Friday, August 19

Biden arrives in Brussels for EU, G7, NATO summits; will urge more sanctions LIVE UPDATES


Zelenskyy asks NATO for ‘military assistance without restrictions’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told NATO representatives Thursday that in order “to save people and our cities, Ukraine needs military assistance without restrictions,” according to France24. 

“In the same way that Russia is using its full arsenal without restrictions against us,” he reportedly added.

Ukrainian New Yorkers share how war has impacted them

‘Fox & Friends First’ host Carley Shimkus talks culture, community and family with Ukrainian New Yorkers.

Zelenskyy: ‘NATO has yet to show what the alliance can do to save people’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that “NATO has yet to show what the Alliance can do to save people,” according to the Kyiv Independent news website.

“To show that this is truly the most powerful defense association in the world. And the world is waiting. And Ukraine is very much waiting, for real action,” Zelenskyy reportedly added.

Boris Johnson: ‘Vladimir Putin has already crossed the red line into barbarism’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that “the reality is that [President] Vladimir Putin has already crossed the red line into barbarism.”

Johnson said while arriving at the NATO summit that “it’s now up to NATO to consider together the appalling crisis in Ukraine
, the appalling suffering of the people of Ukraine, and to see what more we can do to help the people of Ukraine to protect themselves.”

As an organization, NATO is not providing weapons to Ukraine. The 30-nation alliance refuses to send troops to Ukraine, either for combat or peacekeeping, and has said it will not deploy aircraft to protect civilians or police any no-fly zone.

But member countries are providing weapons and other assistance, individually or in groups.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Russian stocks gain as Moscow Exchange resumes trading

Russia reopened its stock market for an abbreviated session on Thursday nearly one month after shares plunged and the exchange was shut down following the invasion of Ukraine.

The Russia MOEX was trading 9% higher.

There will be heavy restrictions on trading to prevent the kind of massive selloff that took place in anticipation of crushing financial and economic sanctions from Western nations. Foreign shareholders will be unable to sell shares — a restriction Russia put in place to counter Western sanctions against its financial system and the weakening ruble.

For more on this story: Russian stocks gain as Moscow Exchange resumes trading

More than half of Ukraine’s children are displaced because of the war, UNICEF says

The United Nations Children’s Fund said Thursday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has now displaced 4.3 million children — more than half of the country’s estimated child population of 7.5 million.

“The war has caused one of the fastest largescale displacements of children since World War II,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement. “This is a grim milestone that could have lasting consequences for generations to come. Children’s safety, wellbeing and access to essential services are all under threat from non-stop horrific violence.”

UNICEF says the 4.3 million figure includes about 1.8 million children who have fled Ukraine
since the war began on Feb. 24, while 2.5 million are believed to be internally displaced in Ukraine.

Overall, the U.N. estimates that around 3.7 million people have fled Ukraine because of the violence.

Biden, world leaders gather in Brussels for NATO summit

UK announces dozens of new sanctions on Russia ahead of NATO summit

The U.K. announced 65 new sanctions on Russia Thursday morning, targeting banks, business elites and industries helping finance President Putin’s war in Ukraine.

The companies include Russian Railways, Kronshtadt, which is the main producer of Russian drones and  The Wagner Group, which was reportedly tasked with assassinating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Six Russian banks were also sanctioned along with billionaire oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, founder of Tinkoff bank Oleg Tinkov, Herman Gref, the CEO of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, and Polina Kovaleva, Foreign Minister Lavrov’s step daughter. Galina Danilchenko, who was installed by Russia as the ‘mayor’ of Melitopol is also sanctioned, the government said.

“These oligarchs, businesses and hired thugs are complicit in the murder of innocent civilians and it is right that they pay the price,” U.K. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement. “Putin should be under no illusions – we are united with our allies and will keep tightening the screw on the Russian economy to help ensure he fails in Ukraine. There will be no let-up”.

After arriving in Brussels, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “Putin has already crossed a red line into barbarism,” adding that NATO must “see what more we can do to help the people of Ukraine to protect themselves… to tighten the economic vice around the Putin regime,” BBC News reported.

Emergency NATO summit opens in Brussels; NATO chief says sole purpose is addressing Russia’war

In the opening moments of its emergency summit Thursday morning, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said its sole purpose is to address Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Ukraine ‘destroyed’ a Russian naval vessel, Kyiv Navy claims

Ukraine’s Navy claimed to have “destroyed” a Russian vessel on Thursday morning in the port of Berdyansk on the Black Sea southwest of Mariupol. 

“A large paratroop ship ‘Orsk’ of the black sea fleet of occupiers was destroyed in the occupied Russian port Berdyansk,” the country’s Navy announced on Facebook. “Glory to Ukraine!”

“The occupiers are burning well,” the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote on Twitter.

While Russia has superior forces in Ukraine, the defenders have put up a surprisingly strong resistance, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has maintained that his besieged country will prove triumphant in the war.

Click here to read more on Fox News.

The US Army’s Green Berets quietly helped tilt the battlefield a little bit more toward Ukraine

The U.S. Army’s Special Forces, better known as Green Berets, have had a deep impact on Ukraine’s fight to defend itself from a Russian invasion, despite not being directly involved in the conflict.

“Ukraine was taken very seriously by Special Forces,” retired Green Beret Sergeant Major Martin Moore told Fox News Digital. After Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, a move that faced minimal resistance, the Ukrainian military began an effort to modernize its forces to prepare for possible further Russian incursions into the country.

The U.S. military also quickly stepped in to help, with the Army’s Green Berets taking on a critical role in training Ukrainian forces.

Click here
to read more on Fox News.

Biden arrives in Brussels; plans to attend NATO, G7 and EU meetings, urging more sanctions

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After arriving in Brussels late Wednesday, President Biden will attend an emergency NATO summit, a G7 gathering and a summit of the European Union. He plans to urge allies to impose new sanctions on Russia.

“what we would like to hear is that the resolve and unity that we’ve seen for the past month will endure for as long as it takes,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Air Force One.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels, “We need to do more, and therefore we need to invest more. There is a new sense of urgency and I expect that the leaders will agree to accelerate the investments in defense.”

Biden is scheduled to travel to Poland on Friday, where questions about the refugee crisis and concerns over growing Russian aggression are expected to be at the center of talks with President Andrzej Duda.

Another significant moment could come shortly before Biden returns to Washington on Saturday. The White House said he plans to “deliver remarks on the united efforts of the free world to support the people of Ukraine, hold Russia accountable for its brutal war, and defend a future that is rooted in democratic principles.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to joint eh summit remotely and on Wednesday he said he hoped the leaders “declare that it will fully assist Ukraine to win this war” by supplying any weapons necessary during the summit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NATO chief says if Russia uses chemical weapons there will be ‘widespread and severe consequences’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that If Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine it would “fundamentally change the nature of the conflict.”

“It would be a blatant violation of international law, and it will have widespread and severe consequences,” he added.

Stoltenberg said he would “not speculate beyond the fact that NATO is always ready to defend, to protect and to react to any type of attack on a NATO-allied country” when asked if chemical weapons were a red line for NATO.

Ukrainian foreign minister urges EU countries to ignore Putin’s demands they pay for oil in rubles

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said if any European Country agrees to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands to pay for Russian gas in rubles, “it will be like helping Ukraine with one hand and helping Russians kill Ukrainians with the other. I urge relevant countries to make a wise and responsible choice.

On Wednesday, Putin said “unfriendly” countries would soon be required to pay in Russia’s currency, according to Reuters.

Russian diplomat says Moscow has right to use nuclear weapons if threatened by NATO

Russian diplomat Dmitry Polyanskiy says Moscow has the right to use nuclear weapons if it is threatened by NATO.

“If Russia is provoked by NATO, if Russia is attacked by NATO, why not, we are a nuclear power,” Polyanskiy, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told Britain’s Sky News in an interview published Thursday after he was asked about the prospect.

He said he didn’t think it was “right” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to threaten a nuclear attack, “but it’s not the right thing to threaten Russia, and to try to interfere. So when you’re dealing with a nuclear power, of course, you have to calculate all the possible outcomes of your behavior.”

He also dismissed the U.S.’ official declaration Wednesday that Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine.

“I don’t think we’re committing war crimes in Ukraine,” he told Sky News. “Of course, it’s not up to me to assess. I’m not there. You’re not there.

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He claimed videos of Russian atrocities in Ukraine, like a deadly attack on a Mariupol maternity hospital were “considered fake news.” Russia’s official line has been to deny the multiple attacks on civilian infrastructure that have been confirmed by the West.

Russia’s struggling stock market to partially reopen Thursday morning

Russia is reopening its stock market for limited trading with heavy restrictions a month after it closed due to plunging shares caused by its invasion of Ukraine.

The exchange is opening to prevent the kind of massive selloff that took place on Feb. 24 in anticipation of crushing financial and economic sanctions from Western nations but will have limited relevance for traders outside of Russia.

Hundreds of international companies have pulled out of Russia.

Under the restrictions in place, foreign shareholders will be unable to sell shares — a rule imposed to counter Western sanctions against Russia’s weakening financial system and currency.

Moscow’s stock exchange, with a market capitalization of $773 billion at the end of last year is dwarfed by the New York Stock Exchange, where the total of all equities is roughly $28 trillion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Russia to expel US diplomats from Moscow embassy

The U.S. State Department said Russia has listed a number of its diplomats in Moscow as “persona non grata” and is in the process of having them expelled from the embassy.

The Russian foreign ministry on Monday said it was close to severing diplomatic relations with the U.S. – an unprecedented move – after complaining to U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan about President Biden’s characterization of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “war criminal.”

The State Department called Wednesday’s move “Russia’s latest unhelpful and unproductive step” in relations between the countries. It urged Russia “to end its unjustified expulsions of U.S. diplomats and staff.”

Several U.S. diplomats have already been expelled from the embassy. The U.S. has also removed 12 Russian United Nations representatives based in New York.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Biden arrives in Belgium ahead of emergency NATO summit

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy details President Biden’s arrival in Brussels to meet with NATO leaders on ‘Special Report.’

Russian military leaders refusing to communicate with American military leadership

Secretary of Defense Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Milley have attempted reaching out to top Russian military leaders but have so far been ignored, according to reporting from the Washington Post.

American military leaders have been attempting to open up channels of communication in order to avoid any potential miscalculations that could lead to an escalation of the conflict, though those calls have gone unanswered by their Russian counterparts.

China only country to vote with Russia on humanitarian situation in Ukraine resolution

China was the only country to join Russia in the UN Security Council, voting for a Russian draft resolution declaring a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Russia and China were the only two countries to vote in favor of the Russian-led effort, with the 13 other countries abstaining from the vote.

The draft resolution faced criticism because it did not mention Russia’s involvement in the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

Click here for Wednesday’s live coverage.



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