close
close
Latest

Putin’s army hit command centre in Zaporizhzhia, Moscow claims

The Russian army hit a command centre of the Ukrainian forces’ Azov Regiment in southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian defence ministry said today.

The Azov Regiment, which had far-right and ultra-nationalist origins and is now a unit of Ukraine‘s national guard, garnered international attention for its resistance to the Russian siege of Mariupol’s vast steelworks last year.

The Russian ministry did not mention in Sunday’s bulletin the battle around the eastern city of Bakhmut, which Russian forces are trying to capture.

Reuters could not independently verify the account.

Elsewhere, a woman and two children were killed in Russian mortar shelling of a village in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, the head of Ukraine‘s presidential office said on Sunday.

“Mortar shelling of Poniativka village in Kherson region. A private house was hit,” Andriy Yermak wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Russian terrorists continue to kill civilians,” he said, providing no additional details of the attack.

Table of Contents

Key points

  • Russian army says it hit Azov Regiment command centre in Ukraine

  • Civilians flee embattled town as Ukrainian pullout looms

  • New Delhi audience laughs as Sergey Lavrov says Ukraine ‘launched’ war against Russia

  • Death toll from Russian missile strike in Zaporizhzhia rises to 11

  • EU membership talks for Ukraine could begin this year

Russian army says it hit Azov Regiment command centre in Ukraine

12:43 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Russian army hit a command centre of the Ukrainian forces’ Azov Regiment in southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

The ministry did not elaborate on the attack, in its daily update on what Moscow terms the “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Reuters could not independently verify the account.

The Azov Regiment, which had far-right and ultra-nationalist origins and is now a unit of Ukraine‘s national guard, garnered international attention for its resistance to the Russian siege of Mariupol’s vast steelworks last year.

The Russian ministry did not mention in Sunday’s bulletin the battle around the eastern city of Bakhmut, which Russian forces are trying to capture.

Ukraine and economy top agenda as polls open in Estonian general election

15:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Polling stations have opened in Estonia for a general election that the centre-right Reform Party of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is favourite to win.

Ms Kallas, one of Europe’s most outspoken supporters of Ukraine, faces a challenge from the populist opposition EKRE party that is seeking to limit the Baltic nation’s exposure to the Ukraine crisis and is blaming the government for people’s economic misery.

More than 900,000 people are eligible to cast ballots to pick representatives to Estonia’s 101-seat parliament from a range of nine political parties.

Nearly half of the eligible voters have already voted in advance. Many Estonians prefer to vote electronically, casting votes from their computers.

National security in the wake of neighbouring Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine and social-economic issues, particularly the rising cost of living, have been the main themes of the election.

Ms Kallas, 45, has emerged in the past year of war as one of Europe’s most outspoken supporters of Ukraine.

Holding the country’s top post since 2021, she is seeking a second term, with her standing enhanced by her international appeals to impose sanctions on Moscow.

Five parties are currently represented at the parliament.

Ms Kallas’ Reform Party heads the current three-party coalition government with the small conservative Fatherland party and the Social Democrats.

A Baltic nation of 1.3 million people that borders Russia to the east, Estonia broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991 and has taken a clear western course, joining Nato and the European Union.

Polls indicate Ms Kallas’ centre-right liberal Reform Party is likely to win more votes than any other party.

What is the latest on weapons and sanctions?

14:32 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Here is the latest update on weapons and sanctions in the Ukraine-Russia conflict:

* Two Ukrainian pilots are in Arizona to fly flight simulators and be evaluated by the U.S. military, two U.S. officials said on Saturday, as Washington remains mute on whether it will send fighter jets or sophisticated remotely piloted drones to Kyiv.

* German defence contractor Rheinmetall is in negotiations about building a tank factory in Ukraine, the newspaper Rheinische Post reported on Saturday, citing an interview with CEO Armin Papperger.

* In addition to Leopard 2 tanks, Rheinmetall wants to buy 96 Leopard 1 tanks from Swiss defence firm Ruag to send to Ukraine, the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported on Saturday.

* Germany is making slow progress in enforcing sanctions against Russian oligarchs and institutions, according to government numbers seen by Reuters

Cuba’s president meets CEO of Russia’s Rosneft amid fuel shortage

14:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian oil firm Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin met with Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel late on Saturday, the island’s leader said, amid an acute fuel shortage that has service stations temporarily shuttered and hours-long gasoline queues.

Sechin told Diaz-Canel that, when it comes to issues related to Cuba, “Putin supervises them directly and personally”, Diaz-Canel’s office said in a statement released via Twitter.

Several tweets on Cuba’s Presidency account emphasised the good relations between the two countries, but did not specify the reason for the visit by the state-run oil firm’s boss.

Sechin is set to travel to Venezuela for the tenth anniversary of the death of the South American country’s former president Hugo Chavez, a close ally of both Cuba and Russia.

Cuba’s former leader Raul Castro has also flown to Caracas for the occasion, Cuban state-run media said.

Communist-run Cuba is battling through its worst economic crisis in decades, its output decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. sanctions and an inefficient centrally planned economy that has struggled to respond to the challenges.

Hours-long lines for food, fuel and medicine have ravaged the island and contributed to a mass exodus of Cubans in the past year, many headed north to the United States.

Russia in February gave Cuba an “emergency” donation of 25,000 tons of wheat to combat shortages on the island, the second such gift in a year and a sign of deepening ties between the two long-time allies.

Russia, hit by Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, is looking to strengthen political and economic ties with other countries opposed to what it calls U.S. hegemony.

Cuba has been under a U.S. economic embargo since 1962 after a Communist revolution led by former leader Fidel Castro.

Russia’s Sergey Lavrov provokes laughter from audience as he claims Ukraine started war

13:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov provoked laughter from an audience at a conference in India when he claimed his country is the victim of the war in Ukraine.

He was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, an event in New Delhi that debates the major challenges facing the world.

It is one of the few global events that still invites Russian politicians.

“The war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us using Ukrainian people, of course, influenced the policy of Russia,” Mr Lavrov said, sparking laughter and groans from the audience.

Russia’s Sergey Lavrov sparks laughter from audience as he claims Ukraine started war

The harrowing discovery in Ukraine at the centre of The Independent’s new documentary

13:04 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

International correspondent Bel Trew recalls the moment which led to the making of her new documentary, The Body in the Woods, released on 1 March.

There were bodies scattered everywhere. I remember a charred human spine and skull lying on the ground of an upturned burned-out car. Another decapitated body splayed on the ground next to an eviscerated street.

The curve of an arm, and a foot, in a kind of yin and yang shape, appearing through the soil of a mass grave. And everywhere around this was a frozen tableau of horror.

The harrowing discovery in Ukraine at the centre of The Independent’s new documentary

Woman and two children killed in Russian shelling in southern Ukraine

12:22 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A woman and two children were killed in Russian mortar shelling of a village in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, the head of Ukraine‘s presidential office said on Sunday.

“Mortar shelling of Poniativka village in Kherson region. A private house was hit,” Andriy Yermak wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Russian terrorists continue to kill civilians,” he said, providing no additional details of the attack.

Kherson was occupied by Russian troops from the early days of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine until its recapture by Kyiv’s forces in November.

Since its liberation, the city has regularly been shelled from Russian positions across the Dnipro river.

 (AP)

(AP)

Audience in Delhi openly laughs as Lavrov says Ukraine war ‘launched against’ Russia

11:41 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russia’s long-standing foreign minister Sergei Lavrov provoked open laughter from the audience at an international conference in India after he falsely claimed that his home country was a victim of Ukrainian aggression.

Mr Lavrov was responding to a question from the audience at the Raisina Dialogue 2023 series in New Delhi when the 72-year-old made the statement.

“How has the war affected Russia’s strategy on energy, and will it mark a privilege toward Asia? And if it does, how is India going to feature in it?” asked a member of the audience.

“You know, the war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us, using the…” Mr Lavrov began, before loud laughter cut through his claim.

Audience openly laughs as Lavrov says Ukraine war ‘launched against’ Russia

Russia’s top military brass brief defence minister on current situation

10:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Top commanders of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine have briefed Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on the current situation and action plans, his ministry said on Sunday.

Shoigu paid a rare visit to Russia‘s forces deployed in Ukraine, awarding medals to military personnel and meeting senior commanders during the trip, according to a statement and videos issued by the Defence Ministry on Saturday.

The minister held a meeting with commanders of the operation, the ministry said in a statement in its Telegram social media app on Sunday. It did not specify if the meeting took place during the trip.

“Sergei Shoigu paid special attention to the set-up of all the necessary conditions for the safe deployment of personnel in the field, the organization of comprehensive support for the troops, especially the work of medical and rear units.”

Russia‘s top military chiefs have visited the front lines in Ukraine only occasionally since Moscow sent tens of thousands of Russian troops into the neighbouring country just over a year ago.

The latest from the frontline

09:59 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Here are the latest updates from the frontline:

* Ukrainian forces defending Bakhmut face increasingly strong pressure from Russian forces, British military intelligence said on Saturday, with intense fighting taking place in and around the eastern city.

* The death toll from a Russian missile strike that hit an apartment block in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia rose to 11 on Saturday after a woman’s body was found in the debris, the state emergency service said.

* Top commanders of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine have briefed Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on the current situation and action plans, his ministry said on Sunday.

* Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force, published a video on Saturday showing what he said were coffins containing bodies of Ukrainian soldiers being repatriated to territory held by Kyiv.

His brother was kidnapped and murdered by the Russians, his mother left to die. Now he wants answers

09:18 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Kim Sengupta witnesses a Ukrainian commander confront the neighbours he suspects betrayed his family in their village.

“My brother Andryi was kidnapped, tortured and murdered here, did you play a part in this? Do you know what they did with the body, where they buried him?” Major Aleksandr Osadchy is questioning two neighbours in the shattered community of Kamianka, eastern Ukraine.

Quietly, trying hard to stay calm, he tells of how his 85-year-old mother, Maria, died of starvation: ill, frightened and alone after his brother – who had been looking after her – was taken away by Russian troops. Her emaciated body, curled up in an effort to stay warm, was found six months later.

His brother was kidnapped and murdered by the Russians. Now he wants answers

Turkey says working to renew Black Sea grain deal

08:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday that Ankara is working hard to extend a U.N.-backed initiative that has enabled Ukraine to export grain from ports blockaded by Russia following its invasion.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative brokered by the United Nations and Turkey last July allowed grain to be exported from three Ukrainian ports. The agreement was extended in November and will expire on March 18 unless an extension is agreed.

“We are working hard for the smooth implementation and further extension of the Black Sea grain deal,” Cavusoglu said in a speech at the United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries being held in Doha, Qatar.

Cavusoglu also said he discussed the extension efforts with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

On Wednesday, Russia said it would only agree to extend the Black Sea grain deal if the interests of its own agricultural producers are taken into account.

Russia’s top military brass brief defence minister on current situation

08:02 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Top commanders of what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine have briefed Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on the current situation and action plans, his ministry said on Sunday.

Shoigu paid a rare visit to Russia‘s forces deployed in Ukraine, awarding medals to military personnel and meeting senior commanders during the trip, according to a statement and videos issued by the Defence Ministry on Saturday.

The minister held a meeting with commanders of the operation, the ministry said in a statement in its Telegram social media app on Sunday. It did not specify if the meeting took place during the trip.

“Sergei Shoigu paid special attention to the set-up of all the necessary conditions for the safe deployment of personnel in the field, the organization of comprehensive support for the troops, especially the work of medical and rear units.”

Russia‘s top military chiefs have visited the front lines in Ukraine only occasionally since Moscow sent tens of thousands of Russian troops into the neighbouring country just over a year ago.

Estonia goes to polls in a test for pro-Kyiv government

07:21 , Namita Singh

Estonians go to the polls today as one of Europe’s most staunchly pro-Kyiv governments faces a challenge from a far-right party seeking to capitalise on anger at rising living costs and which would shut out further Ukrainian refugees.

Read  NCAA Tournament bracket live updates: Selection Sunday latest as VCU, Bama lock in bids

If, as opinion polls predict, prime minister Kaja Kallas’ liberal Reform party wins the election and successfully crafts a coalition it would cement the Baltic nation’s pro-European direction. Estonia would also stay on course to adopt more green energy and continue to accept refugees from Ukraine.

The polls close at 8pm local time, with most electoral districts expected to report their tallies by midnight.

Reform won an election in 2019 but was then kept from power as three smaller parties formed a government. That coalition collapsed in 2021, allowing Kallas to create a coalition and take charge.

The far-right Ekre party may end up in second place, according to opinion polls, as their promises to slash energy bills by opposing the transition to green energy are proving popular in some parts of the country, as is the pledge to not admit further Ukrainian refugees.

“I hope to stay prime minister, but it’s up to the voters to decide”, Ms Kallas said, adding voters must choose between what she called “two totally different ways for Estonia”.

“We are supporting the open, friendly, European-minded, smart country, I would say, and Ekre is looking more into itself, that we should stick to our own interest, not to help Ukraine,” she said.

ICYMI: Delhi audience openly laughs as Lavrov says Ukraine war ‘launched against’ Russia

06:01 , Namita Singh

Russia’s long-standing foreign minister Sergei Lavrov provoked open laughter from the audience at an international conference in India after he falsely claimed that his home country was a victim of Ukrainian aggression.

Mr Lavrov was responding to a question from the audience at the Raisina Dialogue 2023 series in New Delhi when the 72-year-old made the statement.

Read the full details here:

Audience openly laughs as Lavrov says Ukraine war ‘launched against’ Russia

Mourners commemorate 8 men killed in Bucha

05:10 , Namita Singh

Clutching flowers and wiping away tears, relatives, neighbours and friends of eight men executed by Russian forces during the occupation of the Ukrainian town of Bucha gathered on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the deaths.

The eight had set up a roadblock in an attempt to prevent Russian troops from advancing as they swept toward Kyiv, Ukrane’s capital, at the start of their invasion. But the men were captured, Ukrainian authorities say, and executed.

Their bodies lay outside a building on Yablunska Street for a month, with relatives only able to collect them in April after Russian troops pulled out of Bucha.

More in this report:

Ukraine: Mourners commemorate 8 men killed in Bucha

Death toll in strike on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia rises to 11

04:50 , Namita Singh

The death toll from a Russian missile strike that hit an apartment block in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia rose to 11 on Saturday after a woman’s body was found in the debris, the state emergency service said.

One child was among those killed in Thursday’s early-morning strike on the five-storey residential building, the service said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

Officials from the regional administration said in another post that a Russian S-300 missile had hit the building.

In a post on Telegram shortly after the strike, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky promised to hold Russia accountable.

The terrorist state wants to turn every day for our people into a day of terror. But evil will not reign in our land. We will drive all the occupiers out and they will definitely be held accountable for everything.”

Volodymyr Zelensky

Biden expected to tighten rules on US investment in China

04:30 , Namita Singh

The Biden administration is close to tightening rules on some overseas investments by US companies in an effort to limit China’s ability to acquire technologies that could improve its military prowess, according to a US official familiar with the deliberations.

The soon-to-be-issued executive order from president Joe Biden will limit American investment in advanced technologies that have national security applications — such as next-generation military capabilities that could help China improve the speed and accuracy of military decision making, according to the official, who was not authorized to comment and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Report:

Biden expected to tighten rules on US investment in China

ICYMI: Lavrov says Russia will turn to Asia for energy trade and ‘no longer rely’ on West

04:10 , Namita Singh

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says his country will “no longer rely” on the West for energy trade.

He made the remark during the foreign ministers’ G20 meeting in New Delhi on Friday, 3 March.

Mr Lavrov was asked how the war in Ukraine has impacted the country’s energy strategy at the Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral conference,

“We would not anymore rely on any partners in the west. We would not allow them to blow the pipelines again,” he said.

Lavrov says Russia will turn to Asia for energy trade and ‘no longer rely’ on West

Britain says Ukraine forces defending Bakhmut under increasingly severe pressure

03:50 , Namita Singh

Ukrainian forces defending Bakhmut are facing increasingly strong pressure from Russian forces, British military intelligence said on Saturday, with intense fighting taking place in and around the eastern city.

Ukraine is reinforcing the area with elite units, while regular Russian army and forces of the private military Wagner group have made further advances into Bakhmut’s northern suburbs, the British Defence Ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin.

The Ukraine armed forces’ general staff said in a Facebook post late on Saturday that Russian troops were trying but failing to surround Bakhmut, adding defenders had repelled numerous attacks in and around the city.

Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin of Volodymyr Hurieiev, a fellow soldier killed in the Bakhmut area, during the funeral in Boryspil, Ukraine, Saturday, 4 March 2023 (AP)

Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin of Volodymyr Hurieiev, a fellow soldier killed in the Bakhmut area, during the funeral in Boryspil, Ukraine, Saturday, 4 March 2023 (AP)

The battle has raged for seven months. A Russian victory in the city, which had a pre-war population of about 70,000 and has been blasted to ruins in the onslaught, would give Moscow the first major prize in a costly winter offensive.

Oleh Zhdanov, a prominent Ukrainian analyst of military affairs, said late on Saturday that he could not detect any immediate signs Kyiv was going to order a retreat from the city.

“At the moment the situation is more or less stabilized. In terms of the advancement of Russian troops, we practically stopped (it),” he said in a YouTube interview.

The British defence ministry said two key bridges in Bakhmut have been destroyed within the last 36 hours, adding that Ukrainian-held resupply routes out of the city are increasingly limited.

Civilians flee embattled town as Ukrainian pullout looms

03:30 , Namita Singh

Pressure from Russian forces mounted Saturday on Ukrainians hunkered down in Bakhmut, as residents attempted to flee with help from troops who Western analysts say may be preparing to withdraw from the key eastern stronghold.

A woman was killed and two men were badly wounded by shelling while trying to cross a makeshift bridge out of the city in Donetsk province, according to Ukrainian troops who were assisting them.

A Ukrainian army representative who asked not to be named for operational reasons told The Associated Press that it was now too dangerous for civilians to leave Bakhmut by vehicle and that people had to flee on foot instead.

More in this report:

Civilians flee embattled town as Ukrainian pullout looms

Ukrainian pilot pair in Arizona to fly military simulators: US official

03:16 , Namita Singh

In a first, two Ukrainian pilots are in Arizona to fly flight simulators and be evaluated by the US military, an American defence official said on Saturday, as Washington remains mute on whether it will send fighter jets or sophisticated remotely piloted drones to Kyiv.

The US and allies have been flooding Ukraine with weapons from Javelin missiles to Himars rocket launchers, but sophisticated jets and the largest armed drones have not been pledged to Ukraine by Western allies.

“This event allows us to better help Ukrainian pilots become more effective pilots and better advise them on how to develop their own capabilities,” the defence official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Arizona “familiarization event” will facilitate dialogue between Ukrainian and US personnel and provide an opportunity to observe how the US Air Force operates, the defense official said.

While it is the first event of its kind, there is an ongoing robust military-to-military dialogue with Ukraine. Other allies have also conducted similar events in the past, the official said.

Ukraine ally Kallas fights for reelection in Estonia vote

01:30 , Joe Middleton

Estonia, which is providing Ukraine with more weapons than any other country relative to its economic might, is holding a general election Sunday that will determine whether it can sustain that high level of support.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, 45, has emerged in the past year of war as one of Europe’s most outspoken supporters of Ukraine. She’s seeking a second term, with her standing enhanced by her international appeals to impose sanctions on Moscow.

A Baltic nation of 1.3 million people that borders Russia to the east, Estonia broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991 and has taken a clear Western course, joining NATO and the European Union.

Ukraine ally Kallas fights for reelection in Estonia vote

Audience in Delhi openly laughs as Lavrov says Ukraine war ‘launched against’ Russia

00:30 , Joe Middleton

Russia’s long-standing foreign minister Sergei Lavrov provoked open laughter from the audience at an international conference in India after he falsely claimed that his home country was a victim of Ukrainian aggression.

Mr Lavrov was responding to a question from the audience at the Raisina Dialogue 2023 series in New Delhi when the 72-year-old made the statement.

“How has the war affected Russia’s strategy on energy, and will it mark a privilege toward Asia? And if it does, how is India going to feature in it?” asked a member of the audience.

Audience openly laughs as Lavrov says Ukraine war ‘launched against’ Russia

ICYMI: Biden and Scholz prepare to send more help to Ukraine after meeting at White House

Saturday 4 March 2023 23:30 , Joe Middleton

Civilians flee Bakhmut as Russian and Ukrainian troops battle in streets of besieged city

Saturday 4 March 2023 22:36 , Joe Middleton

Civilians continued to flee Bakhmut on Saturday as Russian and Ukrainian troops battled in the streets of the besieged city.

A woman was killed and two men badly wounded after trying to cross a makeshift bridge out of the city, according to Ukranian soldiers trying to help them leave.

Oleksandr Marchenko, the city’s deputy mayor, said 4,000 civilians are still living in shelters and have no access to electricity, water or gas.

Civilians flee Bakhmut as Russian and Ukrainian troops battle in streets of city

Death toll from Russian missile strike in Zaporizhzhia rises to 11

Saturday 4 March 2023 20:59 , Joe Middleton

The death toll from a Russian missile strike that hit an apartment block in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia rose to 11 on Saturday after a woman’s body was found in the debris, the state emergency service said.

One child was among those killed in Thursday’s early-morning strike on the five-storey residential building, the service said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

Officials from the regional administration said in another post that a Russian S-300 missile had hit the building.

In a post on Telegram shortly after the strike, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy promised to hold Russia accountable.

“The terrorist state wants to turn every day for our people into a day of terror. But evil will not reign in our land.”

“We will drive all the occupiers out and they will definitely be held accountable for everything.”

Ukraine plant builds 6-person bunkers for war’s front lines

Saturday 4 March 2023 19:26 , Joe Middleton

The pops of welding torches and the piecing whine of angle grinders fill the spacious production floor at a steel plant in Kryvyi Rih, the city in central Ukraine that is President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ’s hometown.

Instead of doing their usual jobs producing and repairing mining equipment, some workers are busy building metal bunkers for front-line troops. Ukrainian mining and metals company Metinvest launched the project, and the plant workers say they are happy contributing to the resistance to Russia‘s invasion.

For now, that means assembling prefabricated materials into underground shelters using a Soviet-era design. They have already shipped 123 of the 2-meter (6 1/2-foot) -wide, 6-meter (20-foot) -long structures structures to areas that include eastern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk provinces.

Ukraine plant builds 6-person bunkers for war’s front lines

Ukraine: Mourners commemorate 8 men killed in Bucha

Saturday 4 March 2023 17:48 , Joe Middleton

Clutching flowers and wiping away tears, relatives, neighbors and friends of eight men executed by Russian forces during the occupation of the Ukrainian town of Bucha gathered Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the deaths.

The eight had set up a roadblock in an attempt to prevent Russian troops from advancing as they swept toward Kyiv, Ukrane’s capital, at the start of their invasion. But the men were captured, Ukrainian authorities say, and executed.

Their bodies lay outside a building on Yablunska Street for a month, with relatives only able to collect them in April after Russian troops pulled out of Bucha.

Ukraine: Mourners commemorate 8 men killed in Bucha

ICYMI: New Delhi audience laughs as Sergey Lavrov says Ukraine ‘launched’ war against Russia

Saturday 4 March 2023 16:33 , Joe Middleton

Wagner chief posts video allegedly showing coffins of Ukrainian soldiers

Saturday 4 March 2023 15:55 , Joseph Rachman

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner Group, posted a video on Saturday which apparently shows coffins containing the bodies of dead Ukrainian soldiers being sent back to Ukrainian held territory.

According to Reuters the footage shows the wooden coffins being nailed shut and loaded onto truck by men in uniforms.

Dressed in fully military gear Mr Prigozhin says:

“We are sending another shipment of Ukrainian army fighters home. They fought bravely, and perished. That’s why the latest truck will take them back to their motherland.”

Ukraine military denies troops withdrawal from Bakhmut

Saturday 4 March 2023 15:19 , Joseph Rachman

Russians troops have not captured Bakhmut, said Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesman for the eastern grouping of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In an interview with CNN, Cherevaty said: “The fighting in Bakhmut is more on the outskirts, with the city controlled by Ukrainian defence forces: the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Border Guard and the National Guard.”

Responding to questions about apparent withdrawl of troops he said: “There is also no mass withdrawal of Ukrainian troops.” He went on to state that any apparent withdrawls were just troops rotating in and out of their positions.

However, rumours of retreat have persisted as Russia now encirlces the city on three sides. Ukrainian troops have also been seen destroying bridges out of the city.

Ukrainian citizens attacked as they flee Bakhmut

Saturday 4 March 2023 14:45 , Joseph Rachman

A woman was killed and two men were badly wounded by shelling while trying to cross a makeshift bridge out of Bakhmut on Saturday, according to Ukrainian troops who were assisting them.

A Ukrainian army representative who asked not to be named for operational reasons told the Associated Press (AP) that it was now too dangerous for civilians to leave the city by vehicle, and that people had to flee on foot instead.

An AP team near Bakhmut on Saturday saw a pontoon bridge set up by Ukrainian soldiers to help the city’s few remaining residents reach the nearby village of Khromove. Later, they saw at least five houses on fire as a result of attacks in Khromove.

Ukrainian units over the past 36 hours destroyed two key bridges just outside Bakhmut, including one linking it to the nearby town of Chasiv Yar along the last remaining Ukrainian resupply route, according to U.K. military intelligence officials and other Western analysts.

Natalia Ishkova, a civilian who has remained in the city throughout the fighting, said that they suffered from a lack of food and basic utilities.

“Humanitarian (aid) is given to us only once a month. There is no electricity, no water, no gas,” she said.

“I pray to God that all who remain here will survive.”

Ten killed in Russian missile strike on Zaporizhzhia

Saturday 4 March 2023 14:09 , Joseph Rachman

The death toll due to a Russian missile strike on Zaporizhzhia has risen to ten, according to Ukraine’s emergency services. The strike hit a five-storey apartment block.

According to the emergency services three more bodies have been pulled from the rubble, about 36 hours after the missle struck.

A child was among those killed and the rescue effort is still ongoing, according to the Associated Press.

Russian Volunteer Corps claims Ukraine supported its operation in Russia

Saturday 4 March 2023 13:39 , Joseph Rachman

Denis Nikitin, the head of the Russian Volunteer Corps, claimed in an interview with the Financial Times, that Ukraine supported its raid on Bryansk Oblast, Russia.

The Russian Volunteer Corps is a shadowy group reportedly made up of ethnic Russians who have live outside of Russia, including Ukraine and other European countries. Mr Nitkin had reportedly lived in Germany since 2001.

The group allegedly raided Russian territory with the governor of Russia’s Bryansk Oblast, that borders Ukraine, claiming 2 March that a Ukrainian sabotage group had allegedly entered the region, taken civilians hostage, and shot a car. They then reportedly retreated after a few hours.

However, many details about the operation remain unclear and difficult to verify.

Speaking to the FT Mr Nitkin claimed that his gorup had cooperated with Ukraine for the operation.

“Yes, of course, this action was agreed (with Ukraine), otherwise it couldn’t have happened,” Nikitin said. “How do you imagine that I passed through the dark of night there? There are mined bridges, there are cameras, heat-seeking drones, there are hidden open observation points.”

Ukraine has denied supporting the operation.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukraine’s Presidential Office, said that the incident was being used by Russia that “wants to scare its people to justify the attack on another country and the growing poverty after the year of the war.”

However, he subsequently added: “the partisan movement in Russia is getting stronger and more aggressive” and said Moscow should “fear” the movement.

EU membership talks for Ukraine could being this year

Saturday 4 March 2023 12:50 , Joseph Rachman

The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, stated that she was “hopeful” that negotiations to let Ukraine enter the European Union can begin this year.

Ms Metsola made the statement during her Saturday visit to the Ukrainian city of Lviv, where she also met with President Volodomyr Zelensky.

She added: “Ukraine’s future is in the European Union.”

After the meeting Mr Zelensky thanked Ms Metsola on social media.

He said also stated: “Ukraine aims to complete the implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission as soon as possible and to start negotiations on joining the EU already this year.”

Ukraine first became a formal candidate to join the EU in June 2022, four months after Russia first invaded.

However, joining the EU can take years. Vitally, the accession of a new state must be supported by every current member. Some member of the EU are sceptical about how quickly Ukraine will be able to recover from the war and pass the necessary reforms to join.

German arms manufacturer might build tanks in Ukraine

Saturday 4 March 2023 12:20 , Joseph Rachman

The German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall is in talks with the Ukrainian government about building a tank plant in Ukraine.

The plant would cost roughly €200 million and could potentially produce up to 400 Panther maint battle tanks every year, according to reporting by the German magazine Der Spiegel.

The Panther is a cutting edge new model of tank currently under development, based on the Leopard 2 models currently being sent to Ukraine. These tanks could provide a significant advantage over the Soviet era designed tanks Russia, and Ukraine currently both rely on.

“Ukraine needs 600 to 800 tanks for a victory,” said Armin Papperger, the chair of Rheinmetall.

“Even if Germany gave up all 300 Leopard 2 tanks available to the Bundeswehr, that would still be far too few.”

Mr Papperger said negotiations with the Ukrainian government were going well and that a decision a decision could hopefully be reached within the next two months.

Russia has lost over 150,000 troops since the start of the war, according to Ukrainian armed forces

Saturday 4 March 2023 11:49 , Joseph Rachman

The number of Russian troops killed now stands at 152,190 as of 4 March, according to estimates by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

This number is 820 deaths higher than the estimate released for Russia’s losses as of 3 March, as Russia’s bloody offensive in eastern Ukraine continues. The Ukrainian armed forces release updated Russian casualty estimates daily.

They also estimate that Russia has so far lost 3,409 tanks, 302 planes, and 289 helicopters.

“Russia must pay for its crimes,” says president of the European Comission

Saturday 4 March 2023 11:18 , Joseph Rachman

The European Comission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has released a statement saying she is “proud” of the agreement to set up the International Centre for Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression in The Hague.

Read  Column: Latest FTX lawsuit casts investors Sequoia, Thoma Bravo as co-conspirators

The centre is aimed at prosecuting war crimes comitted during the Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

In a video statement Ms von der Leyen spoke of how she had visited Bucha where some of the first evidence of Russian war crimes was found.

“Russia must pay for its crimes,” she said.

She added: “We must doing everything in our power to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Russian defence minister visits the front lines to carry out an inspection

Saturday 4 March 2023 10:48 , Joseph Rachman

Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defence minister, visited the front lines in eastern Ukraine to carry out an inspection.

According to the Russian defence ministry Mr Shoigu “inspected a command post on the front […]in the South Donetsk direction.” No exact place or time was given.

A video relesed by the minsitry showed Shoigu travelling in a helicopter, awarding medals to Russian soliders, and touring a ruined town with a senior officer.

Retired top NATO general urges speeding up supply of weapons and support to Ukraine

Saturday 4 March 2023 10:15 , Joseph Rachman

NATO and other Western countries should step up and speed up their supply of weapons and other support to Ukraine, said General Sir Richard Shirreff, Nato’s former deputy supreme allied commander Europe.

“What we’ve seen from the West and Nato countries is a sort of incremental supply,” said Sir Richard speaking on BBC Radio 4.

He added: “If they’d had the stuff that they need months ago, we probably wouldn’t be where we are now. So this places a real imperative on speeding up the supply, the integration, the logistics support, the training and all the other stuff that needs to be done to give the Ukrainians the tools they need to do the job.”

Discussing the ongoing assault of Bakhmut he said that any victory by the Russian there would by “Pyrrhic”.

“The Ukrainians have arguably achieved a strategic success thusfar in forcing the Russians to expend vast amounts of manpower and equipment.”

“Their only goal is killing people,” the deputy mayor of Bakhmut speaks as the Russian forces step up their assault

Saturday 4 March 2023 09:58 , Joseph Rachman

The deputy mayor of Bakhmut has confirmed that the fight for Bakhmut has entered a critical stage with Russian forces increasing the pressure on the city.

“There is fighting in the city and there are also street fights but thanks to the Ukrainian armed forces they still haven’t taken control over the city,” said Oleksandr Marchenko while being interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

According to him the city has been almost completely destroyed by the war with not a single building remaining untouched.

“Currently, there is no communication in the city so its cut off. The bridges are destroyed. The tactics the Russians are using are the tactics of parched land. They want to destroy Bakhmut like they did with Mariupol.”

Nonetheless, the mayor revealed roughly 4,000 to 4,500 Ukranian civilians are still thought to be living in Bakhmut. The remaining inhabitants now live in shelters with “no gas or electricity”. However, they have been given heaters to help survive Ukraine’s ferocious winter cold.

Speaking about the Russian attacked Mr Marchenko said: “Russians are shelling everything. They have no goal to save the city. Their only goal is killing people and the genocide of the Ukrainian people.”

He added: “They want to destroy Bakhmut, they want to destroy the city.”

“I honestly can’t understand why they’re doing this.”

Latest from Bakhmut

Saturday 4 March 2023 09:00 , Katy Clifton

In its intelligence update on Saturday morning, the UK’s Military of Defence has said Bakhmut is under “increasingly severe pressure”.

It said: “The Ukrainian defence of the Donbas town of Bakhmut is under increasingly severe pressure, with intense fighting taking place in and around the city.

“Regular Russian Army and Wagner Group forces have made further advances into the northern suburbs of the city, which is now a Ukrainian-held salient, vulnerable to Russian attacks on three sides.

“Ukraine is reinforcing the area with elite units, and within the last 36 hours two key bridges in Bakhmut have been destroyed, including a vital bridge connecting the city to the last main supply route from Bakhmut to the city of Chasiv Yar.”

Zelensky tells legal officials that Russia must face court for war crimes

Saturday 4 March 2023 08:00 , Namita Singh

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky met Friday with US attorney general Merrick Garland and top European legal officials, and called for Russia to face international prosecution for war crimes.

Mr Zelensky announced the meetings in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, hundreds of kilometres from the war’s frontlines, during his evening video address to the nation.

“We are doing everything to ensure that the International Criminal Court is successful in punishing Russian war criminals,” Mr Zelensky said.

More in this report:

Zelenskyy tells US, Europe law chiefs Russia must face court

Putin’s artillery pounds last routes out of Bakhmut

Saturday 4 March 2023 07:47 , Katy Clifton

Russian artillery is pounding the last routes out of Bakhmut in a bid to completely surround the Ukrainian city.

Russian shelling of routes leading west out of Bakhmut has been witnessed by the Reuters news agency. A bridge in the adjacent town of Khromove was damaged by Russian tank shelling.

Ukrainian soldiers were working to repair damaged roads and more troops were heading toward the frontline in a sign that Ukraine was not yet ready to give up the city. To the west, Ukrainians were digging new trenches for defensive positions.

Smoke during fighting in the city of Bakhmut (AFPTV/AFP via Getty Images)

Smoke during fighting in the city of Bakhmut (AFPTV/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden, Scholz vow to punish Russia for war in Ukraine

Saturday 4 March 2023 07:40 , Namita Singh

US president Joe Biden and German chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed on Friday to keep imposing costs on Russia for its war in Ukraine, now in its second year, as an EU official said any arms provided by China to Russia would trigger sanctions.

Mr Biden and Mr Scholz met in private in the Oval Office for over an hour, a senior administration official said. Their discussion focused on the importance of continued “global solidarity” with the people of Ukraine, and ongoing efforts to provide security, humanitarian, economic, and political assistance to Ukraine.

Sitting next to Mr Scholz in the Oval Office, Mr Biden thanked the German leader for his “strong and steady leadership” and support for Ukraine. Scholz said it was important to demonstrate that the allies would back Kyiv “as long as it takes and as long as is necessary.”

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking before the meeting, US officials said discussion points included the state of the war and how to respond if China provided military aid to Russia.

Mr Scholz’s brief one-day trip – there were no other meetings on his agenda – was his second to the White House since taking office in December 2021. Biden’s national security adviser also met one-on-one with his German counterpart.

Washington has begun consulting with allies about imposing possible sanctions on China should Beijing provide military support to Russia for its war in Ukraine, Reuters reported this week, citing US officials and other sources.

US to supply Ukraine with armoured vehicles that can launch bridges

Saturday 4 March 2023 07:20 , Namita Singh

The US has announced a new $400m military aid package for Ukraine that for the first time includes armoured vehicles that can launch bridges.

The equipment will allow troops to cross rivers or other gaps as Russian and Ukrainian forces remain entrenched on opposite sides of the Dnieper River.

A Ukrainian armoured personnel carrier (APC) rides by a road outside Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

A Ukrainian armoured personnel carrier (APC) rides by a road outside Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

The war has largely slowed to a grinding stalemate during the winter months, with Russia and Ukraine firing at each other across the river. Both sides are expected to launch offensives as temperatures warm.

This round of aid will be drawn from existing US weapons stockpiles so it can arrive in Ukraine faster. The US and allies are trying to rush additional support to Kyiv to best position it for intensified spring fighting.

The Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge is a portable, 60ft folding metal bridge that is carried on top of a tank body. Providing that system now could make it easier for Ukrainian troops to cross rivers to get to Russian forces.

His brother was murdered by the Russians, his mother left to die. Now he wants answers

Saturday 4 March 2023 07:00 , Namita Singh

“My brother Andryi was kidnapped, tortured and murdered here, did you play a part in this? Do you know what they did with the body, where they buried him?” Major Aleksandr Osadchy is questioning two neighbours in the shattered community of Kamianka, eastern Ukraine.

Quietly, trying hard to stay calm, he tells of how his 85-year-old mother, Maria, died of starvation: ill, frightened and alone after his brother – who had been looking after her – was taken away by Russian troops. Her emaciated body, curled up in an effort to stay warm, was found six months later.

The neighbours, Natalya and Yuri Zdozovets, deny that they sold out Andryi, who was a former Ukrainian soldier and thus a target for the Russians. They admit being accused of collaboration by other residents, and have been questioned several times by SBU – the Ukrainian intelligence service – and the police. But they were not, they repeat, involved in the killing.

Our world affairs editor Kim Sengupta witnesses a Ukrainian commander confront the neighbours he suspects betrayed his family in their village:

His brother was kidnapped and murdered by the Russians. Now he wants answers

US attorney general makes unannounced trip to Ukraine, US official says

Saturday 4 March 2023 06:20 , Namita Singh

US attorney general Merrick Garland made an unannounced visit to Lviv, Ukraine, on Friday at the invitation of the Ukrainian prosecutor general, a Justice Department official said.

“The attorney general held several meetings and reaffirmed our determination to hold Russia accountable for crimes committed in its unjust and unprovoked invasion against its sovereign neighbor,” the official said.

Russia and Belarus boxers should compete, IBA president says

Saturday 4 March 2023 06:00 , Namita Singh

Russia and Belarus athletes should be able to compete under their flag, said International Boxing Association (IBA) President Umar Kremlev on Friday.

The IBA lifted a ban on Russian and Belarusian boxers last October, against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) guidance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February last year.

“They should participate. It should not be some kind of privilege that is given depending on the circumstances. Each international association should have these standards,” Mr Kremlev told Reuters.

“We, as an international association, must protect each athlete. And we must understand that for athletes the most important thing is when the anthem plays and when their country’s flag is raised”.

“The IOC can give recommendations. Their charter clearly says that it is impossible to punish the athlete, or to infringe on his rights.”

The IBA has opened disciplinary proceedings against a total of 11 countries over their planned boycott of the world championships due to the inclusion of Russian and Belarusian boxers.

Biden, Scholz vow to punish Russia for war in Ukraine

Saturday 4 March 2023 05:40 , Namita Singh

US president Joe Biden and German chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed yesterday to keep imposing costs on Russia for its war in Ukraine, now in its second year, as an EU official said any arms provided by China to Russia would trigger sanctions.

Mr Biden and Mr Scholz met in private in the Oval Office for over an hour, a senior administration official said. Their discussion focused on the importance of continued “global solidarity” with the people of Ukraine, and ongoing efforts to provide security, humanitarian, economic, and political assistance to Ukraine.

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House on 3 March 2023 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House on 3 March 2023 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

Sitting next to Mr Scholz in the Oval Office, Mr Biden thanked the German leader for his “strong and steady leadership” and support for Ukraine. Mr Scholz said it was important to demonstrate that the allies would back Kyiv “as long as it takes and as long as is necessary.”

Speaking before the meeting, US officials said discussion points included the state of the war and how to respond if China provided military aid to Russia.

Mr Scholz’s brief one-day trip – there were no other meetings on his agenda – was his second to the White House since taking office in December 2021. Mr Biden’s national security adviser also met one-on-one with his German counterpart.

Russia close to encircling Ukraine’s Bakhmut after months of fighting

Saturday 4 March 2023 05:20 , Namita Singh

Russian troops and mercenaries rained artillery on the last access routes to the besieged Ukrainian city of Bakhmut on Friday, bringing Moscow closer to its first major victory in half a year after the bloodiest fighting of the war.

The head of Russia’s Wagner private army said the city, which has been blasted to ruins in Russia’s more than seven month onslaught, was almost completely surrounded with only one road still open for Ukraine’s troops.

Reuters observed intense Russian shelling of routes leading west out of Bakhmut, an apparent attempt to block Ukrainian forces’ access in and out of the city. A bridge in the adjacent town of Khromove was damaged by Russian tank shelling.

Ukrainian soldiers were working to repair damaged roads and more troops were heading toward the frontline in a sign that Ukraine was not yet ready to give up the city. To the west, Ukrainians were digging new trenches for defensive positions.

A Ukrainian serviceman gives food and water to a local elderly woman in the town of Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

A Ukrainian serviceman gives food and water to a local elderly woman in the town of Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

Russia’s RIA state news agency released a video showing what it said were Wagner fighters walking by a damaged industrial facility.

One fighter is heard saying Ukraine’s army is destroying infrastructure in settlements near Bakhmut to prevent the Russian encirclement.

The commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, visited Bakhmut on Friday for briefings with local commanders on how to boost the defence capacity of frontline forces.

A Russian victory in Bakhmcvut, with a pre-war population of about 70,000, would give it the first major prize of a costly winter offensive, after it called up hundreds of thousands of reservists last year.

Russia says it would be a stepping stone to capturing the surrounding Donbas industrial region, an important war aim.

Before the war Bakhmut was known for salt and gypsum mines. Ukraine says the city has little strategic value but that huge losses of troops there could shape the course of the conflict.

Biden, Germany’s Scholz agreed to impose costs on Russia – White House

Saturday 4 March 2023 05:00 , Namita Singh

US president Joe Biden “reaffirmed the strong bilateral relationship” with Germany during a meeting with chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday and the pair reiterated their commitment to impose costs on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, the White House said.

Scholz says ‘want to talk directly’ with Biden, amid backlash for secrecy over visit

Saturday 4 March 2023 04:40 , Namita Singh

German chancellor Olaf Scholz said he and president Joe Biden “want to talk directly with each other,” as he faces backlash over the secrecy of his trip to the US.

“It is important that such close friends can talk about all of these questions together, continually,” Mr Scholz said.

Jake Sullivan, Mr Biden’s national security adviser, hinted at some tension between the two countries on Sunday when appearing on ABC’s “This Week.”

He said Mr Biden originally decided against sending Abrams tanks to Ukraine, believing they wouldn’t be immediately useful for Ukrainian forces. However, Mr Sullivan said, Germany would not send its Leopard tanks “until the president also agreed to send Abrams.”

German chancellor Olaf Scholz listens as he meets with US president Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

German chancellor Olaf Scholz listens as he meets with US president Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

“So, in the interest of alliance unity and to ensure that Ukraine got what it wanted, despite the fact that the Abrams aren’t the tool they need, the president said, ‘OK, I’m going to be the leader of the free world,”’ Mr Sullivan said.

“‘I will send Abrams down the road if you send Leopards now.’ Those Leopards are getting sent now.”

Mr Scholz’s government has denied there was any such demand made of the US.Max Bergmann, a former State Department official who leads the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the US has often wanted Germany, the world’s fifth-largest economy, to be more forceful on the global stage.

“There’s a hope that, instead of us having to push all the time, that Germany would take a leadership role,” he said.

Mr Bergmann said Germany has gone a long way toward strengthening its defence, but added that there’s more work to do.“The German way of seeing the world doesn’t always align with the US way of seeing the world,” he said.

While House announce $400m assistance to Ukraine

Saturday 4 March 2023 04:20 , Namita Singh

The White House announced $400 million more in US assistance to Ukraine as the meeting between US president Joe Biden and German chancellor Olaf Scholz began.

The US and Germany have worked closely together to supply Ukraine with military and humanitarian assistance. But there has also been friction over issues such as providing tanks, and Washington has occasionally grown frustrated with Berlin’s hesitance.

Mr Scholz last visited the White House a little more than a year ago, shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Unlike formal state visits, such as when French president Emmanuel Macron came to Washington last year, there was no pomp and ceremony.

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Scholz’s trip lacked the customary press conference where the two leaders take questions from reporters representing both countries.John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, described it as a “true working visit between these two leaders.”

In an interview with German broadcaster Welt, opposition leader Friedrich Merz accused Mr Scholz of being secretive about his trip to Washington, which was taking place without the customary press pack in tow.

Mr Merz suggested that Mr Scholz had to smooth ruffled feathers over the deal to provide tanks to Ukraine.Mr Scholz dismissed any notion of discord between allies before he left on his trip.

Lavrov says Russia will ‘no longer rely’ on West for energy trade

Saturday 4 March 2023 04:00 , Joe Middleton

China may provide ammunition to Russia, warns US

Saturday 4 March 2023 03:40 , Namita Singh

US officials have warned that China could step off the sidelines and begin providing ammunition to Moscow, a decision that would change the trajectory of the war by allowing Moscow to replenish its depleted stockpiles.

China is Germany’s top trading partner, and European nations have generally been more cautious than the United States in taking a hard line with Beijing. However, there are signs that may be shifting as global rivalries grow more tense.

In a speech to the German parliament on Thursday, Olaf Scholz called on China to “use your influence in Moscow to press for the withdrawal of Russian troops, and do not supply weapons to the aggressor Russia.”

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House on 3 March 2023 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House on 3 March 2023 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

During brief public remarks on Friday, Mr Scholz said Western allies would support Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”

“This is a very, very important year because of the dangerous threat to peace that comes from Russia invading Ukraine,” he said.

President Joe Biden thanked Germany for providing “critical military support.”

“And I would argue, beyond the military support, the moral support you’ve given Ukrainians has been profound,” he said.

Mr Biden said, “Together, we worked lockstep to supply critical security assistance to Ukraine,” and MrScholz also described the US-German effort as “lockstep.”

US, Germany in ‘lockstep’ on Ukraine war

Saturday 4 March 2023 03:23 , Namita Singh

US president Joe Biden and German chancellor Olaf Scholz met privately in the Oval Office for more than an hour yesterday after declaring themselves in “lockstep” on maintaining pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Even their top advisers were left out of the conversation. When the meeting ended, Mr Biden and Mr Scholz walked across the hall to the Roosevelt Room, where the American and German officials had been mingling.

Read  Try the latest Game Trial, Katamari Damacy REROLL! - News

The US president joked that the two leaders had solved all the world’s problems by themselves, according to a senior administration official, who requested anonymity to describe the closed-door discussions.

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

US president Joe Biden meets with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on 3 March 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

If any agreements were reached or plans made, the White House wasn’t saying.

The official readout of the meeting provided little additional detail, except to say the two leaders discussed the war and “exchanged perspectives on other global issues”.

The conversation came at a delicate moment in the conflict. Ukraine and Russia are preparing for spring offensives, meaning a steady flow of Western weapons will be important for Kyiv’s success on the battlefield.

Inside the Ukrainian makeshift hospitals near the front line

Saturday 4 March 2023 03:00 , Joe Middleton

In a dingy medical outpost near eastern Ukraine’s front lines, army medic Viktor battles to save lives on a daily basis.

Nearly a year into Russia’s invasion, fighting now amounts to attritional duels of artillery and infantry assaults, with neither side making significant gains.

The costs of that deadly grind are clear to Viktor’s team of seven medics and six nurses as it toils away, hemmed in by racks of medical supplies and portable heaters, at this “stabilisation point” in the Donetsk region, where battles are fierce.

Inside the Ukrainian makeshift hospitals near the front line

Why purported cross-border attack ups ante in Ukraine war

Saturday 4 March 2023 02:00 , Joe Middleton

Russia has declared that saboteurs from Ukraine crossed into its territory and attacked border villages, a raid that fueled fears of an escalation in the war as it has dragged into a second year.

A day after Thursday’s purported attack, details of what happened remain scarce and conflicting theories about possible perpetrators and their goals are still swirling.

Ukrainian officials have denied involvement and a presidential aide described it as a false-flag attack used by the Kremlin to justify the war in Ukraine.

Why purported cross-border attack ups ante in Ukraine war

Bridge in central Bakhmut destroyed as Russians say Ukrainian city is surrounded

Saturday 4 March 2023 01:00 , Joe Middleton

We’ve passed the first anniversary of the Ukraine war – there won’t be a second

Friday 3 March 2023 23:59 , Joe Middleton

As of now any end to the war is unlikely to be on better terms for Ukraine than were on offer before Russia invaded, writes Mary Dejevsky.

Will there be a second anniversary for the war in Ukraine? | Mary Dejevsky

Use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine ‘inadmissible’, says Quad group after Putin exits from New START treaty

Friday 3 March 2023 22:00 , Joe Middleton

The Kremlin’s threats of using nuclear weapons in the continuing war in Ukraine are “inadmissible”, foreign ministers of the Quad group said on Friday in New Delhi, in the first such condemnation of Moscow’s repeated indications of deploying its nuclear arsenal in Europe.

“We continued to discuss our responses to the conflict in Ukraine and the immense human suffering it is causing, and concurred that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible,” the Quad – comprising the US, Australia, India and Japan – said in its latest statement as the ministers met along the sidelines of the G20 meeting.

The joint statement from the Quad leaders comes just a day after the foreign ministers at the G20 meeting were unable to reach consensus over the war in Ukraine and ended the meeting without any common agreement on the conflict.

Use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine ‘inadmissible’, says Quad group

Germany seeks to buy mothballed Swiss Leopard 2 tanks

Friday 3 March 2023 21:00 , Joe Middleton

Germany wants to buy mothballed Leopard 2 battle tanks from Switzerland to replace tanks that Berlin and its Western allies are sending to Ukraine, the Swiss government said Friday.

The Swiss Defense Ministry said that Germany’s defense and economy ministers wrote on Feb. 23 to Swiss Defense Minister Viola Amherd, setting out German manufacturer Rheinmetall’s interest in buying Leopard 2 tanks that the Swiss army doesn’t plan to put back into service.

They assured Amherd that the tanks, if bought, wouldn’t be sent to Ukraine and would be used by Germany or its NATO and European partners to fill the gaps in their own stocks created by their donations of tanks to Kyiv and to improve the availability of replacement parts.

Germany seeks to buy mothballed Swiss Leopard 2 tanks

US Attorney General makes unannounced visit to Ukraine

Friday 3 March 2023 19:22 , Joe Middleton

US Attorney General Merrick Garland made an unannounced visit to Lviv, Ukraine, on Friday at the invitation of the Ukrainian prosecutor general, a Justice Department official said.

“The attorney general held several meetings and reaffirmed our determination to hold Russia accountable for crimes committed in its unjust and unprovoked invasion against its sovereign neighbor,” the official said.

US announces new $400 million military aid package for Ukraine

Friday 3 March 2023 18:17 , Joe Middleton

The United States announced a new military aid package for Ukraine on Friday worth $400 million on Friday.

It will primarily be comprised of ammunition, but for the first time will include tactical bridges to move tanks and armored vehicles.

The bridges could be used by Ukrainian troops who have been training in “combined arms maneuver” warfare, which is the coordinated use of artillery shelling, alongside tank and armored vehicle attack movements.

“Assault bridging is essential for combined arms operations. It allows armored vehicles to cross narrow rivers and ditches that would otherwise cause a whole force to slow down,” said Jack Watling, a Senior Research Fellow for Land Warfare at the London-based Royal United Services Institute.

“Importantly, assault bridges are only critical for offensive operations showing that the US is preparing Ukraine to continue retaking its territory,” Watling added.

In January, Berlin agreed to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine and said it would work with allies to send more.

German aid for Ukraine was expected to be a major topic when U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met at the White House on Friday. Several NATO allies have pledged a range of armored fighting vehicles.

Bridge in central Bakhmut destroyed as Russians say Ukrainian city is surrounded

Friday 3 March 2023 17:30 , Joe Middleton

His brother was kidnapped and murdered by the Russians, his mother left to die. Now he wants answers

Friday 3 March 2023 16:34 , Joe Middleton

In the village of Kamianka, Kim Sengupta sees a Ukrainian commander confront the neighbours he suspects betrayed his family.

His brother was kidnapped and murdered by the Russians. Now he wants answers

Putin urges Security Council to discuss further ‘anti-terrorism’ measures

Friday 3 March 2023 14:45 , Joe Middleton

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Security Council that they needed to discuss additional “anti-terrorism measures” to safeguard facilities controlled by law enforcement bodies.

Putin said on Thursday Russia had been hit by a “terrorist attack” in the southern Bryansk region bordering Ukraine, and vowed to crush a sabotage group that had fired at civilians.

Ukraine accused Russia of staging a false “provocation”.

Putin signs decree to ensure defence contracts are met

Friday 3 March 2023 13:55 , Joe Middleton

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree today enabling the state to suspend the directors and shareholders of any companies that fail to meet state defence contracts under conditions of martial law.

The decree would allow the industry ministry to name a new external administrator to take over the running of such companies.

Putin said in October he was introducing martial law in four regions of Ukraine that Moscow has partly seized control of and claimed as its own territory, a move condemned as illegal by most countries.

Martial law has not been extended across Russia but he has effectively placed the economy on a war footing, with defence factories working around the clock in three shifts to meet the needs of the army.

The new decree would apply to companies that “violate their obligations under a state contract, including failing to take measures to guarantee production deliveries”.

Asked earlier at his daily news briefing if martial law could be introduced in certain regions of Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that was the president’s prerogative, but did not say whether Putin planned such a move.

Russia launches Kalibr missile in Sea of Japan, hits dummy target almost 650 miles away

Friday 3 March 2023 13:13 , Joe Middleton

A year into Ukraine war, bodies dug up in once occupied town

Friday 3 March 2023 12:41 , Joe Middleton

The freshly exhumed remains of three men lie in black body bags on the edge of the small cemetery in a town not far from Ukraine’s capital, waiting to be taken to a morgue. None has yet been identified.

Ukrainian authorities are still unearthing people who were hastily buried in makeshift graves during Russia‘s brief but brutal occupation of villages and towns near Kyiv. Almost 200 bodies remain unidentified, while 280 people are listed as missing.

Oleksander Pinchuk’s mother, Halyna, is among them. They never found her body in the wreckage of her apartment building, which took a direct hit from an airstrike a year ago. Pinchuk had walked out of the building just eight hours earlier, and has not seen his mother since, he said.

Germany will not send tanks to Ukraine if Switzerland agrees to send them

Friday 3 March 2023 11:44 , Joe Middleton

Germany would not send Leopard 2 tanks onwards to Ukraine if Switzerland agreed to send them as requested by Berlin, a German defence ministry spokesperson said on Friday.

“There are existing and assessed contractual regulations,” the spokesperson said when asked at a regular news conference how Berlin could guarantee this.

Germany wants Switzerland to sell some of the tanks back to arms maker Rheinmetall, which would allow the company to backfill gaps in the armaments of European Union and NATO members.

Lavrov says Russia will ‘no longer rely’ on West for energy trade as Moscow pivots to India and China

Friday 3 March 2023 10:33 , Thomas Kingsley

Russia will no longer rely on partners in the West for its energy trade and its new energy policy will be oriented towards more reliable partners such as India and China, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister who was in Delhi for the foreign ministers’ G20 meeting was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral conference, in capital New Delhi on Friday.

Mr Lavrov was asked how the war affected Russia’s strategy on energy and whether it will pivot to Asia for its energy trade.

Read the full story below:

Russia says it will move to stop further incursions after incident near Ukraine border

Friday 3 March 2023 10:11 , Thomas Kingsley

Russia said on Friday it would take measures to prevent new border incursions, a day after accusing Ukraine-backed nationalists of killing two people in a cross-border raid in southern Russia.

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia had been hit by a “terrorist attack” in the southern Bryansk region bordering Ukraine, and vowed to crush what he said was a Ukrainian sabotage group that had fired at civilians.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser accused Russia of staging the incident as a false “provocation” to justify aggression against Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that additional measures were being taken to protect the border.

“Of course, yesterday’s terrorist attack will be investigated and measures will be taken to prevent similar events in the future,” he said.

The FSB security service released video and photos of Thursday’s incident showing two shot-up cars with their drivers slumped dead inside.

Putin was due to hold a regular meeting of his Security Council later on Friday.

Bakhmut practically surrounded, announces Wagner chief

Friday 3 March 2023 08:26 , Arpan Rai

The contested Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has been “practically surrounded” by Russian forces, claimed Russian mercenaru force Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Ukrainian forces had access to only one road out, indicating that the soldiers will need to exit the war-marred mining city.

The Wagner chief also called on Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky in the video to withdraw his forces from the city which Wagner has been trying to capture for months at the cost of high attrition rate.

Moscow won’t let West blow up gas pipelines again, claims Lavrov

Friday 3 March 2023 08:08 , Arpan Rai

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has remarked that Russia “will not let the West blow up gas pipelines again” in an unbacked claim of attack on Nord Stream pipelines and said that Moscow would no longer rely on the West as an energy partner.

Moscow has suggested that Western countries were responsible for the blasts that damaged the Nord Stream pipelines in September, an assertion they have dismissed, and has called for an international investigation.

Lavrov was speaking at an event in New Delhi, a day after attending a meeting of G20 foreign ministers.

Air raid sirens blare across Ukraine

Friday 3 March 2023 07:35 , Arpan Rai

Officials have sounded air raid alert sirens in all Ukrainian regions, reported The Kyiv Independent.

The country-wide sirens were sounded around 9am.

Kremlin ‘weaponising fears of nuclear escalation’

Friday 3 March 2023 07:32 , Arpan Rai

The Kremlin is “very probably weaponising fears of nuclear escalation” in order to stop the West from aiding Ukraine in the continuing war, according to a US-based think tank.

Moscow announced the suspension of New START nuclear treat “in hopes of deterring Western support for Ukraine and slowing down pledged Western military aid transfers”, the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest intelligence assessment.

“The Kremlin remains extremely unlikely to use nuclear weapons but routinely makes low-credibility threats of nuclear escalation in an effort to intimidate the West and appeal to its ultranationalist base,” it added.

Russian threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine ‘inadmissible’, says Quad group

Friday 3 March 2023 07:04 , Arpan Rai

Foreign ministers of the Quad group from the US, India, Japan and Australia gathered in New Delhi denounced Russian threats to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war, deeming such constant warnings from Moscow as “inadmissible”.

“We continued to discuss our responses to the conflict in Ukraine and the immense human suffering it is causing, and concurred that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible,” the foreign ministers said in a joint statement today.

They pushed the need for a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with international law, including the UN Charter”.

We emphasised that the rules-based international order must respect sovereignty, territorial integrity, transparency and peaceful resolution of disputes, the ministers said.

Russia displays high-level battle arms but not using them in Ukraine – MoD

Friday 3 March 2023 06:45 , Arpan Rai

Russian defence firms are continuing to display their products at major international arms fairs despite the ongoing war in Ukraine, the British defence ministry said today.

But these arms are not being used in the conflict, the ministry pointed out, saying this shows Moscow’s production deficiencies.

“The Arena-E active protection system (APS), designed to improve the survivability of armoured vehicles, was displayed at a recent event,” the ministry said.

The Arena-E promises 360-degree circular protection of armoured vehicle from anti-tank weapons, such as grenades, artillery cumulative projectiles and anti-tank guided missiles, including those activated the moment they fly over the tank, making it a revered military artillery in wars.

The protection system can be placed on almost any vehicle, including T-72, T-72B, T-90 tanks and others, reported TASS agency.

This high-grade weapon protection system was displayed at the international weapons show IDEX-2023 last month in Abu Dhabi.

“Its promotional literature states that it ‘defeats the threats that are most dangerous for armoured vehicles…if you value your armour and crews you need Arena-E’,” the ministry said.

But there has been no evidence of Arena-E systems being installed on Russia’s own vehicles in Ukraine, where it has lost over 5,000 armoured vehicles, the MoD pointed out.

“This is likely due to the Russian industry’s inability to manufacture high-tech systems at scale; a problem which is exacerbated by the effect of international sanctions,” it added.

Biden, Scholz to discuss Ukraine war at White House today

Friday 3 March 2023 06:12 , Arpan Rai

German chancellor Olaf Scholz is visiting the White House today for a private meeting with president Joe Biden as the two leaders are set to discuss their countries’ assistance to war-hit Ukraine.

The high-level meeting will be intimate, according to a senior German official and a US official.

Rather than being constantly flanked by advisers, the officials said, Mr Biden and Mr Scholz are likely to be the only people in the room for much of the time.

Both allies have become increasingly vocal about their concerns that China may step off the sidelines and supply weapons to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Such a step could dramatically alter the war’s trajectory by allowing Moscow to replenish its depleted stockpiles.

Biden, Scholz to huddle on Ukraine war at White House

Blinken warns against Russia’s impunity

Friday 3 March 2023 04:18 , Arpan Rai

US secretary of state Antony Blinken has warned against Russia’s display of impunity in Ukraine and said that nations beyond the European bloc are united to end it.

“If we allow Russia to do what it is doing with impunity in Ukraine, that’s a message to everyone that they will be able to get away too,” he said in New Delhi today.

He added that the countries way beyond Europe are also focussed on the Ukraine war as they know it could have effect here, without naming any nations on the Asian continent facing territorial threats from their former administrators.

Ukraine successfully repelling attacks on Bakhmut, digging trenches

Friday 3 March 2023 04:07 , Arpan Rai

The fierce fighting “is going on in Bakhmut round the clock” and the situation is “critical,” said Volodymyr Nazarenko, a deputy commander in the National Guard of Ukraine, told Ukrainian NV Radio.

The general staff of Ukrainian armed forces said that the country’s troops are successfully repelling attacks on Bakhmut and two settlements to the critical salt mining city – Khromove and Ivanivske.

Russia has relentlessly shelled Bakhmut and several nearby towns like Chasiv Yar and two towns south of Bakhmut.

New trenches have been dug on the roadside 20-40 metres (65-130 feet) apart in nearby towns and villages confirming that Ukrainian forces are strengthening their defensive positions.

Several areas in central Zaporizhzhia and Kherson region also came under shelling as more than 40 towns and villages were targeted, the Ukrainian military said in a statement.

Russia, which lost territory in the second half of 2022, says taking Bakhmut would be a step towards seizing the rest of the surrounding industrial region known as the Donbas. Ukraine says the city has limited strategic value but wants to exhaust Russian forces.

Anna Netrebko concert canceled by Taiwan national orchestra

Friday 3 March 2023 03:58 , Joe Middleton

Taiwan‘s National Symphony Orchestra canceled a March 5 concert scheduled to feature soprano Anna Netrebko in a decision the orchestra said it made “due to public concerns.”

Netrebko had been scheduled to perform with her husband, tenor Yusif Eyvazov, and mezzo-soprano I-Chiao Shih.

Netrebko, a 51-year-old who was born in Russia and lives in Vienna, was among classical music’s top draws until last year, when New York’s Metropolitan Opera dropped her after she refused to distance herself from Russian President Vladimir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Anna Netrebko concert canceled by Taiwan national orchestra

More than 170 attacks repelled on Ukraine’s front lines

Friday 3 March 2023 03:34 , Arpan Rai

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov has said that the war-hit country repelled more than 170 attacks on its front lines yesterday.

“In the past 24 hours, our forces have repelled more than 170 attacks, an unprecedented number over a 24-hour period for the five principal sectors of the front line,” he said last night.

The prominent military analyst described Russians trying to encircle Bakhmut from the north, east and south and he said that on western approaches to the city “this is probably the only part of the Bakhmut sector where our forces, rather than the Russian occupiers, have the initiative.”

War, anger cloud Ukrainian athletes’ path to Paris Olympics

Friday 3 March 2023 03:20 , Joe Middleton

Ukrainian diver Stanislav Oliferchyk proudly bears the name of his late grandfather, who died in brutalized Mariupol. Russia‘s troops turned the Ukrainian port city into a killing zone in the process of capturing it. The elder Stanislav could no longer get the cancer treatment he needed in the ruins, his grandson says. He was 74 when he died last October.

Another victim of the months-long Russian siege of Mariupol was its gleaming aquatic center. Oliferchyk had planned to use the refurbished sports complex as his training base for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

But it was bombed the same day last March as the city’s drama theater. The theater airstrike was the single deadliest known attack against civilians to date in the year-old Russian invasion. An Associated Press investigation determined that close to 600 people died.

War, anger cloud Ukrainian athletes’ path to Paris Olympics

ICYMI: Multiple armoured Russian vehicles destroyed in battle near Maryinka

Friday 3 March 2023 02:20 , Joe Middleton

Hungary further delays vote on Sweden, Finland joining NATO

Friday 3 March 2023 01:20 , Joe Middleton

Hungary has further delayed a vote on ratifying Sweden and Finland‘s NATO accession bids, according to an updated schedule published Thursday on the National Assembly’s website, the latest in a series of postponements that have frustrated Western allies.

The delay, which pushes the vote back by two weeks to the parliamentary session beginning March 20, comes as Hungary remains the only NATO member country besides Turkey that hasn’t yet approved the two Nordic countries’ bids to join the Western military alliance.

Hungary’s populist prime minister, Viktor Orban, has said that he is personally in favor of the two countries joining NATO, but alleged that the governments in Stockholm and Helsinki have “spread blatant lies” about Hungary which have raised questions among lawmakers in his party on whether to approve the bids.

Hungary further delays vote on Sweden, Finland joining NATO

EU to speed up deliveries of howitzer shells for Ukraine

Friday 3 March 2023 00:20 , Joe Middleton

European Union officials and countries from the 27-nation bloc are discussing plans to dedicate an extra billion euros as well as setting up a joint procurement scheme to speed up the delivery of howitzer artillery rounds that Ukraine says are crucial to countering Russian forces.

With Ukraine facing shortages of ammunition to fight Russia, the idea of setting up a plan of action similar to the one devised during the coronavirus pandemic to buy vaccines was first brought to the table last month by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

According to an EU official with direct knowledge of the project who briefed reporters Thursday, the priority now is to guarantee the swift delivery to Ukrainian armed forces of 155mm artillery rounds. The official was not authorized to speak publicly because the plan is still being finalized.

EU to speed up deliveries of howitzer shells for Ukraine

Putin accuses Ukrainians of attack inside Russia – but Kyiv calls it ‘provocation’

Thursday 2 March 2023 23:20 , Joe Middleton

Vladimir Putin claimed Russia had been hit by a “terrorist attack” on civilians inside its territory near Ukraine and vowed to crush what he said was a Ukrainian sabotage group.

In a televised address, Putin accused the group of opening fire on occupants of a car, including children. “They won’t achieve anything. We will crush them,” the Russian president said.

Ukraine accused Russia of staging a false “provocation” – but also appeared to acknowledge an operation had been carried out.

Putin accuses Ukraine of attack inside Russia but Kyiv calls it ‘provocation’

Indian prime minister urges G20 gathering to look beyond Ukraine war in talks

Thursday 2 March 2023 22:20 , Joe Middleton

We’ve passed the first anniversary of the Ukraine war – there won’t be a second

Thursday 2 March 2023 21:20 , Joe Middleton

As of now any end to the war is unlikely to be on better terms for Ukraine than were on offer before Russia invaded, writes Mary Dejevsky.

Will there be a second anniversary for the war in Ukraine? | Mary Dejevsky

Scholz asks China to refrain from sending weapons to Russia

Thursday 2 March 2023 20:20 , Joe Middleton

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday called on China to refrain from sending weapons to Russia and instead use its influence to press Moscow for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

“My message to Beijing is clear: use your influence in Moscow to press for the withdrawal of Russian troops, and do not supply weapons to the aggressor Russia,” Scholz said in a speech to German parliament.

The chancellor also vowed that Germany would continue to support Ukraine with humanitarian and military aid to help the country defend itself against Russia’s invasion.

Scholz asks China to refrain from sending weapons to Russia

Italy PM urges India to play key role in ending Ukraine war

Thursday 2 March 2023 19:59 , Joe Middleton

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Thursday urged India to play a central role in facilitating a negotiating process to end Russia’s war against Ukraine.

India, with the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 industrialized and developing countries, could represent the vulnerabilities and needs of less-developed nations in such a process, Meloni said in a statement following talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

She condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and underscored its adverse impact on developing countries in terms of food and energy security.

Italy PM urges India to play key role in ending Ukraine war

Russian strike on Ukraine apartment block kills 3, injures 6

Thursday 2 March 2023 19:20 , Joe Middleton

Three people were killed and six others were injured when a Russian missile hit a five-story apartment building in a city in southeastern Ukraine on Thursday, police said, as the war extended into its second year.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said several floors of the building were destroyed in the strike, which occurred while it was still dark.

The State Emergency Service said in an online statement that it had rescued 11 people so far.

Russian strike on Ukraine apartment block kills 3, injures 6

New IAEA monitors reach Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Thursday 2 March 2023 17:20 , Joe Middleton

A new team of monitors from the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, has taken up its post at Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station after a delay of almost a month, IAEA director general Rafael Grossi announced today.

Russia has accused the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of disrupting the latest monthly staff rotation, which had been put back three times.

Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, with six reactors, was occupied by Russian troops early in their invasion of Ukraine and remains near the front line.

With each side accusing the other of shelling it and risking a nuclear accident, IAEA monitors have been posted at the station since September.

In a statement, Grossi said their presence was “indispensable to help reduce the risk of a nuclear accident”.

Renat Karchaa, adviser to the general director of the Russian nuclear agency Rosenergoatom, told the state-run TASS news agency that three IAEA monitors had arrived along with four UN security personnel.

Reuters

Blinken meets Lavrov but G20 ends without agreed joint statement

Thursday 2 March 2023 16:19 , Joe Middleton

A meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Delhi ended without agreement over the conflict in Ukraine on Thursday, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken briefly met Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in their first encounter since the war.

Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said there would be no communique agreed by all nations “because there were differences on the Ukraine issue which we could not reconcile”.

Blinken blamed Russia for derailing the meeting and urged the G20 to call on Moscow to withdraw its forces from Ukraine.

Shweta Sharma reports.

Blinken meets Lavrov but G20 nations fails to agree joint statement

EU to speed up deliveries of howitzer shells for Ukraine

Thursday 2 March 2023 15:25 , Joe Middleton

European Union officials and countries from the 27-nation bloc are discussing plans to dedicate an extra billion euros as well as setting up a joint procurement scheme to speed up the delivery of howitzer artillery rounds that Ukraine says are crucial to countering Russian forces.

With Ukraine facing shortages of ammunition to fight Russia, the idea of setting up a plan of action similar to the one devised during the coronavirus pandemic to buy vaccines was first brought to the table last month by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

According to an EU official with direct knowledge of the project who briefed reporters Thursday, the priority now is to guarantee the swift delivery to Ukrainian armed forces of 155mm artillery rounds. The official was not authorized to speak publicly because the plan is still being finalized.

EU to speed up deliveries of howitzer shells for Ukraine

Indian prime minister urges G20 gathering to look beyond Ukraine war in talks

Thursday 2 March 2023 15:13 , Joe Middleton

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent’s website

Source

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button