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Reports: Putin Set to Address G20 Virtual Summit as Russian Troops Desert Front Lines in Ukraine

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Source: Mega

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Nov. 21 2023, Published 11:03 a.m. ET

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Russia’s President will make a surprise appearance at a summit of world leaders. But he will not risk arrest to do it. reported that Vladimir Putin plans to speak at a “virtual summit” of the Group of 20 on Nov. 22.

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Russian TV host Pavel Zerubin revealed the plans on his Telegram channel, calling it the “first event in a long time” bringing Putin together with Western leaders.

Reuters reported Putin will speak on the “deeply unstable world situation.” Critics say he’s partly to blame for that, as Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine approaches 21 months.

It will be the second virtual summit appearance for Putin in two days. He plans to join a video discussion about the Israel-Hamas War on Nov. 21 with the leaders of other BRICS countries: Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

Japan’s NHK network noted India is hosting the virtual G20 summit, after bringing leaders together in person in New Delhi in September.

Putin skipped that meeting, as he faces an arrest warrant for his country’s activities in Ukraine. He has chosen his trips carefully in recent months, visiting allies China and Kyrgyzstan in October.

But this time, President Biden may be the G-20 leader who’s absent.

“With Thanksgiving around the corner, we are not sure whether he would be able to take part in the virtual summit,” U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti told The New Indian Express.

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The president plans to spend the Thursday holiday on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. The Cape Cod Times noted he’s done that for decades.

Putin’s speeches come as Ukraine claims Russian soldiers are abandoning the fight in one area.

According to Britain’s Independent, the Russian Army is reportedly withdrawing from Donetsk.

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In Avdiivka, a Ukrainian military spokesman claimed Moscow has resorted to using reserve fighters and people recruited from prisons. Russia’s goal is to encircle and take the city.

“The Russians… do not have enough resources to attack,” analyst Oleg Ignatov of the Crisis Group told Newsweek. “Their offensive operations are not successful.”

Ukraine also reports small gains along the east bank of the Dnieper River, with Russian fighters pushed back about five miles.

The riverside fight in Kherson has raged for more than a year, and the warm-weather counteroffensive by Ukraine’s military made little progress.

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With winter coming, major gains by either side may not occur for several months.

The Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War noted autumn rains already have slowed things down. But fighting is likely to continue through winter.

An ISW map indicates the battlefront between Russia and Ukraine stretches for 600 miles.

An ultimate victory for Ukraine would be the retaking of the Crimea peninsula, which Russia seized in 2014.

Retired U.S. Commander Ben Hodges says Crimea is the “decisive terrain” between the two countries.


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