Latest Updates on the Russo-Ukrainian War – The Washington Post

The United States, Britain and France have dismissed as “transparently false” Russian claims that Ukraine is preparing to use a “dirty bomb” on its own territory, with the help of the West, calling these claims an attempt by Moscow to create a pretext for escalating the conflict. Monday marks the eighth month since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

“The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation. We further reject any pretense of escalation by Russia, the foreign ministers of the three countries said in a joint statement. They vowed to continue supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s “brutal war of aggression”.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made the claims during a series of talks with senior defense officials on Sunday, offering no evidence to back up his claims about so-called dirty bombs – explosive weapons designed to disperse radioactive material widely. Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994 in exchange for a guarantee from Russia that it would not attack Ukraine.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) confirmed Sunday evening that she will represent the United States this week at a summit of the Crimea Platform, a forum hosted by Ukraine and focused on the peninsula that Russia illegally annexed in 2014. She said that she and other leaders “will make an unequivocal statement of our solidarity with Ukraine in its struggle for freedom.”

Here is the latest news on the war and its ripple effects around the world.

  • In her Sunday night addressUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responds to Shoigu’s claims, accusing Russia of being behind this threat and other threats of “blackmail” against a nuclear power plant and a major hydroelectric dam. “If Russia calls and says Ukraine is supposed to prepare something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this,” Zelensky said. Noting that Ukraine has given up its nuclear arsenal, he called on the world to “react in the toughest way possible” to punish Russia.
  • Shoigu’s goal during his series of calls with top defense officials was likely to “slow down or suspend Western military aid to Ukraine and possibly weaken the NATO alliance,” according to analysts at the Institute for the Study of War. Russia has repeatedly claimed since its invasion began in February that Western states would help Ukraine carry out a false flag attack using weapons of mass destruction. Russia’s latest claim is likely part of an ongoing disinformation campaign, the US think tank said.
  • Speaking at a peace conference in Rome, French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said Ukraine should decide the timing and terms of any peace deal with Russia, adding that peace cannot be “captured by Russian power” or “consecration of the law of the strongest”.
  • Russia is preparing to defend parts of the Donbass region it has invaded against any Ukrainian counter-offensiveBritish Ministry of Defense said. The ministry cited the leader of the Wagner Group, a network of mercenaries working with Russian forces in Ukraine, which claimed to be building trenches and anti-tank defenses in the eastern region of Luhansk.
  • Russian forces struck Mykolaiv on Sunday night with S-300 surface-to-air missiles, said Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych. Two residential buildings, a central heating line and a children’s playground were damaged, and a man was injured, but not seriously, Senkevych added.
  • Two pilots died on Sunday after a plane crashed in a residential building in Irkutsk, Siberia, during a training flight. Sunday’s crash was the second such incident in less than a week. Last Monday, a Russian Su-34 crashed into a nine-story residential building in Yeysk, opposite the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, killing more than a dozen people. No residents died in the latest incident, officials said.
  • Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry accused Russia of “deliberately delaying” its grain initiative, the agency said in a Facebook post on Sunday, saying the ports were operating at 25-30% capacity. Ismini Palla, UN spokesperson for the Black Sea Grain Initiative, said in a statement to the Washington Post that more than 150 vessels were waiting near Istanbul to move, and that the Joint Coordination Center – which has representatives of the United Nations, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine – “discuss ways to deal with the backlog”.
  • Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy after reporting that Republicans would likely oppose further aid to Ukraine if they win a House majority by midterm next month. “The idea that now Kevin McCarthy is going to make himself the leader of the pro-Putin wing of my party is just an amazing thing,” she said during a Sunday appearance on “Meet the Press,” making reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Cheney, whose criticism of the GOP contributed to his loss in the primary for his seat this year, also accused McCarthy (R-Calif.) of acting out of political self-interest.

4. From our correspondents

Cyprus, a paradise for Russian expatriates, welcomes technicians fleeing the war in Ukraine: Since late September, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his order to enlist at least 300,000 troops to help him in his hesitant invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Russians have crossed the borders.

Cyprus, a sunny little island in the Mediterranean divided by its own historic territorial dispute between Turks and Greeks, remains one of the last havens for Russians fleeing the uncertainty and catastrophe that Putin’s war in Ukraine has created at home. them, writes Post correspondent Mary Ilyushina from Larnaca, Cyprus.

IT people in particular started flocking here when Russian tanks started arriving in Ukraine in February, and so far the door remains open even as other jurisdictions deny Russian visitors entry. “We haven’t seen any signs of a turnaround in Cyprus politics,” said Oleg Reshetnikov, who moved to the island in 2014 and created CypRus_IT, a networking community for the thousands of Russian-speaking specialists.

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