New Delhi: Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov will visit India from March 31 to April 1. “Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov will pay an official visit to New Delhi on 31 March -1 April 2022,” read a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. This will be the first official visit of the minister amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Yesterday, March 29, it was reported that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had claimed “certain units” of Russia’s military were withdrawing from battlefronts in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and from the northern city of Chernihiv. “The Russian enemy did not meet the goal of its offensive operation,” news outlet CNN quoted the Army wing as writing in an official Facebook update on Tuesday.
However, it warned that there was a “high risk” of Russian troops attacking military and civilian infrastructure. In line with this, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin on Tuesday said that the Defence Ministry has decided to significantly decrease military activity in Kyiv and Chernihiv regions of Ukraine.
“Owing to the fact that negotiations on the preparation of an agreement on the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Ukraine, as well as on the provision of security guarantees to Ukraine by the Russian Ministry of Defense in order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations, a decision was made to radically reduce military activity in the Kyiv and Chernihiv direction,” Russian news agency Sputnik quoted Fomin as saying. The official added that Russia calls on Ukraine to adhere to the Geneva Convention and exclude the torture of prisoners of war.
Today, however, on-ground reports from Ukraine suggest that Russian forces continue to shell areas from where they are supposed to be withdrawing, indicating that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is very much on. In fact, Russian forces fighting in Ukraine have used banned anti-personnel mines in the eastern Kharkiv region of the country, according to Human Rights Watch.
“Countries around the world should forcefully condemn Russia’s use of banned antipersonnel landmines in Ukraine,” said Steve Goose, the arms director of Human Rights Watch. “These weapons do not differentiate between combatants and civilians and leave a deadly legacy for years to come.”
Meanwhile, a senior US Government official has told American news outlet ABC News: “We believe that (Russian President) Putin is being misinformed by his advisors about how badly the Russian military is performing and how the Russian economy is being crippled by sanctions, because his senior advisors are too afraid to tell him the truth.”
India Blooms News Service