- 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.
An Indian Air Force (IAF) MIG 29 releases bombs during an air exercise named 'Vayu Shakti-2019', or air power, at Pokhran, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Slovak Gov't May Decide on Transfer of MiG-29 Fighters to Ukraine on Wednesday

Russia started its special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, after the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations.
In October 2022, Russian military began targeting Ukrainian infrastructure after Ukraine's terrorist attack on Russia's Crimean Bridge. There have been strikes on power, defense industry, military command and communications facilities across Ukraine. Since then, air raid alerts have been sounded in Ukrainian regions every day, sometimes throughout the country.
On 9 March, Russia's armed forces delivered a massive missile attack on the military infrastructure of Ukraine in response to the terrorist attack organized by Kiev in the Bryansk region, including the use of hypersonic air-to-surface Kinzhal missiles.
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03:55 GMT 15.03.2023
A bird flies past a Russian flag at the Embassy of Russia in Washington, DC on April 15, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.03.2023
Moscow Expects US to Stop Flights Near Russian Borders After Black Sea Incident
18:29 GMT 14.03.2023
Ukrainian Defense Chief Thanks Netherlands' Rutte for Minehunters
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov thanked Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday for donating two minehunters that his country will use to scour the Black Sea shore for mines that Ukrainian troops planted ahead of a feared Russian landing campaign.
"We will defend our Black and Azov Seas as we do our land and skies. I'm very grateful to the people, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and my colleague [Dutch] Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren for the decision to provide 2 Alkmaar-class minehunters for the Ukrainian navy," he said on social media.
Reznikov welcomed Ollongren to southern Ukraine this week for talks on the Netherlands' military assistance for his country. The Dutch Defense Ministry said the two discussed fortification of the coastal defenses and protection for vessels carrying grain across the Black Sea.
The two minesweepers will be provided starting 2025, while Ukrainian crews will start their training in the second half of this year. Ukraine will also receive drone-detecting radars and bridge and ferrying systems that enable rapid bridge building.
18:15 GMT 14.03.2023
Slovak Gov't May Decide on Transfer of MiG-29 Fighters to Ukraine on Wednesday
The Slovak government may make a decision to supply 10 discarded MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine at its next meeting on March 15, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said on Tuesday.
On the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels on February 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger to supply Ukraine with MiG-29 fighters. Heger initially told Zelensky that Slovakia would do its best to grant the request. However, opposition leader from the Direction – Slovak Social Democracy party and ex-Prime Minister Robert Fico said that Heger's promise was unconstitutional, since his incumbent government is interim and performing duties until the snap parliamentary elections, scheduled for September 30.
"I am convinced, like many experts in constitutional law, that the government has the competence to make a decision [on fighters]. I have also promised debates with members of parliament, and I will keep my promise. I assume that the government will make the decision. No time frame has been set yet, but I do not exclude that it will be decided on Wednesday. It will become clear after the evening debate with lawmakers," Nad told reporters.
17:35 GMT 14.03.2023
Netherlands to Send Drone Detection Radars, Minehunter Ships to Ukraine
The Netherlands will send drone detection radars and 2 Alkmaar-class minehunters to Ukraine, Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said on Tuesday.
"The Netherlands intends to provide Ukraine with two Alkmaar-class minehunters, starting in 2025. Ukraine will also receive drone detection radar systems and M3 bridge and ferrying systems that enable rapid bridge building. This materiel is being purchased directly from industry partners. Netherlands Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren made an announcement to that effect in Ukraine today," the Dutch Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Ollongren has been on a visit to Ukraine, where she had a meeting with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.
17:30 GMT 14.03.2023
Car Bomb Blast Injures 2 in Zaporozhye's Melitopol
Two people were taken to a hospital after a car bomb exploded in the city of Melitopol in Zaporozhye region, a regional councilor said Tuesday.
"A man and a woman have been injured, according to a situation update. They have been hospitalized," Vladimir Rogov said on social media.
The Toyota Land Cruiser Prado was parked near a market when the improvised explosive device went off, Rogov said. The energy released by the blast was equivalent to 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of TNT.
The official blamed the "terrorist" explosion on the Ukrainian government, which, he said, hopes to "destabilize the region and disrupt its peaceful life."
The preliminary investigation identified the car's owner as Ivan Tkach, who runs a local transport company. Rogov said the Ukrainian government had labeled the businessman as a traitor for "collaborating with Russia."
15:43 GMT 14.03.2023
12:43 GMT 14.03.2023
Russian Air Defense Downs 17 Ukrainian Drones and 23 MLRS Shells in 24 Hours
12:10 GMT 14.03.2023
Poland May Arm Ukraine with MiG-29 Fighter Jets in 4-6 Weeks, Warsaw Claims
11:50 GMT 14.03.2023
Three Injured in Ukrainian Drone Attack on Donetsk
11:30 GMT 14.03.2023
Russian Duma OKs Bill on 15 Years in Prison for Fake News on Russian Volunteers in Ukraine
The lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, on Tuesday adopted in the third reading a bill amending criminal liability and providing for the punishment of up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to 5 million rubles ($66,392) for discrediting participants in the country's special op in Ukraine and spreading fakes about them.
11:23 GMT 14.03.2023
Air Raid Sirens Blare Nationwide Across Ukraine
09:39 GMT 14.03.2023
Estonia Willing to Play Active Role in Post-Conflict Reconstruction of Ukraine
Estonia would like to play an active role in the post-coflict reconstruction of Ukraine, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said Monday.
Estonia's Reform Party, led by Kallas, which won the elections to the Estonian parliament, continues talks on the formation of a new ruling coalition with the Social Democratic Party and the Estonia 200 Party. On Monday, at the coalition talks, the parties discussed foreign policy issues. According to Kallas, the partners in the coalition being created have no particular disagreements regarding foreign policy.

"Issues related to Ukraine were discussed in detail. First, Estonia supports Ukraine's accession to the EU and NATO, second, Estonia wants to play an active role in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine; Estonia will continue to support Ukraine at all levels, especially at the political level and as long as it is necessary," Kallas told reporters, summing up a regular meeting of coalition partners.
06:44 GMT 14.03.2023
Air Raid Alerts Sound in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk Regions and Kiev-Controlled Part of Zaporozhye
06:35 GMT 14.03.2023
Video: Russia's Tornado-G MLRS in Combat
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