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Kyiv urges travel ban on Russians as Moscow steps up assault in eastern Ukraine

Stock Markets Aug 09, 2022 04:22PM ET
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4/4 © Reuters. Police officers work next to a destroyed car after a Russian military strike, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Nacho Doce 2/4

By Pavel Polityuk

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine's president called on the West to impose a blanket travel ban on Russians, an idea that has found support among some European states but angered Moscow, which pressed on with a fierce military offensive in eastern Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's idea looked likely to divide the European Union, where differences on how to deal with Moscow have long persisted between some eastern and western members.

Zelenskiy made his proposal in an interview with the Washington Post as Ukraine halted flows of Russian oil to some eastern European countries due to a sanctions-related payment issue.

Zelenskiy wants a one-year travel ban and the apparent expulsion of Russians living in the West so that they could live "in their own world until they change their philosophy." He complained that sanctions imposed so far on Russia to punish it for invading his country on Feb. 24 were too weak.

"Whichever kind of Russian ... make them go to Russia,” Zelenskiy was quoted as saying. "They’ll understand then. "They'll say, 'This (war) has nothing to do with us. The whole population can't be held responsible, can it?' It can."

Zelenskiy was quoted as saying the ban should also extend to Russians who had fled since the start of the war in late February because they disagreed with President Vladimir Putin.

The Kremlin dismissed Zelenskiy's words. "Any attempt to isolate Russia or Russians is a process that has no prospects," said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

Other Russian officials have questioned the legality of such restrictions, suggesting they would infringe Russians' rights.

There was support from Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who said she thought it was time for the EU to stop issuing visas to Russians. "Visiting #Europe is a privilege, not a human right," Kallas tweeted.

Other countries which have traditionally enjoyed closer ties to Russia such as Hungary are, however, likely to oppose an EU ban. Moreover, the European Commission has questioned its feasibility, saying certain categories such as family members, journalists and dissidents should always be granted visas.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed documents of Washington's support for Finland and Sweden joining NATO, the most significant expansion of the military alliance since the 1990s and prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

POWER PLANT RISK 'VERY HIGH'

There were lingering concerns on Tuesday about the situation at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Ukraine and Russia accused each other of shelling in recent days.

It was vital for the Kyiv government to regain control of the plant in time for winter, Petro Kotin, head of Ukraine's state nuclear power firm Energoatom said in an interview with Reuters.

Last week's Russian shelling had damaged three lines that connect the plant in southern Ukraine to the Ukrainian grid, he said. Russia wanted to connect the facility to its grid, Kotin said.

He said "the risk is very high" of shelling hitting containers storing radioactive material.

Both Ukraine and Russia have said they want technicians from the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to visit Zaporizhzhia, the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe.

EASTERN OFFENSIVE

Russia meanwhile unleashed ground forces, air strikes and artillery in a grinding offensive designed to complete its capture of eastern Ukraine.

But Kyiv said its troops were putting up fierce resistance and largely holding the line.

Heavy fighting was reported on Tuesday in frontline towns near the eastern city of Donetsk, where Ukrainian officials said Russian troops were launching waves of attacks as they tried to expand their control of the industrialised Donbas region.

The Ukrainian military said it had repelled ground assaults in the direction of the cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka.

Russia gave a different assessment.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said his forces had captured a factory for Moscow on the edge of the eastern town of Soledar. Other Russian-backed forces said they were in the process of "clearing out" the heavily fortified village of Pisky. And Russian media reported that a group of mercenaries from the Wagner Group had dug in near the city of Bakhmut.

Reuters could not verify either side's battlefield accounts.

British military intelligence, which is helping Ukraine, said Russia's push towards Bakhmut had been its most successful operation in the Donbas in the last 30 days, but that it had still only managed to advance around 10 km (6 miles).

Russia has said it plans to seize full control of the Donbas on behalf of pro-Kremlin separatist forces, while Russian-installed officials in parts of southern Ukraine have said they plan to press ahead with referendums to join Russia.

What Moscow calls a "special military operation," Ukraine says is an unprovoked imperial-style war of aggression and it is banking on sophisticated Western-supplied rocket and artillery systems to degrade Russian supply lines and logistics.

In the Crimean Peninsula, whose annexation by Russia in 2014 was followed by separatist seizures of parts of the Donbas, an explosion at the Saky military air base killed one person and injured five, Russian authorities said.

The Russian defence ministry said earlier the blast had been a detonation of aviation ammunition, not the result of an attack.

Kyiv urges travel ban on Russians as Moscow steps up assault in eastern Ukraine
 

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Comments (8)
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Aug 09, 2022 3:40PM ET
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Why not let the russian citizens seek asylum and renounce their russian country and seek citizenship in europe. Off course you have to have an education of some level to enter europe. The hillbillies can be a “man” (idi..ot) and join the the army as canonfeed.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 11:47AM ET
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Russians banned Google in occupied Donbas. https://euromaidanpress.com/2022/07/22/russians-banned-google-in-occupied-donbas/
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 11:35AM ET
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US Pentagon now estimates 70,000 to 80,000 Russian casualties from the "special operation" in Ukraine. Russia has not released any casualty information in 5 months. I know the Russian mothers and sisters, fathers and brothers who have people who have died in vain for Putin's folly must be heart broken.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 11:35AM ET
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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/08/08/Russian-casualties-in-Ukraine-up-to-80-000-Pentagon-
Ken Roth
Ken Roth Aug 09, 2022 11:35AM ET
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Semen Alexov sorry these are the russian casualties posted on all world media except of putin tv
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 11:35AM ET
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I could be wrong, but I don't want to think of the Russian people as monsters who would find delight in a family member's death. Am I wrong?
gab nea
gab nea Aug 09, 2022 7:27AM ET
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maybe Reuters cant tell which side is lying, true. however I have heard putin, lavrov and peskov and each one of them is a consumate liar for years!
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 09, 2022 7:27AM ET
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"Russian-backed forces said they were in the process of "clearing out" the heavily fortified village of Pisky"  -- I remembered Russia repeatedly claimed they had Mariupol under control weeks before they finally managed to secure the city...
nils Hullmann
nils Hullmann Aug 09, 2022 5:51AM ET
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any information from a country which resides on rank 117 in terms of corruption is worth nothing...the fairytale with democracy and opposition in ukraine is hilarious
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 09, 2022 5:51AM ET
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and how is Ukraine compare to your Russian motherland?
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 5:51AM ET
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Semen Alexov LOL. Is your understanding of Americans so limited that you think CNN is some kind of monolithic icon representative of the US population media consumption? It's laughable, your view of things.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 5:51AM ET
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Russia: 136, worse than Ukraine.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 5:51AM ET
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Tre Hsi Ukraine 117, Russia 136. Lower is better.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 5:51AM ET
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Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 09, 2022 4:05AM ET
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it looks like Ukraine's midirection strategy worked, for weeks they said they are going to attack Kherson, so Russia moved troops down South to defend there, now Ukraine is counterattacking in another direction....
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 4:05AM ET
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If Ukraine retakes Izum, it will be a major blown to Russian moral.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 09, 2022 4:05AM ET
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Semen Alexov  "Attackers are loosing 3-5 times more than defenders"  -- so you are admitting Russia is losing 3 to 5 times more than the Ukrainian defenders so far?  good to know.....
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Aug 09, 2022 1:24AM ET
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Russians seem to mostly be brainwashed fascist liars.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 09, 2022 1:24AM ET
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Semen Alexov  "why Russia is steadily and continuously gaining territory with less troops then ukres?"  -- Russia has less troops than Ukraine???  what planet are you from???
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 09, 2022 1:24AM ET
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You have already unestablished a reputation here as a liar. This comment is no different.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 09, 2022 1:24AM ET
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Semen Alexov  "Only professionals, volunteers and private military companies with Luhansk and Donetsk mobilised are in combat."  -- nice try comrade, even Putin had to admit that conscript soldiers were used in the "special military operation" despite his early promises that they wouldn't be........
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 09, 2022 1:24AM ET
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Semen Alexov  I think your bot farm server is broken.....
Hunt Richardson
Hunt Richardson Aug 08, 2022 11:03PM ET
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wonder what the Russian mamas think about 70 to 80,000 of their wounded or killed sons
Bull Power
Bull Power Aug 08, 2022 11:03PM ET
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They are worth even less than the bullet that ended their misery, so they think they got a fair trade. Russians, Muslims, Chinese and North Koreans don't value human lives, they use those as ammunition, don't impose your western morals on their cultures or they'll end up winning when the real war starts. The Ukraine thing is just prep.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 08, 2022 11:03PM ET
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Semen Alexov  "There are no drafted soldiers in Ukraine from russian side."  -- so you are saying Putin was lying when he admitted that Russian army used conscript soldiers in the "special military operation"???  oh dear, your boss at the St Petersburg bot farm won't be too pleased with your performance today
 
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