WAR IN UKRAINE, DAY 2: Putin is about to commit genocide, EU spokesman says

Photo: AP Photo / Andreea Alexandru

Powerful explosions have been reported in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv during the night. Ukraine says Russia launched several rocket attacks.

Both CNN and The Guardian report that two powerful explosions were heard in the city center just before 5 o’clock on Friday night. CNN later reported three more explosions.

At 9:25 AM, AFP reported clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces in the northern suburbs of the capital Kyiv.


5:25 PM: Russia will not be allowed to participate in the Eurovision final in Turin in May, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has decided.

5:05 PM: Ukraine is willing to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it will not discuss capitulation, the country’s ambassador to Germany stated, according to RIA Novosti. Russia has offered the Kyiv authorities negotiations in the Belarusian capital Minsk, while Ukrainian authorities have said they would rather meet in Poland.

4:50 PM: Russia has been suspended from the Council of Europe as a result of the war in Ukraine. Read more…

4:30 PM: The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claims to have inflicted heavy losses on the Russians and says that 2,800 Russian soldiers were “lost” in the war in Ukraine. figures have not been verified by independent sources. Read more…

4:05 PM: On Friday, Pope Francis paid a personal visit to the Russian embassy to express his concern over the war in Ukraine.

3:55 PM: Russian President Vladimir Putin is asking Ukrainian military troops to oust Ukraine’s leadership in Kyiv. In the same speech, the Russian president called the Ukrainian authorities “a bunch of drug addicts and neo-Nazis.”

3:45 PM: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell confirmed that the private funds of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are likely to be frozen.

3:35 PM: Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (AP) believes Norway must expect to be hit by Russia’s response to the sanctions that are now being introduced. Read more…

3:15 PM: Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to negotiate with Ukraine in Belarus’ capital Minsk, the Kremlin said on Friday. Read more…

3:05 PM: The maritime authorities in Moldova confirmed on Friday afternoon that a ship sailing under the Moldovan flag was hit by missiles in the Black Sea.

3:01 PM: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is preparing for up to four million Ukrainian refugees to leave the country.

2:50 PM: The Ukrainians’ efforts in the war against Russia left a deep impression on Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (AP).

“There are tough battles in many places in Ukraine, and it is clear that Russia is facing considerable opposition,” he said on Friday.

2:34 PM: According to DPA, the private funds of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will be frozen within the framework of the new EU sanctions package. Read more…

2:15 PM: Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to destroy Ukraine, and that can be compared to the actions of the Nazis during World War II, an EU spokesman said on Friday.

“He talks about de-Nazifying Ukraine, but then, he behaves like the Nazis…” spokesman Peter Stano said at a press conference, commenting on Putin’s allegations of genocide in eastern Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly made baseless allegations that Russian-speaking residents in Ukraine are being subjected to genocide.

“He’s always saying something about preventing genocide, which is total nonsense, because he is committing one or he is about to commit one,” Stano said. Read more…

2:05 PM: The Moscow Defense Ministry claims that Russian forces have taken control of Hostomel airport outside Kyiv. According to Interfax, 200 helicopters and airborne soldiers were used to capture the airport, located 30 kilometers northwest of the Ukrainian capital.

1:40 PM: Estonia plans to send multiple anti-tank missiles, air defense weapons, and supplies to Ukraine to assist the country in its defense against Russia’s invasion.

1:20 PM: Russian paratroopers are now controlling the old Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the Moscow Defense Ministry claimed on Friday.

Photo: AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti

1:10 PM: Norway’s Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt accused Russia of lying when she met the Russian ambassador on Friday afternoon.

“I summoned the Russian ambassador for talks today. I strongly conveyed to him that Russia bears the full responsibility for this invasion,” Huitfeldt said when she met the press on Friday afternoon.

1:01 PM: A total of 44 Norwegian soldiers will travel to Lithuania on Sunday, Army spokesman Eirik Skomedal stated.

12:50 PM: An important bridge in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine has been recaptured by Ukrainian government forces, CNN reporters in the area report.

12:45 PM: All adult civilians are allowed to enlist in the Ukrainian army, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry announced on Friday. Read more…

12:20 PM: Norway called the Russian ambassador Teimuraz Otarovich Ramishvili on the carpet due to the Ukraine invasion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told NTB.

12:10 PM: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has met with top politicians from the separatist republics of eastern Ukraine to talk about the invasion of Ukraine.

12:01 PM: At least 25 civilians have been killed and 127 have been injured in attacks in Ukraine, according to the UN. Read more…

11:45 AM: Several Norwegian municipalities have hoisted the Ukrainian flag in solidarity with the people of the invaded country.

11:33 AM: Barely a day after the EU leaders adopted a comprehensive sanctions package against Russia, new sanctions are now being prepared, President of the European Council Charles Michel stated on Friday. Read more…

11:20 AM: The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirmed on Twitter that Russian forces are now inside Kyiv.

11:15 AM: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj is asking the EU to impose even stricter sanctions on Russia.

“All possibilities for sanctions have not yet been used up. The pressure on Russia must increase,” Zelenskyj tweeted after talking to EU Commission leader Ursula von der Leyen on Friday.

11:07 AM: Russia will not be allowed to host the upcoming World Cup races in cross-country skiing, the International Ski Federation stated in a press release on Friday.

11:05 AM: Afghanistan’s new Taliban leaders urge Russia and Ukraine to exercise restraint and spare the civilian population. The Taliban is closely following developments in Ukraine, spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi tweeted.

10:55 AM: China reiterated that it does not want sanctions against Russia.

“I would like to reiterate that sanctions have never been an effective way of resolving problems,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

10:48 AM: The European Football Association (UEFA) has decided to move the Champions League final in football from St. Petersburg to Paris due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

10:40 AM: Ukraine’s nuclear energy agency reports higher levels of radioactivity in the Chernobyl area. Russian forces took over the area on Thursday. Read more…

10:18 AM: Shooting has been heard near the government quarter in the Ukrainian capital, the news agency AP reports. The Russian Ministry of Defense told the BBC that Russian forces are now inside Kyiv.

10:15 AM: Russian gas is still flowing through Ukraine to Europe, Russian gas exporter Gazprom said on Friday morning. Despite the Russian invasion of the country, the gas pipelines to Europe are in normal operation, according to the company.

10:10 AM: The board of the Norwegian Ski Association has decided that Norway will not participate in the World Cup in jumping and cross-country skiing that is to be held in Russia in March. Read more…

Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB

9:55 AM: Russia is banning British-registered aircraft from entering Russian airspace, according to the Russian news agency RIA, Sky News reports.

British airlines have previously been instructed to avoid Ukrainian airspace in the wake of the invasion, as there is a great danger of being hit by rockets.

9:25 AM: Fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces is reported in the northern suburbs of the capital Kyiv, according to AFP. According to eyewitnesses, gunfire and explosions can be heard in the Minsk Massif and Obolon areas, which are less than 10 kilometers from Maidan Square in the city center. Read more…

9:13 AM: Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to remove Ukraine from the map, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday. Read more…

9:03 AM: AFP reports that clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces are taking place north of the capital, Kyiv.

Kyiv is located about 200 kilometers from the border with Russia, but only 100 kilometers from the border with Belarus.

9:00 AM: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revealed an increasingly paranoid and politically isolated Vladimir Putin, analysts and Western officials say. Read more…

8:55 AM: Former United States President Barack Obama has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Hard-hitting sanctions are needed, Obama said.

8:50 AM: Britain’s Defense Secretary Ben Wallace says Putin has been intent on invading Ukraine for more than a year. 

“Putin has been set on this for many, many months. At least a year,” Wallace told Sky News. Read more…

Photo: AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky

8:42 AM: British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss criticized Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

“We stand in solidarity with Dmytro Kuleba and the Ukrainian people. Putin’s attack on Ukraine is barbaric and unjustified and shows a cold contempt for human life,” Truss tweeted on Friday.

“We will continue to hold Putin accountable and be steadfast in our support,” Truss wrote.

8:40 AM: The Russian tanks that rolled across the border from Belarus on Thursday are now about 30 kilometers from Kyiv, and it is feared that they will reach the city during the day. According to the AP, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has briefed members of Congress on how close the Russian forces are to the Ukrainian capital.

Ukrainian authorities expect Russian tanks to attack Kyiv on Friday, one of Ukraine’s Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko’s advisers told The Guardian. According to the advisor, the tanks will be met with anti-tank missiles that Ukraine has recently received from foreign allies.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry is also expecting an attack on Kyiv on Friday. It states that the country’s government forces are now fighting on four fronts around the city.

A Russian Ka-52 helicopter gunship is seen in the field after a forced landing outside Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Russia on Thursday unleashed a barrage of air and missile strikes on Ukrainian facilities across the country. Photo: AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

8:30 AM: Russia has not succeeded in achieving its goals during the first day of the invasion, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace told Sky News. He estimates Russia lost more than 450 soldiers.

8:10 AM: According to the Ukrainian military, fierce fighting is taking place just northwest of Kyiv.

Ukraine claims that the Ukrainian forces have stopped the “overwhelming forces of the enemy” in the Dymer and Ivankiv area and prevented the Russian soldiers from crossing the river Teteriv, where a strategically important bridge is to be blown up. This is about 50 kilometers from Kyiv.

7:50 AM: The instability that the war in Ukraine generates is not good for a small, open economy like the Norwegian one, Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (SP) said on Friday. Read more…

7:40 AM: Around 800 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded since the invasion began, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry claims. According to a statement from the Ministry, reported by CNN, more than 30 Russian tanks have been neutralized, and seven planes and six helicopters have been shot down. Read more…

7:20 AM: The United States has imposed sanctions on Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The sanctions mean, among other things, that American institutions must suspend all cooperation with the bank within 30 days and close all accounts they may have in the bank.

The United States has previously announced similar sanctions against Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB.

According to the US Treasury Department, 80% of the assets in Russian banks are now subject to sanctions.

7:00 AM: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba mentioned Russian rocket attacks on Twitter.

“Terrible Russian rocket attacks on Kyiv. The last time our capital experienced something like this was in 1941, when it was attacked by Nazi Germany, Kuleba” tweeted.

6:30 AM: “Attacks on Kyiv with cruise missiles and long-range ballistic missiles have just resumed,” Adviser Anton Herashenko in the Ministry of the Interior wrote on Telegram.

6:05 AM: Ukrainian refugees, including many children and women, filled the train station in Przemysl on Friday, which is the first stop in Poland after the border with Ukraine. Read more…

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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