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Reuters: NATO does not rule out Russian military aggression against Ukraine's neighbours

30-11-2022 |

Russia said its forces had edged forward in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday and Kyiv said Moscow was "planning something" in the south, while NATO sought to shore up other countries that fear destabilisation from Moscow.

Ukraine's General Staff said earlier that its troops had repelled six Russian attacks in 24 hours in the eastern Donbas region, while Russian artillery had relentlessly shelled across the Dnipro River, including at Kherson city, in the south.

Winter weather has hampered fighting on the ground, and Zelenskiy has told Ukrainians to expect a major Russian barrage this week on Ukraine's stricken electricity infrastructure, which Moscow has pounded roughly weekly since early October.

"These are President (Vladimir) Putin's new targets. He's hitting them hard," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after NATO talks in Bucharest.

Putin had focused his "fire and ire" on Ukraine's civilians by bombing more than a third of its energy system supplying power and water, but the strategy will not work, Blinken said, adding that NATO was also concerned by China's ties with Moscow.

The NATO allies offered on Wednesday to help nearby Moldova, Georgia and Bosnia, all under pressure from Russia, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

"If there is one lesson from Ukraine it is that we need to support them now," Stoltenberg told a news conference, while Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu told Reuters "the beast also wants to take control of the Western Balkans".

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said Ukrainians needed fast and lasting help, and he was looking to the global South as well as the West to join "this common struggle".

Moscow, which has declared large parts of eastern and southern Ukraine annexed, says Ukrainians can end their suffering by accepting demands it has not spelled out. Ukraine says it will fight on until Russia withdraws completely.

Source: Reuters