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Russia - Ukraine war | News summary for 24 March

Update:
One month after Russia invaded Ukraine, President Biden has travelled to Europe to discuss the ongoing crisis. Follow our live blog for updates on the conflict.

Russia - Ukraine war: Live updates

Headlines

- Biden confirms he would support removing Russia from the G20

- Russian forces surrounded northwest of Kyiv by Ukrainian forces.

- Ukrainian forces push back eastern forces to 34 miles from center of capital putting Russians on defensive footing.

- US secretary of state, Antony Blinken: "Members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes"

- Ukrainian leaders accuse Russia of taking food delivery and aid workers hostage as they were entering Mariupol

- President Zelensky reports that 100,000 people still remain trapped in Mariupol, drone footage captures the destruction.

- Russia claims it used a hypersonic missile in Ukraine, what is it?

Russia-Ukraine: Conflict Background

- Foreign fighters like "Wali" are targets of the Russian army.

- What is the FSB?

- Sanctions on Russia begin to impact the cost of living  around the world.

Related News

More high level EU politicians visit Kyiv despite danger

The Speakers of the Parliaments of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia traveled to Kyiv to meet face to face with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Although the Ukrainian forces have made advances in pushing the invading Russian forces back from the capital city the trip to and from is still risky. 

The four signed a joint statement on the need to urgently modernize Ukraine's air defense system. 

Use of chemical weapons "would trigger a response in kind"

As the humanitarian crisis deepens in Ukraine and the war goes badly for President Putin's forces their are fears he may use chemical weapons to terrorize Ukraine into submission. President Biden said that such a move by the Russians "would trigger a response in kind." He added that response would be made by the alliance at that time.

Russia is trying to create pretext for using chemical weapons

As Russian forces experience ever greater losses in Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the Russian president has made ever more accusations that Ukraine is preparing to use chemical or biological weapons. The US and its allies have been sounding the alarm that it is just another example of Putin creating a false pretext to use them himself.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that their use would have widespread consequences. As well that the alliance is preparing for any such eventuality and prepared to aid Ukraine should Russia make any such assualt on their cities or forces.

First hand view of life inside Mariupol beseiged by Russian forces

Russian forces have been bombarding Mariupol without pause for nearly three weeks leaving the port city in ruins. Those that remain, estimated at around 100,000, have nearly exhausted all food supplies without water, electricity or heating.

The Hrechkina sisters share what it was like to try to survive under the constant rain of Russian munitions.

Biden announces new steps to support Ukraine in European speech

"I’m announcing the United States have prepared to commit more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to help get relief to millions of Ukrainians affected by the war in Ukraine.

"Many Ukrainian refugees will wish to stay in Europe, closer to their homes.  But we’ve also — will welcome 100,000 Ukrainians to the United States with a focus on reuniting families. 

"And we will invest $320 million to bolster democratic resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries."

President Joe Biden, Press Conference, Brussels

WORLD NEWS

Which countries near Russia do US forces have bases?

Speaking earlier today, President Biden said that the United States was poised to respond if Russia started using chemical weapons in Ukraine. The prospect of further escalation from the Kremlin has been mooted for weeks and Western powers are thought to be considering more military support for Ukraine if that comes to pass. 

But how long could it take for the resources to get into Ukrainian hands? We take a look at the military bases controlled by the US in Eastern Europe...

Read more

How to help refugees from Ukraine

Earlier today President Biden announced that the United States would be stepping up its efforts to support those worst-affected by the invasion of Ukraine, admitting 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing the conflict. In response to that effort former President Barack Obama, under who Biden served as Vice President for two terms, has pointed people towards some ways to support Ukraine from the US. 

Ukrainian troops sink Russian landing craft

In the early days of the invasion Russian forces made the quickest progress in the south of Ukraine, using the territory on the annexed Crimea in 2014 to launch an offensive. The invasion by water made sense but reports from the ground suggest that Ukrainian operatives have destroyed a huge Russian vessel moored in the port of Berdyansk in south-east Ukraine.

WORLD NEWS

Has Russia lost military capacity since the beginning of the invasion?

For one month the Russian military has bombarded Ukraine with sustained shellings and launched countless attacks on civilian targets. However the Ukrianians have put up a stout resistance and managed to prevent the capital city, Kyiv, from falling under Russian control. 

Furthermore, numerous reports suggest that thousands of Russian soldiers have been killed in the invasion and Ukraine has captured or destroyed huge amounts of military weaponry and vehicles. 

Read more

What would happen if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine?

During a press conference in Brussels, Belgium in the last few minutes, President Biden was asked how he would respond if Russian was found to be using chemical weapons in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The President was reluctant to go into specifics but confirmed that the use of chemical weapons would trigger tougher actions. 

Biden told those gathered: "We would respond if he uses it. The nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use."

Biden speaks to reporters during trip to Europe

"This is not something that Poland or Romania or Germany can carry on their own. This is an international problem and the United States, as leaders of the international community, has a duty to be engaged."

President Joe Biden, Remarks on Ukraine

President Biden addresses NATO allies in Europe

The President of the United States arrived in Brussels, Belgium yesterday to begin his visit to Europe in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Today Biden will meet with NATO leaders and later will attend the European Parliament as he looks to take an active lead in coordinating the Western response. 

One month of a bloody conflict

On 24 February Russian troops entered Ukraine, launching a sustained and unjustified attack on the country and destorying many civilian targets with prolonged shelling. After one month there appears little sign of a resolution in the near future, despite the Russian military suffering significant losses. 

The Kyiv Independent estimates that well over 15,000 Russian soldiers have already lost their lives. 

WORLD NEWS

What are hypersonic missiles, how do they work and why has Russia used them in Ukraine?

Russia’s Ministry of Defence confirmed last Saturday that the Kremlin had approved the use of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles against military targets in Ukraine. The Defence Ministry said the hypersonic weapons had been used to destroy a “large underground warehouse of missiles and aviation ammunition” in Deliatyn, in eastern Ukraine. 

The US confirmed the use of Kinzhals in Ukraine after tracking the strikes in real time. The attacks represent the first time Russia has admitted deploying hypersonic missiles in combat, although it is suspected they have been used in Syria.

Read more

Treasury Department comment on new sanctions

Our purpose here is to methodically remove the benefits and privileges Russia once enjoyed as a participant in the international economic order... Russia will soon face an acute shortage of ideas, talent and technology to compete in the 21st century, and Putin will be left with a strategic failure of his own making.

Senior Treasury department official, speaking on condition of anonimity

New sanctions on Russia announced at NATO summit

(Reuters) - The United States and its allies on Thursday ramped up pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, as Washington imposed fresh sanctions on dozens of Russian defense companies, hundreds of members of its parliament and the chief executive of the country's largest bank.

The US Treasury Department also issued guidance on its website warning that gold-related transactions involving Russia may be sanctionable by US authorities, a move aimed at stopping Russia from evading existing sanctions.

Bellerín: "It is racist to have turned a blind eye to other conflicts and now to have this position."

"It is quite difficult to see that we are more interested in this war than in others," the Real Betis full-back told La Media Inglesa.

"I don't know if it is because they are more like us or because the conflict can affect us more directly both economically and in terms of refugees."

He then discussed other conflicts around the world which he believes are not treated with the same seriousness..

"The Palestinian war has been completely silenced, no one speaks about it," he said.

"Yemen, Iraq... now Russia not being able to play in the World Cup is something that other countries have faced for many years."

WORLD NEWS

Has Russia lost military capacity since the beginning of the invasion?

Clearly, the invasion is not going how Russia planned, evidenced by the length of time the war has taken. Questions are being asked about how many Russian casualties there are, something difficult to ascertain due to the propagandist nature of 'official' data. We piece the facts together as best as possible.

Read more

NATO joint statement concerning war in Ukraine

We condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. We call on President Putin to immediately stop this war and withdraw military forces from Ukraine, and call on Belarus to end its complicity, in line with the Aggression Against Ukraine Resolution adopted at the UN General Assembly of 2 March 2022.

Russia should comply with the 16 March ruling by the UN International Court of Justice and immediately suspend military operations. Russia’s attack on Ukraine threatens global security. Its assault on international norms makes the world less safe. President Putin’s escalatory rhetoric is irresponsible and destabilizing.

Statement by NATO Heads of State and Government, concerning the war in Ukraine

Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine represents a fundamental challenge to the values and norms that have brought security and prosperity to all on the European continent. President Putin’s choice to attack Ukraine is a strategic mistake, with grave consequences also for Russia and the Russian people. We remain united and resolute in our determination to oppose Russia’s aggression, aid the government and the people of Ukraine, and defend the security of all Allies.

NATO statement, continues

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg speaks in Brussels about the war

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg begins his news conference, saying the Russian invasion is the biggest threat to security in generation.

"We stand with [the people of Ukraine]," he says.

Asked about China, he says NATO's message is they should join the rest of the world in condemning the "brutal war against Ukraine" and not support Russia with economic or military support.

NATO news conference coming up

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg will speak shortly, as the military alliance gathers in Brussels for a summit in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russian warship destroyed in occupied port - Ukrainian officials

Video posted by the Ukrainian navy and on social media showed explosions and a big ship on fire at the port, about 44 miles west of Mariupol, at 7am local time on Thursday.

The Ukrainian military said its forces had struck a Russian vessel called the Orsk.

Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar later told Ukrainian TV that the military had hit a "huge target", capable of carrying 20 tanks, 45 armoured vehicles and 400 troops.

Update on Russian losses after one month of war

The Russian military first entered into the Donbass region of Ukraine in the early hours of 24 February and has waged war against the Ukrainian people ever since. However despite the clear numerical advantage, the Russian troops have not managed to secure victory in Ukraine and have instead suffered significant losses. 

Ukrainian publication the Kyiv Independent has estimated the military losses sustained by Russia so far, claiming that more than 15,000 Russian soldiers killed in the past month and huge amounts of weaponry and vehicles destroyed or captured. Take so-called 'official' figures with a pinch of salt however, there is a war going on after all.

WORLD NEWS

Which countries near Russia do US forces have bases?

During President Biden's trip to Europe this week, he will make a stop in Poland to meet with President Andrzej Duda. Poland is the only country, aside from Belgium, that the president will visit.

White House Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that a visit to Poland is critical because the country "has taken the brunt of the humanitarian impact outside of Ukraine in terms of the refugee flows."

"Poland is where the United States has surged a significant number of forces to be able to help defend and shore up the eastern flank," added Sullivan.

Read more

Zelenskyy rallying cry to urge global protests on Thursday

Ukraine's leader has called for worldwide protest in support of Ukraine to mark a month since Russia's invasion began.

"Come from your offices, your homes, your schools and universities, come in the name of peace, come with Ukrainian symbols to support Ukraine, to support freedom, to support life," President Zelenskyy said in a video address, which he said in English.

White House officials claim Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine

For weeks the reports of sustained attacks on civilians and failure to respect humanitarian corridors have emerged from Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that Russian forces have done anything wrong but American officials are now on record as saying that Russian forces are thought to have committed war crimes in Ukraine. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday: "Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the US government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine."

US NEWS

What has the FBI said about the possible Russian cyberattack on US energy companies?

Just days before President Biden gave a general public warning that hackers linked to the Kremlin could strike US targets the FBI briefed companies in the critical US infrastructure sectors about actions by Russian hackers. 

CBS News was first to report on the FBI bulletin, warning that multiple IP addresses from Russia were associated with abnormal activity scanning the networks of at least 23 US companies in critical sectors.

Read more

Russian open radio channels reveal failures of invading forces

The use of unencrypted radio frequencies by Russian forces has allowed anyone with a radio to listen in. It has also let Ukrainian forces tack down and kill at least one general geolocating his signal.

Recordings by those who have been eavesdropping reveal serious failures in logistics and coordination between land and air units.

"Russian forces have almost certainly suffered thousands of casualties"

In its latest intelligence update on the war in Ukraine, the UK’s Ministry of Defence says Russia is exploring several ways to bolster its forces to make up for a high number of troop losses.

“Russian forces have almost certainly suffered thousands of casualties during their invasion of Ukraine,” the update says.

“Russia is likely now looking to mobilise its reservist and conscript manpower, as well as private military companies and foreign mercenaries, to replace these considerable losses.

It is unclear how these groups will integrate into the Russian ground forces in Ukraine and the impact this will have on combat effectiveness.”

Hello and welcome to AS USA coverage of the Russia-Ukraine for March 24. Ukrainian forces continue to stall the progress of Russian troops.

It is now one month since the beginning of the invasion, as Ukrainian forces continue to stall the progress of Russian troops. Foreign leaders are in Brussels today to discuss the conflict and next steps as economies are impacted by sanctions and quickly rising energy prices.

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