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Raised Ukraine's stance on Russia gas turbine, says Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Raised Ukraine's stance on Russia gas turbine, says Volodymyr Zelenskyy

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By Reuters  IST (Updated)

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Meanwhile, Russia is preparing for the next stage of its offensive in Ukraine, a Ukrainian military official said, after Moscow said its forces would step up military operations in "all operational areas".

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday that Ukrainians would never accept his decision to return a gas turbine intended for a Russian pipeline because it would encourage more sanctions violations.
Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that he had talked to Trudeau earlier and thanked him for his support.
"However I stressed separately that Ukrainians will never accept Canada's decision regarding the Nord Stream turbine," he said. "Handing it to Germany violated sanctions," he added.
Trudeau said on Wednesday that it was a "very difficult decision" to grant an exemption from sanctions imposed on Russia for the return of the repaired turbine, needed for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.
But Zelenskyy, echoing earlier remarks by other Ukrainian officials, said Russia was engaging in blackmail with gas. "If there is one violation now, it is only a matter of time before there will be others," he said.
Meanwhile, Russia is preparing for the next stage of its offensive in Ukraine, a Ukrainian military official said, after Moscow said its forces would step up military operations in "all operational areas".
As Western deliveries of long-range arms begin to help Ukraine on the battlefield, Russian rockets and missiles have pounded cities in strikes that Kyiv says have killed dozens in recent days.
"It is not only missile strikes from the air and sea," Vadym Skibitskyi, a spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence, said.
"We can see shelling along the entire line of contact, along the entire front line. There is an active use of tactical aviation and attack helicopters. "Clearly preparations are now underway for the next stage of the offensive."
The Ukrainian military said Russia appeared to be regrouping units for an offensive toward Sloviansk, a symbolically important city held by Ukraine in the eastern region of Donetsk.
The British defence ministry said on Sunday that Russia was also reinforcing defences across areas it occupies in southern Ukraine after pressure from Ukrainian forces and pledges from Ukrainian leaders to drive Russia out.
Ukraine says at least 40 people have been killed in Russian shelling of urban areas since Thursday as the war launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 24 intensifies.
Dozens of relatives and local residents attended the funeral of 4-year-old Liza Dmytrieva in the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia on Sunday. The girl was killed in a missile strike on central Vinnytsia on Thursday that killed 24 people, according to Ukrainian authorities.
Rockets hit the northeastern town of Chuhuiv in Kharkiv region on Friday night, killing three people including a 70-year-old woman and wounding three others, said regional Governor Oleh Synehubov.
"Three people lost their lives, why? What for? Because Putin went mad?" said Raisa Shapoval, 83, a distraught resident sitting in the ruins of her home.
To the south, more than 50 Russian Grad rockets pounded the city of Nikopol on the Dnipro River, killing two people who were found in the rubble, Governor Valentyn Reznichenko said.
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