Veteran U.S. Negotiator Richardson May Travel To Russia For Talks On Griner, Whelan

As battles raged in the east and south of Ukraine, the war-torn country’s foreign minister ruled out ceding any territory to Russia must peace talks at any time resume and he manufactured clear that no such negotiations ended up getting position.

“The aim of Ukraine in this war…is to liberate our territories, to restore our territorial integrity and whole sovereignty in the east and south of Ukraine,” Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba informed a briefing on July 13.

“This is the conclusion place of our negotiating posture.”

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Russia has taken command of extensive swathes of Ukrainian territory in the south along the Black Sea coastline and in the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk provinces that make up the Donbas area.

Russia in 2014 also captured and illegally annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and has backed separatists occupying pieces of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces given that that time.

Russian and Ukrainian armed service delegations are assembly this week in Turkey to examine exports of wheat and grain from Ukrainian territory that have been blocked due to the fact of the war, but Kuleba produced distinct there are no broader negotiations.

“Presently there are no [peace] talks between Russia and Ukraine because of Russia’s posture and its ongoing aggression in opposition to our country,” Kuleba mentioned.

On the battlefield, Russian forces are concentrating on several smaller towns on the methods to the much larger towns of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk in Donetsk Province as they continue their travel to capture all of Ukraine’s Donbas heartland in the east of the state, a British intelligence report states.

The remarks appear amid unconfirmed studies on July 13 that Ukrainian forces have struck back again in neighboring Luhansk Province — which was previously captured by Russian troops — probably working with rocket methods newly delivered by the United States.

Russian forces have turned their focus on capturing all of the Donbas location, manufactured up of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, following they failed to acquire the money, Kyiv, in the early days of the war. Ukrainian officers report large Russian shelling on towns and cities throughout the area.

In the japanese town of Chasiv Yar, the head of the Donetsk regional military services administration reported the variety of individuals killed in an air strike about the weekend on an apartment block had risen to 45.

Ukrainian officers called the shelling “a war crime,” aspect of Russian forces’ relentless attack on civilian areas. Moscow denies it has qualified civilians, inspite of video clip evidence and the prevalent destruction of Ukrainian metropolitan areas given that the February 24 invasion of the region.

Ukraine has stated that Russian forces are using the shelling as a planning for a new floor offensive in Donetsk Province, notably in the Bakhmut and Siversky spots and all-around Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.

The British Protection Ministry in its everyday intelligence briefing stated the Kremlin’s troops have been nearing the cities of Siversky and Dolyna, with the urban places of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk “the principal objectives for this period of operation.”

British intelligence also said anti-Russian sentiment in the occupied components of Ukraine has led to Russian and professional-Russian officers being qualified, noting that the Russian-appointed administration in Velykiy Burluk acknowledged one particular of its mayors was killed on July 11 in a automobile bombing.

In Luhansk Province, Andrei Marochko, an official for the Russia-backed separatist group that calls itself the Luhansk People’s Republic, reported the Ukrainian armed forces experienced employed U.S.-equipped higher-mobility artillery rocket methods (HIMARS) to hit many settlements in the region.

This comes a day immediately after Ukrainian forces strike what they mentioned was an ammunition depot in the southern town of Nova Kakhovka, about 55 kilometers east of the essential Black Sea port town of Kherson. Russian officials said civilian sites ended up hit in the assault.

The claims could not be independently confirmed.

The Ukrainian authorities has not commented on no matter if the recently acquired HIMARS had been applied in any attack.

The strike on Nova Kakhovka adopted statements by the Ukrainian navy that it was getting ready a large counterattack in the south to recapture territory although Russian forces have been occupied with motion in japanese regions.

Elsewhere, the army delegations from Russia and Ukraine had begun talks in Istanbul on July 13, brokered by the UN and Turkey, in an endeavor to break a very important impasse around grain exports that has served mail worldwide food price ranges soaring.

Though higher charges have brought on hardships in most produced nations, quite a few poorer nations around the world, these as those people in considerably of Africa, have been strike by crippling food items shortages.

Diplomats have claimed a system staying mentioned incorporates having Ukrainian vessels guiding grain ships in and out as a result of port waters that its forces have mined to avoid a feared amphibious assault by Russian troops.

The system would also entail Russia agreeing to a truce when shipments move, and Turkey — with UN enable — would examine ships to allay Russian fears of weapons smuggling.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP