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Russia Ukraine War (Putin's War) - Page 11

Joshua Zitser

Footage from inside of Russia appears to show a thermobaric rocket launcher being deployed towards the Ukrainian border, according to The Guardian. The video, shared on Twitter by CNN correspondent Frederik Pleitgen, displays a TOS-1 heavy flamethrower, which can shoot thermobaric rockets mounted on a T-72 tank chassis. The footage was captured south of Belgorod, Pleitgen said, which is about 45 miles away from Kharkiv, Ukraine. more...

Bobby Allyn

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has unleashed a flood of misleading and false material on TikTok. The popular app used by more than 1 billion people has been amplifying videos portraying old conflicts, scenes from movies and even video game battles as if showing on-the-ground live footage. In times of crisis, social media platforms are always struggling to stay head of misinformation and make round-the-clock calls on when a viral post should be removed. But the flurry of conflict-themed footage now on TikTok has overwhelmed the platform in new ways, sending countless fake or videos framed as if depicting the war in Ukraine to millions of viewers. more...

By Paresh Dave

Feb 26 (Reuters) - YouTube on Saturday barred Russian state-owned media outlet RT and other Russian channels from receiving money for advertisements that run with their videos, similar to a move by Facebook, after the invasion of Ukraine. Citing "extraordinary circumstances," YouTube said that it was "pausing a number of channels’ ability to monetize on YouTube, including several Russian channels affiliated with recent sanctions" such as the European Union's. Ad placement is largely controlled by YouTube. more...

By DASHA LITVINOVA and VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV

MOSCOW (AP) — As Russian troops were closing in on the Ukrainian capital, more and more Russians spoke out Saturday against the invasion, even as the government’s official rhetoric grew increasingly harsher. Street protests, albeit small, resumed in the Russian capital of Moscow, the second-largest city of St. Petersburg and other Russian cities for the third straight day, with people taking to the streets despite mass detentions on Thursday and Friday. According to OVD-Info, rights group that tracks political arrests, at least 460 people in 34 cities were detained over anti-war protests on Saturday, including over 200 in Moscow. more...

From CNN's Jamie Crawford

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Saturday he has authorized $350 million in new US military assistance to Ukraine.

   “Today, as Ukraine fights with courage and pride against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked assault, I have authorized, pursuant to a delegation by the President, an unprecedented third Presidential Drawdown of up to $350 million for immediate support to Ukraine’s defense,” Blinken said in a written statement. more...

By ZEKE MILLER, RAF CASERT and ELLEN KNICKMEYER

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States, European Union and United Kingdom on Saturday agreed to put in place crippling sanctions on the Russian financial sector, including a block on its access to the global financial system and, for the first time, restrictions on its central bank in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine. The measures were announced jointly as part of a new round of financial sanctions meant to “hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.” The central bank restrictions target the more than $600 billion in reserves that the Kremlin has at its disposal, meant to limit Russia’s ability to support the ruble amid tightening Western sanctions. more...

TMZ

The Ukrainians are not only a stronger force than the Russians expected, but they're also bringing attitude to the fight, and they're doing it in an awesome fashion. Check out this video ... some Ukrainians were driving and came upon a Russian tank that apparently ran out of gas and was simply stuck in the road. Rather than hightailing it out of there, the Ukrainians mocked the Russians, asking if they wanted a tow back to Russia. Here's the translation of how the convo went ... more...

By Kaitlan Collins, Phil Mattingly, Kevin Liptak and Donald Judd, CNN

CNN — The White House, along with the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Canada, announced Saturday evening that they would expel certain Russian banks from SWIFT, the high-security network that connects thousands of financial institutions around the world, pledging to “collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.” “This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally,” they wrote in a joint statement released by the White House, also pledging “restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions,” and restricting the sale of “golden passports” that allow Russian oligarchs to avoid the brunt of sanctions already levied. more...

CNN

Dramatic video out of Bakhmach, Ukraine, shows a man attempting to stop a Russian tank with his body. video...

Guardian News

Video footage shared by Ukrainian news outlet HB apparently shows a Ukrainian man attempting to block a Russian military convoy. video...

Luciana Lopez, Craig Harris, Caren Bohan, Mike Snider, Tom Vanden Brook |USA Today

Russian forces have grown increasingly frustrated by Ukrainian resistance, particularly near the capital of Kyiv, and the Russian advance remains about 18 miles from the city, a senior Defense Department official said Saturday. Russia has, however, sent reconnaissance forces into Kyiv, the official said, declining to say how many of those troops have penetrated the city. About 50% of Russia’s combat troops have entered Ukraine up from 30% on Friday, the official said, characterizing the number in the tens of thousands of combat and logistics troops. Russian troops are advancing along three major routes into Ukraine. more...

Zachary Basu

Germany will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger missiles to Ukraine, marking a complete reversal in Berlin's restrictive arms export policy, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Saturday. Why it matters: Germany has for months come under intense criticism for its response to Russia's aggression toward Ukraine. The government said its "historical responsibilities" prevented it from shipping arms to conflict zones, and had previously blocked other NATO allies from transferring German-origin weapons to Ukraine. What they're saying: "The Russian attack marks a turning point. It is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend against the invading army of Putin. That's why we're supplying 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 stinger missiles to our friends in the Ukraine," Scholz tweeted. more...

By Chloe Folmar

In addition to official government sanctions, bars and liquor stores across the U.S. and Canada are attempting to economically hurt Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine by refusing to sell Russian vodka and other Russian liquor. “Ontario joins Canada’s allies in condemning the Russian government’s act of aggression against the Ukrainian people, and will direct the [Liquor Control Board of Ontario] to withdraw all products produced in Russia from store shelves,” Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy tweeted, adding, “#StandwithUkraine.” “The people of Ontario will always stand against tyranny and oppression,” Bethlenfalvy later added. more...

Experts expressed concerns about the influx of non-government cyber groups taking sides in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
by Jonathan Greig, Staff Writer

Multiple ransomware groups and members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous announced this week that they are getting involved in the military conflict between Ukraine and Russia. On Thursday, members of Anonymous announced on Twitter that they would be launching attacks against the Russian government. The hacktivists defaced some local government websites in Russia and temporarily took down others, including the website of Russian news outlet RT. The group claimed on Friday that it would leak login credentials for the Russian Ministry of Defense website. more...

‘China supports Russia and Ukraine to resolve the issue through negotiation,’ Chinese president says.
Aljazeera

China’s President Xi Jinping said he supported solving the Ukraine crisis through talks in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Moscow launched an invasion of its neighbour. In a readout of the call on Friday on state broadcaster CCTV, Xi pointed out the “situation in eastern Ukraine has undergone rapid changes … [and] China supports Russia and Ukraine to resolve the issue through negotiation”. Russian forces have launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, unleashing air strikes and sending troops deep into the country, after weeks of diplomatic efforts failed to deter Putin from launching the military operation. Beijing has trod a cautious diplomatic line on the crisis and refused to call it an “invasion” or condemn the actions of Russia, its close ally. more...

Analysis: President makes appeal to Ukraine’s military to abandon its ‘drug-addicted, neo-Nazi’ leaders
Andrew Roth

Looking dead-eyed into the camera on Friday, Vladimir Putin gave one of the most bizarre speeches of his 22 years as Russia’s leader, a directive that managed to sound alarming even in a week when he has ordered tanks into Ukraine and missile strikes on Kyiv. “Once again I speak to the Ukrainian soldiers,” he said, addressing his enemy. “Do not allow neo-Nazis and Banderites to use your children, your wives and the elderly as a human shield. Take power into your own hands. It seems that it will be easier for us to come to an agreement than with this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis.” The speech seemed to be ripped from an alternate reality – or from the second world war, where Putin appears to be spending more of his time as he launches the kind of broad military offensive not seen in Europe for nearly 70 years. more...

Matthew S. Schwartz

Fierce street fighting is being reported in Kyiv as Ukrainian troops defend the capital city against the ongoing Russian invasion. Air raid sirens blared throughout the night as the city was hit by missiles and rockets. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging Ukrainian citizens to stay inside, take cover and "stand firm." Zelenskyy has released two videos in the last few hours, cautioning that he and his family are top targets and disputing what he says is disinformation being spread that he has called on his army to surrender. "We have withstood and successful repelled enemy attacks," Zelenskyy said in a video message, according to a BBC translation. "The fighting continues in many cities and districts of our state. We are defending our country, the land of our future children. more...

Security experts have warned that any cyberattacks on Russia could prompt digital retaliation by either Moscow or sympathetic criminal hackers.
By Eric Geller

A Russian ransomware gang on Friday threatened to hack the critical infrastructure of any nation or organization that retaliates against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, according to a statement shared by cybersecurity researchers. The statement, attributed to the operators of the Conti gang, pledged “full support of [the] Russian government” and vowed to use “all possible resources to strike back at the critical [infrastructure] of an enemy” that launches “a cyberattack or any war activities against Russia.” The group is best known for devastating Ireland’s health system in May 2021, an attack whose real-world effects persisted for months. more...

By Joshua Berlinger, CNN

CNN — Volodymyr Zelensky approached a lectern under bright lights, preparing to deliver a message to the Ukrainian people. “Today I will start with long-awaited words, which I wish to announce with pride,” he said. “Finally,” he continued. “Ukraine is United … This is our victory.” The speech was fiction. It is from the closing scene of “Servant of the People,” a satirical TV show about a down-on-his-luck high-school teacher, played by Zelensky, who is thrust into the Ukrainian presidency after his rant about corruption goes viral. more...

Al Jazeera English

Invading Russian forces have closed in on Ukraine’s capital in an apparent encircling movement after a barrage of air attacks on cities and military bases around the country. Frequent artillery blasts could be heard in Kyiv in the early hours of Saturday, coming from an unspecified location some distance from the city centre, according to the Reuters news agency. video...

Polygraph.info

On February 24, Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov said its forces invading Ukraine were not targeting civilians. Konashenkov said no missile, aviation or artillery strikes would target cities, and that Russia’s military aim was to disable Ukrainian military infrastructure, aircraft, airfields and other facilities. “The Russian armed forces are not striking at the cities of Ukraine. They are not threatening the civilian population,” Konashenkov told reporters. more...

Chloe Taylor, Amanda Macias, Christina Wilkie

Russian forces are closing in on Kyiv as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine continues. The United States and its European allies, meanwhile, have decided to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin directly. Kyiv officials warned residents in the capital’s northern Obolon district not to go outside on Friday due to “the approach of active hostilities.” Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense urged people in the area to either take shelter or make petrol bombs to “neutralize the occupier.” It came as Ukrainian officials blew up bridges leading into Kyiv to prevent Russian troops infiltrating the capital. more...

By Nathan Hodge, Matthew Chance, Tim Lister and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) The fight by Ukranian forces to hold back a Russian advance on the capital, Kyiv, stretched into early Saturday morning, amid warnings the city could fall within days and as officials handed out weapons to reservists. "This night will be very difficult, and the enemy will use all available forces to break the resistance of Ukrainians," President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a late-night video message Friday. "This night we have to stand ground. The fate of Ukraine is being decided right now." A CNN team reported hearing a series of explosions on the outskirts of Kyiv just after 2 a.m. local time, though the exact nature and location of those detonations were unclear, and reporters in Kyiv have heard loud booms to the west and south of the city. The sky lit up early Saturday with a series of flashes on the horizon. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian armed forces reported heavy fighting around the city of Vasylkiv, some 30 kilometers southwest of Kyiv. more...

Analysis: President makes appeal to Ukraine’s military to abandon its ‘drug-addicted, neo-Nazi’ leaders
Andrew Roth

Looking dead-eyed into the camera on Friday, Vladimir Putin gave one of the most bizarre speeches of his 22 years as Russia’s leader, a directive that managed to sound alarming even in a week when he has ordered tanks into Ukraine and missile strikes on Kyiv. “Once again I speak to the Ukrainian soldiers,” he said, addressing his enemy. “Do not allow neo-Nazis and Banderites to use your children, your wives and the elderly as a human shield. Take power into your own hands. It seems that it will be easier for us to come to an agreement than with this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis.” more...

By Barbara Starr and Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) For the first time, the NATO Response Force has been activated as a defensive measure in response to Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine. NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Tod Wolters activated the multinational force consisting of land, air, sea and special operations forces from the allies that can deploy quickly in support of the NATO alliance. The activation of the response troops does not mean that any US or NATO troops will go into Ukraine, which is not a member. US President Joe Biden has been clear that US troops are deploying to eastern Europe to help bolster NATO countries nervous about Russia's aggressive actions, and they will not be fighting in Ukraine. more...

Courtney Kube and Corky Siemaszko

Two days in, the Russian offensive appeared to be stymied by stiffer-than-expected resistance from highly motivated Ukrainian armed forces. Despite an overwhelming advantage in manpower and equipment, the Russian advance lost some of its momentum Friday and the quick victory Russian President Vladimir Putin was counting on is no longer assured, a senior United States defense official told NBC News.

"We do assess that there is greater resistance by the Ukrainians than the Russians expected," the official said. “They are fighting for their country.” While Russian forces are threatening the capital, Kyiv, and other major cities like Kharkiv and small-but-strategic cities like Rivne, none have have been taken so far and the Ukrainian air defenses remain largely intact, despite being targeted by relentless missile attacks, the official said. more...

Chloe Taylor, Amanda Macias, Christina Wilkie

Russian forces are closing in on Kyiv as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine continues. The United States and its European allies, meanwhile, have decided to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin directly. Kyiv officials warned residents in the capital’s northern Obolon district not to go outside on Friday due to “the approach of active hostilities.” Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense urged people in the area to either take shelter or make petrol bombs to “neutralize the occupier.” It came as Ukrainian officials blew up bridges leading into Kyiv to prevent Russian troops infiltrating the capital. more...

Luciana Lopez, Maureen Groppe, Michael Collins, Bart Jansen | USA TODAY

The U.S. and its European allies moved to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday as Russia's military pushed further into Ukraine in an invasion that threatened to topple its democratic government. The White House announced the new sanctions after President Joe Biden met with fellow NATO heads of state to discuss the mounting crisis. Ukrainian officials reported at least 137 deaths on their side and claimed hundreds on the Russian one. Russian authorities released no casualty figures. Bridges and schools have been damaged in the shelling, which also sliced through a Kyiv apartment building. more...

By ANDREW DRAKE

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Yurii Zhyhanov woke before dawn to his mother’s screaming and found himself covered in dust. On the second day of Russia’s invasion, shelling on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, struck their residential building. Many civilians, horrified to find their lives at risk, started to flee during the attack’s first hours. Amid the smoke and the screeching of car alarms on Friday, Zhyhanov and his family packed and joined them. “What are you doing? What is this?” he said, addressing Russia and gesturing to the damaged building behind him. “If you want to attack military personnel, attack military personnel. This is all I can say.” more...

Andriy Zagorodnyuk

The situation in and around Ukraine is extremely tense. We have 150,000 Russian troops scattered near our borders – from Belarus to Crimea and the Black Sea. There are tens of navy vessels and thousands of planes, tanks, artillery units and other equipment, ready to be engaged within hours. There is strong evidence that the Russian government is seriously considering engaging all of these capabilities against Ukraine. We believe all preliminary decisions have been made, so the decision rests now with the president. If a campaign does start, it will mean a joint forces operation in all domains: land, air, navy, cyber, information and special operations. It will be a war on a scale unseen in Europe since the second world war. more...

Muyao Shen and David Pan

(Bloomberg) -- Trading volume has slowed across many cryptocurrency trading platforms during the rout in global assets triggered by the Ukraine crisis, a potentiality troubling sign for a sector that has billed itself as alternative to traditional finance. Bitcoin’s aggregated daily spot trading volume on Coinbase, Bitstamp, FTX, Gemini, ItBit, Kraken and LMAX Digital was around $3 billion, according to data from researcher Skew. That’s compared with previous highs of roughly $5 billion in the beginning of December. At one point Thursday, Bitcoin lost about $27 billion in market value. more...

Guardian News

The soldiers who died defending an island in the Black Sea from an air and sea bombardment told an officer onboard a Russian navy warship to 'go fuck yourself' when asked to surrender. video...

Guardian News

Explosions and gunfire have been heard in a northern district of Kyiv, as invading Russian forces closed in. Footage shared on social media appears to show armoured vehicles driving through Obolonskyi, a district approximately 10km from central Kyiv. Ukraine’s defence ministry asked residents not to leave their houses and to prepare Molotov cocktails. video...

By University of Oxford

The past two decades have seen extraordinary advancements in human genetic research, generating genomic data for hundreds of thousands of individuals, including from thousands of prehistoric people. This raises the exciting possibility of tracing the origins of human genetic diversity to produce a complete map of how individuals across the world are related to each other. Until now, the main challenges to this vision were working out a way to combine genome sequences from many different databases and developing algorithms to handle data of this size. However, a new method published today by researchers from the University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute can easily combine data from multiple sources and scale to accommodate millions of genome sequences. more...

The time for the US and its European allies to act is now.
By Nicole Narea

The United Nations has estimated that about 100,000 Ukrainians have already been displaced as a result of the Russian invasion, and that number could ultimately grow to 1 to 5 million. The international community is making preparations to meet their humanitarian needs — though perhaps not quickly enough. Just hours after Russia’s assault began on Thursday morning, there were massive traffic jams, sold-out train tickets, and long lines at ATMs in Kyiv as people tried to flee with little clue as to how long they might be gone or if they’ll ever return. more...

By Maria Tsvetkova

KYIV, Feb 25 (Reuters) - People in Kyiv were told to make Molotov cocktail petrol bombs on Friday as they hid in makeshift shelters and basements, awaiting a Russian assault on the Ukrainian capital. Missiles pounded Kyiv overnight and air raid sirens wailed, increasing fears among residents who did not flee the city of 3 million on Thursday that an assault was imminent. "Make Molotov cocktails, neutralise the occupier!," the Defence Ministry said, while local authorities told people in the northwestern Obolon area of the city to stay off the streets because "active hostilities" were approaching. read more...

The Associated Press

MOSCOW — Shocked Russians turned out by the thousands Thursday to decry their country's invasion of Ukraine as emotional calls for protests grew on social media. Some 1,745 people in 54 Russian cities were detained, at least 957 of them in Moscow. Hundreds of posts came pouring in condemning Moscow's most aggressive actions since the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Vladimir Putin called the attack a "special military operation" to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine from "genocide" — a false claim the U.S. had predicted would be a pretext for invasion, and which many Russians roundly rejected. more...

Sam Meredith

Ukraine’s nuclear agency on Friday warned radiation at the defunct Chornobyl nuclear power plant had exceeded control levels after Russian troops seized control of the area. Experts at the state nuclear agency said in a statement that the change was due to the movement of a large number of heavy military machinery lifting the top layer of soil into the air. The condition of the Chornobyl nuclear facilities and other facilities remains unchanged, according to the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine. more...

By YURAS KARMANAU, JIM HEINTZ, VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and DASHA LITVINOVA

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the global post-Cold War security order. Ukraine’s government pleaded for help as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee. Scores of Ukrainians, civilians and service members alike, were killed in the first full day of fighting. Russian President Vladimir Putin ignored global condemnation and cascading new sanctions as he unleashed the largest ground war in Europe since World War II and chillingly referred to his country’s nuclear arsenal. He threatened any country trying to interfere with “consequences you have never seen,” as a once-hoped for diplomatic resolution now appeared impossible. more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Washington (CNN) President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled harsh new sanctions on Russia meant to punish the country for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, calling out Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggression even as he acknowledged it would take time for the new measures to alter Putin's behavior. "Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences," Biden said, laying out a set of measures that will "impose severe cost on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time." The new sanctions include export blocks on technology, a centerpiece of Biden's approach that he said would severely limit Russia's ability to advance its military and aerospace sector. He also applied sanctions on Russian banks and "corrupt billionaires" and their families who are close to the Kremlin. The targets were not limited to Russia. The US also went after individuals in Belarus, including the country's defense minister, for that country's role in facilitating the Russian attack. more...

Some financial analysts have likened ousting Russia from SWIFT as a "nuclear option," and would be an unprecedented move against one of the world's largest economies.
By Erik Ortiz

President Joe Biden unveiled new sanctions against Russia on Thursday in response to President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine, and said that collectively, they will be "more consequential" than one of the strongest single options he could seek. Biden stopped short of announcing the U.S. and its allies would impose a harsh financial penalty against Russia — kicking it out of the SWIFT banking system — but said such action may still be on the table as the crisis unfolds. "It is always an option," Biden told reporters at the White House, "but right now it's not the position that the rest of Europe wishes to take." more...

ABC7

Russian troops launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday, as President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to "consequences you have never seen." video...

Russia's economy is fueled by energy, especially natural gas exports to Europe. That could be an important tool in the arsenal used in Ukraine -- and either side can play it.

With Russia's invasion of Ukraine having begun, the U.S and its allies are reviewing the additional, heavy sanctions that it can levy. The biggest weapon for both sides may be a commodity that most homeowners take for granted — natural gas. Here's what's at stake: Ukraine isn’t a member of NATO and there is no appetite so far to confront Russia militarily over its invasion. Instead, the allies have chosen to try to squeeze Russia economically, hoping that Russians will be so dismayed over the state of their economy that President Vladimir Putin will back off. more...

By VANESSA GERA

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Russian troops launched a broad, three-pronged assault on Ukraine that brought explosions and set off air raid sirens to the country’s capital, Kyiv, and other cities, shattering any remaining hope that a military conflict would be avoided. Ukraine’s leadership said at least 40 people had been killed in what it called a “full-scale war” targeting the country from the east, north and south. It said Russia’s intent was to destroy the state of Ukraine, a Western-looking democracy intent on escaping Moscow’s orbit. As Ukrainian forces fought back and civilians piled into trains and cars to flee, NATO and European leaders rushed to respond, if not directly in Ukraine, with strong financial sanctions against Russia and moves to strengthen their own borders. more...

By: The Associated Press, Nexstar Media Wire

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The missile fragment pierced the ceiling of Mikhail Shcherbakov’s apartment in Kharkiv. In an instant, Ukrainians found that war, after weeks of warnings, had hit home. “I heard noise and woke up. I realized it sounded like artillery,” Shcherbakov said. He jumped from the couch and ran to wake his mother, and something exploded behind him. The missile left a nearby computer and teacup shrouded with dust, instant artifacts of Europe’s latest war. more...

Reuters

KYIV, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been captured by Russian forces, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podolyak, said on Thursday. "It is impossible to say the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe after a totally pointless attack by the Russians," he said. "This is one of the most serious threats in Europe today," Podolyak said. Russian troops took over the power plant while Ukrainian forces battled them on three sides on Thursday after Moscow mounted an assault by land, sea and air in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two. read more...

Polygraph.info

During a televised speech on February 21, President Vladimir Putin addressed the people of Russia and Ukraine to, in his words, “explain” the reasons for Russia’s response to the “critical, acute situation” in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. The same day, Putin formally recognized two sections of Donbas that have been controlled by Russia-backed separatists as “independent states” and ordered Russian troops into Ukraine, prompting worldwide condemnation. more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Washington CNN — President Joe Biden, vowing the world will “hold Russia accountable” for the attack underway in Ukraine, will spell out a set of sanctions on Thursday once meant to deter such an assault. Set to address the nation Thursday afternoon, Biden is expected to unveil new measures that could cut off Russia from advanced technology, announce new restrictions on large financial institutions and slap sanctions on additional members of the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin. more...

Guardian News

Russian forces can be seen crossing into Ukraine across the Senkivka-Veselivka border checkpoint with Belarus in border guard CCTV and a separate video shows tanks crossing the border from occupied Crimea. video...

Reuters

Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine — Russian troops launched their anticipated attack on Ukraine on Thursday, as President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions. more...

Reuters

KYIV, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday called on all citizens who were ready to defend the country from Russian forces to come forward, saying Kyiv would issue weapons to everyone who wants them. Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two and confirmation of the worst fears of the West. read more...

By YURAS KARMANAU, JIM HEINTZ, VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and DASHA LITVINOVA

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — 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. Ukraine’s government said Russian tanks and troops rolled across the border in a “full-scale war” that could rewrite the geopolitical order and whose fallout already reverberated around the world. In unleashing Moscow’s most aggressive action since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, President Vladimir Putin deflected global condemnation and cascading new sanctions — and chillingly referred to his country’s nuclear arsenal. He threatened any foreign country attempting to interfere with “consequences you have never seen.” more...

By Natalia Zinets and Aleksandar Vasovic

KYIV/MARIUPOL, Ukraine, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Thursday in a massed assault by land, sea and air, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two. Missiles rained down. Ukraine reported columns of troops pouring across its borders from Russia and Belarus and landing on the coast from the Black and Azov seas. Ukrainian troops fought Russian forces along practically the entire border, and fierce fighting was taking place in the regions of Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Odessa and at a military airport near Kyiv, an adviser to the presidential office said. more...

WGN News

Russian troops launched their anticipated attack on Ukraine on Thursday, as President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to “consequences you have never seen.” video...

By YURAS KARMANAU, JIM HEINTZ, VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and DASHA LITVINOVA

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — 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. Ukraine’s government said Russian tanks and troops rolled across the border in a “full-scale war” that could rewrite the geopolitical order and whose fallout already reverberated around the world. In unleashing Moscow’s most aggressive action since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, President Vladimir Putin deflected global condemnation and cascading new sanctions — and chillingly referred to his country’s nuclear arsenal. He threatened any foreign country attempting to interfere with “consequences you have never seen.” more...

By The Associated Press

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine and for the first time laid responsibility directly on Moscow for the tensions and violence in Hungary’s eastern neighbor. “Together with our European Union and NATO allies, we condemn Russia’s military action,” Orban said in a video on Facebook. A member of the European Union and NATO that borders Ukraine, Hungary under Orban has pursued close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a point of concern for many of Hungary’s western partners. more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Washington (CNN) President Joe Biden, vowing the world will "hold Russia accountable" for the attack underway in Ukraine, will spell out a set of sanctions on Thursday once meant to deter such an assault. Set to address the nation at 12 p.m. ET, Biden is expected to unveil new measures that could cut off Russia from advanced technology, announce new restrictions on large financial institutions and slap sanctions on additional members of the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The planned sanctions, the latest US reprisals against Moscow this week, had been reserved as Biden hoped to maintain some leverage in dissuading Putin from a full-scale invasion. But so far, Western threats of economic punishment, as well as Biden's strategy of revealing what the US knew about Putin's buildup of forces to try to make the Russian leader second-guess himself, have proven ineffective. more...

By Netty Idayu Ismail and Anna Andrianova

Russian assets nosedived as military attacks across Ukraine prompted emergency central bank action and investors braced for the toughest round of Western sanctions yet, wiping out as much as $259 billion in stock-market value. The cost of insuring Russian debt against default soared to the highest since 2009 and stocks collapsed as much as 45% -- their biggest-ever retreat. The ruble sank to a record low, before paring losses. The Bank of Russia said it will intervene in the foreign exchange market for the first time in years and take measures to tame volatility. more...

WBNS 10TV

Big explosions were heard before dawn in Ukrainian cities as world leaders decried the start of a Russian invasion that could topple Ukraine's government. video...

Guardian News

In a tense exchange with the Russian ambassador, Ukraine's representative to the United Nations has told the security council that Russian president Vladimir Putin has 'declared war on Ukraine'. video...

By Charlie D'Agata, Justine Redman, Haley Ott

Kyiv, Ukraine — As the U.S. and other nations announced further sanctions against Russia in a bid to dissuade President Vladimir Putin from launching a full scale invasion of Ukraine, the situation on the ground was getting tenser by the minute. With violence escalating in the country's east, Ukraine's government called up military reservists and on Wednesday, the National Security Council met in Kyiv and asked lawmakers to approve a national state of emergency, which would give authorities more powers to "strengthen security of public places and locations that are critical for the public," Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine's national security chief, said. more...

By ROB GILLIES

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday he is removing emergency powers police can use after authorities ended the blockades at the borders and the occupation in Ottawa by truckers and others opposed to COVID-19 restrictions. Trudeau said the “threat continues” but the acute emergency that included entrenched occupations has ended. His government invoked the powers last week and lawmakers affirmed the powers late Monday. “The situation is no longer an emergency, therefore the federal government will be ending the use of the emergencies act,” Trudeau said. “We are confident that existing laws and bylaws are sufficient.” more...

Some accounts claiming to support the Canada trucker protests are run by con artists abroad
Nick Robins-Early

When Facebook removed dozens of groups dedicated to Canada’s anti-government “Freedom Convoy” protests earlier this month, it didn’t do so because of extremism or conspiracies rife within the protests. It was because the groups were being run by scam artists. Networks of spammers and profiteers, some based as far afield as Vietnam or Romania, had set up the groups using fake or hacked Facebook accounts in an attempt to make money off of the political turmoil. That foreign networks of social media scammers had seized on a divisive political issue may feel like somewhat of a throwback. Before investigations into Russian troll factories’ operations during the US presidential election and culture war conflicts over content moderation, one of the biggest challenges facing social media platforms was profiteers pushing fake news articles and spam for easy money. Hundreds of websites mimicking US news outlets promoted their content on social media, reaping ad revenue from the traffic they generated. more...

By The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey is torn between Russia and Ukraine as tensions between its Black Sea neighbors escalate. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says of those two countries, “It is not possible for us to give up on either of them.” He told reporters: “We have economic, military and economic ties with Russia. We also have political, military and economic ties with Ukraine ... Our aim is to take such a step that we can solve this problem without having to give up on neither of them.” Turkey has repeatedly offered to mediate as fears mount that Russia could order its troops to invade Ukraine any day now. more...

By Simone McCarthy, CNN

Hong Kong (CNN) China's envoy to the United Nations on Monday called for "all parties" to exercise restraint and avoid "fueling tensions" in Ukraine, but stopped short of condemning the Kremlin's recognition of independence for two pro-Moscow regions in the east of the country. Beijing is navigating a complex position as the crisis in Ukraine intensifies, attempting to balance deepening ties with Moscow with its practiced foreign policy of staunchly defending state sovereignty. In a brief statement at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council Monday night, China's UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said Beijing welcomed and encouraged every effort for a diplomatic solution, adding that all concerns should be treated on the "basis of equality." "The current situation in Ukraine is the result of many complex factors. China always makes its own position according to the merits of the matter itself. We believe that all countries should solve international disputes by peaceful means in line with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter," Zhang said. more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) It took only 24 hours for Donald Trump to hail Russian President Vladimir Putin's dismembering of independent, democratic, sovereign Ukraine as an act of "genius." The former President often accuses his enemies falsely of treason, but his own giddy rush to side with a foreign leader who is proving to be an enemy of the United States and the West is shocking even by Trump's self-serving standards. As President Joe Biden reprises the fabled presidential role of leading the free world, the predecessor who wants to succeed him is showing Putin that impunity, dictator-coddling and hero worship will return if he wins back the White House. Trump's remarks on a conservative radio show on Tuesday will not only find a warm welcome in the Kremlin. They also will concern allies standing alongside the US against Russia who fear for NATO's future if Trump returns. more...

By Natalia Zinets and Matthias Williams

KYIV, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday said he was introducing the conscription of reservists for a special period but ruled out a general mobilisation after Russia announced it was moving troops into eastern Ukraine. One of Europe's worst security crises in decades was unfolding after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised two areas of eastern Ukraine as independent. Both adjoin Russia and have been controlled by Russian-backed fighters since 2014. Ukraine accused Russia of wrecking peace talks on ending an eight-year-old conflict in eastern Ukraine and resisted Moscow's demands it scrap its ambition to join the NATO alliance. more...

Officials tread water over recognised borders of self-proclaimed republics in Luhansk and Donetsk until Putin’s statement
Andrew Roth

The veteran Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov certainly had not been authorised to declare war on Ukraine in his daily press briefing on Tuesday, but he was coming perilously close to doing so anyway. He could not explain if Russia had recognised the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk up to their current borders, or with claims on further Ukrainian land. The answer could be the difference between a stalemate and a Russian war of conquest. And, not knowing that Vladimir Putin would weigh that evening to settle the question in favour of the expanded borders, Peskov was making a hash of it. “Do these borders include Mariupol,” a journalist asked. more...

Jake Lahut

An accidental social media post revealed how one Chinese outlet is toeing the line while the world grapples with the mounting Russia-Ukraine conflict. Horizon News, a subset of Beijing News, which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party, posted "instructions" on how to cover the escalating tensions to its Weibo page on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. China has strengthened its alliance with Russia in recent years and the two countries have also become increasingly active economic partners. Trade between China and Russia has grown from $10.7 billion in 2004 to $140 billion by 2021, according to the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank. more...

Sam Meredith

LONDON — The U.K. has slapped targeted economic sanctions against five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into eastern Ukraine. Addressing lawmakers on Tuesday in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the first tranche of sanctions would target Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank. The measures would also sanction three “very high net worth” individuals: Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and Igor Rotenberg. The individuals concerned will see their U.K. assets frozen and be banned from traveling to the country, Johnson said. All U.K. individuals and entities will also be barred from having dealings with them, he added. more...

Reuters

Russian ratings agency ACRA estimates that the country's banks imported $5 billion worth of banknotes in foreign currencies in December, up from $2.65 billion a year before, in a pre-emptive step in case of sanctions that create increased demand. Dollars traditionally dominate such imports which, along with other currencies, many Russians like to hold as a hedge against any drop in the value of the ruble or rise in inflation, both potential outcomes of foreign sanctions.  Valery Piven, senior director at ACRA, told Reuters that calculations based on technical reports which banks submit to Russia's central bank each month showed that they had also imported $2.1 billion in foreign banknotes in November. more...

By Charles Riley, CNN Business

London (CNN Business)The West showed Tuesday it was ready to target Russia's huge energy industry — even at the risk of hurting itself — after Moscow ordered troops into parts of eastern Ukraine. Germany said it was halting certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline following Moscow's actions in eastern Ukraine on Monday. "With regard to the latest developments, we need to reassess the situation also with regard to Nord Stream 2. It sounds very technocratic but it is the necessary administrative step in order to stop certification of the pipeline," Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in Berlin. more...

By Andrew Osborn and Dmitry Antonov

MOSCOW, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent on Monday and ordered the Russian army to launch what Moscow called a peacekeeping operation into the area, upping the ante in a crisis the West fears could unleash a major war. Putin told Russia's defence ministry to deploy troops into the two regions to "keep the peace" in a decree issued shortly after he announced recognition for Russia-backed separatists there, drawing U.S. and European condemnation and vows of new sanctions. more...

Putin to recognise Ukraine rebel regions shortly
By Andrew Osborn and Dmitry Antonov

MOSCOW, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign a decree recognising two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities shortly, the Kremlin said, upping the ante in a crisis the West fears could unleash a war. Putin announced his decision in phone calls to the leaders of Germany and France, who voiced disappointment, the Kremlin said in a readout of the calls. Moscow's move could torpedo a last-minute bid for a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine, and the rouble extended its losses as Putin spoke on the issue, falling 3.3% on the day to 79.83 per dollar. more...

Those at risk for human rights abuses after an invasion would most likely include political activists, "religious and ethnic minorities and LGBTQI+ persons."
By Andrea Mitchell

The U.S. has warned the United Nations that it believes Russia has plans to kill large numbers of critics, dissidents and "vulnerable populations" in Ukraine or send them to camps after an expected invasion. The Kremlin denied the report on Monday, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling it an “absolute fiction.” Ambassador Bathsheba Nell Crocker, the U.S. representative to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, recently made the assertions in a letter to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the contents of which were first reported Sunday evening by The Washington Post. more...

By Polina Nikolskaya and Tom Balmforth

DONETSK, Ukraine/MOSCOW, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Russia's President Vladimir Putin launched exercises by strategic nuclear missile forces on Saturday and Washington said Russian troops massed near Ukraine's border were "poised to strike". As Western nations fear the start of one the worst conflicts since the Cold War, U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said Russian forces were beginning to "uncoil and move closer" to the border with its former Soviet neighbour. "We hope he steps back from the brink of conflict," he told a news conference on a visit to Lithuania, saying an invasion of Ukraine was not inevitable. read more...

Fears Russia is trying to create pretext for attack as nursery school in Stanytsia Luhanska is hit
Luke Harding, Shaun Walker and Emma Graham-Harrison

Tensions in the east of Ukraine have risen dramatically after Russian-backed separatists launched an intense artillery barrage across the line of control with Ukrainian forces, shelling a nursery school and injuring three people. According to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) there were “multiple shelling incidents” on Thursday morning across the frontline in the Donbas region. The attack on the city of Stanytsia Luhanska blew a hole through the wall of kindergarten number 21. The school day had just begun when a shell landed on the building in Depovska Street. Video showed debris and masonry strewn over a play area. more...

Axios

A new military pontoon bridge has been established over the Pripyat River in Belarus, less than four miles from the Ukraine border, Maxar Technologies found, as satellite images this week continue to show heightened military activity in Belarus, Crimea and western Russia.

Why it matters: The Biden administration told reporters last evening that it now believes Russia's claims of withdrawing troops from near Ukraine are "false," Axios' Zachary Basu reports. Moscow has in fact increased its presence on the border "by as many as 7,000 troops" in recent days, a senior administration official said. more...

William Echols

On February 13, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan appeared on the “Evening With Vladimir Solovyov” political talk show to deflect allegations that Russia plans a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. Simonyan argued that it is incorrect to ask whether Russia will invade Ukraine: “I am absolutely convinced that Russia is not going to start a war with Ukraine, and this will not happen in any way. And if Russia is compelled to interfere with what’s happening in Ukraine, [it will only be] with the goal of ending the war in Ukraine, not to start a war in Ukraine.” more...

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks, while tensions remain high with Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border.
By Kevin Collier and Leigh Ann Caldwell

Several key Ukrainian websites, including those of two of the country’s largest banks and its defense ministry, were temporarily knocked offline Tuesday after an apparent cyberattack. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks. Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications, a government-funded organization aimed at countering disinformation, said in a Facebook post that the websites of PrivatBank and Oscadbank were knocked offline due to a distributed denial of service attack. DDoS attacks flood websites with traffic in an effort to disrupt their operations or knock them offline. The public website for the armed forces of Ukraine was also knocked offline. more...

By Alexander Marrow and Aleksandar Vasovic

MOSCOW/KYIV, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The United States and NATO said Russia was still building up troops around Ukraine on Wednesday despite Moscow's insistence it was pulling back, questioning President Vladimir Putin's stated desire to negotiate a solution to the crisis. In Ukraine, where people raised flags and played the national anthem to show unity against fears of an invasion, the government said a cyberattack that hit the defence ministry was the worst of its kind the country had seen. It pointed a finger at Russia, which denied involvement. read more

Reuters

KYIV, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Ukraine's defence ministry and two banks came under a cyber attack on Tuesday that shut access to the ministry's website, Ukraine's information security centre said. The Ukrainian Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security, which is part of the culture ministry, did not say who it blamed for the attack, but a statement suggested it was pointing the finger at Russia. "It is not ruled out that the aggressor used tactics of little dirty tricks because its aggressive plans are not working out on a large scale," it said. more...

By Sarah Marsh and Dmitry Antonov

MOSCOW, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Russia said on Tuesday some of its troops were returning to base after exercises near Ukraine and mocked Western warnings about a looming invasion, but NATO said it had yet to see any evidence of a de-escalation that could avert a military conflict. Russia did not say how many units were being withdrawn, and how far, after a build-up of some 130,000 Russian troops to the north, east and south of Ukraine that has triggered one of the worst crises in relations with the West since the Cold War.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said after meeting President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin that the withdrawal of some Russian troops was a good sign. Others were more cautious. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "the intelligence that we're seeing today is still not encouraging", and Ukraine said the reported pullback needed to be seen to be believed. "If we see a withdrawal, we will believe in a de-escalation," Interfax Ukraine quoted Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba as saying. more...

Tom Schad | USA TODAY

BEIJING — Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics. In a momentous decision, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Monday in favor of the Russian figure skating superstar and the country's anti-doping agency, dismissing the provisional suspension that Valieva, 15, would have otherwise faced after she tested positive for a banned heart medication. The CAS panel reasoned that the six-week delay from the time Valieva's sample was collected to the time she was informed of the positive result was "not her fault" and noted her special status as a "protected person" under world anti-doping rules, because she is not yet 16. more...

By Eliza Mackintosh and Nathan Hodge, CNN

(CNN) As French President Emmanuel Macron visited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Tuesday for diplomatic talks on the country's crisis with Russia, Moscow indicated there were "points of convergence" laid out by Macron during his five-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin a day earlier. But the Kremlin has poured cold water on reports that the two leaders had agreed to de-escalate the tense standoff on Ukraine's border, where tens of thousands of Russian forces have massed in recent months, drawing warnings from Western officials of an impending invasion. The Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday would not confirm any tangible steps toward a resolution, casting a cloud over the French president's shuttle diplomacy as he addressed the media in a joint press conference alongside Zelensky. more...

Analysis: French president’s comments after Ukraine talks with Vladimir Putin should concern Nato alliance
Patrick Wintour

Domestic critics of Emmanuel Macron, Nato hardliners and the leadership in Ukraine will be suspiciously examining the French president’s late-night remarks at his Moscow press conference on Monday for signs of freelancing. At one level, Macron, three months from a re-election campaign, stuck pretty faithfully to the script he had exhaustively agreed with his Nato partners before his meeting with Vladimir Putin, but at another level his particular view of Russia as a European nation, and lofty talk of a new security guarantees, will have set alarm bells ringing. The specifics of the five hours of discussions between the French and Russian leaders, and points of convergence, were kept from the world at the press conference, but that did not stop Macron hinting at shifts in Nato’s outlook that some members say should never be made in response to military intimidation. more...

Bill Bostock

Russia has amassed enough troops to "seize any city" in Ukraine, but is still short of the number needed for a full occupation, Ukraine's former defense minister said. "Russia could now seize any city in Ukraine. But we still don't see the 200,000 troops needed for a full-scale invasion," Andriy Zagorodnyuk told The Guardian. Official US estimates put the number of Russian troops at Ukraine's border at 130,000. US officials told the Associated Press that Russia has to date amassed 70% of the total firepower it would need for a mid-February invasion. more...

By Phil Stewart and Dmitry Antonov

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW, Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden has approved sending additional forces to eastern Europe, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday, as Washington reinforces its allies against what it describes as a Russian threat to invade Ukraine. One of the officials said about 2,000 American troops would deploy from the United States to Poland and Germany, while around 1,000 troops now based in Germany would head to Romania. In signs that, publicly at least, Russia is in no mood to signal compromise, the Kremlin mocked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as "utterly confused" and ridiculed British politicians for their "stupidity and ignorance". more...

By Natasha Bertrand, Barbara Starr and Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) President Joe Biden has formally approved additional US military deployments to Eastern Europe, the Pentagon announced Wednesday, with US troops deploying soon to Poland, Germany and Romania. The deployments to Eastern Europe, which were first reported by CNN, are a show of support to NATO allies feeling threatened by Russia's military moves near Ukraine, US officials said. The troops are expected to deploy "in the coming days," the officials said. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the deployments include roughly 2,000 troops from the United States to Poland and Germany in the coming days. In addition, approximately 1,000 troops currently based in Germany are being deployed to Romania. Kirby said that the moves were not permanents and emphasized, "These forces are not going to fight in Ukraine." more...

Reuters

MOSCOW, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Russia said on Tuesday it would insist that Western governments respect a 1999 agreement that no country can strengthen its own security at the expense of others, an issue it argues is at the heart of the Ukraine crisis. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he raised the matter in a conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and that Blinken accepted the need to discuss it further. In the U.S. readout of the call, the State Department said Blinken urged Russia to immediately pull back troops from Ukraine's border and said Washington was willing to continue talking about mutual security concerns. more...

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