Ukraine Russia

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday that Russian referendums aimed at annexing four occupied regions of Ukraine are a sham and said Washington "will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything other than part of Ukraine." In a statement, Biden said Washington "will work with our allies and partners to impose additional swift and severe economic costs on Russia."   (Reporting by Costas Pitas and Rami Ayyub, Editing by Franklin Paul)...
WASHINGTON - The United States is prepared to impose additional economic costs on Russia in conjunction with U.S. allies if Moscow moves forward with Ukraine annexation, the White House said on Friday. Russia has been planning what Washington describes as sham referendums in portions of eastern Ukraine in what is seen as a step toward annexing these territories. "We know that these referenda will be manipulated," said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.   (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler)...
By Pavel Polityuk KYIV - Four areas of Ukraine controlled by Russia and pro-Moscow forces were preparing to hold referendums on Friday on joining Russia, a move widely condemned by the West as illegitimate and a precursor to illegal annexation. Russian-installed leaders on Tuesday announced plans for the votes, a challenge to the West that could sharply escalate the war. The results are seen as a foregone conclusion in favour of annexation, and Ukraine and its allies have already made clear they will not recognise the results. Voting in the Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces, representing around 15% of Ukrainian territory, is due to run from Friday to Tuesday. Kyiv this month launched a counteroffensive that has recaptured large swathes of territory, seven months after Russia invaded Ukraine and launched a war that has killed thousands, displaced millions and damaged the global economy. The referendums had been discussed for months by pro-Moscow authorities, but Ukra...
LONDON - Russia will on Friday begin its plan to annex around 15% of Ukrainian territory via referendums in four regions controlled by Russian forces, a move the West says is a gross violation of international law that significantly escalates the war. After nearly seven months of war, and a critical battlefield defeat in northeastern Ukraine earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin explicitly backed the referendums after the Russian-controlled regions lined up to ask for swift votes to join Russia. The self-styled Donetsk (DPR) and the Luhansk People's Republics (LPR), which Putin recognised as independent just before the invasion, and Russian-installed administrations in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions will hold votes. The voting, which the West and Ukraine says is a sham, is due to begin on Friday and will end on Tuesday, with results expected soon afterwards. Russia will formally annex the areas after the results. "The Kremlin is organizing a sham referenda to try to annex...
By Humeyra Pamuk and Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will face off on Thursday with his Ukrainian and Western counterparts, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, when the United Nations Security Council meets over atrocities committed in Ukraine. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan will brief the 15-member body, which is meeting during the annual gathering of world leaders for the U.N. General Assembly. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 as the Security Council met in New York to discuss Western concerns that Moscow was planning such a move. "A crime has been committed against Ukraine, and we demand just punishment," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told the assembly on Wednesday in a recorded video. "The crime was committed against the lives of our people. The crime was committed against the dignity of our women and men." Ukraine, the United States and others have acc...
By Michelle Nichols and Max Hunder NEW YORK/KYIV - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy demanded a special United Nations tribunal impose "just punishment" on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including financial penalties and stripping Moscow of its veto power in the Security Council. Zelenskiy's recorded address to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday came after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's first wartime mobilisation since World War Two. Moscow plans to conscript some 300,000 troops in an apparent escalation of its Ukraine invasion that began in February and has left thousands dead, displaced millions and reduced towns to rubble. "A crime has been committed against Ukraine, and we demand just punishment," Zelenskiy told the U.N. body. "A special tribunal should be created to punish Russia for the crime of aggression against our state... Russia should pay for this war with its assets," the Ukrainian president said, urging the U.N. to "remove the rig...
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as destabilising the international order to its core and said the rule of law, not coercion by power, should prevail. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a conduct that tramples the philosophy and principles of the U.N. charter ... It should never be tolerated," Kishida said. Kishida, who hails from Hiroshima, the first city to ever suffer an atomic bombing, also denounced the threat of nuclear weapons by Russia. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, and, shortly after, Russian President Vladimir Putin had obliquely raised the possibility of a nuclear strike. Last month, a Russian diplomat said at the United Nations that the conflict in Ukraine did not warrant Russia's use of nuclear weapons, but Moscow could decide to use its nuclear arsenal in response to "direct aggression" by NATO countries over the invasion. "The threat of nuclear weapons, lik...
By Pavel Polityuk KYIV - Moscow-installed leaders in occupied areas of four Ukrainian regions plan to hold referendums on joining Russia in coming days, a challenge to the West that could sharply escalate the war and drew condemnation from Ukraine and its allies. "The Russians can do whatever they want. It will not change anything," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Tuesday in response to reporters' questions at the United Nations. In a tweet, he added: "Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will keep liberating them whatever Russia has to say." U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington rejected any such referendums "unequivocally," and the European Union and Canada condemned the plan. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc and its member states would not recognise the outcome of the referendums and would consider further measures against Russia if the votes went ahead. French President Emmanuel Macron and Lithuanian Pre...
- Russia's Black Sea fleet has relocated some of its submarines from port of Sevastopol in Crimea to Novorossiysk in Krasnodor Krai in southern Russia, the British military said on Tuesday. The relocation is likely due to the recent change in the local security threat level in the face of increased Ukrainian long-range strike capability, the Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence update on Twitter. (https://bit.ly/3f4iTC0) "In the last two months, the fleet headquarters and its main naval aviation airfield have been attacked", the Ministry added.   (Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)...
By Tom Balmforth IZIUM, Ukraine - Ukraine said its troops have marched farther east into territory recently abandoned by Russia, paving the way for a potential assault on Moscow's occupation forces in the Donbas region as Kyiv seeks more Western arms. In a sign of nervousness from a Moscow-backed administration in Donbas about the success of Ukraine's recent offensive, its leader called for urgent referendums on the region becoming part of Russia. "The occupiers are clearly in a panic," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a televised address late on Monday, adding that he was now focused on "speed" in liberated areas. "The speed at which our troops are moving. The speed in restoring normal life," Zelenskiy said. The Ukrainian leader also hinted he would use a video address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday to call on countries to accelerate weapons and aid deliveries. "We are doing everything to ensure Ukraine's needs are met at all levels - defence, fina...
LONDON (Bywire News) - Ukraine Beyond the Lines with Zarina Zabrisky brings you reports from the site and the latest from the war in Ukraine. Zarina Zabrisky, an American journalist and an award-winning novelist, reports on the Russian war in Ukraine. She is a war correspondent for Bywire News (UK), writes a Daily Review column for Euromaidan Press, an online Ukrainian English-language independent newspaper since 2014, and contributes articles and podcasts on information warfare, reports from the sites, and interviews with military experts and eyewitnesses for these and other publications, including The Byline Times (UK). Please subscribe to our channel and give us a like so we can reach more people. Episode 5: Zarina is back in Odesa talking to us about the Ukrainian counteroffensive making headway at the forefront of the war. She also gave us an update on the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, followed by an exclusive interview. Lastly, Zarina showed us the outside of the famous Odesa...
Credit: Bywire News, Canva
KYIV - Russian troops have struck the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in the southern Mykolaiv region, but its reactors have not been damaged and are working normally, Ukraine's state nuclear company Energoatom said on Monday. A blast took place 300 metres (yards) away from the reactors and damaged power plant buildings, Energoatom said in a statement. The attack has also damaged a nearby hydroelectric power plant and transmission lines.   (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Toby Chopra)...
- Russia has highly likely lost at least four combat jets in Ukraine within the last 10 days, taking its attrition to about 55 since the beginning of its invasion, the British military said on Monday. There is a realistic possibility that the uptick in losses was partially a result of the Russian Air Force accepting greater risk in a move to provide close air support to Russian ground forces under pressure from Ukrainian advances, the Defence Ministry said in its daily intelligence on Twitter. (https://bit.ly/3DBpgqO) Russian pilots’ situational awareness is often poor, it said. "There is a realistic possibility that some aircraft have strayed over enemy territory and into denser air defence zones as the front lines have moved rapidly."   (Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)...
- Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in a move to undermine the morale of the Ukrainian government and people, the British military said on Sunday. Russia has increased its targeting of civilian infrastructure even where it probably perceives no immediate military effect during the last seven days, the Defence Ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter. The category of mission has included strikes against the electricity grid and a dam on the Inhulets River at Kryvyi Rih, it said.   (Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)...
By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS - Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a global food crisis aggravated by the war will be the focus of world leaders when they convene at the United Nations in New York this week, a gathering that is unlikely to yield any progress toward ending the conflict. "It would be naive to think that we are close to the possibility of a peace deal," said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ahead of the high-level meeting of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, which starts on Tuesday. "The chances of a peace deal are minimal, at the present moment." Geopolitical divides, hardened by the seven-month-old war, are likely to be on full display as the United States and Western allies compete with Russia for diplomatic influence. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said, "other countries have expressed the concern that ... as we focus on Ukraine, we are not paying attention to what is happening in other crises around the world." "That is...
SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that despite the Ukraine conflict, Moscow had enough resources to mediate in a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan after a series of border skirmishes. The fighting ended in a ceasefire two days ago after more than 200 people were killed in fighting linked to a decades-old struggle over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told Putin on Friday that the conflict had "stabilised." Both sides blame each other for the deadliest clashes between them since a six-week war over Karabakh in 2020 left thousands dead. Russia is a military ally of Armenia which also strives for friendly relations with Azerbaijan. "Under the influence of Russia, this conflict was localized. I hope this continues to be the case," Putin told reporters after a regional summit in Uzbekistan. Asked whether Russia had the resources to maintain its influence in the region given Moscow's focus on the conflic...
- Ukraine's state nuclear company Energoatom said urgently needed spare parts and diesel fuel had on Friday been delivered to the Zaporizhzhia atomic power station, which is occupied by Russian troops. In a statement, Energoatom said the parts would be used to repair damaged power lines and power generating blocks. Both Moscow and Kyiv regularly accuse each other of shelling the facility, the largest of its kind in Europe.   (Reporting by David Ljunggren)...
BERLIN - Russia's economy is not likely to return to pre-war levels before the end of this decade as the Ukraine war and stricter sanctions worsen long-standing economic deficiencies, Scope Ratings said in a report seen by on Friday. By the end of 2023, gross domestic product (GDP) will be about 8% below where output was in 2021, according to the credit rating watchdog's forecast. The Russian economy expanded by 4.7% in 2021, according to federal statistics service Rosstat. After 2023, potential growth will drop to 1.0-1.5% a year from the 1.5-2.0% achieved before the war, the agency said. "The Russian government, helped by the Bank of Russia, has used windfall export revenues to mitigate the immediate domestic economic impact of the war in Ukraine and sanctions, but the longer-term outlook has worsened," said Scope analyst Levon Kameryan. Accelerating capital outflows, limited access to Western technology and negative demographic trends will continue to hamper growth and compound the...
By Tom Balmforth KYIV - Ukrainian authorities found a mass grave of more than 440 bodies in the northeastern town of Izium that was recaptured from Russian forces days ago, a regional police official said, adding some of the people had been killed by shelling and air strikes. Thousands of Russian troops fled Izium last weekend after occupying the city and using it as a logistics hub in the Kharkiv region. They left behind large amounts of ammunition and equipment. "I can say it is one of the largest burial sites in a big town in liberated (areas)... 440 bodies were buried in one place," Serhiy Bolvinov, the chief police investigator for Kharkiv region, told Sky News. "Some died because of artillery fire ... some died because of air strikes." could not immediately verify the Ukrainian claim and there was no immediate public comment from Russia on the allegation. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who had paid a surprise visit to Izium on Wednesday to greet Ukrainian troops, put the blame o...
- Britain's defence ministry said on Thursday that Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate their control of newly liberated areas of Kharkiv Oblast. Russian forces have largely withdrawn from the area west of the Oskil River, the British Defence Ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter.(https://bit.ly/3SnlLbR) High-value equipment abandoned by retreating Russian forces included capabilities essential to enable Russia's artillery-centric style of warfare, the tweet added.   (Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)...