- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.
Patriot missles are seen at the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Jasionka, Poland, as President Joe Biden arrives to board Air Force One enroute to Warsaw, Poland.  - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Another Flight With US $800Mln 'Security Aid' for Ukraine Arrives in Europe - Pentagon

Being updated
Today marks one month since Russia started its special military operation in Ukraine following calls for help from the country's breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk amid intensified shelling by Kiev's forces. The operation is also aimed at "demilitarising and de-Nazifying" Ukraine, Russian President Putin explained.
According to the Russian Defence Ministry's latest press briefing, Russian forces have advanced four more kilometres into Ukrainian territory and took control of the following settlements: Batmanka, Mikhailovka, Krasny Partizan, Stavki, and Troitskoye.
Ukraine's major fuel depot Kalinovka outside Kiev was destroyed by Russian 'Kalibr' missiles on Thursday evening, the ministry added.
Currently, the Russian army is carrying out an offensive against Ukraine's 25th air forces' battalion.
On Friday morning, Ukrainian forces fired five 122mm mortars at the Kirov district of Donetsk and ten 122mm mortars at the Donetsky settlement in the Lugansk People's Republic, a spokesperson for the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination on Ceasefire said.
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Table of contents
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03:07 GMT 26.03.2022
Former Russian President Medvedev: Russia Cannot Be Excluded From G20
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has told Sputnik and RT that Russia cannot be excluded from the G20 because this format was created by the consensus.

"We created G20 in 2008. They say: 'Let's exclude Russia from G20!' But I remember how it was born before my eyes, these decisions were made together. First [former US President George W.] Bush took part in it, then [former US President Barack] Obama. Everyone was happy to have representatives of such different countries sitting around the same table: Russia, the United States, China, and India. And this was a format created by the consensus, by the unanimity. And now they tell us: 'Let's exclude.' No, guys, you cannot do that," Medvedev said.

The deputy chairman added that G7 is no longer of any importance after Russia has suspended its participation. However, Medvedev said, G20 is different as it helped Russia to overcome the economic crisis of 2008.
02:47 GMT 26.03.2022
Russia Unlike US Does Everything to Stop War Crimes - Ambassador Antonov
Russia, unlike the United States, is doing everything to stop war crimes, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said on Saturday.

"The Russian special operation aims to put an end to the long-lasting genocide of civilians in #Donbas and disarm neo-Nazis in #Ukraine. It's time to understand that our country, unlike the United States, is doing everything to stop war crimes," Antonov said, answering media questions, published by the Russian Embassy in the US on Telegram.

Commenting on the accusations by Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland of the alleged responsibility of the leadership of Russia for the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians and Russian soldiers, the ambassador said that "such cynical rhetoric of the US Department of State representative is unacceptable."

"Washington should bring charges against itself for destroying cities and killing tens of thousands of people in #Yugoslavia, #Afghanistan, #Iraq, #Libya and #Syria. The countless atrocities that marked the path of the US-NATO armed interventions are not limited to the recent history," Antonov said.
00:18 GMT 26.03.2022
US Diplomat to Attend Bucharest 9 Ministerial Next Week to Discuss Ukraine - State Dept.
US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Karen Donfried, will travel to Slovakia next week to attend the Bucharest Nine Ministerial for talks on support for Ukraine, after visiting Denmark and the Czech Republic, the State Department said in a press release.

"Dr. Donfried will travel to Bratislava, Slovakia, to attend the Bucharest Nine Ministerial on March 31, and to discuss transatlantic relations with representatives from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia," the release said on Friday. "She will also meet with senior Slovak government officials to discuss our ongoing strong support for Ukraine."

Before visiting Slovakia, the release added, Donfried will stop in Denmark on March 28 to discuss security cooperation on Ukraine and will meet with members of the Danish think tank and business communities to share perspectives on the impacts of the conflict.

On March 29, Donfried travels to Prague for talks with government officials, civil society and industry leaders. She will also participate in the US-Czech Strategic Dialogue where they will also discuss support for Ukraine, the release said.
22:09 GMT 25.03.2022
US Reportedly Prepping Sanctions Against Companies Providing Russian Military With Tech, Intel Services
The United States is preparing sanctions against a number of Russian companies allegedly providing goods and services used by their country's military and intelligence services, the Wall Street Journal said in a report, citing US officials.

The Biden administration’s Treasury Department could announce the sanctions as early as next week, which would target companies possibly including Serniya Engineering, Sertal, AO-NII-Vektor, Joint Stock Company Mikron, T-Platforms, and iGrids, the report said on Friday.

The Russian government has relied heavily on western and international technologies for its defense industry to function and the new sanctions will go after Russia’s procurement network used to buy goods for both military as well as civilian purposes, the report said.
17:48 GMT 25.03.2022
Another Flight With US $800Mln 'Security Aid' for Ukraine Arrives in Europe - Pentagon
The third shipment of the US $800 million 'security aid' package for Ukraine has arrived in Eastern Europe with three more shipments to be delivered in the next several days, a senior US Defense Department official said on Friday.

“On the $800 million package. Yes, another flight arrived in the region today. A couple initial shipments have been sent to the region. I don't know about whether they've actually been prepared for shipment by ground into Ukraine, but they've arrived from the [United] states into Europe,” the official said during a press briefing. “Over the next three days, there will be an additional three flights.”
17:48 GMT 25.03.2022
Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic Propose Extreme Anti-Russian Plan, Polish PM Says
Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic have prepared a "ten-point plan to support Ukraine," which proposes disconnecting all Russian banks from SWIFT, exclude the country from all international organizations, suspend visas for all Russian citizens, and impose sanctions on members of the ruling United Russia party, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday.

"In addition to cutting off payments for oil, gas and coal as soon as possible, Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic have prepared a 10-point plan to support Ukraine and bring an end to the war," Morawiecki wrote in an article, published by Politico.

The plan proposes to disconnect all Russian banks from the SWIFT system, "otherwise, the Russian economy will adapt to the new conditions within a few weeks," Morawiecki said. He also suggested blocking Russia's sea and land movements and imposing sanctions on "the entire business environment."

Morawiecki also called for sanctions against all members of the ruling United Russia party, a complete ban on the export of technologies that can be used for military purposes to Russia, suspension of visas for all Russian citizens wishing to enter the EU, and, as a final point, exclusion of Russia from all international organizations.
17:16 GMT 25.03.2022
UN Says Up to G20 Group of Nations to Decide Whether to Expel Russia
The United Nations said on Friday that it is up to the Group of Twenty (G20) nations to decide whether to expel Russia from the intergovernmental forum, UN spokesperson Stephane Dijarric said on Friday.

"That is a decision of the Group of Twenty, which the Secretary General is not part of," Dujarric said during a press briefing.
17:00 GMT 25.03.2022
Biden: Russia Under Most Severe Sanctions in History, More to Follow
Russia has been hit with the most severe sanctions in history and more will follow, US President Joe Biden said on Friday.

Biden joined President Andrzej Duda in Poland where the officials met to discuss the situation in Ukraine and refugees in Poland.

"Most severe punishing sanctions in history ... the world economic sanctions [on Russia] have been imposed. And there's more that will come," Biden said.
16:35 GMT 25.03.2022
German Finance Minister Recommends Companies Not to Pay For Russian Gas in Rubles
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner has recommended energy companies to not agree to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand on paying for gas in rubles.

"We are talking about private operators, energy suppliers who pay and a decision must be made, but we must not - and this is my advice - agree to the conditions of Putin and adhere to the agreements in the form in which they were concluded," the minister told the N24 broadcaster.
16:20 GMT 25.03.2022
Ukraine Will Not Cede Territory, Sovereignty to Russia, Zelensky's Aide Says
Ukraine is not going to cede any of its territories or sovereignty to Russia as it has to remain the frontier on the way of alleged Russian aggression, Volodymyr Zelensky's Chief of Staff Andrey Yermak said on Friday.

“We are not going to cede neither our sovereignty nor our territories, but we cannot allow ourselves to have a Pyrrhic victory here. You cannot allow to have Ukraine bled dry because Ukraine has to live on, Ukraine has to remain the main frontier of withstanding the Russian aggression,” Yermak said during a virtual conversation organized by the Atlantic Council.

Yermak added that Ukraine will not accept any ultimatums or any peace agreements on Russian terms.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden said it is up to Ukraine to decide on whether to cede any of its territory to Russia, but he does not believe Kiev will have to do that.

On 24 February, Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk requested help to defend them from intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops. The Russian Ministry of Defence said the operation is solely targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure, doing their best to avoid casualties among civilians.
16:01 GMT 25.03.2022
Zelensky's Office: Kiev Disappointed With NATO Summit
Kiev is "very disappointed" with the NATO summit held earlier this week because it expected the alliance would show more courage and exert additional measures to counter Russia, Volodymyr Zelensky's Chief of Staff Andrey Yermak said.

"We are very disappointed, to be honest. We expected more bravery, expected some bold decisions. They are making decision as if there is no war," Yermak said during a virtual conversation organized by the Atlantic Council.
15:50 GMT 25.03.2022
The Russian embassy is pictured in Paris, Monday, March 26, 2018 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2022
Russian Ambassador Summoned to French Foreign Ministry
15:42 GMT 25.03.2022
France, Mexico Request UNSC Meeting on Ukraine on 29 March - Source
France and Mexico have asked the UN Security Council to hold a meeting next week to address the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, a UNSC source said.

They requested the meeting to be held on Tuesday with participation of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the World Food Programme as briefers, the source said.
15:41 GMT 25.03.2022
US Treasury Secretary: Sanctions on Russian Tycoon Abramovich Remain a Possibility
Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich could still face sanctions despite claims that he is facilitating peace talks between Moscow and Kiev, US Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen told CNBC on Friday.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Volodymyr Zelensky advised President Joe Biden not to sanction Abramovich inasmuch the move may hinder peace negotiations. The next day, the Kremlin confirmed Abramovich had taken part in the initial stage of organising negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

"I would hold open the possibility that — certainly not take off the table the possibility — he or other individuals could face sanctions in the future," Yellen said in an interview.

She refused to comment on the "calculus about exactly what determines if he is or isn’t sanctioned."

"I’m just saying that it remains a possibility," the secretary added.

Abramovich has been sanctioned by the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Canada. The US so far has been reluctant to impose personal sanctions on Abramovich, except for adding his private jet to the black list of aircraft owned by Russian citizens and airlines.
15:36 GMT 25.03.2022
Russian MoD: Kiev Intensified Shelling of Donbass in February Preparing for Offensive
The Ukrainian armed forces intensified artillery shelling of Donbass in February, preparing for an offensive by the Ukrainian strike group, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

"Starting already in February 2022, Ukrainian troops had intensified exponentially their shelling of Donbass from prohibited large-caliber artillery weapons," Konashenkov said at a briefing.

He also said that amid its rhetoric about the aspiration for peace, Kiev launched extensive artillery preparations to conduct an offensive by a strike force group, which was pulled to eastern Ukraine, with the support of aircraft and missile systems.
15:34 GMT 25.03.2022
Japan, France Reportedly Pause Investment in Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 Project
Japan and France have frozen investment in Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 project, which is set to begin exports of liquefied natural gas next year, Japanese media reported on Friday.

The European Union banned new investment in Russia's energy sector last week in response to its military operation in Ukraine.

Russian gas producer Novatek holds a 60% stake in the project, China's CNOOC and CNPC hold a combined 20%, a joint venture run by Japanese firms Mitsui and JOGMEC holds 10%, and France’s Total Energies another 10%.

Mitsui-JOGMEC JV is based in the Netherlands, which means it is unable to remit funds to Russia to meet its obligations for funding the Arctic gas project, the Nikkei newspaper said.

Both Total and the Japanese JV will reportedly maintain their stake in Arctic LNG 2, one of the largest development project of its kind. The $23 billion project will produce 19.8 million tonnes a year by 2026.
15:32 GMT 25.03.2022
Servicemen of militia of Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) walk along a street in Berdyanskoye settlement outside Mariupol, Ukraine.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2022
Indonesians Support Russia's Operation in Ukraine, Putin's Leadership, Ambassador Says
14:19 GMT 25.03.2022
Moscow-Kiev Agreement Unlikely Without Demilitarisation, Denazification, Recognition of Crimea and Donbass, Russian Negotiator Says
13:35 GMT 25.03.2022
Air Force One lands at Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport as U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to visit Poland, 25 March 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.03.2022
Polish President's Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Warsaw
13:28 GMT 25.03.2022
Russian Forces Lost 1,351 Troops Killed and 3,825 Injured, MoD Says
In total, 1,351 Russian soldiers have been killed during the military operation in Ukraine, and 3,825 have suffered injuries, the chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate, Col. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, said on Friday.

"Unfortunately, during the special military operation, there are losses among our comrades-in-arms. To date, 1,351 servicemen have died, 3,825 have been injured," Rudskoy told a briefing.

According to the Russian side, Ukraine lost 30,000 troops, including over 14,000 killed and some 16,000 injured.

"In addition, at the request of the Ukrainian leadership, the country has become a haven for 6,595 foreign mercenaries and terrorists from 62 countries. The rules of war do not apply to them, and they will be mercilessly destroyed," Rudskoy added.

The official mentioned that Donbass republics (DPR and LPR) have refused the help of volunteers and said that they will their land themselves.

"The units of the People's Militia of the LPR have liberated 93% of the territory of the republic. Currently, fighting is underway on the outskirts of Severodonetsk and Lysychans’k. The People's Militia of the DPR has taken control of 54% of the territory. The liberation of the city of Mariupol continues," Rudskoy said.
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