Saturday, February 24

Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 215 of the invasion | Ukraine

  • The United States and its allies will act “decisively” if Russia uses a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, the US national security adviser says, reaffirming the Biden White House’s previous response to mounting concerns that Vladimir Putin’s threats are in increased danger of being realized. Jake Sullivan told CBS on Sunday: “We have communicated directly, privately and at very high levels to the Kremlin that any use of nuclear weapons will be met with catastrophic consequences for Russia, that the US and our allies will respond decisively, and we have been clear and specific about what that will entail.”

  • Protests against the Vladimir Putin’s partial military mobilization order appear to be continuing in the Russian republic of Dagestan, with videos showing standoffs between police and the public. Video footage posted on social media shows police arresting demonstrators protesting against the order to draft 300,000 more Russians to the army for the war effort in Ukraine.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskiy has vowed to liberate the entire country as Russia pressed on with its supposed referendum in occupied areas of Ukraine and so-called election workers accompanied by masked gunmen knocked on doors to get people to vote. The Ukrainian president said the country’s armed forces would throw out Russia’s forces and retaliate against “every strike of the aggressor”. He vowed that Ukraine would regain control of the southern Kherson region and the eastern Donbas, saying: “Every murderer and torturer will be brought to justice.”

  • The UK prime minister, Liz Truss, has said its allies France and the US should continue to support Ukraine in the face of the Russian president’s increased threats and his military call-up. Truss said Vladimir Putin was escalating the war because he was not winning and had made a mistake.

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  • Long queues of vehicles were at the border crossing between Russia and Mongolia as people continued to flee the Kremlin’s mobilization order, AFP reported. The head of a checkpoint in the town of Altanbulag told the agency that more than 3,000 Russians had entered Mongolia via the crossing since Wednesday.

  • Serbia will not recognize Russian annexation “referendums” in occupied Ukrainian areas. The Serbian foreign minister, Nikola Selakovic, said the referendums “completely contradict our state and national interests, our policy of dealing with territorial integrity, sovereignty and the principle of inviolability of borders”.

  • Zelenskiy has renewed calls for western allies to cut Russian banks from Swiftthe global banking system that allows banks to send messages to each other. “If we cut Russian banks from Swift, we need to cut all Russian banks from Swift,” he said.

  • Zelenskiy also said that Ukraine has received Nasams (national advance surface-to-air missile systems) air defense missiles from the US. In a TV interview, Zelenskiy thanked President Joe Biden and confirmed that Ukraine now had the systems in the country. Zelenskiy also said Russia’s military call-up was a tacit acknowledgment that its “army is not able to fight”.

  • Thousands of Hassidic Jewish pilgrims flocked to central Ukraine to mark the Jewish new year on Sunday, ignoring international travel warnings as Russian forces attacked more targets from the air. The pilgrims, many traveling from Israel and farther afield, converged on the small city of Uman, the burial site of Nachman of Breslov, a respected Hassidic rabbi who died in 1810, Associated Press reported.

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  • The Ukrainian ambassador to the UK has issued a plea for continued “generosity” and “patience” from those offering a home to refugees in Britain. Vadym Prystaiko said Ukraine needed “much more” help from the UK as the country fought Moscow’s invasion, with the Kremlin’s military call-up amounting to “something formidable”.

  • Israel will treat 20 Ukrainian soldiers who have been injured in the war with Russia, according to the Israeli ambassador to Ukraine. The first two patients would arrive on Sunday for treatment at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, envoy Michael Brodsky said.

  • Aiden Aslin, one of the five British nationals released by Russia last week, has given his first media interview after returning to the UK. He told the Sun on Sunday that he was kept in solitary confinement for five months and “treated worse than a dog”.


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