USA TODAY International Edition
China blasts ‘ hypocrisy’ of sanctions by US
China slammed the United States on Monday for “illegal” sanctions placed on Chinese companies involved with Russia and warned of retaliation if the sanctions are not revoked.
Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, said at a press briefing that the U. S. actions have no basis in international law and no U. N. Security Council mandate. She said China’s position on Ukraine has been objective and fair, promoting peace talks and a political solution.
“The U. S., however, has been fanning the flame and fueling the fight with more weaponry,” she said.
The Chinese company Changsha Tianyi Space Science and Technology Research Institute drew U. S. sanctions for supplying the Russian mercenary Wagner Group affiliates with satellite imagery of Ukraine. Mao said the U. S. has been spreading disinformation that China would supply weapons to Russia – and sanctioning Chinese companies under that pretext.
“This is out- and- out hegemonism and double standard, and absolute hypocrisy,” Mao said. “The Chinese side will continue to do what is necessary to firmly safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies. We will take resolute countermeasures in response to the U. S. sanctions.”
A concert by Slovenia’s avantgarde band Laibach in Ukraine has been canceled after the group angered Ukrainians by implying Kyiv was a fighting a war for its Western masters. Ukrainians apparently were angered by Laibach’s statement calling the war “a cynical proxy war for the geostrategic interests” of world powers.
Moscow- installed occupying authorities in Kherson Oblast’s towns of Oleshky and Skadovsk are preparing to “escape” to the Russian- occupied Crimea, fearing a Ukrainian counteroffensive, the Ukraine military reported.
Invasion brought ‘ massive’ human rights violations, UN chief says
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered “the most massive violations of human rights” in the world today, the head of the United Nations said.
“Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have caused many casualties and terrible suffering,” U. N. Secretary- General António Guterres said in a speech Monday to the U. N.- backed Human Rights Council in Geneva. He said Russia “has unleashed widespread death, destruction and displacement.”
Russia has largely abandoned the fight in much of Ukraine, instead concentrating on capturing four provinces that Moscow claims to have annexed in September: Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia. The war rages fiercely with heavy casualties on both sides but little movement in the front lines. Ukraine says it will use battle tanks and other new weapons to launch its own offensive.
Russia says it will never return Crimea to Ukraine
Crimea is an integral part of Russia and will never be returned to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday. Russia seized the peninsula in February 2014. In March 2014, Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
The deputy head of the Ukrainian military intelligence service, Vadym Skibitsky, said a planned offensive includes the recapture of Crimea and attacks on Russian territory. “The purpose of our counteroffensive is to liberate all occupied territories of Ukraine – including Crimea,” he told the German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost. “We won’t stop until we have our country back in the 1991 borders.”
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday marked the anniversary of Russia’s assault on Crimea and pledged to win back Crimea and all Ukraine territory. “This is our land. Our people. Our history,” he said on social media. “We will return the Ukrainian flag to every corner of Ukraine.”