Ukraine-Russia war live: Anti-Putin armed groups loyal to Kyiv launch fresh cross border attacks

By Isaac M March 14, 2024
Russian gas pipeline explodes in huge fireball blast amid series of ‘Ukrainian strikes’

Anti-Kremlin groups supporting Ukraine have launched fresh cross-border attacks in Russia’s western Kursk region.

Russia‘s National Guard (Rosgvardia) has said they are repelling a Ukrainian-backed armed groups attack near the village of Tyotkino.

The three separate groups of Ukrainian militias are mainly comprised of anti-Vladimir Putin Russians.

“Rosgvardia units are involved in repulsing an attack by enemy diversion groups near the village of Tyotkino in the Kursk region,” the national guard said.

One of the pro-Kyiv volunteer groups, the Freedom of Russia Legion, warned Russians living in some border cities of imminent shelling attacks.

It comes as Moscow has been accused of breaking laws in a separatist region of Moldova ahead of this week’s presidential election.

A senior official in ex-Soviet Moldova said Russia was illegally printing ballot papers in the breakaway region of Transdniestria.

Moldova’s pro-European authorities have already summoned the Russian ambassador to complain about a decision to open six polling stations in the pro-Russian enclave, instead of a single polling station at the Russian embassy in Chisinau.

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Putin issues direct nuclear warning to United States: ‘We are ready’

The Russian leader issued a defiant response when asked how he would respond if America sent ground troops to Ukraine.

Speaking in an interview on Wednesday (13 Marc), Mr Putin said Moscow was prepared for a nuclear confrontation if there was a threat to Russia’s sovereignty or security.

The Russian leader said: “I don’t think that everything is rushing so head on here [with nuclear confrontation], but we are ready for this.”

Putin issues nuclear warning to US: ‘We are ready’

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 16:07

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Russian fighters loyal to Ukraine launch largest cross border attacks since start of war

The Russian defence ministry said Ukrainian “terrorist formations” backed by tanks and armoured combat vehicles tried to invade in three separate directions in Russia’s Belgorod region at about 3am Moscow time (00.00 GMT).

It said that four more attacks by Ukrainian “sabotage and reconnaissance groups” were repulsed around five hours later in Russia’s Kursk region.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 15:29

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Pope backtracks on Ukraine ‘white flag’ comments

The Pope issued a fresh condemnation of all wars on Wednesday, days after backlash from Kyiv and Western capitals for appearing to suggest that Ukraine should surrender and negotiate peace with its Russian invader.

Pope Francis told Swiss broadcaster RSI that Ukraine should “show the courage of the white flag” and open talks with Russia, but his deputy Cardinal Pietro Parolin clarified in a Tuesday interview that Russia should first halt its aggression.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 15:00

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EU parliament opens a court case over the decision to release funds to Orban’s government in Hungary

The European Union was embroiled in a damaging legal standoff on Thursday between its legislature and its executive Commission over the release of billions in frozen funds to the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The release of the funds came on the eve of a major decision on Ukraine for which Orban’s consent was needed.

Parliamentarians from several groups said that the necessary rule of law commitments needed to release over 10 billions euros ($11 billion) in funds were not met by Orban and claimed the approval by the Commission was a mere bargaining chip to make sure that he would lift his longstanding objections to opening EU membership talks with Ukraine.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 14:45

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Swiss president to meet von der Leyen Monday to start EU-Swiss talks

Swiss President Viola Amherd will meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Monday to discuss the opening of talks to update the bilateral relationship between Switzerland and the bloc, the Swiss government said.

Switzerland has said unrestricted access to the EU marketplace is the cornerstone of the overhaul, which aims to modernize accords on the single market, and seal new sectoral agreements in areas including electricity and food safety.

In a statement, the Swiss government said Russia‘s war against Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East, as well as the commitment of Switzerland and the EU to peace and security would also form part of the talks on Monday.

(AP)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 14:31

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When is the Russian presidential election and how does it work?

But with the election and candidates tightly controlled by the Kremlin, is the Russian election rigged, how does it work and what does it mean for Putin? The Independent has put together all you need to know below.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 14:09

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NATO allies doing too little as Ukraine runs out of ammunition, Stoltenberg says

Ukraine is running out of ammunition in its war against Russia‘s invasion and NATO members are not doing enough to help Kyiv, the alliance’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

In unusually blunt comments about the state of the war, Stoltenberg said NATO allies had the capacity to provide more to Ukraine but needed to show the political will to do so.

“Unprecedented aid from NATO allies has helped Ukraine survive as an independent nation. But Ukraine needs even more support and they need it now,” Stoltenberg told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

“The Ukrainians are not running out of courage, they are running out of ammunition.”

More than two years after Russia‘s full-scale invasion, Ukraine‘s military has recently been grappling with significantly reduced weapons supplies from the West.

“NATO allies are not providing Ukraine with enough ammunition and that has consequences on the battlefield every day,” Stoltenberg said. “It is one of the reasons why the Russians have been able to make some advance on the battlefield over the last weeks and months.

“It is an urgent need for allies to make the decisions necessary to step and provide more ammunition to Ukraine. That’s my message to all capitals,” Stoltenberg said.

“We have the capacity, the economies, to be able to provide Ukraine what they need. This is a question of political will. To take the decisions and to prioritize support for Ukraine.”

(REUTERS)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 13:39

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Two people killed in Russia’s Belgorod region by Ukrainian attacks -governor

Two people were killed and several injured on Thursday in Ukrainian attacks on Russia‘s western Belgorod region, the region’s governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

Gladkov said that several villages in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine had been attacked by Ukrainian armed forces.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 13:19

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Russia will not boycott Paris Games, Russian Olympic chief says

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) will not boycott this year’s Paris Olympics, its president said on Thursday, despite restrictions on athletes imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as punishment for the invasion of Ukraine.

“We will never take the path of boycotting (the Games). We will always support our athletes,” Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the former Olympic fencer who serves as head of the ROC, said in comments carried by the state RIA news agency. “But we stress that the conditions set by the IOC are illegitimate, unfair and unacceptable.”

The IOC will allow Russians and Belarusians who qualify in their sport for the Paris Games, which run from July 26 to Aug. 11, to take part as neutrals without their countries’ flags, emblems or national anthems.

Neutral athletes will compete only in individual sports and no teams for the two countries will be allowed. Athletes who actively support the war in Ukraine are not eligible, nor are those contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military.

Russia has vigorously protested the restrictions.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that she preferred that Russians and Belarusians “don’t come.”

“We cannot act as if (Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine) did not exist,” she said.

(REUTERS)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 13:05

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Germany’s parliament rejects a new opposition call to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine

German lawmakers on Thursday rejected a new call by the opposition for the government to send Taurus long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine, a day after Chancellor Olaf Scholz defended his refusal to supply the weapons.

The main center-right opposition bloc has sought to keep up pressure on the issue and exploit divisions in Scholz’s unpopular three-party coalition, even as the German leader tries to put a lid on the debate. On Wednesday, he told lawmakers that prudence is a virtue and rejected suggestions that he doesn’t trust Kyiv.

Parliament’s lower house, or Bundestag, rejected the opposition Union bloc’s motion by 495 votes to 190, with five abstentions.

Germany has become the second-biggest supplier of military aid to Ukraine after the United States, but Scholz has stalled for months on Ukraine‘s desire for Taurus missiles, which have a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles) and could in theory be used against targets far into Russian territory.

His position has frustrated the conservative opposition and parts of Scholz’s own coalition.

The criticism didn’t diminish after Scholz finally offered a detailed explanation last month, pointing to his insistence that Germany must not become directly involved in the war.

(Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain14 March 2024 12:51

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