- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Situation in Ukraine
On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation amid Kiev's ongoing shelling of the DPR and LPR. President Vladimir Putin stated that the op is meant to protect the people of Donbass, and its goal is the complete demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.
Servicemen of the Azov regiment take part in a parade on June 15, 2019 in Mariupol.  - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Kiev Tried to Evacuate Azov Neo-Nazis From Mariupol by Mi-8 Helicopters - Russian MoD

On 24 February, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian aggression. The Russian defence ministry said the operation is only targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that Kiev’s confirmation of the need to ensure the non-nuclear and non-bloc status of Ukraine, and their delegation's understanding that the issues of Crimea and Donbass are resolved, show significant progress at the negotiations.
The same day, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that documents obtained from the employees of Ukrainian biological laboratories showed Kiev's plans to use drones capable of spraying deadly substances. The Ukrainian government was seriously considering the possibility of using biological weapons against the population of Donbass and Russia, he said.
Another round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine took place on Tuesday in Turkey. Russian chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky described the talks as "constructive," with Moscow following up with an announcement that it will scale down its military activities in the Kiev and Chernigov regions.
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03:29 GMT 01.04.2022
Fire Hits Oil Depot in Russia's Belgorod Near Border With Ukraine - Governor
An oil depot caught fire on Friday in the Russian city of Belgorod near the border with Ukraine, Governor of the Belgorod Region Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

"A fire has hit an oil depot in the city of Belgorod. All the emergency services have been sent to the site. Measures are being taken to tackle the blaze," Gladkov wrote on his Telegram channel.

The governor promised to provide details about causes of the incident later.
01:33 GMT 01.04.2022
US Threats to Impose Aerospace Sanctions on Russia Not in Line With NASA Remarks - Antonov
The US threats to introduce sanctions on Russia in the aerospace sphere are not in line with NASA's statements that the organization is interested in maintaining dialogue with Russia, Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said.

"In fact, we are speaking about conscious attempts to limit the technological development of our country. It comes to the US Department of the Treasury's threats of sanctions for any cooperation with Russia in the aerospace sphere despite NASA's remarks on its high interest in maintaining dialogue," Antonov said in a statement, as quoted by the Embassy's Telegram channel.

"We call on the US authorities to stop waiving the sanctions stick, which hits the US itself and its allies," the ambassador added.
01:03 GMT 01.04.2022
UK Opposing Immediate Ukrainian-Russian Ceasefire - The Times
The United Kingdom wants Ukraine not to sign a ceasefire agreement with Russia too soon to deteriorate the latter's military position and thus weaken its negotiating stance, media reported.

According to The Times newspaper, the United Kingdom is concerned that the United States, Germany and France are "over-eager" to secure a peace deal as soon as possible. London believes that the deal should be reached when Kiev will have a stronger position.

“We think Ukraine needs to be in the strongest possible position militarily before those talks can take place,” a government source told The Times, adding that such a scenario could result in more Russian concessions on territory, sanctions and even the legal persecution of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
23:27 GMT 31.03.2022
France Would Study Possible Proposal to Become Guarantor of Ukrainian Security – Le Drian
France would study a possible proposal to become a guarantor of future security of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

Kiev has proposed a new system of security guarantees for Ukraine with the countries in the United Nations Security Council, as well as Turkey, Germany, Canada, Italy, Poland and Israel acting as guarantors in the future.

"We have drawn attention to the proposals of Volodymyr Zelensky. If we get them, we will study them with significant and positive attention. Obviously, the neutral status [of Ukraine] is impossible without security guarantees," Le Drian told the Figaro newspaper.

He stressed that the security mechanism must be discussed primarily by Russia and Ukraine. At the same time, the French foreign minister is not optimistic about the Russian-Ukrainian talks, which demonstrated no breakthrough.

Le Drian added that French President Emmanuel Macron would further maintain communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Istanbul hosted a new round of negotiations between Moscow and Kiev. The talks were held at the Dolmabahce palace and lasted about three hours.
22:07 GMT 31.03.2022
US Extends Deployment of Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group in Mediterranean - Pentagon
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has decided to extend the deployment of the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman strike group in the Mediterranean Sea through the summer to bolster support for NATO’s eastern flank amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said.

“He [Austin] has decided that he's going to keep the 82nd [Airborne Division] there for a while longer, and he has decided that the that the Harry S. Truman and her strike group will stay in the Med [Mediterranean] for a while longer,” Kirby said during a press briefing on Thursday.

The Harry S. Truman carrier strike group was deployed from the United States in December and came under NATO command in the Mediterranean Sea in January - the first such development since the end of the Cold War. The carrier strike group participates in the NATO-led Neptune Strike 2022 exercise in the Mediterranean.
20:46 GMT 31.03.2022
White House: Biden Currently Has No Plans to Talk With Putin
US President Joe Biden has no plans at present to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin, White House Director of Communications Kate Bedingfield said during a press briefing on Thursday.

"Not currently," Bedingfield said when asked whether any plans exist for the two leaders to speak. "We’ve been very clear that any re-engagement of diplomacy at that level would require significant demonstration from the Russians of serious de-escalation and we have not seen that."
19:33 GMT 31.03.2022
US Says Will Not Recognize Results of Referendum in South Ossetia to Join Russia
The United States will not recognize the results of the referendum in South Ossetia to join Russia, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Thursday.

"Neither de facto authorities nor the Russian government have the right to make decisions about the future of South Ossetia, which is part of Georgia," Price said during a press briefing when asked about the State Department's position on the referendum.

The head of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov, said on Wednesday that the country's strategic goal is to join Russia and the necessary legal steps will be made in the near future. According to the South Ossetian leader, the world is currently at a tipping point, with "the Russian world defending today the interests of those who are committed to it." Bibilov later told the Soloviev Live YouTube channel that the republic should organize a referendum on the issue as stipulated by the country's constitution.
18:46 GMT 31.03.2022
Russian MoD: Russia Has Delivered Over 6.7 Tonnes of Humanitarian Cargo to Ukraine
18:41 GMT 31.03.2022
Russian Army, DPR& LPR Forces Strictly Observe Truce on All Routes, Including Those Announced by Kiev, Russian MoD Says
18:37 GMT 31.03.2022
Russia Calls Kiev's Statement on 'Russian Mines' in Black Sea Absurd
18:33 GMT 31.03.2022
Russian MoD: Russia Will Open Humanitarian Corridor From Mariupol to Zaporozhye on 1 April
18:21 GMT 31.03.2022
Russian Finance Ministry Says It Has Met Its Obligations on Payouts on 2030 Eurobonds in Full
17:32 GMT 31.03.2022
Documents Confirm Fact of Germany's Implementation of Own Military Biological Programme in Ukraine, Russian Diplomat Says
The documents confirm the fact that Germany is implementing its own military biological program in Ukraine, Gennady Gatilov, Russia's Permanent Representative in the UN Office in Geneva, said on Thursday.

"It is appropriate to note that the documents confirm the fact that Germany is implementing its own military-biological program in Ukraine," he said during his speech at the plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament.

According to Gatilov, the goal of the German program was to study the potential of deadly diseases, such as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, in Eastern European conditions.

"Germany's actions, previously unknown to the general public, pose the same threat as US biological experiments, and require detailed study," the diplomat said.
17:23 GMT 31.03.2022
Wikipedia Fails to Delete False Information on Ukraine, Russian Watchdog Says
Wikipedia will face civil liability in Russia for not removing unreliable information on the Ukrainian conflict, Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor said.

"Roskomnadzor will draw up a protocol on an administrative offense under Article 13.41 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation in relation to the Wikipedia internet portal for not deleting unreliable socially significant materials, as well as other prohibited information," the statement said.

Roskomnadzor has sent a notification to the Wikipedia administration to immediately remove inaccurate information pertaining to the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, aimed at misinforming Russian users.

The watchdog stated that the owner of the website could face civil liability in the form of a fine of up to 4 million rubles ($49,000) for the failure to remove materials considered illegal in Russia within the prescribed period.
16:59 GMT 31.03.2022
Russian MoD: Ukrainian Mi-24 Helicopter, Four UAVs Shot Down Outside Izyum in Kharkov Region
16:56 GMT 31.03.2022
Over 50 Nationalists Killed as DPR Forces Continue Fighting With Ukrainian Airborne Brigade, Russian MoD Says
16:54 GMT 31.03.2022
Russian MoD: DPR Forces Advance Further, Take Control of Another Settlement
16:51 GMT 31.03.2022
Kiev Tried to Evacuate Azov Neo-Nazis From Mariupol by Mi-8 Helicopters, One Chopper Was Shot Down by DPR Forces - Russian MoD
16:48 GMT 31.03.2022
Russian MoD: Operational-Tactical Aviation Hit 28 Ukrainian Military Targets During the Day
16:38 GMT 31.03.2022
Turkish FM Cavusoglu Says Erdogan Plans to Hold Phone Call With Putin
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan planned to hold phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier, the TRT Haber broadcaster reported that Erdogan and Volodymyr Zelensky would hold a phone conversation on Thursday at 17:00 GMT.

"President Erdogan plans to hold phone talks with both Zelensky and Putin," Cavusoglu said at a press conference on Thursday.

Cavusoglu also said that he had told Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers, Sergey Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba, that he expected their visits to Turkey in the near future.
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