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Ukraine war live: US ‘feared nuclear attack’ as Pope criticised for ‘white flag’ comment

Navalny supporters chant outside funeral service in Moscow

The US asked China and India for help in dissuading Russia from carrying out a nuclear strike in 2022, a US official told CNN – as the Pope provoked anger for saying Ukraine should have the courage to “raise the white flag”.

“One of the things we did was not only message them directly but strongly urge, press, encourage other countries, to whom they might be more attentive, to do the same thing,” they said, per the report.

The official added the diplomatic pressure “may have had some effect” on Russia’s thinking.

“The concern from key countries for Russia and the Global South, was also a helpful, persuasive factor and showed them what the cost of all this could be,” another US official told CNN.

It came as Ukrainian and allied officials have criticised Pope Francis for saying Kyiv should have the “courage” to negotiate an end to the war with Russia, a statement many interpreted as a call on Ukraine to surrender.

In an interview recorded last month with Swiss broadcaster RSI and partially released on Saturday, Francis used the phrase “the courage of the white flag” as he argued that Ukraine, facing a possible defeat, should be open to peace talks brokered by international powers.

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Flights resume at airport after Ukrainain drone shot down

Pulkovo airport in Saint Petersburg has resumed operations as Russian Defence Ministry said a Ukrainian drone was shot down in the neighbouring Leningrad region on Sunday.

Alexander Drozdenko, the Leningrad region’s governor, adjacent to Saint Petersburg, said on Telegram that airspace was sealed off due to the drone, which did not inflict any damage or casualties.

The airport and Rosaviatsia, the country’s aviation watchdog, did not say why the restrictions had been imposed

Barney Davis10 March 2024 16:18

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Pope criticised for ‘white flag’ comment

Ukrainian and allied officials have criticised Pope Francis for saying Kyiv should have the “courage” to negotiate an end to the war with Russia, a statement many interpreted as a call on Ukraine to surrender.

The foreign minister of Poland, a vocal ally of Kyiv, and Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican both used Second World War analogies to condemn the pope’s remarks, while a leader of one of Ukraine’s Christian churches said on Sunday that only the country’s determined resistance to Russia’s aggression had prevented a mass slaughter of civilians.

In an interview recorded last month with Swiss broadcaster RSI and partially released on Saturday, Francis used the phrase “the courage of the white flag” as he argued that Ukraine, facing a possible defeat, should be open to peace talks brokered by international powers.

“How about, for balance, encouraging (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to have the courage to withdraw his army from Ukraine? Peace would immediately ensue without the need for negotiations,” Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski responded with a post on X, formerly Twitter.

In a separate post, Mr Sikorski drew parallels between those calling for negotiations while “denying (Ukraine) the means to defend itself” and European leaders’ “appeasement” of Adolf Hitler just before the Second World War.

Andrii Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, said it is “necessary to learn lessons” from that conflict. His post on X appeared to compare the pope’s comments to calls for “talking with Hitler” while raising “a white flag to satisfy him”.

A Vatican spokesman later clarified that the pope supported “a stop to hostilities (and) a truce achieved with the courage of negotiations”, rather than an outright Ukrainian surrender.

(Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Barney Davis10 March 2024 15:07

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Female soldier explains why she fights for Ukraine

Barney Davis10 March 2024 13:30

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Two trapped under rubble after Russian kamikaze drone strike

Donetsk has suffered destruction and at least two civilians are believed to have been trapped under the rubble after a Russian drone strike.

“After midnight, enemy drones hit Dobropillia, causing destruction in the residential sector. Two civilians are likely under the rubble,” a local police report says on Telegram.

According to the police report, a person was killed, 14 residents were injured, residential buildings and a church were damaged in Donetsk region as a result of Russian strikes.

As Russian artillery pummeled Chasiv Yar, a civilian was killed and two apartment blocks sustained damage.

According to local authorities, 134 people, including 23 children, were evacuated from front line settlements in Donetsk region over the past 24 hours.

(Telegram)

Barney Davis10 March 2024 12:45

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Russian gas pipeline explodes in huge fireball after series of ‘Ukrainian strikes’

Vladamir Putin’s key Russian gas pipeline erupted into a huge fireball after a series of “Ukrainian strikes”.

The major explosion hit the key Russian gas pipeline for the second time in ten months.

According to the Telegram channel Shot, the explosion occurred near the village of Lykhma, in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug (KhMAO).

Footage filmed several miles away captured the glow from the inferno that engulfed the Yamburg-Yelets 1 main supply pipe.

The cause of the explosion is being investigated and comes amid a series of sabotage strikes on key Russian energy facilities linked to the war in Ukraine.

The Independent has not been able to independently verify the footage.

Russian gas pipeline explodes in huge fireball after series of ‘Ukrainian strikes’

Vladamir Putin’s key Russian gas pipeline erupted into a huge fireball after a series of “Ukrainian strikes”. The major explosion hit the key Russian gas pipeline for the second time in ten months. According to the Telegram channel Shot, the explosion occurred near the village of Lykhma, in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug (KhMAO). Footage filmed several miles away captured the glow from the inferno that engulfed the Yamburg-Yelets 1 main supply pipe. The cause of the explosion is being investigated and comes amid a series of sabotage strikes on key Russian energy facilities linked to the war in Ukraine. The Independent has not been able to independently verify the footage.

Barney Davis10 March 2024 12:13

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Moldova facing Russian threat as it turns towards EU

The past two years have been the hardest and most tumultuous for European Union candidate Moldova in more than three decades as it faces threats from Russia in multiple spheres of public life, the country’s foreign minister says.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, its neighbour Moldova has faced a litany of crises that have at times raised fears the country is also in Russia’s crosshairs.

These included errant missiles landing on its territory; a severe energy crisis after Moscow dramatically reduced gas supplies; rampant inflation; and protests by pro-Russia parties against the pro-Western government. Moldova has also taken in the highest number of Ukrainian refugees per capita of any country.

“This past two years without exaggeration have been by far the most difficult in the past 30 years,” Mihai Popsoi, appointed foreign minister in late January, told The Associated Press in an interview.

Moldova gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, but Russia continues to see the country — sandwiched between Ukraine and EU member Romania — as within its sphere of influence.

Barney Davis10 March 2024 11:59

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Ukraine’s sacked military commander named new ambassador to the UK

Ukraine‘s former military chief has been appointed the country’s new ambassador to the United Kingdom, a month after he was sacked as head of the armed forces by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy announced that he has approved the appointment of Valerii Zaluzhnyi to one of Ukraine’s most important diplomatic positions.

Britain is a key supporter of Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 March 2024 10:18

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Woman dies in Ukraine’s shelling of Russia’s Kursk, governor says

A woman died as a result of Ukraine‘s shelling of the village of Kulbaki in Kursk and her husband was seriously injured, the governor of the Russian region bordering Ukraine said on Sunday.

“A residential building caught fire and a local female resident died,” Governor Roman Starovoit said on the Telegram messaging app. “Her husband suffered extensive burns.”

Another home was damaged in the village, parts of which were left without supply of electricity.

Reuters could not independently verify the report. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.

Blasts and attacks on Russian regions bordering Ukraine have been frequent during the two years since Russia launched war on Ukraine. Russian officials have blamed either Ukrainian forces or pro-Ukrainian saboteurs for the attacks.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 March 2024 09:34

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Moscow terror warning as UK and US embassy issue statement against travel

Uk and US residents have been told not to travel to Russia amid a warning that a terror attack was planned for the country’s capital.

The US embassy in Russia warned that “extremists” had imminent plans for an attack in Moscow, hours after Russian security services said they had foiled a planned shooting at a synagogue by a cell from the Afghan arm of Islamic State.

The embassy, which has repeatedly urged all US citizens to leave Russia immediately, gave no further details about the nature of the threat, but said people should avoid concerts and crowds and be aware of their surroundings.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 March 2024 09:06

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Sweden finally joins Nato after months of wrangling – meaning Putin has another member on his doorstep

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken presided at a ceremony in which Sweden’s “instrument of accession” to the alliance was officially deposited at the State Department.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 March 2024 08:29


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