Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

Two ships will leave the ports of Ukraine within the framework of the Black Sea Grain Initiative

A cargo ship carrying Ukrainian grain, and another from Ukraine, sails at the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait, in the Black Sea off the coast off Kumkoy, north of Istanbul, on November 2, 2022.

cos weights | AFP | Getty Images

The organization supervising the export of agricultural products said that two ships carrying corn and wheat left Ukrainian ports.

The amount of cereals and other crops exported under the Black Sea Grain Initiative so far exceeds 16.8 million metric tons.

the Black Sea Grain InitiativeA deal brokered in July between Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations eased Russia’s naval blockade and saw three major Ukrainian ports reopen.

Amanda Macias

US Senators Reid and King meet with Zelensky in Kyiv

US Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Angus King, I-Men, meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

US Senators Jack Reed (D), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Angus King (I-ME) pose for a photo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, January 6, 2023. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters Attention Editors – This image was provided by a third party.

Ukrainian Presidential Press | via Reuters

US Senators Jack Reed (D), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Angus King (I-ME) attend a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine January 6, 2023.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

US Senators Jack Reed (D), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Angus King (I-ME) attend a news briefing, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine January 6, 2023.

Valentin Ogerenko | Reuters

Japan’s Kishida pledges additional support from G7 countries in contact with Zelensky

Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida speaks at the start of the 10th Annual Review of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at United Nations Headquarters on August 1, 2022 in New York City. Japan’s average minimum wage is set to rise at a record pace this year, the Japanese government said on Tuesday, a positive development for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s efforts to relieve households from global commodity inflation.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited him to visit Kyiv during a phone call on Friday.

Kishida said no decision has been made about traveling to Ukraine yet.

In his call with Zelensky, Kishida reaffirmed Japanese support and pledged more aid to Ukraine as Tokyo holds the G7 presidency for this year.

Amanda Macias

The United States strikes Iran with more sanctions because of the use of drones in Russia’s war on Ukraine

A drone flies over Kyiv during the attack on October 17, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sergey Sobinsky | Afp | Getty Images

The Biden administration announced a series of new sanctions and additional measures targeting Iran’s aerospace and defense sector, as Washington increases its campaign against Tehran for supplying arms to Moscow for its war on Ukraine.

The Treasury Department sanctioned six executives and board members of Iran’s Qods Aviation Industries, the country’s largest defense manufacturer, for producing unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. Tehran has flown the drones to Moscow for battlefield use across Ukraine, according to the Treasury Department.

In recent months, Moscow has carried out devastating missile and drone strikes against what Ukraine has described as civilian targets as well as critical infrastructure such as energy facilities. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that it uses Iranian-made drones in Ukraine and that it targets residential and other civilian areas.

Read More here.

Amanda Macias

Putin’s Ceasefire Request Likely a Media Operation to Damage Ukraine: Institute for the Study of War

Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request for a ceasefire for Orthodox Christmas — which Ukraine rejected — is likely a ploy designed to make Ukraine appear aggressive and intransigent. Orthodox Christmas is held on January 7th.

“Putin’s announcement that Russian forces will implement a 36-hour ceasefire in celebration of Russian Orthodox Christmas is most likely a media operation aimed at harming Ukraine’s reputation,” the group wrote on Twitter.

The think tank wrote in subsequent tweets that “Ukrainian and Western officials, including US President Joe Biden, immediately highlighted the hypocrisy of the ceasefire declaration and asserted that Russian forces continued to bomb Ukrainian military and civilian infrastructure on December 25 – when many Orthodox Ukrainians celebrate.” Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there will be a ceasefire once Russian forces leave his country.

“Putin could have sought to secure a 36-hour downtime for Russian forces to give them the ability to rest, recuperate and reorient offensive operations on important sectors of the front,” the ISW wrote.

“Putin cannot reasonably expect Ukraine to abide by the terms of the suddenly announced cease-fire and may have called for the cease-fire to frame Ukraine as unaware and unwilling to take the necessary steps toward negotiations,” the statement said, adding that Russia used this kind of information. tactic by.

– Natasha Turak

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister warns residents of the occupied regions not to attend church services

Construction workers climb the roof of a destroyed church in the village of Bohorodychne, Donetsk region on January 4, 2023, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Dimitar Delkov | AFP | Getty Images

The Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister warned the residents of the regions occupied by Russia not to attend church services on the occasion of Orthodox Christmas, which is celebrated on the seventh of January, warning that this could be dangerous.

“There is information that Russians are preparing terrorist attacks in churches in the temporarily occupied territories on the occasion of Orthodox Christmas,” Irina Vereshuk wrote on her Telegram channel, although she did not provide evidence for this claim.

“I urge citizens to exercise caution and, if possible, refrain from visiting places where there is a large crowd of people,” she said. “Take care of yourself and your loved ones.”

– Natasha Turak

Estonia has allocated nearly 1 million euros to remove traces of the Soviet era

Estonia, a country in the Baltic region, is allocating more than €900,000 to destroy Soviet-era monuments erected across the country when it was part of the Soviet Union, the Poland-based Belarusian News Agency reports.

Estonia was a staunch supporter of Ukraine against the Russian invasion. It is a member of NATO and the European Union.

– Natasha Turak

There were reports of artillery shelling in eastern Ukraine, despite the ceasefire

Artillery bombardment continues in parts of eastern Ukraine despite Russia’s alleged unilateral ceasefire announced by Vladimir Putin, several news agencies have reported.

“A witness in Donetsk, the Russian-occupied regional capital on the frontline, described artillery firing from pro-Russian positions on the outskirts of the city after the armistice was supposed to take effect,” Reuters news agency wrote.

The Russian Defense Ministry also says that shelling from Ukraine continues. Ukraine refused to participate in the ceasefire, describing it as hypocrisy and a cover to allow more Russian reinforcements while preventing Ukrainian forces from advancing.

– Natasha Turak

The start of the 36-hour cease-fire in Russia

Ukrainian soldiers from a special forces unit prepare to fire mortar shells at Russian forces amidst artillery battles on December 20, 2022, in Pakhmut, Ukraine.

Pierre Crom | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russia’s cease-fire, ordered by Putin on the occasion of Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7, officially began at noon Moscow time.

Russia’s official Channel 1 announced “At noon today, the ceasefire regime entered into force on the entire contact line. It will last until the end of January 7.”

The move is seen by many as an opportunity to allow Russian soldiers to rest and recuperate and to prevent Ukrainian forces from making gains on the ground. Ukraine has rejected the ceasefire, likening it to a trap designed to give Russian forces an advantage.

– Natasha Turak

Zelensky rejects Putin’s proposal for a temporary ceasefire, says war will end ‘when your soldiers leave’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a temporary ceasefire during Orthodox Christmas on January 7.

Ukrinform | Publishing in the future | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a temporary ceasefire during Orthodox Christmas on January 7, describing it as a cover to stop the advance of Ukrainian forces and bring in more reinforcements for Russian forces.

“Now they want to use Christmas as a cover, albeit for a short time, to stop the advance of our boys in the Donbass and bring equipment, ammunition and mobilized forces close to our positions,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address. “What would that give them? Just another increase in their total losses.”

Speaking in Russian rather than Ukrainian, Zelensky said that a true ceasefire meant “an end to the aggression of your country…and the war will end either when your soldiers leave or we expel them.”

Many pointed out that Russia did not offer a ceasefire on December 25, which many Orthodox Ukrainians celebrate, or on the occasion of the New Year. New Year’s Eve saw Russia attack cities in Ukraine with drone strikes, destroying energy infrastructure and destroying residential buildings.

– Natasha Turak

The Pentagon says the Bradley armored vehicles will provide “the firepower and armor that will deliver advantages on the battlefield.”

Ukrainian soldiers with the 43rd Heavy Artillery Brigade sit on top of a 2S7 Pion self-propelled gun on the battlefield, as the Russian offensive into Ukraine continues, during intense front-line bombing in Bakhmut, Ukraine, December 26, 2022.

Clodagh Kilcoin | Reuters

The Pentagon said the Bradley fighting vehicles would give Ukraine an edge on the battlefield, but declined to say how the armored vehicles would be equipped and how long training would take.

Nor is it clear how many Bradleys the United States will send to Ukraine and how long it will take for tracked armored vehicles to make their debut on the battlefield against Russia.

The White House is set to announce the next security assistance package on Friday.

US Air Force Brigadier General, Pentagon Press Secretary. Gen. Pat Ryder said the Bradleys will provide “a level of firepower and armor that will deliver advantages on the battlefield as Ukraine continues to defend its homeland.”

Amanda Macias

‘We know better than to take anything we see or hear from Russia at face value,’ the State Department says of Russia’s proposed truce.

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price gives a press conference on Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, August 16, 2021.

Kevin Lamarck | Reuters

State Department spokesman Ned Price said it was up to Ukraine if it wanted to participate in the proposed Russian truce.

The United States “doesn’t have much confidence in the intentions behind this declaration,” Price said, adding that Russia has previously reneged on such promises.

Price added, “We know better than to take anything we see or hear from Russia at face value. Unfortunately, he’s given us no reason to take anything they offer at face value.”

Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a temporary ceasefire.

The ceasefire will allow Orthodox Christians in Russia and Ukraine to celebrate Christmas Mass.

Amanda Macias

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