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Russia-Ukraine live: Zelensky vows ‘we will win’ as thousands gather to protest war on second anniversary

Russia-Ukraine live: Zelensky vows ‘we will win’ as thousands gather to protest war on second anniversary

As western leaders gather in Kyiv to mark two years since Russia‘s invasion, Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed Ukraine will win and Moscow ‘cannot destroy our dream’.

He posted on X: “Any normal person wants the war to end. But none of us will allow Ukraine to end. That is why when it comes to ending the war, we always add: on our terms.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen vowed that Europe would back Ukraine until it was “finally free” as she and three other Western leaders arrived in Kyiv.

It comes as thousands have gathered in capitals around the world to protest against the war. In London, commemorations began with an interfaith prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Mayfair.

In Dublin, thousands also marched in a demonstration marking the second anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine as Ireland’s deputy premier said the nation “will not waiver” in its support for Kyiv.

Russian police detained at least four people in Moscow, including reporters, at a protest outside the Kremlin by the wives of mobilised soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

Key Points

  • Western leaders arrive in Kyiv to mark two-year war anniversary

  • Two years of war: Ukraine warns West it will be Putin’s next target if Russia is allowed to win

  • Russia unleashes strikes across southern Ukraine on anniversary of war

  • Putin accused of ‘behaving like Nazis’ on two-year war anniversary

  • Kyiv claims Russia used North Korean ballistic missiles in attacks

Ukraine is fighting for all of Europe – we have to support them

17:56 , Alexander Butler

Letters: Ukraine is fighting for all of Europe – we have to support them

Pictured: Protests in London

16:43 , Alexander Butler

A demonstrator wears Ukrainian colours at a protest in London (Maja Smiejkowska/PA Wire)
A demonstrator wears Ukrainian colours at a protest in London (Maja Smiejkowska/PA Wire)
A demonstrator holds a placard comparing Vladimir Putin to the Nazi party (AFP via Getty Images)
A demonstrator holds a placard comparing Vladimir Putin to the Nazi party (AFP via Getty Images)

Thousands march through Dublin to mark two-year anniversary of Russian invasion of Ukraine

16:07 , Alexander Butler

Thousands march through Dublin to mark anniversary of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine and Italy sign bilateral security agreement, Zelensky says

15:08 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had signed a bilateral security agreement on Saturday with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Italy joined Britain, Germany, France and Denmark in concluding a 10-year security deal with Kyiv - agreements intended to shore up Ukraine‘s security until it can reach its aim of becoming a member of the Western military alliance, NATO.

Meloni is on a visit to Kyiv to underline continued support as Ukraine marks the second anniversary of the start of Russia‘s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

 (via REUTERS)
(via REUTERS)

Hundreds gather at Marble Arch in central London to protest war in Ukraine

14:51 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Hundreds of people have gathered at Marble Arch in central London to protest against Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, as the conflict reached its second anniversary.

Demonstrators waved Ukrainian flags, with others wrapping them around their shoulders.

Other protestors bore signs urging Russia to “stop the war”, labelling Russian president Vladimir Putin a “terrorist” and urging international powers to offer more support.

A Ukrainian child sang to the crowd, followed by a performance by the St Mary’s Ukrainian School choir.

Organisers said it was important the protest, which preceded a march to Trafalgar Square for a vigil, remained peaceful.

The fight by Russian dissidents against Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine

14:30 , Lydia Patrick

Evegnia Kara-Murza woke up and immediately picked up her phone. Ukrainian women, she saw, had started sharing screenshots online of their last messages to their husbands, boyfriends and brothers on the frontlines.

They began with a trivial message, something like “How are you honey?”. But with each unanswered message, they grew more panicked. “Honey, just write back. Just write anything. I just want to know that you are okay,” one said.

By then, these women knew what had happened. They knew they would not get a response. They knew their partners, their siblings, had been killed by Russian soldiers.

Reading through these messages, Evgenia began to break down. She felt like she was about to have another panic attack.

They reminded her of the last message she sent to her husband, nearly two years earlier.

Read the full story here...

The fight by Russian dissidents against Putin and his war in Ukraine

‘Your fight is our fight’- Canada’s Trudeau

14:23 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau spoke in Ukraine to mark the second anniversary since the war began.

He said: “Two years ago, Putin invaded Ukraine. Bombs rained down across the country, civilians were targeted and Putin was sure he could easily take strategic targets like this airport.

“We are standing here today because he was wrong, like he has been wrong on so many things.

“Canada has been by your side not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because your fight is our fight.”

 (via REUTERS)
(via REUTERS)

Poignant commemoration to Ukraine’s killed children in London

14:10 , Lydia Patrick

Paper angels have been hung from the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral’s balcony – one for each of the 528 Ukrainian children killed during the conflict, according to Ukraine’s prosecutor general.

Referring to the paper angels, Bishop Nowakowski said during the service: “These paper angels are a remembrance of those young lives and the families who are grieving.”

In an opening prayer, the bishop and the congregation called for those “overtaken by a spirit of deception and violence” to “open their eyes”.

The leader of the Ukrainian Catholic community in the UK added that Ukrainians “do not want to give up hope”.

“Ukrainians are very resilient and anyone who has been in the last two years to Ukraine can attest to the resilience of the Ukrainian people and their high morale,” he said.

An ecumenical interreligious prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London, to mark the two year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (Maja Smiejkowska/PA Wire)
An ecumenical interreligious prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London, to mark the two year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine (Maja Smiejkowska/PA Wire)

Watch - Rishi Sunak pledges support to Ukraine

13:50 , Lydia Patrick

In a video he posted on X, he said: “When Putin launched his illegal invasion two years ago, the free world was united in its response. We stood together behind Ukraine and on this grim anniversary we must renew our determination.”

The Prime Minister described his trip to the country two weeks ago where he met Ukrainian soldiers- whose stories served as a reminder of their strength whilst defending their country from ‘a completely unjustified invasion’.

Grant Shapps detailed the biggest single defence package the UK will send to Ukraine, taking support to over £12 billion.

The defence secretary said around £250,000 will go towards ammunition and £200 million will go to their largest supplier of drones.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the UK has signed the’ first-of-its-kind’ 10 year security agreement to formalise support provisions- including intelligence sharing, cyber security, medical and military training and defence industrial cooperation.

Rishi Sunak concluded: “This is the moment to show that tyranny will never triumph, to say once again we will stand with Ukraine, today and tomorrow.”

Crowds gather in UK to support Ukraine on second anniversary of Russian invasion

13:30 , Lydia Patrick

Crowds have gathered across the UK to show support for Ukraine and pay their respects to the fallen on the second anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Commemorations on Saturday in London began with an interfaith prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Mayfair.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, political and religious leaders attended a service at Edinburgh Castle to mark the anniversary.

Speaking ahead of the service in London, the leading Ukrainian Catholic bishop in the UK, Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, said his compatriots are “resolved to win the war” and have experienced a “two-year unending nightmare”.

The bishop told the PA news agency that the anniversary was a “very tragic milestone” and called for Russia to pay reparations to Ukraine.

The service will be followed by a gathering at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park organised by Ukrainian community organisations and a procession to Trafalgar Square, where an afternoon vigil will be held.

In Edinburgh, First Minister Humza Yousaf delivered a reading and laid a wreath at the Scottish National War Memorial alongside Andrii Kuslii, of the consulate of Ukraine.

The service was also attended by Ukrainian citizens living in Scotland and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rev Sally Foster-Fulton.

People attend an ecumenical interreligious prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London (Maja Smiejkowska/PA). (PA Wire)
People attend an ecumenical interreligious prayer service at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London (Maja Smiejkowska/PA). (PA Wire)

Watch - ‘Putin and his cronies are only people behaving like Nazis,’ Cameron says

13:10 , Lydia Patrick

Leader of Ukrainian Catholic community in UK tells congregation they ‘do not want to give up hope'

12:51 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, leader of the Ukrainian Catholic community in the UK, told the congregation that Ukrainians “do not want to give up hope”, as a prayer service marked the second anniversary of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine.

“Ukrainians are very resilient and anyone who has been in the last two years to Ukraine can attest to the resilience of the Ukrainian people and their high morale,” he said.

Referring to 528 paper angels hanging from the balcony of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in central London, Bishop Nowakowski said: “These paper angels are a remembrance of those young lives and the families who are grieving.”

Each angel represents a Ukrainian child killed during the war, according to figures provided by Ukrainian authorities.

In an opening prayer, Bishop Nowakowski and the congregation called for those “overtaken by a spirit of deception and violence” to “open their eyes”.

Two pupils from St Mary’s Ukrainian School lit two candles, symbolising the second anniversary of the conflict, while 10 children laid flowers to commemorate 10 years since Russia‘s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Inside a frontline drone ‘laboratory’ creating new ways for Ukraine’s troops to hit Putin’s forces

12:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

As we reach the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion, Askold Krushelnycky meets members of a battalion in eastern Ukraine using 3D-printed explosive casings to build ‘bomber’ drones to take out artillery, armoured vehicles and tanks:

Walking through the drone operators base, made up of buildings left standing amid the fierce fighting in a village near the town of Siversk in the eastern region of Donetsk, a soldier using the war name “Kucheryaviy” – Ukrainian for “Curly” an ironic play on him being bald – talks through exactly how much explosive is used to take out an armoured vehicle with a “bomber” drone.

“We can fill them with more explosives, between 600-700 grams usually, enough to destroy or disable a light armoured vehicle. A tank is more difficult but it can be done if the bomb is dropped in the right place. The explosive in anti-personnel versions can be surrounded by ball bearings or nails.”

Inside Ukraine’s frontline drone ‘laboratory’ creating new ways to hit Russian forces

King Charles praises Ukraine’s bravery in face of Putin’s ‘indescribable aggression’ on anniversary of war

12:16 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The King has praised the “determination and strength” of the Ukrainian people in a message marking the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

He said: “Theirs is true valour, in the face of indescribable aggression”.

Charles added he is “greatly encouraged” by the efforts of the UK and its allies in supporting Ukraine “at this time of such great suffering and need”.

King Charles praises Ukraine’s bravery on anniversary of war

Russia ‘cannot destroy our dream’- Zelensky

12:01 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Volodymyr Zelensky has spoken defiantly on the two-year anniversary of Russia’s war with Ukraine as he said they “cannot destroy our dream”.

The Ukrainian president spoke from Hostomel, the site of the first major battle of the war.

He said two years ago they “met hostile landing with fire here”, but two years later “we welcome our friends and partners here”.

“You can burn the plane, but you cannot destroy our dream. The dream with which each one of us has been falling asleep and waking up for 730 days,” he added.

Vladimir Putin has ‘something fundamentally wrong’ with his health, ex-MI6 boss suggests

11:44 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Vladimir Putin is likely to have something “fundamentally wrong” with his health and may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease, a former head of MI6 has been told.

Sir Richard Dearlove, who headed the British intelligence service between 1999 and 2004, said his sources in Europe believe Mr Putin’s health is deteriorating.

He said one suggestion is that the Russian president is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, one of the symptoms of which can be delusions.

Putin has ‘something fundamentally wrong’ with his health, ex-MI6 boss suggests

Rishi Sunak vows to back Ukraine until it prevails on war anniversary

11:04 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rishi Sunak has joined other world leaders in reaffirming support for Ukraine on the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion, vowing to back Kyiv “until they prevail”.

The Prime Minister said “tyranny will never triumph” as President Volodymyr Zelensky’s troops defend the country against an emboldened Russia.

The UK has pledged to invest £245 million in producing artillery shells for Ukraine and £8.5 million in humanitarian funding as the conflict enters its third year.

Rishi Sunak vows to back Ukraine until it prevails on war anniversary

Boris Johnson vows Ukraine ‘will win’ as he visits Kyiv on two-year anniversary of war

10:26 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Boris Johnson has arrived in Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky on the second anniversary of Putin’s invasion.

The former prime minister posted a photograph beside Zelensky on X to mark the ‘grim anniversary’.

Johnson said on X: “On this grim second anniversary of Putin’s invasion I am honoured to be here in Ukraine.

“With their indomitable courage I have no doubt that the Ukrainians will win and expel Putin’s forces - provided we give them the military, political and economic help that they need.”

Boris Johnson arrives in Kyiv on two-year anniversary of war

Western leaders arrive in Kyiv to mark two-year war anniversary

10:17 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Western leaders have descended on Kyiv to mark the second anniversary of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen travelled overnight to the capital by train along with Italian premier Giorgia Meloni, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

They arrived shortly after a Russian drone attack struck a residential building in the southern city of Odesa, killing at least one person.

Three women also sustained severe burns in the attack on Friday evening on a residential building, regional governor Oleh Kiper said on his social media account. Rescue services are still combing rubble looking for survivors.

The foreign leaders are in Ukraine to express solidarity as Ukrainian forces run low on ammunition and weaponry and western aid hangs in the balance.

“More than ever we stand firmly by Ukraine. Financially, economically, militarily, morally. Until the country is finally free,” Ms von der Leyen wrote on social media after she arrived in Kyiv.

 (@vonderleyen via X via REUTERS)
(@vonderleyen via X via REUTERS)
 (via REUTERS)
(via REUTERS)
 (via REUTERS)
(via REUTERS)

Inside the British Army base training Ukrainian civilians to be battle-ready in just five weeks

09:51 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Guy Walters joins a squad of postmen, IT workers and drivers being turned into frontline soldiers to find out why Operation Interflex – which has prepared more than 30,000 ordinary citizens to fight Putin – could be the training model for our own citizen army:

Asquad of six Ukrainian soldiers slowly but confidently approaches a seemingly abandoned house. Inside there may well be Russians, men who have invaded their country with the utmost savagery for the past two years. The Ukrainians are not minded to show them any mercy, and they know that they will need to go in hard and fast.

With a silent signal from their leader, they enter the building. Far from bursting in, screaming and yelling like something from a hackneyed war film, the soldiers infiltrate silently and gracefully.

The base where the British army trains Ukrainians to be battle-ready in five weeks

Ukraine attacks Russian steel plant with drones

09:25 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukraine attacked a steel plant belonging to Russia‘s Novolipetsk RAO with drones overnight in a joint operation by the GUR military intelligence agency and SBU security service, a Ukrainian source said on Saturday.

The source told Reuters the attack had caused a major fire at the plant and staff had been evacuated.

“Raw materials from this enterprise are used to manufacture Russian missiles, artillery, drones. Therefore, it is a legitimate goal for Ukraine,” the source said, without specifying the location of the plant.

Two years of war in Ukraine: Russia’s invasion in numbers

09:06 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Two years ago to the day, Vladimir Putin shocked the world by launching a brutal all-out invasion of Ukraine, sending troops, tanks and warplanes in their masses across Russia’s border under the cover of darkness.

While the Kremlin is reported to have believed its “special military operation” would bring the capital Kyiv under Russia’s grip in just 10 days, the extraordinary show of defiance by Ukrainians willing to defy one of the world’s largest armies to fight for their country’s existence has instead seen the war now enter its third year.

Two years of war in Ukraine: Russia’s invasion in numbers

08:49 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Watch: Zelensky blasts Tucker Carlson’s interview with ‘killer’ Putin

Two years of war: Ukraine warns West it will be Putin’s next target if Russia is allowed to win

08:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

In the blasted moonscapes of Ukraine’s front lines, exhausted soldiers fight a war for a world they feel has forgotten them.

Squatting deep in scorched-black mud, with supplies running low, artillery units ration what they fire at Russian positions.

Every day, they face a “human wave” of Russian soldiers, whose commanders seemingly have no qualms about sending men over the top into a battlefield now nicknamed “the meat grinder”.

Ukraine warns West it will be Putin’s next target if Russia is allowed to win

Cameron warns UN allies against ‘compromise’ over Ukraine war

08:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Lord David Cameron warned the United Nations against “fatigue” and “compromise” over Russia’s war in Ukraine as he urged allies to keep up support for Kyiv.

The UK Foreign Secretary said the world must “recognise the cost of giving up” in a speech in New York on the eve of the second anniversary of Moscow’s invasion.

European countries are struggling to find enough stock to send to Kyiv, and US help worth 60 billion dollars (£47 billon) is stalled over political differences in Washington.

Cameron warns UN allies against ‘compromise’ over Ukraine war

07:55 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Watch live: View of Kyiv as Ukraine marks second anniversary of Russian invasion

Ukraine says it downed second Russian A-50 aircraft in major blow to Moscow

07:44 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Ukrainian forces downed a Russian early warning and control aircraft on Friday, the air force chief said, a major win for the country as its army fights to repel persistent Russian attacks along the front line as the war enters its third year.

General Mykola Oleshchuk thanked Ukraine’s military intelligence for helping down the Russian A-50 aircraft on Russia’s military holiday on Friday. “Congratulations to the occupiers on the Defender of the Fatherland day,” General Oleshchuk said on a sardonic note.

Ukrainian media carried footage purportedly showing a massive fire that erupted when the big warplane crashed in the Krasnodar region on the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov.

Ukraine says it downed second Russian A-50 aircraft in major blow to Moscow

Putin unleashes strikes across southern Ukraine on anniversary of war

07:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian forces unleashed drone strikes across southern Ukraine overnight, resulting in one fatality and more casualties.

At least 12 drones were shot down over Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad, and Odesa oblasts, Ukraine defence forces reported on Telegram.

One of the downed drones crashed into a residential neighborhood in Odesa, destroying part of the building and causing a fire.

A man was killed in the attack, while rescuers managed to get his wife out of the rubble.

The woman was hospitalised in serious condition. Two other residents of the adjacent apartment were taken to the hospital with burns and other injuries, as reported by the Kyiv Independent.

Putin accused of ‘behaving like Nazis’ on two-year war anniversary

07:27 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

David Cameron has accused Vladimir Putin of behaving like the Nazis in a scathing attack as the world marks two years since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Speaking in New York, the foreign secretary urged Western allies to resist compromising with Russia as he addressed the UN.

“We’ve heard every excuse in the book. One minute he says it was about attacking Nazis, the next minute it was because there was a threat to Russia, then he tells us it was Nato provocation, then he says this country doesn’t really exist.

“These excuses are nonsense. It was an invasion, pure and simple. The only people behaving like Nazis are Putin and his cronies who thought they could invade a country, take its territory and ultimately the world would look away.”

 (Sputnik)
(Sputnik)

Three big lessons from two years of war

06:55 , Jane Dalton

Russia expert Mark Galeotti sifts through the carnage of the bloody conflict for clues as to what will happen next:

Three big lessons from two years of war in Ukraine

Four Western leaders arrive in Kyiv to show solidarity on 2nd war anniversary

06:21 , Namita Singh

Four Western leaders, including the prime ministers of Italy, Canada, and Belgium, arrived in Kyiv today to show solidarity with Ukraine on the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Belgium’s Alexander De Croo and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, travelled to the Ukrainian capital together overnight by train from neighbouring Poland, the Italian government said in a statement.

Ms Meloni was due to host a videoconference later in the day from Kyiv that will involve leaders from the Group of Seven major democracies, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy invited to join the discussion.

Russian drones hit Odesa two nights running

06:15 , Jane Dalton

Russian drones attacked Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa on Friday for the second night running, hitting a residential building, triggering a fire and seriously injuring two people, the regional governor said.

“A residential building in Odesa was damaged by enemy shelling and a fire subsequently broke out,” the governor, Oleh Kiper, wrote on the Telegram app. “Two injured people were reported so far ... and they were taken to hospital in serious condition.”

Flames reached into the sky from a number of buildings.

At least three people were killed in the first attack.

The aftermath of a Russian drone attack on a factory (EPA)
The aftermath of a Russian drone attack on a factory (EPA)

Ukraine says it downed second Russian A-50 aircraft in major blow to Moscow

05:50 , Namita Singh

Ukrainian forces downed a Russian early warning and control aircraft on Friday, the air force chief said, a major win for the country as its army fights to repel persistent Russian attacks along the front line as the war enters its third year.

General Mykola Oleshchuk thanked Ukraine’s military intelligence for helping down the Russian A-50 aircraft on Russia’s military holiday on Friday. “Congratulations to the occupiers on the Defender of the Fatherland day,” General Oleshchuk said on a sardonic note.

Ukrainian media carried footage purportedly showing a massive fire that erupted when the big warplane crashed in the Krasnodar region on the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov.

Report:

Ukraine says it downed second Russian A-50 aircraft in major blow to Moscow

Civilians train with military

05:29 , Jane Dalton

Ukrainian civilians took part in military training for civilians organised by the ‘Right Sector’ near the city of Lviv. Right Sector said it had trained 200 people since the war started.

 (EPA)
(EPA)

UK pledges £250m boost for Ukrainian artillery as war enters third year

05:00 , Namita Singh

The UK has pledged to invest almost £250m in producing artillery shells for Ukraine on the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country.

Artillery has been a key factor in Ukraine’s resistance to the invasion, and the £245m package announced on Saturday is intended to replenish Kyiv’s reserves of artillery ammunition.

Making the announcement on Saturday, the second anniversary of the start of the conflict, defence secretary Grant Shapps said Ukraine’s “steadfast determination and resilience” continued to “inspire the world”.

Report:

UK pledges £250m boost for Ukrainian artillery as war enters third year

Ukraine’s forces are bloody but unbowed

04:30 , Jane Dalton

Claims that Russia would replicate what it had done in Chechnya have been confounded, writes Kim Sengupta:

Two years since Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian forces are bloody but unbowed

US sanctions a response to Putin’s ‘brutal war of conquest’

04:00 , Namita Singh

President Joe Biden said the sanctions come in response to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s “brutal war of conquest” and to Alexei Navalny’s death, adding that “we in the United States are going to continue to ensure that Putin pays a price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.”

But while previous sanctions have increased costs for Russia’s ability to fight in Ukraine, they appear to have done little so far to deter Putin and it was unclear that the latest big round would significantly alter that.

In specific response to Navalny’s death, the State Department targeted three Russian officials the US says are connected to his death, including the deputy director of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service, who was promoted by Putin to the rank of colonel general on Monday, three days after Navalny died.

The sanctions bar the officials from traveling to the US and block access to US-owned property. But they appear largely symbolic given that the officials are unlikely to travel to or have assets or family in the West.

President Joe Biden speaks to governors from across the country during an event in the East Room of the White House on 23 February 2024 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)
President Joe Biden speaks to governors from across the country during an event in the East Room of the White House on 23 February 2024 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said to “expect more” action later related to Navalny’s death, adding that “today this just a start.”The Biden administration is levying additional sanctions as House Republicans are blocking billions of dollars in additional aid to Ukraine. The war is becoming entangled in US election-year politics, with former president Donald Trump voicing scepticism about the benefits of the Nato alliance and saying that he would “encourage” Russia to “do whatever the hell they want” to countries that, in his view, are not pulling their weight in the alliance.

Mr Biden yesterday called on Congress to pass Ukraine aid, which has stalled since House Speaker Mike Johnson blocked votes on aid passed by the Senate for Ukraine and other countries.

“Russia is taking Ukraine territory for the first time in many months,” Biden said. “But here in America, the speaker gave the house a two week vacation. They have to come back and get this done, because failure to support Ukraine in this critical moment will never be forgotten in history.”

Mr Biden spoke later with French president Emmanuel Macron about Russia’s recent actions and the need to support Ukraine. A White House readout said they also discussed developments in the Middle East.

Ukraine claims to have shot down Russian warplane

03:31 , Jane Dalton

Ukrainian forces have downed a Russian early-warning-and-control aircraft, the air force chief said, in a major win for the country as its army fights to repel persistent Russian attacks along the front line.

General Mykola Oleshchuk thanked Ukraine’s military intelligence for helping down the Russian A-50 aircraft on Russia’s military holiday on Friday.

“Congratulations to the occupiers on the Defender of the Fatherland day,” Gen Oleshchuk said on a sardonic note.

Ukrainian media carried footage purportedly showing a massive fire that erupted when the big warplane crashed in the Krasnodar region on the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov.

The Russian military did not comment on the Ukrainian claim, but emergency officials in the Krasnodar region reported that a plane crashed in the area without identifying it.

If confirmed, the plane’s downing would mark the loss of the second such aircraft in just over a month.

US and EU pile new sanctions on Russia for the Ukraine war's second anniversary and Navalny's death

02:56 , Namita Singh

The United States and European Union on Friday heaped hundreds of new sanctions on Russia in connection with the second anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine and in retaliation for the death of noted Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny last week in an Arctic penal colony.

The US government imposed roughly 600 new sanctions on Russia and its war machine in the largest single round of penalties since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

The EU, for its part, added sanctions on several foreign companies over allegations that they have exported dual-use goods to Russia that could be used in its war against Ukraine. The 27-nation bloc also targeted scores of Russian officials, including members of the judiciary, local politicians and people it said were “responsible for the illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children.”

Opinion: This time next year Ukraine will no longer be at war

02:29 , Jane Dalton

Ukraine’s will to fight remains strong, although reports of morale on the ground are more mixed, writes Mary Dejevsky:

Two years after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 2024 will be a tipping point

Ukraine is desperate for soldiers – and it’s becoming harder to find them

01:30 , Jane Dalton

Ukraine is desperate for soldiers and it’s becoming harder to find them

Ex-PM’s wife launches children’s education plan

00:32 , Jane Dalton

Education investment for children in conflict zones must increase, Sarah Brown has said, as her charity launches a new development project for young people in Ukraine.

The wife of UK former prime minister Gordon Brown is chairwoman of Theirworld, which announced the programme on Friday.

The project includes a Museum of Mathematics and an early years development programme, after the Ukrainian government said that education must be “the cornerstone of the country’s reconstruction”.

Mrs Brown told PA: “I would argue that we need to be doing more for humanitarian support across the board and that the education piece is absolutely critical.”

The £5million Museum of Mathematics will open in Kyiv later this year, and will house more than 120 exhibits as well as an “innovation lab” to enhance the skills of maths teachers across the country.

The museum will also embark on a nationwide tour to ensure children in remote areas benefit from the investment.

The early years development programme, a collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, will focus on supporting children in the first eight years of their life.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Cameron warns UN allies against compromise

Friday 23 February 2024 23:28 , Jane Dalton

Lord David Cameron warned the UN against fatigue and compromise over Russia’s war, as he urged allies to keep up support for Kyiv.

The UK Foreign Secretary said the world must “recognise the cost of giving up” in a speech in New York.

European countries are struggling to find enough stock to send to Kyiv, and US help worth £47billon is stalled over political differences in Washington.

Lord Cameron told the UN general assembly: “Two years on, I recognise some want a rethink. There is a sense of fatigue. There are other problems.

“A compromise might seem attractive. But this is wrong. We must recognise the cost of giving up.

“Putin has said there will be no peace until Russia’s goals have been achieved. And in his latest interview, he studiously avoided confirming he was satisfied with the land seized from Ukraine at present.”

The Foreign Secretary added: “This is not a man seeking compromise. Rather, this is a neo-imperialist bully who believes that might is right.

“And an unjust peace now merely invites a turn to fighting in Ukraine when it suits him.”

Lord Cameron, who was prime minister during Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, started his speech by saying “the lesson of this history is clear: if we do not stand up to Putin, he will be back for more.”

 (AP)
(AP)