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Dwell updates: Russia’s struggle in Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with native residents within the city of Bucha on Friday. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Reuters)

Russia’s acknowledged plan to place nuclear weapons in Belarus is proof that talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese language counterpart Xi Jinping in March failed, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated Friday.

Although China had appeared to position itself as a peace broker between Russia and Ukraine within the weeks main as much as Xi’s three-day state go to to Moscow, the conferences between the 2 leaders didn’t yield a significant breakthrough on resolving the battle.

“The sign that Russia desires to position their nuclear weapons in Belarus tells me that the assembly with China was unsuccessful, it’s failed,” Zelensky informed reporters throughout a visit to Bucha.

The Ukrainian president additionally stated Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko has “misplaced any significance,” claiming he “doesn’t resolve something about what sort of weapons are based mostly in his nation.”

Some background: Putin introduced final week that Moscow will assemble a storage facility for tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, finishing it by the beginning of July. Lukashenko welcomed the move in a nationwide handle Friday, including that Russia may additionally station strategic nuclear weapons in his nation.

The mentioning of strategic nukes, which might decimate whole cities, is an escalation in rhetoric from Lukashenko. Russia has not publicly introduced any plans to ship strategic nuclear weapons to Belarus.

International response: Whereas there isn’t any assure Putin will observe by way of on his plans for Belarus, any nuclear signaling by Putin causes concern within the West.

Ukraine, NATO and the European Union’s high diplomat have condemned the plan. The US has downplayed the transfer, saying there aren’t any indications Russia will use nuclear weapons.

The nuclear announcement comes as Putin faces mounting issues elsewhere. Read CNN analysis on the decision here.

CNN’s Andrew Carey, Ivana KottasováLindsay Isaac and Anna Chernova contributed to this report.

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