Global Review – 26th February

Zelensky: “I want ammunition, not a lift”

As the Russian noose around Kiev is tightening by the hour, the Americans fears that Moscow’s troops will soon take control of the Ukrainian capital. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sternly rejected the US offer to be evacuated from Kiev: “I want ammunition, not a lift”. President Zelensky is in Kiev and is personally leading Kiev’s resistance to the Russian invasion.

Battle for Kyiv underway as explosions hit city

Explosions, blasts and air raid sirens are reverberating through Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, as the battle for its control is underway. The fight by Ukrainian forces to hold back a Russian advance on the capital has intensified in the early hours of the morning, amid warnings the city could fall within days or even hours and as officials handed out weapons to reservists. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Security Council has announced that “we are stopping the horde”.

Pope’s surprise visit to Russian embassy

Pope Francis went unnoticed to the Russian embassy to the Holy See aboard a white Fiat 500 with tinted windows to express his “concern” for what is happening in Ukraine. The Pope and the Russian ambassador to the Holy See, Alexander Avdeev, spoke for about thirty minutes. According to the Argentine press agency Telam, the Pope went to the Russian embassy “to try to mediate in the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine after the large-scale attack by Moscow”. Later, the Pontiff took the unprecedented step of tweeting in Russian about the horrors of war. He appealed to the faithful to offer prayers and fasting for peace next Ash Wednesday, March 2.

Ukrainian forces resisting

Ukrainian forces are putting up resistance and inflicting damage on Russia’s invading military as it seeks to push deeper into the country, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg says after an alliance video summit.

‘Take power’, says Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin calls on the Ukrainian army to overthrow the government whose leaders he describes as “terrorists” and “a gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis”.

Minsk talks?

A spokesman for President Zelensky has said Ukraine was ready to talk about a ceasefire and peace. The Kremlin says Putin is prepared to send a delegation to Belarus for talks with Ukraine, only if Ukraine’s military surrenders.

Putin, Lavrov sanctioned

The EU has added Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to its sanctions list. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also says he is planning “imminent” sanctions against the two men. He says the alliance is deploying its rapid response forces to bolster defences on its eastern flank.

Zelensky-Biden talks

Zelensky says he has spoken with US President Joe Biden about “strengthening sanctions, concrete defence assistance and an anti-war coalition”.

Chernobyl radiation increases

Ukrainian officials say that radiation levels have increased in the Chernobyl exclusion zone and warn the capture of the plant by Russian soldiers could have “terrible consequences”.

Council of Europe suspends Russia

The Council of Europe says it is suspending all representatives of Russia from participation in the pan-European rights body over the attack against Ukraine.

Aeroflot suspends UK flights

Russia’s Aeroflot announces it is suspending flights to London and Dublin after the United Kingdom sanctioned it.

Czech, Poland bar Russian carriers

The Czech Republic and Poland each say they will close their airspace to flights by Russian carriers.

IOC disapproval

The International Olympic Committee urges all international sports federations to cancel forthcoming events in Russia.

Paris Champions League final

Paris will host the Champions League final after UEFA stripped Saint Petersburg of the match because of Russia’s invasion.

Russian GP cancelled

Formula One says it is cancelling the Russian Grand Prix.

Banned from Eurovision

No act from Russia will be permitted to take part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union says.

Markets re-adjust

Global stocks rebound, a day after slumping as Russia invaded Ukraine, while oil declines from 2014 peaks.

Protests against invasion

Protesters turned out on public squares and outside Russian embassies in world cities from Tokyo to Tel Aviv and New York to denounce the invasion of Ukraine. Demonstrations were also held in Washington, Italy, Madrid, Dublin and Geneva. More than a thousand who tried to do the same in Russia were arrested.

Russia vetoes UN Security Council resolution

Russia on Friday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution denouncing its invasion of Ukraine while China, India, and the United Arab Emirates abstained from the vote. The remaining 11 council members voted in favour, allowing the draft resolution to be taken up by the 193-member UN General Assembly. “You can veto this resolution but you cannot veto our voices,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield told her Russian counterpart, adding, “You cannot veto the truth.”

Ukrainian soldier blows himself up to slow Russian advance

A Ukrainian soldier has been hailed as a hero for blowing himself up to destroy a bridge in an effort to stop Russian tanks from invading his country. When his battalion decided that the only way to block the armoured column was by blowing up the bridge, engineer Vitaly Skakun Volodymyrovych volunteered to place mines on the span. And when he realised he had no time to get to safety, the brave soldier made the ultimate sacrifice on the bridge, which connected Russian-occupied Crimea and mainland Ukraine.

Record rainfall triggers deadly floods in eastern Australia

Huge downpours have unleashed decades-high floods in eastern Australia, as the rising waters inundate homes and roads, and sweep away cars. Authorities in the eastern state of Queensland issued 11 emergency alerts in 24 hours as the overall death toll from days of flooding rose to four, with two more people missing.

Biden picks first Black woman on Supreme Court

President Joe Biden picked Ketanji Brown Jackson on Friday to be the first Black woman in US history to serve on the nation’s highest court. He described Jackson, 51, as “one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice”.

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