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Biden condemns Russia’s ‘unprovoked, unjustified attack’ on Ukraine


Washinton [US](ANI): Condemning Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine”, US President Joe Biden said that the premeditated war will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human.

“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces. President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” said Biden, as per a statement released by White House.
Asserting that the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way, Biden said that Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring. The world will hold Russia accountable, he added.

The US President further informed that he will be monitoring the situation from the White House as of now and will meet with his G7 counterparts in the morning.

“Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security,” he said.

Biden said that the US will also coordinate with its NATO allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the alliance.

“Tonight, Jill (First Lady Jill Biden) and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine,” he added.

Biden’s statement comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a special “military operation” to protect Donbas, the separatist-held region in eastern Ukraine, media reports said on Thursday.

Delivering an emergency address, Putin said the operation has been launched to demilitarize Ukraine and also warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences”.

Notably, Putin recognized the independence of the Ukraine breakaway regions Donetsk and Luhansk following which Biden imposed sanctions on Russia and affirmed the US’ support to Ukraine.

Putin after his announcement also ordered the sending of the Russian Armed Forces to Ukraine’s breakaway regions.

Following this, the Ukrainian Parliament, Verkhovna Rada, on Wednesday approved declaring a state of emergency in the whole country except for Donetsk and Luhansk regions amid the escalating situation at the country’s borders. (image instagram)

Putin to hold extraordinary meeting of security council of Russia


Moscow [Russia] (ANI): Amid rising tensions in eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold an extraordinary meeting of the security council on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The issues to be discussed in the meeting was not clarified by the spokesperson. When asked, if the meeting is regular, Peskov reportedly said, “Not a regular one.”
The recent tensions are a result of Russia’s build-up of around 150,000 troops just over the border from the Donbas region in the east, in Belarus to the north and Crimea to the south, which began in the autumn.

Russia claims the surge of forces has always been for military exercises and that it poses no threat to Ukraine or any other nation, but has refused to offer any other explanation for the biggest build-up of military might in Europe since the Cold War.

On Saturday, Russia’s Rostov Region had opened 15 border crossings for refugees from the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. Later on the same day, Denis Pushilin, the head of pro-Russian separatist DPR announced that he had signed a decree on general mobilisation.

Yesterday, Putin and Macron held phone talks at the French side’s initiative. The presidents agreed on the trilateral group (Russia, Ukraine, OSCE – Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) talks on Ukraine to be held on Monday, according to media reports. The Russian president also reportedly confirmed to Macron the intention to withdraw troops from Belarus after the ongoing joint military exercise is over. (ANI)(instagram)

Russia says withdrawing armed forces from near Ukraine


Kiev [Ukraine], (ANI): Russian Defence Ministry on Friday said that it had begun withdrawing more tanks and other armoured vehicles from areas near Ukraine’s border amid the ongoing tension between Moscow and Kiev.

“Units of the Western Military District continue to return to the points of permanent deployment after the scheduled exercises. Another vehicle convoy with military equipment has begun to march from the training ground to the point of permanent deployment,” the ministry said, according to Sputnik News Agency.
The convoy included about 30 heavy vehicles with personnel, special equipment, military materiel, the ministry noted.

Despite Russia’s claims to be pulling forces back from Ukraine’s borders, shelling from the Moscow side has raised tensions.

The US Embassy in Kiev informed on Thursday that Russia’s shelling of Stanytsia Luhanska in Ukrainian government-controlled territory in Donbas hit a kindergarten, injured two teachers, and knocked out power in the village.

“Russia’s shelling of Stanytsia Luhanska in Ukrainian government-controlled territory in Donbas hit a kindergarten, injured two teachers, and knocked out power in the village. The aggressor in Donbas is clear – Russia,” tweeted US Embassy in Kiev.

Russia’s recent build-up of around 150,000 troops just over the border from the Donbas region in the east, in Belarus to the north and Crimea to the south, which began in the autumn, has escalated tensions.

Russia claims the surge of forces has always been for military exercises and that it poses no threat to Ukraine or any other nation, but has refused to offer any real explanation for the biggest build-up of military might in Europe since the Cold War.

Defence officials in Moscow have said since Tuesday that troops and military hardware are pulling back, having completed some of the drills. Western intelligence officials say, on the contrary, that Russia has moved roughly 7,000 more troops close to the borders in recent days. (ANI)

‘No fundamental change’ after Biden’s hour-long call with Putin: US official


By Reena Bhardwaj

Washington [US] (ANI): A senior US official on Saturday (local time) said that there was “no fundamental change” after the United States President Joe Biden’s hour-long call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, noting that Moscow may decide to proceed with military action and invasion in Ukraine remains a “distinct possibility.
“US President Joe Biden made clear his stance over the ongoing tension between Ukraine and Russia and said that if Moscow undertook a further invasion of Kiev, Washington along with its allies will respond “decisively” and impose swift and severe costs on the country, according to a White House statement.

In a roughly hour-long phone call between the two leaders, the White House said Biden made clear to Putin what he would be risking with an invasion. In a third conversation amid escalating tensions over Russia’s military buildup at the Ukraine border, Biden underscored Russia’s military buildup on the borders of Ukraine.

“President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our Allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia,” the statement read on Saturday (local time).

The call between the two leaders comes hours after the US moved some of its forces out of Ukraine and ordered the evacuation of most of its embassy staff on Saturday as fears mount that a Russian invasion of the country could take place in the next few days.

Meanwhile, a senior Biden administration official told reporters during a conference call that there was no change by Putin. The official noted that Russia may decide to proceed with military action and invasion remains a “distinct possibility.”The official described the call as “professional” and noted there was “no fundamental change in the dynamic that has been unfolding now for several weeks.”

“It remains unclear whether Russia is interested in pursuing its goals diplomatically as opposed to through the use of force,” the official said. “We don’t have full visibility into President Putin’s decision-making.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday, reiterating that a Russian invasion would result in “a resolute, massive, and united Transatlantic response.” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also called his counterpart, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, ahead of the Biden-Putin meeting.

In the past 24 hours, multiple other countries — including Israel, Germany, and the U.K. — have been encouraging their citizens to leave and reducing their diplomatic presence. (ANI)

Russia wants no war, those imposing it in West pursuing selfish aspirations: Russian NSA


St. Petersburg [Russia](ANI/Sputnik): Russia does not want war, and the western countries that impose it are just pursuing their selfish aspirations, Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said Sunday.

“We do not want war. And we do not need it at all. And those who impose it, especially from the West, they pursue their selfish fabrications,” Patrushev told reporters.
Remarks that Russia allegedly poses a threat to Ukraine are completely absurd, he added.

“Currently, they say that Russia threatens Ukraine. Complete nonsense. There is no threat. Ukrainians themselves, including officials, say that there is no threat,” Patrushev told reporters.

The official added that the US is set to supply Ukraine with arms and is not concerned about possible losses.

“No, American officials state that there is a threat and that they are ready to fight, providing [Kiev] with weapons to the last Ukrainian. They do not care what losses each side will incur or not,” Patrushev said. (ANI/Sputnik-image instagram)

US believes China wants de-escalation in Ukraine crisis to avoid negative impact on its interests


Washington [US](ANI): The United States believes China prefers de-escalation in Ukraine because of the possibility of a conflict in Europe could have a negative impact on its interests, Sputnik reported citing a senior US administration official as saying on Friday.

“I would certainly suggest that it’s not in China’s interest to see a conflict in this situation, not just because of the Olympics but I think more broadly the impact of a devastating conflict in Europe would have on China’s interests all over the world,” the Russian News Agency quoted the US official as saying.
“We hope China will be speaking to these principles, the importance of upholding these principles to the path of diplomacy on Monday as well,” the official said.

The United Nations Security Council will hold a special meeting to address the situation over Ukraine on Monday. However, Russia has criticized the US-requested meeting, calling it a “PR stunt,” Sputnik reported.

“The US has been engaged in very active talks with China on a range of issues, but particularly on Russia and Ukraine recently,” the official said.

The US and its allies have accused Russia of amassing troops and military equipment in preparation for an invasion of Ukraine. Washington has threatened massive sanctions should Russia decide to advance on Ukraine, Sputnik reported.

It further reported that Russia has repeatedly rejected the accusations, saying that it has the right to move its troops within its sovereign territory and is not planning to attack any country. Moscow views the allegations as a pretext for the deployment of NATO military equipment close to Russian borders. (Image-USInstagram)

Sputnik V accepted for international travel to Australia


Canberra [Australia], (ANI/Sputnik): Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has recognized the two-dose course of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 as an acceptable form of coronavirus vaccination for travellers.

“Today, the TGA determined that an additional COVID-19 vaccine, the two-dose course of the Gamaleya Institute vaccine (Sputnik V, Russian Federation) would be ‘recognized’ for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status,” the TGA said in a Monday statement.
The regulator explained that additional data on the Russian vaccine’s effectiveness showed that two doses of Sputnik V demonstrated an average efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 infection of 89 percent and against hospitalization or death of 98-100 percent.

“The single-dose course of the Gamaleya vaccine (‘Sputnik Light’) is not currently recognized by the TGA,” the Australian regulator specified. (image -instagram)

Understanding the Russia-Ukraine Tussle amid US-Russia Tensions. Exclusive Report.

Shweta Pandey

The United States and Russia are involved in a near-direct confrontation in Ukraine, perhaps their most serious faceoff since the end of the Cold war. US President Joe Biden in a video call with the Russian president, warned Putin of more serious action than the ones following Russia’s Crimea annexation, if the latter invaded Ukraine. Putin, on his part, sought a guarantee from the US President that Ukraine will not be allowed to join Nato, something the US is not ready to commit to.

Putin is not ready to negotiate.

The genesis of the Ukraine problem lies in the fact that Ukraine was historically part of the Russian empire for hundreds of years. Even as part of the USSR, the two were closely linked. Russia now claims that parts of Ukraine – especially its Russian speaking areas – were given to Ukraine when both were parts of the same country. Also, a large proportion of people in eastern Russia (as well as Crimea) is ethnic Russians and also speaks the Russian language. Russia also claims that it can’t look the other way if there is discrimination with Ukraine’s Russian speaking minorities.
It was on this pretext that Russia attacked Crimea and annexed it in 2014, despite protestations by the US and other countries. Thereafter, it backed, and as per Ukraine, also instigated the rebellion in its eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukraine and Russia are at war and tensions can escalate further.

At present, the Russian-backed rebels control these two areas, although there is an international ceasefire in place. Ukraine now suspects that Russia will launch an invasion with the aim to annex the two pro-Russian regions like it annexed Crimea. Russia has reportedly amassed about 90,000 troops on the border.

In response, the United States has increased the shipment of weapons to Ukraine, both as a way to bolster the strength of the Ukrainian army, as also to send a clear message to Moscow that it is watching the situation closely. UK PM Boris Johnson too spoke to Putin in mid December on phone and told him that there would be serious consequences to any attack on Ukraine.
Of course, it is not clear whether the US or UK will involve themselves directly in the conflict if Russia indeed invades Ukraine.

US President Biden is supporting Ukraine

Russia, on the other hand, is spooked by the expansion and eastward march of the Nato alliance right up to its borders, as it feels that Ukraine is trying to join the US-led military alliance. After the erstwhile USSR disintegrated in 1991, many of the newly independent countries that were its part like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined Nato, which Russia sees as its rival. After 1991, a total of 14 European countries that were earlier either part of the USSR, or that of the USSR-led Warsaw pact (Nato’s rival during the Cold War) or were under its influence have joined Nato. Naturally, this makes Russia nervous.


About the Author:

Shweta Pandey is a reputed journalist with a more than 10 years of working experience. She has been covering many political incidents and events internationally also. Views Expressed here are her own personal & professional views.

Russia records 39,160 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours

Moscow [Russia], November 9 (ANI/Sputnik): Russia registered 39,160 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from 39,400 the day before, bringing the cumulative total to 8,873,655, the federal response center said on Tuesday.

“Over the past day, 39,160 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 3,200 cases (8.2 per cent) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase fell to 0.44 per cent.
Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 5,287 infections, up from 4,982 the day before. The Russian capital is followed by the Moscow region with 2,818 cases, down from 3,429, and St. Petersburg with 2,680 cases, up from 2,597.

The response center reported a new record of 1,211 deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 1,190 the day before, bringing the country’s death toll to 249,215.

In the same 24 hours, 32,036 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, up from 25,582 the day before, bringing the total to 7,619,596. (ANI/Sputnik)

India to hold NSA-level meet on Afghanistan on Nov 10; Pak won’t attend, China yet to confirm

New Delhi [India] : India is set to host the regional security dialogue on Afghanistan on November 10, a meeting that will be conducted at the national security advisor (NSA) level, sources said on Friday.
NSA Ajit Doval will chair the meeting next week. India had formally invited the NSAs of Russia, Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for the conference.
According to sources, there has been an overwhelming response to India’s invitation. Several countries including Russia and Iran have confirmed participation in the meeting, in which, not just Afghanistan’s immediate land neighbours are invited but also Central Asian countries are invited.
The enthusiastic response is a manifestation of the importance attached to India’s role in regional efforts to promote peace and security in Afghanistan, sources said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has declined the invitation to the regional countries’ national security advisors meeting on Afghanistan being hosted by India.
“Pakistan’s decision is unfortunate, but not surprising. It reflects its mindset of viewing Afghanistan as its protectorate. Pakistan has not attended the previous meetings of this format. Its media comments against India are an unsuccessful attempt to deflect attention from its pernicious role in Afghanistan,” sources said.
Aside from Pakistan, another country that is yet to respond to India’s invitation is China.
Two earlier meetings in this format have been held in Iran in September 2018 and December 2019. The third meeting in India could not be held earlier due to the pandemic.
The high-level participation in next week’s meeting hosted by India reflects the widespread and growing concern of regional countries about the situation in Afghanistan and their desire to consult and coordinate with each other, sources said. India has an important role to play in this process, they added.

Russia likely to export new S-500 missile systems to India, China

Moscow [Russia] : Russia may supply its cutting-edge S-500 anti-aircraft missile systems to India and China in the future, Dmitry Shugaev, the director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), has said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the country’s military will soon receive a first batch-produced S-500 missiles system. According to Shugaev, once enough of those systems is supplied to the national armed forces, Russia may export them to other countries. “We are considering India, as well as China and all the states with which we have old partner and predictable mutual relations, as future owners of this cutting-edge system,” Shugaev said in an interview with the RBC news outlet, adding that the FSMTC will consider each potential request individually.
The S-500 Prometey is a next-generation surface-to-air missile system with a range of around 600 kilometres (370 miles), designed for intercepting and destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as hypersonic cruise missiles and aircraft.

Putin to address G20 Summit twice: Kremlin

Moscow [Russia] : Russian President Vladimir Putin will address the G20 summit twice this weekend, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Pesko said on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the Kremlin said that Putin will join the summit, chaired by Italy, online. “There will be two speeches of the president, which we will definitely show. The head of state will be working this weekend,” Peskov told reporters.
The spokesman added that the format of Putin’s participation in the event “does not allow to hold bilateral meetings”.
“There are always the same expectations from the G20. The G20 is the most competent and representative format of international interaction, which can and should really discuss world processes and challenges facing the world. Expectations are just to understand and compare the positions of the parties on main calls,” Peskov added.

Russia detects over 30,000 new COVID-19 cases for two straight weeks

Moscow [Russia] : Russia has registered 36,582 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours with the total number of infections reaching 8,352,601 cases, local news reported.
The number of daily infections has been surpassing 30,000 for two weeks in a row, according to data of the anti-coronavirus crisis center published on Wednesday, TASS reported. According to the crisis center, the relative increase of new infections is at the level of 0.44 per cent.
In the past 24-hour period, 2,913 new cases were uncovered in St. Petersburg, along with 2,670 new infections in the Moscow Region. Also, during this timeframe, 1,297 new cases were discovered in the Samara Region, 783 cases — in the Nizhny Novgorod Region, 754 cases — in the Voronezh Region, and 674 new cases were detected in the Sverdlovsk Region, as per TASS.
At present, 875,968 patients are still undergoing treatment in Russia.
Meanwhile, coronavirus cases in Moscow increased by 5,789 in the past 24 hours compared to 6,074 a day before, totalling 1,786,570. The infection growth rate equalled 0.33 per cent in the Russian capital, it said.

Russian security service foils terror attack at transport infrastructure facilities in Stavropol region

Moscow [Russia] : The Russian Federal Security Service said on Friday that it foiled a terrorist attack that a supporter of the Islamic State terrorist organization planned to stage at transport infrastructure facilities in the Stavropol region.
“An attempt by an IS supporter to stage a high-profile terrorist attack at transport infrastructure facilities in the Stavropol region with the use of an improvised explosive device was prevented,” the FSB said in a statement. Meanwhile, at least seven people were killed in the fire at a plant in Russia’s Ryazan region, while the fate of nine more individuals remains uncertain, a spokesman for the ministry of emergency situations told Sputnik on Friday.
“According to preliminary information, 17 people were injured, seven of them were killed and one was hospitalized, the fate of nine people remains uncertain,” the spokesperson said.

Russia sees new record of 34,325 daily COVID-19 cases

Moscow [Russia] : Russia confirmed a new record high of 34,325 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, up from 34,303 the day before, bringing the cumulative total to 8,027,012, the federal response center said on Monday.
“Over the past day, 34,325 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 2,821 cases (8.2%) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase exceeds 0.43%. Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 6,823 infections, up from 6,740 the day before. The Russian capital is followed by St. Petersburg with 3,097 cases, down from 3,323, and the Moscow region with 2,768 cases, up from 2,759.
The response center reported 998 deaths linked to the coronavirus, up from 997 the day before, bringing the country’s death toll to 224,310.
In the same 24 hours, 16,431 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, down from 18,717 the day before, bringing the total to 7,017,055.

Putin, Pashinyan to discuss the implementation of Karabakh agreements

Moscow [Russia], October 11 : Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will discuss the implementation of the trilateral agreements on Nagorno-Karabakh at their negotiations on Tuesday in Moscow, the Kremlin said.
“On October 12, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will hold negotiations in Moscow. They plan to discuss the implementation of the statements on Nagorno-Karabakh, which Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders made on November 9, 2020, and January 11, 2021, and further steps to strengthen regional stability and maintain economic ties,” the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday. Putin and Pashinyan will also touch upon bilateral relations and cooperation within international alliances, the Kremlin added.

Russia sees 25,219 daily COVID-19 cases, 886 deaths

Moscow [Russia], October 2 : Russia saw 25,219 new COVID-19 cases and 886 virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, the national crisis response centre said on Saturday morning.
The biggest share of new cases was recorded in Moscow. A further 4,032 infections were confirmed in the capital, with 67 patients dying. St. Petersburg reported 2,494 new infections and 59 deaths. The country has recorded 7,560,767 million coronavirus cases since the outbreak began early last year. A total 2,09,028 people died of the virus.

Russia records 22,804 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours


Moscow [Russia]: Russia registered 22,804 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, down from 23,807 the day before, taking the overall tally to 6,288,677, the federal response center said on Sunday.

“Over the past day, 22,804 COVID-19 cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 1,959 cases (8.6%) without clinical symptoms,” the center said, adding that the rate of increase stands at 0.36%.
Moscow has the highest number of new cases with 2,484 daily infections, down from 3,514 the day before. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 1,911 cases, down from 1,915, and the Moscow region with 1,658 cases, up from 1,592.

The response center reported 789 new deaths linked to the coronavirus, down from 792 the day before, raising the country’s total death toll to 159,352.

In the same 24 hours, 17,271 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals across the country, down from 19,771 the day before, bringing the total to 5,625,890.

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