Former Ukrainian President warns 'don't believe Putin'
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Russian troops continue a broad offensive in Ukraine, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying on Saturday. The ministry confirmed that its units have stopped firing and opened humanitarian corridors near the cities of Volnovakha and Mariupol which were encircled by Russian troops. But Mr Poroshenko has claimed Vladimir Putin “does not want peace”.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mr Poroshenko said: “This is Putin who is an aggressor. This is Putin who doesn’t want peace.
“This is Putin who is killing Ukrainians and with this situation, definitely, we should have united peace enforcement.
“Putin should understand that the longer he is taking Ukraine and killing Ukrainians, the worst the situation will be for Russia.
“We motivate Russian people to pressure Putin to withdraw his troops from Ukraine and stop killing Ukrainians.
“This is how we can bring peace in Ukraine, there is not any other version.
“I have negotiated with Putin personally for five years, please, don’t believe Putin. Don’t trust Putin.
“Putin never keeps his words.”
It comes as Russia blocked Facebook and some other websites and passed a law that gave Moscow much stronger powers to crack down on independent journalism, prompting the BBC, Bloomberg and other foreign media to suspend reporting in the country.
War raged in Ukraine for a 10th day on Saturday as Russian troops besieged and bombarded cities, in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.
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The fighting has created over 1 million refugees, a barrage of sanctions that are increasingly isolating Moscow and fears in the West of a wider conflict that has been unthought-of for decades.
Moscow says its invasion is a “special operation” to capture individuals it regards as dangerous nationalists, and has denied targeting civilians.
Kyiv, in the path of a Russian armoured column that has been stalled outside the Ukrainian capital for days, came under renewed assault, with explosions audible from the city centre.
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Russian forces have encircled and shelled the southeastern port city of Mariupol – a key prize. There is no water, heat or electricity and it is running out of food after five days under attack, according to Mayor Vadym Boychenko.
“We are simply being destroyed,” he said.
Putin’s actions have drawn almost universal condemnation, and many countries have imposed heavy sanctions as the West balances punishment with avoiding a widening of the conflict.
Fighting back in the information war, Russia’s parliament passed a law on Friday imposing a prison term of up to 15 years for spreading intentionally “fake” news about the military.
“This law will force punishment – and very tough punishment – on those who lied and made statements which discredited our armed forces,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament.
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