"terrorist" act on its territory, and China is taking a step that threatens to escalate the war

Russia announces the outcome of a “terrorist” act on its territory, and China is taking a step that threatens to escalate the war

At least 11 people were killed – Saturday – and 15 others were wounded in a shooting at a Russian military site in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, which described what happened as a “terrorist attack”.

While France announced new military support for Ukraine in its war with Russia, Tehran denied providing any of the parties to the conflict with weapons for use in the fighting, while China took a step that threatens to escalate the war.

The Russian Defense Ministry said – in a statement carried by local news agencies – that two “citizens” from the former Soviet Union fired machine guns during training, adding that “the terrorists were responded to and killed.”

While the Russian Information Agency reported that the attack occurred when two attackers opened fire on a group of volunteers who wanted to fight in Ukraine as part of the partial mobilization announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Al-Jazeera correspondent Rania Dridi stated that the circumstances of the attack are still ambiguous, regarding how the two accused of carrying out the attack were able to enter the military site and were they, volunteers.

It is noteworthy that the Russian President announced on September 21 the partial mobilization of the army, claiming that his country was exposed to nuclear threats.

This is Putin’s first mobilization since World War II, and Russia officially describes it as partial, during which 300,000 soldiers from the reserve forces will be called up over a period of months, instead of a full call-up that depends on a huge reserve force of 25 million.

Kherson battle

The attack in Belgorod coincides with the start of the Ukrainian forces – yesterday, Saturday – to launch a new battle to liberate Kherson province from Russian control, although it is not yet clear from the Russian accounts to what extent the fighting raged in the region.

The deputy mayor of Kherson, appointed by Russia, Kirill Strimosov, reported that the city was subjected to artillery bombardment, while the Russian Defense Ministry said it was able to repel the attack.

Nevertheless, Russian military bloggers reported that the raging fighting to gain control continued, with the Ukrainian side deploying many tanks and armored vehicles.

The Ukrainian General Staff said earlier in its evening report on the current situation that “Kherson was among the targets of Moscow’s missile and air attacks throughout the day.”

Kherson is one of 4 provinces that Russia announced its annexation to it two weeks ago, despite the rejection and condemnation of Kyiv and allied Western capitals.

In turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed – on Saturday – that the field military situation near Bakhmut is currently the “most difficult” in eastern Ukraine, days after the pro-Russian forces announced their approach to the city.

“The situation is still very dangerous in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions” of the Donbas industrial basin, Zelensky said in his daily speech, adding that “the most difficult situation is near Bakhmut, like the previous days, and we still maintain our positions.”

On Thursday, Russian-backed separatist forces in the Donetsk region announced their control of two nearby villages, Obitin and Ivangrad. For weeks, Russian forces have been bombing Bakhmut, which had a pre-war population of 70,000 people.

Invitation to leave

For its part, China called – on Saturday – for its citizens in Ukraine to strengthen their security precautions and leave the country, in light of the deteriorating security situation.

Beijing, through the Foreign Ministry and its embassy in Kyiv – in a joint press statement – appealed to all Chinese citizens in Ukraine to leave the country, according to the state newspaper, “China Daily”.

Russia announces the outcome of a "terrorist" act on its territory, and China is taking a step that threatens to escalate the war

Kyiv and a number of Ukrainian cities have witnessed intense bombardment from the Russian side during the past few days (European)

The statement indicated that the embassy “will contribute to organizing the evacuation and transfer of needy individuals,” noting that those in Ukraine should contact the embassy as soon as possible, and register their personal information.

Those who leave themselves must also inform the diplomatic mission in Ukraine, according to the statement.

In recent days, Ukraine has witnessed the Russian bombing of energy infrastructure in several regions, including the capital, Kyiv.

French move

On the other hand, French Defense Minister Sebastien Locarno announced – Saturday in an interview with the newspaper “Le Parisien” – that France will train up to two thousand Ukrainian soldiers on its soil.

He explained that these soldiers “will be attached to our units for several weeks,” stressing that the training will cover 3 levels, namely: general combatant training, then specific needs requested by the Ukrainians such as logistics, and the third level of training on equipment provided by Paris to Ukraine.

“We do this by respecting the rules of law, without being a party to the conflict, because we are not at war. We are helping a country at war” after its invasion from Russia, Locarno added.

Russia announces the outcome of a "terrorist" act on its territory, and China is taking a step that threatens to escalate the war

France announced for the first time a plan to train Ukrainian soldiers on its (European) soil

The Minister of Defense confirmed that France will deliver the Crotal air defense systems to Ukraine, referring to an announcement made by President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to this effect.

He pointed out that the number of short-range “Krotal” anti-aircraft systems that will be sent to Kyiv, is determined by the Ukrainians, and their number will be important to allow them to protect their airspace. He noted that the goal is to complete the “handover” process within the next two months.

Since the beginning of the conflict, other countries – other than France – have trained Ukrainian soldiers on their soil, most notably the United Kingdom.

Iranian exile

On the other hand, Tehran denied supplying any of the parties to the conflict in the Ukraine war with weapons, stressing that it would not do so.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said – Saturday – that his country “has not provided weapons to any party in the Ukraine war, and will not do so.” This came during a telephone conversation with his Portuguese counterpart, Joao Gomes Cravinho, according to the state agency IRNA.

Abdullahian expressed his belief that arming any of the parties to the crisis would prolong the war, adding: We did not and will not consider war the right way, whether in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, or Yemen.

And last July, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan accused Iran of providing Russia with “hundreds” of drones, to be used in its war against Ukraine.

Over the past few days, Kyiv announced the downing of a number of Iranian drones that Russia has used in its war against Ukraine for more than 8 months.

Source: Al Jazeera


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