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Zelensky ‘Not Prepared’ for Russia Talks as Ukraine Probes Lethal Strike

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday mentioned he was “not prepared” for talks with Russia until its invading troops withdraw, as Kyiv investigated a lethal strike on its troopers.

The sprawling frontline between the warring sides has remained principally static for nearly a yr regardless of a much-touted Ukrainian counteroffensive, with Russian forces entrenched in southern and japanese Ukraine.

Officers from the US and Europe – Kyiv’s key allies – are reported to have instructed holding negotiations to finish the grinding 20-month-old battle, which Zelensky denied on Sunday.

The US “know I’m not prepared to talk with the terrorists, as a result of their phrase is nothing,” he advised NBC tv, referring to Russia. “They need to [leave] our territory, solely after that, the world can swap on diplomacy,” Zelensky added.

The Ukrainian chief conceded the conflict was in a “troublesome state of affairs” and reiterated his want for extra air defenses to finish Russia’s management of the sky.

Ukraine Probes ‘Tragedy’

A Russian missile strike killed a number of Ukrainian troopers at what the media described as an “award ceremony” this week, main Kyiv to open a legal investigation.

Native media mentioned the assault, which is reported to have killed a minimum of 20 troops, came about on Friday as a brigade gathered to obtain awards in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia area.

“It is a tragedy that would have been prevented,” Zelensky mentioned in an tackle on Sunday. “A legal investigation has been registered into the tragedy,” he added.

“The primary factor is to ascertain the total fact about what occurred and to forestall this from taking place once more.”

AFP was unable to right away confirm the circumstances of the strike or the variety of individuals killed.

The Ukrainian military confirmed on Saturday that various troopers from its 128th Mountain Assault Brigade had been killed in a missile strike the day earlier than, with out offering figures.

Russia mentioned in a protection ministry briefing on Saturday that it had inflicted a “fireplace defeat” on a Ukrainian assault unit in Zaporizhzhia and that as much as 30 individuals had been killed.

One Ukrainian soldier mentioned on social media that 22 individuals from the brigade had been killed, criticizing commanders for having held the ceremony.

The useless troops “grew to become victims of army rudimentary traditionalism in its worst kind,” Ivan Savytskyy mentioned.

Shipyard Hit

Elsewhere on the frontline, Ukrainian cruise missiles broken a ship docked on the annexed Crimean peninsula, Russia mentioned on Sunday, a day after Ukraine claimed the strike.

Since launching its counteroffensive earlier this yr, Kyiv has ramped up assaults on the peninsula Moscow annexed in 2014, in a bid to debilitate Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet.

Ukraine launched 15 cruise missiles on the B.E. Butoma shipyard based mostly within the east coast metropolis of Kerch on Saturday, with air defenses taking pictures down 13, Russia’s protection ministry mentioned.

“Because of being hit by an enemy cruise missile, a ship positioned on the plant was broken,” it added, with out specifying the injury or naming the vessel.

Particles from the downed missiles additionally fell on a close-by dock, however nobody was injured, Crimea’s Russian-installed governor Sergei Aksyonov mentioned.

Ukrainian and Russian assaults in and across the Black Sea have intensified since Moscow’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal, which aimed to make sure secure passage to civilian ships.