War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

Ukrainians to use Polish cannons against occupiers

Poland and Ukraine have signed one of the largest arms contracts in the past 30 years, Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki announced.

Now we are signing one of the largest, if not the largest, arms export contract in the last three decades. Sale of weapons for Ukrainians to Ukraine. A tried and tested weapon, a weapon that is very heavily tested and proven, and will be a weapon that will not only pass the baptism of fire, but we know today that it will be a very important weapon on the battlefield, most likely in eastern Ukraine,” Mateusz Morawiecki said.

A contract for over 50 Krab cannon-howitzers worth around PLN 3 billion was signed in Kiev. With the right ammunition, the range of these tracked cannon-howitzers is about 40 kilometers. According to the daily, deliveries should be made within a few to several months, this time it is a “normal” sales contract. The Americans are likely to be responsible for the delivery of the ammunition.

The Parliament of Bulgaria refused to offer military assistance to Kyiv at the request of the Ambassador of Ukraine Vitaly Moskalenko.

History is good when it unites, not divides

Polish deputy foreign minister Marcin Przydacz  proposed that Poland and Ukraine should sign a new treaty on good neighborly relations. He said that the existing, 1992 agreement required “an update to reflect the current potential” of bilateral relations.

Przydacz noted that in 1992, Poland had not yet been a member of NATO or the European Union, while Ukraine was also “in a totally different reality.” He stated: “Ukraine has clearly chosen a pro-Western orientation and the best possible relations with Poland.” “Ukraine is also beginning to invoke our shared history,” the diplomat said.

Ukrainians counterattack in Severodonetsk

Ukrainian forces continued to carry out limited and localized but successful counterattacks on Russian positions throughout Ukraine, including the recovery of large areas of Severodonetsk, according to the US-based think tank Institute of the Study of War (ISW). The occupiers are now concentrating large forces to occupy Severodonetsk, a strategically important city in the Luhansk region.

ISW experts point out that Ukrainian forces are likely to try to use Russia’s constant attention to Severodonetsk to counterattack other axes of military operations. Even as Russian forces continue to attract equipment and troops to the Severodonetsk-Lysichansk region, Ukraine has carried out a successful counterattack in Severodonetsk over the past 48 hours, forcing the occupiers to retreat to the city’s eastern outskirts.

The pressure from Ukraine’s counter-attack is likely to continue to draw Russian attention to the Luhansk region, weakening occupation efforts in the Kharkiv region and the southern axis, analysts predict.

“FSB” brainwashing for war prisoners

Vladimir Osechkin, the founder of the Russian organization for human rights Gulagu.net, said that false newspapers for Ukrainian war prisoner started to be printed in Russia. While in detention, the prisoners will read that Ukraine was fully captured and its army was defeated. FSB already started to prepare papers and radio and TV programs that will imitate the Ukrainian and independent press for the war prisoners held in Rostov-on-Don.

Ultimate goal is to restore full sovereignty over territory

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a stalemate in the war with Russia was “not an option for us” as he once more appealed for western military support to restore his country’s territorial integrity.

“We are inferior in terms of equipment and therefore we are not capable of advancing,” he said. “We are going to suffer more losses and people are my priority.”

Speaking at the Financial Times’ Global Boardroom conference on Tuesday, Zelenskyy said pushing Russian forces back to positions occupied before the February 24 invasion would amount to a “serious temporary victory” for Ukraine but full sovereignty over its territory remained his ultimate goal.

He noted that peace negotiations would have to be face to face with President Vladimir Putin, because there was “nobody else to talk to” but the Russian leader.

Up to US$8bn on heating

Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko discussed the efforts to increase European independence from Russian oil and gas on “Bloomberg Markets”. He said Ukraine is in talks to purchase US LNG.

“As we are for a full ban on the Russian gas, we consider the gas from the United States is the best alternative,” explained Vitrenko. Ukraine prepares to purchase gas to the value of up to US$8 billion from abroad.

Best negotiations would center on borders of 2014

Russian and Turkish defense ministers have discussed a potential grain export corridor from Ukraine, as well as the situation in northern Syria, Turkey’s defence ministry said.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu evaluated “all measures that can be taken regarding the safe shipment of grains, sunflower, and all other agricultural products,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

Kyiv says it has not yet reached any agreement with Russia or Turkey to allow the safe passage of its grain ships in the Black Sea, injecting skepticism into a push by the U.N. to create a vital food corridor.

The warning comes on the eve of a round of talks brokered by Turkey to demine Ukraine's Black Sea ports and assuage a mounting global food crisis that has been severely worsened by Russia's naval blockade.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara on Wednesday, with Russian media already talking up the prospect of a deal that would allow Moscow to claim it is helping hungry nations in Africa and the Middle East.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak urged his people not to believe Russia’s statements that it will not use maritime relaxation to attack Ukraine. “Russia assured it would not attack Ukraine, but started a war. Russia said it would attack military targets, but tens of thousands of civilians were killed. Russia swears it does not want a food crisis, but destroys grain terminals in Ukraine. Who would really bank on the promises of the Kremlin?” he asked.

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