Zelensky seeks more support from Biden  

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American legislators promised an additional $10 billion aid package, but the White House has so far ruled out an oil ban, fearing it would ratchet up prices and hurt US consumers already stung by record inflation, reports Asian Lite News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday he spoke by phone with his US counterpart Joe Biden to discuss financial support and sanctions against Russia as his country faces an intensifying onslaught.

“As part of the constant dialogue, I had another conversation with @POTUS,” Zelensky tweeted. “The agenda included the issues of security, financial support for Ukraine and the continuation of sanctions against Russia.”

In a readout on the half-hour call, the White House said Biden had emphasised steps his administration and allies have taken “to raise the costs on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine.”

He also highlighted efforts by private companies, such as payment giants Visa and MasterCard, to freeze out Moscow by suspending operations in the wake of the February 24 invasion.

Hours earlier, the Ukrainian leader had addressed US lawmakers by video call, pleading for further assistance to his besieged country and a blacklisting of Russian oil imports.

The American legislators promised an additional $10 billion aid package, but the White House has so far ruled out an oil ban, fearing it would ratchet up prices and hurt US consumers already stung by record inflation.

Weapons, ammunition and funds have poured into Ukraine from Western allies, which have also imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow.

Washington last week authorized $350 million of military equipment for Kyiv — the largest such package in US history.

While visiting Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border over the weekend, US Secretary of State Antony said that Washington was seeking $2.75 billion to help address the humanitarian crisis unfolding as nearly 1.4 million civilians flee.

US eyes ‘Ukrainian Zelensky govt in exile’ in Poland

The US is preparing a plan to create in Poland a “Ukrainian government with Volodymyr Zelensky in exile”, said The Washington Post citing a source in the American administration.

“Now we are preparing plans for any contingency,” the newspaper quoted the source as saying.

According to the publication, Ukraine’s allies can help the “government in exile” in organising “guerrilla operations” in the country, RT reported.

On March 4, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin announced that Zelensky was in Poland.

According to the Verkhovna Rada, “the President is in Kiev”.

At the same time, the adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine refused to deny or confirm information about the whereabouts of Zelensky.

As noted in the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Kiev regime has almost completely lost the ability to manage the administration of the regions and districts of the country.

‘Ukrainian Army using human shields’

The Ukrainian military is resorting to the methods of Middle Eastern extremists and using civilians as human shield, former adviser to the US Secretary of Defense, Colonel Douglas McGregor told Fox Business.

According to McGregor, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky needs to recognize the “inevitability” of the defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and accept Moscow’s conditions so as not to expose “a huge number of his population to unnecessary risk”.

The Ukrainian military is using Islamist tactics in the cities, while Russian troops, on the contrary, are trying not to damage the infrastructure, he said.

“Ukrainian troops are hiding in populated areas because they have no mobility, no air defense, no air cover, no logistical infrastructure. Now they are mixing with the civilian population,” RT News quoted the retired military official as saying.

“We have seen this in the Middle East. When we defeated the Islamists, they fled to the cities, used people, civilians, as human shields and tried to avoid destruction. And I think that is exactly what is happening today: the Ukrainian army is using the population to avoid defeat.”

At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin is “doing his best” to keep most of Ukraine intact. Moreover, in the first days of the special operation, the Russian army even acted “too softly”, he added.

“Frankly, surprisingly little damage. The damage is much less than what we inflicted on Iraq when we sent troops there in 1991, and then in 2003,” McGregor noted.

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