On Saturday, March 18, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said it was “only a matter of time” that all territories annexed by Russia would inevitably be returned. It was made on the occasion of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the ninth anniversary of Crimea’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, and after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of war crimes Surprising move.
The announcement also came as Ukraine confirmed it had been bombed by explosive Russian drones, some of which hit the country’s western Lviv region for the first time in months.
In a statement, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said it had been nine years since Russia’s referendum unilaterally annexed Crimea to its territory.
The referendums held in Moscow in 2014 and 2022 on Ukrainian territory did not produce any results from an administrative point of view, the report said. At the same time, the Ukrainian armed forces have liberated most of the regions where the referendum will be held in 2022.
Russia has expanded its control over about 15% of Ukraine’s territory as part of a war it has waged against the country since February 2022.
On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea on Saturday 18th to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula.
The visit was the first of its kind since Russia began a war in Ukraine that led to tough international sanctions imposed on Russia, mainly for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Putin arrived in Sevastopol, the main port of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on the peninsula, where he was accompanied by local authorities to inaugurate a children’s art school.
Sevastopol is located in southern Ukraine, about 240 kilometers from Kherson. Kiev forces retook Ukraine in November after Russian troops withdrew. This made it the first time that Putin visited so close to the front line.
The last time a Russian president visited Crimea was in November 2021. Russia annexed the peninsula on March 18, 2014, after a referendum neither Kiev nor the international community recognized.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed in January that he intends to take back “our land” Crimea with arms. Moscow, on the other hand, has repeatedly stressed that “Crimea belongs to Russia” and has refused to be a topic of negotiation in possible peace talks.
On the battlefield, the US “Wall Street Journal” quoted Ukrainian intelligence officials as saying that Russia is increasingly inclined to use drones to launch attacks. Because its inventory of cruise missiles is low.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian General Staff announced that its forces repelled 100 Russian troops on the Bakhmut, Liman, Avdiyivka, Malinka and Shakhtar fronts in the east of the country in one day. Attacked multiple times.
In Zaporozhye region, dozens of militants and foreign mercenaries in Russia targeted a makeshift shelter for foreign mercenaries in the city center, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the region’s military and civil administration, said. killed.
Among those killed in the Russian attack were mercenaries from Britain, Poland and the United States, as well as foreign military trainers and experts, Rogoff said. The center is considered one of the most important bases of the elite troops.
At the same time, the Ukrainian military also said that at dawn on Saturday, the Russian army targeted the city with S-300 missiles, causing damage to a residential area.
In Bakhmut, in the east of the country, Ukraine’s border guards released photos of what it said were its troops bombing Russian army positions in the city. Video footage taken by drones showed shelling hitting a house on the outskirts of Bakhmut, where a group of Russian troops is stationed.
At the same time, the Russian Ministry of Defense also released a video of an attack allegedly launched by the Russian “Lancet” suicide drone, targeting a Ukrainian army missile system stationed in the Avdiyivka axis. The footage also shows the missile system exploding as a result of the drone attack.