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Russia Ukraine War (Putin's War) - Page 6

Lucian K. Truscott IV

The word "miscalculation" has been thrown around a lot to describe Vladimir Putin's attempt to annex Ukraine, but perhaps his biggest miscalculation lay in thinking he could do it using tanks as his primary weapon. It's clear as the sixth week of the war begins that his apparent plan was to send a column of tanks rumbling into Kyiv, blow up a few things, send Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his government scampering away in fear, declare victory, install a puppet president and go home. Evidence that his plan was a strategic, tactical and political failure is showing on your television screens around the clock. If there is one image that will symbolize forever this war, it will be a blown-up Russian tank, its treads sagging and its turret tilted, rusting by the side of the road in Ukraine.

Chloe Taylor

Russian President Vladimir Putin has misjudged the situation in Ukraine, but his advisors are scared of telling him the truth about what’s happening on the ground, the head of Britain’s intelligence agency said Thursday. “It increasingly looks like Putin has massively misjudged the situation. It’s clear he misjudged the resistance of the Ukrainian people,” Jeremy Fleming, director of U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, said in a speech in Australia. Referring to the conflict in Ukraine as Putin’s “personal war,” Fleming said the Russian leader had also underestimated the economic consequences of the sanctions regime as well as Russia’s military capabilities. “We’ve seen Russian soldiers — short of weapons and morale — refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft,” he said.

By Bruce Haring

Maks Levin, whose photography documented the Ukraine war for many top international publications, has been found dead from a shooting in that country. He was 40. Levin went missing last month in a combat zone near Kyiv. He was reportedly killed by two bullets fired by the Russian military, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said in a statement on Saturday. His body was found in the Huta-Mezhyhirska village on Friday, according to the news website LB.ua, one of the outlets where he worked.

by The National Desk

WASHINGTON (TND) — Ukraine has denied responsibility for an airstrike on a Russian oil depot that also serves as a logistics center for the invasion. Russia released video Friday saying two Ukrainian helicopters started a massive fire in a city a few miles from the border. Ukraine says it was a Russian "false flag" operation designed to sabotage peace talks that have resumed. British intelligence says they believe the attack will likely put strain on Russia's logistics chains, affecting forces surrounding the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

CBS News

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned his people early Saturday that retreating Russian forces were creating "a complete disaster" outside the capital, Kyiv, as they leave mines across "the whole territory," even around homes and corpses. "They are mining homes, mining equipment, even the bodies of people who were killed," Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to the nation. "There are a lot of trip wires, a lot of other dangers." He urged residents to wait to resume their normal lives until they are assured that the mines have been cleared and the danger of shelling has passed.

Bill Chappell

Russia's force has fully withdrawn from the area of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine's defense ministry confirmed on Friday. It cited two reasons for the exit: military losses and radiation exposure. "Russian mutants lost this round of @stalker_thegame," the ministry said via Twitter, referring to the Stalker video game franchise that is set in the notoriously radioactive zone.

Guillaume Ptak

IRPIN, Ukraine—This suburb northeast of Kyiv has become one of the most fiercely contested and symbolic battlegrounds of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. It was claimed this week that Ukrainian forces had succeeded in vanquishing the invaders after hundreds of civilians were slaughtered in the Russian advance on the capital city. A few days after the mayor announced that Irpin had been liberated, we set out to see for ourselves. After a 20-minute drive from Kyiv on Thursday, a French colleague, myself, and our driver Sasha arrive in Stoyanka, on the western edge of the capital. The place is devastated: A gas station has collapsed under shelling, and burnt-out vehicles are spread on the highway leading to Jytomyr. This is one of the last checkpoints on the road to Irpin.

By NEBI QENA and YURAS KARMANAU

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Talks to stop the fighting in Ukraine resumed Friday, as another desperate attempt to rescue civilians from the encircled city of Mariupol failed and the Kremlin accused the Ukrainians of launching a helicopter attack on a fuel depot on Russian soil. Ukraine denied responsibility for the fiery blast, but if Moscow’s claim is confirmed, it would be the war’s first known attack in which Ukrainian aircraft penetrated Russian airspace. “Certainly, this is not something that can be perceived as creating comfortable conditions for the continuation of the talks,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, five weeks after Moscow began sending upwards of 150,000 of its own troops across Ukraine’s border.

Borzou Daragahi

As Belarusian rail lines break down and trains transporting Russian military equipment into Ukraine grind to a halt, the government of strongman Alexander Lukashenko is making a risky move. It is airing confessions of transport workers involved in the so-called “rail war”, who are admitting to damaging equipment and infrastructure and causing delays. On the one hand, the accounts may strike fear into the hearts of those Belarusians who are opposed to the war, to Mr Lukashenko’s tyrannical regime, and to his close relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin. But on the other hand, the array of dozens of statements from ordinary trackmen and line workers, rail hands and IT specialists, conductors and engineers showed the depth and breadth of opposition in Belarus to Russia’s war, as well as towards Mr Lukashenko. “I know these guys – they are drivers, security guards and maintenance crews,” Franak Viacorka, an adviser to Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, tells The Independent in an interview.

Cheryl Teh

Fourteen tons of humanitarian aid bound for Melitopol, a city in southern Ukraine, have been intercepted by Russian forces, said a Ukrainian official on Thursday. Iryna Vereshchuk, the Ukrainian minister of reintegration of temporarily occupied territories, said that buses carrying humanitarian aid to Melitopol had been stopped and the aid confiscated, per CNN, According to Vereshchuk, the aid was loaded on 12 buses filled with food and medication. "We are negotiating for the buses to be returned and for the Melitopol residents tomorrow to evacuate using these buses," she said.

By Jake Kwon, Masha Angelova and Uliana Pavlova, CNN

CNN — A Russian official accused Ukraine of mounting a helicopter attack on a fuel depot inside Russian territory Friday, as footage surfaced of the facility engulfed in flames. The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region claimed two Ukrainian military helicopters flew across the border at low altitude on Friday morning and struck the fuel storage facility, setting millions of gallons of fuel on fire. A spokesman for Ukraine’s defense ministry declined to comment on the Russian accusations. CNN could not verify the Russian claims. “I would like to emphasize that Ukraine is performing a defensive operation against Russian aggression on the territory of Ukraine,” Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesman for Ukraine’s defense ministry, said in a televised statement Friday.

Tom Porter

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had fired two top Ukrainian security officials whom he accused of being "traitors." In a late-night address on Thursday night, Zelenskyy said that the chief of Main Department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Andriy Olehovych Naumov , and the head of the SBU in Kherson, Serhiy Oleksandrovych Kryvoruchko, had been removed from their positions and stripped of their titles. He described the officials as "antiheroes" and said: "Now I do not have time to deal with all the traitors. But gradually they will all be punished." "Those servicemen among senior officers who have not decided where their homeland is, who violate the military oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people as regards the protection of our state, its freedom and independence, will inevitably be deprived of senior military ranks," he said ."Random generals don't belong here!"

By Vasco Cotovio, Frederik Pleitgen, Byron Blunt and Daria Markina, CNN

Irpin, Ukraine CNN  — A child’s doll lies curb side, covered in dirt and debris, in the war-torn Kyiv suburb of Irpin. There’s not a sign of the child who owned it, or of any of the residents of the building next to it, which was shattered to pieces after taking a direct hit from Russian artillery. This is what Irpin – or what’s left of it – looks like, just a couple of days after Ukrainian forces took it back from Russian control. The area is still extremely dangerous and remains off limits to civilians. As fighting continues in the nearby areas of Bucha and Hostomel, Irpin is still well within range for Russian artillery.

Niamh Cavanagh and Sam Matthews

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine grinds into its sixth week, experts and Western intelligence agencies are continuing to sketch out potential endgames for the conflict. It’s possible that a ceasefire could emerge, and the Russian military, facing surprisingly fierce Ukrainian resistance, would simply back off its initial war aim of regime change in Kyiv and control over the country’s future. But recent history suggests the solution won’t be that simple. Russia could also exploit its far larger military might and continue its advance into Ukraine, particularly in the east, where it now appears to be focused. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin may continue to face heavy losses, the sheer size of his army sets up the possibility of the Kremlin occupying swaths of Ukrainian territory and facing a protracted and bloody insurgence.

Reuters

April 1 (Reuters) - Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out an air strike against a fuel depot in the Russian city of Belgorod on Friday, an incident the Kremlin said set an unfavourable tone for peace talks with Kyiv. Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said he could not confirm or deny reports of Ukrainian involvement in the strike as he did not have military information. The Ukrainian Defence Ministry and the general staff did not respond to requests for comment. Video footage of the purported attack -- the first accusation of a Ukrainian air strike on Russian soil since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 -- showed what looked like several missiles being fired from low altitude, followed by an explosion. Reuters could not immediately verify the footage.

Marianne Guenot

A radiation monitoring lab near the Chernobyl nuclear site was looted during the Russian invasion, Ukrainian scientists from the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) told news outlets over the past week. The consequences of the Russian invasion of the exclusion zone around the decommissioned nuclear power plant are still emerging after its forces withdrew and allowed Ukraine to recapture the area. Chernobyl was the site of the world's worst-ever nuclear disaster in 1986. It is also not far from Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, and was an early target in the Russian invasion. Anatolii Nosovskyi, director of the ISPNPP in Kyiv, told Science that looters apparently took off with radioactive isotopes used to calibrate instruments, as well as nuclear waste left over from the 1986 nuclear accident.

Victoria Kim

Unless you have been on the battlefield in Syria, Libya or the Central African Republic, you most likely have never heard of the Wagner Group, a private military force with close links to President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Wagner forces have appeared in Ukraine, presumably to fight alongside Russian troops in Putin’s war. In the past month, the number of Wagner troops in the country has more than tripled to over 1,000. Their presence, in the eastern region known as Donbas that is home to Russia-backed separatist groups, raises concerns, given the group’s history. U.N. investigators and rights groups say Wagner troops have targeted civilians, conducted mass executions and looted private property in conflict zones. Here’s what to know about Wagner:

Group says it has found several ways to keep lost units lost.
Patrick Tucker

A group of Ukrainian hackers says it has found ways to disrupt Russian military units’ navigation and is working on ways to disrupt artillery fire as well. The nearly two dozen volunteers of the CyberPan Ukraine group work with the Ukrainian military and get funds from sources in Israel and the United States, group members told Defense One. In the weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, one member said, the group has found ways to keep some field units from receiving signals from the GLONASS system, Russia’s version of the U.S. GPS satellite navigation constellation. Lost Russian forces are easier to find and target than ones that know where they are going. Currently, the group is looking for ways to disrupt artillery fire, at least from systems that employ precision guidance systems. The member said the group has identified several computer servers linked to Russian rockets. “We found many mistakes inside the system,” he said.

UKRAINE's Ministery of Defence has hosted a mock Oscars awards ceremony showcasing the best videos to have emerged from the war with Russia.
By Tim McNulty

Ukraine's military has continued to counter Russian misinformation concerning the war with their own propaganda offensive. This time the Ukrainian Defence Minister has taken to awarding viral clips from the conflict in a mock Oscars ceremony poking fun at the poor performance of Russia's army. In the style of the Hollywood awards ceremony, the mock Ukrainian version has a number of categories including 'Best Picture' and 'Best Supporting Actor.'

As the Russian president signs a decree to call up another 134,500 conscripts, his troops in Ukraine want out.
Allison Quinn

Russia’s Vladimir Putin is calling up another 134,500 conscripts even as more and more of his own soldiers appear to be turning on him over humiliating losses in Ukraine. According to a decree published on a Russian government portal Thursday, the troops will be called to begin service on April 1 until July 15. The Defense Ministry promised earlier this week that they “will not be sent to any hot spots,” and that all those called up in last spring’s draft will be sent home. But those assurances seem likely to be overshadowed by a multitude of reports that say Russia’s senseless war against Ukraine has been marred by lies from the top down, with Russian troops claiming they were misled into the war and Putin’s own advisers said to be shielding him from the extent of the devastating losses.

A young Ukrainian woman said she and her family were transferred to what the Russians called a ‘filtration camp’ before being sent to Russia
By Mary Ilyushina

RIGA, Latvia — The pro-Russian soldiers from the separatist-controlled area of Donbas arrived one day in mid-March. “They just walked into our shelter and said that women and children must leave it,” recounted a young woman who had been hiding with her family in a suburb of the heavily shelled Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. “We asked if it was possible to stay at all, and they said no, that this is the order. We did not know where they were taking us.” Most of the men were ordered to stay behind, including those with disabilities, she said. Only those few men who had to take care of big families with small children could leave. The soldiers moved a group of about 90 people to a local school, which still had some of its walls intact, and the next morning put them all on buses bound for an unknown destination.

by Lexi Lonas

Russian President Vladimir Putin is ordering a draft of nearly 135,000 individuals as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not been the easy success story the Kremlin was hoping for. The government published a decree by Putin on Monday that stated 134,650 Russians who are not already in the military or reserves will be drafted, state media outlet TASS reported. The draft will run from April 1 to July 15 and choose from men ages 18 to 27, according to the document. The move comes more than a month into Russia’s attack on Ukraine, a war many believed Russia would win in days.

Several hundred Russian troops reportedly rushed to a special medical facility in Belarus after digging in radioactive soil in a forest near the infamous nuclear plant.
Barbie Latza Nadeau

Several hundred Russian soldiers were forced to hastily withdraw from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine after suffering “acute radiation sickness” from contaminated soil, according to Ukrainian officials. The troops, who reportedly dug trenches in a contaminated Red Forest near the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history, are now being treated in a special medical facility in Gomel, Belarus. The forest is so named because thousands of pine trees turned red during the 1986 nuclear disaster. The area is considered so highly toxic that not even highly specialized Chernobyl workers are allowed to enter the zone.

mguenot@businessinsider.com (Marianne Guenot)

Russian soldiers drove armored vehicles through the 'Red Forest' as they invaded Chernobyl, per Reuters. Reuters spoke to two unnamed Ukrainian staff at the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The soldier didn't wear protective gear and exposed themselves to radioactive dust, they said.

CBS News

U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about the poor performance of Kremlin troops in Ukraine, the Associated Press reported and CBS News confirmed. A U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss recently declassified intelligence, said Wednesday the intelligence finding indicates that Putin is aware of the situation on information coming to him and there is now persistent tension between him and senior Russian military officials. President Biden, in an exchange with reporters, would not comment. Later Wednesday, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield also would not say whether the president approved the release of the intelligence.

Speed and scale of refugee crisis unprecedented in Europe since WW2, says UN refugees commissioner
Jon Henley

More than 4 million people have fled Russia’s “utterly senseless” war on Ukraine, the United Nations has said, as the Kremlin played down hopes of an early breakthrough a day after peace talks between the two sides. “We cannot state that there was anything too promising or any breakthroughs,” the Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said on Wednesday. He said it was “positive” that Kyiv had outlined its demands but there was “a lot of work to be done”. Ukraine and its western allies dismissed a promised Russian military pullback from near Kyiv as a strategic ploy after heavy losses, and Moscow’s bombardment of cities from Chernihiv in the north to Mariupol in the south continued unabated.

By NEBI QENA and YURAS KARMANAU

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces bombarded areas around Kyiv and another city just hours after pledging to scale back operations in those zones to promote trust between the two sides, Ukrainian authorities said Wednesday. The shelling — and intensified Russian attacks on other parts of the country — tempered optimism about any progress in the talks aimed at ending the punishing war. The Russian military’s announcement Tuesday that it would de-escalate near the capital and the northern city of Chernihiv to “increase mutual trust and create conditions for further negotiations” was met with deep suspicion from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the West. Soon after, Ukrainian officials reported that Russian shelling hit homes, stores, libraries and other civilian sites in and around Chernihiv and on the outskirts of Kyiv. Russian troops also stepped up their attacks on the Donbas region in the east and around the city of Izyum, which lies on a key route to the Donbas, after redeploying units from other areas, the Ukrainian side said.

Yahoo News

LONDON (Reuters) -The Russian-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine may consider joining Russia once it controls all of Ukraine's Donetsk region, its news outlet cited separatist leader Denis Pushilin as saying on Tuesday. "As for joining the Russian Federation, as for the wish and aspiration, they have been clearly traced since 2014 - the desire to be in Russia," Pushilin was quoted by the Donetsk News Agency as saying. "But now the main task is to reach the constitutional borders of the republic. Then we will determine that," he said.

Robert Hart, Forbes Staff

Russian units suffering “heavy losses” in Ukraine have been forced to return to Belarus and Russia to “reorganize and resupply” as logistical problems continue to plague Moscow’s offensive, the U.K.’s defense ministry said on Wednesday, amid widespread U.S. and Ukrainian skepticism over Russia’s claims it will scale back operations near Kyiv.

Key Facts
The activity adds pressure to Russia’s “already strained logistics” in Ukraine and demonstrates the difficulties Moscow is having “reorganizing its units in forward areas within Ukraine,” the U.K. defense ministry said. Russia will likely make up for the reduced mobility with mass artillery and missile strikes, the defense ministry warned.

Don Lemon Tonight

CNN's Don Lemon and Col. Cedric Leighton (Ret.) discuss reports that the Wagner Group -- made up of soldiers hired by Russia -- is now expected to be deployed in eastern Ukraine.

Alexander Nazaryan | Yahoo News

WASHINGTON — Russian and Ukrainian diplomats appeared to reach the outlines of a ceasefire deal on Tuesday that would halt Moscow’s monthlong assault on its much smaller neighbor. Even so, observers of Russian politics over the last two decades fear that what looks like progress could be a mere bid for time to regroup after a poor offensive to launch a second, more devastating attack. “I am very, very skeptical of these peace negotiations,” Samuel Ramani, a University of Oxford expert in Russian history and politics, told Yahoo News. “It’s very possible that the Russians could use these negotiations to buy time while escalating and consolidating their presence in eastern Ukraine,” where they already established control over the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Zachary Basu

Russia's defense ministry said Tuesday it would drastically scale back military operations near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv in order to "increase mutual trust" for a potential peace deal with Ukraine — though advances on both cities had already stalled.

The latest: U.S. and British officials cast doubt on the claims. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the U.S. had seen a "small number" of Russian forces moving away from Kyiv, but it's "too early" to tell if the pullback will be significant. Russian units were reorganizing and resupplying in Russia and Belarus due to heavy losses, per a U.K. intelligence update Wednesday.

By MICHAEL STARR

The Russian defense industry is unable to meet its production contracts for munitions and vehicles that are vital to its invasion of Ukraine because of sanctions and the consequent rising cost of raw materials and components, the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate (GUR) alleged on Tuesday. Supposed Russian Defense Ministry documents GUR claimed to have obtained say that the Kremlin is collecting data on the status of government defense contracts and disruption "associated with rising prices for the raw materials and components used." The Ukrainian intelligence body assessed that Russia has relied on foreign technology and electronics to produce modern military equipment, and sanctions have limited the supply of those items, in addition to driving up costs. One such advanced weapon, the Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, was announced to have had its production delayed on March 20, but this was attributed to a backlog of production demands. Due to the loss of key foreign components and costly raw materials, Russia may have to produce older components and vehicles — in the case of one factory, equipment allegedly developed from as far back as the 1960s — instead of modern gear GUR claimed.

(Reuters) - A shell hit a temporary Russian military camp near the border with Ukraine late on Tuesday, Tass news agency said and cited a source as saying preliminary data showed it had been fired from the Ukrainian side. Tass issued the report shortly after a senior local official reported a series of explosions outside the city of Belgorod, close to the border with Ukraine. Video posted online from two local Belgorod news outlets appeared to show ammunition blowing up in the distance but Reuters was not immediately able to confirm this was the case. Tass cited an emergency services source as saying four people had been injured in the blast.

Zachary Basu

Russia's defense ministry said Tuesday it would drastically scale back military operations near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv in order to "increase mutual trust" for a potential peace deal with Ukraine — though advances on both cities had already stalled. The latest: U.S. and British officials cast doubt on the claims. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the U.S. had seen a "small number" of Russian forces moving away from Kyiv, but it's "too early" to tell if the pullback will be significant. Russian units were reorganizing and resupplying in Russia and Belarus due to heavy losses, per a U.K. intelligence update Wednesday.

MSN

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that shelling of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol will only end when Ukrainian troops surrender. Mr Putin made the comments during an hour long phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday night, the Kremlin said in a statement. But French officials said the Russian leader had agreed to consider plans to evacuate civilians from the city. It comes as new satellite photos showed the destruction caused by the shelling. The images, released by the Earth observation company Maxar, showed that residential areas have been reduced to rubble and highlighted Russian artillery cannons in firing positions on the outskirts of the city.

Yahoo News

LONDON (Reuters) -The Russian-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine may consider joining Russia once it controls all of Ukraine's Donetsk region, its news outlet cited separatist leader Denis Pushilin as saying on Tuesday. "As for joining the Russian Federation, as for the wish and aspiration, they have been clearly traced since 2014 - the desire to be in Russia," Pushilin was quoted by the Donetsk News Agency as saying. "But now the main task is to reach the constitutional borders of the republic. Then we will determine that," he said.

John Bacon, Jorge L. Ortiz and Celina Tebor, USA TODAY

The Russian military said Tuesday that it had "drastically" reduced its activity near the Ukraine capital of Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv as talks with Ukraine aimed at ending the war entered the “practical” stage. Russia and Ukraine held face-to-face talks Tuesday in Turkey as the United Nations pressed for a cease-fire in Russia's brutal invasion. The talks took place in the Turkish presidential office in Istanbul and lasted more than three hours, Russia's Tass agency reported. Alexander Fomin, Russia's deputy minister of defense, said the military cutbacks were made to “increase mutual trust and create conditions for further negotiations.”

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert

Officials in Ukraine are investigating the allegations of a woman who says Russian soldiers killed her husband and then repeatedly raped her — the first known official investigation into claims of rape by Russian soldiers since Russia invaded Ukraine. On Monday, The Times of London published an interview with an anonymous woman the newspaper identified as being at the center of the investigation. It said she was 33 and had lived with her 35-year-old husband and 4-year-old son near the village of Shevchenkove outside the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. The woman told The Times that on March 9 she and her husband approached a group of Russian soldiers outside their home and found that the troops had killed the family's dog. She said the troops later searched the area for gasoline, with one of the soldiers apparently apologizing for the dog's death.


Brendan Cole

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said Russia is not considering turning to nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine, and reiterated Moscow's stance that the use of such capabilities would only follow a "threat for existence." Peskov told PBS "no one is thinking about [...] using a nuclear weapon," and that the Ukrainian conflict has "nothing to do with" any threat to Russia's existence. The comments come a week after on CNN he repeatedly refused to rule out that Russia would consider nuclear force against an "existential threat." In the PBS interview on Monday, Peskov had been asked to clarify comments from former President Dmitry Medvedev, who has listed scenarios in which Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons if it faced an existential threat. Russia has around 6,000 nuclear warheads and Medvedev said Russia's nuclear doctrine did not require an adversary to use such weapons first.

Holly Ellyatt

When Russia invaded Ukraine, it was widely believed to have expected an easy victory over its neighbor. But so far, Russia has little to show for what it has called its “special military operation”: Its forces have been bogged down in fighting mainly on the northern, eastern and southern fringes of Ukraine and have found the country to be much more organized and well equipped than they expected. Russian forces have seized only one city, Kherson, but even that occupation looks shaky, with Ukrainian forces launching a counteroffensive to retake the southern port. Similar moves have been seen elsewhere in Ukraine, with officials claiming its forces are mounting an increasing number of counterattacks.

John Bacon, Celina Tebor | USA TODAY

The Russian military said Tuesday that it had drastically reduced its military activity near the Ukraine capital of Kyiv and the northern city of Chernihiv as talks with Ukraine aimed at ending the war entered the “practical” stage. Russia and Ukraine began face-to-face talks Tuesday in Turkey as the United Nations pressed for a cease-fire for Russia's brutal invasion. The talks took place in the Turkish presidential office in Istanbul and lasted more than three hours, Russia's Tass reported. Alexander Fomin, Russia's deputy minister of defense, said the military cutbacks were made to improve conditions for the talks. Fomin said that “a decision was made to drastically reduce the military activity on the approaches to Kiev and Chernihiv.”

Sinéad Baker

The Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich handed Russian President Vladimir Putin a handwritten note from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy seeking peace, but Putin rejected it, The Times of London reported. Abramovich met with Putin in Moscow earlier this month, where he was handed the note from Zelenskyy to give to Putin, The Times reported. Abramovich has been involved in the peace talks, and Zelenskyy said that Abramovich had been trying to help. According to the report, the note laid out the terms that Zelenskyy would accept to end the war, which started when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. But Putin was not convinced, saying: "Tell him I will thrash them," The Times reported.

Zeleb.es

The friends we make along the way
As the leader of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin has gathered all sorts of international allies from the left and the right, joined by their opposition to the world order set by the United States and Western Europe.

internewscast.com

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and Ukrainian officials — who were negotiating an end to Moscow’s invasion reportedly — suffered symptoms suggesting they were poisoned, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Abramovich, the oligarch who is thought to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and several Ukrainian government officials, came down with the symptoms after meeting in Kyiv earlier this month, The Journal reported. Abramovich and two members of the Ukrainian delegation developed symptoms that included red eyes, peeling skin on their hands and face, and constant and painful tearing, according to the report. Abramovich, the owner of the British soccer club Chelsea FC who has been sanctioned by the United Kingdom, has been shuttling between Moscow, Lviv, Kyiv, and other locales in a diplomatic push to end the fighting, according to the Journal.

By Maegan Vazquez, Kevin Liptak and Alex Marquardt, CNN

CNN  — President Joe Biden reiterated on Monday that he was not announcing a change in US policy when he had said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” – a remark that caught American and international officials off-guard, sending the White House into clean-up mode over the weekend. “I just was expressing my outrage. He shouldn’t remain in power, just like, you know, bad people shouldn’t continue to do bad things,” Biden said in response to a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins at the White House. “But it doesn’t mean we have a fundamental policy to do anything to take Putin down in any way.” Two days after Biden’s return from Europe, the improvised comment made at the end of an address in Warsaw about Putin – “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power” – has hovered over the White House.

By:Connor Surmonte

Russian troops reportedly ran over their own commander because they were upset with the number of casualties their unit was facing in their ongoing war against resisting Ukrainian forces. The alleged intentional killing of the Russian colonel by his soldiers also comes as Vladimir Putin’s forces as a whole are facing heavy losses, and a substantial number of his generals are reportedly either going missing or being declared dead at the hands of Ukrainian soldiers as the Kremlin continues their vicious and violent invasion into their neighboring nation. According to The Post, Colonel Medvechek of the 37th Motor Rifle Brigade was pronounced dead Friday after succumbing to fatal injuries caused when soldiers from his brigade crushed him with a tank. Although a similar incident happened Thursday, it is unknown at this time if the colonel most recently pronounced dead is Colonel Yury Medvedev, who was also run down by a tank driven by his troops before being subsequently evacuated to a hospital in Belarus for his injuries.

Reuters

March 28 (Reuters) - Russian forces have left the Ukrainian town of Slavutych, home to workers at the defunct nuclear plant of Chernobyl, after completing their task of surveying it, the mayor said early on Monday. On Saturday, the Kyiv regional governor said Russian forces had taken control of the town just outside the safety exclusion zone around Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster in 1986, where Ukrainian staff still manage the plant.

Fears are growing of a nuclear disaster after Russian troops began shelling the Ukrainian town where staff working at the Chernobyl plant live
By Ryan Fahey News Reporter

Russian shelling has lead to wildfires breaking out across Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone, it has been claimed. It is believed that 25 acres of the forest surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear site - which is under Russian control - are now ablaze. Officials are concerned the fire could sweep through the forest and tear through the power plant, leading to a nuclear disaster and "irreparable consequences" for Ukraine and the "whole world". Ukrainian politician Inna Sovsun revealed on Twitter that authorities are unable to put out the inferno because the area is under Russian control. She tweeted: "10 hectares of forest are burning in the Chornobyl Zone, caused by #Russian shelling.

By ZEINA KARAM

BEIRUT (AP) — Layal Aswad was already exhausted by Lebanon’s devastating two-year economic collapse. Now, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sends food and energy prices soaring even further, she finds herself struggling to put food on the table for her family of four. “Even bread is not something we take for granted anymore,” said the 48-year-old housewife, standing recently in a supermarket aisle in front of gallons of cooking oil whose prices had risen to an all-time high. From Lebanon, Iraq and Syria to Sudan and Yemen, millions of people in the Middle East whose lives were already upended by conflict, displacement and poverty are now wondering where their next meals will come from. Ukraine and Russia account for a third of global wheat and barley exports, which countries in the Middle East rely on to feed millions of people who subsist on subsidized bread and bargain noodles. They are also top exporters of other grains and the sunflower seed oil that is used for cooking.

CBS News

A key eyewitness to Syrian crimes against humanity is speaking out for the first time on CBS News, describing the atrocities he witnessed at a pivotal moment — as the West sounds alarms about civilian deaths in war-torn Ukraine. "The Gravedigger," a codename he is using because of ongoing threats against him and his family, described in an interview the wrenching details of the Russian-backed assaults on the Syrian population, and said they provide worrying indications of what is to come. "I see the news coming out of Ukraine, my heart hurts because I know what Russia has done in Ukraine — what it can do — because I know what it's done in Syria," he said.

Inside the rebel-controlled Idlib province, Syrians speak of their hopes and fears for the Ukraine war. Borzou Daragahi reports from near Saraqib
Borzou Daragahi Idlib Province

A network of underground tunnels and earthen berms crisscross the muddy front line between Syrian opposition positions and Russian-backed regime forces just beyond the field to the south near the town of Saraqib.

By Olafimihan Oshin

Ukrainian defense officials said on Sunday that some Russian military units have returned to Belarus through Chernobyl to regroup amid mounting losses as Moscow's invasion enters its fifth week. In a statement on Saturday, General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (GSAFU) said an unspecified number of Russian forces have left Ukraine and crossed into Belarus. It added that the units could return to bolster attempts to encircle the capital Kyiv. “Several units have been taken to the Chernobyl district with further relocation to the territory of the Republic of Belarus to hold measures for the restoration of armour," GSAFU said in its Facebook post.

By:Connor Surmonte

Russian troops reportedly ran over their own commander because they were upset with the number of casualties their unit was facing in their ongoing war against resisting Ukrainian forces. The alleged intentional killing of the Russian colonel by his soldiers also comes as Vladimir Putin’s forces as a whole are facing heavy losses, and a substantial number of his generals are reportedly either going missing or being declared dead at the hands of Ukrainian soldiers as the Kremlin continues their vicious and violent invasion into their neighboring nation.

Olafimihan Oshin

Ukrainian defense officials said on Sunday that some Russian military units have returned to Belarus through Chernobyl to regroup amid mounting losses as Moscow's invasion enters its fifth week. In a statement on Saturday, General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (GSAFU) said an unspecified number of Russian forces have left Ukraine and crossed into Belarus. It added that the units could return to bolster attempts to encircle the capital Kyiv. "Several units have been taken to the Chernobyl district with further relocation to the territory of the Republic of Belarus to hold measures for the restoration of armour," GSAFU said in its Facebook post.

While many in the West were busy debating Biden’s words, Putin’s troops were using white phosphorus munitions and snatching up civilians.
Allison Quinn

Joe Biden’s off-the-cuff declaration on Saturday that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power,” almost immediately walked back by the White House, has dominated Western news coverage this weekend as it stepped on the message the president was trying to put out while giving a boost to the Kremlin’s fanatical propaganda claims about a “fifth column” supposedly working towards regime change in Russia. But don’t let the wall-to-wall coverage of Biden’s “rhetorical escalation” distract you from the very literal, bloody escalations by Putin’s shock troops. You may have heard about the six missiles Russia fired at the Ukrainian city of Lviv even as Biden was speaking just across the border. But what about the reports of white phosphorus munitions being used by Russian troops on Saturday night—just as much of the Western world was in a tizzy over Biden’s assessment of Putin. Ukrainian forces in Avdiivka shared photos of the white phosphorus raining down, days after President Volodymyr Zelensky had warned the world that Russia was using “phosphorus bombs against peaceful people in Ukraine.”

Mark Robinson

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded with energy-producing countries gathered in Doha, Qatar for an increase in the supply of oil and natural gas exports to Europe, the Associated Press reported. Driving the news: In an unscheduled appearance Saturday at the annual summit, Zelensky asked attendees to help replace Europe’s supply of fossil fuels that's been badly affected by sanctions on Russian exports amid the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Al Jazeera English

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged Qatar, a world leader in the export of natural gas, to boost its output to counter what he called the Russian “threat” to use energy as a weapon. In a surprise appearance at Doha Forum international conference on Saturday, the Ukrainian president called on energy-producing countries to step in so that Moscow cannot use its oil and gas wealth to “blackmail” other nations.

By Yuras Karmanau, Associated Press

LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the West of lacking courage as his country fights to stave off Russia's invasion, making an exasperated plea for fighter jets and tanks to sustain a defense in a conflict that has ground into a war of attrition. Speaking after U.S. President Joe Biden said in a lacerating speech that Russian President Vladimir Putin could not stay in power — words the White House immediately sought to downplay — Zelenskyy lashed out at the West's "ping-pong about who and how should hand over jets" and other weapons while Russian missile attacks kill and trap civilians. "I've talked to the defenders of Mariupol today. I'm in constant contact with them. Their determination, heroism and firmness are astonishing," Zelenskyy said in a video address early Sunday, referring to the besieged southern city that has suffered some of the war's greatest deprivations and horrors. "If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had 1% of their courage."

CBS News

Long before Russia invaded Ukraine, long before you ever heard of Vladimir Putin, Russia invaded Afghanistan. It was Christmas of 1979, and Michael Vickers was working for the CIA. "Nobody gave the Afghans a chance in 1979," he said. And yet, "It was the only time the Red Army had been defeated in its history." It's only a month into Putin's invasion of Ukraine and already what was supposed to be a cakewalk has turned into a bloody slog. Vickers said, "Putin's in a, probably even a tougher box than the Soviets were then." "Tougher box, how?" asked CBS News national security correspondent David Martin. "His economy is being destroyed. You have to look at this and see Russian power being destroyed, you know, both militarily and economically, and its international position," said Vickers. "How long are you going to let this go on?"

By Pavel Polityuk and Oleksandr Kozhukhar

LVIV, Ukraine, March 27 (Reuters) - Russia wants to split Ukraine into two, as happened with North and South Korea, Ukraine's military intelligence chief said on Sunday, vowing "total" guerrilla warfare to prevent a carve-up of the country. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged the West to give Ukraine tanks, planes and missiles to help fend off Russian forces. Top American officials sought on Sunday to clarify that the United States does not have a policy of regime change in Russia, after President Joe Biden said at the end of a speech in Poland on Saturday that Russian leader Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power".

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