zelenskyy urged delegates not to let rhetoric cloud the fate of ordinary people.
“These kids aren’t heading to NATO. They’re heading to their classrooms,” he said.
Many conference delegates called for a de-escalation of Putin, who on Saturday chaired over a nuclear preparedness exercise involving firing ballistic missiles.
“History is not yet written: there is an exit that the Russians government can choose at any time,” Baerbock said after a meeting of Western foreign ministers.
“Our common the message for them is very clear: Do not do that fatal mistake. Withdraw your troops… Let’s talk.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Putin seemed to be guided by a special understanding of history in son approach to Ukraine, but warned that down this path create endless conflicts.
“Putin has clearly been dabbling lately in Russian history”Scholz said, pointing to texts published by Putin lamenting the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disappearance of “Historical Russia” and its interviews with the Russian leader this week.
He also rejected Putin’s speech of a genocide in eastern Ukraine as “ridiculous”.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry says Scholz’s remark ‘unacceptable’, Interfax says news agency.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, whose country and Russia are diplomatically aligned, had harsh words for all sides in the dispute, seeing a revived “cold war mentality” in the confrontation. He said that no country, not even a superpower, should to replace international standards with his own will.
But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson drew a parallel between Russia intentions towards Ukraine and China towards Taiwan, arguing that Western leaders had a duty to be closed.
“If Ukraine is invaded, the shock will resonate around the world. And these echoes will be heard in East Asia and will be heard in Taiwan,” he said. “People would draw the conclusion that aggression pays, and that force is just.”