Russia says talks frozen, blames Ukraine

(Spanish CNN) — Russia continues its advance in eastern Ukraine and outnumbers and outguns Ukrainian forces, while President Volodymyr Zelensky accuses Moscow of “genocide” for its action in the Donbass region. See the latest war news on May 27, 2022.

Zelensky says Russian action in Donbass is ‘a clear policy of genocide’

The intensification of the Russian offensive in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine reflects “a clear policy of genocide”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday in his late evening speech.

“The current offensive of the occupiers in the Donbass may make the region uninhabited,” Zelensky said.

“They want to burn Popasna, Bakhmut, Lyman, Lysychansk and Severodonetsk to ashes. Like Volnovakha, like Mariupol,” he added.

In the towns closest to the Russian border, such as Donetsk and Luhansk, Russian forces are “gathering everything they can to take the place of the dead and wounded of the occupation contingent”, Zelensky said.

“All of this, including the deportation of our people and the massacres of civilians, is a blatant policy of genocide carried out by Russia.”

Zelensky said pressuring Russia “is literally a matter of saving lives” and that every delay, dispute or proposal to “appease” Russia leads to “new dead Ukrainians” and new threats to everyone on the continent.

Experts accuse Russia of inciting genocide in Ukraine and seeking to ‘destroy’ the Ukrainian people

A damaged residential building is seen in Kharkiv, Ukraine on May 26. (Photo: Sergei Kozlov/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Russia’s actions in Ukraine provide enough evidence to conclude that Moscow is inciting genocide and committing atrocities with intent to destroy the Ukrainian people, according to the first independent report into allegations of genocide in that country.

The legal report, signed by more than 30 leading jurists and genocide experts, accuses the Russian state of violating several articles of the UN Genocide Convention. It warns that there is a grave and imminent risk of genocide in Ukraine, backing the charges with a long list of evidence including examples of civilian massacres, forced deportations and dehumanized anti-Ukrainian rhetoric used by senior Russian officials.

The report was prepared by the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, a US-based think tank, and the Canada-based Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, and will be released this Friday. Its authors will send copies to parliaments, governments and international organizations around the world. An advance copy of the report was shared exclusively with CNN.

“We brought together the best legal experts from around the world, who reviewed all the evidence and concluded that the Russian Federation is responsible for violations of the Genocide Convention in Ukraine,” Azeem Ibrahim told CNN of the New Lines Institute. Ibrahim traveled to Ukraine in March to collect evidence for the report.

“This is a very comprehensive and detailed review of lots of evidence,” he said. “What we have seen so far is that this war is genocidal in nature, in terms of the language used and the way it is executed. That is very, very clear.”

Kremlin says talks with Ukraine frozen, accuses Kyiv of ‘contradictory’ remarks

Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are currently frozen, the Kremlin said on Friday, accusing Kyiv of making “contradictory” remarks that Moscow does not understand.

“The negotiations are frozen by decision of the Ukrainian side,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a regular conference call.

“In general, the Ukrainian leadership constantly makes contradictory statements. This does not allow us to fully understand what the Ukrainian side wants,” Peskov added.

On Thursday, Peskov said Moscow expected kyiv to accept the status quo and respect its territorial claims, following comments by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that appeared to suggest Ukraine should agree to ceding Crimea and much of the Donbass region to Russia.

In an interview with Reuters last week, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire with Russia, saying Kyiv would not accept any deal with Moscow that ceded territory.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky compared Kissinger’s remarks to the appeasement of Nazi Germany in 1938.

Heavy fighting continues in Luhansk region, Ukrainian authorities say

Ukrainian authorities reported heavy fighting in the Luhansk region on Friday, with a local military leader describing “fierce battles” for the city of Severodonetsk.

In televised remarks, Oleksandr Striuk, head of the military administration of the city of Severodonetsk, said: “There were fierce battles for the city. We have a hot spot, the Mir hotel. May 26 [jueves], an enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group entered the Mir hotel. The armed forces [ucranianas] resisted.”

A pro-Russian Telegram channel said Russian forces entered the hotel, which is in northern Severodonetsk, and street fighting was taking place.

A man walks near the remains of a missile in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lisichansk on May 26. (Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, said a Ukrainian operation to take over the hotel was underway on Friday, but added: “We still don’t have control of the hotel. But we are working to expel the Russians”. [fascistas rusos]”.

Hayday also described heavy shelling around Severodonetsk and neighboring Lysychansk as Russian forces advanced from the towns of Purdivka and Shchedryshchevo, saying they burned down the Lysychansk police station and damaged around 50 buildings in the area.

“The people of Severodonetsk have already forgotten what it’s like to be silent for at least half an hour,” Hayday said.

“Russians constantly harass residential areas. On May 26, four residents of Severodonetsk were killed by enemy shells in the old quarters of the city. Two of them died at the same time near an apartment building high rise. There is damage to the housing stock; 11 apartment buildings and one private house damaged.”

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