Russia Ukraine war live: Nuclear risk at ‘highest point in decades’ as Putin addresses Red Square crowds

Putin threatens Nato with ‘World War 3’

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has warned that the risk of nuclear war breaking out is greater now than at any point since the end of the Cold War.

“Geopolitical tensions and mistrust have escalated the risk of nuclear warfare to its highest point in decades,” Mr Guterres warned.

It comes as Vladimir Putin has repeatedly dangled the threat of a wider conflict stemming from the Ukraine war, saying that Moscow is “ready” for nuclear war if it comes to it.

Putin addressed an event in Moscow’s Red Square last night to mark the 10-year anniversary of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, a day after he declared 87 per cent of the vote in a sham presidential election.

He was met with chants of “Russia, Russia” as he proclaimed not just Crimea’s “return to its home harbour” but also the more recent capture of parts of four Ukrainian provinces, which he called part of “New Russia”.

Western nations have dismissed Russia’s election as rigged, while a handful of nations including China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran and India have congratulated Putin on winning a fifth term in power.


Putin hails ‘return’ of illegally annexed Ukrainian regions to Russia

Vladimir Putin yesterday hailed the “return” of illegally annexed Ukrainian territories at a concert in Moscow’s Red Square, one day after claiming victory in the country’s sham election.

Mr Putin addressed thousands of people in Moscow at a concert to mark the 10th anniversary of the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. His three token opposition candidates appeared on stage beside him and publicly supported him.

He said the “return” of the four Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – had turned out to be “much more grave and tragic than Crimea”.

Russia claims to have annexed all four provinces in their entirety but in truth only controls portions of them.“But in the end we did it,” he said, adding: “It is a big event in the history of our country”.

“This is how together, hand in hand, we will move on. This is what – not in words, but in deeds – makes us really stronger,” the president added.

Mr Putin announced a new railway service that would ply from the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don to Crimea to provide an alternative route of travel to the current bridge, which has been vulnerable to attempted sabotage since the war began.

Russian president Vladimir Putin addresses the crowd in Moscow

(AFP via Getty Images)

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 March 2024 05:46


Grant Shapps forced to cancel Ukraine port trip due to threat of Russian missile attack

It comes just days after it was revealed that an RAF jet transporting Mr Shapps back to England from Poland earlier this week had its GPS signal jammed while flying over the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Footage published by Mr Shapps showed him in the capital of Kyiv on 8 March.

Tom Watling19 March 2024 05:00


About 250 detained in occupied Ukraine territories for refusing to vote

At least 249 people have been detained in Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine for refusing to take part in Moscow’s sham elections and for criticising the Russian authorities, the Ukrainian Eastern Human Rights Group said.

“Voting in the occupied territories took place literally at gunpoint, when members of election commissions walked from door to door accompanied by military men with weapons,” said Pavlo Lysianskyi, head of the organisation.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky slammed the election and voting in the illegally annexed regions saying “everything Russia does on the occupied territory of Ukraine is a crime”.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 March 2024 04:45


US leads West’s condemnation of Putin’s Russia reelection

Western governments lined up yesterday to condemn Russian president Vladimir Putin’s landslide reelection as unfair and undemocratic.

“Mr Putin has imprisoned political opponents and prevented others from running against him,” said John Kirby, White House national security spokesperson.

British foreign secretary David Cameron said the election outcome highlighted the “depth of repression” in Russia.

“Putin removes his political opponents, controls the media, and then crowns himself the winner. This is not democracy,” Lord Cameron said.

France, Britain and others condemned the fact that Russia had also held its election in occupied regions of Ukraine that it claims to have annexed during the war.

The Kremlin claims the 87 per cent of the vote won by Mr Putin during the three-day election showed the Russian people were consolidating around him.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 March 2024 04:15


South Korean defense chief says North Korea has supplied 7,000 containers of munitions to Russia

North Korea has shipped around 7,000 containers filled with munitions and other military equipment to Russia since last year to help support its war in Ukraine, South Korea’s defense minister said Monday.

Shin Won-sik shared the assessment at a news conference hours after the South Korean and Japanese militaries said the North fired multiple short-range ballistic missiles into its eastern waters, adding to a streak of weapons displays amid growing tensions with rivals.

Since the start of 2022, North Korea has used Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a distraction to ramp up its weapons tests and has also aligned with Moscow over the conflict, as leader Kim Jong Un tries to break out of diplomatic isolation and join a united front against the United States.

Tom Watling19 March 2024 04:00


Three men killed while disassembling drone in Kherson

Three men in Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast died while disassembling a drone that detonated, according to reports.

The men, aged 45, 55, and 67, found a first-person view (FPV) kamikaze drone and began disassembling it. “As a result, the ammunition detonated,” said Oleksandr Prokudin, head of Kherson Оblast military administration.

The men died while on their way to the hospital, he said, urging people to not pick up suspicious items.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar19 March 2024 03:14


Putin says Navalny’s name for the first time just minutes after declaring victory in sham election

The Russian authorities maintain he died of natural causes; Mr Navalny’s allies say he was murdered.

Tom Watling19 March 2024 03:00


The story of Putin’s move 10 years ago that led to war with Ukraine and rising tensions with the West

The quick and bloodless seizure of the diamond-shaped peninsula, home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet and a popular vacation site, touched off a wave of patriotism and sent Putin’s popularity soaring. “Crimea is ours!” became a popular slogan in Russia.

Now that Putin has been anointed to another six-year term as president, he is determined to extend his gains in Ukraine amid Russia’s battlefield successes and waning Western support for Kyiv.

Tom Watling19 March 2024 02:00


With the election behind him, Russia’s leader says he aims to create a buffer zone in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country won’t relent in its invasion of Ukraine while announcing plans for a buffer zone along the border to protect against long-range Ukrainian strikes and cross-border raids

Tom Watling19 March 2024 01:00


US envoy travels to Montenegro to support its EU bid as war in Ukraine rages on

A senior U.S. official visited Montenegro Monday to offer support to the small Balkan nation seeking to join the European Union.

During a press conference in the capital Podgorica, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gabriel Escobar said Montenegro should be next in line to join the 27-nation bloc.

“There is absolutely no doubt in our mind… (the) strategic goal of this country is to become (a) full EU member,” said Escobar after talks with Prime Minister Milojko Spajic.

Tom Watling19 March 2024 00:00

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