MIG-29 fighter aircrafts fly at a military air base in Vasylkiv, Ukraine, August 3, 2016. - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: US Sees No Difference Between Humanitarian, Military No-Fly Zones

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Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy told US Congress on Wednesday that if a no-fly zone is too much to ask for, Ukraine could be given aircraft and S-300 air defense systems.
Moscow said on Wednesday that the preservation and development of Ukraine's neutral status, the country's demilitarization, as well as issues related to the size of the Ukrainian army, had been discussed at the talks. The Ukrainian side proposed "the Austrian, Swedish version of a neutral demilitarized state, yet a state with its own armed forces and navy," he said. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that this option "can be seen as a real compromise."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the Diplomatic Forum in Turkey's Antalya on Thursday.
Russia launched an operation in Ukraine on February 24 after the breakaway Donbas republics appealed for help in defending themselves against the Ukrainian military. In response, Western nations have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow.
Follow Sputnik's live feed to find out more and subscribe to our Telegram channel: https://t.me/sputniknewsus
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01:55 GMT 17.03.2022
Morocco's Royal Air Maroc Airline Says Canceled Flights to Russia Over Insurance Issues
"The insurance company has just banned flights to Russia. All the flights have been canceled," a spokesperson for the airline told the Russian Association of Tour Operators.
01:01 GMT 17.03.2022
Ukrainian Troops Shelled Two Localities in DPR in 15 Minutes, Firing Fourteen 122-Millimeter Projectiles - DPR Office in JCCC
00:20 GMT 17.03.2022
It Is Clear to Everyone Attacks on Putin Aim to Destroy Russia- Russian State Duma Speaker
"It has become obvious to everyone: the attacks on Putin are aimed at destroying Russia," State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Telegram.

"It has turned out that you do not know the people of our country at all," he added, addressing the authors of harsh statements about the Russian leader.
23:09 GMT 16.03.2022
Biden Begins to Realize He Will Be Responsible for Situation in Ukraine - State Duma Speaker
“There is hysteria in Washington. From senators to the president. The reasons are obvious: sanctions against Russia did not work; society sticks by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin; Ukraine is out of control; rising energy and fuel prices are breaking records not only in the United States, but also in Europe," Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Telegram.

“Biden is beginning to realize that he will have to answer for what is happening in Ukraine,” the State Duma speaker said, adding that the Russian leader had previously urged Biden to enter into a dialogue on security, but the US president did not consider it necessary.

22:54 GMT 16.03.2022
Russian Troops Near Mariupol Rescued Special Forces From Bandit Encirclement Where They Had Been For Several Days - Chechen Leader Kadyrov
22:47 GMT 16.03.2022
Zelenskyy Says Peace Talks With Russia in Progress But 'Fairly Difficult'
22:36 GMT 16.03.2022
Twitter Has Started Applying Gov't & State-Affiliated Labels to Media Accounts in Belarus, Ukraine
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Social media company Twitter labeled one state-affiliated media account in Ukraine and added labels to multiple accounts from Belarus amid the ongoing conflict in the region, Vice President of Global Public Policy Sinead McSweeney said.
"We’ve now begun adding additional labels to multiple state-affiliated media accounts from Belarus," McSweeney said in a blog post on Wednesday. "We have also labeled one state-affiliated media account in Ukraine. As the conflict – and online conversation - evolves, we want to equip people on Twitter with context and enable informed experiences on the service. We believe that people have the right to know when a media account is affiliated with a state actor."
Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Twitter has removed more than 75,000 accounts for violations of its platform manipulation and spam policy and labeled or removed over 50,000 pieces of content considered deceptive, misleading, or inaccurate, McSweeney said.
22:27 GMT 16.03.2022
UK, US, France Request UN Security Council Meeting on Ukraine - UK Permanent Mission
"The UK and [Albania, France, Ireland, Norway and the United States] have called for a Security Council meeting on #Ukraine. Russia is committing war crimes and targeting civilians. Russia’s illegal war on Ukraine is a threat to us all," the mission said on its Twitter page.
20:59 GMT 16.03.2022
Swedish Parliament Calls on Government to Preserve Option of NATO Membership
"The Government should express a clear NATO option, which means that Sweden retains the option to seek membership of NATO," the parliament said in a statement.
According to polls, held by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, over 50% of Sweden's population support the country's accession to NATO. Nevertheless, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said that Stockholm's request to join NATO now will only destabilize the situation in Europe.
20:56 GMT 16.03.2022
Chechen Leader Says Putin Asked to Keep Soldiers ‘Safe’

"We had a phone conversation with the head of state. The president, showing paternal concern, asked me to keep the guys safe. On behalf of all the fighters, I express sincere gratitude to Vladimir Vladimirovich for such a high assessment. We are happy to serve the people and the fatherland!" Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel.

20:53 GMT 16.03.2022
Canada Bans TV Service Providers From Broadcasting RT, RT France - Telecoms Commission
"The Commission removes Russia Today and RT France from the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution. Canadian BDUs are no longer authorized to distribute these services in Canada," the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said in its decision.
20:52 GMT 16.03.2022
Pentagon Says Has Not Seen Russian Efforts to Spread Propaganda Aimed at NATO, US
"We haven't seen any any overt efforts by the Russians in the information space in terms of propaganda aimed at our information ops and aimed at NATO or the United States," a senior US defense official said on Wednesday.
The official was asked if there have been any US concerns or any indications about Russia specifically targeting US and NATO forces in Europe with disinformation or influence operations.
20:52 GMT 16.03.2022
Kremlin on Biden’s Comment About Putin: Such Rhetoric Unacceptable
Earlier in the day, Biden said that he considers Putin a "war criminal."
"We consider such rhetoric of the head of state, whose bombs killed hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, unacceptable and inexcusable," Peskov said
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