Finland closes border to Russian tourists

Finland is closing its border to Russian tourists from Friday – the last of Moscow’s EU neighbours to do so. Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all closed their borders to Russian tourists earlier this month. But Russians will still be allowed to visit family or for work and study in Finland, the foreign minister said. The decision comes after the number of Russians arriving at the border surged following a call-up of 300,000 military reservists by President Vladimir Putin. Queues have formed at border crossings as people try to flee, including long lines at Russia’s border into Georgia, which does … Continue reading Finland closes border to Russian tourists

US will never recognise Russia’s annexation attempts, Biden vows

The US will “never, never, never” recognise Russia’s attempt to annex territory in Ukraine, President Joe Biden has said. He was speaking ahead of a speech on Friday from Vladimir Putin, who is expected to declare that four Ukrainian regions are joining Russia. The Kremlin says Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson voted to join Russia in recent referendums. But Ukraine and the West have dismissed the votes as a sham. The US will impose new sanctions on Russia as a result of the annexation. “The United States, I want to be very clear about this, will never, never, never recognise … Continue reading US will never recognise Russia’s annexation attempts, Biden vows

U.S. Embassy in Russia asks its citizens to leave the country immediately.

The U.S. Embassy in Russia has issued a new security alert for its citizens, asking them to leave the country “immediately” despite the few commercial flights due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In a statement, the diplomatic legation has warned that “commercial flights are extremely limited at present, so that at times there are none available.” However, it has confirmed that land routes remain open. “If you want to leave Russia you should make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible. The U.S. Embassy is very limited in offering assistance to Americans and conditions could become increasingly limited,” he … Continue reading U.S. Embassy in Russia asks its citizens to leave the country immediately.

Protests erupts in Russian Dagestan region against new draft

Demonstrators in Russia’s Dagestan region have clashed with police, in the latest protests to break out against Moscow’s new “partial mobilisation”. OVD-Info, an independent Russian human rights monitor, said over 100 people were arrested during protests in the regional capital Makhachkala. The group added that it was concerned by reports of “very tough detentions” occurring in the province. Dagestan is a mainly Muslim region of Russia once noted for intense violence. While large protests have taken place in major cities across Russia in recent days, with more than 700 people being arrested on Saturday alone – the images of Dagestani … Continue reading Protests erupts in Russian Dagestan region against new draft

Roger Waters gigs in Poland cancelled amid Ukraine backlash

Planned concerts in Poland by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters have been cancelled amid outrage over the musician’s stance on the Ukraine war. The concert’s promoter, Live Nation Poland, confirmed the cancellation but gave no reason for it. The controversy was triggered by an open letter Waters wrote to Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska. In it, he said, “extreme nationalists” in Ukraine “have set your country on the path to this disastrous war”. He accused her husband, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, of failing to fulfil his election campaign promises to bring peace to the Donbas region and and made no … Continue reading Roger Waters gigs in Poland cancelled amid Ukraine backlash

North Korea denies supplying weapons to Russia

North Korea says it has never sold weapons to Russia and has no plans to do so in the future, following US reports that Moscow was turning to Pyongyang to replenish stockpiles. US officials said earlier that Russia could purchase rockets and artillery shells from North Korea. They said such moves, along with alleged purchases of Iranian weapons, showed Western sanctions were impeding Russia’s efforts in the Ukraine war. Moscow denied the reports at the time. Any arms movement between the two countries would be in violation of United Nations sanctions. On Thursday, in a statement carried by North Korean … Continue reading North Korea denies supplying weapons to Russia

Vladimir Putin announces ‘partial mobilisation’ in escalation of Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin has announced a “partial mobilisation” of Russia’s army reserves in a dramatic escalation of the war in Ukraine. Speaking in an address to the Russian people on Wednesday morning, the president warned the West that Russia would use all the means at its disposal to protect its territory, saying: “It’s not a bluff.” Defence minister Sergei Shoigu said later that 300,000 reservists would be called up to fight against Ukraine, from the 25 million available. Speaking to those in “leading NATO states” who he claimed had talked of “the possibility of using nuclear weapons of mass destruction against … Continue reading Vladimir Putin announces ‘partial mobilisation’ in escalation of Ukraine war

Russia’s Wagner boss says it’s either prisoners fight in Ukraine or Russian children will have to fight

A Russian mercenary boss has defended the idea of sending prisoners to fight in the Ukraine war after a video showed him recruiting at a prison. Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner group, said those who do not want to send convicts to fight should send their own children instead. Earlier, leaked footage showed him telling inmates they would be freed if they served six months with his group. The Wagner group is believed to have been fighting in Ukraine since 2014. In a statement published on social media after the video went viral, Mr Prigozhin said that if he … Continue reading Russia’s Wagner boss says it’s either prisoners fight in Ukraine or Russian children will have to fight

Ukraine President Zelensky involved in car accident but ‘not seriously hurt’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been involved in a car accident, his spokesman has revealed. A passenger car collided with the presidential vehicle and his escort in the capital Kyiv, Sergii Nykyforov said in a short statement. “The president was examined by a doctor, no serious injuries were found,” he said. The driver of the car that collided with the motorcade was treated at the scene and driven away in an ambulance. Mr Nykyforov said all the circumstances of the traffic accident were being investigated by law enforcement officers. He provided no further details. This comes after President Zelensky, 44, visited … Continue reading Ukraine President Zelensky involved in car accident but ‘not seriously hurt’

US approves $2.6bn in aid for Ukraine and allies

The US has approved nearly $2.7bn (£2.3bn) in new aid for Ukraine and allies, including $675m in weapons for Ukraine as it battles Russia. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the arms package at a meeting with dozens of fellow ministers at the US air base in Ramstein, Germany. The aid includes howitzers, munitions, Humvee vehicles, armoured ambulances and anti-tank systems. The US has already pledged about $13bn in military aid for Ukraine. The Biden administration said on Thursday it had earmarked $2bn in long-term assistance in the form of investments to bolster the security of Ukraine and 18 of its … Continue reading US approves $2.6bn in aid for Ukraine and allies

EU plans Russian gas price cap despite Putin threat

The European Union’s executive body has proposed capping the price of Russian gas, within hours of Russia’s leader condemning the idea as stupidity. Energy prices have soared in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, forcing the EU’s 27 states into action. “We must cut Russia’s revenues which Putin uses to finance this atrocious war,” said European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. But Mr Putin said Moscow would react to a cap by halting supplies completely. “We will not supply gas, oil, coal, heating oil – we will not supply anything,” he said, if it went against Russia’s interests. … Continue reading EU plans Russian gas price cap despite Putin threat

North Korea supplying Russia with weapons, say US reports

Russia has been forced to buy military hardware from North Korea as sanctions squeeze Moscow’s ability to supply its military, US media have reported. According to declassified intelligence obtained by the New York Times, Russia has bought millions of artillery shells and rockets from Pyongyang. A US official said Russia would be forced to buy additional North Korean weaponry as the war dragged on. Last week, Moscow reportedly received its first order of new Iranian drones. Iran and North Korea, both the targets of significant Western sanctions, have sought to deepen ties with Russia since President Vladimir Putin launched his … Continue reading North Korea supplying Russia with weapons, say US reports