- 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.
Parts of Ukraine's 'Tochka-U' missile shot down outside Berdyansk, March 2022. - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Russian Forces Avert Ukraine's Tochka-U Strike at Hydroelectric Plant - Russian MoD

In February, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk (DPR and LPR) requested help to defend them from intensifying attacks by Ukrainian forces.
Ukrainian forces have fired at least six shells with a calibre of 122 mm, prohibited by the Minsk agreements, targeting Donetsk, the DPR representative office at the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire (JCCC) reports.
Russian forces as well as Donetsk and Lugansk militias continue to advance amid the special operation in Ukraine.
On 24 February, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk appealed for help to defend themselves against Ukrainian forces. In response, the West and its allies rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow, which includes airspace closures and restrictive measures targeting numerous Russian officials and entities, media, and financial institutions.
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00:08 GMT 16.04.2022
Ukrainian Prime Minister, Finance Minister Will Visit Washington Next Week - Reuters News Agency
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal and Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko will visit Washington next week to join the meetings organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, the Reuters news agency reported.

The two officials along with the head of the Ukrainian Central Bank, Kyrylo Shevchenko, are going to meet with G7 countries' officials and take part in a roundtable on the Ukrainian crisis that will be organized by the World Bank.
22:42 GMT 15.04.2022
World's Most Popular Chess Website Chess.com Stops to Display Russian, Belarusian Flags
"We are not displaying Russian or Belarusian flags in broadcasts of any FIDE or prize events. On Chess.com, the Russian flag has been replaced with this flag [blue one]. The flag links to this article outlining present policy," the website said in a statement.
The website also banned accounts of some Russian and Belarusian players sanctioned by the global community. At the same time, the portal has not banned most users from these countries.
"Chess.com is not instituting a ban on all Russian or Belarusian players on our site and events. We believe it is counterproductive to isolate innocent Russian and Belarusian citizens from the global community. Participation in the global community is important to spreading truth," the statement added.
19:32 GMT 15.04.2022
Russian Defense Official Says Ukrainian ‘Militants’ Detained Over 830 People in Lyman
"In the city of Lyman … this week … the militants of the nationalist battalions conducted total door-to-door checks in order to identify pro-Russian views among local residents, as well as signs of assistance to the formations of the Donetsk People's Republic. All the suspects (... 837 people were identified) were detained, are currently being brutally tortured, and threatened with physical violence against their relatives,” Mikhail Mizintsev told a briefing.
19:09 GMT 15.04.2022
Russia Sends Note Over Military Assistance to Ukraine to All Countries, Including US - Foreign Ministry to Sputnik
18:43 GMT 15.04.2022
People Rallying in Serbia's Belgrade in Solidarity With Russia - Video
A rally in support of Russia in Serbia's Belgrade, 13 March 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.04.2022
Mass Rally in Support of Russia Taking Place in Serbian Capital - Video
18:41 GMT 15.04.2022
Russian MoD: We are Warning the West in Advance That We Have Evidence About Crimes Against Civilians Being Plotted by the Kiev Regime
18:30 GMT 15.04.2022
DPR Forces Spokesman: Kiev Planning Tochka-U Strike at Railway Station in Lozovaya, Kharkov Region
17:24 GMT 15.04.2022
Russian Investigative Committee Opens Criminal Probe Into Those Spreading Fake News About the Russian Armed Forces' Actions in Bucha, Ukraine
17:21 GMT 15.04.2022
French Embassy in Ukraine Returns to Kiev From Lvov
The French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that the country's embassy in Ukraine has been transferred back to Kiev from Lvov.

On 1 March, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the transfer of the French embassy from Kiev to Lvov over security concerns. On Thursday, Le Drian informed his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, of the decision to return the mission to Kiev during a phone call.

"The embassy of France has been moved to Kiev to make easier contacts with the Ukrainian authorities that are in the capital," the ministry said in a statement.
17:19 GMT 15.04.2022
German Finance Ministry Confirms Gov't Decides to Allocate Extra 2 Billion Euros For Military Spending
Germany will allocate additional two billion euros ($1.8 billion) for military spending, and most sum will be dedicated for assistance to Ukraine, Finance Minister Christian Lindner confirmed on Friday.

"Media reports are true: the budget amendments will increase funds for assistance in strengthening the forces by 2 billion euros. The funds will go overwhelmingly in favour of Ukraine," Lindner tweeted.
16:58 GMT 15.04.2022
Russian MoD: Attempt by Ukrainian Nationalists to Attack Kakhovskaya Hydroelectric Station With 'Tochka-U' Rockets Has Been Averted
Russian forces have intercepted two Tochka-U missiles fired by the Ukrainian military at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday.

“At about 07:00 a.m Moscow time [04:00 GMT a.m.], a unit of the Ukrainian 19th separate missile brigade attacked the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant with two Tochka-U tactical missiles. The destruction of the dam of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant after an explosion was supposed to … cause the flooding of many localities in the Kherson region … and the aim was to limit the actions of the Russian armed forces. Both missiles were shot down in the air by Russian air defense systems,” Konashenkov told a briefing.

The ministry also said that fragments of one of the missiles fell on a village in the Kherson region and damaged residential buildings. One woman and one child were hurt during the incident, Konashenkov added.
16:51 GMT 15.04.2022
US Has Not Determined Any Need to Change Nuclear Posture at Present, State Dept Says
The United States has assessed that it does not need to change its nuclear posture at present, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Friday.

"We are constantly monitoring Russia’s nuclear posture," Price said. "At this time, we haven’t felt, we haven’t determined any need to change our own nuclear posture but this is something that we are continuing to take a very close look at."

On Thursday, CIA Director William Burns said President Joe Biden is deeply concerned about avoiding a third world war as well as avoiding the threshold in which a nuclear conflict becomes possible amid Russia's special operation in Ukraine.

Burns pointed out that although Russia has ordered its forces to be on a high nuclear alert level, the United States has so far not seen a lot of practical evidence of the kind of deployments or military dispositions that would reinforce that concern.

However, the CIA is monitoring the situation very carefully and no one takes lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low yield nuclear weapons, Burns added.

US media reported that the White House has assembled a team of security officials to develop response plans for the United States and its allies in case Russia uses weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine. The response team was established by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan's memorandum in February, four days after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine.
16:06 GMT 15.04.2022
First Flight With New US Military Aid for Ukraine to Arrive Within 24 Hours, Report Says
The first plane with new US military aid for Ukraine is expected to arrive in the region within the next 24 hours, CNN reported on Friday, citing a senior US Defence Department official.

The arms will arrive at the border of Ukraine, where the Ukrainians are expected to pick them up and deliver them to the country, the official said.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden said the United States considers sending Humvee armoured vehicles and sophisticated military equipment as part of the new aid package worth $750 million. The package includes 300 Switchblade drone-missiles, 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles, 200 M113 armored vehicles as well as 16 Mi-17s helicopters.
16:00 GMT 15.04.2022
Over 300 People Dead, Almost 900 Injured in DPR From 8 to 14 April, Rights Envoy Says
The Human Rights Commissioner of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Daria Morozova said on Friday that 209 soldiers and 105 civilians were killed, while 691 soldiers and 184 civilians were injured in the DPR in shelling by the Ukrainian troops from April 8 to April 14.

The total number of deaths in the conflict since 2014 is 6,585 people, including 98 children, according to the information published on the envoy's official website.
15:58 GMT 15.04.2022
Witness Tells How Ukrainian Military Shells Civilians on a Daily Basis - Video
15:57 GMT 15.04.2022
State Department: Russia's Warnings Will Not Dissuade US From Boosting Military Aid to Kiev
Russia's statements about risks of increasing US military aid to Ukraine will not force Washington to change its position on the issue, State Department spokesman Ned Price told CNN on Friday.

"We have an obligation to continue to do what we are doing to support our Ukrainian partners, we are going to continue to do that. The Russians said some things privately, they said some things publicly - nothing will dissuade us from the strategy we embarked on," Price said.

Earlier in the day, The Washington Post reported that Moscow has sent a note to Washington, warning that NATO arms supplies to Kiev are exacerbating the Ukraine conflict and can lead to unpredictable consequences.
15:41 GMT 15.04.2022
EU Regrets Expulsion of Diplomats From Moscow Mission, Calls Move Unreasonable
The European Union deplores the expulsion of diplomats from the EU diplomatic mission in Moscow, the European External Action Service said in a statement.

"The European Union deplores the unjustified, baseless decision of the Russian Federation to expel 18 members of the Delegation of the European Union to the Russian Federation. The EU diplomats in question exercise their functions in the framework of and in full respect for the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. There are no grounds for Friday’s decision by the Russian authorities beyond being a pure retaliatory step," the statement says.
15:27 GMT 15.04.2022
Blinken Reportedly Tells EU Russia's Operation in Ukraine May Last Through End of 2022
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told EU allies that the United States believes Russia’s military operation in Ukraine may last through the end of 2022, CNN reported on Friday, citing sources.

Blinken has reportedly shared with his counterparts his "concern" that the conflict could be "protracted," noting that "all of his engagements have revolved around how best to bring it to a halt as quickly as possible."

Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February in response to calls from the Donbass republics for help in countering intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defence Ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only, but later accused Ukrainian forces of using typical terrorist methods, such as hiding behind civilians and positioning weapons systems in civilian areas.

The US and its allies have responded with comprehensive sanctions on Moscow and lethal aid to Kiev. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million in military aid to Ukraine, which includes 18 155mm Howitzers, 40,00 shells, 300 Switchblade drones, 500 Javelin anti-armor missiles, 200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, and 11 Mi-17 helicopters among other military equipment.

It comes on top of the $1.7 billion in military aid already provided to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s operation.
15:08 GMT 15.04.2022
Russia Expels 18 Employees of EU Mission in Moscow in Tit-for-Tat Move
Russia has declared 18 employees of the European Union’s mission in Moscow personae non gratae, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The ministry mentioned that European Union Ambassador in Russia Markus Ederer was summoned over the EU’s decision to expel 19 Russian diplomats earlier in April.

"As a response to the unfriendly actions of the European Union, 18 employees of the EU mission in Russia have been declared ‘persona non grata’ and will have to leave the territory of the Russian Federation in the near future," the ministry said.
13:50 GMT 15.04.2022
Athens Won't Make New Weapons Deliveries to Ukraine - Cabinet Spokesman
Greece has no plans to deliver new batches of weapons to Ukraine, Greek government spokesman Ioannis Oikonomou said on Friday.

Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said on Thursday that Athens will no longer send new shipments of weapons to Ukraine so as not to weaken its own defensive capabilities.

"There is nothing new in this direction beyond what has already been done. There is nothing on the agenda," Ikonomu told a briefing in response to a question about new shipments of weapons.

On 27 February, Greece sent to Ukraine 40 tons of "defensive" equipment through Poland. However, the Greek newspaper Dimokratis on Friday reported that the Greek government had been planning to send weapons to Ukraine even before the start of Russia's special military operation at Volodymyr Zelensky's request. According to the report, Greece supplied Ukraine with 35 American MANPADS Stinger, among other arms.
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