MOSCOW – The Kremlin says a Ukrainian helicopter gunship attacking a fuel depot inside Russia, setting it on fire, is not conducive to talks between the two sides in the war.
Asked whether the reported incident could be seen as an escalation of the conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “Certainly, this is not something that needs to be done to create comfortable conditions for the talks to continue.” can be considered as such.”
Russia-Ukraine talks were expected to continue on Friday via video link.
The governor of the Russian border region of Belgorod accused Ukraine of flying helicopter gunships and targeting oil depots in Russian territory early on Friday, in what would be the first of its kind if confirmed.
It was not immediately possible to verify the report.
Peskov said President Vladimir Putin had been informed of the alleged fire. He said in a daily conference call with reporters that Russian officials were taking measures to ensure that fuel supplies to the region are not disrupted.
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BEIJING: China is accusing the United States of inciting war in Ukraine and says NATO should have dissolved after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters at a daily briefing on Friday: “As the perpetrator and key catalyst of the Ukraine crisis, the US has joined NATO in five rounds of eastward expansion over the past two decades since 1999. Is.”
“The number of NATO members has increased from 16 to 30, and they have moved more than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) to the east somewhere near the Russian border, pushing Russia step by step towards the wall,” Zhao said. Huh.”
While China says it is not taking sides in the conflict, it has announced a “no borders” partnership with Moscow, refused to condemn the invasion, opposes sanctions on Russia and regularly increases Russian disinformation about the conflict, which includes not to mention an invasion or war in keeping with Russian practice.
Zhao’s remarks came as Chinese and EU leaders were meeting virtually for a summit at which Ukraine was expected to dominate the discussions. EU officials say they are seeking a commitment from China not to ease sanctions and aid efforts to stop the fighting.
GENEVA – The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is not sure whether the planned delivery of aid to Mariupol and the evacuation of civilians from the besieged Ukrainian city will take place on Friday.
Spokesman Ivan Watson told a UN briefing in Geneva that the humanitarian group had sent three vehicles to Mariupol and a front line between Ukrainian and Russian forces, but that two trucks carrying supplies to the city were not with them. .
He said on Friday that dozens of buses that Ukrainian authorities have put together to evacuate people have not even come close to the dividing line.
Watson called it an “extremely complex” operation, adding that “not all the details are in place to make sure it happens today.”
He said the hope was that “thousands” could be evacuated, and that their destination would be in parts of Ukraine that would be less affected by the fighting since Russia’s invasion on February 24.
The Hague, Netherlands – The European Union’s police agency Europol has sent teams to countries bordering Ukraine in an effort to protect refugees from criminals.
The Hague-based agency said on Friday that its teams were supporting local authorities by conducting secondary security checks and “identifying criminals and terrorists trying to enter the EU in refugee flows and taking advantage of the situation.” Huh.”
Europol teams are operating in Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova and plan to deploy to Romania as well.
The agency says they are also gathering intelligence to feed into criminal threat assessments across Europe.
The United Nations says more than 4 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24.
Copenhagen, Denmark – Police in Norway say they have gathered information and intelligence as a result of the security situation in Europe.
“The move is intended to help prevent and identify crime as a result of the situation of migration flows and a tense security policy,” National Police Commissioner Benedict Björnland said in a statement on Friday.
She added that “we are particularly aware of the challenges of crime that can arise as a result of migration flows.” He did not elaborate.
More than 7,800 Ukrainians have sought asylum in Norway.
TOKYO – Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi says he is traveling to Poland on Friday to assess the need for war-displaced Ukrainians in that country and help those seeking asylum in Japan.
Hayashi, during his five-day visit on Tuesday, is set to meet Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and other top officials, as well as international organizations. Hayashi said officials were still arranging for the possibility of his government plane bringing back some Ukrainians.
“To support the difficult Ukrainian people and show its solidarity with Ukraine, Japan is trying to accept those who have fled to a third country,” Hayashi said.
Japan’s government last month launched a task force to accept Ukrainian war-displaced as part of humanitarian aid – a rare move for a country known for its strict and reluctant refugee policy. Several municipalities, including Tokyo, Kanagawa, Ibaraki and Osaka, have offered to become their host cities and provide support for medical needs, education, jobs and housing.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan, Sergei Korsunsky, told reporters Friday that about 300 relatives of Ukrainian residents have been admitted to Japan and more people are expected from next week.
Brussels: The President of the European Parliament said that she is going to Kyiv.
Roberta Mtsola announced her visit to Ukraine’s capital city on her Twitter account late Thursday, posting a photo of her standing in front of a railcar.
Metsola is the first president of an EU body to visit the Ukrainian capital since the war broke out on 24 February. Details about her travel plans and who she will meet have not been announced.
SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that his country would send armored Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine to aid in the war against Russia.
Morrison told reporters that the vehicles would be flown on Boeing C-17 Globemaster transport planes, but did not say how many Bushmaster vehicles would be shipped or when.
“We’re not just sending our prayers, we’re sending our guns, we’re sending our weapons, we’re sending our humanitarian aid, we’re sending all this, our body armor, all these things and we’ Our armored vehicles, our Bushmasters are also going to send,” Morrison said.
LVIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had stripped two generals of their military ranks.
Zelensky said that “something prevented him from determining where his homeland was” and that he “violated his military oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people.”
According to Zelensky, one of the generals headed the internal security in the main intelligence agency SBU.
He said the other general was the SBU chief in the Kherson region, the first major city to come under the Russians.
Zelensky did not say anything about the fate of the two generals, except to be stripped of their ranks.
LVIV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian government said the Russian military blocked 45 buses that were sent to evacuate civilians from the besieged port city of Mariupol, and that only 631 people were able to get out of the city in private cars.
Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said late Thursday that 12 Ukrainian buses with humanitarian aid left Melitopol for Mariupol, but Russian forces intercepted the buses and confiscated 14 tonnes of food and medicines.
According to Ukrainian officials, thousands of people have made it out of Mariupol in recent weeks along humanitarian corridors, reducing the population of 430,000 by last week to nearly 100,000.
Vereshchuk said about 45,000 Mariupol residents have been controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Russia and regions of eastern Ukraine.
LVIV, Ukraine — The last Russian troops left the Chernobyl nuclear plant early Friday, according to the Ukrainian government agency responsible for the exclusion zone around the plant.
Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said Russian soldiers digging trenches in the forest had been exposed to radiation, but this could not be confirmed.
Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom said on Thursday that Russian troops were moving towards Ukraine’s border with Belarus.
Energoatom said the Russian military was also preparing to leave the nearby town of Slavutik, where power plant workers live.