Putin’s “special military operation” into Ukraine began on February 24, with Russian forces entering from Belarus and Russia to the east. US sources said Ukrainian troops have shown “strong resistance.”
An attack to capture the important port city of Mariupol and a coastal passage to the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula began last month in the contested Donbas area of eastern Ukraine.
Romanian FLOTUS meets US and NATO military leaders
Her first stop was Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania, where she spoke with US troops and NATO military authorities.
The US sent troops to the base, which is around 60 miles from the Ukrainian border before Russia invaded Ukraine.
“It was extremely important to the president and to me that the Ukrainian people know that we stand with them,” she told reporters yesterday night.
Biden earned shouts Friday when she met soldiers with a bottle of ketchup, which her office said was in low supply on the post.
The first lady served mac and cheese and potatoes while shaking hands and taking selfies with the service members. She also took part in a virtual book reading with United Through Reading, an initiative that connects military families with deployed service members through video.
Biden spoke with Delaware National Guard members before leaving for Bucharest.
Biden unveils fresh security aid package
According to President Joe Biden’s Friday afternoon address, the US will give “more artillery rounds, radars, and other equipment to Ukraine.”
Biden says the US will provide up to $150 million in new security aid to Ukraine.
“With today’s announcement, my Administration has essentially exhausted financing available for security assistance to Ukraine,” Biden stated. “For Ukraine to win this next phase of the conflict,
its international supporters, including the US, must remain united and determined to maintain the weapons and ammunition going to Ukraine.” On the battlefield and at the bargaining table, Congress should rapidly deliver requested funds.”
In addition, the package includes 25,000 155mm artillery rounds, radars, electronic jamming equipment, field equipment, and spare components.
“The capabilities in this package are targeted to fulfil essential Ukrainian needs for today’s war,” Kirby added.
According to Kirby, this is the ninth drawdown of equipment from DOD stocks for Ukraine.
UNSC backs ‘peaceful settlement’ in Ukraine
The UN Security Council unanimously endorsed a statement expressing “grave concern about the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine,” it’s first since the fighting began.
The statement reminded all UN members to “resolve international conflicts peacefully” and to “support the Secretary-efforts General’s to find a peaceful solution.”
The wording was developed by Norwegian and Mexican envoys and approved by all council members, including Russia.
He said it showed the Security Council was “united” in pursuit of “diplomatic resolution,” though he conceded it took almost two months to get there.
Questions about Russia’s intentions to finish the war peacefully, Ramón de la Fuente stated the government showed “a desire to move in that way.”
However, critics argue the UNSC statement fails to hold Russia accountable for the violence.
“I welcome this support,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Joining Biden and Merkel in G-7 virtual leaders meeting
A G-7 virtual leaders meeting will take place on Sunday, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Psaki said further penalties against Russia may be addressed at the meeting.
“They will examine the latest developments in Russia’s campaign on Ukraine, the global impact of Putin’s war, displaying support for Ukraine and its future, and exhibiting sustained G7 solidarity in our collective response,” she said.
In Russia, “Victory Day” commemorates the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. President Vladimir Putin may try to declare a new victory, according to Western officials.
Psaki implied the administration met before that day.
“I believe it’s important to remember that this G-7 meeting is taking place the day before Russia’s Victory Day, which President Putin has clearly said he wants to honour as a day of victory over Ukraine. “No way,” she said.
Officials claim the US helped Ukraine sink the Russian flagship Moskva last month
According to two US sources, the US helped Ukraine sink the Russian Black Sea naval flagship, the Moskva, last month.
The Ukrainians had tracked the Moskva independently, and the US had not provided “precise targeting information,” according to one source.
“We didn’t give Ukraine any Moskva targeting information. “We had no input into the Ukrainians’ choice to attack the ship or their operation,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday.
“We were unaware Ukraine would target the ship. The Ukrainians may track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did on this occasion.”
We provide a range of intelligence to help Ukrainians comprehend the threat presented by Russian ships in the Black Sea. These ships might be deployed to support an assault on cities like Odesa.”
On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki minimised US intelligence
“We didn’t give Ukraine any Moskva targeting information. We had no input into the Ukrainians’ choice to attack the ship or their operation. “We were unaware Ukraine would target the ship,” she stated.
“The Ukrainians can track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case. To my national security adviser and the President, I believe this overstates our involvement while understating the Ukrainians’ role, who actually have more intelligence and access to intelligence than we do.”
She added that the US provides Ukraine with a variety of intelligence that they can combine with their own findings.
“We supply intelligence to help them comprehend the threat presented by Russian ships in the Black Sea and prepare for potential sea-based assaults, but they blend our knowledge with their own.” So this article isn’t truthful in depicting what transpired,” she continued.
Explosions and smoke at Mariupol Steel
The Azovstal Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol have been seen exploding and smoking.
The Azov Regiment, a far-right militia now in the Ukrainian military, published the film Thursday. The group stated in a statement sent to Telegram that Russian soldiers were keeping the plant “under intense fire” using “aircraft, artillery, and infantry.”
Ukraine and Russia have recently given different accounts of events at the Azovstal plant. That Russia has “securely sealed” the massive industrial site is disputed by Ukrainian fighters who allege Russian forces began storming it this week.
Hundreds of Ukrainian combatants and civilians are believed to be trapped within the Azovstal factory, Mariupol’s last bastion of resistance.
Russia claims Ukraine battle is ‘on track’
The Russian special military operation in Ukraine is progressing well, says Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“The operation went according to plan,” Peskov said Friday in Moscow.
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Interrogated on the matter, Peskov told reporters, “Obviously, information on a special military operation cannot be shared extensively the day before it begins.”
“That’s because such sensitive information is always shared with a small group of people. “This is quite natural,” he continued. “The nature of this operation does not entail that it will be extensively publicised.”
The US envoy to the UN slams countries for
In her first open UN Security Council meeting since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield urged those still clinging to neutrality to speak out against Russian aggression.
It is highly renowned. This war is solely Russia’s fault. Then why do some council members keep calling on all parties to stop?” Thomas-Greenfield asks, mentioning countries like Brazil and India, as well as China.
“Let’s be honest. “Members should directly tell Russia to stop attacking Ukraine,” she said.
Thomas-Greenfield noted that Russian envoys had regularly utilised the body to promote falsehoods.
“Russian officials informed this council three months ago they would not invade Ukraine. “Now Russia denies the assaults ever happened.” “Russia even claims Ukraine is attacking itself, that they have bombed their own structures, people, and democracy. They defy logic, evidence, and plain sense.”
New convoy to evacuate factory workers
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths announced another convoy is travelling to the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works plant in Mariupol to evacuate more trapped individuals.
On Thursday, Griffiths told the International Donors Conference in Warsaw, Poland, that a convoy was heading to Azovstal to pick up civilians who had been trapped there for weeks or months.
“This complex and dangerous operation took days of coordination, advocacy agreements, and deployment partnerships,” Griffiths added. “It was worth saving one person.” The incident serves as a sobering reminder of the difficulties of operating for the safety and security of Ukrainian citizens.”
However, hundreds of Ukrainian troops and civilians are still believed to be trapped within the factory. The enormous industrial park is the last bastion of resistance in Mariupol, which Russian forces claim to have fully seized.
Putin apologised for Lavrov’s Nazi remarks, says Netanyahu
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested last week that Ukraine may still contain Nazi elements, despite the fact that certain leaders, including the president, were Jewish. Lavrov also believed Adolf Hitler was Jewish.
According to a statement from Bennett’s office, the Israeli prime minister “received President Putin’s apology for Lavrov’s words.” The meeting’s summary makes no mention of an apology.
The presidents also discussed evacuating civilians from the Azovstal complex in Mariupol. The Russian military is ready to safeguard people’s safety, the Kremlin said. The Kremlin also said Ukraine should order fighters at the plant to surrender.