Kyiv mayor Klitschko calls Russian invasion a ‘war against civilians’
Vladimir Putin has been “panicking” over the prospect that Russian people could overthrow his authoritarian government, Boris Johnson said as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues.
This has been a factor in the Russian president’s decision to launch the invasion, the PM said, adding that Putin has feared that civilians would demand the free press and free elections that Ukraine has.
Putin has been terrified that a Russian revolution would follow those seen in Georgia and Ukraine in the early 2000s, Mr Johnson told the Conservative Party spring conference.
Meanwhile, Russia has admitted to firing hypersonic weapons to destroy a missiles and weapons depot in western Ukraine.
The “dagger” missiles, that can evade defence systems, were deployed for the first time during Russia’s invasion to target the underground storage site in the Ivano-Frankivsk region – an official said.
Igor Konashenkov, a Russian defence ministry spokesman, has confirmed at a briefing that the Kinzhal missiles had hit the site – but Reuters news agency said it was not able to independently verify his statements.
‘Stop issuing visas to Russians,’ Ukraine tells nations
Ukraine has called on other countries to stop issuing visas to Russians.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted: “Make Russians Feel the Cost of War!
“Russians are still trying to escape abroad instead of standing up against the Kremlin regime.
“The democratic world should stop issuing visas and hosting Russians.”
Lamiat Sabin19 March 2022 14:20
Ukraine: 562 Russian prisoners of war detained
A total of 562 Russian prisoners of war are detained by Ukraine, according to its government.
The number was announced by deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk.
She said during a television interview: “At present, we officially have 562 war prisoners of Russia.”
All prisoners of war are treated according to the Geneva convention, Ukrainian prosecutor general Irina Venediktova said earlier today.
The captured Russian troops are being held in camps where medical care is available, she said.
Lamiat Sabin19 March 2022 14:00
Two children and woman killed in Luhansk shelling
Three people – two children and a woman – have been killed as a result of a residential building, reportedly a house, being shelled in the Luhansk region of Ukraine.
One child was saved by emergency responders that worked to pull bodies out of the rubble in the city Rubizhne.
The State Emergency Service said: “From under the rubble, they first pulled out two children with no signs of life, the rescuers did cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but, unfortunately, upon arrival, emergency medical workers stated the death of the children.
“Rescuers continued to dismantle the rubble and found a woman and one child. At present, medical workers have declared the death of a woman. The child was saved, his condition is stable, satisfactory.”
Also, this week, shelling in Rubizhne killed three other people. A boarding school has also been destroyed.
Lamiat Sabin19 March 2022 13:45
Russian cosmonauts arrive at the International Space Station in Ukrainian colours
Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station wearing the colours of the Ukrainian flag, in what appears to be a statement against the invasion.
Denis Matveyev, Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Kosakov all wore striking yellow jumpsuits with patches of blue. They are the first new arrivals to the ISS since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Their arrival was live-streamed by both Nasa, the American space agency, and the Russian agency Roscosmos.
When Mr Artemyev was asked about the suits, he replied: “It became our turn to pick a colour.”
He joked: “We had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it. That’s why we had to wear yellow.”
Holly Bancroft19 March 2022 13:15
Putin ‘in better shape than ever’, leader of Belarus claims
Russian president Vladimir Putin is healthy, sane and “in better shape than ever”, his close ally president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has said.
In an interview with the Japanese television channel TBS, Mr Lukashenko claimed that he was “absolutely privy to all of [Putin’s] details, as far as possible, both state and personal.”
He added: “Putin is absolutely fit, he’s in better shape than ever… This is a completely sane, healthy person, physically healthy – he’s an athlete.
“As they say here – he’ll catch a cold at all our funerals.”
Mr Lukashenko also bemoaned the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, saying: “While the USSR existed, the world was multipolar and one pole balanced the other,” he said. “Now the reason for what’s happening in the world is unipolarity – the monopolisation of our planet by the United States of America.”
Holly Bancroft19 March 2022 12:57
Boris Johnson: Putin is scared of a free press and free elections
UK prime minister Boris Johnson has said that Russian president Vladimir Putin has made a “catastrophic mistake” in invading Ukraine.
Mr Johnson added that he didn’t think “democratic freedoms are going to sprout any time soon in the Kremlin.”
He said: “With every day that Ukraine’s heroic resistance continues, it is clear that Putin has made a catastrophic mistake.
“You have to ask yourself why he did it – why did he decide to invade this totally innocent country?
“He didn’t really believe that Ukraine was going to join Nato any time soon, he knew perfectly well there was no plan to put missiles on Ukrainian soil.
“He didn’t really believe the semi-mystical guff he wrote about the origins of the Russian people…. Nostradamus meets Russian Wikipedia. That wasn’t what it was about.
“I think he was frightened of Ukraine for an entirely different reason.
“He was frightened of Ukraine because in Ukraine they have a free press and in Ukraine they have free elections.”
Holly Bancroft19 March 2022 12:45
Boris Johnson: It’s time to take back control of our energy supplies.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson is addressing the Conservative party conference. He told the party faithful that “we must take the bold steps necessary to end our dependence on Putin’s oil and gas.”
He added: “In the immortal phrase it is time to take back control of our energy supplies.
“We will make use of our own naturally occurring hydro-carbons.. That doesn’t mean that we will abandon our net-zero project.
“We will make big bets on nuclear power; not just the big projects but the smaller nuclear reactors”.
Mr Johnson also said he would invest further in off-shore wind. He said that international investors were yearning to make “colossal” investments in England’s “green power”.
Holly Bancroft19 March 2022 12:30
Russia ‘causing global famine’ by bombing crops – MP
Vladimir Putin’s invasion “is causing global famine” as Ukraine’s crops and agricultural facilities are being destroyed, a Ukrainian MP said.
Putin and his forces will be responsible for any future rises in costs of some groceries, she added.
Ms Vasylenko tweeted: “Ukraine is top producer of sunflower oil, grain and tomatoes.
“The world must prepare for a shortage of this produce in harvest year 2022. Thank Russia and Putin’s soldiers.”
Lamiat Sabin19 March 2022 12:20
More refugees reach Moldova – pictures
More Ukrainian refugees – mainly women, children, and elderly people – have reached Moldova today.
Pictures also show Ukrainians with their pets and belongings arriving at the border crossing in Palanca.
At least 16,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Moldova – one of Europe’s poorest nations – since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.
Lamiat Sabin19 March 2022 12:06
China-Russia relations ‘will get stronger’ – Lavrov
China and Russia will only grow closer as a result of the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin said.
The neighbouring nuclear powers – part of the Brics alliance – have similiar positions on the West.
China has bankrolled Russia when the latter was sanctioned by western nations after its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Russia has also asked China for weapons such as armed drones.
Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said: “This cooperation will get stronger, because at a time when the West is blatantly undermining all the foundations on which the international system is based, of course we – as two great powers – need to think how to carry on in this world.”
Lamiat Sabin19 March 2022 11:42