- 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.
Russian 'Oniks' cruise missile - Sputnik International

UPDATES: Russia to Reinforce Western Borders So That It Won't Occur to Anyone to Attack It - Kremlin

On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian forces. In response to Russia's military operation, the Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that he had held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba regarding the organisation of a meeting between the top diplomats.
In turn, Russain Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said that Moscow has received Ankara’s signal about the possibility of organising another meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
On 29 March, Russia and Ukraine concluded the latest round of peace talks in Istanbul, Turkey. Moscow has announced its intention to scale down military activities in the Kiev and Chernigov regions and focus on its goals in Donbass.
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Table of contents
New firstOld first
03:42 GMT 02.04.2022
Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a media briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 3, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.04.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
White House: US Sending Kiev Equipment to Deploy in Event of Chemical, Biological Attack
02:41 GMT 02.04.2022
Chinese Trade With Russia Should Not Be Hit by Ukrainian Crisis – Foreign Ministry
China is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and its trade relations with other countries, including Russia, should not be hit, Director-General of the Department of European Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Lutong said on Saturday.

"We will not do anything consciously to bypass sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. You know our position, we are against the sanctions ... China is not party to the conflict in Ukraine and we do not think that the normal trade cooperation with other countries should be hit. Even Europe is involved in normal business with Russia, you have not terminated you trade with Russia, and our normal trade cooperation with Moscow must not be hit," Wang said. commenting on the China-EU summit held on Friday.
01:59 GMT 02.04.2022
Zelensky on Belgorod Oil Depot Fire: I Do Not Discuss Any of My Orders
When asked about the Friday fire that hit the oil depot in Russia's Belgorod, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the he did not discuss any of his orders.

On Friday morning, a fire broke out at the oil depot in Belgorod. According to regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, this happened as a result of shelling by two Ukrainian helicopters, which penetrated Russian airspace at a low altitude.

"I do not discuss any of my orders as commander-in-chief, the leader of this state. There are things which I only share with the armed forces of Ukraine when they talk to me," Zelensky told the Fox News broadcaster.
00:30 GMT 02.04.2022
US to Provide Ukraine With Additional Military Assistance Worth $300Mln - Pentagon
The United States will provide Ukraine with the additional military assistance worth $300 million, the Department of Defense [DoD] said.

"Through USAI [Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative], DoD will provide up to $300 million in security assistance to bolster Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself. This decision underscores the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of its heroic efforts to repel Russia’s war of choice," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.
21:42 GMT 01.04.2022
Wizz Air Cancels All Flights to/From Russia Until October 30 Over Situation in Ukraine
The Hungarian airline Wizz Air has announced its decision to cancel all flight to and from Russia until October 30 over the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

"Wizz Air is constantly monitoring the ongoing situation, therefore all flights to/from Russia will be cancelled for the full summer season schedule up until 30 October. The flights are being removed from the booking system. Any further changes will be announced in due course," the airline tweeted on late Friday.

Wizz Air in fact stopped the air traffic to and from Russia after February 24 when the military operation started. However, it was unclear how long the flights would be suspended.
21:04 GMT 01.04.2022
ICRC Says Team in Ukraine Failed to Reach Mariupol, Will Have Another Go on Saturday
An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team was unable to arrive in Mariupol on Friday to help with the evacuation of civilians due to dangerous conditions, a new attempt will be made tomorrow, the ICRC said in a statement.

"The ICRC team, which consists of three vehicles and nine personnel, did not reach Mariupol or facilitate the safe passage of civilians today. They will try again on Saturday to facilitate the safe passage of civilians from Mariupol," the humanitarian organization said in a statement.

According to the ICRC, the team had to return to Zaporizhzhia "after arrangements and conditions made it impossible to proceed."

The organization stressed that the success of the operation depends on the parties upholding the agreements and providing security guarantees.

"If and when the safe passage operation does happen, the ICRC's role as a neutral intermediary would be to accompany the convoy out from Mariupol to another city in Ukraine," the ICRC said.
20:34 GMT 01.04.2022
Europol's Director Says Agency Suspended Cooperation With Russia
The EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has suspended cooperation with Russia since the beginning of March over Ukraine, Europol Executive Director Catherine De Bolle said on Friday.

"We had a strategic partnership with Russia since 2003; however, the agency has suspended all cooperation with Russia since the beginning of the month," De Bolle told French magazine Le Journal du Dimanche.

De Bolle noted that a Ukrainian liaison officer continues to work at the agency's headquarters in The Hague, providing "all our partners a direct access to the Ukrainian police in order to better assist them."
20:00 GMT 01.04.2022
EU Dependence on Gas From Russia Relevant for Another 10 Years - Erdogan's Spokesman
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that the issue of Europe's "dependence" on Russian gas would be relevant in the next 10 years.

"In the next 10 years, this issue will be relevant, more precisely, within 10 years," Kalin said in an interview with the TRT Haber broadcaster.

He recalled that Europe had previously developed the Nabucco project as an alternative to Russian supplies.

"If we talk about alternatives, then, as you know, Turkey and Azerbaijan have implemented the TANAP project [Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline], its expansion can be considered as an alternative. Connection of various sources here is possible through the territory of Turkey," Kalin said.
18:49 GMT 01.04.2022
Kremlin: Russia Will Strengthen Its Western Borders to Maintain Necessary Parity So That 'It Would Not Occur to Anyone to Attack' It
18:41 GMT 01.04.2022
Russian Forces Use High-Precision Weapon to Hit Ukrainian Rocket Systems
18:29 GMT 01.04.2022
Erdogan's Spokesman: Plan Needed to Gradually Lift Sanctions From Russia if Agreements Reached Between Moscow and Kiev
18:19 GMT 01.04.2022
Meeting of Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers 'On Agenda', Erdogan's Spokesman Says
18:07 GMT 01.04.2022
UN Has No Information About Attacks on Railway Tankers With Chlorine in Ukraine
The United Nations has no information about possible attacks on railway tankers containing chlorine, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Friday.

Deputy Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Dmitriy Polyansky said earlier in the day there is credible information that Ukrainian nationalists are planning a provocation in the Kharkov region, including attacks on railway tankers containing up to 800 tonnes of chlorine.

"We do not have information on this. Of course, we are open to receiving information from the parties," Haq said during a press briefing.

The UN spokesperson called on all sides in Ukraine to avoid any actions that could escalate the situation.
17:59 GMT 01.04.2022
Head of Russian Investigative Committee Orders to Probe Ukrainian Air Strikes at Oil Depot in Russia's Belgorod
17:44 GMT 01.04.2022
WATCH Russia Launch Its Oniks Cruise Missiles to Hit Ukrainian Military Infrastructure
17:24 GMT 01.04.2022
UN Says No Indication Its Vehicles Misused in Ukraine
The United Nations does not see any indications that its vehicles have been misused in Ukraine, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Friday.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzia on Tuesday expressed concerns about the misuse of vehicles belonging to international organizations by Ukrainian troops for military purposes such as to transport weapons. Nebenzia said Vehicles with United Nations insignia have been being confiscated by Ukrainian forces and also OSCE vehicles as well.

"Right now there is no indication of any misuse of UN vehicles at this point," Haq said during a press briefing.

The spokesperson acknowledged that one vehicle was taken from its area, but United Nations staff was able to disable it.

"None of our vehicles is being misused," Haq said.

Since, video evidence has surfaced on media and social media of Ukrainian troops misusing ambulances for transporting soldiers and vehicles of international corporations.
17:22 GMT 01.04.2022
US Senators Urge Biden to Suspend Tax Treaty, Data Exchange With Russia
US Senators Rob Portman and Ben Cardin have urged President Joe Biden to consider suspending the Income Tax Convention with Russia to halt the sharing of tax information, discourage US investment in the country, and end preferential tax treatment of Russian businesses in response to the military operation in Ukraine, according to a letter out Friday.

"We do not believe it is in the interest of the United States to engage in information exchange under this Convention and urge you to consider suspending this practice. We were pleased that the United Kingdom has already taken such action, and we believe suspension of tax information exchange represents another opportunity to work closely with our allies in response to Russia’s invasion," the letter to Biden said.

They also suggested a suspension of the Income Tax Convention altogether, which they say would prevent preferential tax treatment for Russian businesses in the US and discourage American investment in Russia.

The US should suspend the tax treaty until adherence "returns to the orbit" of American national interest, the senators said in the letter.
17:07 GMT 01.04.2022
Germany Reportedly Exploring Possibility of Ousting 'Significant Number' of Russian Diplomats, But There's No Consensus in Government
17:06 GMT 01.04.2022
Moscow to Respond to Expulsion of First Secretary of Russian Embassy From Bulgaria
17:05 GMT 01.04.2022
Ukraine Declines to Comment on Involvement in Helicopter Shelling of Russian Oil Depot
Ukrainian Defence Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk on Friday refrained from commenting on the involvement of Kiev in the helicopter attack on an oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod bordering Ukraine.

"We will neither confirm nor deny," Motuzyanik said at a briefing, commenting on strikes by Ukrainian helicopters on the oil depot.

On Friday morning, a fire broke out at the oil depot in Belgorod. According to local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, this happened as a result of shelling by two Ukrainian helicopters, which penetrated Russian airspace at low altitude.

The Russian defence ministry said in an evening briefing on Friday that the Belgorod oil facility was not part of military infrastructure.
16:14 GMT 01.04.2022
Russian MoD: Ukrainian Military HQs Destroyed in Oniks Cruise Missile Strikes
16:12 GMT 01.04.2022
Russian MoD: Operational-Tactical Aviation Hit 40 Ukrainian Military Targets During the Day
15:29 GMT 01.04.2022
Russia Will Present to UN Security Council New Letter on US Military Biological Activities in Ukraine on Friday - Deputy Envoy
Russia will present the United Nations Security Council on Friday with a new letter about US military biological activities in Ukraine, Russian Deputy UN Envoy Dmitry Polyanskiy said.

"In the course of the special military operation in Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defense discovered evidence that Ukrainian authorities supported and directly sponsored by the US Department of Defense, were implementing dangerous projects and experiments as a part of military biological program ... We have circulated documented evidence received by our Ministry of Defense as official documents of the Security Council and the General Assembly, those are Russian letters dated March 11, 18, and 29, there will be a new letter today," Polyanskiy said during a press conference.
15:16 GMT 01.04.2022
Xi: Beijing Supports EU Efforts to Resolve Ukrainian Crisis, Views Peace Talks as Only Way to Avoid Escalation
15:13 GMT 01.04.2022
China Deeply Regrets That Situation in Ukraine Has Reached Current State - Xi Jinping
China profoundly regrets that the situation in Ukraine has reached the current state, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

Earlier in the day, the 23rd summit between the European Union and China was held via videoconference. The EU was represented by President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von Der Leyen, while on the Chinese part President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang participated.

"China finds it deeply regrettable that the situation in Ukraine has come to where it is today," Xi was quoted as saying by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China's stance on the Ukrainian issue has always been "consistent and clear-cut," with Beijing always standing at the side of peace, making its decisions independently "based on the merits of each matter," Xi said.

"China calls for upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations, acts in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and advocates the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security," the president added.

Beijing though backs the EU efforts to bring about a political solution to the Ukrainian crisis, "encouraging peace talks in its own way."

"Peace talks are the only viable way to prevent an escalation of tensions. The international community should keep creating favorable conditions and environment for the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and make room for political settlement, rather than add fuel to the fire and heighten tensions," Xi stressed.

Meanwhile, China stands ready to work closely with the EU to avert the humanitarian turmoil in Ukraine, while joint Chinese-EU efforts are required for sustaining the global economy and prevent the Ukrainian crisis going beyond its borders, Xi said.

"China and the EU need to commit themselves to keeping the situation under control, preventing spillover of the crisis, and, most importantly, keeping the system, rules and foundation of the world economy stable, in order to bolster public confidence. The two sides may carry out coordination and cooperation in this regard," Xi added.
14:59 GMT 01.04.2022
This Video Shows Aftermath of Ukrainian Forces' Shelling of Donetsk
14:54 GMT 01.04.2022
Parliament of Ukraine Adopts Law on Nationalisation of Property of Russians and Those Who Support Russian Op
14:53 GMT 01.04.2022
Kremlin: Putin Assesses Moscow-Kiev Talks During Conversation With Erdogan
Russian President Vladimir Putin assessed the ongoing negotiation process between Russia and Ukraine during a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, the Kremlin said.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan... Fundamental assessments of the ongoing negotiation process were also given," the Kremlin said in a statement, adding that Putin thanked Erdogan for organizing a round of talks between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul.

The sides also discussed humanitarian issues and agreed on further contacts, the Kremlin added.
14:30 GMT 01.04.2022
Erdogan Tells Putin He Wants to Organise Meeting Between Russian and Ukrainian Presidents
14:08 GMT 01.04.2022
Ukraine's Rada Passes Law Prohibiting Use of V and Z Symbols in Country and Recognising Russia as 'Agressor' State
14:04 GMT 01.04.2022
DPR: 201 More Civilians, Including 43 Children, Evacuated From Mariupol on Friday
13:55 GMT 01.04.2022
Turkey: Tough Western Sanctions Against Russia Undermined Positive Global Economy Forecasts
13:43 GMT 01.04.2022
Gunfire Heard on the Streets of Mariupol
13:32 GMT 01.04.2022
186 Law Enforcement Officers, 82 Civilians Killed and 360 Injured in DPR Within a Week, Ombudsman Says
13:30 GMT 01.04.2022
Von der Leyen: We Made Clear China Should Not Interfere With Our Sanctions
13:28 GMT 01.04.2022
Erdogan Expects Date of Putin-Zelensky Meeting to Be Known After His Call With Putin
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he expects that the date of the proposed meeting between leaders of Ukraine and Russia will be determined after his phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

"We declared our readiness to organize such a meeting in Istanbul, especially in the context of steps on Crimea and Donbass. [Volodymyr] Zelensky holds a positive opinion. Putin also spoke positively earlier. Based on the results of today's conversation, the date of the meeting will be determined by the parties themselves," Erdogan told Anadolu Agency.
12:59 GMT 01.04.2022
Ukraine's Defence Ministry Neither Confirms Nor Denies Involvement of Its Choppers in Incident at Oil Depot in Russia's Belgorod
12:47 GMT 01.04.2022
Bulgaria is Reportedly Expected to Announce a Few More Russian Diplomats Personae Non Gratae
12:28 GMT 01.04.2022
Le Drian: Europe Moving Away From Being Dependent on Russian Gas
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the European Union is moving toward energy independence from Russia with the support of all members.

"At the summit in Versailles several days ago, the 27 EU countries agreed to achieve energy autonomy from Russia - this includes all energy resources - and adopt a plan to help handle oil, gas, all sources of energy. The agreement was reached, so now we are on the path to our energy independence," Le Drian said at a press conference in Tallinn when asked if Paris is ready to cut its gas partnership with Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's decree on requiring gas payments in rubles goes into effect today. It stipulates that all contracts for pipeline gas deliveries with companies registered in countries that have sanctioned Russia be settled in the Russian national currency.

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Thursday that Paris will not accept the Russian demand, citing the existing contracts between the countries.
12:07 GMT 01.04.2022
Chinese Prime Minister Discusses Ukraine With EU, Confirms Readiness to Cooperate, Play Constructive Role in Achieving Ceasefire
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has discussed the latest developments in Ukraine with senior EU officials, and also expressed readiness to cooperate and play a constructive role in reaching a ceasefire at a virtual summit, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday.

The European Union and China are holding the 23rd summit on Friday. The EU delegation includes European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and top diplomat Josep Borrell.

"[China] will continue to work with the EU and the international community to play a constructive role to deescalate the situation as soon as possible, end hostilities, prevent a larger humanitarian crisis," the ministry said in a statement.
11:59 GMT 01.04.2022
A general view of Imam Khomeini Port seen in Persian Gulf 900 kms (540 miles) south of Tehran, Iran, in this photo taken on Sunday - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.04.2022
Iran Wants to Trade With Russia in National Currencies, Deputy Head of Central Bank Tells Sputnik
11:44 GMT 01.04.2022
Lavrov: Russia Appreciates India's Unbiased Stance on Crisis in Ukraine
Russia appreciates that India does not have a one-sided approach to the crisis in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on a meeting on Friday.

"Indeed, as you mentioned this day, our western colleagues would like to reduce any meaningful international issue to the crisis in Ukraine. You know our position. We do not hide anything. We appreciate that India is taking this situation in the entirety of facts, not just in a one-sided way," Lavrov said.

The minister also stressed the importance of Russian-Indian cooperation in various fields.

"We continue to implement projects in the areas of energy, science and technology, outer space, pharmaceutical industry, and of course we cooperated and continue to cooperate in the efforts to fight coronavirus infection," Lavrov said.

Lavrov arrived in India on Thursday. In addition to the talks with his his Indian counterpart, Lavrov is expected to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
11:43 GMT 01.04.2022
Erdogan: There Are Currently No Problems With Navigation in Wake of Discovering Mines in Black Sea, Ankara Continues to Take Measures
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that there are currently no problems with navigation in the wake of discovering mines in the Black Sea yet Ankara continues to take the necessary measures.

"At the moment, we do not face any difficulties. But, of course, we continue to undertake the necessary measures," Erdogan told reporters.

Earlier in the week, the Turkish defence ministry said it detected a mine drifting along the coast of the Turkish town of Igneada at the eastern Black Sea shore close to the Bulgarian border.

The Russian Federal Security Service claimed that the Ukrainian army has set about 420 mines close to its seaports, while not excluding the possibility of them drafting into the Bosphorus Strait and then the Mediterranean Sea.
11:06 GMT 01.04.2022
Orban: Hungary May Suffer Economic Collapse If Gives Up Russian Gas
Hungary does not intend to give up energy from Russia as this will lead to the collapse of the country's economy, which cannot be overcome by just "putting on a sweater," Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.

"It's not about putting on a sweater, turning down the heating a little, as some in the West think, or paying a few forints more for gas and at gas stations. And the point is that if there is no energy coming from Russia, then there is no energy in Hungary," Orban said on Hungarian radio station Kossuth, adding that this is the question of "whether the economy functions or not."

According to the prime minister, many countries in Europe have no access to sea, "and this is not their choice," so it is unrealistic to replace Russian gas with liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivered by sea, for example, from the United States.

"It's unpractical for us that there is cheap Russian energy, gas, we turn it off, and get expensive American [gas] instead. This is a great idea in itself, but I don’t know how it can reach Hungary, this LNG, which is transported by sea on ships, I think this is absurd," Orban said.

Orban has previously spoken out against extending anti-Russian sanctions to energy resources because this would lead to a slowdown and halt of the Hungarian economy. Polish President Andrzej Duda suggested that Hungary's unwillingness to abandon Russian energy sources would cost Budapest.
11:04 GMT 01.04.2022
Ukrainian Forces Fire Five 122mm Mortars at Donetsk, JCCC Says
11:02 GMT 01.04.2022
It's Unlikely US, Allies Will Offer Ukraine Security Guarantees Kiev Wants, Report Says
It is unlikely that the United States and its allies will offer legally binding security guarantees to Ukraine, as requested by Kiev, CNN reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

According to CNN, Ukrainians are directly involved in the discussions on security guarantees that are currently at a very early stage.
10:52 GMT 01.04.2022
Gazprom Group Ceases Participation in German Gazprom Germania Gmbh and All Its Assets
The Gazprom Group announced on Friday ceasing its participation in German subsidiary GAZPROM Germania GmbH and all its holdings, including Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd.

"On March 31, the Gazprom Group terminated its participation in German GAZPROM Germania GmbH and all its holdings, among which Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd," Gazprom wrote on Telegram.
The German economy ministry is reportedly considering nationalizing the subsidiaries of the Russian energy giants in Germany. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier in the day that the nationalization of the Russian companies' subsidiaries would seriously violate international law, noting that Moscow considers raising such a question unacceptable.
10:50 GMT 01.04.2022
Ukrainian Forces Repeatedly Shell Donetsk With 122mm Mortars, DPR Says
10:48 GMT 01.04.2022
Poland Ready to Be Guarantor of Ukraine's Security if US Joins, Deputy Prime Minister Says
Poland is ready to act as a guarantor of future security of Ukraine if the United States joins this arrangement, Polish Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of Law and Justice Party Jaroslaw Kaczynski said.

On Tuesday, Kiev proposed a new system of security guarantees for Ukraine. David Arakhamia, a member of the Ukrainian delegation at the talks with Russia, said that Kiev saw member states of the UN Security Council, along with Turkey, Germany, Canada, Italy, Poland and Israel, as guarantors of Ukraine's security.

"If these were serious guarantees, that is, with the participation of the United States, as well as other major European countries, I don't see how it [Poland as another guarantor] could do any harm," Kaczynski told Polskie Radio, when asked if Poland is ready to be a security guarantor for Ukraine.
10:46 GMT 01.04.2022
Austria Cannot Wean Itself From Russian Gas in 2022 Without Repercussions, OMV Chief Says
Alfred Stern, the chief of Austria’s largest energy company OMV, said that abandoning Russian gas this year is impossible for his country unless it is willing to live with huge consequences.

"No, rejection of Russian gas is impossible unless we are willing to live with massive consequences. Some countries could do that, while for Austria it is not possible this year. We are in a difficult position and cannot simply abandon Russian gas," Stern said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presse.

He noted that since Austria had no access to the sea, there was no access to liquefied gas.

"Any diversification would mean increased investment in expensive infrastructure to gain access to more expensive gas. The exit from Russian gas comes at a cost," he added.

On 24 February, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian forces. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and started discussions on abandoning gas imports from Russia.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government and the national energy giant Gazprom to switch gas payments with countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia to rubles.
10:39 GMT 01.04.2022
Talks With Ukraine Continued on Friday Via Video Format, Russian Top Negotiator Says
Head of the Russian delegation Vladimir Medinsky announced on Friday that talks with the Ukrainian side continue via video conference.

"We continue negotiations in the format of a video conference. Our positions on Crimea and Donbas remain unchanged," Medinsky wrote on Telegram.
10:37 GMT 01.04.2022
Russian Intelligence: Kiev Lobbying Idea of 'Concealing' Russian Prisoners of War
The Ukrainian authorities are persuading the Western partners to encourage the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and other human rights watchdogs to give up their attempts to reach Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said on Friday.

"There is precise information that the Ukrainian authorities are convincing the Western patrons to urge the ICRC and various international humanitarian NGOs to abandon attempts to contact the Russian prisoners of war," the statement read.

Particularly, the SVR said revealing that the Ukrainian officials informed the United Kingdom that Kiev has no intentions to abide by the Geneva Convention on Treatment of Prisoners of War.

The UK Foreign Office in turn suggested Kiev to organize an ICRC visit of several prisoners of war kept in exemplary good conditions to "whitewash" the Ukraine authorities in the eyes of the international community and "to partially mitigate the consequences of disclosure of torturing captured soldiers," the SVR said.
Unveiling the video footage showing torture of Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine prompted Kiev's attempts to avert disclosure of such information in the future, the agency added.

"The SVR receives credible data that after the appalling video records of torturing Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine was published, the nationalist Kiev regime is undertaking efforts to prevent further disclosure of such facts," the statement read.

Earlier, the footage of what is believed to be Russian soldiers being shot in the legs appeared on the Internet. The incident reportedly occurred at one of the Ukrainian military bases in the Kharkov region. On Sunday, the head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin ordered to investigate all the circumstances of brutal treatment of Russian soldiers in Ukraine.
10:32 GMT 01.04.2022
Beijing: NATO Should Have Been Dissolved After the Soviet Union's Collapse
09:56 GMT 01.04.2022
Kremlin: Putin to Host Security Council Meeting, Hold Conversation With Erdogan on Friday
Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold an operation meeting with permanent members of the security council and hold a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"Today, Putin has several international phone conversations, the dialogue continues. One of them will be a conversation with Erdogan, we confirm this. We will give a message ... In the middle of the day, the president plans to hold an operational meeting with members of the Security Council." Peskov told reporters.
09:54 GMT 01.04.2022
Ukraine Informed UK It Does Not Plan to Comply With Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War Treatment - Russian Foreign Intelligence Service
The service also said that the UK Foreign Office has recommended that Ukraine organise visits by ICRC staff to several Russian prisoners of war that are being held in "satisfactory conditions" in order to distract media attention from leaked footages showing Ukrainian soldiers torturing Russian captives.
09:52 GMT 01.04.2022
DPR: Some 4,000 Ukrainian Militants Remain in Mariupol
09:46 GMT 01.04.2022
Kremlin: Putin Was Briefed About Fire at Belgorod Oil Depot
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been informed about a fire at a petroleum depot in Belgorod, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Earlier in the day, a fire occurred at Belgorod's petroleum depot. The city's authorities said that the incident was caused by the attack of the two Ukrainian helicopters, which had entered Russian airspace at a low altitude.

"As for Belgorod, of course, the president was briefed. You know that the Ministry of Emergency Situations went there ... and [measures] are being taken to reorganize the fuel supply chains so that what happened in no way affects the level of supply with all the necessary fuel elements," Pekov told reporters.

The spokesman also said that Russia’s air superiority over Ukraine is a fact but law enforcement agencies need to give assessments.
09:44 GMT 01.04.2022
German Government Currently Reviewing Putin's Decree on Ruble Payments for Gas, Spokesperson Says
The German government is reviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree on gas payments in rubles, the deputy spokesman for the German government, Wolfgang Buechner said.

"The federal government is currently reviewing this decree in terms of specific implications," Buechner told a briefing.
09:41 GMT 01.04.2022
Gazprom Sends Official Notice to Contractors Regarding New Gas Payment Procedure in Rubles
Russia's energy giant Gazprom announced on Friday that it starts sending official notifications to contractors about the new procedure for paying for gas in rubles.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the procedure for the fulfillment of obligations to Russian natural gas suppliers by foreign buyers, which stipulates that all contracts for pipeline gas deliveries with companies registered in unfriendly countries must be settled in rubles.

"Gazprom, as a Russian company, unconditionally and fully complies with the requirements of Russian legislation. Notifications about the new procedure for settlements in Russian rubles are officially sent to counterparties today. Gazprom is a responsible partner and continues to reliably export gas to consumers," the company wroter on Telegram.
09:36 GMT 01.04.2022
Scheme for Gas Payments in Rubles Suggested by Russia is Fair, Lavrov Says
09:30 GMT 01.04.2022
Lavrov: Russia Preparing Response to Ukraine's Proposals, Future Contacts Being Prepared
Russia is preparing its response to Ukraine's proposals to settle the conflict put forward during the recent round of negotiations in Istanbul, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"We are preparing our response, there is movement forward, primarily in terms of recognizing the impossibility of Ukraine being a bloc country, the impossibility for Ukraine to seek happiness in the North Atlantic Alliance, a non-nuclear, non-bloc neutral status. This is what is now recognized as an absolute necessity," Lavrov told reporters following a meeting wtih his Indian counterpart.

"Regarding potential further contacts, they are being worked out now, and will be announced," he added.
09:18 GMT 01.04.2022
WATCH Russian Forces Destroy Ukraine's S-300 Systems
09:11 GMT 01.04.2022
Video Emerges Online Showing Ukrainian Helicopters Flying Near Oil Depot in Russia's Belgorod
08:55 GMT 01.04.2022
Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations Publishes Footage of Firefighters Battling Blaze at Belgorod Oil Depot
08:19 GMT 01.04.2022
Printing Office in Russia's Belgorod Comes Under Fire, No Injuries Reported, Employee Says
A printing office in the Russian city of Belgorod, located nearly 25 miles north of the border with Ukraine, has come under fire on Friday morning, with its employee miraculously surviving during the shelling, a member of the office's staff told Sputnik.

"Yes, we were shelled, we are on the site now ... The rescue service workers told us there were helicopters, from which the shooting was conducted," the employee said.

She added that the attack had damaged the windows and office equipment.
08:10 GMT 01.04.2022
Russian MoD Releases Video of Captured Ukrainian Armoured Vehicles
07:58 GMT 01.04.2022
China Adheres to Independent Position on Ukrainian Crisis - Foreign Ministry
Beijing maintains an independent stance on the Ukrainian crisis, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday, commenting on reports about planned pressure from EU politicians on China during the EU-China summit later in the day.

"As for Ukraine, China pursues an independent peaceful foreign policy and makes its own decisions based on the merits of the case," Zhao told a briefing.

The European Parliament called on Thursday for holding China accountable for any support rendered to Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
07:49 GMT 01.04.2022
Russian Air Defence Shot Down One Ukrainian Helicopter and 8 Drones – MoD
Russian air defence systems shot down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter, as well as 8 drones, including one Bayraktar, Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry, said on Friday.
07:03 GMT 01.04.2022
Australia to Send Bushmaster Armoured Vehicles to Ukraine - Prime Minister
Australia will send several Bushmaster armoured personnel carrier to assist Ukraine, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.

"We are not just sending our prayers, we are sending our guns, we are sending munitions, we are sending our humanitarian aid … and we are going to be sending our armoured vehicles, our Bushmasters as well, and we will be flying them over there on our C-17 [Globemaster III military transport aircraft]," Morrison said, aired by ABC Radio.

The prime minister specified neither the number of vehicles nor the date when the vehicles will be sent to Ukraine.
07:02 GMT 01.04.2022
Rogozin Will Make an Official Statement on Further Cooperation With Foreign Countries on the ISS on Saturday - Roscosmos
Head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin will make an official statement on the country's further cooperation with foreign partners on the International Space Station (ISS) on 2 April, agency spokesman Dmitry Strugovets said on Friday. "Rogozin will make an official statement regarding the Russian position on continuing cooperation with foreign countries within the framework of the ISS project on 2 April (on Saturday)," Strugovets wrote on Telegram.
Roscosmos has already sent letters to the management of NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and the European Space Agency, encouraging them to initiate domestic debate in their respective countries on the possibility of lifting anti-Russia sanctions. The international partners had until 31 March to respond to the letters, after which Roscosmos had to decide how to interact with them.
07:01 GMT 01.04.2022
Ukrainian Forces Shell Donetsk Using Grad Launchers - DPR
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