- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.
A Russian serviceman guards the area of Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic. - Sputnik International

UPDATES: New Proof Pentagon Involved in Bioweapons Components' Development in Ukraine - Russian MoD

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Russia's special military operation in Ukraine has entered its 28th day. The operation is aimed at protecting the civilian population of the breakaway Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and also at "demilitarising and denazifying" Ukraine.
As the Russian forces continue their special operation in Ukraine, targeting neo-Nazi battalions and ensuring the work of the humanitarian corridors, Ukrainian nationalists are trying to prevent thousands from leaving embattled cities.
According to DPR Head Denis Pushilin, some 150,000 civilians are believed to live in areas controlled by nationalists in Mariupol, the second largest city in the Donetsk region. On Tuesday, the head of the Russian National Defence Control Centre, Mikhail Mizintsev, said that over 68,000 people had been evacuated from Mariupol, without the participation of the Kiev authorities. He added that the humanitarian situation in the city was "catastrophic".
As of Wednesday, the Russian emergencies ministry has delivered about 18 tonnes of humanitarian supplies, including food and baby formula, to a mobile settlement in the DPR.
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Table of contents
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08:02 GMT 24.03.2022
Australia Not Ruling Out Expulsion of Russian Diplomats - Foreign Minister
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - While Australia understands the importance of diplomatic contacts with Russia, it does not rule out the expulsion of Russian diplomats in the wake of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Thursday.
"The option of expelling diplomats is something is available to government, but at the same time it is potentially useful to have direct lines of communication with, in this case, the Russian government, but that does not mean the government has excluded the option," Payne said in an interview with ABC Radio.
The minister observed that other countries have asked Russian diplomatic staff to leave, but "not in every case their ambassador," adding that Australia's government is working with partners to "determine the best approach in these circumstances."
Payne also said she is "not going to speculate on Australia's approach".
07:32 GMT 24.03.2022
Russian Forces Take Full Control of Izyum City in Kharkov Region - MoD
The Russian armed forces have destroyed 60 Ukrainian military facilities over the past day, including two command posts, two multiple launch rocket systems, four ammunition depots, 47 areas of accumulation of weapons and military equipment of the Ukrainian armed forces, the MoD said.
The Russian military has also destroyed two drones.
07:25 GMT 24.03.2022
New Evidence Proves Pentagon's Direct Involvement in Development of Bioweapons Components in Ukraine, Russian MoD Says
New facts of the involvement of the US Department of Defense in the development of biological weapons components in Ukraine have been revealed, spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Thursday.
The Russian Ministry of Defence continues to study documents received from employees of Ukrainian biological laboratories about the secret military biological activities of the United States in Ukraine.
He also said that in the near future the Russian Ministry of Defence would present original documents demonstrating that the biological project "UP2" was developed and approved in the Pentagon.
The Russian Defence Ministry stressed that the Pentagon's project in Ukraine was aimed at obtaining new strains of anthrax.
06:53 GMT 24.03.2022
WATCH: Russian Military Has Defused Over 12,000 Explosive Objects in the Kherson Region - MoD
06:52 GMT 24.03.2022
VIDEO: Russian Su-34 Bombers Destroy Ukrainian Military Equipment and Arms Warehouses
06:14 GMT 24.03.2022
LNG tanker Al Hamra of Iran (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Finland Hopeful New LNG Terminal Will Help Wean Country Off Russian Gas Imports
06:14 GMT 24.03.2022
The MTB LAW anti-tank missile system - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Sweden to Send More Arms to Ukraine Amid Russia's Special Op
06:07 GMT 24.03.2022
Over 402,000 Donbass Refugees Have Already Arrived in Russia, Emergency Services Say
06:07 GMT 24.03.2022
Peru May Deliver Goods to Russia Via Pacific Ocean, Ambassador Says
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Vladivostok, Russia's major Pacific port city bordering with China and North Korea, may be an alternative route for goods transportation from Peru, the Latin American country's ambassador in Moscow, Juan del Campo, told Sputnik.
"What is happening now is a completely new scenario. Trade continues, it has not stopped, we continue to work with Russia. There are commitments, agreements, everything continues. I can only assume that there will be route adjustments. Peruvian products are usually delivered via Amsterdam. But what do Peru and Russia have in common geographically? It is the Pacific Ocean. It is a longer distance and higher prices. But it is a direct shipping lane. It is very easy for Peru, for example, to get to Chinese ports or to Russia via Vladivostok," the ambassador said.
In early March, two of the world's largest shipping companies, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Maersk Line, said they would temporarily halt cargo bookings to and from Russia in light of the Western countries' sanctions. German logistics giant DHL also decided to suspend some services to Russia and Belarus.
06:03 GMT 24.03.2022
Ukrainian Military Fires 15 Grad Rockets and Five 120mm Mortars at Donetsk, DPR Says
05:10 GMT 24.03.2022
Residential Buildung in Volnovakha Left in Ruins After Ukrainian Military Opens Fire British Grenade Launchers
04:43 GMT 24.03.2022
Russia's Belgorod Region Governor Says Blasts Occurred Overnight in Village of Zhuravlyovka Bordering Ukraine
VORONEZH (Sputnik) - Several explosions occurred overnight in the village of Zhuravlyovka, Russia's Belgorod Region, located near the Ukrainian border, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram.
"It was not a quiet night in Zhuravlyovka. According to the operational headquarters, there were several blasts. I hope that the investigating authorities will quickly establish the cause. No one was wounded or injured among the civilian population. Information on the number of destroyed or damaged residential and non-residential buildings will come out a little later," Gladkov wrote
On Wednesday, he said that shelling from the direction of Ukraine resulted in a projectile exploding in Zhuravlyovka, several people were injured.
04:26 GMT 24.03.2022
Washington Post Claims Russian Military Leaders Rejecting US Attempts for Dialogue
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Washington Post, citing Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, claimed that the Russian military leadership has for the past month "refused contacts" with its US counterparts despite Washington's "repeated attempts" to initiate them.
This left Russia and the United States in the dark about explanations for military movements and raised fears of a major miscalculation or battlefield accident, the newspaper claimed.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Moscow has "so far declined to engage" when US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, tried to organize phone calls with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Staff Chief, Army Gen. Valery Gerasimov.
The newspaper quoted Kirby as saying the Pentagon believes the US-Russia defense leaders' engagement is “critically important at this time.”
A Pentagon spokesperson said he could not confirm the information to Sputnik at the moment.
02:33 GMT 24.03.2022
Local residents pass by the destroyed tank of the Ukrainian armed forces in the city of Volnovakha that came under control of the Donetsk People's Republic, in Donetsk People's Republic. - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Sputnik Finds Documents on UK Training Ukrainian Soldiers for Fighting in Donbass
23:02 GMT 23.03.2022
UK to Supply to Ukraine 6,000 Missiles, $33 Mln for Military Needs - Government
The UK will supply to Ukraine 6,000 missiles and will allocate 25 million pounds ($33 million) for Kiev's military needs, the UK Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

"The Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a major new package of support for Ukraine today [Thursday] at the NATO and G7 leaders’ meetings... The measures announced today include 6,000 missiles, consisting of anti-tank and high explosive weapons, and £25 million in financial backing for the Ukrainian military," the statement said.

"This more than doubles the defensive lethal aid provided to date to more than 10,000 missiles, and comes on top of the £400 million the UK has committed in humanitarian and economic aid for the crisis. The Prime Minister will set out the UK’s intention to work with partners to bolster Ukraine’s defence capabilities, including longer-range targeting and intelligence, as the Ukrainian people face down an unprovoked invasion," it said.
22:26 GMT 23.03.2022
China's UN Envoy: 'Regrettable' Security Council Failed to Agree on Ukraine Resolution
The failure of the UN Security Council to agree on a Russian-drafted resolution regarding the humanitarianism situation in Ukraine is regrettable, Chinese envoy Zhang Jun said during remarks at the General Assembly.

"It is regrettable that the council was unable to reach the broadest of possible agreements in the end," the envoy said on Wednesday.
21:22 GMT 23.03.2022
UNSC Fails to Adopt Russia's Humanitarian Resolution Calling for Negotiated Ceasefire in Ukraine
The UN Security Council did not adopt the humanitarian resolution drafted by Russia calling for a negotiated ceasefire in Ukraine, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.

Russia and China voted in favor of the resolution while 13 other members of the UN Security Council, including the United States, United Kingdom and France - abstained from voting on Russia's draft resolution, and no countries voted against it.

The resolution condemns all violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, including the Geneva Conventions. It also demands respect and protection for all medical and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical and related duties in Ukraine.
20:13 GMT 23.03.2022
Renault Decides to Suspend All Operations in Russia - Reports
French car maker Renault has decided to suspend all operations in Russia, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

According to Reuters, Renault said that activities at its manufacturing plant in Moscow are already suspended.
19:08 GMT 23.03.2022
Russian Media Watchdog Restricts Access to News.Google Over Fakes About Russia's Special Op in Ukraine
18:32 GMT 23.03.2022
Four Health Workers Killed in Sumy as Nationalists Fire at Ambulance From Anti-Tank Grenade Launcher, Russian MoD Says
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A Ukrainian nationalist unit attacked an ambulance in Sumy, the head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, Mikhail Mizintsev, said on Wednesday, adding that four health workers died in the incident.
"On March 22, 2022, militants of nationalist battalions in Sumy fired an anti-tank grenade launcher for no reason at an ambulance that was on its way to provide urgent assistance to wounded civilians. As a result of criminal actions of terrorists, four heallth workers died on the spot,” Mizintsev told a brieifng.
Mizintsev also stressed that Kiev has yet again refused to coordinate humanitarian corridors with Russia.
Meanwhile, in Chernigov, Sumy and Zaporozhye, the commanders of the nationalist battalions are looting residential buildings, public and private organizations, and valuables are taken out towards the western borders in captured ambulances, said Mizintsev.
Numerous eyewitness accounts speak of terror unleashed by official Kiev against its own citizens, Mizintsev stated. He revealed that Ukrainian radicals in Kharkov gunned down residents in the courtyard of the house who tried to leave the basement to search for water and food.
"The blatant case of mass extermination of civilians committed by Ukrainian radicals in Kharkov is striking in its cruelty. Driven to extreme exhaustion by inhuman conditions of existence, Kharkovites attempted to leave the basement in search of water and food. For this alleged 'liberty' they were shot by nationalist fanatics right in the courtyard of his house," the general said.
The general also stated that over the past 24 hours almost 18,000 people have been evacuated from Ukraine and Donbass to Russia. Russia has also evacuated 26 Jordanians and Vietnamese from Mariupol as part of its humanitarian mission.
He added that despite the daily opening of humanitarian corridors, Ukrainian neo-Nazis continue to hold over 4.5 million civilians hostage as a "human shield" in Kiev, Kharkov, Chernigov, Sumy and more than two dozen other large settlements.
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