Lavrov says Russia’s goal to expel Ukrainian president

Kieu, Ukraine (AP) —Russian chief diplomats continue to attack cities across Ukraine with Russian artillery and air strikes, so Moscow’s comprehensive goal is to defeat the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Russia seems to have turned around after saying that.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks help alleviate global food shortages as Ukraine seeks to resume grain exports from Black Sea ports. Russian strike against Odessa On the weekend.

Lavrov told the delegation at the Arab League summit in Cairo late Sunday that Moscow is determined to help Ukrainians “free from the burden of this absolutely unacceptable regime.” rice field.

Lavrov accused Kyiv and “its western allies” of spewing propaganda aimed at ensuring that Ukraine would “become an eternal enemy of Russia.”

“Russians and Ukrainians will continue to live together. We will certainly help Ukrainians get rid of absolutely anti-people and anti-historical governments,” he said.

Lavrov’s remarks were in contrast to the Kremlin’s remarks, which repeatedly emphasized that Russian authorities did not seek the overthrow of the Zelensky administration in the early days of the war.

Lavrov argued that Kyiv was ready to negotiate an arrangement to end the hostilities in March when he changed his tack, adding that he encouraged the West to continue fighting Ukraine.

“The West insists that Ukraine should not start negotiations until Russia is defeated on the battlefield,” Lavrov said.

It was not yet clear when grain shipments would resume after Russia and Ukraine signed the same agreement with the United Nations and Turkey in Istanbul on Friday. The deal aims to pave the way for the urgent need of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain shipments and Russian grain and fertilizer exports.

The Kremlin claimed on Monday that the weekend’s attack on the port of Odessa targeted military assets and would not affect grain transport.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the strike was “only relevant to military infrastructure.”

“This has nothing to do with the infrastructure involved in the implementation of the agreement and the export of grain. Therefore, this cannot and should not affect the start of the shipping process,” Peskoff said. Says.

The Kremlin spokesman also said that Moscow was not interested in shutting down all gas supplies to Europe, and recent restrictions on Russia’s gas flow to European countries were simply the result of restrictions imposed by Europeans. The restrictions that the Europeans themselves said suffered from these. “

“Russia is a responsible gas supplier, and no matter who says what, the European Commission continues to be the country that largely guarantees Europe’s energy security in the European Capital of Culture, the United States,” Peskoff said. Stated.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian presidential office said Monday that at least two civilians had been killed and another ten were injured in recent Russian bombardment in the last 24 hours.

In the eastern part of Donetsk, the Russian offensive, the focus of Russian artillery, struck Avdiivka, Kramatorsk and Kostyantynivka. At least five homes were damaged by the airstrikes on Bakumut.

“Russians are using scorched earth operations throughout Donbus, firing from the ground and in the air to wipe out the entire city,” Donetsk Governor Pablo Kirirenko said in a television statement.

Russians also attacked the Kharkiv region. In the city of Chuhuiv, a Russian strike destroyed a local club building and rescue workers took several people out of the rubble.

Kharkiv Governor Ole Sinevbov accused the attack of being a “meaningless barbarian” and said, “If no one knows where the next strike will come and the entire region is dangerous to life, it’s a deadly lottery. Looks like. “

In the Dnipro region, a 10-year-old girl was injured in a bombardment and a 7-year-old child was injured in a bombardment in the Mykolaiv region of Russia.

Other developments:

—Russia’s highest domestic security agency said on Monday that Ukrainian military intelligence had stopped attempts to seduce Russian military pilots to surrender their combat jets to Ukraine.

The Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor to the KGB, said on Monday that Ukrainians provided Russian pilots with cash and European Union citizenship to persuade them to hijack fighters. In a video released by the FSB, a man called a Ukrainian intelligence officer offers to pay $ 2 million to a candidate for a North American pilot if he surrenders an airplane during a combat mission in Ukraine.

Russian state television claimed that Western espionage agencies helped Ukrainians in their efforts. Russia’s claim could not be independently verified.