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Russia using same tactics in Ukraine as in Syria: Ukraine FM Kuleba

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Russia’s tactics in Ukraine are similar to its military offensive in Syria, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with Al Hadath on Tuesday.

“You may recall that in Syria, Russian Air Force was actively used to destroy entire cities and villages before ground forces would move in. The same tactics [are] being used in Ukraine,” Kuleba said.

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The former military commander General Alexander Dvornikov who led Russia’s offensive in Syria was recently appointed as the new commander of operations in Ukraine.

After being appointed on Sunday, Dvornikov, 60, will lead Russian troops on the ground in Ukraine. The general has what US National security Advisor Jake Sullivan reportedly described as “a resume that includes brutality against civilians in other theaters, in Syria.”

Emergency workers remove debris of a building destroyed in the course of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 10, 2022. (AFP)
Emergency workers remove debris of a building destroyed in the course of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 10, 2022. (AFP)

“The former commander of the Russian army in Syria was recently appointed as commander of [the operation] of the Russian army in Ukraine. So this means that more damage [will be caused,] more civilians will die, more cities will be destroyed because of the Russian indiscriminate military attacks,” said Kuleba.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a “special operation.” As a result of the invasion, thousands have been killed and millions have been displaced.

Ukrainian refugees wait to board a bus to take them to a temporary shelter outside Przemysl Glowny train station, after fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poland, March 23, 2022. (Reuters)
Ukrainian refugees wait to board a bus to take them to a temporary shelter outside Przemysl Glowny train station, after fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poland, March 23, 2022. (Reuters)

Kuleba also expressed his concern about the besieged port city of Mariupol that has fallen victim to Russian attacks and airstrikes since the beginning of the invasion.

“Well, Mariupol is a besieged city. Inside of the city, there are civilians who are suffering from Russian offensive [and] strikes. And there are there are also Ukrainian defenders of the city. We, as the government of Ukraine, to our deepest regret, have no access to Mariupol.”

The foreign minister said that the Ukrainian government has been working hard to figure out a solution to evacuate and help Mariupol’s civilians, adding that in order to be able to carry out evacuations quickly and efficiently, Ukraine needed more military planes.

A view shows buildings damaged in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 28, 2022. (Reuters)
A view shows buildings damaged in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 28, 2022. (Reuters)

“We are ready to buy them [military planes], we are ready to take them for free. But we need them to speed [up] to save peoples’ lives, both civilian and military lives,” he said, again adding that the problem lies in the way the Russian army has been carrying out attacks in Ukraine and compared its tactics to the way they fought in Syria.

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