Russia, Ukraine To Hold Talks, UN Emergency Session Today: 10 Points
Holding strong against the Russian invasion and retaining control over its major cities, Ukraine has started speaking to Russia on finding a way forward. The move comes as protests against Russia grow, both within its borders and beyond them.
- Ukraine agreed to the talks around the same time as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered defence chiefs to put nuclear “deterrence forces” on high alert. The US has slammed him for “manufacturing threats that don’t exist” because his invasion of Ukraine “has been halted”.
- Ukraine agreed to hold talks with Russia at its border with Belarus — near the Chernobyl exclusion zone — after a call between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko. Ukraine had earlier refused to talk in Belarus, where Russian troops were stationed before the invasion.
- Russia’s invasion force has lost momentum and is having logistical and supply problems after facing stiff Ukrainian resistance, the White House claims. US officials say the Russian troops have failed to gain air superiority as Moscow admits to killed and injured soldiers.
- Ukraine claims to have expelled Russian troops from its second city Kharkiv in the east of the country after Russian armoured vehicles got through its defences. The country says it is holding the line around capital Kyiv but was fighting Russian “sabotage groups” that had infiltrated the city.
- The UN’s refugee agency has said tens of thousands are fleeing the fighting, with most crossing into Poland as the total count reaches 400,000. Others are seeking shelter in Hungary, Romania, Moldova and Slovakia. Pope Francis has called for corridors for civilians to escape the fighting.
- Protests are building up against the invasion. Hundreds of thousands of people are taking part in solidarity marches from Berlin to Baghdad to Quito. Within Russia, over 5,000 people have been arrested for demonstrating against the attack.
- European Union members have announced new sanctions and assured Ukraine of more military support in the coming days. The countries will even send fighter jets to help Ukraine counter the Russian assault, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Sunday.
- Germany has broken a long tradition by sending 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 “Stinger” surface-to-air missiles to help Ukraine. Sweden has also dispatched weapons to a war zone for the first time since Hitler and Stalin invaded Finland in 1939.
- As the chorus against the invasion grows, Google has followed Facebook in preventing Russian state media from earning money on its platforms. Elon Musk has orders his SpaceX’s Starlink satellite service to supply broadband to Ukraine after Russia tries to block internet coverage.
- Russia is facing repercussions in the sphere of sports too. Football World Cup champions France say Russia should be expelled from the tournament in November after the Czech Republic, Sweden and Poland boycott play-off matches against them. England has also refused to play them