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Olaf Scholz calls for Putin ‘totally withdraw troops’ from Ukraine in tense cellphone name | World | Information

Mr Scholz urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a cellphone name on Tuesday to discover a diplomatic answer for the battle in Ukraine primarily based on a ceasefire and the whole withdrawal of Russian troops as quickly as potential, a German authorities spokesperson mentioned. Within the 90-minute name, Mr Scholz emphasised the necessity to guarantee the security of the Zaporizhia nuclear energy plant in Ukraine and appealed to Putin to proceed to completely implement the United Nations-backed grain settlement, spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit added.

“The Federal Chancellor emphasised that any additional Russian annexation steps wouldn’t go unanswered and wouldn’t be recognised beneath any circumstances,” Mr Hebestreit mentioned within the assertion, including that Chancellor Scholz and President Putin agreed to stay in touch.

The German chief additionally demanded Putin “totally withdraws his troops” from Ukraine.

The cellphone name got here as Ukraine has set its sights on releasing all territory occupied by invading Russian forces after driving them again in a speedy counter-offensive within the northeast and there are indications of extra US navy help on the best way to again Ukraine’s mission.

In a night deal with, President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned round 8,000 sq. km (3,100 sq. miles) have been liberated to this point, apparently all within the northeastern area of Kharkiv.

Russian forces nonetheless management a few fifth of Ukraine within the south and east, however Kyiv is now on the offensive in each areas.

Talking within the central sq. of Balakliia, a vital navy provide hub taken by Ukrainian forces late final week, Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar mentioned 150,000 folks had been liberated from Russian rule within the space.

Ukrainian flags had been raised and a big crowd gathered to obtain bundles of humanitarian help.

A buying centre had been destroyed however many buildings remained intact, with retailers closed and boarded up.

“The purpose is to liberate the Kharkiv area and past – all of the territories occupied by the Russian Federation,” Malyar mentioned on the highway to Balakliia, which lies 74 km (46 miles) southeast of Kharkiv.

In the meantime, restore crews have restored the 2 essential energy strains supplying Kharkiv metropolis and its surrounds, energy agency Ukrenergo mentioned after Russian shelling induced blackouts.

The Kyiv authorities fears Russia will step up assaults on its vitality networks as winter approaches and is pleading for anti-aircraft know-how from the West to guard the infrastructure.

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Ukraine’s navy on Tuesday accused retreating Russian troopers of stealing not less than 300 non-public automobiles loaded with looted property as they fled. The Russian defence ministry didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

In the course of the day, Ukrainian forces repelled enemy assaults in six cities and settlements to the north of Donetsk, the overall workers mentioned, however made no point out of captured territory.

The Ukrainian advance may quickly unfold into Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, the place Russia has concentrated its forces for months to increase territory held by separatists since 2014.

The Ukrainian governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Gaidai, mentioned troops had already retaken the town of Lyman in Donetsk. He recognized Svatove in Luhansk additional east because the seemingly subsequent battle entrance. Reuters couldn’t confirm the stories.

A video from Ukraine’s border guard service confirmed what it mentioned have been Ukrainian troops liberating the city of Vovchansk close to the Russian border, burning down flags and tearing down a poster saying “We’re one with Russia”.

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