NU.nl regularly gives you an overview of the situation in Ukraine. This time: Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized that he wants to avoid direct conflict with NATO. Meanwhile, Russian troops are on their way to Belarus. The two countries entered into military cooperation.
Putin said a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO would lead to a “global catastrophe”. “I hope everyone is smart enough not to take this step,” he told reporters in Kazakhstan on Friday. Putin is participating in a regional summit there.
Putin also said that there was no need to launch large-scale attacks on Ukraine anymore. Russia intensified its raids on its neighboring country after the Crimean bridge collapsed in part on Saturday due to an explosion. The bridge is the only land link between Russia and the Ukrainian peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. According to Putin, all targets were hit. “It is not our intention to destroy Ukraine,” the Russian president said.
Belarus: The arrival of Russian forces in the coming days
Russian forces will arrive in Belarus in the coming days within the framework of military cooperation between the two countries. This was announced by the Belarusian Ministry of Defense on Friday.
President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier that he would increase the military presence on the border with Ukraine with Russian help. He did not publish information about the sites where cooperation with the Russians is taking place. There were fears that Belarusian forces would join Russian forces in Ukraine.
Ukraine says it has retaken 600 settlements
The Ukrainian army has recaptured 600 Russian settlements in the past month, including 75 in the southern Kherson region. It is difficult for the Ukrainians to regain the south of the country.
In the northeastern region of Kharkiv, 502 settlements were liberated, 43 in Donetsk and 7 in Luhansk, the Ukrainian Ministry claims to reintegrate the temporarily occupied territories. The numbers have not been confirmed by the military or President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Ukrainian refugees can stay until March 2024
Refugees from Ukraine are entitled to shelter, medical assistance and education for minor children in the Netherlands until March 2024. Ukrainians are also allowed to work. Foreign Minister Eric van der Burgh (Asylum Policy) announced that these agreements were initially valid until March 4, 2023, but were extended for a year.
The EU justice ministers have taken this decision. If a safe return to Ukraine is possible, the so-called Temporary Protection Directive (RTB) could be withdrawn earlier. If the situation in Ukraine remains unchanged or worsens, the Council of Justice and Internal Affairs may extend the measure beyond March 2024.
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