Why was Pakistan’s PM in Russia amid the Ukraine invasion? | Opinions

In opposition to a backdrop of quickly rising tensions between Russia and the West, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s long-planned February 23-24 go to to Moscow, the primary official state go to by a Pakistani head of presidency in 20 years, was at all times going to be a dangerous gambit.

However nobody absolutely predicted how controversial its timing would finally show to be.

On February 21, Russia recognised two breakaway areas in Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk, as impartial entities and ordered Russian troops to “preserve peace” there. Classifying the transfer as “the start of an invasion”, the US introduced a primary tranche of sanctions towards Russia, together with steps to starve the nation of financing. Regardless of these developments putting the complete world on excessive alert, Prime Minister Khan selected to not cancel or postpone his Moscow go to. And when Russia’s President Vladimir Putin formally introduced the invasion of Ukraine simply earlier than dawn on February 24, eliciting swift world condemnation and sending worldwide markets right into a tailspin, Prime Minister Khan and his delegation have been simply settling of their resort rooms in Moscow.

It’s little shock that the Pakistani go to to Moscow, primarily meant to spice up vitality and financial cooperation between the 2 sides and provides impetus to the multibillion-dollar Pakistan Stream Gasoline Pipeline, instantly got here below hearth for its precarious timing. However it’s also true that any eleventh-hour manoeuvring on the Pakistani facet would have been fraught with difficulties.

The bilateral relationship between Islamabad and Moscow isn’t with out important scar tissue, left over from Pakistan’s alignment with the US throughout the Chilly Struggle, the deployment of Soviet troops in Afghanistan within the Nineteen Eighties, and Russia’s shut defence ties with Pakistan’s nemesis India. And there may be a lot purpose – each political and financial – for Pakistan to wish to capitalise on latest efforts to reset the connection.

As we speak, the Pakistani management is trying to urgently stabilise the nation’s inflation-hit financial system by growing home productiveness and attracting international funding. To realize its financial targets, Pakistan is conscious that it wants to take care of regional peace and keep away from getting entangled within the increasing mesh of world energy politics.

This need to take care of peaceable relations within the area has strengthened the Pakistani authorities’s expressed dedication to growing regional connectivity and inspired it to expedite work on the China-Pakistan Financial Hall, a core element of which incorporates the upgrading and rebranding of the nation’s maritime commerce routes by way of the ports of Karachi and Gwadar. Each Pakistan and China have maintained that these initiatives and routes are and can stay regionally inclusive. Pakistan’s first-ever Nationwide Safety Coverage, unveiled earlier this 12 months, reaffirmed the federal government’s aspiration for regional integration and even contained tentative provisions for higher relations with its archrival India. The doc additionally known as for the “reimagining [the country’s] partnership with Russia in vitality, defence cooperation, and funding”.

On this context, Prime Minister Khan’s choice to go ahead together with his scheduled assembly with Putin to exhibit his need for stronger ties and additional collaboration with Russia may very well be seen as an inherently rational transfer. Russia has already agreed to put money into the Pakistan Stream Gasoline Pipeline between Karachi and the town of Kasur in Punjab – a mission price greater than $2bn that will enormously assist service Pakistan’s ever-increasing vitality calls for as soon as accomplished. On the political and safety entrance, Islamabad has purpose to hunt nearer ties with Russia now, particularly after the US’s catastrophically executed withdrawal from Afghanistan in August final 12 months. In different phrases, whereas Prime Minister Khan had a lot to lose from backing out of his deliberate go to to Moscow on account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he additionally had little to achieve.

Moreover, in step with their need to concentrate on the financial system and good regional relations, Pakistani officers have lengthy expressed their nation’s need to keep away from coalition-building workout routines paying homage to Chilly Struggle bloc politics. They’ve repeatedly made it clear, for instance, that Pakistan’s relationship with neighbouring China, which has undergone important deepening since 2016, shouldn’t be misconstrued by the West as a zero-sum selection amidst rising Sino-US competitors. Prime Minister Khan’s choice to go ahead together with his Moscow go to regardless of the escalation in Ukraine – and the coalition-building actions it paved the way in which to – seemingly adopted the identical considering.

Certainly, in a press release issued simply earlier than Putin and Khan’s one-to-one assembly on February 24, Pakistan’s international ministry mentioned Prime Minister Khan “regrets” the “newest state of affairs” between Russia and Ukraine and had hoped “diplomacy may avert a army battle”. The assertion expressed Pakistan’s opposition to the invasion however avoided outrightly condemning Moscow, demonstrating Islamabad’s need to take care of cautious neutrality on the rising tensions between Russia and the West.

That Prime Minister Khan’s long-awaited go to to Moscow was overshadowed by the invasion of Ukraine, nevertheless, has seemingly solely elevated Pakistan’s wariness of the numerous geopolitical tradeoffs that strategic closeness with Moscow entails. Tensions with the West however, Russia additionally at the moment occurs to be the most important arms exporter to India. The Indian Air Pressure is within the technique of deploying Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system batteries on its western border with Pakistan as a way to keep off airborne threats, and Indian Air Pressure officers and personnel have been receiving Russian coaching on these new methods. India’s defence and safety closeness to Russia dates again to the Soviet period, again when the Kremlin actively backed India within the 1971 warfare that value Pakistan its japanese wing. Pakistan is thus cautious of turning into too shut or depending on Russia however doesn’t wish to hurt strengthening relations and push this world energy additional into the arms of India both.

Whereas it values its rising ties with Russia for a number of intersecting causes, Pakistan’s authorities can be not prepared to surrender on its tremulous however necessary relationship with the West.

Regardless of a latest dampening of relations, epitomised most notably by the absence of any direct communication so far between Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Joe Biden, Pakistan’s management recognises the need of retaining the Pakistan-US relationship off the ventilator. In spite of everything, the US is Pakistan’s largest export market and a number one potential investor in regional connectivity initiatives such because the 1,300-megawatt CASA-1000 vitality mission that provides electrical energy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Furthermore, the IMF lately authorised a $1bn disbursement to Pakistan below a $6bn mortgage programme that’s prone to be spent financing imports and servicing international debt to stop the Pakistani rupee from depreciating additional.

On the strategic entrance, a lot of Pakistan’s army tools continues to profit from American logistical and technical servicing. Moreover, regardless of its disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan continues to view the US as a obligatory if reluctant regional safety collaborator, because it lately demonstrated by inviting the US state division’s particular consultant on Afghanistan to a Pakistan-convened Organisation of Islamic Cooperation emergency assembly on Afghanistan.

It’s, nevertheless, can be not misplaced on Pakistani management that US insurance policies in direction of South Asia are formed by strategic issues that usually run counter to Pakistan’s personal. The US strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific, for instance, has elevated India right into a bulwark place towards China, weakening Pakistan’s hand towards its hostile neighbour and inspiring it to hunt different avenues of help to guard the fragile strategic stability within the area.

All in all, regardless of receiving vocal criticism from some quarters within the West, by going ahead together with his go to to Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Khan appears to have taken a calculated danger in step with what Pakistan sees as its present strategic, financial and political pursuits.

It’s nonetheless not clear whether or not President Putin will settle for Prime Minister Khan’s invitation to go to Pakistan later this 12 months. Whereas 5 US presidents have visited Pakistan since 1947, a Russian head of state has but to make the journey – so if Putin does conform to make the journey to Islamabad, he can be the primary Russian chief to take action, and can ship an necessary message about the way forward for Russo-Pak relations.

With an invasion of Ukraine below means and the US having now exited Afghanistan, Russia will undoubtedly even be paying nearer consideration to its southern flank than ever earlier than, and can seemingly wish to preserve a detailed eye on the Taliban regime in Kabul. To this finish, Moscow might properly see nearer contact with Islamabad as a way to shoring up contact with Afghanistan’s new management.

Pakistan’s personal relationship with the Taliban is, in fact, not uncomplicated, however so far it has tried to work in tandem with China, Russia and the US to assist construct a regional consensus that may undergird stability in Afghanistan’s neighbourhood. Ultimately, Islamabad seems prepared and capable of work with Moscow – regardless of some underlying geopolitical contradictions – to stabilise South Asia, promote regional integration, and avert a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, whilst one, paradoxically, could also be starting in Eurasia.

The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

UN resolution against Ukraine invasion: Full text | Russia-Ukraine war News

The United Nations Normal Meeting has voted to demand that Russia cease its offensive and instantly withdraw all troops, with world powers and tiny island states alike condemning Moscow.

The vote on Wednesday noticed 141 states vote in favour of the movement, 5 towards and 35 abstentions.

Meeting resolutions should not legally binding however can mirror and affect world opinion.

The vote got here after the 193-member meeting convened its first emergency session since 1997. The one international locations to vote with Russia have been Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea. Cuba spoke in Moscow’s defence however in the end abstained.

Right here’s the total textual content:

Aggression towards Ukraine

The Normal Meeting, Reaffirming the paramount significance of the Constitution of the United Nations within the promotion of the rule of legislation amongst nations,

Recalling the duty of all States below Article 2 of the Constitution to chorus of their worldwide relations from the menace or use of power towards the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in every other method inconsistent with the needs of the United Nations, and to settle their worldwide disputes by peaceable means,

Recalling additionally the duty below Article 2 (2) of the Constitution, that every one Members, as a way to guarantee to all of them the rights and advantages ensuing from membership, shall fulfil in good religion the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the Constitution,

Paying attention to Safety Council decision 2623 (2022) of 27 February 2022, during which the Council referred to as for an emergency particular session of the Normal Meeting to look at the query contained in doc S/Agenda/8979,

Recalling Normal Meeting decision 377 A (V) of three November 1950, entitled “Uniting for peace”, and considering that the shortage of unanimity of the everlasting members of the Safety Council at its 8979th assembly has prevented it from exercising its major duty for the upkeep of worldwide peace and safety,

Recalling additionally its decision 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970, during which it authorised the Declaration on Ideas of Worldwide Legislation regarding Pleasant Relations and Cooperation amongst States in accordance with the Constitution of the United Nations, and reaffirming the ideas contained therein that the territory of a State shall not be the thing of acquisition by one other State ensuing from the menace or use of power, and that any try aimed on the partial or complete disruption of the nationwide unity and territorial integrity of a State or nation or at its political independence is incompatible with the needs and ideas of the Constitution,

Recalling additional its decision 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, which defines aggression as using armed power by a State towards the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of one other State, or in every other method inconsistent with the Constitution,

Taking into consideration the significance of sustaining and strengthening worldwide peace based upon freedom, equality, justice and respect for human rights and of growing pleasant relations amongst nations regardless of their political, financial and social techniques or the degrees of their growth,

Recalling the Ultimate Act of the Convention on Safety and Cooperation in Europe, signed in Helsinki on 1 August 1975, and the Memorandum on Safety Assurances in Reference to Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Budapest Memorandum) of 5 December 1994,

Condemning the 24 February 2022 declaration by the Russian Federation of a “particular navy operation” in Ukraine,

Reaffirming that no territorial acquisition ensuing from the menace or use of power shall be acknowledged as authorized,

Expressing grave concern at experiences of assaults on civilian amenities corresponding to residences, faculties and hospitals, and of civilian casualties, together with girls, older individuals, individuals with disabilities, and youngsters,

Recognizing that the navy operations of the Russian Federation contained in the sovereign territory of Ukraine are on a scale that the worldwide group has not seen in Europe in many years and that pressing motion is required to avoid wasting this technology from the scourge of battle,

Endorsing the Secretary-Normal’s assertion of 24 February 2022 during which he recalled that using power by one nation towards one other is the repudiation of the ideas that each nation has dedicated to uphold and that the current navy offensive of the Russian Federation is towards the Constitution,

Condemning the choice of the Russian Federation to extend the readiness of its nuclear forces,

Expressing grave concern on the deteriorating humanitarian scenario in and round Ukraine, with an rising variety of internally displaced individuals and refugees in want of humanitarian help,

Expressing concern additionally in regards to the potential influence of the battle on elevated meals insecurity globally, as Ukraine and the area are one of many world’s most essential areas for grain and agricultural exports, when hundreds of thousands of individuals are going through famine or the rapid threat of famine or are experiencing extreme meals insecurity in a number of areas of the world, in addition to on vitality safety,

Welcoming the continued efforts by the Secretary-Normal and the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe and different worldwide and regional organizations to help de-escalation of the scenario with respect to Ukraine, and inspiring continued dialogue,

1. Reaffirms its dedication to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine inside its internationally acknowledged borders, extending to its territorial waters;

2. Deplores within the strongest phrases the aggression by the Russian Federation towards Ukraine in violation of Article 2 (4) of the Constitution;

3. Calls for that the Russian Federation instantly stop its use of power towards Ukraine and to chorus from any additional illegal menace or use of power towards any Member State;

4. Additionally calls for that the Russian Federation instantly, fully and unconditionally withdraw all of its navy forces from the territory of Ukraine inside its internationally acknowledged borders;

5.  Deplores the 21 February 2022 resolution by the Russian Federation associated to the standing of sure areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk areas of Ukraine as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the ideas of the Constitution;

6. Calls for that the Russian Federation instantly and unconditionally reverse the choice associated to the standing of sure areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk areas of Ukraine;

7. Calls upon the Russian Federation to abide by the ideas set forth within the Constitution and the Declaration on Pleasant Relations; 1

8. Calls upon the events to abide by the Minsk agreements and to work constructively in related worldwide frameworks, together with within the Normandy format and Trilateral Contact Group, in the direction of their full implementation;

9. Calls for all events to permit secure and unfettered passage to locations outdoors of Ukraine and to facilitate the speedy, secure and unhindered entry to humanitarian help for these in want in Ukraine, to guard civilians, together with humanitarian personnel and individuals in weak conditions, together with girls, older individuals, individuals with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrants and youngsters, and to respect human rights;

10. Deplores the involvement of Belarus on this illegal use of power towards Ukraine, and calls upon it to abide by its worldwide obligations;

11. Condemns all violations of worldwide humanitarian legislation and violations and abuses of human rights, and calls upon all events to respect strictly the related provisions of worldwide humanitarian legislation, together with the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Extra Protocol I thereto of 1977, 3 as relevant, and to respect worldwide human rights legislation, and on this regard additional calls for that every one events guarantee respect for and the safety of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel solely engaged in medical duties, their technique of transport and tools, in addition to hospitals and different medical amenities;

12. Calls for that every one events absolutely adjust to their obligations below worldwide humanitarian legislation to spare the civilian inhabitants, and civilian objects, refraining from attacking, destroying, eradicating or rendering ineffective objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian inhabitants, and respecting and defending humanitarian personnel and consignments used for humanitarian aid operations;

13. Requests the Emergency Aid Coordinator to supply, 30 days after the adoption of the current decision, a report on the humanitarian scenario in Ukraine and on the humanitarian response;

14. Urges the rapid peaceable decision of the battle between the Russian Federation and Ukraine by way of political dialogue, negotiations, mediation and different peaceable means;

15. Welcomes and urges the continued efforts by the Secretary-Normal, Member States, the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe and different worldwide and regional organizations to help the de-escalation of the present scenario, in addition to the efforts of the United Nations, together with of the United Nations Disaster Coordinator for Ukraine, and humanitarian organizations to answer the humanitarian and refugee disaster that the aggression by the Russian Federation has created;

16. Decides to adjourn the eleventh emergency particular session of the Normal Meeting briefly and to authorize the President of the Normal Meeting to renew its conferences upon request from Member States.

1 million refugees flee Ukraine in week since Russian invasion | Russia-Ukraine war News

No less than a million folks have fled Ukraine within the week since Russia’s invasion, the United Nations stated, with one official warning that “at this charge” the exodus may change into “the largest refugee disaster this century”.

Thursday’s tally from the UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) quantities to greater than 2 % of Ukraine’s inhabitants, which the World Financial institution counted at 44 million on the finish of 2020, on the transfer throughout borders in simply seven days.

The company cautioned that the outflows had been removed from completed: It has predicted that as many as 4 million folks may finally go away Ukraine, and even that projection could possibly be revised upward.

Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR, advised the Related Press information company in an electronic mail that “our information signifies we handed the 1 million mark” as of midnight in central Europe, primarily based on counts collected by nationwide authorities.

On Twitter, UN Excessive Commissioner Filippo Grandi wrote, “In simply seven days we have now witnessed the exodus of 1 million refugees from Ukraine to neighboring nations.”

He added, “For a lot of thousands and thousands extra, inside Ukraine, it’s time for weapons to fall silent, in order that life-saving humanitarian help may be offered.”

Because the sound of artillery fireplace, exploding mortar shells, and gunfire echoed throughout the nation, Grandi’s feedback testified to the desperation of civilians in Ukraine, in addition to the rising concern of a humanitarian catastrophe by UN companies, such because the World Well being Group and the UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The every day figures level to the dizzying pace of the evacuation.

After greater than 82,000 folks left on the primary day of the Russian invasion on February 24, every day afterwards resulted in at the very least 117,000 new refugees, hitting a peak of practically 200,000 on Tuesday alone, primarily based on the most recent UNHCR depend.

As compared, Syria, whose civil battle erupted in 2011 and stays the nation with the biggest refugee outflows, had practically 5.7 million folks fleeing, based on UNHCR’s figures. However even on the fasted charge of flight in early 2013, it took at the very least three months for 1 million refugees to go away Syria.

Two years later, in 2015, lots of of hundreds of Syrian and different refugees who had largely been in Turkey fled to Europe, prompting disarray within the European Union over its response and at instances, skirmishes and pushbacks at some nationwide borders.

To date, UN officers and others have usually praised the response from Ukraine’s neighbours which have opened houses, gymnasiums, and different services to soak up the brand new refugees.

UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo stated Wednesday that “at this charge” the outflows from Ukraine may make it the supply of “the largest refugee disaster this century”.

In keeping with UN information, greater than half of these fleeing Ukraine went to Poland and greater than 116,000 to Hungary to the south. Moldova has taken in additional than 79,000 and 71,200 have gone to Slovakia.


Moscow says 498 Russians killed in Ukraine since invasion started | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russia rejects experiences of ‘incalculable losses’ and concerning the involvement of cadets or conscripts within the preventing.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence has mentioned that 498 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine and 1,597 extra sustained wounds, within the first report of casualties by Moscow because it launched an invasion on February 24.

Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov on Wednesday additionally rejected experiences about “incalculable losses” amongst Russian forces as “disinformation.” He assured that households of these killed are receiving all essential help.

Ukraine has mentioned that the variety of Russian troops killed is way greater. Moscow had beforehand admitted to losses however with out giving any numbers.

Konashenkov mentioned that neither conscripts nor cadets have been concerned within the operation in Ukraine, dismissing media experiences alleging in any other case. Russian unbiased organisations that assist mother and father discover their sons have informed the AFP information company that conscripts had been participating within the battle, having been made to signal paperwork earlier than crossing the border.

The spokesperson additionally mentioned greater than 2,870 Ukrainian troops have been killed and a few 3,700 extra sustained accidents, whereas 572 others have been captured by the Russians. Ukrainian officers haven’t but commented on the declare and it couldn’t be instantly verified.

On the opposite aspect, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service mentioned that greater than 2,000 civilians have died, although it was unimaginable to confirm that declare. The United Nations’ human rights workplace mentioned on Thursday it had recorded the deaths of 136 civilians, together with 13 youngsters, in Ukraine because the begin of Russia’s invasion.

Timeline: Week one of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is about to enter its second week with no indicators of an imminent ceasefire, regardless of a flood of Western sanctions focusing on the Russian economic system.

Within the days since Russian troops started their offensive final Thursday, the violence has intensified in a number of main Ukrainian cities, prompting lots of of hundreds of individuals to flee the nation in the hunt for security.

Ukrainian officers say deaths and accidents are mounting as Russian forces launch renewed assaults and an infinite army convoy edges nearer to the capital, Kyiv.

Right here, Al Jazeera seems on the days main as much as Russia’s invasion, the worldwide response, and key occasions which have marked the struggle thus far:

February 21: Russian President Vladimir Putin recognises Luhansk and Donetsk, two separatist areas in jap Ukraine, as unbiased states and orders Russian troops to behave as “peacekeepers” there.

The US forbids investments within the areas, whereas Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urges individuals to stay calm, saying, “We’re not afraid of anybody or something.”

February 22: The Russian parliament authorises Putin to make use of army pressure exterior the nation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cancels a gathering along with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

The US locations full blocking sanctions on the Kremlin-controlled VEB financial institution and PSB financial institution, with the US Treasury saying the transfer constrains “Russia’s means to finance defense-related contracts and lift new funds to finance its marketing campaign towards Ukraine”.

Russia is barred from promoting sovereign bonds on US cash markets, and oligarchs near Putin have their US-held property seized. The US additionally strikes army property from Germany to the Baltic States. “We nonetheless consider that Russia is poised to go a lot additional in launching an enormous army assault towards Ukraine,” US President Joe Biden says.

Germany instantly halts the method of certifying the Nord Stream 2, a Russian-owned pipeline that’s meant to pump Russian fuel to the nation.

February 23: Ukraine declares a nationwide state of emergency.

UN Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres tells the Common Meeting the world is “going through a second of peril” over the Ukraine-Russia disaster.

The European Union freezes the property of 351 Duma (Russia’s decrease home of parliament) members, barring them from loans and journey, and calls an emergency summit over the scenario. Biden permits sanctions to maneuver forward towards the corporate that constructed Nord Stream 2.

February 24: Russia launches a full-scale assault on Ukraine.

Zelenskyy orders a common mobilisation, calling on all Ukrainians who’re able to defend their nation to come back ahead. Biden calls Russia’s invasion a “premeditated assault”.

The US bars 5 extra Russian banks from the US monetary system, and freezes 4 of the 5 banks’ US-held property. The fifth establishment, Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution, can be barred from the US monetary system, however its property should not frozen.

Commerce within the debt and fairness of 13 banks and state-owned enterprises can be banned within the US. The US could not export delicate applied sciences to Russia in avionics, semiconductors, telecommunications and different areas. Moscow’s inventory trade plummets by an unprecedented 45 %.

The European Council holds an emergency session to sentence Russia’s “unprovoked and unjustified army aggression”.

February 25: Russian forces press in the direction of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, because the United Nations says greater than 50,000 individuals have fled the nation because the begin of Moscow’s invasion.

The European Union agrees to position Putin and Lavrov on its record of sanctioned people. Russia vetoes a UN Safety Council decision demanding it unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

February 26: The mayor of Kyiv imposes a curfew within the Ukrainian capital as Russian troops advance in the direction of the town. Poland says about 100,000 individuals have crossed into the nation from Ukraine amid the preventing.

Zelenskyy refuses a US supply to evacuate, saying, “the combat is right here.” He additionally refutes Russian reviews that he fled the capital, posting a video of himself with senior cupboard members on the streets of Kyiv, saying they had been becoming a member of the combat for his or her nation.

The EU says it should take measures to forestall Russia’s central financial institution from utilizing its estimated $630bn in reserves to finance the struggle and undermine the influence of sanctions.

February 27: European Fee chief Ursula von der Leyen declares that Russian plane might be banned from EU airspace, and Russian state-owned media Russia Right now, Sputnik and their subsidiaries are banned from EU airwaves and the web.

The EU additionally says it should bar chosen Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank transaction system, basically slicing them off from the worldwide monetary system.

Norway’s $1.3-trillion sovereign wealth fund says it should pull out of all 47 of its Russian investments, valued at $2.8bn. Its greatest stake is in Sberbank, which was earlier sanctioned by the US and EU.

Main oil firm BP says it should extricate itself from a virtually 20 % stake in Rosneft, Russia’s state oil big, because of the nation’s army motion in Ukraine. The stake is valued at $14bn and accounts for about half of BP’s oil and fuel reserves.

Russian troops press in the direction of three Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Kharkiv and Kherson. They seem to face stiff resistance that US officers say is slowing their advance. The Ukrainian defence ministry says it estimates Russian losses at 4,500 males killed, 150 tanks and 700 armoured personnel carriers destroyed, and 7 fighter jets and 26 helicopters downed.

February 28: In a largely symbolic transfer, Ukraine applies to hitch EU.

Russia and Ukraine maintain a primary spherical of ceasefire talks on the Belarusian border. They disband after 5 hours with out an settlement.

Russian shelling kilos Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis, residence to 1.5 million individuals. Russian artillery bombards residential districts, killing not less than 11 individuals, in line with Ukrainian officers. Zeleknsyy says the Russian plan is to terrorise the nation’s civilian inhabitants.

Russia’s everlasting consultant to the UN Safety Council denies that Russian troops are focusing on civilians, saying, “We hear lies and deceit concerning the indiscriminate shelling of Ukrainian amenities, hospitals and colleges … the Russian military doesn’t threaten civilians in Ukraine; it doesn’t shell civilian infrastructure.”

The UN Common Meeting begins its first emergency assembly in a long time to debate Russia’s invasion, with Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres saying the trail to diplomacy should stay open. Greater than 500,000 Ukrainians have fled the nation, the UN additionally says.

Oil big Shell says it should withdraw from joint initiatives with Gazprom, the Russian fuel monopoly. Shell’s fairness in these initiatives is valued at $3bn. It says it should additionally finish its involvement in Nord Stream 2.

The impact of barring Russian banks from SWIFT is felt, because the rouble tumbles 30 %, forcing Putin to situation a decree imposing capital controls. Russians are prohibited from transferring cash or making mortgage funds overseas, although the central financial institution a day later clarifies that exterior debt may nonetheless be paid. Russians line up exterior banks to make withdrawals.

The EU – together with the US and different allies – locations a ban on transactions with the Russian Central Financial institution, that means funds to Russian firms and entities can’t be despatched.

INTERACTIVE- Airspace closures for Russian aircraft
(Al Jazeera)

March 1: A 65km-long Russian convoy amasses on the outskirts of Kyiv.

Strain additionally will increase on Kharkiv and Mariupol within the east, and Kherson within the south of the nation. A Russian missile strikes the sq. in entrance of the Kharkiv administrative constructing, blowing off its roof and gutting it. Zelenskyy calls the assault “frank, undisguised terror”.

Human Rights Watch reviews that Russians are utilizing cluster bombs towards civilians. Ukrainian officers additionally accuse Russia of focusing on a tv tower in Kyiv in an assault that killed 5 individuals.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine dominates the early elements of Biden’s first State of the Union deal with. The US president declares the nation will shut American airspace to Russian flights and guarantees that Putin pays a “persevering with worth” for the struggle.

Zelenskyy calls on Western nations to think about imposing a no-fly zone for Russian plane. The US dismisses the request, with White Home press secretary Jen Psaki saying the transfer may draw Washington right into a direct battle with Moscow.

March 2: The UN Common Meeting approves a non-binding decision condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and demanding an instantaneous withdrawal. The decision is supported by 141 of the meeting’s 193 members. Thirty-five member states, together with China, abstain.

Russia claims its forces have captured Kherson, in southern Ukraine. Native authorities deny the town has fallen, however say Russian troops have encircled it.

Russia’s negotiator says a second spherical of talks will happen on Thursday, however Ukraine casts doubt on the plan. The UN says greater than 870,000 individuals have fled Ukraine because the invasion started.

The US declares the creation of a brand new process pressure – dubbed “KleptoCapture” – aimed toward holding Russian oligarchs accountable and guaranteeing {that a} collection of US sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are being enforced.

Interactive showing how countries voted.
[Al Jazeera]

People of colour struggle to escape Russian invasion of Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News

Záhony, Ukraine-Hungary border – After six years in Ukraine, Ayoub, a 25-year-old Moroccan pharmacy pupil, had constructed a life he was pleased with in Kharkiv, a metropolis within the nation’s northeast. He discovered the Russian language, which is broadly spoken within the metropolis of 1.4 million, studied Ukrainian tradition, and made mates from world wide. He was on account of graduate in three months, however Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has compelled him to flee the nation, and uncovered him to a stage of racism he had not beforehand skilled.

Initially, he had deliberate to attend out the invasion in Kharkiv, hoping the Russian assault would cease. However when that risk appeared more and more unlikely, he joined classmates to make a protracted trek throughout the nation to the Polish border.

In Lviv, a metropolis 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Polish frontier, it turned clear to Ayoub that he, together with different non-white worldwide college students, can be stopped by Ukrainian guards from leaving the nation.

“They wished Ukrainians to go first, so it was white individuals who obtained precedence. Taxi drivers have been additionally charging us loopy cash, however I believed there’ll all the time be opportunists, even in conflict. It wasn’t till I reached one of many ‘checkpoints’ on the strategy to the Polish border that I used to be truly pushed again and advised to attend,” he advised Al Jazeera.

As a substitute of ready, he determined to attempt crossing into Hungary, the place he arrived on Wednesday.

“After I spoke to the guards in Russian, they advised me I needs to be talking Ukrainian and questioned whose facet I used to be on. That was actually upsetting as a result of I had labored so arduous to study Russian, not simply converse it, however learn and write it as nicely.”

Moroccan Students board train to Budapest
Moroccan college students board a practice to Budapest [Amanda Coakley/Al Jazeera]

Universities throughout Ukraine have attracted worldwide college students because of the high-quality training on supply for comparatively low charges, ranging between $4,000 and $5,000 a 12 months.

College students from international locations similar to India, Nigeria, and Morocco have helped to make Kharkiv a vibrant college metropolis and their charges have contributed to the native economic system. Many have stayed in Ukraine after graduating and brought jobs within the nation’s hospitals and companies.

However some worldwide college students mentioned their colleges didn’t supply them help to go away the nation as Russian forces launched the invasion. In an electronic mail seen by Al Jazeera, dated February 24, the day of the invasion, college students at one college acquired an electronic mail notifying them that lessons would transfer on-line. Two days later, college students on the similar establishment acquired an electronic mail saying a “trip” from February 28 to March 12.

“Nobody helped us to go away or coordinated something, we have been simply left on our personal,” mentioned Deborah, a 19-year-old pupil from northern Nigeria. She requested Al Jazeera to not use her actual identify.

“My mates went to the Polish border and have been handled awfully by the Ukrainian guards. It wasn’t simply Black individuals like me; it was anybody who wasn’t white,” she added.

INTERACTIVE- Where are Ukrainians fleeing to 874026 DAY 7

In an announcement issued on Wednesday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Overseas Affairs refuted allegations of discrimination by border guards and mentioned it operated on a “first come, first served strategy” that “applies to all nationalities” with precedence given to girls, youngsters, and aged individuals in accordance with worldwide humanitarian regulation.

Ayoub is aggravated that his lecturers nonetheless count on him again at school on March 12. “I perceive they wish to maintain morale excessive, however I’m afraid they may cost us, or cease our research if we don’t return. I don’t perceive why they can not simply droop all the pieces till additional discover.” The expertise has been so emotionally draining, Ayoub doesn’t suppose he’ll ever really feel the identical method about Ukraine once more.

It’s a sentiment shared by Deborah and her sister Aliyah, 19, who additionally research in Ukraine. “This nation has given me a lot. The individuals of Ukraine don’t deserve this conflict and like everybody, I can’t perceive why this has occurred. Seeing photos of those lovely cities being shelled is terrible. However I’ve seen a facet that I can’t neglect,” Aliyah added.

In current days, phrase has unfold among the many worldwide college students fleeing Ukraine that they may seemingly have a neater time crossing into Hungary than Poland because of the smaller numbers of individuals ready to get in. Of the refugees Al Jazeera spoke to, none reported issues boarding a practice to the small Hungarian village of Záhony.

“I can see whenever you’re underneath loopy stress and your nation is being attacked you’ll be able to act in horrible methods, however on the finish of the day, everybody was working from the identical hazard,” mentioned Deborah.

EA is cutting Russian teams from its FIFA and NHL games over Ukraine invasion : NPR

Gaming consoles the place guests can check out the “Fifa 19” online game are seen on the sales space of EA Sports activities throughout the Gamescom conference in 2019 in Cologne, Germany.

Christophe Gateau/DPA/AFP through Getty Pictures

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Christophe Gateau/DPA/AFP through Getty Pictures

Gaming consoles the place guests can check out the “Fifa 19” online game are seen on the sales space of EA Sports activities throughout the Gamescom conference in 2019 in Cologne, Germany.

Christophe Gateau/DPA/AFP through Getty Pictures

The online game big Digital Arts introduced Wednesday that it is eradicating Russian groups from a few of its sports activities video games amid the nation’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“We stand with the individuals of Ukraine and be part of the voices all over the world calling for peace,” one of many statements reads.

EA is eradicating the Russian nationwide group and all Russian golf equipment from FIFA 22, FIFA cellular and FIFA on-line.

The assertion from EA SPORTS FIFA famous that it was additionally “actively evaluating adjustments to different areas of our video games,” however did not make clear what it meant.

EA may even minimize the Russian and Belarusian nationwide and membership groups from NHL 22 within the coming weeks.

Additionally on Wednesday, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation, urged companies within the gaming trade, together with tech giants Sony and Microsoft, to quickly block all Russian and Belarusian accounts.

He additionally implored gaming corporations to cease Russian and Belarusian groups from taking part in esports competitions and cancel any worldwide occasions in both nation.

“We’re positive that such actions will encourage the residents of Russia to proactively cease this disgraceful navy aggression,” Fedorov stated.

Russian skilled athletics is going through penalties past the digital world, too.

FIFA has banned the Russian nationwide group from upcoming competitions, and billionaire Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich stated he was placing Chelsea up on the market.

The NHL additionally introduced it was suspending relationships with its Russian business partners and pausing its Russian-language social and digital media websites.

Live Nation cancels business in Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine : NPR

The Killers have canceled their scheduled date at Moscow’s Park Reside competition this summer time.

Alive Protection

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Alive Protection

The Killers have canceled their scheduled date at Moscow’s Park Reside competition this summer time.

Alive Protection

Reside Nation Leisure – the live performance trade powerhouse – has introduced that it’ll stop all enterprise exercise with Russia.

“Reside Nation joins the world in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” reads an announcement from the corporate. “We won’t promote reveals in Russia, and we won’t do enterprise with Russia. We’re within the technique of reviewing our distributors so we are able to stop work with any and all Russian-based suppliers.”

The information, first reported by IQ, comes at a time when various musicians have canceled their appearances within the nation in mild of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“The security of my followers is my precedence and my ideas exit to the individuals of Ukraine and all these affected by this useless battle,” wrote a message from Louis Tomlinson, saying that his dates in Moscow and Kyiv had been canceled till additional discover.

Nick Cave posted an update on Twitter yesterday saying he and his band “don’t have any selection however to cancel our reveals in Russia and Ukraine which had been attributable to happen this summer time.” They be part of Inexperienced Day, Franz Ferdinand, and pop group AJR, who’ve all canceled upcoming reveals in Russia.

The Park Reside Pageant set to happen in Moscow this Summer season has been hit with a number of cancellations – Iggy Pop, The Killers, and Biffy Clyro. Different headliners, together with My Chemical Romance and Slipknot, stay on the invoice.

The present cancellations in Russia come concurrently arts organizations within the U.S, such because the Metropolitan Opera, reduce ties with Putin-allied musicians.

Are words enough to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? | Russia-Ukraine war

Video Period 25 minutes 20 seconds

From: Inside Story

Joe Biden talks robust on Vladimir Putin in his first US State of the Union tackle.

US President Joe Biden delivered his first State of the Union tackle since he turned president.

And far is predicted of him at dwelling.

The economic system, healthcare, unemployment and crime are simply among the many challenges on his agenda.

However he opened his speech with the disaster unfolding in Ukraine, and it featured closely, together with his views on Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a brand new set of sanctions on Moscow’s elite.

America president warns the Russian chief has no thought what’s coming.

However past threats and sanctions, what can the US do to cease Russia’s assaults on Ukraine?

Presenter: Hazem Sika


Aaron Kall – Editor and co-author of The State of the Union is … Memorable Addresses of the Final Sixty Years

Kira Rudik – Ukrainian member of parliament

Robert Hunter – Former US Ambassador to NATO

Ukrainian man who enlisted after Russia’s invasion gives an update, a week later : NPR

Volodymyr Omelyan says he believes that defending the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is essential. It’s a metropolis he appears like he belongs to.

Volodymyr Omelyan

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Volodymyr Omelyan

Volodymyr Omelyan says he believes that defending the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is essential. It’s a metropolis he appears like he belongs to.

Volodymyr Omelyan

Volodymyr Omelyan is among the many hundreds of Ukrainians who rushed to enlist after Russia invaded Ukraine final week. Talking to NPR by cellphone Wednesday, he mentioned he is assured Ukraine will prevail, regardless of going through Russia’s a lot bigger navy.

“We’re 100% positive that we’ll win,” he mentioned in an interview on Morning Version. “Little doubt about that. Undoubtedly.”

Ukrainian navy officers say their forces have managed to safe a number of notable victories in opposition to Russia’s navy — however they warn that the Russians appear to be adjusting their technique. Russia is counting on “the legal ways of long-range shelling of peaceable cities,” Ukraine’s protection minister, Oleksii Reznikov, mentioned in an replace on the battle.

Omelyan concurs with that evaluation — however he mentioned Russia’s method would possibly backfire, saying it is upsetting not solely terror amongst residents, however anger.

“They’re attempting to unfold panic among the many civilians, bombing them, however they get completely different response to such actions,” he mentioned. “Persons are getting livid and individuals are able to kill Russians. Even civilians which by no means took any type of gun of their arms.”

Omelyan was as soon as Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, however he is now positioned in Kyiv, with Ukraine’s territorial protection forces. He mentioned that whereas Ukraine’s navy nonetheless wants extra weapons and armor, it is having actual successes in opposition to Russia’s vaunted pressure.

“They have been all the time [saying] that it is just like the second military on the planet, but it surely seems to be very weak, and we crushed lots of their brigades,” he mentioned.

On Wednesday, the Russian Protection Ministry made its first announcement of considerable casualties in Ukraine, saying 498 personnel have been killed and 1,597 injured.

Omelyan mentioned he believes the Russians’ essential aim is to not occupy everything of Ukraine, however to get management of the capital, so Moscow can set up a puppet authorities and manufacture information tales a couple of profitable conquest of Kyiv.

Final week, Omelyan informed NPR that he joined Ukraine’s navy to guard his household. He additionally mentioned he was sure his nation will win. Every week later, that hasn’t modified.

“We’ll by no means give up,” he mentioned.

He thanked the U.S. and its European allies for his or her assist, saying he hopes Ukraine can grow to be a member of the EU. He referred to as for NATO to grow to be extra concerned, citing the Russian navy’s killing of Ukrainian civilians. And he reiterated that Ukraine wants extra tools to assist it battle.

“We want [an] pressing provide of anti-missile and anti-military plane programs to clear the skies from invasion,” he mentioned. “And we’ll deal with the land occupation simply.”