Ukrainian forces demobilise Russian tanks near Donetsk frontline
Berlin has warned against making premature accusations amid reports that intelligence reviewed by US officials indicated that a pro-Ukrainian group was behind last year’s attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines.
“It may just as well have been a false flag operation staged to blame Ukraine, an option brought up in the media reports as well,” German defence minister Boris Pistorius told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg also attempted to temper speculation over the blast, saying: “There are ongoing national investigations and I think it’s right to wait until those are finalised before we say anything more about who was behind it.”
Meanwhile, Lord Richard Dannatt, the former chief of the general staff of the British armed forces, said Ukraine had turned Bakhmut into a meat grinder for some of Russia’s most capable personnel.
The comments coincided with military expert Pavlo Narozhniy telling Ukrainian NV Radio that Vladimir Putin’s losses in Bakhmut are between five and eight times greater than those of Kyiv.
Still unclear who carried out attack on Nord Stream pipelines, Nato chief says
It is still unclear who was responsible for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines last year, as national investigations into the sabotage need to be concluded, Nato’s chief has said.
“What we do know is that there was an attack against the Nord Stream pipelines, but we have not been able to determine who was behind it,” Jens Stoltenberg said before a meeting with EU defence ministers in Stockholm.
“There are ongoing national investigations and I think it’s right to wait until those are finalised before we say anything more about who was behind it.”
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that new intelligence reviewed by US officials had indicated that a pro-Ukrainian group sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines that carried natural gas from Russia to Europe.
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 12:15
Putin presents bouquets on International Women’s Day
Vladimir Putin presented flowers to a female war correspondent and medical workers from Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine in a Kremlin ceremony to mark International Women’s Day, thanking them for their achievements at what he called a challenging time for the country.
“Nothing is impossible for you,” Putin said in a speech to a group of women who were then invited to step up and accept bouquets from him as trumpet fanfares sounded.
“You can be tender and feminine and at the same time very strong. You always strive for fairness, you do everything to ensure that life in the family, society and the country unfailingly improves,” the president said.
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 13:45
Putin extols Russia’s ‘reverence and respect towards motherhood’ as he sends their sons and husbands to war
Russian president Vladimir Putin has extolled Russia’s women for their “reverence towards motherhood” as he continues to send their sons and husbands to war in Ukraine.
In a televised International Women’s Day address, flanked by the statue of Russian Empress Catherine II the Great in the Kremlin’s Senate’s Palacehe, he said: “Reverence and respect towards women and motherhood is an unconditional value for us, something we have been passing on from generation to generation.
Putin went on to say that in Russia, the celebration “is always filled with special warmth and meaning, with the most kind, joyful and sincere feelings.”
“Dear women, on this new spring day, I want to wish you love and mutual understanding with the people you love, and may the warmth that your hearts so generously share return to you and keep you warm too,” Putin added.
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 13:15
Ukraine urges EU ministers to back joint ammunition buying plan
Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov has urged his EU counterparts to support a plan to buy one million artillery shells to help Kyiv fight Russia’s invasion and replenish their own stocks.
Speaking to reporters just before meeting the ministers in Stockholm, Reznikov said Ukraine urgently needed the shells to defend against Russian forces and launch a counter-offensive.
Reznikov said he supported a proposal by Estonia for EU countries to club together to buy 1 million 155-millimetre shells for Ukraine this year at a cost of 4 billion euros ($4.22 billion).
He said Ukraine wanted 90,000 to 100,000 artillery rounds per month. Ukraine is burning through shells faster than its allies can make them, officials have warned, prompting a renewed search for ammunition and ways to ramp up production.
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 12:45
Thousands of people in Ukraine have complex war-related injuries – WHO
Thousands of people in Ukraine have sustained complex injuries linked to the war and need rehabilitation services and equipment to help them, a senior World Health Organisation (WHO) official has said.
Attacks on healthcare facilities, fewer healthcare workers due to displacement and power shortages were all making it difficult for people to get care, Dr. Satish Mishra from the WHO’s regional office for Europe, told a media briefing.
Even before the war, in 2019, about half the population in Ukraine could have benefited from rehabilitation services for non-communicable conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, Dr Cathal Morgan, another WHO official said.
Since then, the Covid-19 pandemic and the war have significantly increased the need for rehab services, he added. “Hence the need for urgency.”
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 11:45
EU court annuls sanctions against mother of Putin ally
A top European Union court has granted a challenge to annul sanctions against the mother of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of president Vladimir Putin and the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group fighting in Ukraine.
The EU blacklisted Violetta Prigozhina saying business links with her son made her complicit in Russia’s aggression against its neighbour, a former Soviet republic that now wants to integrate with the West.
“The General Court annuls the restrictive measures applied to Ms Violetta Prigozhina, mother of Mr Yevgeniy Prigozhin, in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine,” the bloc’s second highest court said.
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 11:15
Watch | The Body in the Woods | An Independent TV Original Documentary
It was a month into Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian forces had withdrawn from around Kyiv and in their wake Bel Trew and her team stumbled on a body by an abandoned Russian camp.
His hands were tied. He had been burned and shot in the back. Soldiers said he was a teenager.
As Bel tried to find out who he was and what had happened, she uncovered a nightmare world: a nation struggling to find thousands of its missing and to identify its dead.
The Body in the Woods | An Independent TV Original Documentary
It was a month into Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Russian forces had withdrawn from around Kyiv and in their wake Bel Trew and her team stumbled on a body by an abandoned Russian camp. His hands were tied. He had been burned and shot in the back. Soldiers said he was a teenager. As Bel tried to find out who he was and what had happened, she uncovered a nightmare world: a nation struggling to find thousands of its missing and to identify its dead. The Body in the Woods by Bel Trew is streaming now on Independent TV and on your smart TV.
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 10:42
Latest images from Bakhmut
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 10:16
Bakhmut a ‘meat grinder’ for Putin’s forces as Russian losses soar
Ukraine has turned Bakhmut into a meat grinder for some of Russia’s most capable personnel, military experts have said amid reports Moscow’s losses far outstrip Kyiv’s.
“It has achieved its aim as effectively being the anvil on which so many Russian lives have been broken,” Lord Richard Dannatt, the former chief of the general staff of the British armed forces, said on Sky News.
The comments came as military expert Pavlo Narozhniy told Ukrainian NV Radio that Vladimir Putin’s losses in Bakhmut are between five and eight times greater than Ukraine’s.
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 09:31
EU needs to prioritise existing funds for buying Ukraine shells, Borrell says
Existing European funds will need to be prioritised for procuring ammunition for Ukraine before any decision on fresh funds can be expected, the European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Wednesday.
“The first thing to do is to use what we have. If member states are ready to provide more, I will be happy. But today let’s be realistic and pragmatic, and discuss about the things that can be adopted today,” Borrell said before a meeting with EU defence ministers in Stockholm.
Emily Atkinson8 March 2023 08:58