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Russian escalates attack around Kyiv, Zelensky says Moscow will have to step back

Russian forces are intensifying strikes around the Ukrainian capital. But President Zelensky says Moscow 'will not succeed' in using terror to break the nation's will.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian troops had “severely attacked Russian troops for decades.”

In a Facebook video on Saturday Zelensky said 31 Russian strategic teams had lost power, and more than 360 Russian tanks had been lost.

Zelensky added that Russian military forces are volunteering for the Ukrainian army, but that Russia is now hiring fighters, reservists, recruits and mercenaries to “pass” Ukrainian troops.
“They are using fear to uproot us, to break our faith in Ukraine’s victory, I hope they will not succeed,” Zelensky added.

Speaking to the city of Mariupol, Zelensky said Ukrainian troops would ensure that shootings would be stopped in the city’s exit tunnel to allow goods to the city, as well as to facilitate transportation.

Zelensky’s remarks came after a Russian plane crash at a maternity and pediatric hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday left 17 people injured, including children, women and doctors, according to Mariupol city officials. Three people have been killed, the city council said on Thursday, among them, a child.

A pregnant woman, Mariana Vishegirskaya, who was rescued from a Mariupol hospital this week taken from an infected AP photo, has given birth to a baby girl, her family confirmed on CNN.

Airlines flying in Russian airplanes are becoming more and more dangerous

As the Russian economy is affected by rising western sanctions on its invasion of Ukraine, important national airlines have been cut off from many parts of the world.

But that’s a bit of an industry problem. Russia’s domestic aviation industry may be just a pre-existing shell due to its operational limitations.

The sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union mean that the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers, Boeing (BA) and Airbus (EADSF), will no longer be able to provide backup or repair services for Russian aircraft. The same is true of jet engine builders.

“Within a year Russia will cease to have any kind of active aviation industry,” said Richard Aboulafia, managing director of AeroDynamic Advisory.

He said the South African aviation industry could find itself in the middle of the heavily penalized industries in Iran and North Korea.

That poses a serious threat to Russia’s economic activity.

Russia is the largest country in the world, with twice the size of the continental United States. There needs to be a viable aviation industry to keep its economy afloat, said Charles Lichfield, deputy director of the GeoEconomics Center at Atlantic Council, an international think tank.

“It’s an important part of the Russian economy. They need that backbone. They need a basic domestic [aviation] industry to stay afloat,” Lichfield said.

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