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US warns of ‘horrific’ destruction, casualties if Russia invades Ukraine

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(Last Updated On: January 29, 2022)

If Russia unleashes the forces it has amassed near Ukraine’s border to invade its neighbor, the outcome would be “horrific” and result in significant casualties, the top US military officer said on Friday, comparing this moment to the Cold War.

Army General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments amid fragile Russia-US diplomacy in a broader East-West standoff over Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Moscow has demanded NATO pull back troops and weapons from Eastern Europe and bar Ukraine from ever joining the military alliance.

Washington and its NATO allies reject that position but say they are ready to discuss other topics such as arms control and confidence-building measures that would convince Russia to pull back its troops from near Ukraine’s border.

Speaking at a Pentagon news conference, Milley said that given the types of forces Russia has arrayed, “all of it packaged together, if that was unleashed on Ukraine, it would be significant, very significant, and it would result in a significant amount of casualties.”

He added: “And you can imagine what that might look like in dense urban areas, along roads and so on and so forth. It would be horrific, it would be terrible.”

Speaking alongside Milley, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that while the United States does not believe Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision whether to invade, he now has the military capability to do so.

“[There] are multiple options available to [Putin] including the seizure of cities and significant territories, but also coercive acts and provocative political acts like the recognition of breakaway territories,” Austin said.

He said the United States remains focused on countering Russian disinformation, including anything that could be used as a pretext for attacks against Ukraine, Reuters reported.

He added that the United States was committed to helping Ukraine defend itself.

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Chechin leader and Putin ally says ‘Poland next after Ukraine’

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2022)

The Kremlin-backed leader of Russia’s southern province of Chechnya has posted a video in which he warns that Poland could be next after Ukraine.

Ramzan Kadyrov, who is famous for his bluster, said in the video he posted to his official Telegram page that Ukraine was “a done deal” and that “if an order is given after Ukraine, we’ll show you (Poland) what you’re made of in six seconds.”

Poland, which borders Ukraine, is a NATO member and has provided its neighbor with weapons and other aid since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. It has also welcomed in millions of Ukrainian refugees.

Kadyrov later urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to “finally come to his senses and accept the conditions offered by our president (Vladimir Putin).”

Kadyrov has repeatedly used social media to boast about Chechen fighters’ alleged performance against Ukrainian troops and to make other unconfirmed statements about the war in Ukraine.

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Ukraine needs to face reality and talk to Putin – Zelenskiy

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2022)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday (May 27) said Ukraine was not eager to talk to Russia’s Vladimir Putin but that it has to face the reality that this will likely be necessary to end the war.
 
“There are things to discuss with the Russian leader. I’m not telling you that to me our people are eager to talk to him, but we have to face the realities of what we are living through,” Zelenskiy said in an address to an Indonesian think tank.
 
“What do we want from this meeting… We want our lives back… We want to reclaim the life of a sovereign country within its own territory,” he said, adding that Russia did not appear to be ready yet for serious peace talks.
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Imran Khan ends long march to ‘avoid bloodshed’

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2022)
PTI Chairman and Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan on Friday dispelled reports that he had struck a deal in exchange for ending the party’s Azadi March, saying that he did so in order to avoid bloodshed.
 
Speaking at a press conference in Peshawar, he said he would take to the streets again if early elections were not announced. 
 
He regretted how police officials attacked the participants of the march, blaming the government for hand-picking officers to target the PTI.
 
“Our workers asked why we did not stage a sit-in. I am the man who staged a sit-in for 126 days. It was not difficult for me, but by the time I reached I became aware of the extent of the situation […] I knew that day that there would be bloodshed.”
 
Imran said the people were “ready” after seeing the “terrorism” carried out through the police. “Everyone was ready to fight, some of our people were so angered by what they saw,” he said, adding that officials were instructed to brutalise protesters.
 
“The anger at the time, if I had staged a sit-in that day I can guarantee that there would have been bloodshed,” he said, adding that there was a prevailing sense of hatred against police officials.
 
“But the police is also ours, it is not their fault,” the PTI chairman said, blaming the government for issuing the directives. If there was violence then it would only have caused chaos in the country, he said.
 
“Do not think it was our weakness and don’t think that a deal was made. I am hearing strange things that a deal was made with the establishment. I did not make a deal with anyone,” he said, adding that the only motive behind his actions was concern for the country.
 
He also made it clear that the PTI would not negotiate with or accept the “imported government”.
 
“I think of this as a jihad. I will stand up against this as long as I am alive,” he said, reiterating that he only cared about the future of the country.
 
He again stressed his six-day ultimatum to the government for the announcement of early elections. “If they do not clearly announce a date for the elections or for the dissolution of the assemblies, I will take to the streets again. Let me make it clear, this time we will be prepared.”
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