- 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.
Flags of Russia and the United States at the American Embassy in Moscow. - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: US Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Ban Russian Uranium Imports

Russia started its special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 following a request from the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk to protect their citizens in the wake of increased attacks from the Kiev regime.
Since mid-autumn 2022, the Russian military has been carrying out precision strikes on Ukrainian energy and military infrastructure in retaliation for Ukrainian terrorist attacks on Russian territory, including an assault on the Crimean Bridge, carried out by Ukrainian intelligence services.
Western nations have imposed numerous sanctions on Russia and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said any cargo that contains weaponry for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia.
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02:29 GMT 10.03.2023
Rise in Number of Ukrainians Advocating Peace Talks With Russia 'Dangerous Trend' - Kiev
Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said on Thursday that the increase in the number of Ukrainians advocating peace talks with Russia was a "dangerous trend."

"Keep in mind that there are more and more of them [who advocate negotiations with Russia]. It is a very dangerous trend when people even from western Ukraine start talking about such things," Danilov said in an appearance on the Hovoryt Velykyi Lviv (Great Lviv Speaks) talks show, referring to a statement of an unnamed official from the Lvov region of Ukraine, who called for "sitting down at the negotiating table" with Russia.
01:08 GMT 10.03.2023
US Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Ban Russian Uranium Imports
A group of US senators introduced on Thursday bipartisan legislation to ban imports of Russian uranium, the Senate Committee on Natural Resources said in a release.

"Today, US Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jim Risch (R-ID), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced bipartisan legislation to ban imports of Russian uranium," the release said.

America’s nuclear industry is "ready to transition away from Russian uranium," Ranking Member Barrasso was quoted as saying in the release.
22:38 GMT 09.03.2023
Gas leak location on Nord Stream 2  - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.03.2023
Nord Stream Sabotage
Attempt to Pin Nord Stream Bombing on Ukraine Shows Biden Ready to Drop Kiev - Experts
16:27 GMT 09.03.2023
Saudi Arabia to Continue Efforts to Establish Moscow-Kiev Dialogue - Foreign Minister
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Saudi Arabia will continue to make efforts to establish a dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on Thursday.
"We are always seeking to provide support in order to resolve this crisis [in Ukraine], and we are ready to work with all parties to find a peaceful solution, and we have already put forward certain initiatives in the past, including with regard to the exchange of prisoners ... we will continue to discuss further opportunities to facilitate dialogue between the parties," the minister told reporters following talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov, in turn, praised Saudi Arabia’s role in the recent prisoners exchange with Ukraine. The top Russian diplomat also said that Kiev has had no intention to engage in peace talks.
"So far, we see no desire on the part of our Ukrainian neighbors to start a serious conversation. Moreover, I have already mentioned more than once that [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky by his decree last September, forbade any negotiations, and Zelensky's Western masters are constantly stating that Russia must first be defeated on the battlefield in order to talk to it from a position of strength. Judge for yourself how adequate such statements are," Lavrov said.
In October, Ukrainian President Zelensky said that Ukraine could not hold any talks as long as Vladimir Putin remains president of Russia and signed a relevant decree. Russian officials have repeatedly emphasized their readiness to start peace negotiations to resolve the ongoing conflict.
16:26 GMT 09.03.2023
Russia Bans Entry to 144 Citizens of Latvia, Lithuania & Estonia
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has banned entry for 144 citizens of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, including ministers, parliamentarians and public figures, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"A decision has been made to include the most hostile ministers, parliamentarians, public figures, journalists from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in the Russian stop list," the ministry said in a statement.

This step was taken as a response to "active lobbying by the Baltic states for sanctions and other measures against Russia, interference in our internal affairs, inciting Russophobic sentiments," it explained.

"The 144 citizens of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia included in the list are also involved in the barbaric campaign launched by the authorities of these states for the mass demolition of monuments to Soviet soldiers-liberators, persecution of the Russian-speaking population, rewriting of history, glorification of Nazism, and the criminal line being pursued to escalate the Ukrainian conflict and to pump the Kiev regime with weapons," the ministry added.
14:19 GMT 09.03.2023
Patriot Systems for Kiev Not Effective Against Russian Cruise Missiles, Drones - Kirby
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Patriot systems for Ukraine will not be effective against Russian cruise missiles and drones, US National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said on Thursday.
"The Patriot missile system is really designed to go after ballistic missiles. It is not as effective on cruise missiles, and it certainly cannot be effective against drones," Kirby said.
He added that Ukraine’s capabilities to fight hypersonic missiles are "limited."
"Hypersonic missiles are generally very, very difficult to counter, and it would not surprise me that Ukrainian air defenses are limited in their ability to go after hypersonic missiles," he said.
13:28 GMT 09.03.2023
Construction of Military Center in Ukraine Drags Warsaw Into Conflict: Moscow
By building a military center in Ukraine, Warsaw wants to deploy its infrastructure to increase the size of its "group", the construction of such a center will draw Poland into the conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"Obviously, we are talking about Warsaw’s intention to deploy its infrastructure to increase the Polish grouping, previously announced as the Polish Volunteer Legion, which will be located on the basis of the center [in Ukraine]," she said during a briefing.

"The fact that this is fraught with direct involvement of Poland in the Ukrainian conflict does not bother anyone in Warsaw, let alone in Kiev," Zakharova said.
13:26 GMT 09.03.2023
Ukrainian Defense Minister Calls EU Plan to Allocate $1Bln for Shells to Kiev Insufficient
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell's plan to allocate around 1 billion euros ($1.05 billion) for ammunition supplies to Ukraine is insufficient as Kiev needs artillery shells worth 4 billion euros as proposed by Estonia in February.

During an informal meeting of the EU defense ministers in Stockholm on Wednesday, Borrell made a proposal that includes the allocation of 1 billion euros for supplies of NATO standard ammunition from the bloc's existing stockpiles to Ukraine, as well as measures to increase own production. Reznikov and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also took part in the event.

"We need more [artillery shells]," Reznikov is quoted by the Europa Press news agency as saying at the meeting in Stockholm in response to Borrell's plan.

The Ukrainian minister cited Estonia's proposal as the one his country found sufficient, adding that Kiev needed around 100,000 artillery shells per month to be able to conduct a successful counteroffensive this spring.
12:36 GMT 09.03.2023
IAEA Calls for Ensuring Safety at ZNPP After Power Disruption: Director General
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi on Thursday called on all parties responsible for the power disruption at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) to commit to ensuring the facility's safety and security.

Earlier in the day, Vladimir Rogov, a senior official of the Zaporozhye regional administration, told Sputnik that Ukraine had cut off the last power transmission line supporting the ZNPP, and the plant now switched to diesel generators. Two out of the plant's six units initiated so-called cold shutdowns.
"I call on everyone in this room today and elsewhere: we must commit to protect the safety and security of the plant. And we need to commit NOW. What we need is Action. I will continue my urgent consultations and contacts," Grossi said during a meeting of the IAEA board of governors.

Grossi added that the stocks of diesel fuel at the plant would be enough only for 15 days of operation.

Located on the left bank of the Dnepr River, the ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe by number of units and output. It went under the control of Russian forces in early March 2022 and has since been repeatedly shelled by Ukrainian troops, raising international concerns over a possible nuclear accident.
10:58 GMT 09.03.2023
Multirole MiG-31 fighters with hypersonic Kinzhal rockets. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.03.2023
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Russian Military Deploys Kinzhals in Massive Strikes in Ukraine in Retaliation to Bryansk Terror
10:36 GMT 09.03.2023
Russia Fulfills All of Its Obligations Under The ‘Grain Deal’, Lavrov Says
10:35 GMT 09.03.2023
Lavrov: Given That Package Deal on Grain Only Half Implemented, Its Extension Difficult Issue
10:34 GMT 09.03.2023
Sides Were Close to Agreement on Protective Zone Around ZNPP, But Kiev Blocked It: Lavrov
An agreement on a protective zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) was almost reached, but Kiev blocked it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

During his recent visit to Ukraine, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, for some reason, linked the issue of extending the grain deal with the need "to demilitarize the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant," the minister said.

"No one, except for Ukraine itself, has ever talked about any demilitarization ... The IAEA Director General [Rafael Grossi] has been promoting an agreement for several months to declare the ZNPP a nuclear safety zone ... We actively cooperated with the IAEA director general. The agreement was almost reached, we were ready to support it, but it was blocked by Kiev, which is precisely putting forward preconditions for prisoners of war and the demilitarization of the ZNPP," Lavrov said at a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

The minister also expressed regret that Guterres once again failed to take a neutral position on the matter.
09:35 GMT 09.03.2023
Poland Hands Over New Batch of 10 Leopard Tanks to Ukraine: Ministry of Defense
Poland has handed over a new batch of 10 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Thursday.

"We have transferred another 10 Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine," Blaszczak told journalists.

Other NATO countries would soon also ship their tanks to Ukraine, the Polish defense minister stated, specifying that eight tanks would be sent by Canada, with another eight coming from Norway and six from Spain.

In late February, Blaszczak said that Warsaw had sent four Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
08:11 GMT 09.03.2023
Russia's Ka-52 Assault Helicopters Carry Out Missile Launches During Special Operation
07:06 GMT 09.03.2023
Emergency Power Cuts Leave 40% of Kiev's Residents Without Heating: City Mayor
Emergency power outages left 40% of people living in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev with no heating on Thursday, Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.

Air raid alarms went off in various parts of Ukraine on Thursday morning. The country's energy ministry said airstrikes targeted energy infrastructure in seven regions, including the Kiev region.

"After the attack 40% of consumers of the capital city are so far without heating due to emergency blackouts," Klitschko wrote on Telegram.

Emergency blackouts were also enacted in other Ukrainian regions, including Zhitomir, Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk. Mayor of Zhitomir Sergey Sukhomlin said that most of local households were left with no electricity and water supply.

Ukrainian Railways stated that a number of trains are delayed due to power cuts in some parts of the railroad, with delays exceeding one hour in some cases.
06:23 GMT 09.03.2023
Ukraine Cuts Off Last Power Line to ZNPP, Nuclear Power Plant Switched to Diesel Generators: Regional Authorities
Ukraine has cut off the last power transmission line supporting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), the plant has switched to diesel generators, Vladimir Rogov, a senior official of the Zaporozhye regional administration, told Sputnik on Thursday.
"Early this morning ... [Kiev] turned off the last power line ... which feeds the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. The nuclear power plant is currently de-energized and switched to providing its own needs through the operation of diesel generators," Rogov said.
Cold shutdowns were initiated at two of the ZNPP's six power units due to Ukraine's cutting power supply, the official added, denouncing Kiev's move as a provocation in a scenario where Russia will then be accused of failing to ensure security at the nuclear facility.

All safety systems at the station were working normally when it switched to the diesel generators, the press service of the ZNPP said.

"Last night, diesel generators were automatically launched to provide the station's own needs due to a short circuit in the line between the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant and the Dneprovsk substation of the ZNPP. All safety systems worked normally. There are enough fuel reserves to ensure the work of the diesel generators and they are being constantly refilled," the press service stated.

It added that radiation levels around the station were normal, with no changes reported following the disruption with power supply.
06:06 GMT 09.03.2023
Strikes Against Energy Facilities Reported Across Ukraine
Energy infrastructure facilities have come under attack in seven Ukrainian regions, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Thursday.

"Shelling of energy facilities in Kiev, Nikolaev, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Odessa, Dnepr and Zhitomir regions was recorded," Galushchenko wrote on social media.
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