Ukraine prepares for new offensive after Russian shipwreck

(CNN) – The war in Ukraine could soon enter a new and even more dangerous phase.

Russia, angered by the loss of leadership of Russia’s Black Navy, has warned of “unpredictable consequences” if the United States continues to supply arms to Ukraine, while the Ukrainian president Volodymyr ZhelenskyRussian President Vladimir Putin has struck a chord with CNN that the world must be prepared for the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons.

The sinking of the guided missile ship Moskva on Thursday was the largest loss to a naval ship during the war in 40 years, and a great insult to Russia.

It comes at a time when U.S. intelligence officials are warning that Putin’s unpredictable behavior and anger over Russia’s defeats in Ukraine could be dangerous.

Despite denying the Ukrainian version of the events in Moscow – Moscow sank after being attacked by Ukrainian missiles – the ship was forced to admit sinking.

Russia has blamed fire for the sinking, but the United States on Friday confirmed Ukraine’s account, a senior defense official said, adding that the United States believed two Ukrainian Neptune missiles had hit the warship.

Primarily for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Moscow was one of its most visible assets during the Ukraine War, and its loss could affect the morale of Russian troops. In stark contrast to the public debate over the Kursk submarine disaster that killed 118 sailors in 2000, the Russian government has failed to acknowledge the loss of life in the sinking.

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Russia may have shut down the independent media, but the loss of Moscow may have further angered Putin over the situation in Ukraine. U.S. officials believe Putin is angry over the defeat of his forces in Ukraine. They believe Putin’s advisers did not tell him the whole truth and did not prepare him for possible setbacks.

The warship defeat came just weeks after senior Russian military officials announced a change in approach to the invasion, after their offensive appeared to have stalled in major Ukrainian cities such as Kiev and Kharkiv. Russia has also failed to achieve full air superiority in Ukraine and has suffered huge staff losses since the beginning of the invasion.

The Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine has not stopped 2:38

Russia quickly began to fight

Ukraine’s Southern Operations Command said in a statement on Saturday that the situation in Ukraine’s southern Mikholev and Gershon regions was “increasingly hostile”.

“In a desperate attempt to set foot in the south and maintain positions, the world’s most infamous army is hunting down civilians in the Mykolayiv and Kerson areas. Shooting has been recorded in some areas.”

The report said Russian forces were outraged by the losses in the Black Sea and had intensified the missile threat in the region.

Natalia Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for the Armed Forces in southern Ukraine, said the first missile strikes on Thursday night would be in retaliation for the sinking of Moskva.

“We all know that we will not be forgiven,” he said, accusing Russia of using “cluster munitions banned by international conferences”.

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The UN Human Rights Watch in Ukraine has said it has received credible allegations that Russian armed forces used cluster munitions in populated areas of Ukraine. The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has confirmed that Russia used cluster munitions throughout the conflict.

On Friday Zelensky praised the Ukrainian armed forces for thwarting the Russian attacks, saying they were “doing wonderfully”.

Zelensky praised Ukraine’s assistance from Western countries, but called for more weapons to be sent to the country. “The sooner we get all the weapons we ask for, the sooner our position will be strengthened and the sooner peace will come,” he said.

Zhelensky talks about how many Ukrainians died in the Russian invasion 1:29

More weapons for Ukraine

Moscow has formally opposed the continued sending of US weapons to Ukraine, another sign that war is not taking place in Ukraine as planned by Russia. Sent embassy note According to two U.S. officials and another source familiar with the document, the State Department has warned of “unpredictable consequences” if support continues.

Some officials in the Biden administration believe that the diplomatic note shows that the Russians are being harmed, an official said. The official explained that he hoped the Russians would not have sent the message if they felt they were in a strong position on the battlefield.

The U.S. administration is preparing to announce that the note, known as an administration, was sent out earlier this weekSending new military aid package Worth 800 million US dollars to the Ukrainians. The European Union has approved 500 million euros for military equipment for Ukraine.

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For the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States is providing Kiev with high-capacity capabilities that some officials in the Biden administration considered a major expansion risk a few weeks ago.

This includes Mi-17 helicopters, 18 155 mm howitzers and 300 more switchboard drones. These types of weapons are designed for the type of fight that can take place Donbass area: Open land instead of urban and forest areas.

Ukrainian military and regional officials say Russian attacks have intensified in the eastern part of the country, in Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk.

Serhii Haidai, head of the military administration in the Luhansk region, has warned civilians staying in Luhansk to leave the area. “Staying in cities now is very dangerous. The shelling has intensified,” he said.

Civilians of the Ukrainian Armed Forces surround Slopozhansky, a short distance south of Kharkiv, saying that “the main objective of the Russian enemy is to reorganize and strengthen the troops.”

In the same area, according to civil servants, Russian forces have concentrated 22 battalion tactical units around Izium. A battalion tactical team usually consists of about 1,000 soldiers.

Julia Presniakova, Tim Lister, Olga Voitovych, Nathan Hodge, Celine Alkhaldi, Ben Wedeman, Kareem Khadder, Natasha Bertrand, Zachary Cohen, Katie Bo Lillis, Kaitlan Collins, Kylie Atwood and Sean Lyngaas of CNN contributed to this report.

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