- 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.
A serviceman of the DPR People's Militia is seen on a front line in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic. - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Ukrainian Forces Fire 216 Shells at 11 DPR Settlements on Sat - Militia Spokesman

In February, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine to support the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in retaliation against intensifying attacks by Ukrainian forces.
The Russian Armed Forces and Donbass militia continue to advance as part of the special military operation in Ukraine and, over the past day, Russia has targeted dozens of Ukrainian military positions with high-precision weapons, destroying equipment and up to two companies of nationalists.
Meanwhile, the remaining Azov neo-Nazis remain under siege at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, while the liberated city is finally returning to normal, Russia's MoD said. Russia launched a military operation in February, aiming to put a halt to the eight-year conflict in Donbass, which has claimed at least 13,000 lives.
President Vladimir Putin described Kiev's war on Donbass as genocide and stressed that Moscow seeks to "de-Nazify and demilitarise" Ukraine.
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Table of contents
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02:24 GMT 24.04.2022
Guterres to Meet With Erdogan in Ankara on Monday
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit the Turkish capital on Monday, April 25, and is expected to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the UN press service informs.

"The Secretary-General will visit Ankara, Turkey, where, on 25 April, he will be received by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan," the United Nations said in a Saturday release.
23:06 GMT 23.04.2022
Israel’s Prime Minister Discusses Gaza Tensions, Russia-Ukraine Crisis With Guterres
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over the phone on Saturday, discussing the recent attacks from Gaza, as well as the Russia-Ukraine situation, Bennett’s office informs.

"Prime Minister Bennett expressed his disappointment at the absence of condemnation by the UN for the firing of rockets at Israel," a statement on the prime minister’s official Twitter account says, adding that Bennett and Guterres "also discussed the UN Secretary General's expected trip to see Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky, and the efforts to resolve the situation between Russia and Ukraine."
19:55 GMT 23.04.2022
Pentagon Has No Comments on Zelensky's Statement About Austin, Blinken Visiting Ukraine
The Pentagon on Saturday said it has no comments on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's statement about the upcoming visit of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Ukraine.

"I have nothing for you," the Pentagon spokesperson told Sputnik when asked to confirm the statements.

Earlier in the day, Zelenskyy said that he was expecting Austin and US State Secretary Antony Blinken to arrive in Ukraine on Sunday to discuss further arms deliveries to Kiev.
19:34 GMT 23.04.2022
Trudeau Discriminates Against Russians When Speaking of "Consequences" for Operation in Ukraine, Embassy Says
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a media conference, after an extraordinary NATO summit and Group of Seven meeting, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, March 24, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
Trudeau Speaking of 'Consequences' for Operation in Ukraine Discriminates Against Russians
19:10 GMT 23.04.2022
Kiev Preparing Provocations to Defame Ukraine's Orthodox Church, Russian Defense Ministry Says
The Ukrainian forces are planning provocations ahead of Easter to discredit the canonical Ukrainian orthodox church, Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry's National Defense Control Center, said Saturday.

Mizintsev said that there is "reliable information about the Kiev regime preparing cynical provocations to discredit the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate on the eve of the Easter holiday."

Mizintsev noted that the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sent a recommendation to the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church "not to hold traditional Easter celebrations on the night of April 23 to 24, and to replace it with online broadcasts of church services." At the same time, the general said, that the recommendation has not been sent to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church on purpose so it would organize a mass gathering of faithful people in churches.

"The provocative actions are carried out due to the campaign being carried out by the Kiev regime in Ukrainian media to accuse Russia of allegedly organizing 'missile attacks on religious sites,' including Sviatohirsk Lavra," the general said.

Mizintsev noted that the Security Service of Ukraine will deliberately use any incidents in churches today "to aggravate Kiev's splitting policy and provoke a new wave of Russophobia in Ukraine and abroad."
18:43 GMT 23.04.2022
Russian Ambassador Asks Trudeau to Influence US to Prevent Tragedy With WMD
Russian Ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov said he had sent personal notes to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Melanie Joly asking the government of Canada to influence Washington to prevent a tragedy that may be caused by the weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

“I have sent personal messages to both Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs so that they influence the United States administration and prevent this tragedy,” Stepanov said.

Earlier on Saturday, the chief of Russia's Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Protection Troops revealed US plans to stage provocations to accuse Moscow of using chemical, biological, or even tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine to discredit its ongoing military operation in the country.

The Russian military's information about suspected US plans to accuse Russian forces of using WMDs in Ukraine are a sign that Washington has moved on to Plan B after the failure of its attempts to sanction Russia into submission, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

Igor Kirillov, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense of the Russian Armed Forces also noted that the leadership of Western countries made provocative statements on the possibility of Russia using weapons of mass destruction on a regular basis starting from March.

According to Kirillov, the most probable scenario is a western provocation at chemical and biological facilities in Kharkov and Kiev, and possibly at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

Speaking of possible provocations, Kirillov noted that the US State Department may apply the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' attribution mechanism to fabricate evidence and assign blame, as was the case in Syria.

As for provocations with the use of biological weapons, Kirillov said that the mechanism for investigating the cases would be activated under the UN secretary general’s authority.

According to Kirillov, on 9 March, Russian military discovered three drones in the Kherson region equipped with 30-liter containers and equipment for spraying agents, which indicates Kiev's readiness to use biological weapons.

Kirillov added that one of the provocation scenarios implied the "covert use" of WMD at Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol, but the order not to storm the plant disrupted these plans.
18:28 GMT 23.04.2022
Ukrainian, British Forces Preparing Provocation in Lysychansk, Russian MoD Says
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) together with secretive agencies of the United Kingdom are planning a new provocation in the city of Lysychansk in the Lugansk People's Republic since Western media, which previously staged photo and video shoots in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, have already arrived in the city, Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the Russian Defence Ministry's National Defence Control Centre, said.

"The SBU officers together with secretive agencies of the United Kingdom are planning yet another fake in Lysychansk in the Lugansk People's Republic. Representatives of Ukrainian and Western media, who had previously conducted staged photo and video shoots in Bucha, arrived in the city in advance to this end," Mizintsev said.

"We are warning the so-called 'civilized West' in advance that these fakes made by Kiev authorities about alleged 'atrocities of Russians' will soon be widely distributed through Western media," he said.
18:09 GMT 23.04.2022
Military equipment at the Sea Breeze 2019 exercises in Odessa's port. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Kiev May Fake 'Russian Strike' on Ukrainian Naval Base to Destroy Odessa Cold Storage Complex: MoD
17:48 GMT 23.04.2022
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
Gerhard Schroeder: Impossible to Isolate Russia Long-Term, German Industry Needs Russian Resources
17:14 GMT 23.04.2022
Ukrainian soldier armed with US Javelin ride along Khreshchatyk Street, during a military parade to celebrate Independence Day in Kiev, Ukraine. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Russian Forces Take Out Arms Depot That Stored US and European Weapons Near Odessa, MoD Says
16:44 GMT 23.04.2022
The Russian Defence Ministry's Regular Briefing on Course of Military Op in Ukraine
16:31 GMT 23.04.2022
A damaged Ukrainian tank outside Severodonetsk in the Lugansk People's Republic, 6 March 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
Half of Germans Oppose Deliveries of Heavy Arms to Ukraine, Poll Says
16:23 GMT 23.04.2022
Czech Prime Minister to Support $63Mln Military Budget Increase
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told reporters on Saturday that he would support a request by Defence Minister Jana Cernochova to add another 1.4 billion crowns ($63 million) to the 2022 defence budget.

Earlier in the day, Cernochova asked the finance ministry for an increase in her ministry's budget to buy more military supplies.

"This will be the first concrete step in our intention to increase investments in defense by 48 billion crowns [about $2.1 billion] over the next three years," Fiala said.

According to the prime minister, due to the fact that Czech defence enterprises will also participate in the supply of military materials for the defense ministry, "it will simultaneously support the national industry, the economy as a whole and employment."

In early April, Czech parliament agreed to increase the defence budget by 1 billion crowns (about $45 million) at Cernochova's request due to the conflict in Ukraine, bringing the defense budget for 2022 to 89.1 billion crowns (about $4 billion).
16:14 GMT 23.04.2022
Ukrainian Forces Fire 216 Shells at 11 Settlements in DPR in the Past Day, Militia Spokesman Says
16:11 GMT 23.04.2022
In Volnovakha, Ukrainian Forces Robbed Civilians, a Local Woman Says - Video
16:07 GMT 23.04.2022
WATCH Woman in Mariupol Tell How Ukrainian Military Killed Her Son
15:58 GMT 23.04.2022
'It's Right Time For Helsinki to Apply For NATO Membership', Foreign Minister Says
In this file photo dated Aug. 29, 2014, NATO naval mine countermeasure vessels berth in Turku, Finland, during the international Northern Coasts 2014 (NOCO14) military exercise - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
Finland's Foreign Minister Says No Point in Delaying NATO Membership Application
15:37 GMT 23.04.2022
'US Moved on to Plan B After Failure to Sanction Russia Into Submission', Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Says
Ukrainian troops wearing hazmat suits - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
US Has Moved on to WMD Provocations After Economic Pressure Against Russia Failed, Zakharova Says
14:50 GMT 23.04.2022
German Chancellor is Warned by Former Officials Against 'Uncontrollable Escalation' of the Ukraine Conflict
BWEHR Panzerfaust - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.04.2022
Ex-German Officials Ask Scholz to Stop Arming Kiev, Create New Peace Architecture With Russia, China
14:44 GMT 23.04.2022
German Finance Minister Lindner Urges Berlin to Supply Kiev With Heavy Weaponry
German Federal Finance Minister Christian Wolfgang Lindner, the leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), on Saturday once again urged the German authorities to begin supplying Kiev with heavy weaponry.

"The FDP trusts Federal Chancellor [Olaf] Scholz and his Ukrainian politics," but "it is evident that the country [Ukraine] is in need of heavy weaponry," Lindner told a party's meeting, as quoted by German radio DLF.

Lindner also said that Germany must become independent from supplies of energy sources from Russia "as soon as possible," while expressing his skepticism about an immediate embargo.

Earlier this week, Scholz said that the German military can no longer be supplying arms to Ukraine as weapons inventories are practically exhausted. Nevertheless, Scholz added that the German authorities were working with the country's weapons businesses to ensure further deliveries. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Wednesday that the supply of heavy weaponry to Ukraine "should not be a taboo."
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