Ukraine is getting Russian-made weapons to defeat its Russian invaders

Ukraine NLAW anti-tank missile

A Ukrainian army instructor with the NLAW anti-tank missile system in Starychi, Ukraine.

Gaelle Girbes/Getty Image


A large portion of the weapons being sent to Ukraine for its efforts to fight off Russian forces is Soviet-made weapons, according to The Wall Street Journal.

So far, multiple weeks into Russia’s war on Ukraine, allies in NATO have sent 17,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. 

The majority of weapons come from Central European NATO countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union. The Czech Republic has sent the most equipment, according to the report.

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Zelensky criticizes NATO and invokes Churchill in defiant speech to UK’s Parliament

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address to the House of Commons

President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the House of Commons.

UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized NATO countries on Monday for refusing to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, pushing the West to do more to repel Russia’s invasion while also vowing that Ukraine would not yield to the Russians just like the British people stood up to the Nazis in World War II.

“We did feel that, unfortunately, the alliance does not work properly,” Zelensky said during a video address to the House of Commons, according to a simultaneous translation of his remarks. 

Zelensky has expressed outrage over the West’s refusal to do more to repel the Russian invasion, pointing out that women and children continue to be killed in the interim.

Ukraine is not a NATO member and while countries in the alliance are shipping lethal aid like anti-aircraft missiles and sniper rifles, they’ve stopped short of their forces entering the war zone.
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CIA Director says Putin ‘has no sustainable political end game’ in what will continue to be a ‘fierce resistance from Ukrainians’

CIA Director Bill Burns said Russian President Vladimir Putin “has no political end game to the invasion of Ukraine in the face of fierce resistance from Ukrainians.”

Burns testified on Tuesday before the House Select Intelligence Committee on threats to national security. When asked by Rep. Adam Schiff how he foresaw the conflict in Ukraine ending, Burns said he wasn’t sure.

“That’s the core question,” Burns responded. “I think Putin’s assumptions have turned out to be profoundly flawed.” 

“He failed to see how he could sustain a puppet regime or a pro-Russian leadership that he tried to install in the face of what is a massive opposition from Ukrainian people,” Burns said. 

Burns continued: “I fail to see how he can produce that kind of an end game.” 

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UN denies report that staff were warned not to call Russian attack on Ukraine a ‘war’ or ‘invasion’

The United Nations has refuted a report that said the intergovernmental organization warned staffers in an email not to refer to Russia’s attack on Ukraine as a “war” or “invasion.”

“There is a mistaken impression that UN staff were told to avoid using certain words to describe the situation in Ukraine,” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN’s Secretary-General, told Insider in a statement on Tuesday. 

“It is simply not the case that staff have been instructed not to use words like “war” and “invasion” to describe the situation,” Dujarric said. 

The Irish Times published a report earlier Tuesday, saying that the UN emailed staff on Monday advising them not to refer to Russia’s attack on Ukraine as a “war” or “invasion.”

The purported email instead instructed UN staff to use the terms “conflict” or “military offensive” to describe Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, according to The Irish Times, which reported that the email was seen by the news outlet.

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The US announced it will ban Russian energy imports, including Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal.

Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions after delivering remarks about Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified” military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday the US would ban Russian energy imports, stepping up an economic-sanctions campaign to punish the Kremlin for its invasion of Ukraine.

“We will not be subsidizing Putin’s war,” Biden said, calling the ban a “powerful blow” against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to sustain a military campaign in Ukraine.

 

The ban will affect imports of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal. Bloomberg first reported the latest sanctions on Russia.

The president acknowledged that not every European country would join in a blanket ban on Russian energy imports.

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Zelensky says ‘responsibility’ for civilian deaths lies with Western governments who haven’t closed skies over Ukraine

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky

Sergei Supinsky / Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that the “responsibility” for the deaths of Ukrainians amid the Russian invasion lies with Western governments as he renewed calls for them to close the skies over the eastern European country.

Zelensky also said in his video message that a child in the besieged city of Mariupol died of dehydration and that Russian forces had blocked the delivery of food and water supply and cut off electricity. 

“The blame for every death of every person in Ukraine from air strikes and in blocked cities, of course, lies with the Russian state, the Russian military, those who give and those who carry out criminal orders, who violate all the rules of warfare, who deliberately exterminate the Ukrainian people,” Zelensky said. 

However, he added, “The responsibility for this lies also with those who have not been able to make an obviously necessary decision somewhere in the West … those who have not yet secured the Ukrainian sky from Russian murderers.”
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Gas prices just hit a record high. Here’s what Biden’s ban on Russian oil means for prices at the pump

President Joe Biden is reportedly poised to ban Russian oil as early as Tuesday, marking a major step toward crippling the Russian economy in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s energy sector is key to its economy, as the country was the third-largest producer of crude oil in 2020, according to the US Energy Information Administration. By banning oil imports, the White House is hurting Russia in an area ignored in the US’s initial set of retaliatory sanctions.

The ban could heighten the risk of even higher gas prices. The average price-per-gallon in the US hit a record $4.173 on Tuesday, eclipsing the previous high set in 2008, amid fears that the Russia-Ukraine conflict would further strangle the crude market. Gas could hit $5 a gallon.

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The US is set to ban Russian oil, natural gas, and coal imports, reports say

Biden

President Joe Biden speaking in Washington, DC, on February 8.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon


The US is set to ban Russian energy imports, multiple news outlets reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The announcement of the ban is poised announced by the White House as early as today and it will apply to imports of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal, two sources who requested anonymity told Bloomberg, which first reported the news.

The pending move followed discussions with European allies, but these countries would not join at this time, according to the report. President Joe Biden is set to speak at 10:45am ET about ongoing US efforts to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, per a White House statement.

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Ukraine says Russian forces are shelling a humanitarian corridor out of Mariupol it promised not to attack

A firefighter works amongst debris in the aftermath of Russian shelling, in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

A firefighter works amongst debris in the aftermath of Russian shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka


Ukraine said Russian forces shelled a humanitarian corridor it promised not to attack on Tuesday.

Ukraine and Russia said earlier on Tuesday that a corridor would open from 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday. The rule of a humanitarian corridor is that neither side’s forces can attack during that period.

But hours later, Ukraine’s foreign ministry tweeted that “Russian forces are now shelling the humanitarian corridor from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol.”

Ukraine’s military wrote in a Facebook post that “the invaders did not let children, women, elderly people out of the city. The enemy started the attack exactly in the direction of the humanitarian corridor.”

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Putin’s disinformation is so effective that Ukrainians can’t convince their own families in Russia they are under attack

A man in black with his back to the camera, facing the wreckage of his home in Ukraine, March 5 2022.

Igor Majayev, looks over the rubble of his home that was destroyed by a suspected Russian airstrike in Markhalivka, Ukraine, on March 5, 2022.

Marcus Yam/LA Times via Getty Images


Ukrainians are struggling to persuade their relatives in Russia not to believe Putin’s propaganda.

One woman told Insider her Ukrainian uncle in Russia threatened to join the invasion. Another Ukrainian woman cut ties with her Russian father who said the war “was a lie.”

They are startling examples of how effectively authorities in Russia have presented its attack on Ukraine as a just and humane war, in which Russian soldiers are liberating grateful Ukrainians from their Nazi oppressors.

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2 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, UN says

Ukraine station

People wait for trains at a train station in Kyiv on February 24, 2022, the day Russia invaded Ukraine.

Pierre Crom/Getty Images)


Filippo Grandi, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, tweeted Tuesday morning:

That’s about 4.5% of Ukraine’s total population of 44 million, per World Bank data.

Multiple countries in Europe have suspended visa and COVID-19 quarantine requirements for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the conflict.

Ukraine and Russia agree to open evacuation corridor out of Sumy

Buses wait during evacuations out of Sumy, Ukraine

Screenshot from Ukrainian government video showing buses wait during evacuations out of Sumy, Ukraine, on March 8, 2022.

Deputy Head for President’s Office, Ukraine via Reuters


Ukraine said it agreed with Russia to open an evacuation corridor out of the northeastern city of Sumy on Tuesday for civilians trying to flee the violence.

Sumy governor Dmitro Zhivitskiy said the corridor would lead to the city of Poltava, in central Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry posted video of the evacuation, which included foreign students, on Tuesday morning:

Previous efforts to open “humanitarian corridors” in Ukraine had failed, with Ukraine accusing Russian forces of shelling civilians trying to escape.

Russia on Monday also offered to open several “humanitarian corridors” on the condition that they end in Russia or its ally, Belarus. Ukraine called that proposal “immoral.”

Canadian politician pushes for the revival of the Trump-backed Keystone XL oil pipeline to replace Russian imports to the US

Deer gather at a depot used to store pipes for the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline in Gascoyne, North Dakota.

Deer gather at a depot used to store pipes for the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline in Gascoyne, North Dakota, January 25, 2017.

Terray Sylvester/Reuters


The premier of Alberta, Canada, is pushing for the the revival of the Keystone XL oil pipeline project that President Joe Biden canceled in January 2021. The move would boost US energy security amid the war in Ukraine.

“If the United States is serious about this, they could come back to the table and help us build Keystone XL,” Jason Kenney told a Monday news conference.

Kenney added that had Biden not shut down plans for the pipeline, the “democratic energy” it provided could have, by the end of the year, been displacing the “Russian conflict oil that’s filled with the blood of Ukrainians.”

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Ukraine’s ambassador told Russian diplomats to seek mental help when they repeated Putin’s talking points

Sergiy Kyslytsya, United Nations permanent representative of Ukraine, holds up a printout of a retweet of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s UN permanent representative, holds up a printout of a retweet by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images


Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations delivered a cynical quip to Russian diplomats at a Security Council meeting on Monday night, suggesting they seek mental help for continuing to push the Kremlin’s talking points on the invasion of Ukraine.

At the meeting, Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya held a printout of a tweet by the Russian embassy in the UK, which published a claim by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that “the goal of Russia’s special military operation is to stop any war that could take place on Ukrainian territory or that could start from there.”

“Let me remind the Russian diplomats that in London, in case of need for mental help, you can dial NHS line 111. Thank you,” Kyslytsya said, referring to the UK’s National Health Service.

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Deputy mayor of Mariupol says the city has no water or heating, and is running out of food

Ukrainian soldiers ride in a military vehicle

Ukrainian soldiers ride in a military vehicle in Mariupol, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

AP Photo/Sergei Grits


Sergei Orlov, the deputy mayor of Mariupol, told the BBC’s “Today” program in an interview aired Tuesday that his city had gone seven days “without any utilities, without water, heat, and supply.”

Mariupol, a strategic port city on the Azov Sea, has been besieged and shelled by Russian forces for almost a week. The city is located between the Donbas and Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and taking control of it would allow pro-Russian forces from those regions to join up.

Orlov said there was not enough food: “The number of food is not enough for ten days … We still have some opportunities to provide our citizens with water, supply tanks in some districts of the city and people collect water from there. But we are not able to give them food because there is no food in the city.”

Russia destroyed a hospital in Mariupol and is targeting schools and kindergartens, deputy mayor says

Sergei Orlov, deputy mayor of Mariupol, told the BBC’s “Today” program in an interview aired Tuesday that Russian forces had destroyed a hospital and were targeting “schools, kindergartens, and hospitals.”

“They even tried to destroy blood collection hospitals,” he said.

Orlov said Hospital No. 9 in Primorsky District was destroyed because of artillery bombing and shelling from Russian aircraft.

The BBC said it could not verify Orlov’s remarks about the hospital’s destruction and targeting of schools.

Russian President Vladimir Putin previously said that no civilians would be harmed in his invasion of Ukraine. The UN’s rights body said on Sunday it had recorded 1,123 civilian deaths since the invasion began on February 24.

In the “Today” interview, Orlov estimated that “hundreds” of people in Mariupol had died, but said it was “impossible to calculate” the exact number.

“He wants Ukraine without Ukrainians,” Orlov said of Putin.

He told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Monday he had information that Russian forces were targeting humanitarian corridors for Ukrainian citizens, and reiterated calls for a cease-fire.

A Trump-era national security official suggested the US deploy all of its ballistic-missile submarines to see whether Putin is ‘really bluffing’

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg speaks at a White House podium in a briefing

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


Retired US Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg on Monday suggested what he seemed to tout as a “creative” solution to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: Activate the entire US fleet of ballistic-missile submarines to see whether Russian President Vladimir Putin is “really bluffing” on nuclear threats.

“You know, we’ve generally got between five and six ballistic-missile submarines — the boomers — at sea at any one time,” Kellogg said on the Fox News show “Jesse Watters Primetime.”

“Flush the whole fleet, put every boomer we’ve got at sea, and we can crew them and put them out there. And you say: ‘Look, we’re not going to back off from a nuclear concern that you’ve got,'” the general said.

“You know, go all in, bluff him — you know, he’s — let’s see if he’s really bluffing or not,” Kellogg continued.

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Ukrainian intelligence claims that top Russian general Vitaly Gerasimov has been killed outside of Kharkiv

Vitaly Gerasimov,

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, the first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army.

Ukrainian military intelligence


Ukrainian military intelligence said it killed a top Russian general on Monday, in what would be the second high-ranking loss since the invasion began.

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, the first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st army, was killed in Kharkiv, the intelligence unit of the Ukrainian defense ministry said in a statement.

Christo Grozev, the executive director of the open-source investigative outlet Bellingcat, tweeted Monday that a Russian source had confirmed Gerasimov’s death. There were no specifics on the death, and neither Russian officials nor state-run media have confirmed the death.

Alongside the statement, the Ukrainian defense ministry released audio of an intercepted phone call between what it said were two Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers discussing the death and criticizing Russia’s secure military communication platform.

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Russia warns oil prices could hit $300 a barrel if the US and Europe reject Russian oil, says the move would have ‘catastrophic consequences’

Russia warned of $300-a-barrel oil and threatened to cut off gas supply to Europe amid sweeping Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.

The message came a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC the US was discussing a ban on Russian oil with Europe.

“It is absolutely clear that a rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market,” Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak — who also oversees energy affairs — said on state television on Monday, according to a Reuters translation. “The surge in prices would be unpredictable. It would be $300 per barrel if not more.”

Oil futures are currently about $120 a barrel after surging 60% year-to-date on the back of fears about supply disruption. Russia is the world’s third-largest oil producer. The country also supplies about 40% of Europe’s gas demand and the jitters sent Dutch gas futures — the European benchmark — soaring 80% on Monday.

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Russia claims it will allow humanitarian corridors to go into effect on Tuesday after third round of talks with Ukraine finish

Ukraine station

People wait for trains at a train station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Pierre Crom/Getty Images)


Russia claimed on Monday that it will allow humanitarian corridors to go into effect on Tuesday for citizens to flee after a third round of talks with Ukraine finished, according to the Associated Press.

Most of the proposed evacuation routes are directed towards Belarus, Russia’s ally, or Russia, and are set to open up in cities like Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy, and Mariupol, according to the report. 

Ukraine claimed that minor progress had been made in the talks, and in the past week, Ukrainian officials have claimed that Russia has not honored previous agreements for humanitarian corridors in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson.

 

 

 

Russia’s latest justification for the invasion of Ukraine: Stopping a war in Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on, next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as they wait for the US-Russia summit at the Villa La Grange, in Geneva on June 16, 2021.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on, next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as they wait for the US-Russia summit at the Villa La Grange, in Geneva on June 16, 2021.

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered up a bizarre reason for Russia invading the Ukraine, saying that the Kremlin is trying to prevent a separate war in the eastern European country. 

“The goal of Russia’s special military operation is to stop any war that could take place on Ukrainian territory or that could start from there,” Lavrov said, according to a tweet posted on Monday by the Russian embassy in London. 

The excuse is the latest justification for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian forces attacked in the early morning hours of February 24, targeting key cities throughout the country with military strikes.
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Russia reacts to global condemnation of its Ukraine war as its currency collapses by publishing list of ‘unfriendly countries’

Russia published a list of “unfriendly countries” as a reaction to the overwhelming international condemnation of its war in Ukraine. 

The list includes “Australia, UK, EU countries, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Korea, San Marino, Singapore, USA, Taiwan, Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, Japan,” according to a tweet from Russian outlet Ria translated by CNN analyst Brianna Golodryga.

A number of these countries — including the US, Canada, Switzerland, and EU countries — have issued sanctions against Russia, Russian oligarchs, and Putin himself that are all contributing to the collapse of the Russian ruble.

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Ukrainian mayor says he saw fleeing family ‘killed in a matter of seconds’ by Russian mortar attack

People cross on an improvised path under a bridge that was destroyed by a Russian airstrike, while fleeing the town of Irpin, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022.

People cross on an improvised path under a bridge that was destroyed by a Russian airstrike, while fleeing the town of Irpin, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022.

AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda


A Ukrainian mayor said that he witnessed a local family trying to escape to safety amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine be “killed in a matter of seconds” by a Russian military strike over the weekend. 

The family, which included two children, was among those killed in a Russian mortar attack on Sunday in Irpin, a town on the northwest outskirts of Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, Irpin Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn told CNN on Monday. 

“A group of people were being led to evacuate, and within 50 meters, I saw a mortar ordinance blew up and killed two children, tore them in two in front of my very eyes, plus their parents,” Markushyn told CNN. “They were killed in a matter of seconds.”

About eight civilians, which includes the family, were killed in the attack, Markushyn told The Associated Press.
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Land mines littered a proposed route for Ukrainians to flee, Red Cross official says

A top International Red Cross official told the BBC on Monday that a proposed humanitarian zone in Mariupol, Ukraine, was lined with land mines, the latest sign of the struggle to allow women and children to flee Russia’s war on the country.

“That is why it is so important that the two parties have a precise agreement for us then to be able to facilitate it on the ground,” Dominik Stillhart, director of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross, told BBC 4.

Stillhart said some Red Cross staff had tried to take the proposed route out of Mariupol before realizing that it was mined.

Russian and Ukrainian officials have tried for days to agree to limited ceasefires that would allow women and children to evacuate to safer areas and give international aid workers safe passage to those needing care.
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UN watchdog warns there’s an ‘unprecedented danger’ of a nuclear accident at Ukraine’s plants

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks into a microphone

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.

AP Photo/Lisa Leutner


A United Nations nuclear power watchdog warned of an “unprecedented danger” of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine as Russian forces launch attacks around Ukraine’s plants. 

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi gave the warning in a statement to the Board of Governors on Monday. 

“The military operations at nuclear power facilities of Ukraine have caused unprecedented danger of a nuclear accident, risking the lives of people living in Ukraine and in neighboring countries, including Russia,” Grossi told the Board.

Last week, a Russian missile struck a building at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. Grossi said the strike caused a fire but “no release of radiation.”

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Ukraine’s EU membership application to be discussed in “coming days,” says European Council president

European Council President Charles Michel speaks during a debate on EU financing and economic recovery with EU lawmakers at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

European Council President Charles Michel.

Reuters


Ukraine’s application to join the European Union will be discussed in the “coming days,” European Council President Charles Michel said in a tweet on Monday. 

The EU “stands firmly by #Ukraine’s side in efforts to alleviate humanitarian suffering inflicted by Russia’s aggression and ensure nuclear safety,” Michel tweeted. 

He added, “The EU’s solidarity, friendship and unprecedented assistance for #Ukraine are unwavering.”

“We will discuss Ukraine’s membership application in coming days,” said Michel. 

Days after Russia launched its attack on Ukraine last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky officially applied to have Ukraine join the EU. 

Zelensky has urged the EU to grant his country “immediate” membership into the 27-nation bloc amid the Russian invasion. 

Video shows Russian mortar strike that killed Ukrainian family fleeing invasion

Photo and video show the deaths of a young Ukrainian family at the hands of a Russian mortar strike as they tried to escape the violence on Sunday.

The Guardian reported that eight civilians in Irpin northwest of Kyiv died in the attack.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack and vowed to punish “everyone who committed atrocities in the war.”

Warning: Readers may find the video and photos linked to in this story disturbing.

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Russia says it will stop attacking Ukraine if it gives up territory and promises never to join an international alliance

Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Smirnov\TASS via Getty Images


Russia said Ukraine must give up territory and swear never to join international alliances if it wants the invasion to stop.

The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia had told Ukraine those demands, and that “they were told that all this can be stopped in a moment,” Reuters reported.

The demands involve Kyiv acknowledging the Ukrainian regions of Crimea — which Russia annexed in 2014 — as Russian territory, and Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, Peskov said.

Ukraine must also change its consitution to make it a politically neutral country and promise to “reject any aims to enter any bloc,” Peskov said.

He did not specify what international bloc he was referring to, but Russia is firmly against Ukraine’s joining NATO and cited it as a reason to invade. Ukraine also applied to join the European Union last week.

Russia and Ukraine’s foreign ministers to meet on Thursday

Ukraine foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba and Russia foreign minister Sergei Lavrov

A composite image of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Carolyn Kaster/Pool via Reuters; Shamil Zhumatov/Pool/AFP via Getty Images


Ukraine and Russia’s foreign ministers, Dmytro Kuleba and Sergei Lavrov, are set to meet this Thursday, March 10, Turkey’s foreign minister announced.

They are the highest-ranking officials to meet since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started on February 24.

They are set to meet on the sidelines of Turkey’s Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tweeted. 

“Hope this step will lead to peace and stability,” he said.

Third round of Russia-Ukraine talks to take place later Monday

Russia and Ukraine are preparing for a third round of talks in Belarus later on Monday, multiple reports said.

The Belarusian state-owned BelTA news agency reported that the discussions would take place at 12 p.m. GMT (7 a.m. ET) Monday, Reuters reported. Russia’s state-owned Sputnik news agency also reported that talks were taking place later Monday.

Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted that he was on his way to the talks, but said they would take place 4 p.m. Kyiv time (1 p.m. GMT, or 8 a.m. ET).

The first two rounds of talks between Russia and Ukraine, which also took place in Belarus, ended without cease-fire agreements and neither side achieving their aims.

Ukraine says Kremlin offer of ‘humanitarian corridors’ to Russia is ‘completely immoral’

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attending a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday.

Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukraine slammed Russia’s offer to open “humanitarian corridors” from Ukrainian cities to Russia or Belarus.

“This is a completely immoral story. People’s suffering is used to create the desired television picture,” a spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said, Reuters reported.

“These are citizens of Ukraine, they should have the right to evacuate to the territory of Ukraine,” they said.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk also called the Russian proposal an “unacceptable option.”

Russian armed forces offers ‘humanitarian corridors’ for people to evacuate — as long as it’s to Russia or its ally, Belarus

Woman fleeing Ukraine in Poland

A woman covers herself with a blanket after fleeing from Ukraine and arriving at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, on March 7, 2022.

Markus Schreiber/AP


The Russian Armed Forces offered to open six “humanitarian corridors” on Monday for people in Ukraine to flee to Russia or its ally, Belarus, the state media outlets Tass and Ria reported.

The routes start from the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Kharkov, Sumy and Mariupol, and either end in Belarus, with which Ukraine shares its northern border, or Russia, with which Ukraine shares its eastern border, the outlets said. People arriving to Belarus could then fly to Russia, the reports said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in an essay last year that Russians and Ukrainians were “one people,” and also threatened this weekend to destroy Ukrainian statehood.

The Russian defense ministry said the offer to open the corridors was made following a request from French President Emmanuel Macron, BBC Kyiv correspondent James Waterhouse reported

But a spokesman for France’s Elysée Palace denied the claim, saying Macron had asked that civilians be able to evacuate.

“The president of the Republic has neither requested nor obtained corridors to Russia after his conversation with Vladimir Putin,” the spokesman told BFMTV.

“It’s another way for Putin to push his narrative and say that it is the Ukrainians who are the aggressors and they are the ones who offer asylum to everyone.”

UK defense ministry warns Russia is likely destroying Ukrainian communications infrastructure

The UK Ministry of Defence said Monday morning that Russia was “probably” targeting Ukraine’s communications infrastructure to prevent people from accessing the internet or reliable news sources.

It cited recent internet outages reported in the cities of Mariupol, Kyiv, and Kharkiv.

 

Google’s Ukrainian employees are circulating a letter calling to ban RT globally, not just in Europe

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wearing a suit and a black face mask in a formal room in the White House

Google CEO Sundar Pichai listens as U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting about cybersecurity in the East Room of the White House on August 25, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


Ukrainian employees at Google, both in Ukraine and abroad, called on the tech giant to ban the Russian state broadcaster RT from YouTube entirely and do more to help workers in the days after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Google took action against RT and other media outlets affiliated with the Russian state, blocking them from generating YouTube ad revenue on February 25 and banning the outlet from its platforms entirely in Europe on Tuesday. It also blocked RT and Sputnik from its app store in Europe.

But RT remains available to YouTube users in the US, where its channel has almost 5 million subscribers and features a banner saying it’s the “most watched news network” on the platform.

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Nearly 5,000 anti-invasion protesters detained in Russia on Sunday alone, tracker says

ukraine protest

A protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in London.

Hesther Ng/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


A total of 4,957 people across Russia were detained in protests against the Ukraine invasion on Sunday alone, the OVD-Info monitor said in a Monday morning Telegram post.

They took place in the major cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and 66 other Russian cities, it said.

More than 13,390 people have been detained in anti-war protests since February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, the monitor said Monday morning.

List of the major US and European companies pulling out of Russia following the invasion of Ukraine

IKEA wants to recruit more than 150 new tech workers.

IKEA wants to recruit more than 150 new tech workers.

Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images.


Companies from around the world are pulling out of Russia as the country plunges into economic free fall following its invasion of Ukraine.

Major US and European companies that have severed business ties with Russia so far include Ikea, H&M Group, and Adidas.

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Russia is recruiting Syrians to fight in Ukraine, report says

Russia is recruiting fighters from Syria to assist in their invasion of Ukraine, four US officials told The Wall Street Journal.

Moscow hopes Syrians who have experience with urban combat in can help Russian forces take Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, the officials said.

It’s unclear how many Syrian fighters had been recruited or if any had already been deployed to Ukraine. One official told The Journal some were already in Russia preparing.

Russia has been operating in Syria since 2015 when it launched a military intervention to help the Syrian government fight against rebels.

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IAEA concerned that Ukraine nuclear plant is under Russian control

The International Atomic Energy Agency said it is concerned that the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar, Ukraine, is now under Russian command.

In a statement on Sunday, the IAEA said that Ukraine needs to get approval from a Russian commander before they can do any management of the plant, including technical operations of its six reactor units.

“The Director General expressed grave concern about this development,” the statement said, adding that it’s going against one of the pillars of nuclear safety.Read Full Story

TikTok suspends all live-streaming and content sharing in Russia

tiktok logo AR

TikTok said it had “no choice” but to make the decision to suspend its content in Russia.

TikTok


TikTok on Sunday announced that it’s suspending all live-streaming and content sharing in Russia.

The move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a censorship law that restricts the ability to disseminate information to the public.

The social media platform said it views itself as a “source of relief and human connection during a time of war when people are facing immense tragedy and isolation.” But TikTok had “no choice” but to make the decision to suspend its content in Russia. 

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Moscow police are stopping people and demanding to read their text messages

Moscow police are ordering civilians to show them their phones. 

In a Telegram post, reporter Anya Vasileva said police officers stationed near a popular Russian toy store in Moscow are instructing people to show them their texts and photos. Those who refuse to do so are not allowed to pass through, Vasileva said.

“I came up and asked them on what grounds they are doing this. The police checked my press card and declined to comment,” Vasileva said. “I remind you, that phones are protected by end-to-end encryption. It is illegal for the police to order you to show them your phone’s contents!”

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Sen. Marco Rubio says imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine ‘means starting World War III’

Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Drew Angerer/Pool via AP


Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday warned against implementing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, suggesting that it’ll plunge the US into World War III. 

“A no-fly zone has become a catchphrase. I’m not sure a lot of people fully understand what that means,” Rubio said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” 

“So basically a no-fly zone, if people understand what it means, it means World War III. It means starting World War III,” Rubio added. “It’s not some rule you pass that everybody has to oblige by. It’s the willingness to shoot down the aircrafts of the Russian Federation, which is basically the beginning of World War III.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has for days called on Western leaders to impose a no-fly zone.

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The US has seen ‘very credible reports’ of intentional attacks on civilians constituting a war crime, Blinken says

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of the “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.”

Darrian Traynor/Getty Images, Alexey Nikolsky/Getty Images


There have been “very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians” in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday.

Russian forces have been targeting civilians, he said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

“We’ve seen very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians which would constitute a war crime. We’ve seen very credible reports about the use of certain weapons,” Blinken said.

Putin initially said that his invasion of Ukraine would not target any civilians, but the offensive has since indiscriminately bombed multiple towns and cities, hitting hospitals, apartment buildings, and an orphanage. 

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Secretary of State says the Biden administration is having ‘active discussions’ to ban Russian oil imports to the US

Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives a press conference following his meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv, on January 19, 2022.

Alex Brandon/Getty Images


Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said the Biden administration is considering banning imports of Russian oil to the United States.

“We are now in very active discussions with our European partners about banning the import of Russian oil to our country while, of course, at the same time, maintaining a steady global supply of oil,” Blinken said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The last sanction the US can impose over Russian President Vladimir Putin is a ban on the country’s oil exports. As Insider’s Mattathias Schwartz notes, Russia’s energy resources bring home more than $500 million per day, which makes up about half its government revenue. So the Biden administration would deal a major blow to Russia if the US decides to impose an oil sanction.

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Video shows Ukrainian airport ‘completely destroyed’ by eight Russian missiles

Smoke rises from Vinnytsia airport, left, and Volodymyr Zelensky speaks, right.

Smoke rises from Vinnytsia airport, left, and Volodymyr Zelensky, right, speaks in a video.


Ukraine Parliament



Eight Russian missiles “completely destroyed” an airport in Vinnytsia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday.

He called the strike “brutal” and “cynical” in a video posted to social media.

Dramatic footage shows flames and plumes of thick black smoke rising from the site of the Ukrainian airport, 200 miles west of Kyiv, after the attack.

In response to the missile strike, Zelensky released a video in which he renewed his call on Western leaders to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

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200,000 civilians remain trapped in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol as Russian cease-fire fails again

Russian troops failed to uphold a second cease-fire in Mariupol, doling out “heavy shelling” as civilians tried to escape through a designated safe route.

“The evacuation convoy with the local population could not leave Mariupol today: the Russians began regrouping their forces and heavy shelling of the city. It is extremely dangerous to take people out in such conditions,” reads a statement on the city’s Telegram channel.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said about 200,000 people remain stuck in the city.

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Ukrainian orphanage evacuates hundreds of children to Poland, report says

Children fleeing from Ukraine are seen in a bus playing with a Polish policeman after crossing Ukrainian-Polish border due to Russian military attack on Ukraine. Korczowa, Poland on March 2.

Children fleeing from Ukraine are seen in a bus playing with a Polish policeman after crossing Ukrainian-Polish border due to Russian military attack on Ukraine.

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images


Hundreds of children were evacuated from an orphanage in Ukraine, Reuters reported.

More than 200 kids — ranging in age from toddlers to teens — left their orphanage located in Zaporizhzhia to head to their new home in Poland.

“My heart is being torn apart,” Olha Kucher, director of the Zaporizhzhia Central Christian Orphanage, told Reuters. Then she started sobbing. “I’m sorry . . . I simply lack words. And I feel so sorry for these children. They’re so young.”

The kids and their caretakers rode a train for 24 hours to flee the country, according to Reuters.

“Putin is simply killing people,” Kucher said. “I don’t understand why the Russian people can’t believe that we’re being bombarded – that we and our children are being killed.”

Russia is indiscriminately bombing population centers to ‘break Ukrainian morale,’ says UK intelligence

Ukrainians crowd under a destroyed bridge as they try to flee across the Irpin River in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022.

Ukrainians crowd under a destroyed bridge as they try to flee across the Irpin River in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022.

AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti


The British Ministry of Defence has said the Russian offensive is targeting civilians to try and “break morale.”

Putin initially said that his invasion of Ukraine would not target any civilians, but the offensive has since indiscriminately bombed multiple towns and cities, hitting hospitals, apartment buildings, and an orphanage. 

The International Criminal Court is investigating Russia over possible war crimes due to civilian deaths.

The U.N. human rights office on Saturday said 351 civilians have been killed but believe the toll is “considerably higher.”READ FULL STORY

US and Poland are in talks to deliver warplanes to Ukraine

Russian Air Force MiG-29SMT landing in Ryazan, Russia, after a mission during exercise Aviadarts 2016.

Russian Air Force MiG-29SMT landing in Ryazan, Russia, after a mission during exercise Aviadarts 2016.

Daniele Faccioli/Stocktrek Images/Getty Images


The US and Poland are discussing a deal that would involve Warsaw sending Soviet-era jets to Ukraine to help it defend itself against the ongoing Russian invasion, multiple media outlets reported Saturday.

In exchange for supplying Ukraine with the aircraft, Poland would receive F-19s from the US to help it backfill its stocks. US officials told Politico and The Wall Street Journal about the discussions with Poland.

The reports came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the US and other NATO nations to provide the country with warplanes, especially if they do not declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine.Read Full Story

The International Monetary Fund said the war in Ukraine will greatly impact the global economy

The seal for the International Monetary Fund is seen near the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC on January 10, 2022.

The seal for the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC on January 10, 2022.

STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images


The IMF warned on Saturday that the crisis in Ukraine will “have a severe impact on the global economy.” 

In a statement, the organization said its Executive Board met on Friday and said the economic consequences from the ongoing fighting “are already very serious.”

“The war in Ukraine is resulting in tragic loss of life and human suffering, as well as causing massive damage to Ukraine’s physical infrastructure,” the statement said. 

The statement said that prices for necessities including wheat have increased. 

“Price shocks will have an impact worldwide, especially on poor households for whom food and fuel are a higher proportion of expenses. Should the conflict escalate, the economic damage would be all the more devastating,” the statement said. 

The IMF also said that the sanctions placed on Russia will impact the global economy and financial markets, “with significant spillovers to other countries.”

The statement said countries would have to monitor the global economy as the crisis continues to figure out the best ways to respond. 

“This crisis will create complex policy tradeoffs, further complicating the policy landscape as the world economy recovers from the pandemic crisis,” the IMF said. 

They warned that countries with close ties to Ukraine and Russia’s economy will be the most impacted. 

The IMF added that they plan to bring Ukraine’s request for $1.4 billion in emergency financing to the Executive Board for consideration as early as next week.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to Moscow in secret to meet with Putin

Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett speaks to the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 30, 2021.

Yonatan Sindel/Pool via AP


The Israeli Prime Minister on Saturday secretly traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett took the trip to meet with Putin and discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, according to Reuters. Saturday marks the tenth day of Russia’s war on its neighbor. 

Israel has condemned Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and has offered to mediate between the two nations.  

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Putin warned that Ukraine will be ‘blamed’ for losing its statehood if its leaders ‘continue doing what they are doing’

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday called sanctions imposed on his country “akin to a declaration of war” and warned that Ukraine could lose its statehood if its leaders “continue doing what they are doing,” according to The New York Times.

Putin, increasingly isolated from the West as he continues his military advance throughout Ukraine, rejected the country’s resistance against his escalating invasion.

“The current leadership needs to understand that if they continue doing what they are doing, they risk the future of Ukrainian statehood,” Putin said during a meeting in Moscow. “If that happens … they will have to be blamed for that.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has remained defiant in the face of Russia’s attacks, rejecting offers to leave the country as he guides his citizenry through the conflict.

“Our military, our national guard, our national police, our territory defense, special service, nationals of Ukraine, please carry on. We will win. Glory to Ukraine,” Zelensky steadfastly exclaimed during a speech last week.

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Russian forces are closing in on another major Ukrainian nuclear plant after seizing Europe’s largest nuclear facility

Russian troops are coming dangerously close to another Ukrainian nuclear plant after their “incredibly reckless” seizure of the plant in Zaporizhzhia, officials said.

Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear plant in Yuzhnoukrainsk is about 215 miles south of Kyiv, and is facing “imminent danger,” the US ambassador to the UN said. 

“Russian forces are now 20 miles, and closing, from Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear facility. So this imminent danger continues,” ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Friday at a UN Security Council emergency meeting.

Russian troops previously attacked and seized Europe’s largest nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia, leading to a fire at the plant amid intense fighting. The plant provides a quarter of Ukraine’s electricity.
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Aeroflot halts international flights as Russian sanctions increase risk of foreign-leased planes being impounded

Aeroflot's passengers planes are parked at Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia.

Aeroflot halts international flights saying “circumstances that hinder operating flights” as a reason for its move.

Pavel Golovkin/AP


Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship airline, has announced it is suspending international flights, except those to Belarus.

There is a high risk of foreign-leased planes being impounded due to sanctions imposed on Russia.

In a statement posted on its website on Saturday, Aeroflot said there would be a temporary suspension of all international flights from March 8, “due to the occurrence of additional circumstances that impede the operation of flights.”

The suspension doesn’t apply to foreign airlines from countries that have not imposed sanctions on Russia and haven’t shut down their airspace. 

The statement added that the airline would let passengers with one-way tickets fly up until March 8. However, it will cancel return tickets for passengers who are scheduled to depart Russia after March 6 and come back after March 8.

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More than 840 children injured amid ongoing conflict, Ukrainian officials say

The children of medical workers warm themselves in a blanket as they wait for their relatives in a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Friday, March 4, 2022.

The children of medical workers warm themselves in a blanket as they wait for their relatives in a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Friday, March 4, 2022.

AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka


Over 840 children have been wounded as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, officials said. 

Oleksiy Danilov, head of Ukraine’s security council, demanded on Friday that Russia establish a way for women and children to escape the conflict, according to the Associated Press.

“The question of humanitarian corridors is question No. 1.,” Danilov told Ukrainian media, per the AP. “Children, women, elderly people – what are they doing here?”

Earlier this week, Ukrainian officials said 28 children have died so far. There have also been diplomatic talks between Ukraine and Russia to create humanitarian corridors for Ukraine civilians to leave. 

Russian forces not observing cease-fire in Mariupol, Ukrainian authorities say

Russian forces are not observing a temporary cease-fire in Mariupol, city officials said, per reports.

“The Russians are continuing to bomb us and use artillery. It is crazy,” Mariupol deputy mayor Serhiy Orlov told the BBC. “There is no ceasefire in Mariupol. Our civilians are ready to escape but they cannot.”

 

The cease-fire was agreed upon to set up humanitarian corridors, allowing civilians to leave Mariupol.

But city authorities are now putting evacuations on hold and are urging civilians to go back into bomb shelters, BBC’s Eastern Europe correspondent Sarah Rainsford said on Twitter.

Russia announces temporary cease-fire in 2 Ukrainian cities

Ukrainian citizens are seen in front of a bus linking the Polish city of Swinoujscie with the Ukrainian city of Mariupol

Ukrainian citizens are seen in front of a bus linking the Polish city of Swinoujscie with the Ukrainian city of Mariupol as they cross the border from Ukraine to Poland at the Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing on February 26, 2022,

JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images


Russian media outlets are reporting that the Russian military has announced a cease-fire in Mariupol and Volnovakha.

It will last for six hours, creating humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to leave.

The Ukrainian military has not publically recognized the cease-fire.

The Russian offensive will continue throughout the rest of Ukraine.

PayPal shut down its services in Russia

A sign is posted in front of PayPal headquarters on February 02, 2022 in San Jose, California.

A sign is posted in front of PayPal headquarters on February 02, 2022 in San Jose, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


PayPal shut down its services in Russia early on Saturday, Reuters reported. 

“Under the current circumstances, we are suspending PayPal services in Russia,” President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in a statement, Reuters reported. 

Schulman said his company “stands with the international community in condemning Russia’s violent military aggression in Ukraine.”

The company stopped accepting new users on Wednesday. 

Samsung joined Apple in suspending product shipments to Russia

A Samsung logo is displayed at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona on March 2, 2022.

A Samsung logo is displayed at the MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona on March 2, 2022.

JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images


Samsung on Saturday announced that it suspended shipment of products to Russia, Bloomberg reported. 

Shipment of products, including smartphones, have been suspended. 

The company told Bloomberg that it was monitoring the situation. 

“Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted and our priority is to ensure the safety of all our employees and their families,” Samsung said in the statement. The company is donating $6 million, including $1 million in consumer electronics products, to humanitarian efforts in the region.

The New York Times reported that Samsung and Apple, which announced that it was suspending sales on Tuesday, combined account for about half of all smartphone sales in Russia. 

 

 

Singapore imposes sanctions on Russia

Singapore on Saturday announced sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. 

“Singapore is a consistent and staunch supporter of international law and the principles enshrined in the United Nations (UN) Charter. The sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity of all countries, big and small, must be respected,” a press release from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs read. 

The press release said the sanctions were meant to “constrain Russia’s capacity to conduct war against Ukraine and undermine its sovereignty.”

Singapore has also prohibited certain sectors from conducting business in the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. 

 

 

Zelensky called NATO summit ‘weak’ and ‘lost’ over its rejection of a no-fly zone

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a podium with Ukraine's flag behind him

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in a video he shared March 2, 2022.

Volodymyr Zelensky


The Ukrainian president criticized NATO after the alliance said it would not intervene in Ukraine by land or air, The New York Times reported. 

NATO said it made the decision so it would not cause a bigger conflict with Russia. 

“We have a responsibility as NATO allies to prevent this war from escalating beyond Ukraine,” NATO’s secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Friday. “So we have made it clear that we are not going to move into Ukraine, neither on the ground or in Ukrainian airspace.”

Stoltenberg said creating the no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean that NATO would send fighter planes and potentially shoot “down Russian planes,” which he could escalate into “a full-fledged war in Europe, involving many more countries and causing much more human suffering,” the Times reported. 

Zelensky said the lack of a no-fly zone gave Russia “a green light” for more bombardment, The Times reported. 

“All the people who will die from this day will die because of you, as well,” Zelensky said. “Because of your weakness. Because of your disunity.”

Zelensky addresses pro-Ukraine protestors in Bratislava, Frankfurt, Prague, Lyon, Tbilisi, Vienna over Zoom

Zelensky Zoom

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers a video message to the people joining a rally on the Remember square in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, March 4, 2022.

Michael Probst/AP


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed protestors via


Zoom

in European cities including Bratislava, Frankfurt, Prague, Lyon, Tbilisi, and Vienna on Friday.

During the speech, he reportedly said that if Ukraine falls to Russia, “Europe will not stand.”

The video below shows pro-Ukraine supporters in Prague listening to Zelensky’s address.

“If we will fall, you will fall so please don’t be silent, do not turn the blind on eye on this,” Zelensky said during the speech, according to Axios.

“If we win, and I’m sure we’ll win, this will be the victory for the whole democratic world,” he added.

 

 

Ukrainian officials say Russia is breaking its promise to allow humanitarian aid into a captured city

russia ukraine

A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

Associated Press


Ukrainian officials in the Russian-occupied city of Kherson said that Russia has not allowed humanitarian corridors as agreed upon as food supplies run low, according to The Washington Post.

On Thursday, Russian and Ukrainian leaders announced that temporary cease-fires would be implemented so that humanitarian corridors could be established in Kherson so that civilians could safely leave and so that food and medical supplies could be distributed.

On Friday, Stanislav, a Kherson local, told Insider that food supplies are scarce days into Russia’s occupation, and that he was only able to secure food provisions for one day. “There is simply no food in supermarkets,” Stanislav told Insider. 

On Wednesday, Russian forces gained full control of Kherson, which is Ukraine’s third-largest city and a strategic southern port city along the Black Sea.

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CNN, BBC Russia, Bloomberg, CBS suspend operations in Russia

The CNN center is seen in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, on October 16, 2021.

The CNN center is seen in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, on October 16, 2021.

Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images


CNN, BBC Russia, Bloomberg suspended their operations in Russia on Friday after Russia’s parliament passed a draconian media censorship law that punishes independent journalists and those who publish “false information” about Russia’s war in Ukraine with up to 15 years in prison.

The bill, approved by Russia’s state Duma, is expected to be signed by Putin and go into effect on Saturday. According to The New York Times, a journalist could face penalties under the new law for describing the war in Ukraine as a “war.”

Bloomberg’s editor in chief said that the “change to the criminal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country.”

“This legislation appears to criminal ise the process of independent journalism,” the BBC told Insider in a statement. “Our BBC News service in Russian will continue to operate from outside Russia.”

“CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. 

CBS News also followed suit on Friday. “CBS News is not currently broadcasting from Russia as we monitor the circumstances for our team on the ground given the new media laws passed today,” the network said in a statement.

UN sets up independent commission to investigate possible human rights violations by Russia against Ukrainians

This general view shows destroyed Russian armored vehicles in the city of Bucha, west of Kyiv, on March 4, 2022

This general view shows destroyed Russian armored vehicles in the city of Bucha, west of Kyiv, on March 4, 2022

Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images


The United Nations Human Rights Council said it has set up an independent commission to investigate possible human rights violations committed by Russia against Ukrainians.

A resolution was passed in Geneva during a meeting Friday morning, officially authorizing the agency to investigate any possible human rights violations “in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine,” according to a statement from the agency.

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Russia starts blocking and throttling Western tech platforms including Facebook and Twitter

People wait for trains at the Kyiv train station on February 28, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

People wait for trains at the Kyiv train station on February 28, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images


Russia is beginning to block or limit access to Western technology platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, cutting itself and its citizens off from the rest of the world’s internet in drastic fashion as the Ukraine invasion intensifies and criticism increases.

Roskomnadzor, the country’s tech and communications regulator, said Friday it has fully blocked access to Facebook, owned by the US tech giant Meta Platforms.

The regulator did not specify if access would also be restricted to Instagram or WhatsApp, which are also part of Meta.

Twitter has been throttled in Russia over the past week, and on Friday local Russian media outlets began to report the platform was also blocked by Roskomnadzor.

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A Russian general has been killed in the fighting in Ukraine

Russian military vehicle burns in Ukraine

A Russian armored personnel carrier burns amid damaged and abandoned light utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.

AP Photo/Marienko Andrew


A Russian general was killed in fighting in Ukraine earlier this week, according to a report from the Associated Press. 

Maj. Gen. Andrei Sukhovetsky, 47, was the commanding general of Russia’s 7th Airborne Division and deputy commander of the 41st Combined Arms Army. His death was confirmed Thursday by a local officers’ organization in southern Russia, but the circumstances of his death remain unclear, according to the AP.

Sukhovetsky is the most senior Russian military official to have died in the conflict in Ukraine thus far.

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Video shows Ukrainian members of parliament singing the national anthem in their street clothes as Russia targets Kyiv

Ukrainian politicians sing the national anthem during a session during the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian politicians sing the national anthem during a session during the Russian invasion.


Sasha Ustinova / Twitter



As Russian forces continue to advance on Kyiv, Ukrainian members of parliament met on Thursday and sang the national anthem in their street clothes.

“Despite Russian bombs attacking Kyiv, they had a session in the parliament today to vote for the essential laws,” Sasha Ustinova, a Ukrainian politician, wrote on Twitter

In a video included in the tweet, members of parliament could be seen singing Ukraine’s national anthem in their everyday clothes — some in military garments. 

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Russia is cluster bombing Ukraine as it intensifies its invasion, NATO says

A Ukrainian serviceman is seen in the window of a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on February 25, 2022

A Ukrainian serviceman is seen in the window of a damaged residential building at Koshytsa Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, where a military shell allegedly hit, on February 25, 2022

Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images


NATO accused Russia of using cluster bombs in Ukraine on Friday as evidence emerged that Russia has been using these highly dangerous weapons as part of its intensifying war.

“We have seen the use of cluster bombs and we have seen reports of use of other types of weapons which would be in violation of international law,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, according to CNN’s Jim Sciutto

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Zelensky taunts Russia with image of apparent missile part near his presidential residence in Kyiv

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky

Sergei Supinsky / Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky taunted Russians after a top aide claimed what appeared to be a missile fragment fell near the presidential residence in Kyiv

Press secretary Sergii Nykyforov posted on Facebook on Friday that an apparent piece of a missile was found near the presidential residence in Koncha Zaspa, Kyiv.

Zelensky responded: “Missed.”

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Russia appears to control Ukrainian nuclear power plant after attack, but ‘a great concern’ is who’s running it, US official says

Rafael Mariano Grossi points to a diagram showing the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks at a press conference about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, March 4, 2022.

AP Photo/Lisa Leutner



Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant appears to be in Russia’s control after its forces attacked early on Friday, a senior US defense official said.

But the official noted it’s “a great concern” who is actually running the plant.

“We are in no position to refute claims that [Russian forces] are in control of the nuclear power plant, but we don’t know exactly right now what that control means and what it looks like,” the official said during a US Department of Defense briefing on Friday.

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Man in Kherson, the first major Ukrainian city Russia seized, says stores are empty and he only has enough food to last until tomorrow

Russian military vehicles with "Z" markings are seen on the street in Kherson, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine March 1, 2022,

Russian military vehicles with “Z” markings are seen on the street in Kherson, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine March 1, 2022,

REUTERS


A Ukrainian man living in the first major Ukrainian city captured by Russia told Insider he can’t find food in stores and he only has enough food at home to last his family until tomorrow.

Stanislav, who lives near the center of the city with his wife and nine-year-old child, told Insider on Friday that he had food “only for tomorrow.”

He said he went into stores on Friday to try and buy food, but that shelves were empty: “There is simply no food in supermarkets.”

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UK deputy PM suggests seizing the mansions of Russian oligarchs and using them to house Ukrainian refugees

Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs walks through the gates of Downing Street on May 27, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)

Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs walks through the gates of Downing Street on May 27, 2021 in London, England.

Rob Pinney/Getty Images


UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab suggested on Friday that the mansions of Russian oligarchs could be seized and used to house Ukrainian refugees.

“If we’ve got the evidence and the legal basis, then we’ll do it,” Raab said on LBC radio after he was asked if the UK could seize property owned by Russian oligarchs, the Guardian reported.

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Putin signs new law punishing those who share ‘false information’ with up to 15 years in prison

Security forces detain a woman holding a “No war” sign at an anti-war demonstration on February 24, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Security forces detain a woman holding a “No war” sign at an anti-war demonstration on February 24, 2022 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Sergei Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Russia’s legislature approved a draft law on Friday that would punish anyone who shares “false information” about the war in Ukraine. 

The new law targets “criminal liability” for those who share “false information about the activities of the armed forces (AF) of the Russian Federation, for ‘discrediting’ the Armed Forces, and ‘calls to prevent their use,'” according to the Russian media outlet Kommersant. 

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Putin says he has ‘no ill intention’ toward Russia’s neighbors as his troops are accused of war crimes in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the head of Russia's Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a big business lobby group, at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 2, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the head of Russia’s Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a big business lobby group, at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 2, 2022.

Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said he has “no ill intention” toward Russia’s neighbors as his troops continue their brutal assault on Ukraine.

“We see no need to exacerbate the situation or worsen our relations,” Putin said on the state-owned Russia-24 news station, according to a translation from Financial Times reporter Polina Ivanova.

Putin added: “I think everyone should think about normalizing relations and cooperating normally.”

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Kremlin staff didn’t expect Putin to invade Ukraine and were shocked by the severity of Western sanctions, report says

Russian President Vladimir Putin seen on March 03, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin seen on March 3, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.

Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Kremlin officials say they didn’t know Russian President Vladimir Putin would invade Ukraine and were shocked by the severity of Western sanctions imposed upon it, the independent Russian investigative outlet Agency reported.

One unnamed senior official said people in the Kremlin “did not know” that it would be an all-out invasion and that many were shocked when news of the military assault broke, the outlet said. 

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NATO chief warns ‘days to come are likely to be worse’ but says he will not send troops to Ukraine

Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on June 14, 2021.

Olivier Hoslet/Getty Images


NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels on Friday:

“This is the worst military aggression in Europe for decades, with cities under siege, schools, hospitals, and residential buildings shelled, reckless actions around a nuclear plant last night, and many civilians killed or wounded.”

“The days to come are likely to be worse, with more death, more suffering and more destruction as Russian armed forces bring in heavier weaponry and continue their attacks across the country,” he said.

He said, however: “Allies agree that we should not have NATO planes operating over Ukrainian airspace or NATO troops on Ukrainian territory.”

Ukraine is not a NATO member country, and Russia has strongly spoken against the possibility of Ukraine joining the alliance.

US calls attack on Russian nuclear power plant a war crime

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Surveillance footage shows the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine during a fire following clashes with Russian troops on March 4, 2022.

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


The US Embassy in Kyiv tweeted on Friday in response to the Russian attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: “It is a war crime to attack a nuclear power plant. Putin’s shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear plant takes his reign of terror one step further.”

Earlier on Friday, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm described Russia’s military operations near the plant as “reckless” and said they “must cease.”

Experts say Ukraine’s nuclear power plants are built to withstand war, leaving little chance of a Chernobyl-like disaster

Despite dire warnings from Ukrainian officials, fighting at any of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants is extremely unlikely to trigger a nuclear disaster, experts said.

Nuclear power plants can’t “blow up” like an atom bomb, and although the war in Ukraine is a catastrophe for millions of people, an attack on its nuclear facilities has no prospect of wiping out an entire continent.

Experts say that modern power-plant design, and nuclear physics itself, make that almost impossible.

 

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Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s radiation levels are stable, officials say

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks into a microphone

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Vienna, Austria, on March 4, 2022.

AP Photo/Lisa Leutner


Ukrainian and international energy officials said radiation levels at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Russia seized Friday morning, were stable.

Oleksandr Starukh, the head of the Zaporizhia regional military administration, said Russian forces had taken the plant but that its “nuclear safety is now guaranteed,” citing the facility’s director.

He added that nuclear safety levels were “stable, because the appropriate mode of operation of the units was turned on in time.”

The State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine said employees were still working at the plant to keep it safe. It reported no changes in radiation levels, but warned that could change.

In a Friday statement, IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi said the plant was hit by a Russian projectile and that there was no change in radiation levels.

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Ukraine’s president has survived at least 3 assassination attempts from Russian-backed agents in the past week, report says

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


The Times of London reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky survived three assassination attempts over the past week.

The report said the attacks came from mercenaries with the Wagner Group private army as well as Chechen special forces working under Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s Chechen Republic.

Kadyrov and the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, are both allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukrainian security officials were tipped off by people working for Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) who opposed the invasion, The Times reported.

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City of Mariupol ‘subjected to intense Russian strikes,’ UK intelligence says

Medical workers show a newborn baby to a woman who gave birth in a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol, Ukraine on March 1, 2022

Medical workers show a newborn baby to a woman in a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 1, 2022.

AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka


The UK Ministry of Defence said on Friday that the strategic port city of Mariupol, in eastern Ukraine, “remains under Ukrainian control but has likely been encircled by Russian forces.”

“The city’s civilian infrastructure has been subjected to intense Russian strikes.”

Meet the men hoping to join Ukraine’s voluntary International Legion of Territorial Defense

Vinnie Baldwin, left. A Ukrainian soldier, center. Andrew Luke, right.

Vinnie Baldwin, left. A Ukrainian soldier, center. Andrew Luke, right.

Joshua Zitser/Insider, Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Young men are turning up at the gates of Ukraine’s embassy in Holland Park, west London, eager to become recruits in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s newly formed International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.

Several men told Insider that they were fully aware of the dangers and, nonetheless, were ready to fly out to Ukraine and fight as soon as they were needed.

They included a nightclub worker, a boxer, and a pizza-maker.

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Russian forces seize Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

a damaged administrative building of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

A view shows a damaged administrative building of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Enerhodar, the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine in this handout picture released March 4, 2022.

Press service of National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom/Handout via REUTERS


Russian forces seized Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukrainian officials reported. It is the largest nuclear plant in Europe.

Oleksandr Starukh, head of the area’s regional military administration, also confirmed reports that a fire had broken out at the plant amid intense fighting in the area earlier in the day.

“The fire that broke out was localized by our [State Emergency Service] units. There was a fight. The nuclear power plant is currently under the control of the Russian military, which is responsible” for the fire, Starukh said in a statement.

Safety of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been secured, officials say

The safety of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been secured after it took fire earlier from Russian forces, according to a tweet by AFP on Friday.

“The director of the plant said that the nuclear safety is now guaranteed,” said Oleksandr Starukh, the governor of Zaporizhzhia province, per the wire.

Multiple media outlets had reported earlier that the plant, which provides a quarter of Ukraine’s electricity, had been attacked by Russian forces. 

Over Telegram, plant spokesperson Andriy Tuz accused Russia of shelling the facility. “We demand that they stop the heavy weapons fire,” he said, per the Associated Press.

Tuz also said there was no threat of radiation spilling out from the plant, per the AP.

A live-streamed video feed from the plant appeared to show at least one building on fire and sporadic explosions at the facility.

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Russian forces are fighting to take over Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant

Smoke at nuclear plant in Ukraine

Smoke and fires could be seen near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine.

Screenshot/YouTube


Russian forces are battling for control of Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

In a video posted on Telegram, Andriy Tuz, a spokesperson for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, accused Russia of shelling the facility, which provides a quarter of Ukraine’s electricity.

“We demand that they stop the heavy weapons fire,” Tuz said, the Associated Press reported. “There is a real threat of nuclear danger in the biggest atomic energy station in Europe.”

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Ukrainian President Zelensky called on Vladimir Putin to meet him “at the negotiation table.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends an interview with foreign media in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 3, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends an interview with foreign media in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 3, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS


In a compelling news conference Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Vladimir Putin to talk things out with him rather than continuing to wreak havoc on his country.

“What do you want from us? Go away from our land,” Zelensky pleaded, according to Time Magazine’s translation of the video. “You don’t want to leave now? Sit down with me at the negotiation table.”

“I’m available. Sit with me, but not at 30 meters like you welcomed Macron and Scholtz and others. I’m your neighbor,” he said.

The Ukrainian president also added, “If we don’t exist anymore, God forbids, remember our meeting, next will be Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, Georgia, Poland. They will then be walking until the Berlin Wall.”

He added that Ukraine does not plan to attack Russia in return — in part because they are not in NATO and do not have nuclear weapons.

“How many people have to be exploded?” he asked. 

 

 

US grants Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians

Alejandro Mayorkas in front of US flag

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club on September 9, 2021 in Washington, DC. Mayorkas spoke about a range of issues, including domestic extremism, Afghan refugees and the U.S.-Mexico border.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


Ukrainians residing in the United States will be protected from the threat of deportation for at least the next 18 months, the Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday evening.

“Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

Temporary Protected Status is awarded to residents of countries who are facing natural or human-made disasters.

Since the start of the February 24 war, roughly one million Ukrainians have fled the country, the vast majority to neighboring Poland.

There are as many 96,000 Ukrainians living in the US who are not citizens, according to the Center for American Progress, including 27,000 who are undocumented.

Ukrainian presidential adviser said talks with Russia led to an agreement on humanitarian corridors

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on March 3, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on March 3, 2022.

Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images


The second round of talks between Ukraine and Russia have come to a close, but Adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, said “the results Ukraine needs are not yet achieved.” 

According to Reuters, the two sides came to an agreement to create humanitarian corridors in order to evacuate citizens and provide aid where needed. 

There will be a temporary ceasefire to allow citizens to leave, Podolyak told Reuters. 

“That is, not everywhere, but only in those places where the humanitarian corridors themselves will be located, it will be possible to cease fire for the duration of the evacuation,” he said.

Russian state-run news outlet RT America is shutting down and laying off staff, report says

The RT logo

The RT logo

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images


The American branch of Russian state-run media outlet RT is shutting down and laying off most of its staff, CNN reported on Thursday.

RT America will be “ceasing production” at all locations because of “unforeseen business interruption events,” according to a memo obtained by CNN.   

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Putin says the brutal and poorly planned war on Ukraine is going ‘according to plan’

Russian military vehicle burns in Ukraine

A Russian armored personnel carrier burns amid damaged and abandoned light utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.

AP Photo/Marienko Andrew


One week after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine, he has said the war is going “according to plan.”

In a televised appearance with his security council, Putin said the war is going “according to plan” and blamed “neo-Nazis” for the rising death toll in the conflict. 

Evidence on the ground, however, has suggested otherwise. Russian forces have been stymied by logistical mistakes and fierce opposition from Ukrainian forces, according to Western defense officials.

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Zelensky says he doesn’t want Ukraine’s history to be ‘a legend about 300 Spartans’ and calls for peace

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on March 3, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on March 3, 2022.

Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday said he doesn’t want Ukraine’s history to be “a legend about 300 Spartans,” and called for an end to Russia’s ongoing war.

“I don’t want Ukraine’s history to be a legend about 300 Spartans,” Zelensky said during a press conference, which was translated for a broadcast

“I am so confident with our military and with our people defending our state, because our state is very special and our people are very special,” Zelensky said. “I don’t want them destroyed, I want them all to remain.”

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Analyst on Russian TV drinks to the ‘death’ of the stock market in front of stunned host

Alexander Butmanov holds up soda on Russian TV.

Alexander Butmanov holds up soda on Russian TV.

@tjournal on Twitter


An analyst on Russian TV drank to the “death” of the country’s stock market in front of a shocked host. 

“I say hello to Sergey Usichenko who drank 12-13 years ago for the death of the stock market. Today I drink soda,” Alexander Butmanov, a Russian economist, said while holding up the bottle.

He added: “Dear stock market, you were close to us, you were interesting. Rest in peace dear friend.”

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President Zelensky’s office said the second round of talks with the Russians is underway

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Matt Dunham/AFP via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said that the second round of talks with the Russians over the war in Ukraine has begun, ABC News reported. 

Nancy Pelosi calls for a ban on Russian oil imports: ‘I’m all for that. Ban it’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a ban on Russian oil imports on Thursday, the highest-ranking official to endorse a move that President Joe Biden has said is on the table but has thus far avoided enacting over fears that it would send gas prices skyrocketing.

“I’m all for that. Ban it,” Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference.

 

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France’s Macron thinks ‘the worst is yet to come’ in Ukraine after talking with Putin, reports say

Putin, Macron

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets French President Emmanuel Macron (R) on February 07, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.

Kremlin Press Office/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


French President Emmanuel Macron thinks “the worst is yet to come” in Ukraine after talking with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, according to multiple reports. 

A senior French official said Putin was determined to carry out the ongoing war in Ukraine until “the end,” one report said. 

Putin also told Macron that Russia’s goals in Ukraine would be “fulfilled” and that the war was going “according to plan,” Reuters reported, citing a statement issued by the Kremlin.


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Russia axed joint experiments on the International Space Station in response to crippling sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine

ISS in 2022.

The International Space Station in 2022.

NASA


Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, will no longer cooperate with Germany on science experiments aboard the Russian side of the International Space Station (ISS), it said in a tweet Thursday

“The Russian space program will be adjusted against the backdrop of sanctions, the priority will be the creation of satellites in the interests of defense,” Roscosmos said in the tweet.

Russia will instead continue the experiments independently, the agency said in the same tweet. 

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Russia’s foreign minister says nuclear war ‘not in the heads’ of Russians and accused Western leaders of stoking fear

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures during a press conference following talks with his Italian counterpart in Moscow, on February 17, 2022.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures during a press conference following talks with his Italian counterpart in Moscow, on February 17, 2022.

Photo by SHAMIL ZHUMATOV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday lashed out at Western leaders and claimed they, not Moscow, are stoking the fears of a nuclear war.

“I would like to point out that these are statements of the Western politicians, they are repeating nuclear war,” Lavrov said during a news conference with state-run and foreign media.

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Mayor of Kherson tells residents to follow troops’ orders and not to fight back

russia ukraine

A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

Associated Press


The mayor of Kherson — the Ukrainian port city that fell to Russian forces on Wednesday — said residents should follow the orders of occupying troops and refrain from fighting back. 

He published a list of rules and advisories for residents to follow, including that civilians “stop at the first request” and “do not fight.”

The others are:

  • To only go out into the city during the day.
  • To abide by a 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
  • Only cars carrying food or medicines can enter the city.
  • Public transport will run so that workers in bakeries, shops, and pharmacies can go to work.
  • Pedestrians must walk one by one or two by two.
  • Cars must drive slowly and consent to searches.

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Second round of Russia-Ukraine talks expected later Thursday

Ukraine: A rocket fragment in front of a damaged Ukrainian Security Service building in Kharkiv

A rocket fragment lies on the ground next to a building of Ukrainian Security Service after a rocket attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, on March 2, 2022.

AP Photo/Andrew Marienko


Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are expected to take place later on Thursday, both sides reported.

Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to Ukraine’s president, tweeted around 2 p.m. Thursday local time (7 a.m. ET) that he was “on his way” to talks with Russia via helicopter, and that they would start “in a couple of hours.” Podoliak did not specify a location.

Russian state media reported that negotiations were due to take place in Brest, Belarus, on Thursday.

Officials from both countries met near the Belarus border for negotiations on February 28, but made no progress in stopping the invasion.

Georgia, another former Soviet state that Russia invaded, asks to join EU days after Ukraine application

EC President von der Leyen speaks after Russia's attack on Ukraine in Brussels

EC President von der Leyen speaks after Russia’s attack on Ukraine in Brussels

Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS


Georgia, the former Soviet satellite state that Russia invaded in 2008, applied to join the European Union on Thursday.

Ukraine applied to join the EU three days ago, amid Russia’s invasion.

Both countries share a border with Russia.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said in a statement Thursday: “History has made the European choice of the Georgian people a strategic goal. Since the day of gaining independence, our country has consistently continued to move in this direction, and today is another demonstration of our efforts.”

He did not mention Russia or Ukraine.

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Video shows crowd of Ukrainian civilians blocking Russian army from reaching nuclear power plant

A crowd of Ukrainian civilians blocking a road in Energodar, March 2, 2022.

A crowd of Ukrainian civilians blocking a road in Energodar on March 2, 2022.

Dmitry Orlov/Telegram


Ukrainian civilians blocked the road in a huge crowd to deny the Russian military access to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

Drone footage shared Wednesday by Dmitro Orlov, the mayor of Enerhodar, showed hundreds of people on a long stretch of road, some behind barricades of sandbags and tires, and some waving Ukrainian flags.

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Ukrainian colonel says Russian troops are ‘hungry, without fuel, demoralized’ as 40-mile-long convoy near Kyiv stalls

40 mile-long Russian convoy

Satellite imagery of a 40-mile long Russian military convoy seen north of Kyiv.

Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies


The Ukrainian colonel told The Wall Street Journal: “The Russians thought they could break through and be in Kyiv in a couple of days. They didn’t realize that we have learned how to wage war in the past eight years.”

“Now they sit there, hungry, without fuel, demoralized, and we just come in every little while and pop them off. And every day, we are pushing them back.”

The UK Ministry of Defence said on Thursday that convoy was about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Kyiv’s center, having been “delayed by staunch Ukrainian resistance, mechanical breakdown and congestion.”

“The column has made little discernible progress in over three days,” it said.

A US official said on Wednesday of the 40-mile convoy near Kyiv: “We believe that the convoy is stalled.”

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Trump called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a ‘holocaust’ just one week after calling Putin a ‘genius’

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, in June 2018.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images


Former US President Donald Trump told Fox News on Wednesday that Russia has to “to stop killing these people.”

“We’re watching a holocaust. We’re watching something that I’ve never seen before, the way that they’re going to go in — they’re blowing up buildings with children, with women, with professionals, with people — think of just people,” Trump said.

He had called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s justification for invading Ukraine “genius” and “very savvy” on week earlier, on February 23. Russia invaded Ukraine the following day.

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Zelensky says 9,000 Russian troops are dead — 18 times Russia’s count

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the camera

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in a video message released early March 3, 2022.

Volodymyr Zelensky


In a video he shared early on Thursday morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that almost 9,000 Russian soldiers had died since Russia’s invasion started seven days ago.

Russia reported its death toll for the first time on Wednesday, when it said that 498 of its soldiers had died.

A senior US defense official told reporters on Wednesday that people should be “extremely skeptical” of Russia’s Russia’s figures, Reuters’ Idrees Ali reported

Both Ukraine and Russia’s figures have not been independently verified.

Zelensky said on Thursday that Russian soldiers were dying needlessly and that captured Russian soldiers are saying ” they don’t know why they’re here.”

He told Russian soliders: “Ukraine does not want to be covered with military corpses. Go home. Your whole army. Tell your commanders that you want to live. Not to die. To Live.”

And he said to Russia: “These are confused children who were used.  Take them home.”

Zelensky praised everyday Ukrainians who stood in front of Russian vehicles

A tank drives along a street after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of Russian troops to two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine following the recognition of their independence, in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk, Ukraine February 22, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

A tank drives along a street in Donetsk, Ukraine, on February 22, 2022.

REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko


Ukraine’s president praised Ukrainians who have blocked Russian vehicles across the country.

In a video shared early on Thursday morning, Volodymyr Zelensky paid tribute to “towns and villages who do not let the invaders in by blocking the roads.”

“People come out in front of enemy vehicles. This is extremely dangerous. But this is brave. It is also salvation.”

Reports have emerged of Ukrainians protesting or standing in front of Russian tanks and other vehicles.

Multiple videos show solitary Ukrainians trying to stop Russian forces, including one video that showed a Ukrainian man trying to push a Russian tank away with just his bodyweight in Bakhmach, northern Ukraine.

Zelensky said in his speech that he believed Ukrainian opposition was wearing Russia down: “Despite the fact that their quantity is 10 times bigger, the morale of the enemy is deteriorating. More and more invaders are fleeing back to Russia. From us. From you.”

Video appears to show captured Russian soldier crying during call with his mother

Russian troops Ukraine tensions

Russia on February 21 ordered troops to cross into rebel-held Ukrainian territory.

Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/Associated Press


A video that appears to show a captured Russian soldier being given food by Ukrainians and making a video call to his mother has gone viral over social media.

In a video tweeted Wednesday by Matthew Luxmoore, a Wall Street Journal reporter in Moscow, a young man in military fatigues is seen breaking down as he is seemingly put in touch with his mother through a video call.

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International Paralympic Committee bars Russian and Belarusian athletes

Security walk by a billboard for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics during a snowfall on January 20, 2022 in Beijing, China.

A billboard for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing seen January 20.

Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images


Russia and Belarus are out of the 2022 Beijing Paralympics after the International Paralympic Committee reversed its initial decision to let the two nations compete under neutral banners. 

Paralympic athletes representing the two countries were initially allowed to “participate as neutrals” at the Beijing Games, per a Wednesday decision by the IPC. According to the IPC’s statement, athletes would compete under the Paralympic flag and not be added to any medal standings.

In its statement, the IPC said it would “not hold any events in Russia or Belarus until further notice.”

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Russian billionaires’ superyachts headed to the Maldives amid sanctions: report

Photo of Luna, a superyacht

Russians own about 7% to 10% of all superyachts in the world, according to Superyacht News.

Christopher Pike/Reuters.


At least five superyachts belonging to Russian billionaires are anchored in or cruising around the Maldives, Reuters reported, citing ship-tracking data.

The vessels’ arrival in the area comes as sweeping sanctions hit Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. The US Justice Department on Wednesday launched the Task Force KleptoCapture to seize assets belonging to sanctioned Russian individuals.

The Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation, doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US.

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Moscow police officers detained 5 children who tried to lay flowers at the Ukrainian Embassy

A police vehicle on a street in Moscow at night, during an unauthorized protest.

The five children and their two mothers were said to have been held at the Presnensky police station.

Sergei Fadeichev\TASS via Getty Images


The Moscow police on Tuesday detained five children — ages 7 to 11 — and two mothers who tried to lay flowers at the Ukrainian Embassy, according to a Russian professor.

Photos posted on Facebook by the anthropologist Alexandra Arkhipova appear to show some of the children sitting in a police van and later being held behind bars.

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Wealthy Russians are snapping up luxury goods as the ruble crumbles

People walking past a Prada window at luxury mall GUM in Moscow, Russia.

Rich Russians are buying luxury jewelry and watches as the ruble founders.

Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


Rich Russians are buying luxury jewelry and watches as the ruble lingers at record lows following sweeping Western sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine.

Sales at the LVMH-owned Italian brand Bulgari have grown in recent days, the jewelry house’s chief executive, Jean-Christophe Babin, told Bloomberg.

“In the short term it has probably boosted the business,” Babin told the media outlet.

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Ron DeSantis likens Putin to an ‘authoritarian gas station attendant’

Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida says he thinks countries like France would “probably not” put up a fight against a Russian invasion.

“A lot of other places around the world, they just fold the minute there’s any type of adversity,” DeSantis told reporters at an event at the University of South Florida in Tampa on Wednesday. DeSantis was there to announce a $20 million grant program for cybersecurity training. 

“I mean can you imagine if he went into France?” he said of Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Would they do anything to put up a fight? Probably not.”

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US intel says China asked Russia to not invade Ukraine until Winter Olympics were over: reports

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on February 4.

Getty Images


Senior Chinese officials are believed to have asked their Russian counterparts to delay invading Ukraine until the Winter Olympics in Beijing were over, multiple news outlets reported, citing Western senior intelligence officials including those from the Biden administration.

A Western intelligence report detailed the exchange, said to have taken place in early February, between Chinese and Russian officials. The New York Times first reported the news.

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Germany has seized the world’s largest megayacht, which belongs to a Russian oligarch

Alisher Usmanov

Alisher Usmanov owns the Dilbar, a 512-foot yacht that weighs 15,917 tons.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images


Germany seized the Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s megayacht, according to Forbes, which cited unnamed sources.

Usmanov’s yacht, which has been docked in Hamburg, Germany, for months for a refitting, would be the first known to be seized since Russia’s attack on Ukraine began February 24.

Dilbar, a 512-foot yacht that weighs 15,917 tons, “is the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage,” according to Lürssen, the German ship’s maker.

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One million people have fled Ukraine during Russia’s invasion: UN refugee agency

People fleeing Ukraine receiving food, clothing, and toiletries at a train station in Berlin.

People fleeing Ukraine received food, clothing, and toiletries at a train station in Berlin.

Hannibal Hanschke / Getty Images


One million people fled Ukraine in the first week of Russia’s invasion, according to Filippo Grandi, the UN’s high commissioner for refugees.

“For many millions more, inside Ukraine, it’s time for guns to fall silent, so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided,” he said in a tweet in the evening of Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, European Union nations unanimously agreed to accept Ukrainian refugees for up to three years while also waiving any requirements for asylum applications.

The move will allow the refugees to live and work in the EU countries they are accepted into, per The Guardian.

International Criminal Court launches investigation of war crimes in Ukraine

Damaged building in Kharkiv

Firefighters working to contain a fire at the Economy Department building of Karazin Kharkiv National University, believed to have been hit by Russian shelling, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 2.

SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images


The International Criminal Court is investigating allegations of war crimes in Ukraine, the prosecutor of the court said in a statement Wednesday.

The prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan, argued in a statement Monday, just four days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, that he had “reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine.”

Thirty-nine countries that are part of the ICC sent referrals on the matter to Khan’s office, he said in the Wednesday statement.

The investigation’s purview reaches as far back as November 2013.

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The US dispatched hundreds of Stinger missiles to Ukraine

US State Department had allowed Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to send US-made weaponry to Ukraine, including Lithuania's anti-tank Stinger missiles.

The US State Department had allowed Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to send US-made weaponry to Ukraine, including Lithuania’s Stinger missiles.

Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense via AP


The US delivered hundreds of Stinger missiles to Ukraine to aid in defense against Russian aircraft, two congressional officials told NBC News.

At least 200 were delivered Monday, the outlet reported.

The US has provided and plans to provide more lethal weaponry to Ukraine as part of a $350 million military-aid package.

Other countries, such as Spain and Germany, also announced plans to send weapons to Ukraine.

Ukraine revealed secret battle plans left behind by Russian troops and said they showed Russia planned a 15-day war

The "classified" documents left behind by Russian troops were posted to Facebook the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

The “classified” documents left behind by Russian troops were posted to Facebook the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Ministry of Defense of Ukraine


The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Wednesday that its armed forces had seized secret battle plans left behind by Russian troops suggesting Russia expected its war with Ukraine to last 15 days.

The seized “classified” documents were posted to Facebook by the ministry and are said to show the war plans of one of the units of the battalion tactical group of the 810th Separate Guards Naval Infantry Brigade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

An invasion map, a table of callsigns, and a list of personnel were among the documents, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

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Russia captures its first major Ukrainian city after nearly a week of failure to break Ukrainian resistance

Kherson.

Kherson in Ukraine.

Shayanne Gal/Insider


Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine along the Black Sea, has become the first major city to fall to Russian forces.

The city of nearly 300,000 residents was captured by the Russians after nearly a week of failure to break Ukrainian resistance, The New York Times reported.

“There is no Ukrainian Army here,” the city’s mayor told the paper. “The city is surrounded.”

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US ambassador to the UN tells Russian troops ‘your leaders are lying to you’ as she urges them not to commit war crimes

American UN ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield in 2021

The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in 2021.

Alex Wong/Getty Images


US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield pleaded with Russian troops not to commit war crimes during their attacks on Ukraine.

“Your leaders are lying to you — do not commit war crimes, do everything you can to put down your weapons and leave Ukraine,” she said during a special session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

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Chelsea’s Russian billionaire owner says proceeds from selling the club will go toward ‘victims of the Ukraine war’

Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, sits in the stands with chin resting on hand



Martin Meissner/AP


Chelsea FC’s Russian billionaire owner who announced he is selling the club said net proceeds from the sale will go toward helping victims of the war in Ukraine. 

“I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine,” Abramovich said in a statement.

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The Russian billionaire who owns Chelsea FC announced he will sell the club as sanctions target oligarchs

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is seen on the stand during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Getty/Clive Mason


Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich announced on Wednesday that he is selling English Premier League team Chelsea FC.

“As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart,” he said in a statement. “In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.”

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Zelensky aide warns Russia-Ukraine war ‘could be a prologue to a greater European or even global massacre’ in op-ed written from bunker alongside Ukrainian president

Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian President's Office.

Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian President’s Office.

Pyotr Sivkov\TASS via Getty Images


An aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned in an op-ed written from a bunker alongside the leader that Russia’s war with Ukraine “could be a prologue to a greater European or even global massacre.”

“We will fight to the last breath to protect our country,” Andriy Yermak, the head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine, vowed in the New York Times column published Wednesday, which he said was penned inside a bunker from the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv with Zelensky “by my side.”

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Russia says nearly 500 of its troops have been killed in its invasion, but Ukraine says the number is much higher

A volunteer of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces walks by a damaged armored vehicle at a checkpoint in Brovary, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022

A volunteer of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces walks by a damaged armored vehicle at a checkpoint in Brovary, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Efrem Lukatsky/AP


Russia announced on Wednesday that nearly 500 of its troops have been killed in battle so far, but Ukraine claims this number is significantly higher. 

Russia’s defense ministry said 498 Russian soldiers had died in Ukraine and another 1,597 were wounded, according to Russia’s RIA news agency. The Russians claimed that the number of war dead for the Ukrainian forces was 2,870, with the number of wounded nearing 4,000.

A senior US defense official told reporters Wednesday that people should be “extremely skeptical” of Russia’s casualty figures, Reuters’ Idrees Ali reported

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Russia’s jailed opposition leader urges global protests of Putin’s brutal Ukraine war: ‘We cannot wait any longer’

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny is seen on the screen during a hearing at the Petushki District Court on January 17, 2022..

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny is seen on the screen during a hearing at the Petushki District Court on January 17, 2022..

Photo by Anna Ustinova\TASS via Getty Images


Russia’s jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny urged the global community to protest against Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine.

“We cannot wait any longer,” Navalny wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. “Wherever you are, in Russia, Belarus or on the other side of the planet, go to the main square of your city every weekday and at 2 pm on weekends and holidays.”

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The UN General Assembly voted to condemn Russia Wednesday for its attacks on Ukraine

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya attends the United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with Russia, in New York City, U.S., February 23, 2022

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya attends the United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with Russia, in New York City, U.S., February 23, 2022.

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri


The United Nations voted to condemn Russia Wednesday for the country’s invasion of and attacks on Ukraine. 

Of the 180 member states, 141 voted in favor of the resolution while five countries voted against it and 34 abstained. 

 

Biden doesn’t rule out banning Russian oil exports: ‘Nothing is off the table’

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that he is open to the idea of banning Russian oil exports as a punishment for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“Nothing is off the table,” Biden told reporters on the White House lawn when asked whether he would consider barring oil exports from Russia — one of the world’s largest oil producers — according to a White House pool report. 

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Russia is reportedly forcing teachers to teach the government’s justification for the Ukrainian invasion to schoolchildren

A woman makes a phone call in front of police officers blocking access to Red Square in central Moscow on March 2, 2022

A woman makes a phone call in front of police officers blocking access to Red Square in central Moscow on March 2, 2022

Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images


As the West widely condemns Russia for what it deems is an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Russia is planning to force schoolchildren to watch a broadcast about the government’s justification for the Ukrainian invasion.

Russia’s Ministry of Education said in a notice on Wednesday that schoolchildren will be forced to watch a broadcast on March 3 about the “necessity” of a “liberation mission” in Ukraine.

The notice said that children will be forced to learn about why Russia believes NATO seemingly poses a danger, and why Russia felt like it needed to intervene in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

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Ukraine is asking Russian mothers to come pick up their sons captured in Putin’s invasion

A fragment of a destroyed Russian tank is seen on the roadside on the outskirts of Kharkiv on February 26, 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A fragment of a destroyed Russian tank is seen on the roadside on the outskirts of Kharkiv on February 26, 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images


Ukraine’s defense ministry is asking mothers of captured Russian troops to come pick up their sons.

“Mama! Your [prisoner of war] son is waiting for you!” the defense ministry wrote on a flyer posted to Facebook on Wednesday. “Ukraine has made the decision to return POW to their mothers if they come to Ukraine.”

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Jon Stewart commends Ukrainian President Zelensky’s ‘courage and tenacity and the way that he’s leading his country’ amid Russian invasion

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Jon Stewart during Monday's June 17, 2019 show. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Jon Stewart during Monday’s June 17, 2019 show.

Scott Kowalchyk / CBS via Getty Images


Jon Stewart commended Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s efforts during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in an appearance on “Morning Joe” Wednesday

“You see this gentleman’s courage and tenacity and the way that he’s leading his country,” he said of Zelensky. “It’s incredibly moving.” 

“My fear for Ukraine is that we’re going to get sucked into this idea of a heroic narrative while these folks get surrounded in a long-term siege that’s just going to cause so much more death and destruction,” Stewart added. 

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Ukrainian mom helping the war effort says she’s making the two ‘most important things’ for the troops: borscht and Molotov cocktails

Soldiers are seen around piles of sand used for blocking a road in Ukrainian capital, Kyiv amid Russian attacks on March 02, 2022.

Soldiers are seen around piles of sand used for blocking a road in Ukrainian capital, Kyiv amid Russian attacks on March 02, 2022.

Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


A Ukrainian mom aiding her country’s resistance efforts against Russia’s invasion says she has been making the two “most important things” for Ukraine’s troops: borscht and Molotov cocktails. 

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began last week, Yurko has been cooking up Ukrainian borscht — a traditional eastern European soup — to nourish her country’s Territorial Defense units.

And Yurko is creating Molotov cocktails to support the troops in their fight against Russian forces. 

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Jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny urges Russians not to be a ‘nation of frightened silent people’ on the Ukraine war

Participants of an unauthorized protest rally against of jailing of opposituon leader Alexei Navalny shout, on January 23, 2021 in Moscow, Russia.

Participants of an unauthorized protest rally against of jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny shout, on January 23, 2021 in Moscow, Russia.

Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images


Top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny urged Russians on Wednesday to continue protesting President Vladimir Putin and the increasingly brutal war he’s launched against Ukraine. 

“Let’s at least not become a nation of frightened silent people. Of cowards who pretend not to notice the aggressive war against Ukraine unleashed by our obviously insane czar,” Navalny tweeted

He urged individuals “in Russia, Belarus or on the other side of the planet” to plan demonstrations and take to their main squares to protest on weekdays, weekends, and holidays.

“Everything has a price, and now, in the spring of 2022, we must pay this price,” he said. “There’s no one to do it for us. Let’s not ‘be against the war.’ Let’s fight against the war.”

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Ukraine and its allies are shaming and embarrassing Russian diplomats at the UN and other international bodies

The UN Security Council meeting room appears almost empty while a Russian representative is speaking remotely on a monitor.

The room of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva appears almost empty after several diplomats walked out as a pre-recorded message from Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov started playing on March 1, 2022.

FABRICE COFFRINI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


Diplomats and other Western representatives are staging dramatic gestures in high-level diplomatic settings to admonish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

More than 140 envoys walked out as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed UN Human Rights Council and the Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday.

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Kremlin advisor says he’s ‘shocked’ by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, marking a rare dissent against Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.

Alexei Nikolsky/Associated Press


An advisor to the Kremlin says he was caught off guard by President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and can’t understand his reasoning.

“I was shocked because for a long time, I thought that a military operation was not feasible. It was not plausible,” Andrey Kortunov, who sits on a Kremlin panel of foreign policy experts, told Sky News.

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Map shows countries that have closed their airspace to Russia over Ukraine invasion

A world map showing the US, EU, Canada and other countries that have banned Russian planes from their airspace.

A map showing the US, EU, Canada and other countries that have banned Russian planes from their airspace.

Insider/Mapchart.net


Thirty-three countries as of Wednesday blocked Russian flights from their airspace following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

All 27 EU countries, as well as Albania, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, the UK, and the US imposed the ban after Russian forces invaded Ukraine. The ban is shared by some of the world’s most powerful nations, including most members of NATO.

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Zelensky says 6,000 Russian troops are dead

ukraine tank military

Ukrainian Military Forces servicemen block a road in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images


President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Wednesday morning: “Russian mothers are losing their children in a completely foreign country. Think of this number: almost 6,000 Russians died, Russian military, in six days of war.”

He said this figure did not include any deaths on Tuesday night.

Russia has not given its own figures, and current figures for Ukrainian military deaths are unclear.

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Zelensky says Russia has managed to unite both Ukraine and the EU

A protester holds a sign that says "Stop war."

People attend a pro-Ukraine protest rally in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

AP Photo/Michael Sohn


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in Wednesday morning video address that Russia’s invasion had managed to unite Ukrainians as well as the European Union.

He said of Ukrainians: “During this time we have had more unity than for over 30 years before.”

“At first we were equally scared, then we felt equally painful. And now we do not care. Except for victory. Except for the truth. Except for peace. Except for the tranquility we want to achieve. Except for the lives of our people, for whom we are worried. Except for Ukraine. During this time, we have truly become one.”

“We forgave each other a lot. We started loving each other. We help each other. We are worried for each other.”

He added: “During this time we have united the European Union already on a new level.”

“Higher than formal. Higher than interstate. At the level of the ordinary people. Millions and millions of Europeans. From the Atlantic Ocean to the suburbs of Kharkiv, where fierce fighting continues. When the European parliament stood and applauded us, our struggle, it was an assessment of our efforts. Our unity.”

Zelensky applied for Ukraine to join the EU earlier this week and asked the European Parliament on Tuesday to admit his country. His speech to the parliament was met with a standing ovation.

Zelensky says Russia has ‘orders to erase our history, erase our country, erase us all’

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a podium with Ukraine's flag behind him

Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in a video he shared March 2, 2022.

Volodymyr Zelensky


In his Wednesday video message, Zelensky also condemned Russia’s Tuesday missile strike on Babyn Yar, a Holocaust memorial in Kyiv.

“This strike proves that for many people in Russia our Kyiv is absolutely foreign,” he said.

“They don’t know a thing about Kyiv, about our history. But they all have orders to erase our history, erase our country, erase us all.”

Speaking to Russians, he said: “You are killing Holocaust victims for a second time.”

Zelensky, who is Jewish, said he was “addressing all the Jews of the world.

“Don’t you see what is happening? That is why it is very important that millions of Jews around the world do not remain silent right now. Nazism is born in silence. So shout about the killings of civilians, Shout about the killings of Ukrainians.”

Russia baselessly claimed that it was invading Ukraine as part of “de-Nazification” efforts.

Ukraine denies Russian claim that it captured major port city

Vladimir Putin points his finger.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Photo by Alexei Nikolsky\TASS via Getty Images


An advisor to Zelensky’s office denied Russia’s Wednesday claim that it had seized the major port city of Kherson.

“The city has not fallen, our side continues to defend,” Oleksiy Arestovych said, per Reuters.

Russia’s defense ministry said earlier Wednesday: “The Russian divisions of the armed forces have taken the regional center of Kherson under full control.”

Ukraine says airborne Russian troops landed in Kharkiv amid reports of rocket attacks

Damage in Kharkiv

A view shows the area near the regional administration building in Kharkiv, which city officials said was hit by a missile attack, on March 1, 2022.

REUTERS/Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/File Photo


Ukrainian officials said Russian airborne troopers landed in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service shared video on Wednesday morning of fire on the roof of the National Police Department building in Kharkiv after “enemy shelling.”

A hospital was also reportedly attacked.

The city was also hit by missiles on Tuesday, killing multiple people.

UK defense minister says Russia does not have the ‘moral component’ needed to win, but warns of greater brutality

A man on crutches walks past the remains of a Russian military vehicles.

A man on crutches walks past the remains of a Russian military vehicles in Bucha, close to Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, on March 1, 2022.

Serhii Nuzhnenko/AP



Ben Wallace said Russia does not have the “moral component” to achieve its goals in the Ukraine conflict.

He told BBC Breakfast that the Russians were “starting to change their tactics as a result of the poor start.”

“That means we’re seeing much more of those awful artillery bombardments into the city, not just Kyiv, Kharkiv every night has seen horrendous bombardment. Those are happening predominantly at nighttime in an attempt to break the cities. And that is what is their current tactic, to try and surround a city and bombard it into submission then come into the city,” he said.

He also told LBC radio on Wednesday that Russia was likely to adopt more brutal tactics: “Anyone who thinks logically would not do what [Putin] is doing, so we are going to see … his brutality increase.”

“He doesn’t get his way, he surrounds cities, he ruthlessly bombards them at night … and he will then eventually try and break them and move into the cities.”

The UK Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday that Russia has been frustrated by logistical issues and strong resistance from Ukraine.

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Putin doesn’t want to ‘own’ Ukraine, says former US envoy

Former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch speaks during a ceremony awarding her the Trainor Award for "Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy."

Former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch said Russian President Vladimir Putin would need to exercise “a modicum of responsibility” if he “owns” Ukraine.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images


Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said in a recent interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t intend to “own” Ukraine because it would make him responsible for the country.

“When I was in the country, from 2016 to 2019, I always felt that he didn’t really want to ‘own’ Ukraine because then there’s at least a modicum of responsibility. He would have to provide services,” she told The New Yorker’s David Remnick, in an interview published on Tuesday.

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Ukraine claims a plot to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky was foiled

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian authorities claimed that they foiled an assassination plot by Chechen special forces against President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky


A Ukrainian security and defense chief said on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces have thwarted an assassination plot against President Volodymyr Zelensky, using a tip-off from members of Russia’s security services.

An elite group of Chechen special forces — known as the Kadyrovites — was dispatched by Russia to “eliminate our president” but was “destroyed directly,” said Oleksiy Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, according to a Telegram post written on Tuesday by the Center for Strategic Communications. Axios first reported the story.

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Ukrainian authorities say citizens don’t need to worry about taxes on captured Russian tanks

A fragment of a destroyed Russian tank is seen on the roadside on the outskirts of Kharkiv on February 26, 2022.

A fragment of a destroyed Russian tank seen in the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 26.

SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images


Ukrainian authorities have reassured citizens that they don’t need to declare captured Russian tanks or any equipment they pick up as personal income. 

“Have you captured a Russian tank or armored personnel carrier and are worried about how to declare it? Keep calm and continue to defend the Motherland!” read a statement from the Ukrainian National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) seen by Interfax Ukraine.

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How China’s tech giants are reacting to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

A young girl uses the TikTok app on a smartphone.

A young girl uses the TikTok app on a smartphone.

Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images


Chinese tech giants are diverging in their responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK have imposed sanctions on Russian elites and entities. In contrast, China has avoided outwardly condemning Russia’s actions. A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said on Monday the country doesn’t believe in using sanctions to resolve diplomatic issues, a Chinese transcript published on the ministry’s website shows.

That’s put Chinese tech companies in a bind. Unlike their Silicon Valley counterparts — many of whom don’t rely as heavily on Chinese consumers — Chinese tech giants find considerable support for their products and services both within China and elsewhere.

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Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina pledges to donate prize money to her country’s army

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina celebrates after winning her first round match against Anasatsia Potapova

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina celebrates after defeating Russia’s Anasatsia Potapova.

REUTERS/Daniel Becerril


Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has pledged to donate her prize money to her country’s army after defeating Russia’s Anastasia Potapova at the Monterrey Open in Mexico on Tuesday.

“I was on a mission for my country,” Svitolina said in an on-court interview after the opening-round match, which drew a roar from the audience, per CNN

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Russian and Belarusian ice skaters banned from international competitions

A pair of ice skates

The International Skating Union announced the ban on Tuesday.

A pair of ice skates


The International Skating Union (ISU) has banned Russian and Belarusian skaters from all its events following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The ISU made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday. With immediate effect and until further notice, no skaters from Russia or Belarus will be invited to or allowed to compete in international ice skating competitions, the ISU said.

“The ISU Council reiterates its solidarity with all those affected by the conflict in Ukraine and our thoughts are with the entire Ukrainian people and country,” the statement read.

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WATCH: Biden’s first State of the Union address focuses on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

President Biden at State of the Union.

President Biden delivering his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Saul Loeb – Pool/Getty Images


President Joe Biden condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during his first State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday.

In his speech, he announced measures to punish Russia for invading Ukraine and said that the US would be shutting down its airspace to all Russian flights.

Biden also emphasized that American troops will not be going into Ukraine to fight Russian forces.

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Trump wouldn’t have stood in Putin’s way if a Russian invasion took place during his term: John Bolton

Stephanie Grisham and John Bolton looking at Donald Trump.

Former national security advisor John Bolton has slammed his former boss, saying that former President Donald Trump would not have stood in Putin’s way in the event of a Russian invasion during his term.

Jabin Botsford/Getty Images


John Bolton, the US’ former national security advisor, said his ex-boss, former President Donald Trump, would not have stood in Putin’s way if a Russian invasion of Ukraine had happened when he was in office.

“Well, I’m not sure he would have done much of anything, frankly,” Bolton said in an interview with Vice published March 1, responding to a question about what Trump might have done had Russia attacked Ukraine while he was president.

“But you never know with Trump. It depends on what time of day it is, it depends on what he thought his political benefit would be at any given moment. I don’t think ultimately he would have stood in Putin’s way,” Bolton told Vice.

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Taekwondo’s governing body strips Putin of honorary black belt

Putin in 2019

Vladimir Putin’s honorary black belt has been revoked by World Taekwondo.

MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images


Russian President Vladimir Putin had his honorary Taekwondo black belt revoked on Monday by the sport’s international governing body, which also condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, World Taekwondo said it “strongly condemns the brutal attacks on innocent lives in Ukraine, which go against the World Taekwondo vision of ‘Peace is More Precious than Triumph’ and the World Taekwondo values of respect and tolerance.”

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Tech giants take unprecedented action against Russia

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, speaks on artificial intelligence during a Bruegel think tank conference in Brussels, Belgium January 20, 2020.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, speaks on artificial intelligence during a Bruegel think tank conference in Belgium on January 20, 2020.

REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo


As technology giants face rising pressure to act over the Ukraine crisis, Google and Apple have moved to curb Russian state media on their platforms, including limiting the reach of Russia state-backed media on their app stores.

Like Meta and other tech companies, Google and Apple have acted under pressure from lawmakers and European governments, reflecting the reach of these giants and their exposure to geopolitical events.

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Hackers changed the call sign of a Putin-linked superyacht

The yacht 'Graceful' of Russian President Vladimir Putin is moored at the port of Sochi, Russia, 13 July 2015.

The superyacht linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin seen berthed in Sochi, Russia, in 2015.

Marcus Brandt/picture alliance via Getty Images


The Anonymous “hactivist” collective has messed with the call sign of a superyacht said to be owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

The group claimed credit on Tuesday for the hack, which involved changing the call sign of the vessel — named Graceful — to “FCKPTN” and altering the craft’s destination to “hell.”

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Biden says the US will seize yachts and luxury apartments from Russian oligarchs

President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, as Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., watch, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden delivering his first State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Saul Loeb/Pool via AP


President Joe Biden fired a warning shot at Russian oligarchs during his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, saying that the US will soon seize much of their wealth in the country.

“We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets,” Biden said in his address. “We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.”

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ExxonMobil says it will discontinue its operation in Russia

ExxonMobil logo displayed on a phone screen are seen in this multiple exposure illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on January 22, 2022.

ExxonMobil said in a statement that it “supports the people of Ukraine as they seek to defend their freedom and determine their own future as a nation.”

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images


ExxonMobil announced on Tuesday that it would begin the process to discontinue operations and develop steps to exit the Sakhalin-1 venture in Russia. 

The company said it operated the project on behalf “of an international consortium of Japanese, Indian and Russian companies.”

The Sakhalin-1 website said it was one of the largest single international direct investments in Russia.

“ExxonMobil supports the people of Ukraine as they seek to defend their freedom and determine their own future as a nation. We deplore Russia’s military action that violates the territorial integrity of Ukraine and endangers its people,” ExxonMobile said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives and support the strong international response. We are fully complying with all sanctions.”

The company said it would not invest in new developments in Russia, due to the current situation.

State of the Union: Biden says Putin ‘badly miscalculated’ in Ukraine

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Win McNamee, Pool via AP


On Tuesday night, in his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin “badly miscalculated” with his invasion of Ukraine.

“Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the foundations of the free world thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated,” Biden said.

“He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead, he met a wall of strength he never anticipated or imagined,” Biden said of Putin, adding, “He met the Ukrainian people.”

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Biden announces ban on Russian aircraft from US airspace, says Putin has ‘no idea what’s coming’

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden made the announcement during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky


President Joe Biden has announced that Russian flights will be banned from US airspace following the escalating Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Tonight I’m announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights,” Biden said during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has no idea what’s coming.”

The move comes after the European Union and Canada closed their respective airspaces to Russian-owned and -operated aircraft.

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Zelensky says Ukraine-Russia talks may be a waste of time as attacks continue

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 28, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday.

Presidency of Ukraine / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Inside the basement of a building at an undisclosed position in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “we’ll see,” when asked if correspondence between Ukraine and Russia Moscow was a “waste of time,” as Russia continues to invade his country, according to a joint interview between Reuters and CNN.

“You have to speak first of all. Everybody has to stop fighting and to go [back] to that point from where it began five, six days ago,” Zelensky told reporters at the exclusive interview Tuesday. “It’s important to stop bombing people and then we can move on and sit at the negotiation table.”

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Some reporters are showing implicit bias by comparing Ukraine to the Middle East

People wait for trains at the Kyiv train station on February 28, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

People waiting for trains at the Kyiv train station on Monday.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulted in a sadly familiar sight of thousands of people fleeing the violence – a sight mainly seen in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Middle Eastern and African countries in the past few decades. 

However, for some watching the latest crisis unfold, reporting on the chaos showed a double standard. 

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Biden to call out Putin by name in State of the Union address

Biden

President Joe Biden speaking in Washington, DC, on February 8.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon


US President Joe Biden will use his first State of the Union address to argue that history shows leaders like Vladimir Putin will only be emboldened if they do not face the consequences for threatening others.

“Throughout our history, we’ve learned this lesson: when dictators do not pay a price for aggression, they cause more chaos,” Biden plans to say, according to his prepared remarks. “They keep moving. And the costs and threats to America and the world keep rising.”

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Ukrainian film producer shares ‘rollercoaster’ of emotions she felt while hiding in a subway bunker

Photo of Ukranian film maker in the subway

Kateryna Vyshnevska spent three days in Kyiv’s Golden Gate Metro station.

Subject



Last Wednesday night, Ukrainian film executive Kateryna Vyshnevska attended a premiere party for one of her company’s films, a comedy called “Big Picnic.” The next day, Russian forces invaded her country and began making their way toward Kyiv.

“I’ve lived through big moments of history. And I guess this is another one,” Vyshnevska told Insider by phone from the Kyiv apartment where she’s sheltering with her family.

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Ukrainians are ‘trembling and crying’ as they shelter and listen to bombs and planes flying over Kharkiv

Marina Shut sits in a basement with her coat on with her six-year-old son

Marina Shut sits in a basement with her coat on with her six-year-old son during Russia’s attacks on Kharkiv.

Marina Shut


Ukrainians say they’re “trembling” as they listen to bombs go off in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.

One Ukrainian woman said she’s hiding out in the basement of her apartment building as she hears planes fly over Kharkiv.

Marina, a 35-year-old mother, told Insider she’s sheltering with her mother, her 6-year-old son, and some neighbors.

At 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday at least four planes passed by within the hour, she told Insider.

“I am scared to death,” she said. “I am trembling and crying.”

 

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President Zelensky brushed off praise for his wartime response: ‘I’m not iconic, I think Ukraine is iconic’

President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video address released February 28, 2022. He is at a podium with a Ukrainian flag nearby.

President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video address released February 28, 2022.

Ukrainian government


It’s been less than a week since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — a former comedian and actor turned statesman — has quickly garnered global praise for his stalwart presence and defiant demeanor in the face of increasing danger.

On Tuesday, Zelensky sat for an exclusive interview with CNN and Reuters from the bunker in Kyiv in which he is directing his country’s military response. 

The Ukrainian president discussed an array of topics, including the status of ceasefire talks with Russia, the possibility of a NATO-imposed no-fly zone over Russia, and the broad consequences to all of Europe should Ukraine fall.

But when asked by CNN about his journey from television performer to a global wartime leader, Zelensky brushed off praise.

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Russia could fall into a recession by summer, an economist says

russia ruble currency exchange

People walk past a currency exchange office screen displaying the exchange rates of U.S. Dollar and Euro to Russian Rubles in Moscow’s downtown, Russia, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin


A Russian economist says the country could fall into a recession as early as next month as sanctions from the US, UK, and EU take their toll.

Already, some of the country’s banks have been blocked from key global financial communications system SWIFT. The US and its European allies have frozen Russian assets and imposed personal sanctions against figures like President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian ruble, the country’s currency, fell to a record low, and interest rates have already more than doubled. As Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig and Ben Winck reported, some of these sanctions might still take months to have a visible impact, but others are already rippling across the country.

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Belarus’ Lukashenko may have accidentally revealed a map of Russia’s Ukrainian invasion plans

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Belarus counterpart Alexander Lukashenko (L) following their talks at in Moscow on February 18, 2022.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Belarus counterpart Alexander Lukashenko (L) following their talks at in Moscow on February 18, 2022.

Sergei Guneyev/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)


Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko may have accidentally revealed Russia’s invasion plans of Ukraine on live television. 

A short video shared by Belarusian journalist Tadeusz Giczan on Twitter showed Lukashenko pointing to a map of Ukraine. He is a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Zelensky says Biden personally ruled out a ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine as Russia attacks

US President Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Oval Office on September 1, 2021

President Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in Washington.

AP


President Joe Biden personally told Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky that forces from the US or NATO would not impose a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine as Russia continues its assault on the country, Zelensky said Tuesday.

In an interview with Reuters and CNN, the Ukrainian president reiterated his request that NATO countries impose the “no-fly zone,” allowing the alliance to police the skies over Ukraine and deny Russian the ability to bring its superior air power to bear on Ukrainian defenders and civilians. Zelensky also asked NATO to accelerate its bid to include Ukraine into the alliance.

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Some Russian troops are surrendering to Ukrainian forces without a fight as morale drops, US defense official says

Ukrainian servicemen and volunteers of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces stand behind a damaged car at a checkpoint in Brovary, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

Ukrainian servicemen and volunteers of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces stand behind a damaged car at a checkpoint in Brovary, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky


Some Russian troops have been surrendering to Ukrainian forces “without a fight” as morale drops amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a US senior defense official told reporters in a briefing on Tuesday. 

The US official said that there has been evidence “of a certain risk averse behavior by the Russian military,” in the last six days since Russia launched its attack on the eastern European country, CNN reported. 

The official said that many among Russia’s military are young draftees who have never faced combat.

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Biden is sending Stinger missiles to Ukraine for the first time, which could be used to shoot down Russian helicopters

The US is sending the Stinger Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) used by the American military to Ukraine.

The US is sending the Stinger Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) used by the American military to Ukraine.

The US is sending the Stinger Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) used by the American military to Ukraine.


President Joe Biden for the first time is sending Ukraine Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, which could be used to shoot down Russian helicopters.

The direct delivery of Stinger missiles is part of a military aid package approved last week by the US, Army Times reported on Monday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that he authorized the Defense Department to send Ukraine $350 million in military aid “to help defend itself from Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war.”

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Russian forces attacked a Kyiv TV tower, knocking out broadcasting in Ukraine’s capital

TV tower in Kyiv, Ukraine, is hit by an airstrike.

TV tower in Kyiv, Ukraine, is hit by an airstrike.

Ukraine NOW


Russian forces hit the site of a TV tower in Kyiv, Ukrainian officials confirmed.

“The hardware of the broadcaster on the TV tower was hit,” Ukraine’s defense ministry tweeted. “For a while, the channels won’t work.”

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Ukrainian officials accuse Russian forces of bombing the site of a Holocaust memorial

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine speaks at a Holocaust memorial event

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a speech next to a menorah at The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre, a place of a mass execution of Jews by Nazis in World War II, during a memorial ceremony in Kiev on August 19, 2019. – Some 34,000 Jews were murdered over two days in September 1941 at Babiy Yar, a ravine in Kiev rendering it a symbol of the Holocaust where Nazis shot more than 100,000 people between 1941 and 1944.

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that bombs were dropped on Babyn Yar, a site where Nazis carried out massacres during World War II that now serves as a memorial to the Holocaust. 

“To the world: what is the point of saying ‘never again’ for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar?” Zelensky tweeted.

“At least 5 killed,” he added of the bombing. “History repeating…” 

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Russia warns it will begin missile strikes against parts of Kyiv. Western officials have warned Putin’s forces may step up attacks against civilians.

The view of military facility which was destroyed by recent shelling in the city of Brovary outside Kyiv on March 1, 2022.

The view of military facility which was destroyed by recent shelling in the city of Brovary outside Kyiv on March 1, 2022.

GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images


Russia said it will launch missile strikes in parts of the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv as it urged those living near the targets to flee their homes, Russian state media reported on Tuesday. 

Russia’s defense ministry was quoted by Moscow-controlled news agencies RIA Novosti and TASS, as saying that Russian forces are set to strike the site of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and a special operation unit in Ukraine. 

“In order to thwart informational attacks against Russia, [Russian forces] will strike technological objects of the SBU and the 72nd Main PSO [Information and Psychological Operations] Center in Kyiv,” Russia’s defense ministry said, according to TASS. 

The ministry added, “We urge Ukrainian citizens involved by Ukrainian nationalists in provocations against Russia, as well as [Kyiv] residents living near relay stations, to leave their homes,” TASS reported. 

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Zelensky calls Russia’s missile strike on Kharkiv’s Freedom Square a ‘war crime’ and ‘state terrorism’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 28, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 28, 2022.

Presidency of Ukraine / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Russia’s missile strike on Kharkiv’s Freedom Square a “war crime” and “state terrorism.”

“This attack on Kharkiv is a war crime. This is state terrorism of the Russian Federation,” Zelensky said in a video statement posted on Telegram on Tuesday. “After that, Russia is a terrorist state, obviously.”

Zelensky said that Freedom Square in Ukraine’s second-largest city was hit on Tuesday by a cruise missile strike and that there were “dozens of victims.” 

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Ukrainian sailor accused of trying to sink his Russian boss’ yacht says he is now going to Kyiv to fight

Port Adriano

Luxury yachts and residences in Port Adriano, a leisure harbour on the south-east coast of the island of Mallorca, Spain.

Clara Margais/picture alliance via Getty Images


A Ukrainian sailor accused of trying to sink the yacht of his Russian boss told Spanish media he was returning to his home country to help fight the Russian invasion.

Taras Ostapchuk, 54, was arrested on suspicion of sabotaging an $8 million luxury yacht where he worked in Mallorca, Spain, over the weekend, Ultima Hora reported. 

Ostapchuk said he had acted out of “revenge,” Ultima Hora reported.

The sailor told Ultima Hora on Monday that he planned to take a flight to Warsaw, Poland, that afternoon, to transfer to Kyiv via bus or train. 

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Dozens of Western diplomats staged a walkout while Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov addressed the UN Human Rights Council

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on as he gives an annual press conference on Russian diplomacy in 2021, in Moscow on January 14, 2022.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on as he gives an annual press conference on Russian diplomacy in 2021, in Moscow on January 14, 2022.

Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images


Dozens of diplomats on Tuesday staged a walkout as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council. 

Lavrov was giving a virtual speech at the forum in Geneva when diplomats from the European Union, United States, and Britain walked out, Reuters reported.

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Alexander Vindman says Trump, Mike Pompeo, and Fox News helped bring about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Alexander Vindman

Alexander Vindman

Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images


Former Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman said the the Republican Party has “blood on its hands” for emboldening Russia to invade Ukraine. 

Vindman, who is Ukrainian-American, made the comments in an interview with Salon that was published on Monday.

He said that Trump’s refusal to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the factors that led Putin to act. He also blamed Trump for weakening the US internally with his divisive politics.

He singled out Trump, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Fox News host Tucker Carlson for criticism, highlighting their praise for Putin even as it became clear that he would invade.

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Zelensky speaks to European Parliament after applying for EU membership: ‘Do prove that you are with us’

Volodymyr Zelensky addresses European Parliament remotely

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the European Parliament via video link on March 1, 2022.

European Parliament/Facebook


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to European Parliament on Tuesday, where he urged the EU: “Do prove that you are with us.”

His virtual speech came the day after he applied to have Ukraine join the European Union.

“The EU is going to be much stronger with us,” Zelensky said.

“We have proven our strengths, we have proven that, at a minimum, we are exactly the same as you are. Do prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you indeed are Europeans, and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness.”

He also said Ukrainians were fighting for “freedom.”

“Nobody is going to break us,” he said.

Ruslan Stefanchuk, the chairman of Ukraine’s parliament, also told the European Parliament on Tuesday: “The best support to the people of Ukraine in its darkest hours will be the real recognition of our European aspiration. Give us the membership of the European Union.”

He also warned: “Ukraine is defending the border of the civilized world. God forbid if Ukraine should fall.”

Both Zelensky and Stefanchuk’s speeches were received with a standing ovation from the European Parliament.

Freedom Square in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, hit by Russian missiles

The damaged City Hall building in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022

The damaged City Hall building in Kharkiv, Ukraine on March 1, 2022.

Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP


Kharkiv’s Freedom Square was hit by missiles on Tuesday as Russia targeted Ukraine’s second-biggest city.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the European Parliament on Tuesday that the square, which he said was the largest in Europe, was hit by two missiles. 

“Two cruise missiles hit Kharkiv, a city that is located on the border of the Russian Federation,” he said.

“This morning was a very tragic one.”

At least 20 people, including a child, were injured, and one person, an Indian student, has been confirmed dead, the BBC reported.

Zelensky said there had always been many Russians in the city.

Western officials say Putin is furious at Ukraine resistance, warn of more aggressive offensive

Two Ukrainian soldiers outside Karkhiv in a snowy environment with bare trees, on February 26, 2022.

Ukrainian soldiers handle equipment outside Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

Andrew Marienko/AP Photo


Western officials think Russian President Vladimir Putin is so angry with the rate of Russia’s progress in Ukraine that he might start a more aggressive attack, multiple outlets reported.

One Western official told Insider on Monday evening: “There are … some risks that come as a consequence of Russia’s lack of progress.”

“I fear the way in which Russia is frustrated in achieving its aims on the ground is leading to the use of more indiscriminate fires and as a consequence we’re going to see an increase in civilian casualties.”

And a senior US defense official told reporters on Monday, according to CNN: “They have been slowed and they have been frustrated by their lack of progress on Kyiv, and one of the things that could result is a reevaluation of their tactics and the potential for them to be more aggressive and more overt in both the size and the scale of their targeting of Kyiv.”

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Russia says it is pushing ahead with building natural gas pipeline to China

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin



Xinhua/Ju Peng via Getty Images, Sergei Guneyev/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images


Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled energy giant, said on Monday that it had signed a contract to perform design and survey work as part of the construction of the Soyuz Vostok gas pipeline.

The proposed pipeline would deliver up to 50 billion cubic meters (1.77 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas each year to China via Mongolia, Gazprom said.

Sanctions imposed by Western nations have hobbled Russia’s economy after it invaded Ukraine.Read Full Story

Kremlin says Western sanctions will never make Russia change its mind on Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing

Vladimir Putin.

Getty/Alexei Druzhinin


Sanctions imposed by the West over Russia’s invasion will not make it change its mind, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

“They are counting on forcing us to change our position. This is out of the question,” Peskov said, according to Reuters.

Russia has repeatedly brushed off the punitive sanctions and claimed they were unlawful. On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin placed the country’s nuclear weapons on high alert in response to the sanctions, a move that the US and UK said was merely a distraction.

Granddaughter of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev says she is embarrassed by Putin invasion of Ukraine

Nikita Khrushchev

Former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

Getty Images


Nina Khrushcheva, the granddaughter of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, told the Independent that she was embarrassed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that she doesn’t think her grandfather would have supported it.

She said of her grandfather: “He’d think it was outrageous and despicable and impossible.”

“I can’t believe that although [Putin] is claiming he’s trying to prevent the war, he’s actually waging a war on a nation he says is the same as Russia — a brotherly nation of Ukrainians,” she said.

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Ukraine’s parliament says Belarus has joined the war

A rocket launcher system seen during military drills held by Russia and Belarus at the Osipovichsky training ground in the Mogilev region, Belarus, February 17, 2022.

A rocket launcher system seen during military drills held by Russia and Belarus in Belarus on February 17, 2022.

Andrei Stasevich/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS


Ukraine’s parliament said on Tuesday that Belarusian troops had entered the Chernihiv region in northern Ukraine, near the country’s border with Belarus.

It said the information was confirmed by Vitaliy Kyrylov, spokesman for the North Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine.

The development came hours after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told state news media that his country’s troops were not joining the Russian operation.

Satellite images show 40-mile-long Russian military convoy near Kyiv

Photos of 40-mile long Russian military convoy

A 40-mile long Russian military convoy seen north of Kyiv on February 28, 2022.

Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies


New satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies showed a 40-mile-long Russian military convoy north of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, as well as houses and buildings burning along the road.

The high-resolution pictures show the convoy on the outskirts of Kyiv at its nearest point.

Maxar said the photos suggested Russian ground forces were moving closer to Kyiv.

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Ukraine’s ambassador to the US warns Ukraine’s weapons will run out soon

Members of the Territorial Defence Forces of Ukraine receive weapons to defend the city of Kyiv, Ukraine February 25, 2022.

Members of the Territorial Defence Forces of Ukraine receive weapons to defend Kyiv on February 25, 2022.

Mikhail Palinchak/Pool via REUTERS


Oksana Markarova told senators on Monday that Ukraine needs help with weapons as it will soon run out, lawmakers told The Hill.

Sen. Chris Murphy told reporters after the meeting: “It’s no secret they need more help. They’ve got the weapons they need right now but they’re going to run out of what they need soon so we’ve got to get a supplemental [spending bill] passed quickly.”

The UK says Russia has made ‘little progress over the last 24 hours’ but warn of civilian deaths

The UK’s Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday morning: “The Russian advance on Kyiv has made little progress over the past 24 hours probably as a result of continuing logistical difficulties.”

It warned that Russia had increased its artillery use in some areas, and warned that “the use of heavy artillery in densely populated urban areas greatly increases the risk of civilian casualties.”

It also said Russia had “failed” to get control over Ukraine’s airspace, “prompting a shift to night operations in an attempt to reduce their losses.”

Photos: Inside Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital amid Russia’s invasion

Children being treated at a pediatrics hospital have their beds placed in the basement of the hospital which is being used as a bomb shelter, in Kyiv on February 28, 2022.

Children being treated in the basement of the Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images



As Russia’s siege of Kyiv continues, the shelling of the city has forced staff of the Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital to move patients into the building’s basement.

According to Reuters, the hospital is the largest of its kind in Ukraine and typically handles up to 600 patients, said its chief surgeon Volodymyr Zhovnir on Monday.

However, amid Russia’s invasion, the hospital’s patient count has dropped to around 200, said Zhovnir, per the wire service.

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Russian billionaires’ losses have more than doubled since Russia invaded Ukraine

Vagit Alekperov, president of Russian oil company Lukoil.

Vagit Alekperov, president of Russian oil company Lukoil has lost 60% of his net worth so far.

Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


The fortunes of Russia’s richest individuals are getting hammered amid a massive market selloff as Western countries impose sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s 21 wealthiest individuals have collectively lost $84 billion this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

Their financial losses have more than doubled since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: This same group of billionaires lost a collective $39 billion in just one day after the invasion, which sent the country’s stock market diving 50% last week.

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3 members of Russia’s parliament speak out against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a joint press conference with French President after their meeting in Moscow, on February 7, 2022. - International efforts to defuse the standoff over Ukraine intensified with French President holding talks in Moscow and German Chancellor in Washington to coordinate policies as fears of a Russian invasion mount. (Photo by Thibault Camus / POOL / AFP) (Photo by THIBAULT CAMUS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

President Vladimir Putin seen in Moscow, Russia, on February 7.

Thibault Camus / AFP via Getty Images


Three members of Russia’s parliament have criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, The New York Times reported.

The three members — Vyacheslav Markhaev, Oleg Smolin, and Mikhail Matveyev — are all members of the country’s Communist Party. They’re part of the Duma, the country’s lower house of the federal assembly.

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Defiant Snake Island border guards ‘alive and well,’ says Ukrainian navy

Zmiinyi (Snake) Island Ukraine

Zmiinyi (Snake) Island is situated near the Ukrainian and Romanian coasts along the Black Sea.

Google Maps


A group of 13 Ukrainian border guards who were thought to be dead after defiantly telling a Russian warship to “go fuck yourselves” last week are actually “alive and well,” according to the Ukrainian Navy. 

The navy’s Facebook update comes hours after the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine on Sunday posited that the defenders may still be alive.

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No satisfactory result obtained from first round of Ukraine-Russia talks, says Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 28, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his team would analyze the results of the negotiations with Russia.

Presidency of Ukraine / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his delegation did not receive a satisfactory result from its negotiations with Russia on Monday.

“So far, we do not have the result we would like to obtain,” he said after meeting Russian negotiators in Belarus. 

“We received some signals. When the delegation returns to Kyiv, we will analyze what we have heard, and then we will decide how to proceed to the second round of talks,” Zelensky added.

He noted that the meeting took place while “bombing and shelling” of Ukrainian territories was still going on.

“The synchronization of the shelling with the negotiation process was evident. I believe that Russia is trying to put pressure on us in such an unsophisticated way,” said Zelensky.

“Don’t waste your time. We do not accept such tactics,” he added.

Ukraine’s US ambassador says Russia used a vacuum bomb during its invasion

Ukraine's Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


Russia has used a vacuum bomb in its attack on Ukraine, said Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova on Monday.

“They used the vacuum bomb today, which is actually prohibited by the Geneva convention,” she said after a meeting with US lawmakers.

“So, you know, the devastation that Russia is trying to inflict on Ukraine is large, but we Ukrainians will resist,” she added.

Vacuum, or thermobaric, weapons use oxygen from the surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion and do more damage than conventional explosive weapons.

 

Putin may intensify Ukraine invasion as frustrations over military mount

Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin seen at a Russian Security Council at the Kremlin in on February 21.

Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


US intelligence agencies say Russian President Vladimir Putin may intensify his country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, NBC News reported on Tuesday, citing current and former US officials.

The sources told NBC News that Putin is getting increasingly frustrated with Russia’s struggling military and has lashed out at his underlings.

“This is somebody that’s clearly been caught off guard by the size of the Ukrainian resistance,” said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Mark Warner on MSNBC, per the outlet. 

Russian forces have faced fierce fighting in Ukraine, with experts saying that Moscow may adjust its approach to the invasion and intensify its attacks.

Ukraine waives visa requirements for foreigners who want to come and fight Russia

Men hug at airport on way to fight in Ukraine

Georgian civilian volunteers say goodbye to friends and family at Tbilisi international airport before their scheduled flight to Poland, where they plan to cross to Ukraine to join Ukraine’s army to fight against Russia forces, on February 28, 2022 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Daro Sulakauri/Getty Images


Foreigners who come to Ukraine in order to help fight against the Russian military will not have to worry about first obtaining a visa.

In a decree signed on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky authorized a “temporary visa-free regime” for foreigners who want to aid the country’s defense, effective immediately.

The policy does not extend to Russian nationals, referred to as “citizens of the aggressor state.”

Citizens of the United States and European Union previously required visas for tourist visits of more than 90 days within a six-month period.

The visa-free policy comes a day after Zelensky announced the creation of an International Legion for foreigners who want to volunteer for the Armed Forces of Ukraine or the Territorial Defense Forces.

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Billboards in Kyiv are flashing messages to Russian soldiers, telling them to ‘go away without blood on your hands’

armed police officer stands on a street outside Kyiv with cars going by

A police officer stands guard at a road leading to central Kyiv, Ukraine, on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Explosions and gunfire that have disrupted life since the invasion began last week appeared to subside around Kyiv overnight.

AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti



A billboard in Kyiv is flashing messages to Russian soldiers in Ukraine’s capital city, urging them to leave “without blood on your hands.”

Associated Press correspondent Francesca Ebel posted a video on Twitter Monday showing a digital billboard cycling through four messages for Russian soldiers:

  1. “Russian soldiers are not welcome here. Instead of flowers, expect bullets. Go away to your family!”
  2. “Russian soldier, stop. Putin lost. The whole world stands with Ukraine. Go away without blood on your hands.”
  3. “Russian soldier, stop. Don’t kill your soul for Putin’s oligarchs. Go away without blood on your hands.”
  4. “Russian soldier, stop. How will you be able to look your kids in the eyes? Go away! Stay human.”

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International prosecutor at the Hague announces he’s seeking to investigate Russia for ‘war crimes and crimes against humanity’ in Ukraine

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan delivers a statement at the Special Peace Jurisdiction offices in Bogota, October 27, 2021.

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan delivers a statement at the Special Peace Jurisdiction offices in Bogota, October 27, 2021.

Photo by DANIEL MUNOZ/AFP via Getty Images


The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor announced on Monday that he is seeking approval to investigate Russia for “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in Ukraine.

“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine,” Karim Khan said in a statement.

Khan added: “Given the expansion of the conflict in recent days, it is my intention that this investigation will also encompass any new alleged crimes falling within the jurisdiction of my Office that are committed by any party to the conflict on any part of the territory of Ukraine.”

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The Us is expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin seen in Moscow, Russia, on February 19, 2022.

Sputnik/Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin via REUTERS


The US Mission to the UN announced they are expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission. 

USUN spokesperson Olivia Darcy said these operatives have “abused their privileges of residency in the US by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security.”

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Russian state news accidentally publishes article saying Russia has defeated Ukraine and restored its ‘historical borders’

This combination of file pictures created on January 11, 2022 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin land Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Valery Sharifulin, Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images


A Russian state-run news agency prematurely published an article that said Russia has taken back Ukraine.

“Ukraine has returned to Russia,” said the article, which ran on RIA Novosti and has since been taken down. “The West sees the return of Russia to its historical borders in Europe.”

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Psaki rules out ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine because it could lead to war between the US and Russia

Jen Psaki

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday ruled out the idea of using US troops to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine amid the Russian invasion of the eastern European country, saying it could lead to a war between the US and Russia. 

Psaki said during an interview with MSNBC that a no-fly zone would require “implementation by the US military — it would essentially mean the US military would be shooting down planes, Russian planes.”

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Zelensky says he has officially applied to make Ukraine a member of the European Union

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 28, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 28, 2022.

Presidency of Ukraine / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said he officially applied to have Ukraine join the European Union as his country remains under attack by Russian forces. 

“Today I signed the application for Ukraine’s membership in the European Union. I’m sure it’s feasible,” Zelensky said in a post on his social media platforms alongside photos of him signing the documents. 

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Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine to return to their countries to prepare for potential second round of talks

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 28, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 28, 2022.

Presidency of Ukraine / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine will return to their countries to discuss first round of talks since war broke out and to prepare for future meetings. 

“The delegations are returning to their capitals for consultations and have discussed the possibility of meeting for a second round of negotiations soon,” Ukrainian negotiator Mikhailo Podolyak said.

Zelensky tells Russian troops not to trust their commanders or Kremlin propaganda: ‘Just save your lives. Leave.’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference in regard of Russia's attack on Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference in regard of Russia’s attack on Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Photo by Ukrainian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Russian troops on Monday that they should not trust their commanders or Kremlin propaganda.

“Throw away your equipment and leave,” Zelensky said in a video statement posted on Telegram on Monday. “Do not believe your commanders. Do not believe your propagandists. Just save your lives — leave.”

He added: “We dedicate every hour to strengthening our state. Anyone who can join the fight against the invaders must do so.”    

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State Department accuses Russia of ‘widespread’ human rights abuses in Ukraine as troops reportedly fire missiles at civilian areas

Blinken

Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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Ths US State Department has accused Russia of “widespread” human rights abuses in Ukraine as troops reportedly fire missiles at civilian areas.

“Russia’s invasion has damaged and destroyed schools, hospitals, radio stations, and homes, killing and injuring civilians, including children,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement during a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting.

He added: “Since the opening moments of Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine, reports of human rights abuses have been widespread.”

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The US warned citizens not to travel to Russia because Putin’s security officials could target them for ‘harassment’

view of the US Embassy on Novinsky Boulevard on the day Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are scheduled to meet for security talks in Geneva.

view of the US Embassy on Novinsky Boulevard on the day Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are scheduled to meet for security talks in Geneva.

Photo by Vladimir Gerdo\TASS via Getty Images


The US State Department warned citizens to avoid traveling to Russia because government security officials could target them for “harassment” as the country reels from sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.

In a new advisory posted on Monday, officials warned of “the potential for harassment against US citizens by Russian government security officials” and “the embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia.”

Officials warned US citizens to leave Russia “immediately” by using any commercial means of transportation available. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that the US is authorizing the voluntary departure of non-emergency embassy staffers and their family members.

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Switzerland breaks neutral status to sanction Russia over Ukraine invasion

Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin summons meeting of Russia’s Security Council at Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on February 21, 2022.

Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Switzerland broke its historically neutral status to sanction Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement Monday, Switzerland’s federal council said it was adopting the European Union’s sanctions against Russia, effective immediately.

The sanctions package targets various Russian companies and individuals, and involves freezing the personal assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“Switzerland reaffirms its solidarity with Ukraine and its people,” the statement said.

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US closes embassy in Belarus amid warnings that its troops may join fight with Russia

Antony Blinken

Secretary of State Antony Blinken takes part in a press conference at the end of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) foreign ministers meeting in Melbourne on February 11, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque/Getty Images


The US embassy has suspended its operations in Belarus, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday.

“We have suspended operations at our Embassy in Minsk and authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency employees and family members at our Embassy in Moscow,” he shared on Twitter.

He added: “We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens.”

Blinken’s statement comes as a Ukrainian and Russian delegations met for talks along Ukraine’s border with Belarus.

Meanwhile, a senior US official told The Washington Post that Belarus was preparing to send troops to fight alongside Russia. 

High-level delegations from Ukraine and Russia are meeting in Belarus

Russia invasion of Ukraine

Russia invaded Ukraine Thursday, shelling key strategic targets.

Vadim Zamirovsky/AP


High-level delegations from Ukraine and Russia are meeting by the Ukraine-Belarus border for talks on Monday.

They began around 2 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET). The talks were still going on as of 4:15 p.m. (8:15 a.m. ET).

A statement from the office of Ukraine’s president said: “The key issue of the talks is an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of troops from Ukraine.” Russia has not said what its aim was.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message on Sunday that said he isn’t convinced the meeting with Russia will have a result, but wanted to try anyway.

He said: “I will say frankly, as always: I do not really believe in the result of this meeting, but let them try. So that no citizen of Ukraine would have any doubt that I, as president, did not try to stop the war when there was even a small chance.”

Dozens dead in rocket strikes in Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian official says

Russian military vehicle burns in Ukraine

A Russian armored personnel carrier burns amid damaged and abandoned light utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

AP Photo/Marienko Andrew


Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko said on Monday that dozens of people were killed in rocket strikes in Kharkiv.

He said on, according to Reuters: “Kharkiv has just been massively fired upon by grads (rockets). Dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded.”

Ukraine to release people with combat experience from prison so they can help fight

President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video address released February 28, 2022. He is at a podium with a Ukrainian flag nearby.

President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video address released February 28, 2022.

Ukrainian government


President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video released on Monday that Ukrainians with combat experience would be released from the country’s jails and prisons to help with the conflict.

“Anyone who can join the fight against the invaders must do so. Therefore, a decision was made — not easy from a moral point of view, but useful from the point of view of our protection,” he said.

“Under martial law … Ukrainians with real combat experience will be released from custody and will be able to compensate for the guilt in the hottest spots of war.”

The Kremlin says Western sanctions have ‘considerably changed’ the ‘economic reality’ for Russia

People stand in line to withdraw money from an ATM of Alfa Bank in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.

People stand in line to withdraw money from an ATM of Alfa Bank in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday.

Victor Berzkin/Associated Press


The Kremlin said Monday that Russia’s “economic reality” had “considerably changed” in response to of “heavy” and “problematic” Western sanctions.

Russia’s ruble hit a new low on Monday and the country’s central bank more than doubled its base interest rate, to 20%. Russians were reportedly waiting in long lines to withdraw foreign currencies from ATMs.

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Key Putin ally calls for Russia to take a more brutal approach, saying ‘chosen tactics in Ukraine are too slow’

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov at a microphone in front of a Russian flag.

Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov speaks during a review of the Chechen Republic’s troops and military hardware, February 24, 2022.

Yelena Afonina/TASS via Getty Images


Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s Chechen republic, said Russia’s strategy in the first days of the war weren’t working, and called for more brutal ones.

“In my understanding, the chosen tactics in Ukraine are too slow. They take a long time and, in my opinion, are not effective,” he wrote on Telegram.

He said Russian forces had so far only been “fiddling” with the Ukrainian army.

He also called on Putin to carry out a “full coordination of the actions of the military, competent alignment of forces and a decisive assault. Everything!”

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UK defense minister says Putin’s nuclear alert is an attempt at distraction

Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin summons meeting of Russia’s Security Council at Kremlin in Moscow on February 21, 2022.

Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ben Wallace told Sky News on Monday that Putin decided to put Russia’s nuclear weapons on high alert to try and distract from its invasion of Ukraine.

He said Russia did not seem more ready than it normally is to actually use its nuclear weapons.

“The language that President Putin has used doesn’t actually link to anything of Russian readiness procedure,” Wallace said.

“It’s really, we assess, him putting the deterrent into the communications space, reminding people that he has a deterrent.”

“It’s also about distracting the world and the public from what he’s actually doing in Ukraine. It doesn’t link to anything specific in their readiness structures of their forces.”

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More than half a million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded, UN says

Ukraine station

People wait for trains at a train station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Pierre Crom/Getty Images)


The UN Refugee Agency said on Monday that there had been “more than half a million Ukrainian refugee arrivals” into the countries neighboring Ukraine since the invasion.

Ukraine asks to be fast-tracked for EU membership

European Union flags

Flags of European Union member countries.

Shutterstock.com


Ukraine’s president on Monday called for the EU to immediately make Ukraine a member: “We call on the European Union to let Ukraine become an EU member immediately under a new special procedure.”

“We are grateful to our partners for being with us. But our goal is to be with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be equal. I am convinced that this is fair. I am sure that it is possible,” he said, according to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.

The president of the European Commission said on Sunday that the EU wants Ukraine as a member.

Russian troops being slowed in Ukraine, UK and US officials say

A military instructor teaches civilians to use Molotov cocktails during a training session at an abandoned factory in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv

A military instructor teaches civilians to use Molotov cocktails during a training session at an abandoned factory in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images


The UK’s Ministry of Defence said on Monday morning that Russia had been slowed by Ukraine’s efforts.

“Logistical failures and staunch Ukrainian resistance continue to frustrate the Russian advance,” it said.

It also said Russian ground forces had been “slowed” by Ukrainians defending an airfield.

Two senior US officials separately told CNN that Russia was facing “stiffer than expected” resistance from Ukraine, and that it was also struggling with unexpected difficulties in getting supplies to its forces.

Belarus is preparing to join Russia’s attack, US official says

Russian tanks in Belarus

Russian and Belarusian armed forces take part in military drills in Belarus on February 11, 2022.

Getty Images


A senior US official told The Washington Post that Belarus was preparing to add its troops to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “It’s very clear Minsk is now an extension of the Kremlin.”

They said Belarus could join Russia’s attack as early as Monday.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stark photos show Ukrainians, and even a local brewery, making Molotov cocktails

A small girl sorts empty bottles for "Molotov cocktails" at a humanitarian centre in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on February 27, 2022.

A young girl sorts empty bottles for Molotov cocktails at a humanitarian center in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

YURIY DYACHYSHYN/AFP via Getty Images


Across Ukraine, citizens are heeding their government’s call to build Molotov cocktails — a kind of improvised firebomb — in an effort to defend their cities against Russia’s invasion.

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China tells citizens in Ukraine not to display ‘identifying symbols’

A Chinese citizen watches a news report on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine at an appliance store in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, Feb 25, 2022. (Photo credit should read Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

People watching a news report on the Russia-Ukraine conflict at a store in Hangzhou, China.

Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images


On Saturday, the Chinese embassy in Ukraine appealed to its citizens in the country to not highlight their identities in public.

The recommendation comes two days after the embassy advised Chinese nationals to display their national flag when driving.

In a WeChat post on Saturday, the embassy said that there’s an uptick in “extreme behavior” in Ukraine that constitutes heightened security risks for Chinese citizens.

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A former US ambassador to Russia says Putin is becoming ‘increasingly unhinged’

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin “doesn’t listen to his aides,” says Michael McFaul, a former US Ambassador to Russia.

Alexey Nikolsky/Getty Images


A former US ambassador to Russia said Sunday that, after decades in power and intense isolation from COVID-19, Russian President Vladimir Putin is becoming “increasingly unhinged.”

Michael McFaul, an Obama-era ambassador to Russia, made the observation during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

When asked if Putin was a “rational actor,” McFaul said: “To get kicked out of SWIFT as it happened to Russia yesterday, and then to have the president of Russia get in front of his generals and say ‘We need to prepare for nuclear war.’ That doesn’t sound very rational to me.”

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Russians are scrambling to withdraw US dollars at ATMs as ruble hits record low

People stand in line to withdraw money from an ATM of Alfa Bank in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.

People standing in line to withdraw money from an Alfa Bank ATM in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday.

Victor Berzkin/Associated Press


Russians are standing in long lines to withdraw foreign currencies from ATMs as Western sanctions send the ruble to a record low against the US dollar.

On Monday, the Russian ruble tumbled nearly 30% against the greenback, dropping to as low as 119 against the dollar, according to Reuters.

The plunge came after the European Commission said on Saturday that Western allies will slap restrictive measures on the Russian Central Bank’s international reserves worth $630 billion.

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Like Ukraine, the US and Canada also need liberation: Rep. Lauren Boebert

lauren boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert expressed admiration for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s “live free or die” attitude.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert on Sunday suggested that the US and Canada need to be “liberated” like Ukraine, lauding the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky for his “live free or die” attitude.

“I pray for Ukraine, and I wish them the best. They have a great president right now who has really said clearly, ‘Live free or die.’ He said, ‘I don’t need a ride, give me ammunition. The fight is right here,'” she told Fox Nation while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“But we also have neighbors to the north who need freedom and need to be liberated, and we need that right here at home as well,” Boebert added. 

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Weibo, China’s Twitter, bans 10,000 accounts over posts mocking Ukraine crisis

Weibo

China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo says it has banned more than 10,000 accounts.

Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


China’s social-media platforms have deleted posts and banned thousands of accounts following a flood of “vulgar” content online mocking the invasion of Ukraine.

On Sunday, Twitter-like service Weibo said it had banned 10,000 accounts and removed more than 4,000 posts that “ridiculed war” and mocked the situation in Ukraine. Besides misinformation, Weibo said offending posts include “vulgar content” related to jokes about Ukrainian women. 

“The platform continues to investigate and deal with inappropriate and unfriendly remarks related to ‘Ukrainian beauties’, which promote hatred and sexism,” Weibo said in a separate post a day earlier.

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Interpreter breaks down while translating Ukrainian president’s speech

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attending a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday.

Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


An interpreter for a German news outlet was heard breaking down on-air while translating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech on Sunday.

In a video of the speech, the unidentified interpreter for Welt is heard translating into German a part of Zelensky’s speech in which he said: “Russia is on the path of evil. The world must deprive Russia of the right to vote on the UN Security Council.”

The translator then slows down and chokes up while delivering the lines: “Ukrainians, we know exactly what we are defending. We will definitely win.”

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EU wants Ukraine to join it, says European Commission President

Ursula von der Leyen

“They are one of us and we want them in,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told EuroNews.

Thierry Monasse/Getty Images


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union wants Ukraine as a member, Euronews reported. 

“They belong to us. They are one of us and we want them in,” von der Leyen told EuroNews on Sunday. 

The outlet reported that von der Leyen did not specify if the process for Ukraine to join would be as quick as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked for. 

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The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund said it will dump its Russian assets

Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said the country’s massive sovereign wealth fund will exit its Russian investments.

Kay Nietfeld/Getty Images


Norway’s massive sovereign wealth fund — the world’s largest — will dump its Russian investments following the invasion of Ukraine.

“We have decided to freeze the fund’s investments and have begun a process of selling out (of Russia),” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told a news conference on Sunday, per Reuters.

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Mitt Romney says its ‘almost treasonous’ for some GOP figures to back Putin

Mitt Romney

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney has labeled the actions of those who praise Putin as “almost treasonous.”

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday that it is “unthinkable” and “almost treasonous” for anyone who loves freedom to also support Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the Utah senator was asked about the “pro-Putin sentiment” held by some factions of the Republican Party.

“Well, a lot of those people are changing their stripes as they’re seeing the response of the world and the political response here in the US,” replied Romney. “But how anybody, how anybody in this country, which loves freedom, can side with Vladimir Putin, which is an oppressor, a dictator.”

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Belarus votes to remove its non-nuclear status

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during a joint press conference at the Kremlin on September 9, 2021 in Moscow, Russia.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during a joint press conference at the Kremlin on September 9, 2021 in Moscow, Russia.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images


Belarus voted to renounce its non-nuclear status in a constitutional referendum on Sunday, Reuters reported, citing Russian news agencies.

The vote was called by the country’s authoritarian leader, President Alexander Lukashenko, as a way to “cement his 27-year old grip on power,” the Associated Press reported.

The referendum means nuclear weapons could be used on Belarus’ soil for the first time since the Soviet Union fell in 1991. 

The vote comes at a time when Russia is using Belarus as a staging ground to invade Ukraine. 

 

 

European leaders imposed tough sanctions on Russia after speaking with Ukrainian president

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is pictured during his meeting with President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda and President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is pictured during his meeting with President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda and President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.

Hennadii Minchenko/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images


Several prominent European leaders, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, were initially hesitant to impose the toughest sanction proposals against Russian President Vladimir Putin, some of his top administration officials, and some Russian banks, but changed their mind after speaking with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, The Washington Post reported. 

Zelensky video-conferenced into a Thursday night meeting with leaders of the European Union and appealed to the leaders. 

The Post reported that some became “watery-eyed” following Zelensky’s remarks from a Kyiv battlefield. 

“It was extremely, extremely emotional,”a European official briefed on the call told the Post. “He was essentially saying: ‘Look, we are here dying for European ideals.'”

In the days since the call, countries across Europe and the world have imposed some of the strictest sanctions against Russia. 

More than 300 Ukrainians have died during Russia’s invasion, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says

Citing Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, the Associated Press reported that 352 Ukrainians have died during Russia’s invasion of the country. 

The death count includes 14 children.

Additionally, the ministry said an additional 1,684 people – including 116 children – were wounded, the AP reported. 

 

Ukraine’s hospitals could run out of oxygen in the next day as Russia’s invasion prevents transportation of supplies

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on COVID-19 at the WHO headquaters on March 11, 2020 in Geneva.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on COVID-19 at the WHO headquarters on March 11, 2020 in Geneva.

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images


The World Health Organization on Sunday warned that hospitals across Ukraine could run out of oxygen in the next 24 hours as trucks struggle to deliver supplies from plants to facilities during Russia’s invasion. 

“The oxygen supply situation is nearing a very dangerous point in Ukraine,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge said in a joint statement  “The majority of hospitals could exhaust their oxygen reserves within the next 24 hours. Some have already run out. This puts thousands of lives at risk.”

WHO said the country needed a 25% surge of oxygen supplies compared to what it needed before Russia’s invasion. 

The organization called for critical medical supplies to reach those in need and said they’re working with “partners to establish safe transit for shipments through Poland.” 

Beyond the limited supply of oxygen, WHO warned that critical hospital services were being “jeopardized by electricity and power shortages, and ambulances transporting patients are in danger of getting caught in the crossfire.”

The supplies are needed to treat people dealing with conditions ranging from COVID-19, which could surge as people flee, and other conditions, as well as injuries sustained as a result of the conflict, WHO said. 

 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his country will send an additional $53 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine

In a statement on Sunday, Johnson said the decision to send $53 million (£40m) came after he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and met with Ukrainian community leaders in London this weekend. 

The funds will be used to “provide vital medical supplies and other help to Ukraine.”

“The funding will help aid agencies respond to the deteriorating humanitarian situation, creating a lifeline for Ukrainians with access to basic necessities and medical supplies such as medicines, syringes, dressings, and wound care packs. UK Government humanitarian experts have also deployed to the region to support those fleeing the violence in Ukraine,” the statement said. 

Additionally, the statement said that “in response to the growing concern of Ukrainians living in the UK about their welfare of their families back home,” Johnson also confirmed that anyone settled in the UK can bring their immediate Ukrainian family members to join them. 

“The UK will not turn our backs in Ukraine’s hour of need. We are providing all the economic and military support we can to help those Ukrainians risking everything to protect their country,” Johnson said in the statement. 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Putin’s decision to put nuclear forces in a state of higher readiness is part of a pattern of “manufactured threats”

Psaki on Sunday told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” that Putin’s decision was a way for him to further justify his attack on Ukraine. 

“This is really a pattern that we’ve seen from President Putin through the course of this conflict, which is manufacturing threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression. And the global community and the American people should look at it through that prism. We’ve seen him do this time and time again,” Psaki said.

Earlier on Sunday, Putin put his nuclear force on high alert, meaning they will be prepared for the increased possibility of launch. Putin claimed that the move was in response to statements from countries that are a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other western nations. 

US embassies in Russia and Ukraine issue messages warning Americans to ‘depart now’

People gather in a metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

People gather in a metro station in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

REUTERS/Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy.


The US embassies in Russia and in Ukraine issued warnings to Americans on Sunday, directing them to “depart now.” 

The US Embassy in Ukraine urged people to leave using “privately available transportation options if it is safe,” noting that in many cases, “Ukraine’s roads are in many cases crowded, exposed to combat operations, and infrastructure such as bridges in some locations has been destroyed.” 

The embassy recommended people traveling on land go to Hungary, Romania, or Slovakia, because those countries had shorter wait times for entry than Poland.

“We understand that most border crossings into Poland and all main crossing points into Moldova are severely backed up and some are experiencing extremely long wait times (well over 30 hours in some cases),” the embassy said.

The US Embassy in Russia also urged any Americans there on Sunday to leave “immediately,” citing an “increasing number of airlines” that have canceled flights in and out of Russia and “numerous countries” that have banned Russian airlines.

Both Ukraine and Russia carry the US State Department’s most serious “Level 4: Do Not Travel” warning.

Kyiv mayor says city is at ‘border of a humanitarian catastrophe’

In a Sunday interview with the Associated Press, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the city was “at the border of a humanitarian catastrophe” and warned that supplies could soon run out.

“Right now, we have electricity, right now we have water and heating in our houses. But the infrastructure is destroyed to deliver the food and medication,” he said.

Nine civilians in Kyiv, including a child, had been killed as of Sunday, Klitschko told the AP.

He told the AP the city was “encircled” by Russian forces, but later walked back the comments. A spokesperson said he had misspoken.

Japan joins the EU, Canada, US, and UK in banning Russian access to SWIFT global banking services

Japan is joining the rest of the G7 in blocking Russian access to SWIFT, an international banking system.

Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Sunday that the country will band with the European Union, Canada, the UK, and the US in removing Russian banks from its SWIFT, or Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication services.

Kishida added that said Japan will also place further sanctions on Russian officials and send $100 million in emergency humanitarian aid funding to Ukraine. And with Japan’s participation, the full G7 is now onboard with the SWIFT ban.
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World’s largest cargo aircraft was destroyed during a Russian attack on an airfield, Ukrainian minister says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy standing in front of the world's largest airplane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky standing in front of the world’s largest airplane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya.

Efrem Lukatsky/AP


The world’s largest cargo aircraft, the An-225 Mriya, has been destroyed during a Russian attack, according to Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, Dmytro Kuleba.

Kuleba tweeted on Sunday: “Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state.”

“We shall prevail!” he added.

The plane was based at the Antonov Airport – also known as Hostomel Airport – according to Scottish publication The Herald. The paper reported Thursday that the airfield was struck by missiles prior to the attack.

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Ukrainian ambassador says Zelensky is ‘as safe as our country’

Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova on Sunday said she believed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “as safe” as the rest of the country during the Russian invasion.

“He is as safe as our country, and that’s the choice he made to stay in Kyiv, and in Ukraine, and lead the nation in this very difficult moment,” Markarova said during an appearance Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week.” 

In a video posted Saturday morning local time, Zelensky said: “I am here. We are not putting down arms. We will be defending our country, because our weapon is truth, and our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children, and we will defend all of this.” 

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Russian missiles struck a radioactive waste disposal site near Kyiv, say Ukrainian authorities

Russian missiles hit a radioactive waste disposal site near Kyiv, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) said in a statement early Sunday morning.

The attack happened at about 1:20 am local time on Sunday at a disposal site of the Kyiv branch of the State Specialized Enterprise “Radon.” It is unclear where exactly this site is located.

“The automated radiation monitoring system failed,” SNRIU said in the statement. “But the surveillance cameras recorded the falling missiles.”

The extent of the radiation cannot be assessed until fighting in the area has ceased, SNRIU added.

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Ukraine and Russia set to hold negotiations at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, Zelensky’s office announced

Ukraine and Russia are set to hold negotiations at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement on Sunday, according to the BBC.

During a phone call with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Zelensky agreed that a Ukrainian delegation would meet with President Putin’s representatives without preconditions.

The meeting is set to take place on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River, the statement said.

“Alexander Lukashenko will ensure all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks, and return,” the statement added.

Neither Russia nor Belarus have issued any statements about potential talks.

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Putin orders Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces on high alert in response to ‘illegitimate Western sanctions’

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.

Alexei Nikolsky/Associated Press


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday ordered Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces to be on alert amid his ongoing attack on Ukraine. 

Putin blamed the move on statements from member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and on statements from western nations.

“Dear colleagues, as you see, Western countries are not only taking hostile actions toward our country in the economic sphere—I am talking about the illegitimate sanctions everybody knows about,” Putin said in a statement translated to English.

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Ukraine files a lawsuit against Russia at the International Court of Justice in the Hague

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the country has filed a lawsuit against Russia at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. 

“Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression,” he tweeted Sunday, adding that the country expects trials to start “next week.”

The International Court of Justice, located in The Netherlands, is the main judicial organ of the United Nations.

1.4 million civilians in Ukraine’s second-largest city, have been told to take shelter as Russian troops arrive

Kharkiv

Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images



The 1.4 million residents in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, have been urged to shelter indoors after government officials said Russian troops had arrived.

In a statement on Sunday morning, Kharkiv’s governor Oleg Sinegubov told people not to leave their homes after a “breakthrough of light equipment of the Russian enemy” reached the central part of the city.

Russian troops blew up a nine-story residential block overnight, killing one elderly woman, the BBC reported, citing emergency services.

Russian forces also blew up a major gas pipeline in the city, which the Ukrainian government said could result in an “environmental catastrophe,” the Associated Press reported. 

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Kremlin website was down

The Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia.

The Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia.

Jarung H/Shutterstock


The official website of the Kremlin, kremlin.ru, was down on Saturday, Reuters reported.

The outage came after Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said the country will create an “IT army” to fight against Russia’s digital intrusions.

In a tweet that linked to a channel on the Telegram messaging app, which published a list of prominent Russian websites, Fedorov said: “We are creating an IT army. There will be tasks for everyone. We continue to fight on the cyber front. The first task is on the channel for cyber specialists.”

President Zelensky appeals for foreign volunteers to come to Ukraine and enlist in a ‘International Legion’

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky


Ukraine is establishing an International Legion for foreigners who want to come and fight against Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday.

“Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals,” the statement on the presidential website said.

Zelensky called for international solidarity against Russia and said in the statement that Russia’s invasion was “the beginning of a war against Europe.”

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Ukrainian border guards who told Russian warship ‘go fuck yourself’ may still be alive

Zmiinyi (Snake) Island Ukraine

Zmiinyi (Snake) Island is situated near the Ukrainian and Romanian coasts along the Black Sea.

Google Maps


A group of 13 Ukrainian border guards who were thought to have been killed while defending an island from a Russian warship may still be alive, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGSU) said in a statement on Saturday.

“We [have a] strong belief that all Ukrainian defenders of Zmiinyi (Snake) Island may be alive,” the border agency said.

“Preliminary information that border guards may be dead came before the defenders lost contact,” it added.

The statement comes two days after reports said that 13 border guards on Zmiinyi Island had died when they refused to surrender to a Russian warship, telling it “go fuck yourself” per an audio recording.

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Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv

Ukrainian soldiers handle equipment outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

Ukrainian soldiers handle equipment outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

AP Photo/Andrew Marienko


Ukrainian President Zelensky’s office said Russian forces blew up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv, the Associated Press reported. 

Residents were advised to cover their windows with damp cloth or gauze and the Ukrainian government warned that smoke from the explosion in the country’s second-largest city could result in an “environmental catastrophe,” the AP reported.

There are at least 240 civilian casualties so far, according to the UN

A Ukrainian soldier walks past debris of a burning military truck, on a street in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

A Ukrainian soldier walks past debris of a burning military truck, on a street in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky


The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that there have been at least 240 civilian casualties, including at least 64 deaths in Ukraine, since the start of Russia’s invasion. 

Hundreds of homes have also been damaged, and the damage to infrastructure has left thousands without power or water, the OHCHR reported. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees also reported that over 160,000 people are internally displaced and more than 116,000 have fled to neighboring countries. 

French President Emmanuel Macron called on Belarus to order Russian troops to leave

Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron meets Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 07, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.

Getty Images


In a call on Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron asked Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, to demand Russian troops be withdrawn from Belarusian soil, a statement from Macron’s office said.

Belarus is a neighbor to Ukraine and one of multiple entry points Russia used to invade the country. 

Macron denounced “the seriousness of a decision that would authorize Russia to deploy nuclear weapons on Belarusian soil” and told Lukashenko that Belarus should “refuse to be Russia’s vassal and de facto accomplice in the war against Ukraine.”

 

Western nations agree to cut ‘selected Russian banks’ from the SWIFT global banking system

The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada struck an agreement Saturday evening to remove certain Russian banks from SWIFT.

SWIFT is a payment system that is crucial for global financial communication. Removing Russia from the system could be economically devastating for the nation.

In a joint statement, the US and its counterparts declared that the move would help “collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin.”

“As Russian forces unleash their assault on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, we are resolved to continue imposing costs on Russia that will further isolate Russia from the international financial system and our economies,” the statement said.

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Germany to send anti-tank weapons and missiles to Ukraine in a major policy reversal

Germany is planning to send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles to Ukraine, according to a statement made by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday. 

“The Russian attack marks a turning point,” Scholz wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “It is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend against the invading army of Putin. That’s why we’re supplying 1000 anti-tank weapons and 500 stinger missiles to our friends in Ukraine.”

The announcement marks a significant shift of Germany’s restrictive arms export policy. The country has previously said it held “historical responsibilities” that prevented it from sending weapons and arms to conflict areas, often citing guilt for crimes committed against the Soviet Union during World War II. 

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Russian forces are ‘frustrated’ with lack of progress, US official says

 

According to a Reuters report, the US official, who was not named by the outlet, said Russian forces had not planned to bring enough fuel or for other basic logistics. 

“We know that they have not made the progress that they have wanted to make, particularly in the north. They have been frustrated by what they have seen is a very determined resistance,” the official told Reuters, adding: “It has slowed them down.” 

An unnamed US official told Fox News: “We continue to believe, based on what we’ve observed, that this resistance is greater than what the Russians expected.” 

The British Defense Ministry on Saturday made similar claims, saying: “The speed of the Russian advance has temporarily slowed likely as a result of acute logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance,” according to the Associated Press.

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Zelensky called on ‘every friend of Ukraine’ to ‘please come over’ and help defend against Russian invasion

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday remained defiant in the face of Russia’s invasion, confirming that government forces continued to control Kyiv and “key points around the city.”

“Please stop those who are lying, or trying to lie to you, or lying to us. We need to stop this war,” he said during a morning briefing, The Guardian reported, lambasting disinformation about the state of the country. “We can live in peace together, globally, as humans.”

He continued: “Our military, our national guard, our national police, our territory defense, special service, nationals of Ukraine, please carry on. We will win. Glory to Ukraine.”

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Biden’s administration is reportedly working to set up a hotline with Russia to avoid an unintended clash between their military forces in Eastern Europe

U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division and military vehicles are seen at the temporary military base for U.S. troops established at the Arlamow Airport.

U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division and military vehicles are seen at the temporary military base for U.S. troops established at the Arlamow Airport.

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images


Sources told NBC News that the United States is working to set up backchannel communications with the Russian military to prevent a clash between the two forces near Ukraine’s border.

The hotline would help both parties to avoid clashing as US forces are operating near Eastern Europe, according to the report.

The open line of communication would also help US and Russian aircraft and ships remain in different areas and communicate the risk of missile strikes. However, it is not yet clear if Russia will subscribe to the potential plan. 

Mayor of Kyiv sets curfew amid battle to hold capital, says anyone on the street after curfew will be considered an enemy

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Saturday announced a curfew from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. to ensure a “more effective defense of the capital” and its residents, according to reports. 

“This curfew is introduced until the morning of February 28,” Klitschko said in the translated announcement. “All civilians who will be on the street during the curfew will be considered members of the enemy’s sabotage and reconnaissance groups.” 

The mayor added: “Please treat the situation with understanding and do not go outside.”

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Ukrainian President Zelensky says Ukraine ‘survived’ the night

Ukrainian President

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses nation in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 25, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP


Ukraine has “survived” the night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a briefing on Saturday morning.

“And we are successfully fighting off the enemy attacks,” he added, per The Kyiv Independent.

He said that government forces still control Kyiv and “key points around the city,” The Guardian reported.

Ukrainian President Zelensky addressed false information that circulated online claiming he called on residents to lay down arms

In a video posted early Saturday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky can be seen in front of the House with Chimaeras in Kyiv. 

Zelensky addressed misinformation that was circulating online and reiterated that he was not standing down. 

“Ukrainians, it has now come to our attention that a lot of fake information has been circulating about me allegedly calling to our armed forces to lay down their arms, and talks of de-evacuation. Let’s get things straight. We are here, we are not laying down any arms, we are going to defend our nation.” Zelensky said. 

He added: “This is because our weapons are our truth, and our truth lies in the fact that this is our land, this is our country, our children, and we are going to defend all of this. So this is what I want to tell you. Glory to Ukraine!” 

Officials in Kyiv are telling residents to seek shelter as street fights break out against Russian forces

In this handout photo taken from video released by Ukrainian Police Department Press Service released on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, firefighters hose down burning burning debris in front of a damaged building following a rocket attack on the city of Kyiv, Ukraine.

In this handout photo taken from video released by Ukrainian Police Department Press Service released on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, firefighters hose down burning burning debris in front of a damaged building following a rocket attack on the city of Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukrainian Police Department Press Service via AP


The Associated Press reported that on Saturday morning, Russian troops headed toward Kyiv as explosions could be heard across the city. 

Officials in the Ukrainian capital warned residents to stay away from windows and take shelter indoors as fighting escalated on the streets. 

President Joe Biden authorized the release of $350 million for military aid to Ukraine

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the East Room of the White House on February 07, 2022.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


In a memorandum to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken sent on Friday night, President Joe Biden asked the State Department to release $350 million through the Foreign Assistance Act to be sent to Ukraine as it defends itself against a Russian invasion. 

 

 

‘The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,’ Ukrainian President Zelensky said following an offer to evacuate

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen at Arlington National Cemetery on September 1, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen at Arlington National Cemetery on September 1, 2021.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky refused an offer from the US to evacuate the Ukrainian capital, a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation told the Associated Press. 

“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” Zelensky said in response to the offer, the official said, describing Zelensky as “upbeat,” according to the AP. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accuses Russia of “abusing its power” on the UN Security Council with its attacks on Ukraine

Antony Blinken

Secretary of State Antony Blinken takes part in a press conference at the end of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) foreign ministers meeting in Melbourne on February 11, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque/Getty Images


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted his support for the people of Ukraine on Friday night, rebuking Russia — an “irresponsible Permanent Member of the UN Security Council” — for “abusing its power to attack its neighbor and subvert the UN and our international system.

Blinken said the US will be addressing the matter in the UN General Assembly where “the nations of the world can, will, and should hold Russia accountable…”

Earlier Friday, Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution that called on Moscow to withdraw its troops and halt the attack on Ukraine.

The US Embassy in Kyiv issued a travel advisory warning US citizens remaining in the city to “know your closest shelter”

The US embassy in Kyiv.

US Embassy building stays empty as the diplomatic staff was ordered to leave Ukraine Kiev, Ukraine on February 23, 2022.

Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images


The US Embassy in Kyiv issued a new travel advisory for US citizens remaining in Kyiv early Saturday morning. 

As Russian forces intensify their attacks against the capital city, the embassy warned US citizens to exercise increased caution due to the possibility of active combat, crime, and civil unrest.

“The security situation throughout Ukraine is highly volatile, and conditions may deteriorate without warning,” the statement said. “US citizens should remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.”

The advisory urged US citizens to know the location of “your closest shelter or protected space,” and seek shelter immediately in “the event of mortar and/or rocket fire.” 

“If you feel your current location is no longer safe, you should carefully assess the potential risks involved in moving to a different location,” the advisory said. 

US government prepared to evacuate President Zelensky, according to The Washington Post

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany.

Photo by Ronald Wittek – Pool/Getty Images


The US government is ready to help Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky flee Kyiv, but the president is so far refusing to leave, according to The Washington Post.

US and Ukrainian officials told the outlet that preparations have been made to help Zelensky avoid being captured or killed as Russian forces descended upon the capital city early Saturday morning.

Amid increasing Russian attacks on Friday, Zelensky promised to remain at the head of Ukraine’s government in Kyiv, despite the danger.

“According to the information we have, the enemy has marked me as target No. 1, my family as target No.2,” he said in an address. “They want to destroy Ukraine politically by destroying the head of state.”

Insider has reached out to the White House and the State Department for comment. 

A senior US official told The Post that US officials in recent days have talked to Zelensky about multiple security issues, including the safest place for the president to remain to maintain the Ukrainian government. 

“We have been making him aware not only of the threat of Russian invasion, now a reality, but also the threat to him personally,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told The Post. “We stand ready to assist him in any way.”

New explosions heard in Kyiv as Russian forces attack the city

Empty streets in Kyiv.

A view of empty streets following the curfew in the country after explosions and air raid sirens wailing again in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 26, 2022.

Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


More than four dozen explosions were heard early Saturday morning in Kyiv as Russian troops intensified their attacks on the capital city, according to The Washington Post.

Thirty minutes of ongoing shelling could be heard as the Ukrainian military fought off Russian assaults in northern Kyiv, the Kyiv Independent reported.

The State Special Communications Service instructed people to seek shelter following more than 50 shots fired in a suburb near the city’s center.

CNN reported that heavy fighting is being reported south of Kyiv as well.

 

Ukraine’s president warns that Russia will try to ‘break our resistance’ and topple the government before the night is over

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference in regard of Russia’s attack on Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday night that the future of his country “is being decided right now,” a warning that comes amid reports that Russian troops are approaching Kyiv from multiple directions.

“Tonight the enemy will use all the resources they have to break our resistance in a mean, cruel, and inhuman way,” Zelensky said in a message to his nation, according to a translation of his remarks. “Tonight they will assault us.”

He added that many Ukrainian cities remain under attack.

“Burn down the enemy’s military vehicles, using anything—anything—you can. If even the kindergartens are an admissible target for the invaders, you must not leave them any chance,” he said.

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Russia vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution calling on Moscow to stop Ukrainian assault

The United Nations Security Council members sit at a table.

United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution during a meeting on Russian invasion of Ukraine, Friday Feb. 25, 2022 at U.N. headquarters.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig


Russia vetoed on Friday a United Nations Security Council draft resolution that called on Moscow to withdraw its troops and halt the attack on Ukraine.

Eleven countries on the council voted in favor, while three abstained. 

The countries that voted in favor of the resolution were:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Norway
  • Ireland
  • Albania
  • Gabon
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Ghana
  • Kenya

Russia voted no.

The countries that abstained from voting were: 

  • China
  • India
  • United Arab Emirates

The Biden administration is seeking $6.4 billion for Ukraine aid from Congress

Congress building capitol hill

A view of the US Capitol at sunset on January 5, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images


The White House on Friday asked Congress for an estimated $6.4 billion in additional spending to aid Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, according to Bloomberg.

The outlet reported that $2.9 billion of the requested funds would go to humanitarian and security needs in Ukraine, the Baltics, and Poland, including food aid, refugee assistance, and energy stabilization. 

The remaining $3.5 billion would help the US Department of Defense respond to the conflict, a Biden administration official told Bloomberg.

The funds could be included in a broad government spending package Congress is aiming to pass by mid-March. The 

The requested money is on top of $650 million in security aid and $52 million in humanitarian aid that the US promised Ukraine last year. 

Spy chief humiliated by Putin on Russian TV for stammering releases new video echoing Putin’s war rhetoric

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergei Naryshkin is seen while opening of the exhibition on violations of human rights in Ukraine (2017-2020), on January 18, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergei Naryshkin is seen while opening of the exhibition on violations of human rights in Ukraine (2017-2020), on January 18, 2022 in Moscow, Russia.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images


Just days after being humiliated in a broadcast meeting by Vladimir Putin, the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, Sergei Naryshkin, returned to the screen to reiterate war rhetoric.

“Russia cannot allow Ukraine to become a dagger raised above us in the hands of Washington,” Naryshkin said in a video on state television, according to the New York Times. “The special military operation will restore peace in Ukraine within a short amount of time and prevent a potential larger conflict in Europe.”

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Biden is planning to announce new sanctions that personally target Putin, report says

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.

Alexei Nikolsky/Associated Press


US President Joe Biden is planning to announce as soon as Friday that the US will sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin, CNN reported, a provocative move of condemnation against one of the world’s most powerful leaders.

The move would come after the US, in coordination with its partners and allies, slapped two rounds of sanctions on Russia following its military assault on Ukraine earlier this week.

Biden’s reported decision to sanction Putin personally is a rare step and follows the European Union and the UK announcing sanctions against the Russian leader.

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A California professor says he spotted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Google Maps hours before Putin announced the attack

Radar imagery showed a large Russian military unit south of Belgorod before it moved toward the border with Ukraine.

Radar imagery showed a large Russian military unit south of Belgorod before it moved toward the border with Ukraine.

Capella Space/Middlebury Institute of International Studies


A California professor and arms control expert says he noticed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Google Maps in real time hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the attack in a televised address.

Jeffrey Lewis, a nonproliferation professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, had been monitoring Google Maps with a small team of research assistants and graduate students when they spotted a “traffic jam” on a road from Belgorod, Russia, to the Ukrainian border at around 3:15 a.m. local time in the Russian city on Thursday.

Lewis told Insider on Friday that the “unusual” early morning backup started exactly where a radar image taken a day earlier showed a newly arrived “large Russian military unit with a lot of armor,” such as tanks and armored personnel carriers.

“What was important about that image is that they were not set up in a camp — they were lined up in columns along roads, which is what you do when you’re about to pounce,” Lewis said.

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The daughter of Putin’s spokesman publicly opposed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, undermining her dad

Elizaveta Peskova and a friend in front of a crowd in January 2022

Elizaveta Pesokva attends a restaurant opening in January 2022

Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS via Getty Images


The daughter of President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman posted an anti-war slogan in her Instagram Live on Friday, according to multiple reports.

Elizaveta Peskova, 24, posted “HET BOЙHE” — “no to war,” against a black background on her Instagram story according to a screenshot tweeted by the Russian outlet TV Rain.

This slogan is the main chant used by Russian protesters to oppose the invasions of Ukraine.

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Video reportedly shows Ukrainian men helping themselves to guns on a Kyiv street after all 18-60 years were urged to take up arms and fight the Russian invasion

Volunteers, holding AK-47 rifles, protect a main road leading into Kyiv.

Volunteers, holding AK-47 rifles, protect a main road leading into Kyiv on February 25, 2022

DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images


The video, which was shared on Twitter by Illia Ponomarenko, the defense correspondent at the Kyiv Independent, appears to shows civilians on a suburban street in a Kyiv suburb rummaging through boxes of firearms unloaded from trucks, as a voice off-camera says “Slava Ukraini!” (Glory to Ukraine!).

“Firearms are delivered to anyone willing,” Ponomarenko said in the tweet of the video.

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Ukraine’s president posts defiant video with top government leaders saying ‘we are all here’ in the streets of besieged Kyiv

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference on Russia's military operation in Ukraine, on February 25, 2022 in Kyiv.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference on Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, on February 25, 2022 in Kyiv.

Photo by Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a defiant video on Friday, purportedly from streets of besieged Kyiv, with top government leaders.

“We are all here,” he said in a video posted to his Facebook page with the words: “We’re in here. We are in Kiev. We defend Ukraine.”

Zelensky said he was with Ukraine’s prime minister, presidential advisor, and head of the president’s office.

“Our military are here, our citizens and society are here. We are all here defending our independence, our state, and this is how it’s going to be,” he said.

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Russia says it will partially restrict access to Facebook, accusing it of censorship and human rights violations

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Alexey Nikolsky/Getty Images


Russia said Friday that it would partially limit access to Facebook within its borders over what it alleges is censorship of four state news outlets. 

In its announcement, the country’s communications regulator said it asked Facebook earlier in the week to remove the restrictions and explain its reasoning for them but did not hear back.

It also accused the company of various other undetailed human rights and freedoms abuses. 

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Ban children of Russian oligarchs from elite British schools, UK MPs urge after invasion of Ukraine

harrow school

Harrow School is one of the many prestigious private schools included in testimonies on Everyone’s Invited.

Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images


Boris Johnson should ban the children of Russian oligarchs from enjoying the benefits of elite British schools, Conservative MPs have said. 

The prime minister is coming under increasing pressure to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine by targeting its super-rich, many of whom have interests in the UK and mingle with its high society.

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The 5,000 helmets Germany offered Ukraine are finally on their way as it faces a Russian onslaught from 3 sides

Germany is sending 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine, which had requested 100,000 of them.

Germany is sending 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine, which had requested 100,000 of them.

Friso Gentsch


The 5,000 helmets Germany offered to Ukraine are finally on their way as the country faces Russian attacks from 3 sides. 

Over a month after Germany’s secretary of defense promised the equipment, two trucks are bound for a handoff just outside Ukraine, according to German media company Der Spiegel.  

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Russia’s advance on Kyiv hit more resistance and is moving slower than expected, US defense official says

Ukrainian servicemen ride on tanks towards the front line with Russian forces in the Lugansk region of Ukraine on February 25, 2022

Ukrainian servicemen ride on tanks towards the front line with Russian forces in the Lugansk region of Ukraine on February 25, 2022

ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images


Russia appears to have “lost a bit of momentum” as they continue their invasion of Ukraine, a senior US defense official told reporters on Friday. 

The official said Russian forces are “not moving on Kyiv as fast as they anticipated they would be able to” and are “meeting more resistance than they expected,” CNN reported.

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European Union freezes assets of Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov, Latvia’s foreign minister says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on, next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as they wait for the US-Russia summit at the Villa La Grange, in Geneva on June 16, 2021.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on, next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as they wait for the US-Russia summit at the Villa La Grange, in Geneva on June 16, 2021.

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images


The European Union on Friday approved freezing the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Latvia’s foreign minister said.

“EU Foreign Affairs Council has adopted the 2nd sanctions package, asset freeze includes President of Russia and its Foreign Minister. We will prepare the 3d package,” Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said on Twitter.

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A Russian tennis star protested the war in Ukraine in a twist of a traditional celebration in the sport

Andrey Rublev pens an anti-war message on the camera lens at the Dubai Tennis Championships.




TSN/Twitter



Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev has a message for the world — and maybe one directed at his own country.

“No war please.”

On Friday, the 24-year-old Moscow native called for peace after besting Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz for a spot in the Dubai Tennis Championships title match.

As is a popular tennis tradition, Rublev wrote a note on the TV camera lens following his victory.

Instead of signing his name or sketching a cheeky doodle — as is the norm in the sport — the world No. 7 penned a serious message for all to see: “No war please.”

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Ukraine praises marine for sacrificing his life to blow up bridge to try to choke off Russian tanks

Skakun Vitaliy Volodymyrovich

Skakun Vitaliy Volodymyrovich.

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine


Officials in Ukraine praised a marine for sacrificing his life to blow up a bridge to try to stop Russian tanks from advancing.

Vitaliy Skakun Volodymyrovych was positioned at the Henichesk bridge in the Kherson region during a standoff with Russian forces, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Friday statement.

In an effort to fight off advancing Russian tanks, Ukrainian forces decided to blow up the bridge, the statement said.

“According to his brothers in arms, Vitaly got in touch [with them] and said he was going to blow up the bridge,” the statement said. “Immediately after, an explosion rang out.”

Volodymyrovych died immediately, the statement said.

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Ordinary Ukrainian citizens are taking up arms to fend off Russian forces as they close in on Kyiv

Residents attend an open training organised for civilians by war veterans and volunteers who teach the basic weapons handling and first aid on one of Kyiv's city beaches.

Residents attend an open training organised for civilians by war veterans and volunteers who teach the basic weapons handling and first aid on one of Kyiv’s city beaches

Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images


Ordinary citizens all over Kyiv are taking up arms in the fight against Russian forces as they close in on the capital city following two days of heavy attacks and hundreds of casualties.

As Russian forces started making their way toward Kyiv, the Ukrainian government called on all citizens and “patriots” to take up arms in defense of the country, saying that only an ID was required and adding, “We give weapons to all patriots!”

“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a tweet. “Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.”

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People in Kyiv describe bombardment on night 2 of invasion as Russia closes in on the capital

KYIV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 25: Civilians are seen after a missile struck a residential building during Russiaâs military intervention in left bank Kyiv, Ukraine on February 25, 2022 (Photo by Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A building hit by a missile in Kyiv, Ukraine, seen on February 25, 2022.

Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Kyiv was rocked by shelling for the second straight day on Friday morning, with Russian forces entering the outskirts of the capital by the afternoon.

Speaking from Kyiv by phone on Friday, five residents told Insider of multiple explosions overnight, interspersed with air raid sirens directing people to find safety in bunkers. 

Alisa Obraztsova, 25, said she was rocked away by explosions at 4:20 a.m.

“I slept in the guest room in my apartment because I could hear the sirens from that room better,” she said. 

Oleksii, a Kyiv resident who asked to be identified only by his first name, told Insider he was also startled awake by bombs.

“I woke up at around 4 a.m. because there was a massive explosion,” he said. “I looked out the window, everything was a bright orange, everything was getting brighter.”

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Zelensky told European leaders, “This might be the last time you see me alive,” report says

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky holds a press conference

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference in regard of Russia’s attack on Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday told European leaders on a conference call that it “might be the last time you see me alive” as the Russian military pushes ahead with its offensive in his country. 

Zelensky on Thursday said in a video address he would remain in Kyiv and would keep his family in Ukraine.

Zelensky added that “the enemy marked me as the number one target,” with his family being number two.

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Zelensky asks Putin to ‘sit down at the negotiating table’ to ‘stop the dying’ as Russian forces strike Kyiv

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference on Russia's military operation in Ukraine, on February 25, 2022 in Kyiv.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy holds a press conference on Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, on February 25, 2022 in Kyiv.

Photo by Presidency of Ukraine/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for negotiations to “stop the dying” as Russian forces strike the country’s capital city of Kyiv.

“Let us sit down at the negotiating table in order to stop the dying,” he said in a video address on Friday, according to a translation from The New York Times.

Zelensky added: “I want to turn again to the president of the Russian Federation… Fighting is taking place across the entire territory of Ukraine.”

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Ukraine urges Kyiv residents to ‘make Molotov cocktails’ as Russia advances and even shows people how to make them

A military instructor teaches civilians to use Molotov cocktails during a training session at an abandoned factory in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv

A military instructor teaches civilians to use Molotov cocktails during a training session at an abandoned factory in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in early February 2022.

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images


Ukraine’s defense ministry called on residents of Kyiv to “make Molotov cocktails” as Russian forces advanced on the capital city on Friday.

Ukraine’s defense ministry tweeted a message calling attention to reconnaissance and sabotage units in the district of Obolon, asking citizens to report military vehicle movements, and even make Molotov cocktails.

“Make Molotov cocktails, neutralize the occupier!” the ministry tweet said, adding that peaceful residents should be careful and should not leave the house.

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Recap: Ukraine says 137 people died on Thursday alone. The death toll has since risen.

KYIV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 25: Civilians are seen after a missile struck a residential building during Russiaâs military intervention in left bank Kyiv, Ukraine on February 25, 2022 (Photo by Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A building hit by a missile in Kyiv, Ukraine, seen on February 25, 2022.

Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky said that 137 people, including 10 military officers, had been killed and 316 were wounded on Thursday.

He did not say how many were civilians, but Ukrainian officials have confirmed that civilians were killed.

There were more deaths reported on Friday, though the exact number is not clear.

Zelensky said that “people died” in heavy fighting on Friday, but did not say now many or what country they were from.

One of Zelensky’s advisors said that around 400 Russian soldiers had died as of Friday, the Associated Press reported. Russia has not given a death toll.

Russian foreign minister says his country will talk to Ukraine once it stops fighting, doubles down on claim it wants ‘de-Nazification’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on as he gives an annual press conference on Russian diplomacy in 2021, in Moscow on January 14, 2022.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in January 2022.

Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images


Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that Russia will only talk to Ukraine if its troops stop fighting, adding: “We do not want Neo-Nazis to rule Ukraine.”

He was repeating Russia’s baseless claim that its attack on Ukraine was motivated by Nazism in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s president is a Jewish man whose native language is Russian. He came into office after a democratic election.

Russia has previously tried to justify its attack by claiming it wanted to prevent a “genocide” in Ukraine and to achieve the “de-Nazification” of the country.

 

Kyiv mayor and former heavyweight boxing champion says he’ll fight for Ukraine

Wladimir Klitschko (L) and his brother Vitali Klitschko speak after defeat to Anthony Joshua in the IBF, WBA and IBO Heavyweight World Title bout at Wembley Stadium

Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko.

Getty/Richard Heathcote


Ukrainian boxing icons Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko said they would take up arms to defend Ukraine against Russia.

Vitali, who has also been the mayor of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, since 2014, said he was ready to fight in a “bloody war.”

“I don’t have another choice, I have to do that. I’ll be fighting,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Friday. “I believe in Ukraine, I believe in my country and I believe in my people.”

Wladimir wrote in a LinkedIn post on Thursday: “Democracy cannot defend itself; it needs the will of the citizens, the commitment of everyone.”

“Here, we will defend ourselves with all our might and fight for freedom and democracy. You can also act. Let not fear seize us; let’s not remain frozen.”

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Ukraine has been ‘left alone’ to defend itself from Russia, president says

Ukrainian servicemen walk at fragments of a downed aircraft seen in in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022

Ukrainian servicemen walk by fragments of a downed aircraft in Kyiv on February 25, 2022.

AP Photo/Oleksandr Ratushniak


Volodomyr Zelensky said in an early Friday speech that Ukraine was not getting help on the ground, saying: “We are left alone in defense of our state.”

“Who is ready to fight with us? Honestly — I do not see such. Who is ready to guarantee Ukraine’s accession to NATO? Honestly, everyone is afraid.”

Many nations have condemned Russia and sent weapons to Ukraine. But they have not sent troops, and NATO and the US have said they won’t do so.

Zelensky also praised the people of Ukraine in his speech, saying: “You are brilliantly defending the country from one of the most powerful countries in the world.”

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Ukraine posts instructions for making Molotov cocktails and asks people who own drones for help

The post below, from Ukraine’s national guard, contained instructions on how to make Molotov cocktails to use against Russian troops.

Ukraine’s military also posted a Facebook callout on Friday asking for drone owners to help out.

“Do you know how to drive a drone? Join the joint patrol with units 112 of the separate brigade of the city of Kyiv!” it said.

Russia ‘failed to deliver’ its day-one aims for invading Ukraine, UK defense secretary says

The UK Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace arrives at the ministry of defence for talks with Slovenian defence minister Matej Tonin.

UK Secretary for Defence Ben Wallace.

Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


Ben Wallace told Sky News on Friday: “Our assessment, as of this morning, is that Russia has not taken any of its major objectives,”  

“In fact it’s behind its hoped-for timetable. They’ve lost over 450 personnel.”

“The Russian army has failed to deliver on day one its main objective.”

He gave the example that Russian special forces had failed to secure a “significant” airport that was once again under Ukrainian control. 

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Ukrainian leaders compare Russia’s attack on Kyiv to Nazi Germany’s assault in 1941

A night view of Kyiv as the Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10pm to 7am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Overnight, Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine, with explosions reported in multiple cities and far outside the restive eastern regions held by Russian-backed rebels.

A night view of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city.

Pierre Crom/Getty Images


Russia’s attack on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv has prompted comparisons to Nazi Germany’s assault on the city in 1941.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invoked World War II while speaking directly to the Russian people in a speech Friday morning as explosions were reported over Kyiv.

“Tonight, you began bombing residential areas in the hero city of Kyiv. This is like 1941. I want to tell all Russian citizens who are coming out to protest: we hear you, you heard us, you started to believe us. Fight for us. Fight the war,” Zelensky said.

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Russia’s richest 22 billionaires lost $39 billion in one day after the invasion of Ukraine

Russian billionaire and businesman Vladimir Potanin.

Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest man, lost $3 billion in one day on Thursday. He is now worth $26.1 billion.

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images


Russia’s 22 richest individuals saw their net worths plunge by a collective $39 billion in less than 24 hours after their country invaded Ukraine, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The wealth wipeout came after Moscow’s benchmark MOEX Russia Index crashed and closed 33% lower on Thursday.

The Russian billionaires lost more money on Thursday than they had lost year-to-date up until Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

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Mitch McConnell has urged Biden to ‘ratchet the sanctions all the way up’ against Russia

Mitch McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged President Joe Biden not to hold back with tough sanctions on Russia.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday advised President Joe Biden to hold nothing back when imposing sanctions on Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“We’re all together at this point, and we need to be together about what should be done,” McConnell said.

“Ratchet the sanctions all the way up. Don’t hold any back,” he added. “Every single available tough sanction should be employed and should be employed now.” 

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Large explosions heard in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city

A night view of Kyiv as the Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10pm to 7am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

A night view of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, as seen on Thursday.

Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images


Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was awakened by explosions in the early hours of Friday morning local time, CNN reported.

“Strikes on Kyiv with cruise or ballistic missiles continued,” Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Ukraine, told CNN Thursday.

The outlet also reported multiple bombardments — two blasts in Kyiv and an explosion in the distance. 

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Ukraine is crowdfunding to shore up its defenses against the Russian military

Image Cropper - Ukrainian tanks move into the city, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Mariupol, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Soldiers seen aboard a Ukrainian tank in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria


Ukraine is crowdfunding to bolster its armed forces against the Russian invasion.

In a tweet on Thursday, the official Twitter account of Ukraine called for donations and provided a link to the country’s official website.

Collected funds will be used for the “logistical and medical support” of the Ukrainian armed forces, said the webpage, which is operated by Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ukrainian Institution.

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The Biden administration is considering training Ukrainian soldiers in an outside country, according to Axios

Ukrainian soldiers

Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine on January 20, 2022.

Wolfgang Schwan/Getty Images


As Russian forces enclose on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, the Biden administration is eyeing its next steps in the ongoing conflict.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told House lawmakers on Thursday that the US government is considering possible ways to train Ukrainian troops outside of Ukraine, should Russia seize control of the country, according to Axios.

Austin reportedly told lawmakers that officials are trying to find ways to provide more defense equipment, including ammunition to Ukrainian forces — a feat made more challenging as Russian forces assault the country.

The secretary also told House members that the Biden administration will continue to support Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government as long as it is “viable,” the outlet reported.

Ukrainian president announces general mobilization of all conscripts and reservists to last 90 days

Soldiers sit inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Ukrainian soldiers sit on top of a military vehicle parked outside the hotel in Prypiat, Ukraine on February 4.

Volodymyr Tarasov/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Image


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday ordered a general military mobilization throughout the country as Russia continues its large-scale military assault in Ukraine. 

The declaration ordered the conscription of conscripts and reservists for military service, as well as their delivery to military units and institutions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in order to “ensure the defense of the state.” 

The mobilization, which included all of Ukraine’s major cities, will be carried out within 90 days, the decree said. It will provide personnel, vehicles, infrastructure, and land use for the Ukrainian government and military amid Russia’s ongoing invasion, according to the decree. 

Ukraine has also banned all male citizens ages 18-60 from leaving the country, according to CNN, which cited the State Border Guard Service. 

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Zelensky says ‘enemy sabotage groups have entered Kyiv’ and that he is ‘number one target’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a statement during the 58th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany.

Photo by Ronald Wittek – Pool/Getty Images


In his second video address on Thursday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said that “enemy sabotage groups” entered Kyiv, and that he plans to remain, despite being Russia’s “number one target.”

“According to preliminary data, unfortunately, we have lost 137 of our heroes today — our citizens. Ten of them are officers,” Zelensky said in his address. “316 are wounded.”

He also used the opportunity to dispel rumors that he had fled Kyiv, and that his family had left the country.

“I stay in the capital, I stay with my people. During the day, I held dozens of international talks, directly managed our country. And I will stay in the capital,” he said. “My family is also in Ukraine. My children are also in Ukraine. My family is not traitors. They are the citizens of Ukraine. But I have no right to say where they are now.”

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White House is ‘outraged’ over reports that staff at Chernobyl have been taken hostage by Russian forces

Servicemen take part in a joint tactical and special exercises of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ukrainian National Guard and Ministry Emergency in a ghost city of Pripyat, near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on February 4, 2022.

Servicemen take part in a joint tactical and special exercises of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ukrainian National Guard and Ministry Emergency in a ghost city of Pripyat, near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on February 4, 2022.

Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images


Press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is outraged over reports from Ukrainian officials that staff at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine have been taken hostage by Russian troops.

Russian forces took over the remnants of Chernobyl earlier on Thursday during the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The move indicated Russia is likely to assault Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, which is located just south of Chernobyl, the site of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

“We’re outraged by credible reports that Russian soldiers are currently holding the staff of the Chernobyl facility hostage,” Psaki said during a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, adding “we condemn it and we request their release.”

Psaki said the situation at Chernobyl was not clear but that the hostage taking was “incredibly alarming and greatly concerning,” adding it could hurt efforts to maintain the facility, which is dangerously contaminated with radioactivity as a result of the 1986 nuclear disaster.

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US secretary of state is ‘convinced’ Russia will try to overthrow the Ukrainian government

Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on April 11, 2021.

Meet The Press/NBC


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said he is “convinced” Moscow will try to overthrow Ukraine’s government.

“You don’t need intelligence to tell you that that’s exactly what President Putin wants. He has made clear he’d like to reconstitute the Soviet Empire, short of that he’d like to reassert a sphere of influence around the neighboring countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc,” Blinken said during a national TV interview. 

The secretary pledged that NATO would intervene before Putin successfully accomplished his ultimate goal.

“Now, when it comes to a threat beyond Ukraine’s borders. There’s something very powerful standing in his way. That’s article five of NATO, an attack on one is an attack on all,” the top diplomat said.

 

 

Expert says Russia’s Ukraine invasion will result in ‘horrific scenes,’ could be launch of ‘Cold War 2.0’

Protester holds sign saying "Stop Putin"

Ukrainians gather in front of the White House in Washington, USA to stage a protest against Russia’s attack in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


A former aide to President Barack Obama is warning that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a “game changer” in international relations that will result in “horrific scenes” in the coming days, with President Vladimir Putin intent on pursuing regime change at all costs.

“I think it’s just a matter of time before Kyiv falls,” Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who also served on the National Security Council in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, told Insider.

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The White House says it’s ready to accept Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion

Jen Psaki

White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


The US is prepared to accept Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told CNN.

“We are,” Psaki said when asked whether the US was ready to assist fleeing Ukrainians. “But we certainly expect that most if not the majority will want to go to Europe and neighboring countries. So, we are also working with European countries on what the needs are, where there is capacity. Poland, for example, where we are seeing an increasing flow of refugees over the last 24 hours.”

She added that US officials have been engaging with Europeans on the matter “for some time.” 

Ukrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield just outside Kyiv

Ukrainian troops stand guard near Gostomel airport

Ukraine army says battle under way for airbase near Kyiv on February 24, 2022

Daniel LEAL / Getty Images



Ukrainian and Russian forces have been fighting for hours over a critical airfield on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city.

Russian forces attacked and seized Hostomel (Gostomel) airfield, a cargo airport near Kyiv that is also known as Antonov airport, early Thursday, according to AFP. Ukraine’s leadership reportedly vowed to take it back.

“The enemy paratroopers in Hostomel have been blocked, and troops have received an order to destroy them,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address.

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Ukraine’s health minister says dozens killed and over 160 injured

Kharkiv

Black smoke rises from a military airport in Chuguyev near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images



Ukraine’s health minister said 57 Ukrainians have been killed and 169 were wounded after Russia attacked on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

Explosions, gunfire, and sirens were reportedly heard in Kyiv on Thursday. 

Witnesses also described missile blasts in other cities, including Kramatorsk, Dnipro, and Odesa, reports said.

 

Ukrainians and Russians are packing ATM lines, prompting fears of what happened in the US during the Great Depression

People wait in line at an ATM in Kyiv.

People wait in line at an ATM in Kyiv.

DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images.


Many Ukrainians who haven’t already fled the country as Russia’s threat turned into invasion stood in long lines outside of banks and ATMs hoping to take out their funds, Reuters reported on Thursday. 

Meanwhile in Russia, people are also queuing outside of ATMs trying to get US dollars as its citizens worry their own currency’s value will continue to tank, according to the Wall Street Journal. Banks in the capital city of Moscow are running out of money, MSNBC reported. 

All of this has led to fears of bank runs, which is when people withdraw money en masse because they worry banks will cease to function. That’s what happened in the United States during the Great Depression, and it triggered mass unemployment and loan scarcities.  

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A top Russian business lobbyist pleaded with Putin to ‘demonstrate as much as possible’ that Russia wants to remain ‘part of the global economy’

Vladimir Putin and Alexander Shokhin

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin attend a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 16, 2017.

Sergei Ilnitsky/AP Photo


The head of one of Russia’s biggest business groups urged President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to avoid severe economic pain and remain “part of the global economy” as NATO members ready a harsher salvo of sanctions.

Putin held a televised meeting with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs just hours after Russian forces began attacks in Ukraine.

The threat of new sanctions was enough for Alexander Shokhin, the business group’s president, to raise concerns with Putin about remaining a member of the world economy.

The lobbyist urged the president to pad against major economic pain and to ensure conflict in Ukraine doesn’t fuel widespread harm to the global financial system.

“Everything should be done to demonstrate as much as possible that Russia remains part of the global economy and will not provoke, including through some kind of response measures, global negative phenomena on world markets,” Shokhin said.

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Biden says he’ll try to limit what Americans pay at the gas pump as the US slaps Russia with more sanctions: ‘This is critical to me’

Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden answers questions after delivering remarks about Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified” military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


President Joe Biden sought to quell fears of another spike in gas prices on Thursday after Russia unleashed a military assault on Ukraine that threatened to upend the global economy.

The threat of war in Ukraine in recent weeks has contributed to spiking oil prices, with the benchmark Brent crude oil hitting $100 for the first time since 2014 Wednesday night amid the early stages of Russia’s invasion.

“I know this is hard and Americans are already hurting,” he said at a White House address. “I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump.”

He opened the door to another release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a step the Biden administration also took in November to try and provide relief at the pump.

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Biden says Putin’s Ukraine invasion will cause a ‘complete rupture’ in US-Russia relations

President Joe Biden listens to questions from reporters while speaking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Washington.

President Joe Biden listens to questions from reporters while speaking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Washington.

Alex Brandon/AP


President Joe Biden on Thursday said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will cause a “complete rupture” of US-Russia relations if it continues. 

Biden condemned Putin and his escalating invasion of Ukraine in a speech from the White House.

Biden, who met with G7 members on Thursday morning, also announced a raft of new sanctions against Russia on Thursday.

“What’s the risk that we are watching the beginning of another Cold War, and is there now a complete rupture in US-Russian relations?,” a reporter asked Biden following his address. 

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Famed Russian rapper cancels concerts in protest, saying he can’t perform while ‘Russian missiles fall on Ukraine’

Oxxxymiron

Rapper Oxxxymiron, whose real name is Miron Fyodorov, performs during a concert in support of rapper Husky, whose real name is Dmitry Kuznetsov, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin


A prominent Russian rapper canceled his concert in protest of the Russian invasion on Ukraine, saying he can’t perform while “Russian missiles fall on Ukraine.”

Rapper Oxxxymiron announced via a video posted to his Instagram account that he is postponing “six of my major gigs in Moscow and Saint Petersburg indefinitely,” because he said he is “specifically against the war Russia has escalated against the people of Ukraine.”

“I’m sure you can understand me; I can’t entertain you while Russian missiles fall on Ukraine, while Kyiv residents are forced to hide in the basements and subway, and while people are dying,” he said.

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US Treasury targets Belarusian support for Russian invasion of Ukraine

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during a meeting with Commonwealth of Independent States officials in Minsk on May 28, 2021.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

Dmitry Astakhov/Pool/AFP via Getty Images


In addition to the second round of sanctions imposed on Russia by the US Thursday, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it is sanctioning 24 Belarusian individuals for their support of the Russian invasion. 

The sanctions target Belarus’s defense sector and financial institutions — two sectors closely tied to Russia.

Massive protests erupted in Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg as Russians voice opposition to war in Ukraine

A demonstrator holding a placard reading "No to war" protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.

A demonstrator holding a placard reading “No to war” protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.

Photo by SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty Images


Massive protests erupted on Thursday in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg, as people voiced their opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.

Videos posted to Twitter show a sea of people gathered in a section of St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, chanting and holding signs to object to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.

Russian government forces have threatened to arrest anti-war protesters, who took to the streets after Putin announced military action against Ukraine on Thursday.

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Photos show Russian authorities dragging away protesters opposed to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Police Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022

Police Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in central Saint Petersburg on February 24, 2022.

SERGEI MIKHAILICHENKO/AFP via Getty Images


Anti-war protesters in Russia quickly took to the streets following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Some activists were met with hostility by Russian authorities who hauled them away. 

More than 1,000 anti-war protesters have already been detained in dozens of cities across Russia, according to protest-monitoring group OVD-Info. 

Russia’s Investigative Committee warned citizens not to take part in the “unauthorized” protests “associated with the tense foreign political situation.”

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Biden slaps ‘additional strong sanctions’ on Russia as it mounts a large-scale attack on Ukraine

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the East Room of the White House on February 07, 2022.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US will impose a second, harsher round of sanctions on Russia following its large-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Biden announced that he had authorized “additional strong sanctions” and “new limitations” on what can be exported to Russia.

“We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximize the long term impact on Russia and minimize the impact on the United States and our allies,” Biden said.

“We will limit Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen to be part of the global economy,” the president said of the sanctions. “We’re going to stop the ability to finance and grow the Russian military. We’re going to impair their ability to compete in a high-tech 21st-century economy.”

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A Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears and begged the world to ‘save our people’ from being ‘murdered’ by Russian forces

Ukrainian Parliament member Halyna Yanchenko speaks during a CBS interview

Ukrainian Parliament member Halyna Yanchenko speaks during a CBS interview

CBS News


A Ukrainian lawmaker broke down in tears during an interview with CBS News and begged the international community to “save our people” from being “murdered” by Russian forces.

“I beg you, please save our people. Dozens of people — maybe hundreds of people — might be murdered tonight,” Member of Parliament Halyna Yanchenko said as she sobbed during an interview with CBS News on Thursday.  

She added: “Please save Ukrainian men, women, and children.” 

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Photos show Ukrainian families fleeing the Russian invasion amid warnings of a mass refugee crisis

Ukraine station

People wait for trains at a train station as they attempt to evacuate the city on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Overnight, Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine, with explosions reported in multiple cities and far outside the restive eastern regions held by Russian-backed rebels.

Pierre Crom/Getty Images)


Ukrainian residents fled their homes after the first day of Russia’s full-scale invasion. 

Train stations were packed with people on the move and roads filled with cars of people leaving the country, with their loved ones and prized possessions in tow.

Before the invasion took place, there were warnings of a mass refugee crisis.

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Russian government websites — including ones for the Kremlin and the legislature — went dark after cyberattacks target Ukraine

A night view of Kyiv as the Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10pm to 7am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

A night view of Kyiv as the Kyiv mayor declared a curfew from 10pm to 7am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images


Multiple Russian government websites reportedly went down on Thursday after the country launched an attack on Ukraine. 

NetBlocks, which tracks disruptions and shutdowns, confirmed on Twitter that multiple sites went offline shortly after 8:45 p.m. local time in Moscow.

The Kremlin’s website and that of the Russian Federal Assembly’s lower house — or State Duma — were both down for at least 15 minutes. As of 9 p.m. local time, the State Duma website was since restored. 

Shortly after 9:10 p.m. local time, the Kremlin’s website was also back online.  

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Putin had a range of ways to attack Ukraine. He went with the worst-case scenario for the West.

Russian armed forces trucks move along a Ukrainian road under a dim sky, February 23, 2022

A convoy of Russian military vehicles is seen as the vehicles move towards border in Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on February 23, 2022 in Russian border city Rostov.

Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


In the build-up to Russia’s assault on Ukraine, analysts and leaders envisioned numerous ways the conflict might play out, from a limited incursion to an all-out invasion.

Putin used precision missile strikes and airstrikes, followed shortly later by ground maneuvers, the officials said.

Analysts said attacks came from the east, south, and north, a description consistent with reports on the ground and Insider’s map of the invasion.

All three lines of attack — as per this analysis in The Conversation — had previously been floated as individual possibilities for an invasion.

Defense analysts warned that Russia’s multipronged attack was full-scale but still in an early phase, with a lot more forces to push into Ukraine to seize key areas or capture its leadership.

Putin’s overall endgame remains an area of pressing debate.

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Key Democratic congressman says the US can’t send support to Ukraine quickly enough ‘to repel’ Russia’s invasion

Adam Smith

Rep. Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images


Rep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, ruled out surging supplies into Ukraine as a last-ditch effort to stall Russia’s invasion, arguing it’s unlikely such support would arrive quickly enough to make a difference.

“The odd of us being able to do that in a rapid enough fashion to be able to repel the invasion are remote,” Smith told CNN on Thursday when asked about a Ukrainian official’s request for more equipment. “I don’t think it’s realistic to think that we can reinforce them enough in the short term to be able to repel the invasion.”

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Poland, Czech Republic, and Sweden are refusing to play their 2022 World Cup qualifying matches in Russia after it attacked Ukraine

A protester holds a poster reading "Sanctions against Russia now" during a rally in front of the Russian Embassy in Stockholm on February 24, 2022, after Russia launched military operations in Ukraine.

A protester holds a poster reading “Sanctions against Russia now” during a rally in front of the Russian Embassy in Stockholm on February 24, 2022, after Russia launched military operations in Ukraine.

Photo by CLAUDIO BRESCIANI/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images


Poland, Czech Republic, and Sweden said they are refusing to play their upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifying playoff matches in Russia after it attacked Ukraine on Thursday.

Based on the latest Russian aggression against Ukraine, “the signatories to this appeal do not consider travelling to Russia and playing football matches there,” the three countries said in a joint statement addressed to FIFA’s General Secretary Fatma Samoura. 

The statement continued: “The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerably lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations.”

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Russia’s moving on Kyiv and the plan appears to be to take out Ukraine’s leadership, US defense official warns

A column of army trucks approaches the Perekop checkpoint on the Ukrainian border. Early on February 24, President Putin announced a special military operation to be conducted by the Russian Armed Forces

A column of army trucks approaches the Perekop checkpoint on the Ukrainian border. Early on February 24, President Putin announced a special military operation to be conducted by the Russian Armed Forces against Ukraine.

Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images


Russian forces invaded Ukraine Thursday morning, and a senior US defense official says they are moving on Kyiv, likely to topple the country’s government and install their own.

Russia is “making a move on Kyiv” a senior defense official who addressed reporters Thursday said, according to CNN. 

“We would describe what you are seeing as an initial phase” of a “large-scale invasion,” the official said, according to The Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe.

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UK plots far harsher sanctions on Russia to punish it for invading Ukraine

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Adrian Dennis/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo



The UK announced a new set of harsher sanctions on Russia after the country invaded Ukraine early Thursday. 

A spokesman for the UK government told journalists at a briefing that the UK plans to impose a second round of sanctions. 

The most intense of the new list of sanctions is an asset freeze on all major Russian banks and an asset freeze against VTB — the second largest bank with assets totaling £154 billion. 

The UK also plans to sanction another 100 individuals and entities.

This is a large step up from the sanctions it announced Wednesday, which were limited to five smaller banks, three individuals close to Putin, and politicians in Russia who voted for military action.

 

Russia has begun arresting anti-war protesters as demonstrations break out after Putin invades Ukraine

Police officer detain a woman during an action against Russia's attack on Ukraine in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Police officer detain a woman during an action against Russia’s attack on Ukraine in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov


The Russian government on Thursday threatened anti-war protesters demonstrating against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, warning they could face arrest for organizing.

And according to a protest monitoring group, the detentions have already begun as small protests have broken out in some Russian cities.

Russia’s Investigative Committee warned citizens in a statement not to take part in the “unauthorized” protests “associated with the tense foreign political situation.”

The committee said that people should be aware of the “negative legal consequences of these actions,” which it said includes criminal liability. 

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Ukraine’s official Twitter is using memes to rip into Putin’s bogus comparison between it and Nazi Germany

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into eastern Ukraine on Monday.

Alexei Nikolsky/Associated Press


After Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the marching orders for an attack on Ukraine early Thursday morning, Ukraine’s official Twitter account got busy. 

One photo showed what appeared to be caricature images of Adolf Hitler tending to a small Putin. 

“This is not a ‘meme’, but our and your reality right now,” Ukraine said in a follow-up tweet.  

The account also called for a so-called “Twitter-storm” at 12 p.m. local time in Kyiv on Thursday, urging people to use various hashtags to “tell the world of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and the fact that Ukraine is under attack.”

Ukraine’s latest post said to “Tag @Russia and tell them what you think about them,” racking up tens of thousands of likes and quote tweets. 

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A heartbreaking photo shows a woman and her baby fleeing Kyiv in a bus as Russia invades Ukraine

Woman and her baby fleeing Kyiv

A woman holds her baby inside a bus as they leave Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday, hitting cities and bases with airstrikes or shelling, as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee.

AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti


A photo shows a woman and her baby fleeing Kyiv on a packed bus as Russia invades Ukraine.

After Russia launched attacks across Ukraine Thursday, residents tried to quickly flee cities across the country.

Residents shared photos of major traffic jams, packed busses, and subway stations being used as bomb shelters.

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Russian troops reportedly attack through Chernobyl fallout zone, risking Western efforts to contain one of the world’s most radioactive sites

Soldiers sit inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Ukrainian soldiers sit on top of a military vehicle parked outside the hotel in Prypiat, Ukraine on February 4.

Volodymyr Tarasov/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Image


Russian troops are reportedly rolling through a protective zone surrounding the remnants of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a move that signals the likelihood of trying to assault Kyiv and that risks decades of united efforts to contain one of history’s worst nuclear disasters.

“Russian occupation forces are trying to seize the #Chornobyl_NPP,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter early Thursday. “Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated.”

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Crowds of Ukrainian people are hiding from airstrikes in subway station

People, some carrying bags and suitcases, walk in a metro station in Kyiv early on February 24, 2022. Air raid sirens rang out in downtown Kyiv today as cities across Ukraine were hit with what Ukrainian officials said were Russian missile strikes and artillery.

People, some carrying bags and suitcases, walk in a metro station in Kyiv early on February 24, 2022. Air raid sirens rang out in downtown Kyiv today as cities across Ukraine were hit with what Ukrainian officials said were Russian missile strikes and artillery.

DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images


Footage from CNN on Thursday showed a packed subway station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, as people sought shelter from Russian airstrikes. 

CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward could be seen on-air walking through the densely packed station in the northeastern Ukrainian city, located just 25 miles from Russia’s border.

“Yesterday this would have been full of commuters making their way back and forth to work,” Ward said in a clip of a broadcast posted to Twitter. “Today, it has become an impromptu bomb shelter.”

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Moscow theater director calls Putin a ‘killer’ and resigns in protest over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during a press conference after meeting with French President in Moscow, on February 7, 2022. - International efforts to defuse the standoff over Ukraine intensified with French President holding talks in Moscow and German Chancellor in Washington to coordinate policies as fears of a Russian invasion mount.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during a press conference after meeting with French President in Moscow, on February 7, 2022.

THIBAULT CAMUS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


The director of a state-run theater in Moscow on Thursday publicly called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “killer” as she announced that she was stepping down from her post in protest over Russia’s wide-ranging attack on Ukraine. 

“Friends, in protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I am resigning,” Elena Kovalskaya, the director of the Meyerhold Center theater, posted on Facebook.

Kovalskaya added, “You can’t work for a killer and get paid by him.”

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Thousands of Ukrainian refugees have fled to Moldova, where the government has set up tents and vowed to keep its borders open to help

Refugee tents in Moldova.

Refugee tents in Moldova.

Maia Sandu


Thousands of Ukrainian refugees have fled to Moldova, where the government set up tents and vowed to keep its borders open to help.

“First [Ukrainian] citizens arrive in [Moldova], with over 4000 crossings today,” Moldova’s President Maia Sandu wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

She added: “The [government] has deployed temporary placement centers near Palanca and Ocnița. Our borders are open for [Ukrainian] citizens who need safe transit or stay.”

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Citizens fleeing Kyiv said traffic jams were “something I haven’t seen before”

People are seen stuck in a huge traffic jam as they try to leave Kyiv in the direction of the western parts of the country on February 24, 2022.

People are seen stuck in a huge traffic jam as they try to leave Kyiv in the direction of the western parts of the country on February 24, 2022.

GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images


Nikita Gunkewitsch, resident of Kyiv, who is fleeing by car told Insider that fleeing Ukraine’s capital city took a long time because of the traffic jams. 

“We heard siren sounds in the morning here in Kiev. Right away we packed and left the city with my girlfriend. Took a while since the traffic jams were something I haven’t seen before,” Gunkewitsch said.

He also posted a video to Twitter showing tanks driving alongside cars on the roads. 

“I could hear some bombings and smoke in the distance. I saw fighter jets flying super close to building and on the streets are tanks and military vehicles all the time”

He continued: “All in all we are positive. We are listing to reggae music and driving to the border. We will be alright.”

 

Much of Kyiv is closed after Russian invasion of Ukraine Thursday

Bus station in Kyiv, Ukraine

People wait for a bus at Kyiv’s Central Bus Station on February 24, 2022, hours after Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

Alan Chin, contributing photographer


Contributing photographer Alan Chin told Insider that much of downtown Kyiv is closed as citizens shelter after a Russian invasion on Thursday.

“There are long lines at ATMs. Downtown, most businesses are closed, but pharmacies remained open,” he said.

Chin reported that the last bus leaving Kyiv was full and that the station is now closed. As Russian forces attacked overnight, residents flocked to the train station for protection.

“An announcer urged calm,” Chin said. “There were no trains heading east; according to what was posted on the board, trains to the west were still running.” 

Eyewitnesses in Ukraine describe the moment they awoke in a war zone as Russian forces bombed the cities where they live

Airstrikes have damaged structures and buildings in Kyiv.

Airstrikes have damaged structures and buildings in Kyiv.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images.


People across Ukraine were jolted from their sleep by the sounds of sirens and explosions as Russian airstrikes hit the country’s capital and several other cities.

Several eyewitnesses told Insider this was their first realization that a full-scale invasion was underway.

“I woke up at five in the morning to the sounds of the blasts,” said Ivanna Klympush, an MP with the European Solidarity party, speaking to Insider from her home in Kyiv. “We all did.”

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Ex-NATO commander thinks Russian forces will try to capture Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Matt Dunham/AFP via Getty Images


A former NATO commander and retired US Navy admiral said that he believes Russian forces will try to capture Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky amid Russia’s full-scale attack on Ukraine. 

“I think he’s gonna go full-bore, get to Kyiv, try and capture Zelensky,” former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral James Stavridis told NBC’s “Today” show of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He added that the United States must assist in helping Zelensky to”figure out a way for him to have a government in exile, arm a Ukrainian resistance.”

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Russia attacked Ukraine just one week after its foreign ministry made jokes about the West’s warning of an imminent invasion

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on as he gives an annual press conference on Russian diplomacy in 2021, in Moscow on January 14, 2022.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looks on as he gives an annual press conference on Russian diplomacy in 2021, in Moscow on January 14, 2022.

Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images


Russia’s attack on Ukraine early Thursday morning came nearly a week after its foreign ministry cracked jokes at the West for warning of an imminent invasion.

“Today we mark another day of the ‘start of war with Ukraine,’ which did not happen again, to the Western media outlets’ regret, no matter how hard they whip up the hysteria,” Russia’s foreign ministry wrote on Twitter on February 16.

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Ukrainian presidential advisor says ‘the West must act today’

Image Cropper - Ukrainian tanks move into the city, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Mariupol, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Ukrainian tanks seen in Mariupol, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria


A Ukrainian presidential advisor called on the West to swiftly take action to punish Russia on Thursday after Moscow launched a military attack on Ukraine. 

“Russia is attacking not just Ukraine, but all the rules of normal life in the modern world,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN. 

Podolyak said that a “full-fledged large-scale war has begun in Europe” after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine from multiple directions early Thursday. 

He added, “But Ukraine needs more support from the world and is very specific — military-technical and financial support, tough sanctions against Russia. The West must act today.”

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Ukraine reports deaths of at least eight civilians, 40 Ukrainian soldiers, and 50 Russian soldiers

Smoke rise from an air defence base in the aftermath of a reported Russian strike in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Smoke rise from an air defense base in the aftermath of a reported Russian strike in Mariupol, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka


At least eight Ukrainian civilians were killed and nine were wounded by Russian shelling, a Ukrainian internal affairs ministry advisor said, according to Reuters.

More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers and 50 Russian soldiers were also killed in the fighting, Ukraine said, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

NATO head calls Russia’s actions a ‘brutal act of war’

Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on June 14, 2021.

Olivier Hoslet/Getty Images


NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described Russia’s attack on Ukraine as a “brutal act of war” in a Thursday statement.

He called it a “deliberate, cold-blooded and long-planned invasion” and a “blatant violation of international law.”

“Peace on our continent has been shattered. We now have war in Europe on a scale and a type that we thought belonged to history,” he said. “This is a grave moment for the security of Europe.”

He said member countries would meet on Friday to discuss their response.

Ukraine cuts diplomatic relations with Russia

Ukrainian military track burns at an air defence base in the aftermath of a reported Russian strike in Mariupol, Ukraine.

Ukrainian military track burns at an air defense base in the aftermath of a reported Russian strike in Mariupol, Ukraine.

AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine was severing diplomatic ties with Russia.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry confirmed the decision, saying: “Our country took this step in response to acts of military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the invasion of Russian Armed Forces to destroy the Ukrainian state and the seizure by force of Ukrainian territories with the intent of establishing occupation control.”

It added that it was evacuating its embassy in Moscow and recalling its chargé d’affaires in Russia.

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Ukraine says Russia is attacking from multiple directions

Ukraine officers inspect missile remnants

Police officers inspect the remains of a missile that fell in the street in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters


Ukraine’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that Russia was attacking multiple Ukrainian cities “from different directions.”

“This is an act of war, an attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, a brutal violation of the UN Charter, basic norms and principles of the international law,” it said.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, also called the Russian attack a “full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”

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Oil surges to $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014

Oil rig sunset background

An oil rig.

Anton Petrus/Getty Images



Benchmark Brent crude oil futures breached $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014 on Thursday.

Russia is one of the world’s biggest oil and gas exporters, which means Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the ensuing global response could disrupt the world’s supply.

Russia currently supplies around 40% of the EU’s natural gas supply, and threats to the supply could cause prices to rise.

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China told citizens in Ukraine to display the Chinese flag on their cars if they have to go outside

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April 2019.

Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Getty Images


China’s embassy in Ukraine advised Chinese nationals in the country to “stay at home” or to “affix the Chinese flag at a prominent spot on your car” if they have to go outside.

The notice did not tell Chinese citizens to evacuate the country, as other countries have.

The advisory comes as a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson refused to describe Russia’s attack as an “invasion,” and a state-owned media outlet appeared to leak a memo instructing journalists not to publish anything “not positive to Russia or positive to the West.”

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UK says it is preparing harsher sanctions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on February 1, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on February 1, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine

Peter Nicholls – Pool / Getty Images


The UK said it were preparing harsher sanctions against Russia on Thursday, just after unveiling a “first tranche” on Tuesday.

Steve Barclay, the chief of staff to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said on Thursday that Johnson will outline “overwhelming sanctions” later on Thursday.

Its first round of sanctions included five Russian banks and three Russian individuals.

Trump mistakenly thought US troops had landed in Ukraine

Former President Donald Trump.

Former President Donald Trump made the gaffe while appearing on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

Evan Vucci/AP


After former President Donald Trump was cut off during a call-in interview on Fox News Thursday night, he returned to the airwaves shortly afterward with a gaffe about the US military.

“You know what’s also very dangerous is you told me about the amphibious attack by Americans,” Trump mistakenly said on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“You shouldn’t be saying that, because you and everybody else shouldn’t know about,” Trump continued. “They should do that secretly, not be doing that through the great Laura Ingraham.”

“No, those are the Russians,” Ingraham replied.

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Ukraine’s president told his country that ‘the army is doing its work’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has told his countrymen to “stay calm” and “stay at home.”

AP


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday urged his fellow citizens to stay calm as Russia launched attacks on the country. 

“Stay calm, stay at home, the army is doing its work,” he said during an address to the country early Thursday. 

“Don’t panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will defeat everyone. Because we are Ukraine,” he added.

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Ukraine’s UN ambassador was consoled by other representatives after Russia’s assault was announced

US ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Linda Thomas-Greenfield (C partially hidden) comforts Ukraine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya (R) after an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine in New York on February 23, 2022. - The United States and Albania will soon submit their draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council, seeking to condemn Russia for its recent Ukraine actions, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield (partially hidden) comforts Ukraine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya (R) after an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine in New York.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images


Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Nations, was consoled by fellow UN representatives on Wednesday after Russia’s surprise announcement that it had launched a military assault on his country.

Kyslytsya is seen seated behind US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield as she places a hand on his shoulder while the UK’s representative, Dame Barbara Woodward, turns to face them.

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Putin announced attacks against Ukraine on Thursday in the same suit as his Monday speech, prompting speculation his war declaration was pre-taped

Russian President Vladimir Putin during speeches he gave on Monday (left) and Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during speeches he gave on Monday (left) and Thursday.

AP; Press Service of the President of the Russian Federation


Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attire during his Wednesday night war declaration suggests his speech may have been pre-taped. 

Putin late on Wednesday said he decided to launch a “special military action” against Ukraine, in a video that aired early Thursday morning in Russia.

But during a televised address on Monday, Putin appeared to wear the same outfit as he denounced Ukraine’s sovereignty, argued that Ukraine was a creation of the Soviet Union, and announced military intervention in eastern Ukraine.

Both videos were filmed with Putin apparently sitting in the same spot, at the same table, wearing the same outfit: A black blazer with a white dress shirt and a maroon tie. 

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A CNN reporter in Kyiv paused during his live report to put on a flak jacket after hearing explosions near the Ukrainian capital

Matthew Chance

Matthew Chance puts on a flak jacket live on CNN.

CNN


CNN reporter Matthew Chance abruptly paused his live reporting from Kyiv to put on a flak jacket on-air after hearing explosions in the Ukrainian capital, blasts that came as Russia launched a major attack against Ukraine.

“I just heard a big bang right here behind me,” he said, adding that “there are big explosions taking place in Kyiv right now.”

He said that before tonight, the city has been “absolutely silent.” As the explosions went off, Chance grabbed a flak jacket and put it on live on-air. 

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Russia’s diplomat was in charge of the UN Security Council meeting as Putin announced an invasion of Ukraine

Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia attends the United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with Russia, in New York City, U.S., February 23, 2022.

Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia attends the United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with Russia, in New York City, U.S., February 23, 2022.

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri


As Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an attack on Ukraine, his ambassador to the United Nations was in charge of the UN Security Council meeting late Wednesday night. 

As the Security Council discussed ways to avoid a war, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military offensive against Ukraine in a video that aired early on Thursday morning in Russia.

Russian envoy Vassily Nebenzia faced off with Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Sergiy Kyslytsya, in a tense exchange amid the emergency meeting in New York. 

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Trump falsely blames Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on ‘rigged election’ in the US before Fox News cut him off

trump fox business phone interview

President Donald Trump made a lengthy call-in interview to the Fox Business Network on Thursday.

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images


Former President Donald Trump called into Fox News late Wednesday night only to be cut off once he brought up his 2020 election lies.

Laura Ingraham was asking Trump about “a lot of weakness in the United States” and where NATO stands as Russia mounts an invasion of Ukraine.

Trump quickly pivoted to reiterating his lies about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“I think you’re exactly right, I think that’s what happened,” Trump said.

“He was going to be satisfied with a peace, and now he sees the weakness and the incompetence and the stupidity of this administration, and as an American, I’m angry about it, and I’m saddened by it,” he continued. “And it all happened because of a rigged election. This would have never happened.”

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Ukraine rips into Russia at the UN, saying war criminals ‘go straight to hell’

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya attends the United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with Russia, in New York City, U.S., February 23, 2022

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya attends the United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine with Russia, in New York City, U.S., February 23, 2022.

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri


Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, delivered a speech on Wednesday condemning Russia for launching a military operation against his country.

In comments directed to the Russian ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, at an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting, Kyslytsya said, “About 48 minutes ago, your president declared war on Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian ambassador said that if Russia’s representative could not answer in the affirmative, he should step down from his leadership position. 

“There is no purgatory for war criminals,” Kyslytsya said to the Russian ambassador at the end of the meeting. “They go straight to hell”

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Russia attacks Ukraine, launching a new war in Europe for the first time in years

Russian tanks in Belarus

Russian and Belarusian armed forces take part in military drills in Belarus on February 11, 2022.

Getty Images


Russian forces attacked Ukraine early Thursday morning, launching an offensive that threatens to kill thousands of people, force millions more to flee, and destabilize much of Europe, with the consequences certain to reverberate across the world. 

Blasts were heard from Kyiv, the capital, to the eastern city of Kharkiv — missile strikes, the Ukrainian interior ministry told CNN — with reports of outgoing artillery fire from Russian forces across the border.

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Biden says Putin launched a ‘premeditated war’ on Ukraine that will result in ‘catastrophic loss of life and human suffering’

Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


US President Joe Biden released a statement late Wednesday saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a “premeditated war” against Ukraine.

The statement came after Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine, with reports of explosions and flares coming minutes afterwards, including in Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv.

“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” Biden said in his statement.

“Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring,” the statement said. “The world will hold Russia accountable.”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announces military assault against Ukraine in surprise speech

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a joint press conference with French President after their meeting in Moscow, on February 7, 2022. - International efforts to defuse the standoff over Ukraine intensified with French President holding talks in Moscow and German Chancellor in Washington to coordinate policies as fears of a Russian invasion mount. (Photo by Thibault Camus / POOL / AFP) (Photo by THIBAULT CAMUS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

President Vladimir Putin seen in Moscow, Russia, on February 7, 2022.

Thibault Camus / AFP via Getty Images


Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military offensive against Ukraine in a video that aired early on Thursday morning in Russia.

Putin said Russia had decided to launch a “special military action” against Ukraine, with reports of explosions and flares coming minutes later in Ukraine. The state-run Russian RIA news agency said the offensive would begin in the Donbas area of eastern Ukraine, also claiming that Putin does not have plans to occupy Ukraine.

Russia for months denied plans to invade Ukraine, even as it amassed tens of thousands of troops along the border. 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine that began Monday has sent shockwaves through Europe and the wider world, while threatening to destabilize the surrounding region and rock global markets. 

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UN chief issues desperate plea to Putin on Ukraine: ‘Give peace a chance. Too many people have already died’

This combination of file pictures created on January 11, 2022 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin land Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Valery Sharifulin, Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images


UN Chief António Gutteres made a desperate plea to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday night during an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting regarding Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.

“If indeed an operation is being prepared, I have only one thing to say from the bottom of my heart: President Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine,” Gutteres said. “Give peace a chance. Too many people have already died.”

The meeting had been requested by Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba hours earlier.

During the UNSC meeting, Putin declared a “special military operation” in Donbas, scaling up his country’s military invasion into Ukraine.

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Sen. Marco Rubio says the Russian invasion of Ukraine is “now underway”

Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

Saul Loeb/Pool via AP


Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said late Wednesday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is already underway.

The Florida lawmaker tweeted that Russia will make a series of military moves “in the hours to come.”

Rubio said Russia would soon:

  • Conduct strikes on air defense systems
  • Move to cut off Kyiv from eastern Ukraine
  • Move to cut off Ukraine’s military forces on the line of contact in the east to prevent them from falling back to defend Kyiv

Politico reporter Alex Ward retweeted the senator, saying a senior Democratic aide confirmed that Rubio’s outline is “consistent” with US intelligence on the matter.

Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that a full-scale attack on Ukraine could begin tonight. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says ‘everything seems to be in place’ for Russia to mount a full-scale attack on Ukraine before the night is over

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the State Department on October 18, 2021.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the State Department on October 18, 2021.

Mandel Ngan/Pool/AFP/Getty Images


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC News that “everything seems to be in place” for Russian forces to mount a full-scale attack on Ukraine.

He said he can’t “put a date or an exact time on it” but that Russia has “positioned its forces at the final point of readiness across Ukraine’s borders to the north, to the east, to the south.”

“Everything seems to be in place for Russia to engage in a major aggression against Ukraine,” Blinken added.

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Ukraine’s parliament passed a law allowing citizens to carry firearms, and a local NGO official said ‘there’s a feeling that Ukrainians will fight’

Members of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit are trained in an industrial area on January 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Members of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit are trained in an industrial area on January 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images


The Ukrainian parliament passed a law on Wednesday, which allows citizens to carry firearms in public, alongside the enactment of a state of emergency, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to eastern Ukraine on Monday.

Previously, Ukrainian citizens were barred from carrying guns outside of their homes.

“Now it’s the intention of the parliament is to liberalize ownership of armaments by citizens,” Dmytro Shulga, the European Programme Director at the International Renaissance Foundation, an NGO in Kyiv, told Insider. “And I think that this is very popular news now.”

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Ukraine claims Russia may be planning a false-flag ‘terrorist attack’ at chemical plant in Crimea

Russian military convoy

ROSTOV, RUSSIA – FEBRUARY 23: A convoy of Russian military vehicles is seen as the vehicles move towards border in Donbas region of eastern Ukraine on February 23, 2022 in Russian border city Rostov.

Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Ukraine’s military intelligence unit claimed Wednesday that employees had been evacuated from a chemicals plant in Russian-occupied Crimea ahead of a possible “terrorist attack” that would be falsely blamed on Kyiv.

In a post on Facebook, the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine said it had collected intelligence showing that “all employees” had been forced to leave the Titan chemicals plant in Armiansk, Crimea. The purpose, the post said, might be to accuse Ukraine of carrying out an attack on the facility — providing a justification for war.

“We officially declare that Ukraine has not planned and does not plan any act of sabotage at this facility,” the post said.

Russia has more than 150,000 troops stationed along Ukraine’s borders, with Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country on Wednesday formally requesting military intervention. The US and other allies of Ukraine have repeatedly accused of Russia of planning “false flag” attacks in order to portray an invasion as defensive in nature.

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Ukraine’s Zelensky appeals directly to Russian citizens for peace after he was met with ‘silence’ when he tried to call Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Matt Dunham/AFP via Getty Images


In a somber early-morning speech from Kyiv, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed directly to the Russian people, pleading for peace amid rising fears of an imminent invasion.  

“The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,” Zelensky said in a video address. “But if we come under attack that threaten our freedom and lives of our people we will fight back.”

Zelensky also said that he tried to call Russian President Vladimir Putin late Wednesday but said he was met with “silence.” 

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Kremlin-backed rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine formally ask Putin for military forces to fight Ukraine

russia ukraine

A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

Associated Press


The Kremlin on Wednesday said Moscow-backed rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine have asked Russia for military assistance to fight off Ukrainian “aggression,” just hours after Ukraine declared a nationwide state of emergency amid rising fears of an imminent Russian invasion.

The move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday recognized the independence of two Kremlin-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, the self-described “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, reversing Russia’s years-long stance on the region and marking a possible lead-up to a major offensive. 

On Tuesday, Russian lawmakers granted Putin powers to use military force outside of the country. 

In letters reportedly sent to Putin and published by the Russian-state TASS news agency, the Russia-backed rebel leaders requested Russian intervention in an effort to “avoid civilian casualties and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.”

The White House responded to the letters, saying the request exemplified the type of “false flag” operations the West has been warning of for weeks, according to The Associated Press.

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Ukraine’s foreign minister told the UN a full-blown war with Russia would be ‘end of the world order’

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks at the General Assembly 58th plenary meeting in New York on February 23, 2022, on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba speaks at the General Assembly 58th plenary meeting in New York on February 23, 2022, on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images


Ukraine’s foreign minister told the United Nations on Wednesday that a full-blown war with Russia would spell the “end of the world order.”

“The beginning of a large-scale war in Ukraine will be the end of the world order as we know it,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the UN General Assembly in New York and later shared on Ukraine’s government website.

Kuleba urged the UN and international community to impose “swift, concrete, and resolute actions” as a response to the latest Russian aggression. 

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US warned Ukraine of new intelligence suggesting Russia is about to attack

Russian Army Western Military District tank army units loaded onto a troop train in February.

Russian Army Western Military District tank army units loaded onto a troop train in February.

Russian Defence Ministry/Getty Images


The US has issued a warning to Ukraine that new intelligence suggests Russia is about to launch a major assault as its forces take up positions inside rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine, according to reports from CNN and Newsweek.

Ukrainian officials were told Tuesday morning local Kyiv time that it’s highly likely Russia will begin an invasion in the next 48 hours, according to the Newsweek report.

Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that there are no plans to evacuate the city of Kharkiv, which US officials have warned is at particular risk in an assault. 

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China accuses US of ‘creating panic’ with sanctions against Russia

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying stands at a podium in front of a Chinese flag.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying holds a weekly press briefing in Beijing on March 21, 2018.

Artyom Ivanov/TASS/Getty Images


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters during a press conference that the “US has been sending weapons to Ukraine, heightening tensions, creating panic and even hyping up the possibility of warfare.”

“A key question here is what role the US — the culprit of current tensions surrounding Ukraine — has played,” Chunying said. “If someone keeps pouring oil on the flame while accusing others of not doing their best to put out the fire, such kind of behavior is clearly irresponsible and immoral.”

She added: “We consistently oppose all illegal unilateral sanctions.”

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The European Union adopted new sanctions against Russian elites and lawmakers

EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy - Vice President Josep Borrell talks to media prior an EU Foreign affairs Ministers meeting, in the Europa building, the EU Council headquarters on February 21, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium.

EU foreign affairs official Josep Borrell.

Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images


The European Union announced new sanctions against Russia on Wednesday targeting hundreds of Russian lawmakers, dozens of “high profile individuals,” and financial restrictions.    

The sanctions zero in on 351 Russian lawmakers and 27 “high profile individuals and entities,” the EU said in a statement.

Restrictive measures include freezing assets and banning any of the sanctioned elites from entering or traveling through EU territory.

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Russian government threatens ‘painful’ response to US over sanctions

Joe Biden (L), Vladimir Putin (R).

Joe Biden (L), Vladimir Putin (R).

Alex Brandon/AP Photo; Sergei Karpukhin\TASS via Getty Images


The Russian government warned on Wednesday of a “strong” and “painful” response to the United States over the Biden administration’s sanctions against the country over its invasion of Ukraine, according to multiple reports. 

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Russia will target “sensitive” US assets as retaliation.

The ministry said in a statement that the US sanctions against it are part of America’s “ongoing attempts to change Russia’s course,” CNN reported. 

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Ukrainian government websites crashed in suspected cyberattack

2022/02/15: In this photo illustration, a This site can't be reached message is seen on Ministry of Defence of Ukraine official webpage displayed on a smartphone screen and flag of Ukraine in the background.

2022/02/15: In this photo illustration, a This site can’t be reached message is seen on Ministry of Defence of Ukraine official webpage displayed on a smartphone screen and flag of Ukraine in the background.

Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


A suspected cyberattack shut down a handful of Ukraine’s government websites on Wednesday.

The websites of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cabinet of Ministers, and Rada — or Parliament — all experienced outages around 5 p.m. local time in Kyiv.

As of 6 p.m. local time, all three websites seemed to have been restored. 

The government was also hit last month by a cyberattack, which a top Ukrainian security official blamed on Russia. 

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Ukraine will declare a state of emergency, top security official says

Members of Ukraine's national guard wearing uniforms and masks

Members of the National Guard of Ukraine pictured in March 2020.

REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko


Ukraine’s top security official said that a 30-day state of emergency will be declared on Wednesday.

Oleksiy Danilov said the state of emergency “can include restrictions on movement of transportation, additional inspections of transportation. This can include inspections of individuals’ documents,” the Financial Times reported.

The parliament is expected to announce its decision on Wednesday. It comes after a recommendation by the country’s security council.

Ukrainian parliament approves redistributing funds from any part of the budget for national security and defense

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen at Arlington National Cemetery on September 1, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seen at Arlington National Cemetery on September 1, 2021.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, voted to allow the redistribution of funds from any part of the state budget for national security and defense within three months.

Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko confirmed the move in a tweet, saying all factions of the parliamentary body voted.

The EU reportedly plans to sanction Putin’s right-hand man and a notorious Russian troll farm

Ursula von der Leyen speaks on a podium at a media conference in Brussels

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels on December 1, 2021.

Thierry Monasse/Getty Images


The EU is expected to announce sanctions against Russia later on Wednesday.

Diplomats told The