YURAS KARMANAU, JIM HEINTZ, VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, DASHA LITVINOVA
Ukraine, Kiev (AP) —Amid the dramatic rise in east-west tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin responded to “aggressive remarks” by NATO’s major nations with Russia’s nuclear forces. I ordered him to be more vigilant.
The directive to prepare Russia’s nuclear weapons for launch has raised concerns that the crisis could boil into a nuclear war, whether intentional or false.
Putin’s step said, “miscalculations could put in a force that could make things much more dangerous,” on condition of anonymity.
Amid heightened tensions, Ukraine announced that the delegation would meet with Russian officials. However, the ultimate purpose of the Kremlin in Ukraine, and enough steps to satisfy Moscow, was unknown.
Hours after Putin’s announcement, top European Union officials said blocks in 27 countries would close airspace to Russian airlines and fund the purchase of weapons for Ukraine.
“The European Union will be the first to fund the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to countries under attack,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. The EU will also ban some pro-Kremlin media, she said.
Rapid development was seen as Russian troops approached the city of Kiev, about 3 million, a street fight broke out in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, and strategic ports in southern Ukraine were under pressure from invading forces. rice field. Ukrainian defenders have shown firm resistance that seems to delay the invasion.
President Putin imposed a statement by NATO members in a hurry to strengthen Eastern European military alliance members, as well as Russia’s imposition on Russia, including Russia’s leaders themselves, in issuing a nuclear alert. Cited strict financial sanctions.
In a meeting with the Prime Minister, Putin told the Defense Minister and the Army Chief of Staff to put nuclear forces in a “special combat regime.”
“Western countries are not only acting unfriendly to us in the economic arena, but senior officials from major NATO member countries have made positive statements about our country,” Putin said in a television comment. ..
US defense officials will not reveal their current nuclear position, except that the military is always ready to defend its homeland and allies.
White House spokesman Jen Psaki said he relied on the pattern used by President Putin a few weeks before the invasion began. “It is to create a threat that does not exist to justify further attacks.” She told ABC “this week” that Russia was not under threat from NATO or Ukraine.
“We have the ability to protect ourselves, but we also need to call what we are seeing here,” Pusaki said.
NATO Secretary General Jason Stoltenberg told CNN in response to Russia’s nuclear alert: This is irresponsible behavior. “
The practical meaning of Putin’s orders was not immediately clear. Russia and the United States are usually wary of land and submarine-based nuclear forces and are always prepared for combat, but nuclear-capable bombers and other aircraft do not.
If Putin is armed, is strengthening the bomber’s nuclear combat readiness, or if he orders more ballistic missile submarines to the sea, the United States may feel forced to respond in kind. Maybe, said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. American scientist. He said it would show anxious escalations.
At about the same time as President Putin’s nuclear relocation, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office announced that both sides would meet at an unspecified location on the Belarusian border. The message did not give the exact time of the meeting.
Ukrainian officials initially refused to meet in Belarus, saying that Belarus allowed the territory to be used by Russian troops as a stage for aggression and should be discussed elsewhere.
Last Sunday, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was eerily quiet after a big explosion illuminated the morning sky and authorities reported the explosion at one of the airports. Due to the curfew that kept people away from the street, cars only occasionally appeared on the deserted boulevard. Authorities warned that anyone adventuring with a pass would be considered a Russian saboteur.
Instead, horrified residents moved to homes, underground parking lots, and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale Russian attack.
“It was hard last night. More bombardment and bombardment of residential and private infrastructure,” Zelensky said.
Until Sunday, Russian troops remained on the outskirts of Kharkov, a 1.4 million city about 20 km (12.4 miles) south of the Russian border.
Video posted on Ukrainian media and social networks showed Russian vehicles moving across Kharkov and Russian troops roaming the city in small groups. One showed that Ukrainian troops fired at Russians, damaging Russian vehicles abandoned nearby.
The image highlighted the determined resistance from the Ukrainian army. Ukrainians took guns distributed by the authorities, prepared incendiary bombs to fight the Russian army, and volunteered to protect their country.
Ukraine has also released military-experienced prisoners who want to fight for the country, officials said.
Putin has not revealed his final plans, but Western officials are determined that he will overthrow the Ukrainian government, replace it with his own regime, and restore the effects of Moscow’s Cold War era. I believe.
The battle in southern Ukraine emerged with the aim of gaining control of the Ukrainian coastline. Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said Russian troops had blocked the city of Helson in the Black Sea and the port of Berdyans’k in the Sea of Azov.
He also said that Russian troops controlled an air force base near the city of Kherson and the city of Azov, Henicesk. Ukrainian authorities also reported fighting near Odessa, Mykolaiv and other areas.
Reducing access to Ukrainian ports will have a major impact on the country’s economy. It will also allow Moscow to build a land route to Crimea. Crimea was annexed by Moscow in 2014 and was previously connected to Russia by a 19 km (12 mile) bridge.
Lieutenant Jeuhen Moishiuk, Deputy Commander of the Ukrainian Army, rang a rebellious note in a message addressed to the Russian Army.
“Weapons down and raise hands so that our military and civilians can understand what you heard us. This is your ticket home,” Moisiuk said on Facebook. I said in the video.
The number of casualties from Europe’s largest land conflict since World War II remained uncertain in the fog of war. Although the fighting in Ukraine so far has not been compared to the bloodshed of World War II, Russia has a long history of using indiscriminate city bombing in Chechnya and Syria to shatter resistance.
Ukrainian health minister reported on Saturday that 198 people, including three children, were killed and more than 1,000 were injured. It was unclear whether those figures included both military and civilian casualties. Russia has not announced the number of casualties.
Ukraine’s UN ambassador, Sergie Kisritya, tweeted on Saturday that Ukraine had appealed to the International Committee of the Red Cross “to facilitate the return of the bodies of thousands of Russian soldiers.” The attached chart claimed that 3,500 Russian troops had been killed.
The United Nations Refugee Department said on Sunday that about 368,000 Ukrainians have arrived in neighboring countries since the invasion began on Thursday. The United Nations estimates that the conflict could result in as many as 4 million refugees.
The West is working to equip a large number of Ukrainian troops with weapons and ammunition, while punishing Russia with widespread sanctions.
Over the weekend, the United States promised additional $ 350 million in military aid to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, bulletproof vests, and small weapons. Germany said it would send missiles and anti-tank weapons.
The United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom have also agreed to block Russian banks selected from the SWIFT system, which transfers funds to more than 11,000 banks and other financial institutions around the world. They also moved to slap restrictions on Russia’s central bank.
Putin sent troops to Ukraine after forming an army of nearly 200,000 along the national border. He argues that the West has not taken Russia’s security concerns about NATO, the Western military alliance that Ukraine wants to join, seriously. But he also expressed contempt for Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent state.
Russia claims that the attack on Ukraine is aimed solely at military targets, but bridges, schools and residential areas have been attacked.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Marcarova, said Ukraine is collecting evidence of bombardment in residential areas, kindergartens and hospitals for submission to the International War Crimes Court.
Isachenkov reported from Moscow. Eren Yeager, Robert Burns, Hope Yen of Washington. Francesca Ebel, Joseph Federman and Andrew Drake in Kiev. Mstyslav Chernov and Nick Dumitrash in Mariupol, Ukraine. And other AP journalists from around the world contributed to this report.
Follow the Associated Press report of the Ukrainian Crisis at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
Putin is wary of nuclear forces and increasing tensions – thereporteronline
Source link Putin is wary of nuclear forces and increasing tensions – thereporteronline