- 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.
Mariupol - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Most of Mercenaries Surrounded on 'Azovstal' Are From European Countries - MoD

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All those who lay down arms at Azovstal and surrender on Sunday are guaranted life, the Russian Ministry of Defence said.
Earlier in the week, 1,160 Ukrainian soldiers, including 176 officers, of the 36th Marine Brigade surrendered in Mariupol. The Russian Defence Ministry said it was ready to allow all Ukrainian troops to withdraw through humanitarian corridors and promised to spare Ukrainian nationalists who agree to lay down arms. The Ukrainian side declined the offer.
Mariupol, a coastal city in the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) with a population of 450,000, went under the control of Ukrainian troops during the 2014 offensive. On 7 March, a senior DPR military said that Russian and DPR forces have surrounded the city and are clearing it of Ukrainian troops, including the neo-Nazi Azov battalion.
Russia launched a military operation last month with the stated goal of putting an end to war crimes committed by Ukrainian troops against civilians during an eight-year offensive against Donbass.
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03:57 GMT 18.04.2022
Russia Is Up Against What Seems Like “the Whole World,” Chechen Ramzan Kadyrov Says
In this handout photo released by the press service of the Head of Chechen Republic, Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov takes part in a review of the Chechen Republic's troops and military hardware in Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.04.2022
Chechen Leader Says NATO Arms Shipments & Mercenaries Mean ‘Dozens of States’ Fighting Russia
00:35 GMT 18.04.2022
Over 470 Ukrainian Drones Destroyed During Special Operation - Russian Defense Ministry
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian forces have eliminated more than 470 Ukrainian drones since the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

"In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, the following have been destroyed: 136 aircraft, 471 unmanned aerial vehicles, 249 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,308 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 254 multiple launch rocket systems, 998 field artillery guns and mortars, and 2,171 special military vehicles," Konashenkov said on Sunday.

He added that Russian rocket forces and artillery have hit four Ukrainian command posts, four artillery batteries, two fuel depots and more than 100 other Ukrainian targets.
00:35 GMT 18.04.2022
Russia’s Sberbank Says Stopped Large-Scale Attack on Russian Card Holders Attempted By Ukrainian App Developer After Start of Military Operation
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Sberbank Says Stopped Major Attack on Russian Card Holders by Ukrainian App Developer
19:00 GMT 17.04.2022
Bird's-Eye View of 'Azovstal' Plant Territory Where Ukrainian Nationalists are Blocked
18:43 GMT 17.04.2022
Moldova Reportedly Refused to Sell MiG-29 Fighter Jets to Ukraine
Ukraine has asked Moldova to sell or hand over its MiG-29 fighter jets, but Chisinau has refused in order not to undermine relations with Russia, the Ukrainian website European Pravda reported on Sunday, citing sources.

According to the news outlet, Kiev made the request during the first days of the Russian special operation but was rebuffed by the Moldovan leadership, which explained that it did not want to irritate Moscow as it could view that move as a violation of the principle of neutrality.

The Moldovan Defence Ministry is said to have six MiG-29 fighter jets, which are operational but have not been deployed in a long time. Chisinau has been trying to sell them for a while but to no avail.
18:24 GMT 17.04.2022
Russian MoD: Pentagon Planned to Infect Entire Region With Typhus and Hepatitis
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Plague and Typhus: What Have American Scientists Been Up to in Ukraine’s Biolabs?
18:24 GMT 17.04.2022
Iraq is in Search For More Destinations For Its Oil Exports
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17:28 GMT 17.04.2022
Ukraine is Ready For a Long Fight, Zelensky Tells CNN
Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky gestures as he attends a press conference with Austria's chancellor in Kiev, on 9 April, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.04.2022
Situation in Ukraine
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17:04 GMT 17.04.2022
Russian Forces Down 2 Ukrainian Fighter Jets in Kharkov Region, Russian MoD Says
Russian air defence systems shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets MiG-29 in the northeastern Kharkov region on Sunday, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
"The Russian air defence shot down two Ukrainian planes MiG-29 in flight near the towns of Fedorovka and Zavody in the Kharkov Region," Konashenkov told journalists.
Russian aerospace forces have also destroyed another 44 objects of Ukrainian military infrastructure, he said.
15:52 GMT 17.04.2022
Russian Investigators Launch Probe Into Demolition of Marshal Zhukov Monument in Kharkov
The Russian Investigative Committee has launched criminal proceedings over the demolition of the monument to Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov, a legendary military commander during World War II, in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov.

A group of Ukrainian nationalist militants tore down the monument earlier on Sunday, the committee said.

"The Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia has initiated a criminal case over the demolition of the monument to Marshal G.K. Zhukov on the grounds of a crime under part 4 of Article 354.1 of the Russian Criminal Code (insult to the memory of the defenders of the homeland committed by a group of people in collusion)," the committee said in a statement.

In 2015, the Ukrainian parliament approved a set of laws as part of the new government's "decommunization" policy. It banned the use of Soviet symbols and gave a green light to the demolition of monuments commemorating Communist figures and renaming streets and settlements named after them.
14:56 GMT 17.04.2022
Ukrainian Militants in Mariupol Refuse to Surrender, Hostilities in the City Continue, Sputnik Correspondent Says
14:49 GMT 17.04.2022
24 Houses Destroyed by Ukrainian Shelling in DPR Over the Past Day, Officials Say
Ukrainian troops have fired 331 shells toward the civilian infrastructure of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) during the past day, having partially or completely destroyed 24 houses, DPR People's Militia spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Sunday.

"A total of 331 projectiles over the past day, mainly calibers 152mm and 122mm and Grad [multiple rocket launchers]. They targeted Donetsk, Yasinovataya, Gorlovka, and Panteleimonovka. More than 24 houses have been destroyed either partially or completely," Basurin said.

He added that none of the targeted areas stationed the military, opining that Ukrainian troops appear to be deliberately targeting civilian areas.
14:24 GMT 17.04.2022
Couples in Ukraine Now Can Get Married Within One Day, Official Says
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10:47 GMT 17.04.2022
1,035 Foreign Mercenaries Killed in Ukraine, Russian MoD Says
The Russian armed forces have destroyed 1,035 foreign mercenaries in Ukraine, the Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

"During combat operations, 1,035 foreign mercenaries were destroyed by the Russian armed forces. Another 912 mercenaries refused to participate in the hostilities and fled the country," Konashenkov said in a morning briefing.

In Mariupol alone, about 400 foreign mercenaries among Ukrainian troops are surrounded by Russian forces at Azovstal metallurgical plant, mostly citizens of European countries and Canada, Konashenkov said.

"We have already said earlier that radio conversations between militants in Mariupol are being carried out in six foreign languages. In the event of further resistance, all of them [foreign mercenaries] will be destroyed," the spokesman said.

In total, Kiev has attracted 6,824 foreign mercenaries from 63 countries to Ukraine since the start of Russia's special military operation, Konashenkov said.

The largest group of 1,717 mercenaries came from Poland, 1,500 people arrived from the United States, Canada, and Romania, 300 from each of the United Kingdom and Georgia, and 193 from Turkish-controlled areas of Syria. The vast majority of foreign mercenaries are fighting in the cities of Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa, Nikolaev and Mariupol, the spokesman added.

"As a result of hostilities, the number of mercenaries is steadily declining, and today it amounts to 4,877 people," he stressed.

Konashenkov stressed that foreign mercenaries in Ukraine do not have the status of combatants under international humanitarian law, so they will face criminal liability and long-term imprisonment, at best.
10:41 GMT 17.04.2022
WATCH Russian Mi-28N Helicopters Attack Ukrainian Air Defence Systems
08:52 GMT 17.04.2022
Russian Forces Destroy Ukrainian Ammunition Plant Near Kiev - Defence Ministry
The Russian military destroyed an ammunition factory near the village of Brovary in the Kiev region with high-precision air-launched missiles, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday.

"During the night, an ammunition factory near the village of Brovary, Kiev region, was destroyed with high-precision air-launched missiles," Konashenkov said.
08:13 GMT 17.04.2022
Russian Forces Free Hostages Held By Nazis in Mosque in Mariupol, Kill 29 Militants, Including Foreign Mercenaries - MoD
A serviceman of Russian special police rapid response detachment Akhmat is seen in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic. - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.04.2022
Situation in Ukraine
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08:06 GMT 17.04.2022
Russian MoD: Kiev Bans Negotiations on Surrender, Orders Azov Nazis to Shoot Those Willing to Lay Down Arms
Azov battalion soldiers take oath in Kiev before being sent to Donbass - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.04.2022
Situation in Ukraine
Kiev Orders Azov Nazis to Shoot Those Surrendering at Azovstal, Russian MoD Says
07:58 GMT 17.04.2022
Majority of Foreign Mercenaries Surrounded on Territory of 'Azovstal' Are From European Countries - Russian MoD
06:24 GMT 17.04.2022
Zelensky Wants to 'Gain Time' While Turning to NATO for Assistance, Russian Lawmaker Says
Volodymyr Zelensky, who recently expressed his alleged readiness to discuss the Crimean issue and Ukraine's refusal to join NATO with Russia, actually wants to buy time, while turning to NATO for military assistance, the chairman of the Russian parliament's lower house, Vyacheslav Volodin, said on Sunday.
Volodin recalled that Zelenskyy had said the same before the talks in Turkey, when Russian forces had almost reached Kiev. According to the Russian lawmaker, Moscow reduced its activity in the area, withdrew its troops, after which a staged provocation in Bucha took place and Kiev refused to honor its obligations.
"Today, the same scenario is being proposed. The reason [for it] is obvious. He [Zelenskyy] wants to gain time while simultaneously turning to NATO for military assistance," Volodin said on Telegram.
Volodin noted that Ukrainian forces have already lost 23,367 people. In addition,1,464 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered during the liberation of Mariupol on Saturday.
Volodin also stressed that Zelenskyy must withdraw Ukrainian troops from the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, recognize Russia's sovereignty over Crimea and make a commitment not to join NATO if he really cares about Ukrainian citizens.
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