China’s Xi Jinping tells Putin ‘change is coming’ as he departs Moscow
The former Russian president and close ally to Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, has said that the threat of nuclear conflict is only rising and the constant arms supply to Ukraine is bringing a “nuclear apocalypse” closer.
“Has the threat of a nuclear conflict passed? No, it has not passed. It has increased. Each day when foreign weapons are delivered to Ukraine ultimately brings this same nuclear apocalypse closer…,” Mr Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Russian security council, said in a video he shared on his Telegram.
Overnight, Russia bombarded Ukrainian cities with multiple drone attacks in a display of force after the Chinese president Xi Jinping departed from Moscow, concluding his meeting with Vladimir Putin.
A total of nine people have been reportedly killed in the attacks in Zaporizhzhia and south of Kyiv in Rzhyshchiv, officials said.
In Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky visited troops, staff and commanders close to the battlefield in Donbas and Kharkiv, with a dedicated trip to besieged Bakhmut.
Swedish lawmakers vote to endorse country joining Nato
Swedish lawmakers overwhelmingly voted Wednesday in favor of Sweden joining Nato, signing off on the country’s membership along with the required legislation.
The 349-seat parliament authorized Sweden’s accession to Nato in a 269-37 vote, with 43 lawmakers absent. It was the last required domestic hurdle to the country becoming part of the 30-member Western military alliance.
Six of the eight parties represented in parliament were in favor of Nato membership, and the vote that followed a nearly seven-hour debate was seen as a formality.
Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 05:00
Ukrainian soldiers acing Patriot system training in US – report
Ukrainian forces are almost ready to use the Patriot missile defence system on the battlefield to protect their war-hit nation, with the air defence system expected to reach Ukraine soon.
The soldiers sent to the US to master the air defence system have shown impressive adeptness at learning one of the best war machines, officials told Politico.
“The Ukrainian soldiers are impressive, and absolutely a quick study,” Brig. Gen. Shane Morgan, commanding general of the Army’s Fires Centre of Excellence told Politico.
He added: “Due to their extensive air defence knowledge and experience in a combat zone, it was easier — though it’s never easy — for them to grasp the Patriot system.”
“They are the best of the best in what they do in air defence for Ukraine,” the US military general said.
A senior Fort Sill official said that the Ukrainian forces who are training have moved rapidly through the assignment even as the course was conceived to be a 10-week basic programme.
Arpan Rai23 March 2023 04:55
Zelensky visits wounded soldiers in Bakhmut
Volodymyr Zelensky returned to the battlefield areas in the war-hit Ukraine and visited several troops, staff and commanders in Donbas and Kharkiv, with a dedicated trip to besieged Bakhmut.
“I started from the front, from the Bakhmut area. It is an honor for me to support our warriors who are defending the country in the toughest frontline conditions. I presented state awards, thanked our soldiers for their bravery, for their resilience, for Ukraine – which we are preserving thanks to such heroes, thanks to each and every one of them who is fighting against Russian evil,” Mr Zelensky said.
A video of his visit showed the Ukrainian president visiting a gas station, clicking photos with the staff, meeting with commanders in unspecified bunkers and thanking the Ukrainian soldiers fighting on ground.
“I paid a visit to the wounded warriors. I wished them – and I’m sure on behalf of all of you, all of our people – a speedy recovery. I thanked the doctors and nurses. And now I want to thank everyone who supports our soldiers recovering from injuries. Who helps with everything necessary, our doctors, everyone who works for rehabilitation after injuries. I am grateful to every volunteer, every partner of ours who helps!” he said in his nightly address.
The war-time president said that it is “distressing to look at the cities of Donbas, to which Russia has brought terrible suffering and ruin”.
“The almost constant, hourly air-alert siren in Kramatorsk, the constant threat of shelling, the constant threat to life… Right there, in Donbas, in the Kharkiv region — wherever Russian evil has come, it is obvious that the terrorist state cannot be stopped by anything other than one thing — our victory. And we will ensure it — the Ukrainian victory,” he said.
Arpan Rai23 March 2023 04:24
Latest images from the frontline in eastern Ukraine
Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 04:00
Threat of ‘nuclear apocalypse’ growing, says former Russian president
Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has said that the threat of nuclear conflict is only rising and the constant arms supply to Ukraine is bringing a “nuclear apocalypse” closer.
“Has the threat of a nuclear conflict passed? No, it has not passed. It has increased. Each day when foreign weapons are delivered to Ukraine ultimately brings this same nuclear apocalypse closer…,” the deputy chairman of the Russian security council said in a video he shared on his Telegram.
“I have the feeling that until a certain point in time, they did not believe in and did not see the extent of Russia’s determination, or the determination of its president or the supreme commander, to do what we did. And they miscalculated. The consequences are much more complicated than they could have been if they had signed a document with us in December,” he said, without sharing more details of the document.
Arpan Rai23 March 2023 03:53
Overnight drone attacks rattle Ukraine
Russia swarmed Ukrainian cities with multiple drone attacks overnight in a display of force after the Chinese president departed from Russia.
A total of nine people have been reportedly killed in the slew of attacks in Zaporizhzhia and south of Kyiv in Rzhyshchiv, officials said.
Of these, officials said one person was killed and 33 were injured in a twin missile strike in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia.
Another eight people were killed and seven were injured in a drone attack in Rzhyshchiv where two dormitories and a college were struck, regional police chief Andrii Nebytov said.
Glass, debris and wrecked cars were visible at a playground and a car park at the scene in Zaporizhzhia as emergency workers carried out the wounded or escorted those who could walk.
Russia has claimed that it does not strike civilian areas and is only targeting the military in its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Arpan Rai23 March 2023 03:27
Slovakia offered US helicopters for giving jets to Ukraine
The United States has offered Slovakia 12 new military helicopters as compensation for the MiG-29 fighter jets the European country is giving to Ukraine, Slovakia’s defense minister said Wednesday.
Under the offer, Slovakia would pay $340 million for the Bell AH-1Z attack choppers in a deal worth about $1 billion that also includes 500 AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles and training, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said.
US foreign military financing would cover the other $660 million, he said. The European Union also would send Slovakia 200 million euros ($213 million) in additional compensation, Nad said.
Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 03:00
Russia and Belarus barred from next season’s ice hockey worlds
Russia and Belarus teams were excluded by the International Ice Hockey Federation on Wednesday from all its world championships next season, including the women’s event in the United States.
The IIHF cited security concerns for players, competition staff and fans — because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — to extend the exclusion that will stretch beyond two years when the 2023-24 season is over.
“It is too soon,” IIHF president Luc Tardif said about letting Russia return. “Too many risks.”
Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 02:00
Analysis: China’s sway over Russia grows amid Ukraine fight
It was a revealing moment during Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s tightly scripted visit to Moscow: Standing in the doorway of the Grand Kremlin Palace, he told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the two of them were “witnessing the changes that haven’t been seen in more than a century, and we are pushing them together.”
“I agree,” Putin responded.
The remarks — caught on a Kremlin camera over a bodyguard’s shoulder — offered a rare glimpse into Xi’s ambitions and his relationship with Russia after more than a year of fighting in Ukraine.
Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 01:00
Xi Jinping’s parting comment to Putin on leaving Moscow: ‘Changes are happening’
Xi Jinping had a parting comment about China for his “dear friend” Vladimir Putin as he concluded his two-day trip to Moscow.
On Tuesday evening, Mr Xi shook Mr Putin’s hand and talked about unprecedented change.
Maroosha Muzaffar has more:
Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 00:00