Ukraine disputes Russia’s claim that it will not storm Mariupol steel plant full of civilians | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


Germany’s chancellor is being accused of blocking the delivery of tanks to Ukraine and crossing out two-thirds of the items on Kyiv’s military wish list.

The country has come under fire for allegedly refusing to directly send heavy weapons to Ukraine, even as allies such as the United States, Britain, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands boost their deliveries.

This week, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz defended his government’s sluggishness in delivering weapons to Ukraine.

“We have asked the German arms industry to tell us which material it can supply in the near future,” Scholz said. 

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Arizona sends charity estimated $400,000 worth of tactical, defensive supplies

A Ukrainian charity received a whopping donation of roughly $400,000-worth of tactical and defensive gear from Arizona as part of an effort to alleviate supply shortages in the war against Russia. 

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, organized the collection and shipment of surplus vests and armor to Ukraine through Ihor Koval’s charity, amassing over 9,000 pounds – roughly 17 palettes – of equipment.

Click here to read more.

German chancellor against sending Ukraine weapons due to risk of nuclear war

The Russian cyber threat is here to stay and NATO needs to understand it: Jason Blessing

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration has escalated warnings about likely Russian cyber-attacks on American infrastructure and business. More worrying still, cyber alarmists like Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., have suggested that cyber-attacks from the Kremlin could be acts of war that trigger NATO’s collective defense.

This sky-is-falling delusion, particularly from leaders with access to classified intelligence, is at best counterproductive and at worst dangerous. 

Cyber-attacks are rarely acts of war, and treating them as if they are undermines NATO’s ability to deal with real threats short of cyber war.

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UN chief to meet with Putin in Moscow, wants ‘to bring peace to Ukraine urgently’

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is heading to Moscow next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a rare visit of a key foreign figure to the Kremlin during its invasion of Ukraine. 

The U.N. chief’s spokesperson also told Reuters that Guterres will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. 

“He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently,” Reuters quoted the spokesperson as saying. 

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Peace talks stall after Russia pushes referendum to take over portions of southern Ukraine

Peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian negotiators stalled Friday after revelations surfaced suggesting Moscow would seek a referendum to annex portions of southern Ukraine. 

The war in Ukraine has persisted for nearly 60 days with Russian troops allegedly taking heavy losses. 

Ukrainian defense officials said Friday that they had obtained intelligence suggesting that Moscow was looking to make up for its personnel losses by conscripting Ukrainian men in regions southwest of the Donbas – where the majority of heavy fighting is currently concentrated. 

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Mariupol defenders make ‘last stand’ against Russian forces

Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins reports from Kyiv on the war in Ukraine on ‘America Reports.’

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby holds briefing

Click here to watch on Fox News.

EU official: Prepare for a ‘very significant increase’ in intensity of Russian attacks in Ukraine

A senior European official is warning Friday that the world should prepare for a “very significant increase in the intensity of Russian military attacks” in Ukraine. 

The official, speaking to reporters, said “I think we will see the next couple of weeks as being decisive,” according to Reuters. 

“This is not a fairy tale with an imminent happy ending,” he added. “I think we are likely to see a very significant increase in the intensity of Russian military attacks in the east, I think we are likely to see an intensification of Russian military attacks along the coast.” 

For more on this story: EU official: Prepare for a ‘very significant increase’ in intensity of Russian attacks in Ukraine

Ukraine says Russia looks to ‘replenish’ troops by conscripting Ukrainians

Ukrainian military officials warned Friday that Russia is looking to “replenish” its personnel by conscripting Ukrainian men in southern regions, amid reports of heavy Russian losses. 

“To replenish their personnel there have been preparations for so-called mobilization in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblast,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense spokesman Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told reporters. “Russian troops are blocking local people from leaving occupied territories in particular, those males of conscript age.”

It remains unclear how many Russian soldiers have been killed in the last 58 days of fighting and Moscow has refrained from updating its causality figures in four weeks.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed Friday that more than 21,000 Russian troops have been killed in the last eight weeks, though these figures have not been verified. 

For more on this story: Ukraine says Russia looks to ‘replenish’ troops by conscripting Ukrainians

Despite Putin’s ‘big show’ over Mariupol victory, it’s still ‘contested’: Pentagon

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Friday that the U.S. believes Mariupol is “contested” despite Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday declaring a victory there and making a “big show” out of telling his troops not to invade a steel factory where Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are believed to be taking cover. 

Kirby made the remarks to CNN after Putin waved off the Russian military assault in an apparent bid to free up his troops for the broader campaign in the east. Putin instead called for a blockade of the factory. 

Kirby said it was “unclear” why Putin did that and Putin’s words need to be viewed with skepticism. 

For more on this story: Despite Putin’s ‘big show’ over Mariupol victory, it’s still ‘contested’: Pentagon

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Zelenskyy warns citizens against giving personal info to Russians as Moscow looks to extend campaign

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday warned residents in regions to the south and west of Donetsk against providing personal information to Russian soldiers.

“I urge the residents of the southern regions of Ukraine – Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions – to be very careful about what information you provide to the invaders,” he said in an address.  “If they ask you to fill out some questionnaires… you should know this is not to help you.”

Zelesnkyy said Russian troops may be collecting passport data under the guise of completing a “census” of residents in the areas to deliver humanitarian aid.

For more on this story: Zelenskyy warns citizens against giving personal info to Russians as Moscow looks to extend campaign southwest

Ukraine disputes Russia’s claim that it will not storm Mariupol steel plant full of civilians

Ukrainian officials on Friday countered claims made by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will not order a ground offensive on the Mariupol steel plant where thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers remain holed up. 

Kyiv said it had received intelligence that Russia is planning to deploy soldiers from its elite military units along with personnel from its Federal Security Service – a successor intelligence agency to Russia’s infamous KGB – to continue its assault on the Azovstal steel plant.

“It’s true that they might abandon the idea of a large-scale assault on Azovstal. But according to our data, they plan to deploy Russian Guards and other parts of the military apparatus, including the Federal Security Service, to continue their assault on the plant and destroy our resistance,” Representative of Ukraine’s Central Intelligence Directorate, Vadym Skibitskyi, said according to a translation by a local news outlet. 

For more on this story: Ukraine disputes Russia’s claim will not storm Mariupol steel plant full of civilians

UK vows to reopen Kyiv embassy, won’t act ‘passively as Putin carries on this onslaught’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Friday that his country plans to reopen its embassy in the
Ukrainian capital of Kyiv next week as he vowed that the “United Kingdom and our allies will not watch passively as Putin carries on this onslaught.” 

The reopening comes after Britain announced on Feb. 18 – before Russia’s bloody invasion began – that its embassy and staff in Kyiv was relocating temporarily to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. 

“The extraordinary fortitude and the success of President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people in resisting Russian forces in Kyiv, means that I can announce today that we will shortly – next week – re-open our embassy in Ukraine’s capital city,” Johnson said, according to Reuters. 

For more on this story:
UK vows to reopen Kyiv embassy, won’t act ‘passively as Putin carries on this onslaught’

Ukraine police find more than 1,000 civilian bodies in Kyiv region: report

Ukrainian police investigating the aftermath of fighting in the Kyiv region have found the bodies of more than 1,000 civilians, according to local media reports Friday. 

Kyiv Region Police Chief Andriy Nebitov was quoted by the website Hromadske as saying that a total of 1,084 bodies have been found around Ukraine’s capital, over 300 of which have yet to be identified.  

He reportedly said 75% of those deaths were people killed from firearms. 

For more on this story: Ukraine police find more than 1,000 civilian bodies in Kyiv region: report

Russian general says goal of war in Ukraine is ‘full control’ of Donbas and south

A Russian general on Friday claimed that Russia’s ambitions in Ukraine extend outside the Donbas region and stretch across the country’s southern districts.

“Since the start of the second phase of the special operation…one of the tasks of the Russian army is to establish full control over the Donbas and southern Ukraine,” Major General Rustam Minnekaev told Russian news agencies. 

The general’s comments come one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory over the Mariupol, despite the thousands of resistance fighters that remain bunkered in the southeastern port city. 

For more on this story: Russian general says goal of war in Ukraine is ‘full control’ of Donbas and south

Ukraine says Russia won’t allow evacuations from Mariupol steel plant, try to force surrender

A Ukrainian official said Friday that Russia is refusing to allow evacuations from a Mariupol steel plant by “pretending” there is no difference between military surrender and civilian evacuations. 

“The Russians refuse to open a corridor for civilians, cynically pretending that they do not understand the difference between a corridor for the military to surrender and a humanitarian corridor to evacuate the civilians,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk said. “But they do understand it all. 

“It’s just that they are trying to lay extra pressure on our military,” she added.

For more on this story: Ukraine says Russia won’t allow evacuations from Mariupol steel plant, try to force surrender

Russian gold medalist swimmer banned for participating in pro-Putin rally

Russian swimmer Evgeny Rylov, 25, who won two gold medals at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, has been barred from competing internationally for attending a rally supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Rylov stood on stage at the event last month with other athletes wearing a jacket with a symbol meant to show support for the war.

His ban will mostly be symbolic since all Russian athletes are currently banned from international competition.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pope says he’s willing to do ‘everything’ to help end war

Pope Francis said he is willing to do “everything” to help end the war in Ukraine, adding that the Vatican “never sleeps” in its diplomacy efforts trying to reach a peaceful solution.

“Wars are anachronistic in this world and at this stage of civilization,” he told Argentina’s La Nación newspaper.

He also said that a papal visit to Kyiv isn’t a good idea.

“I cannot do anything that puts higher objectives at risk, which are the end of the war, a truce or, at least, a humanitarian corridor,” he told the newspaper. “What good would it do for the Pope to go to Kyiv if the war continued the next day?”

Explaining the reason he never mentions Russia or Russian President Vladimir Putin by name: “A pope never calls out or names a head of state, much less a country, which is superior to a head of state.”

He also mentioned that a second meeting with Patriarch Kirill, a the leader of Moscow’s Russian Orthodox Church, has been postponed to avoid “confusion.” Pope Francis is the first pope Kirill has agreed to meet as the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church historically have had a tense relationship. The pope said in the article he has always promoted “interreligious initiatives.”

Ukrainian PM asks US defense secretary for more powerful weapons: report

Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmyhal asks US Secretary of Defense Austin for more powerful weapons: Ukrinform, News Outlet Photo via Twitter.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal while in Washington, D.C. Thursday called on U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to provide the country with more powerful weapons.

“Ukraine continues to struggle, and I am proud of the courage of our people,” Shmyhal said, according to Ukrinform. “There is no doubt that we will win this fight. But to bring our victory closer, we need more powerful and modern weapons. We are winning now, and we need to consolidate this result and ensure our victory.”

On Thursday, President Biden announced $800 million in military aid for heavy artillery, 144,000 rounds of ammunition and drones.

Vast majority of Donetsk region’s population, which includes Mariupol, displaced: report

The population of Kramatorsk, the second largest city in the Donetsk region after Mariupol Mariupol, has been reduced from 200,000 to 40,000, regional mayor Pavlo Kyrylenk said, according to a report.

The region, once home to 1.6 million people, is down to 430,000, with the vast majority of its population displaced, the Kyiv Independent reported. 

Putin avoided storming Mariupol steel plant to prevent combat losses, UK says

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to not have Russian troops storm the Azovstal steel plant, the last Ukrainian holdout in Mariupol, was likely motivated by Moscow wanting to avoid significant losses and free up troops for the country’s new offensive in eastern Ukraine, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in a Friday morning update.

Putin told troops on Thursday morning to blockade the plant, saying a breach wasn’t necessary. The defense ministry said Putin’s goal with the blockade is to contain Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol.

“Despite Russia’s renewed focus they are still suffering from losses sustained earlier in the conflict. In order to try and reconstitute their depleted forces, they have resorted to transiting inoperable equipment back to Russia for repair,” the update said. 

Ukraine accuses Russia of leaving up to 9,000 killed in Mariupol in mass graves

Ukraine has accused Russia of burying up to 9,000 Ukrainians in mass graves in alleged atrocities committed during its siege of Mariupol.

Local officials accused Russian troops of burying the bodies to hide the killings.

The accusations came after satellite photos appeared to show around 200 mass graves in Manhush, outside of Mariupol.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Fire at Russian military research facility kills six, injures dozens of others

At least six people died and more than two dozen others were injured when a fire broke out at a military research facility in Tver, a city about 110 miles northwest of Moscow. 

The Russian Defense Ministry was conducting research into anti-aircraft systems and other air and space weapons at the facility, which housed the Aerospace Defense Forces’ Central Research Institute. 

Read more.

Ukrainians ‘distressed’ by bureaucracy preventing aid from reaching frontlines: Charles Sennott

A member of a humanitarian mission to Ukraine gave Fox News a deeper look at the destruction caused by the Kremlin military, which has attacked and displaced thousands of civilians there.

Charles Sennott, a former journalist and founder of the Ground Truth Project, told “The Story” that in Kharkiv, missile strikes have intensified over the past day, shocking the community.

“They’re fearful, and they’re really in distress over not having enough supplies. That’s one of the things that really jumped out at us as we’re not seeing all of this aid getting into these cities,” he said.

Read more.

Ukraine prime minister goes to Congress, asks for more help against Russia

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told Ukraine’s prime minister Thursday that more U.S. aid is on the way to help fight off the “horrible” Russian invasion.

“We want to do more,” Pelosi said Thursday, speaking of funding beyond the $13.6 billion that was already approved. “The president said he will be asking Congress for more. We’ll learn about that in the next day or so to be taken up as soon as we can next week.

Read more.

Russia-Ukraine war’s true costs in focus as human rights advocate seeks answers

As Russia claims victory in the now destroyed Ukrainian city of Mariupol and continues to repeat its mantra that the “special military operation” is on track, one prominent Russian human rights advocate has started to dig around for the costs of this war, in human lives.

Marina Litvinovich told Fox News it’s been a painstaking process: “There is no official data base anywhere. I have to collect information from the websites of regional and township administrations, chat rooms of governors, bit by bit.”

She added, “The government is going to great lengths to hide the deaths.”

Read more.

Russia bans VP Kamala Harris, Mark Zuckerberg, other big US names from entry in new sanctions

Russia on Thursday has added Vice President Kamala Harris
and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to its list of Americans who are now banned from entering the country. 

The sanctions list, which was updated to include those two individuals and 28 other U.S. officials, businesspeople and journalists, also targets Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, according to Reuters. 

“These individuals are denied entry into the Russian Federation indefinitely,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

For more on this story: Russia bans VP Kamala Harris, Mark Zuckerberg, other big US names from entry in new sanctions

US delivers ‘Phoenix Ghost’ drone designed by US Air Force specifically for Ukrainian ‘needs’

The Pentagon announced Thursday that it will deliver over 120 “Phoenix Ghost” drones specifically designed by the U.S. Air Force for Ukrainian “needs” as the war with Russia ramps up. 

U.S. defense officials have warned that Russia’s invasion in the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions will be a more brutal fight as Moscow “shapes” its new strategy in the Donbas region to address specific terrain challenges. 

A senior defense official told reporters Thursday that the “Phoenix Ghost” is a tactical unmanned aerial system that “was rapidly developed by the Air Force in response specifically to Ukrainian requirements.”

For more on this story: US delivers ‘Phoenix Ghost’ drone designed by US Air Force specifically for Ukrainian ‘needs’

Satellite images reveal new mass graves at Ukrainian cemetery near Mariupol

Newly-released satellite images Thursday appear to show the existence of a new – and growing – mass grave site outside of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. 

The site is located on the northwest corner of Manhush, a town about 12 miles west of Mariupol, and expands upon an already existing cemetery there, according to Maxar Technologies. 

“According to recent media reports, Russian soldiers have been taking the bodies of people killed in Mariupol to this location,” the company said in a statement. 

For more on this story: Satellite images reveal new mass graves at Ukrainian cemetery near Mariupol

Ukraine says returning forcibly deported citizens from Russia will ‘also be a war’

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
warned Thursday that attempts to return those who have been forcibly deported to Russia will be another frontline battle.

“This is a difficult procedure that will require intermediary countries or international institutions that will allow us to bring people back. I’d like to note that this will also be a war,” Mykhailo Podolyak said. “After the war, there will be a war to take our people back.”

Countless reports have circulated in the eight weeks since Russia’s invasion began that Ukrainian citizens have been transported to Russia against their will. 

For more on this story: Ukraine says returning forcibly deported citizens from Russia will ‘also be a war’

Mariupol mayor: No matter what Russia says, ‘the city is and will be a Ukrainian city’

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said Thursday that no matter what Russia or President Vladimir Putin says about his city, it “is and will be a Ukrainian city.” 

Boychenko made the remark hours after Putin ordered his troops not to storm the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in Mariupol, a steel factory, and claimed victory over the entirety of the city. 

“Whatever statements are made – the city is and will be a Ukrainian city,” Boychenko said, appearing to brush off Putin’s assessment of the situation. 

For more on this story: Mariupol mayor: No matter what Russia says, ‘the city is and will be a Ukrainian city’

Mariupol battle rages with thousands injured, Ukraine official calls it ‘key moment’ in war

Thousands are reportedly injured as the battle for Mariupol continues with Russia claiming victory Thursday as Ukrainian officials warning world leaders this is a “key moment.”

“There are about 1000 civilians and 500 wounded military. They all need to be pulled out of Azovstal today,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk said in a Facebook post referring to Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant.

Russia has repeatedly ordered Ukrainian fighters holed up in the Azovstal metallurgical plant – which has become a stronghold for the resistance – to surrender or die.

Mariupol civilians and fighters alike have hunkered down in the deep tunnels under the plant for weeks amid Russia’s continued bombardment of the city.

For more on this story: Mariupol battle rages with thousands injured, Ukraine official calls it ‘key moment’ in war

Biden: ‘There is no evidence yet that Mariupol has completely fallen’

President Biden said Thursday that it’s “questionable” whether Russia is in full control of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. 

“There is no evidence yet that Mariupol has completely fallen,” he said when asked about Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia is now control of the besieged city. 

Biden said Russia should allow residents and civilians holed up in a steel factory and other places there to evacuate safely. 

Biden: Russian ships can no longer dock in the US

President Biden announced Thursday that Russian ships can no longer dock on U.S. shores. 

“That means no ship that sails under the Russian flag or that is owned or operated by Russian interests is allowed to dock in a United States port or access our shores. None,” he said. 

Biden announces ‘Uniting for Ukraine’ program to speed up arrival of refugees

President Biden on Thursday announced a new “Uniting for Ukraine” program he says will “enable Ukrainians seeking refuge to come directly from Europe to United States.” 

The program will complement existing legal pathways for Ukrainians to come to the U.S., according to Biden. 

“This program will be fast,” Biden said. “It will be streamlined and will ensure the United States honors its commitment to the people of Ukraine – who need not go through our southern border.” 

Biden: US intends to provide another $500 million in economic aid to Ukraine

President Biden said Thursday that the U.S intends to provide another $500 million in economic aid to Ukraine. 

“This brings our total economic support of Ukraine to $1 billion in the last two months,” Biden said. 

“This is money the government can help use to stabilize their economy, to support communities that have been devastated by the Russian onslaught and pay the brave workers that continue to provide essential services to the people of Ukraine,” he added. 

Biden announces new $800 million Ukraine security package

President Biden announced Thursday a new $800 million package of security assistance for Kyiv “to further augment
Ukraine’s ability to fight in the east, in the Donbas” region. 

The package includes dozens of howitzers and 144,000 rounds of ammunition for those weapons, as well as more tactical drones, according to Biden. 

Biden said the conflict is now entering a “critical window” where Russia is gearing up for the next phase of the war in eastern Ukraine. 

For more on this story: Biden announces another $800 million in military assistance for Ukraine

President Biden speaks about the war in Ukraine

Click here to watch on Fox News.

Ukraine’s second largest city under intense attack: ‘The Russian Federation is furiously bombing’

The mayor of Ukraine’s second-largest city
, Kharkiv, said Thursday that Russia has launched an intense bombing campaign that is causing “huge blasts” throughout its streets. 

In a televised address, Ihor Terekhov said around one million people remain in Kharkiv after about 30% were able to evacuate, according to Reuters. 

“Huge blasts, the Russian Federation is furiously bombing the city,” Terekhov reportedly said. 

For more on this story: Ukraine’s second largest city under intense attack: ‘The Russian Federation is furiously bombing’

Biden to announce new security assistance for Ukraine, White House official says

A White House official has confirmed to Fox News that in his 9:45 a.m. remarks today, President Biden will announce additional security assistance for Ukraine.

The new package will be similar in size to the $800 million one announced last week and will include heavy artillery and ammunition.

Fox News’ Patrick Ward contributed to this report.

Mariupol mayor holding press conference

Click here to watch on Fox News.

Zelenskyy accuses Russia of deploying banned vacuum bombs, investigating use of chemical warfare

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday accused Russia of repeatedly using banned thermobaric weapons, also known as vacuum bombs, in cities across Ukraine.

“The forbidden vacuum bombs,” Zelenskyy said in an interview for French TV translated by Interfax, were used “starting from Kharkiv and in other cities – there are already many such examples.”

The banned weaponry is deployed in a series of charges that detonates dispersed fuel and oxygen in the air. The explosion creates a blast wave of extreme pressure and heat that builds a vacuum-like phenomenon when in an enclosed space – making it particularly effective in urban warfare.

For more on this story: Zelenskyy accuses Russia of deploying banned vacuum bombs, investigating use of chemical warfare

Ukraine military blows up bridge ahead of advancing Russian army, video shows

The Ukrainian military released a video Thursday purportedly showing its forces blowing up a bridge ahead of advancing Russian troops. 

The 13-second clip, which is shot in a first-person view, shows soldiers hiding behind a vehicle before an explosion on the road in front of them sends smoke rising into the air. 

“Operators of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine demonstrated skillful combat work, The bridge right in front of the column of Russian occupiers was blown up,” Ukraine’s army said in a Facebook post. “To be continued… Let’s win together!” 

For more on this story: Ukraine military blows up bridge ahead of advancing Russian army, video shows

UnionPay, China’s Visa, refuses to work with Russian banks, Russian news reports say

UnionPay, China’s version of Visa and Mastercard, is refusing to work with banks in Russia over concerns about having sanctions imposed on the credit card processing company, Russian news outlets reported Wednesday.

The move takes away another financial option for Russian banks after Visa and Mastercard pulled out of the country following the Ukrainian invasion.

Russian banks Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank had previously announced they planned to switch to UnionPay.

U.S. officials have warned that companies or governments that undermine Russian sanctions will face consequences.

Beijing is an ally of Moscow and has avoided criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Return of Ukrainians forcibly taken to Russia will be 2nd ‘war for our citizens:’ Zelenskyy adviser

Ukraine will do “everything possible” to bring Ukrainians forcibly taken to Russia back, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on Thursday.

“But we understand that it will not be easy,” he added. “The return of Ukrainians back home will be another war with Russia – the war for our citizens.”

German exports to Russia plummet more than 50% amid war

German exports to Russia have plummeted since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, according to Germany’s The Federal Statistical Office.

Exports are down 57.5% compared with a year ago between Russia and Europe’s largest economy, the office said.

Russia dropped to 12 from being the 5th highest non-European country for German imports before the invasion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Putin orders troops not to storm steel plant, last holdout of Mariupol, opting for blockade

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to not storm the Azovstal steel plant, the last Ukrainian holdout in the besieged post city of Mariupol, on Thursday, opting instead for a blockade.

He claimed in a televised meeting that breaching the plant was “unnecessary,” claiming he was concerned about the welfare of Russian troops. He also urged Ukrainian fighter holdouts in the city to surrender, according to Reuters. Several deadlines imposed by Russia to surrender the city have passed.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the rest of the city had been “liberated,” prompting Putin to declare “success” in the devastated city.

Leaving the plant in Ukrainian hands, however, robs the Russians of the ability to declare complete victory in Mariupol. The city’s capture has both strategic and symbolic importance.

Around 1,000 Ukrainian civilians and 500 wounded soldiers are sheltering inside the plant and on Thursday the country’s deputy prime minister demanded Russia open up humanitarian corridors for them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

For more on this story: Putin orders troops not to storm final Mariupol holdout

Ukrainian police find mass graves of civilians outside Kyiv

Ukrainian police said they discovered two mass graves with nine civilians inside in the city of Borodyanka on Wednesday, northwest of Kyiv, including two women and a teenager.

“I want to stress that these people are civilians,” Head of the Kyiv regional police Andriy Nebytov said on Thursday. “The Russian military deliberately shot civilians that didn’t put up any resistance and didn’t pose any threat.”

He said some of the people appeared to have been tortured.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Biden to announce new aid to Ukraine during update on war: report

President Biden is expected to announced a new military aid package to Ukraine during an update on the war from the White House Thursday morning, according to reports.

The aid is likely to be similar to an $800 million package announced last week, Reuters reported, citing a U.S. official speaking anonymously.

Buses carrying Mariupol evacuees leave city, deputy prime minister says

Four buses carrying civilian evacuees left the besieged city of Mariupol on Wednesday as Russian troops appear close to taking control of the city, reports said.

The evacuees are headed for the city of Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, according to the BBC.

It wasn’t clear how many people were able to evacuate.

Around 1,000 civilians and 500 wounded soldiers were said to be sheltering in a steel plant in the devastated city and thousands of others are still trapped as well.

Ukraine and Russia have pointed fingers over the failure of many humanitarian corridor agreements, with Ukraine accusing Russians of killing fleeing civilians and Russia claiming Ukraine misuses the evacuation routes.

Russia’s looming ‘Victory Day’ celebrations could make Kremlin troops fight more ‘forcefully’: UK

With Russia’s annual “Victory Day” celebrations just days away on May 9, the Kremlin will likely step up their offensive in Ukraine to have some successes to brag about, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in a Thursday morning update.

“This could affect how quickly and forcefully they attempt to conduct operations in the run-up to this date,” the update said. 

Zelenskyy proposes trading Russian prisoners for safety of civilians in Mariupol

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his nightly address Wednesday said the country would be willing to trade Russian prisoners for the Ukrainian civilians trapped in Mariupol as Russian forces close in on the strategic port city, according to a report.

Russia appears close to taking control of the city after a Ukrainian commander in Mariupol said they were probably facing their “last days, if not hours.”

Around 1,000 civilians and wounded Ukrainian troops are said to be sheltering inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, the Washington Post reported.

Ukraine has liberated nearly 1,000 settlements from Russian control, Zelenskyy says

Ukraine has liberated nearly 1,000 settlements from the Russian invaders, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced late Wednesday. Zelenskyy’s speech focused on the prospect of Ukraine joining the European Union, celebrating the visit of European Council President Charles Michel.

“This is the historic moment when we can develop maximum speed in joining the European Union,” he said. “We have already proved that the Ukrainian state and public institutions are effective enough to withstand even the test of war. We are already doing as much to protect freedom on the European continent as other nations have never done.”

For more on this story: Ukraine has liberated nearly 1,000 settlements from Russian control, Zelenskyy says

Boris Johnson compares negotiating with Putin to crocodile

As British Prime Minister Boris Johnson headed for India, expecting to arrive on Thursday morning, he said that continuing to give Ukraine military aid was crucial and compared negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin to a crocodile, according to a report.

Johnson is expected to urge Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end the country’s neutral status on the war, according to Reuters.

How can you negotiate with a crocodile when it’s got your leg in its jaws?” Johnson said to reporters on Wednesday.

“It is very hard to see how the Ukrainians can negotiate with Putin now given his manifest lack of good faith. His strategy, which is evident, is to try engulf and capture as much of Ukraine as he can and perhaps to have some sort of negotiation from a position of strength,” he added.

Ukrainian locals team up to stop Russian forces

Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins has the latest on how ‘farmers became fighters’ in one Ukrainian village on ‘Special Report.’

For Ukraine’s kids, a therapy dog can help ease trauma and suffering

Life in many parts of Ukraine right now is very, very difficult.

And for some of the traumatized children in Ukraine who have been displaced from their homes because of the war that began in their country on Feb. 24, 2022, a therapy dog can be just the answer.

In one city’s therapy center, a specially trained dog is providing some much-needed comfort and entertainment for traumatized Ukrainian children right now.

At the “Dr. Doc” therapy center in Zaporizhzhia, a southern Ukrainian city, the kids are invited to stroke Evsei, a friendly spaniel — and to shake his paw and play games with him.

For more on this story: For Ukraine’s kids, a therapy dog can help ease trauma and suffering

Russia tests new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that it has conducted the first test launch of its new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile – a nuclear weapon that President Vladimir Putin says will “provide food for thought for those who… try to threaten our country.” 

The ministry said the missile was launched Wednesday from the Plesetsk launch facility in northern Russia and its practice warheads hit designated targets at the Kura firing range on the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. 

“This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia’s security from external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country,” Putin said, according to Reuters. 

For more on this story: Russia tests new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile in what Putin hails as ‘truly unique weapon’

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Republican Senators demand Secretary of State Blinken reopen American embassy in Ukraine

Two Republican senators have urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to reopen the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to “symbolically affirm” Washington’s commitment to Ukraine.

In a letter obtained by Fox News Wednesday, Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Steve Daines of Montana reasoned that Russia has withdrawn its troops from the area after failing to take the capital city. 

“With Ukraine’s successful defense of Kyiv and Russia’s subsequent withdrawal of forces from the areas surrounding the capital, we encourage you to fully open the United States embassy without delay,” the senators wrote. “America’s restored diplomatic presence in Kyiv will enhance cooperation with a democratic partner as it wages an existential defense and symbolically affirm our nation’s commitment to Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.”

At least 17 nations have reopened their embassies in Kyiv after Russian troops withdrew from areas to the north and east of the capital late last month, according to a report by Foreign Policy. 

For more on this story:
Republican Senators demand Secretary of State Blinken reopen American embassy in Ukraine

UN reports Ukrainian casualties surpass 5,000, says it ‘believes’ actual figures are much higher

The United Nations reported Wednesday that Ukrainian causalities caused by Russia’s deadly invasion nearly eight weeks ago have surpassed more 5,000 confirmed cases. 

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 5,121 civilian casualties since the onslaught of the invasion on Feb. 24 – a jump from the 4,966 civilian casualties reported Tuesday.

Wednesday’s figures include 2,224 killed and 2,897 injured.

Those included in the casualties include 631 men, 383 women, 42 girls, and 61 boys that have been killed.  

For more on this story: UN reports Ukrainian casualties surpass 5,000, says it ‘believes’ actual figures are ‘considerably higher’

Russia continues to strike eastern Ukraine as officials call for evacuation of Mariupol

Russian forces continued their assault on eastern and southern Ukraine Wednesday, as officials urged remaining residents in the port city of Mariupol to evacuate. 

Kharkiv and Kramatorsk came under further attack, and Russia also said it had struck areas around Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro.

Explosions were heard in the southern city of Mykolaiv and a hospital was reported to have been shelled in the town of Bashtanka.

For more on this story: Russia continues to strike eastern Ukraine as officials call for evacuation of Mariupol

High-ranking Russian officials question Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine: report

A small but growing number of high-ranking individuals within the Kremlin are starting to question Vladimir Putin’s decision to go to war with Ukraine as the invasion nears the two-month mark, a report said Wednesday. 

The critics, who occupy top posts in Russia’s government and state-run businesses, “believe the invasion was a catastrophic mistake that will set the country back for years,” Bloomberg News is reporting, citing ten people with knowledge of the situation. 

The sources say the decision to invade Ukraine was made by Putin and just a handful of other Russian elites, such as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian Gen. Valery Gerasimov and Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Security Council of Russia. 

As the war has dragged on with Russian military losses mounting, Putin, the sources told Bloomberg, has continued to dismiss warnings from other officials about the economic costs of the war and has been telling them that even though Russia will pay a large cost, the West has left him no choice but to attack Ukraine. 

For more on this story: High-ranking Russian officials question Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine: report

Germany halts arms shipments to Ukraine, will provide training and maintenance instead

Germany said it has maxed out its ability to send arms to Ukraine
on Wednesday and instead pledged to provide training to Ukrainian forces and maintain its military equipment.

“While other partners supply artillery, we will help with training and maintenance,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said during a press conference.

Baerbock renewed Germany’s support for Baltic states in a three-day trip to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania but reportedly claimed that Germany’s armed services have said it “can no longer supply weapons from its own reserves.”

Germany will look to continue helping the war effort by providing spare parts, reported Interfax.

For more on this story:
Germany halts arms shipments to Ukraine, will provide training and maintenance instead

Ukraine’s flag projected onto Russian UN ambassador’s NYC townhouse in protest

NEW YORK CITY – Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine arrived on the doorstep of the Russian ambassador to the United Nations.

A Ukrainian activist group defiantly bathed his Manhattan townhouse in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag and anti-Vladimir Putin slogans as a protest against Putin’s horrific assault on the Ukrainian people.

“The message is to show that Ukrainians are not afraid and will find any Russian official, even if they are trying to hide,” Arthur Zgurov told Fox News.

Zgurov, a Ukrainian neurosurgeon, is now a New York-based activist with the pro-Ukrainian group Razom For Ukraine.

For more on this story: Ukraine’s flag projected onto Russian UN ambassador’s NYC townhouse in protest

Zelenskyy laments repeatedly asking allies for weapons they have in storage, says war would be over

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said it is “unfair” that he is forced to repeatedly ask allied nations for security assistance when they have arms sitting in storage. 

“If we had access to all the weapons we need, which our partners have and which are comparable to the weapons used by the Russian Federation, we would have already ended this war,” he said in a late-night address Tuesday.

“That is why I emphasize the simple truth in literally every contact with the leaders of the democratic world, in all negotiations, in all interviews – it is unfair that Ukraine is still forced to ask for what its partners have been storing somewhere for years,” he added. 

For more on story: Zelenskyy laments repeatedly asking allies for weapons they have in storage, says war would be over

UN: More than 5 million refugees have now fled Ukraine

The number of refugees that have poured out of Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion has now surpassed 5 million, the United Nations says. 

Out of the 5,034,439 that have fled, more than 2.8 million have ended up in Poland, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

Around 750,000 are in Romania, while close to 550,000 are in Russia, it added. 

For more on this story: https://www.foxnews.com/world/un-ukraine-refugees-5-million-fleeing-russia-military

Not a single Ukrainian soldier accepted Russia’s Mariupol surrender offer: report

An offer from Moscow this week for Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol to lay down their arms in exchange for a safe evacuation out of the besieged city had no takers, a report says, with one Marine commander saying that “no one believes the Russians.” 

The tactical flop has prompted Russia’s Ministry of Defence to announce Wednesday that it will “once again offer the nationalist battalion fighters and foreign mercenaries to stop fighting and lay down their weapons” by 7 a.m. ET. Their first deadline and safe surrender offer on Tuesday passed with not a single soldier agreeing, the ministry said, according to Reuters. 

“No one believes the Russians,” Maj. Serhiy Volyna of Ukraine’s 36th Separate Marine Brigade told the Washington Post, adding that others who previously have trusted Russia’s guarantees of safe passage have been met with gunfire. 

For more on this story: Not a single Ukrainian soldier accepted Russia’s Mariupol surrender offer: report

Russia issues new Mariupol surrender deadline

Russia gave Ukraine of a new deadline to surrender Mariupol on Wednesday afternoon as Kremlin-backed troops continue to struggle to gain control of the strategic port city.

Moscow has failed to take any major cities in Ukraine and was forced to retreat from Kyiv, instead sending troops east to the Donbas.

Ukrainians remained defiant in the besieged city on Tuesday as a deadline for that day passed without surrender.

“We will not lay down our weapons,” Mariupol commander Major Serhiy Volyna told the Washington Post, adding they “may be facing our last days, if not hours.”

For more on this story:  Ukrainian marine commander makes last-ditch plea for evacuation from Mariupol

Japan revokes Russia’s ‘most favored nation’ status

Japan formally revoked Russia’s “most favored nation” status on Wednesday.

The revocation was part of several sanctions imposed on Russia by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The country also previously expelled eight Russian diplomats and trade officials from Tokyo last month.

Ukrainian marine commander makes last-ditch plea for evacuation from Mariupol

The commander of a Ukrainian Marine unit made an urgent last-ditch plea for Ukrainian women and children, along with wounded marines, sheltering in the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works to be evacuated to a neutral third country as the Russian deadline to surrender Mariupol loomed Wednesday.

“This is our appeal to the world … we are probably facing our last days, if not hours,” Major Serhiy Volyna, commander of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade said in a video posted on Facebook, according to a translation posted with the video.

“We are only defending one object, the Azovstal plant, where, in addition to military personnel, there are also civilians who have fallen victim to this war,” the marine commander added. He said there were “more than 500 wounded” at the plant and “hundreds” of civilians sheltering in the building. 

For more on this story: Ukrainian marine commander makes last-ditch plea for evacuation from Mariupol

Russian military presence on Ukraine’s eastern border grows as Donbas fighting intensifies, UK says

Russia’s presence along Ukraine’s eastern border has continued to grow as fighting in the Donbas intensifies, the U.K.’s Defense Ministry said in a Wednesday morning update.

Following Russia’s withdrawal from Kyiv, air activity would likely remain low but there’s still a risk of “precision strikes against priority targets throughout Ukraine,” the ministry said.

“Russian attacks on cities across Ukraine show their intent to try and disrupt the movement of Ukrainian reinforcements and weaponry to the east of the country,” the update added.

Wimbledon to ban Russian, Belarusian players, reports say

Wimbledon plans to bar Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament this summer, according to reports overnight Tuesday.

The London tournament is set to start in late June.

Wimbledon would be the first tennis tournament to ban players over the war in Ukraine but it follows other sports that have imposed bans, including the Paralympics in Beijing following the February invasion.

No. 2 men’s player Daniil Medvedev would be among those affected by a ban.

“We are in very close dialog with the All England Club, the government, with the tours,” Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Steve Lloyd said earlier this month, according to Reuters. “We are very conscious of public sentiment in this area. We are trying to navigate what that needs to look like in the summer events in Britain this year.”

Norway sends Mistral air defense missiles to Ukraine

The Norwegian government has sent around 100 Mistral air defense missiles to Ukraine, Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said Wednesday morning, according to a government release.

The Norwegian Armed Forces are planning to phase out the weapon, and the government said the donation wouldn’t have a major impact on its military operations.

It is still a modern and effective weapon that will be of great benefit to Ukraine,” the release said.  

Russia rejects cease-fire for civilian evacuation amid Eastern Orthodox Holy Week

Russia rejected a temporary cease-fire in Ukraine that the United Nations secretary general requested for the purpose of civilian evacuation during the Eastern Orthodox Holy Week leading up to Easter. Russia’s deputy UN ambassador said the cease-fire request was not sincere and would only provide time to arm Ukrainian soldiers.

Dmitry Polyanskiy, the deputy ambassador, told the Security Council Tuesday that the cease-fire requests were “insincere, and in practice they merely point to an aspiration to provide Kyiv nationalists breathing room to regroup and receive more drones, more antitank missiles and more MANPADS,” The New York Times reported. “MANPADS” refers to man-portable air-defense systems, smaller and more portable surface-to-air missiles.

For more on this story: Russia rejects cease-fire for civilian evacuation amid Eastern Orthodox Holy Week

UN chief calls on pause in fighting to observe holy week

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged a break in the fighting on Tuesday to observe the Christian holy week.

“The onslaught and terrible toll on civilians we have seen so far could pale in comparison to the horror that lies ahead,” Guterres said. “This cannot be allowed to happen.”

He urged troops to “silence the guns and forge a path to safety for so many at immediate risk.”

Ukraine has accused Russia of violating cease-fire agreements to allow civilians to evacuate the fighting but on Tuesday, Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russian deputy Ambassador to the U.N., said he didn’t see the “point of entering in the game with Ukrainians on such issues” and claimed that Ukraine wasn’t properly using humanitarian corridors offered by his country.

Guterres continued, “The four-day Easter period should be a moment to unite around saving lives and furthering dialogue to end the suffering in Ukraine.”

Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya also backed the idea.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Russian troops attack eastern region of Ukraine in Battle for Donbas

Fox News correspondent Jeff Paul has the latest developments from Lviv, Ukraine.

Russia rejects cease-fire for civilian evacuation amid Eastern Orthodox Holy Week

Russia rejected a temporary cease-fire in Ukraine that the United Nations secretary general requested for the purpose of civilian evacuation during the Eastern Orthodox Holy Week leading up to Easter. Russia’s deputy UN ambassador said the cease-fire request was not sincere and would only provide time to arm Ukrainian soldiers.

Dmitry Polyanskiy, the deputy ambassador, told the Security Council Tuesday that the cease-fire requests were “insincere, and in practice they merely point to an aspiration to provide Kyiv nationalists breathing room to regroup and receive more drones, more antitank missiles and more MANPADS,” The New York Times reported. “MANPADS” refers to man-portable air-defense systems, smaller and more portable surface-to-air missiles.

For more on this story: Russia rejects cease-fire for civilian evacuation amid Eastern Orthodox Holy Week

Pentagon says there is ‘no evidence’ that Russia has used chemical weapons in Ukraine

Asked about reports of the Russian military using chemical weapons in Ukraine, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters Tuesday that the U.S. has seen “no evidence” to confirm the reports.

The comments come as reports have surfaced over the last week that there was evidence of a chemical attack in Ukraine. It also comes as Japan announced Tuesday it was shipping equipment to Ukraine aimed at protecting against a potential chemical attack.

Russia ‘still refitting units’ as more tactical groups arrive

A senior defense official on Tuesday warned that Russia is “still refitting units” and tactical groups continue to enter the country as Moscow looks to target eastern Ukraine.

“They’re still refitting units outside of Ukraine for insertion in Ukraine. They have added, over the last 24-hours, another two battalion tactical groups into the country” the senior defense official told reporters, noting there are now 78 operational battalion tactical groups in Ukraine.

Defense officials have assessed that Russia has maintained roughly 75 percent of its original combat fighting force from when it first amassed along Ukraine’s borders in the lead up to the invasion. 

For more on this story: Russia ‘still refitting units’ as more tactical groups arrive

Ukrainians mourn the humanity stolen by Russian forces: ‘Why did you do this to us?’

Trey Yingst brings the latest from Kyiv as Russians ramp up their offensive efforts.

Video appears to show Ukraine forces blowing up Russian military vehicle

A video posted on the Telegram channel of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment on Tuesday appears to show one of its fighters destroying a Russian vehicle in Mariupol, according to Reuters.

The soldier leans out from behind a building before taking aim with an anti-tank weapon and striking a Russian BTR armored personnel carrier, the news agency reports.

“Yes!” a voice says at the end of the clip, which was posted with the caption “The Azov Regiment continues to destroy enemy vehicles.”

Ukraine asks NATO country for help with repairing damaged military equipment

The Czech Republic, which is part of NATO, announced Tuesday that local companies will help Ukraine repair
 military equipment damaged in the fight against the Russian army. 

Its defense ministry said the first contract will focus on fixing T-64 Soviet-era tanks. Various armored vehicles of BRD and BRDM types will follow. 

The Czech Republic was the first partner country officially approached by Ukraine with such a request, it added. 

For more on this story: Ukraine asks NATO country for help with repairing damaged military equipment

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ukraine volunteers detained by Russia recall horrors: ‘It was like a nightmare come to life’

Two Ukraine volunteers who say they spent three weeks in Russian captivity are now opening up about their harrowing experience, describing the beatings and conditions they allegedly suffered as like a “nightmare come to life”. 

Volodymyr Khropun and Yulia Ivannikova-Katsemon were working for the Red Cross and helping people flee villages along the front lines in northern Ukraine when they were captured by the Russian military in March, according to Reuters. On April 9 – after spending time in Belarus and in detention centers in Russia – they were freed as part of a prisoner swap. 

“It was like a nightmare come to life,” Khropun told Reuters, recalling how he and Ivannikova-Katsemon were held with around 40 others in an unheated room at a factory in Dymer, north of Kyiv, sharing a plastic pot for a toilet. 

For more on this story: Ukraine volunteers detained by Russia recall horrors: ‘It was like a nightmare come to life’

Russia says evacuation corridors opened for Mariupol, but Ukraine says 4 killed while trying to flee

Russia on Tuesday claimed it had opened humanitarian corridors for soldiers who voluntarily surrendered from Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant – a site of refuge and resistance for Ukrainian fighters.

“Taking into account the catastrophic situation at the Azovstal metallurgical plant in the city of Mariupol, as well as being guided by purely humane principles, the Russian Armed Forces have opened a humanitarian corridor for the withdrawal of Ukrainian servicemen and fighters of nationalist formations who voluntarily laid down arms,” Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian National Defense Management Center said. 

The claim comes just hours after Moscow set a deadline for noon local time – 5 a.m. EDT – calling on all forces bunkered in the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works plant to surrender “without exception, without any weapons and without ammunition.”

But Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that there had been no such agreement made with the Russian forces and noted that four people were killed when trying to evacuate Mariupol on Tuesday. 

For more on this story: Russia says evacuation corridors opened for Mariupol but Ukraine says 4 people were killed trying to flee

New Zelenskyy book shows how he became world’s most celebrated statesman: Here’s a first look

EXCLUSIVE: A new book out this month will examine the life of
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and how he became the world’s most celebrated statesman.

“This book is an important contribution to the American understanding of who this man is,” Rebekah Koffler, the president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former DIA intelligence officer, told Fox News Digital. 

Koffler wrote the forward for the new book “Zelensky: The Unlikely Ukrainian Hero Who Defied Putin and United the World.” Starting with his childhood, the book tracks Zelenskyy as he grew from a celebrated comedian and TV personality into a world leader thrust into a war after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Koffler argued that the increasingly tight relationship between Ukraine and the U.S. will allow Zelenskyy to help shape national security policy in the region going forward, and Americans should be aware of who that man is and how he came to lead his country through its greatest crisis.

For more on this story: New Zelenskyy book shows how he became world’s most celebrated statesman: Here’s a first look

Ukraine says a third of country demolished, USAID warns half of Ukraine is inundated with mines

Ukrainian officials said this week that roughly a third of all its infrastructure had been demolished by Russia’s invading forces as the war continues for the 54th day.

Infrastructure Minister Oleksander Kubrakov said that $100 billion in damage had been inflicted on the nation’s infrastructure but added that the bill could run as high as $500 billion when everything from homes to roads had been tallied up, first reported Reuters. 

Ukrainian officials have warned those returning home that some areas are not safe as the nation’s State Emergency Service looks to remove thousands of mines a day. 

“15,800 square miles of Ukraine—half the country’s territory—require demining,” United States Agency for International Development administrator Samantha Power said on Twitter. “The State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) is removing 2,000-6,000 mines a day to protect civilians and allow passage of urgent emergency assistance.”

For more on this story: Ukraine says a third of country demolished, USAID warns half of Ukraine is inundated with mines

Russia using bunker-buster bombs on Mariupol steel plant: report

A Ukrainian military commander is claiming Tuesday that the Russian military has started using bunker-buster bombs on a steel plant in Mariupol that soldiers are defending. 

Denys Prokopenko, commander of the Azov Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard that is guarding the last known Ukrainian pocket of resistance in Mariupol, said in a video message that Russia had begun dropping bunker-buster bombs on the Azovstal steel plant where the regiment was holding out.

Civilians are also believed to be sheltering at the plant, which covers the territory of around 4 square miles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Russia accuses US, West of stalling Ukraine war by sending weapons

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is accusing the United States and other Western countries Tuesday of trying to “delay” the course of the war in Ukraine by sending shipments of weapons to Kyiv’s military. 

Shoigu made the comment while meeting with top military brass. Meanwhile, Russia’s military has launched a new, full-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine. 

“Increasing volumes of foreign arms deliveries clearly demonstrate their intentions to provoke the Kyiv regime to fight to the last Ukrainian,” Shoigu said. 

For more on this story: Russia accuses US, West of stalling Ukraine war by sending weapons

Russia’s surrender deadline for Mariupol fighters holed up in steel plant passes

The deadline issued by Moscow Tuesday has passed after it spoke directly to thousands of Ukrainian fighters holed up in a Mariupol steel factory, telling them to surrender or die.

“All who lay down their arms are guaranteed to remain alive,” the defense ministry said as it prepares for a major offensive in the southeastern port city.

The Kremlin gave the Ukrainian fighters a deadline for noon local time – 5 a.m. EDT – telling them to leave “without exception, without any weapons and without ammunition,” first reported Reuters. 

The Azovstal Iron and Steel Works was once the site of one of the largest metallurgical factories in Europe, but since the onslaught of the war more than 50 days ago it has become a symbol of the city’s resistance.

For more on this story: Russia’s surrender deadline for Mariupol fighters holed up in steel plant passes

Russia launches full-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine, declares ‘another stage’ of war has started

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced Tuesday that Moscow is beginning the next stage of its invasion of Ukraine as reports are emerging that the Russian military is conducting a full-scale offensive in the country’s east. 

The ongoing campaign – which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is calling the “Battle of the Donbas” – comes after Russian forces shifted away from trying to capture the capital, Kyiv. 

“Another stage of this operation [in eastern Ukraine] is beginning and I am sure this will be a very important moment of this entire special operation”, Lavrov told the India Today TV Channel, according to Reuters. 

For more on this story: Russia launches full-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine, declares ‘another stage’ of invasion has started

Russia planned to invade Belarus after election, Ukraine claims

Russia planned an invasion of Belarus after its contested 2020 election, the intelligence department of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense claimed, publishing newly unearthed documents. 

The documents reveal the preparation of the 1st Panzer Army of Russia for the invasion and capture of Belarus, the ministry claimed Tuesday.

“After the falsification of the presidential election in Belarus, the Russian Federation developed a plan to invade and suppress popular protests,” the Ukrainian agency claimed. “The occupation of Belarus was planned under the pretext of avoiding Russia’s involvement ‘in the European continental region in a regional or large-scale war with NATO member states in the West.’”

For more on the story: Russia planned to invade Belarus after election, Ukraine claims

Ukraine: 5 dead after Russia launches an assault on Kharkiv

Five civilians are dead in eastern Ukraine after Russia attacked Kharkiv, an official said. 

Kharkiv region Governor Oleh Synyehubov said Tuesday at least 17 other civilians were wounded in the attack.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ukraine forced to clear seemingly countless mines as it seeks to regain lost territories

Zelenskyy vows to fight Russian takeover of Donbas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to oppose the Russian offensive in the Donbas region Monday as Russian President Vladimir Putin refocused his forces on the east and south of Ukraine. 

“No matter how many soldiers are drawn there, we will defend ourselves,” Zelenskyy said in an address on the results of the 54th day of the war. “We will fight. We will not give up anything Ukrainian.”

Read more here: Zelenskyy vows to fight Russian takeover of Donbas: ‘We will not give up anything Ukrainian’





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