War in Ukraine - Latest: Secret CIA 'peace deal' is a hoax, says Kremlin; Why are EU leaders in Ukraine? (2023)

key points
  • Zelenskyy will defend Ukraine's EU accession in talks
  • The United States says the next six months of the war are "absolutely crucial."
  • Why are the leaders of the European Union in Ukraine?
  • Reports of Secret Peace Proposal a "Joke": Kremlin
  • Dominik Waghorn:Race to Arm Ukraine ahead of a spring offensive
  • Reported live by Faith Ridler. Updates also fromDebora Haynesin Ukraine andDiana MagnayIn Moscow


What is the nuclear pact that Russia signed with the US?

We previously reported that NATO has asked Russia to honor the only treaty with the US aimed at controlling nuclear proliferation.

He also called on Moscow to allow on-site inspections of military installations to resume.

But what is this contract and why is it so important?

The so-called New START treaty was signed by Russia and the United States in 2010.

It limits the number of long-range nuclear warheads they can deploy to 1,550 and the use of missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

It allows short-term inspections of nuclear bases and facilities supporting each other.

"We note with concern that Russia has failed to meet the legally binding obligations of the New Start Treaty," NATO ambassadors said today.

The US-led military alliance supports the treaty and believes it will help limit the spread of nuclear forces.

The envoys said Russia's refusal to consult or permit U.S. inspections since last August "prevents the United States from exercising important rights under the treaty and undermines the United States' ability to adequately protect Russia's adherence to core treaty borders." check over".

"We urge Russia to fulfill its obligations under the treaty by facilitating New Start inspections on Russian soil and rejoining the treaty enforcement body," he said, the forum where the two parties can consult.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly escalated his nuclear rhetoric since ordering troops into Ukraine nearly a year ago, raising concerns among Western allies and the public about his actual ability to use such weapons.

The US-Russia committee formed under the treaty last met in October 2021, but Russia unilaterally suspended its cooperation with the pact's inspection provisions in August 2022 to protest US support for Ukraine.

Both sides suspended inspections of US and Russian military installations under the New START treaty due to the spread of the coronavirus in March 2020.


Russian bank 'buys two credit institutions in eastern Ukraine'

Russia's state-owned Promsvyazbank announced today that it has bought two lenders in Ukraine's Donetsk and Lugansk regions, doubling its chain of branches on Ukrainian soil.

Promsvyazbank (PSB), one of Russia's 13 "systemically important lenders," offers a wide range of services but has focused on civil servants and the defense sector since its bailout by the central bank in 2017.

It had already become the target of Western sanctions last year because of Russia's actions in Ukraine.


Mike Pompeo: China 'wants to rule the world and is a bigger threat than Vladimir Putin'

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Sky News that he believes Chinese President Xi poses a greater threat to the world than Vladimir Putin.

In the interviews with Beth Rigby, Pompeo said that President Xi intends to rule the world.

"He wants to own you," warned the US politician.

“He wants global hegemony with his Marxist-Leninist vision and China's economic and political dominance in every corner of the world.

“That is their malicious target. We have a duty to resist the next generation.”

When asked if the Chinese leader was more dangerous than his Russian counterpart, who invaded Ukraine almost a year ago, Pompeo replied: "Absolutely. Not even close.”

“Vladimir Putin has a very powerful nuclear program and an economy dependent on a single industry. And if we produce energy in the United States, that industry would be a lot less valuable to him," he said.

You can read more from Sky News under the following link...


Ukraine initiates criminal proceedings against the head of the Wagner mercenary group

Ukraine has launched a criminal case against the head of the Wagner group of Russian mercenaries fighting on the Eastern Front.

Kyiv has also vowed to track down and prosecute any militants attempting to flee abroad.

The Wagner Group is headed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin who is often referred to as "Putin's boss".

The group has recruited thousands of fighters, including convicts from Russian prisons, to wage a war in Ukraine.

"The Prosecutor General's Office handed over a suspicious activity indicator to the head of the private military company 'Wagner'," said Attorney General Andriy Kostin.

"The head of this group is directly responsible for thousands of war crimes. He openly acknowledges his role in the war against Ukraine and, with the Kremlin's permission, solves personnel problems by recruiting tens of thousands of prisoners."

According to the Criminal Code of Ukraine, suspects in criminal proceedings must be informed by a "suspection notification".

The statement does not say how such a communication to Mr. Prigozhin.

Kostin listed the charges against Wagner, including trespassing on Ukraine's territorial integrity and waging a war of aggression.

He said Wagner mercenaries of all levels would be held accountable, including those who fled abroad.

Ukraine will send Oslo a "request for investigative measures" against a former Wagner commander who was arrested in Norway last month, Kostin said.


Air raid sirens went silent in most of Ukraine

A little update on the news that air raid sirens went off in Ukraine this morning.

It looks as if the danger has largely been averted for the time beingmap belowThis shows that the alerts are active only in the Crimea peninsula and in the eastern Luhansk region.


A look at the scene in eastern Ukraine

These are the latest images from the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, where relentless fighting has continued for another month.

In the pre-war town of Horlivka, population 292,000, people were seen clearing rubble and collecting goods from a bombed market.


Estonia can boycott the Paris Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes are not excluded

Estonia could boycott the Paris 2024 Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes are not banned from participating, the country's prime minister has said.

This comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said athletes from both countries, who are banned from competing in Europe, could win places at the Olympics if they qualify through Asian events.

However, the IOC later said it supported the sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus.

“Our efforts must consist in convincing other friends and allies that the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes is wrong. The boycott is the next step," said Kaja Kallas.

The Baltic and Polish sports ministers have also called on international sports federations for a similar ban amid the war in Ukraine, while Latvia and Kyiv threatened to boycott the games.

The three Baltic states and Poland, members of the European Union and NATO bordering Russia and Belarus, have been strong supporters of Ukraine.

“Russia has been destroying the Ukrainian nation, the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian people for a year. Russia has killed hundreds of Ukrainian athletes, including Olympic and world champions," Kallas said.

"Is it fair game to allow athletes to enter the Olympic arena at the price of the blood of Ukrainians?"


Paris 2024 Olympics director says it's up to the IOC to decide whether Russia and Belarus can compete

The head of the Paris 2024 Olympics said it is up to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to decide whether Russian and Belarusian athletes can participate.

Tony Estanguet's comments came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the IOC to ban the athletes.

"I am in favor of keeping this symbol of universality for the Games," said Estanguet when asked about his participation.

“The priority is not who will participate in 2024, but how and when this conflict and this war will end, that is the priority.

"That's not in the hands of Paris 2024."


Six killed, 19 wounded in Russian attacks on Ukraine

Fresh Russian bombing has hit nine Ukrainian regions in the past 24 hours, killing six and injuring at least 19.

There have been strikes in Donetsk, Cherson, Charkiw, Sumy, Mykolajiw, Tschernihiw, Saporischja, Dnipropetrovsk and Luhansk since Thursday.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk region, said Russian forces killed two people and wounded eight in Kramatorsk and Bakhmut.

In Kharkiv, two people were killed and one injured when Russian troops fired on a residential building.

About 65 rockets were fired at Kherson in the south, killing two people and injuring nine, including a five-year-old boy.

A shipyard, a school and residential buildings were damaged in the attacks.


Ukrainian exercises are held near Belarus

Photos below show Ukrainian troops taking part in a military exercise on the border with Belarus on Thursday afternoon.

This comes as western countries pledge to donate hundreds of main battle tanks, including German-made Leopard 2 tanks and US M1 Abrams tanks.

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