China’s Xi Jinping tells Putin ‘change is coming’ as he departs Moscow

Any attempt to arrest Vladimir Putin would be a declaration of war against Russia, the president’s ally Dmitry Medvedev said after the International Criminal Court (ICC) put out a warrant for the Russian leader over alleged war crimes.

Mr Putin stands accused of bearing personal responsibility for the illegal deportation of hundreds of children from Ukraine.

Speaking to Russian media, Mr Medvedev, a former president, said the ICC, which countries including Russia, China and the United States do not recognise, was a “legal nonentity” that had never done anything significant.

On an attempt to arrest Mr Putin, he said: “What would that be? It would be a declaration of war on the Russian Federation.”

Earlier Mr Medvedev said the threat of nuclear conflict was rising and the constant arms supply to Ukraine is bringing a “nuclear apocalypse” closer.

Russia has accused Britain of driving the stakes of nuclear war after the Ministry of Defence revealed it was sending Ukraine missiles tipped with depleted uranium – a common, if not uncontroversial, type of munitions.


Russian suspect facing extradition from Italy to US evades house arrest

A Russian businessman facing extradition from Italy to the United States has escaped from house arrest, Italian police say.

Artem Uss is due to face charges in the United States for shipping oil from Venezuela in breach of sanctions, and for bank fraud.

The suspect has been on the run at least since Wednesday afternoon, when his electronic tag sent out an “evasion alarm”, the Carabinieri police said in a statement.

Officers checked in at his home in Basiglio, in the outskirts of Milan, only to find that he had gone, and are now actively looking for him, the Carabinieri added.

Uss’ Italian lawyer Vinicio Nardo had no comment.

An Italian court had agreed to transfer the Russian to the United States on Tuesday, but only on two of the four counts with which he was charged by US authorities.

The court ruled against handing over the suspect for the additional alleged crimes of smuggling military technology from the United States to Russia and money laundering.

Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 21:00


Zelensky tells Europe to offer more military aid or war could last years

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Europe to increase and speed up its supply of weapons to his country as well as impose additional sanctions on Russia, saying otherwise the war could drag on for years.

In a long and sharply worded video address to EU leaders, delivered from a train, Zelensiy said it was up to the 27-nation bloc to take action to contain Russia more than a year into its invasion of Ukraine.

In particular, he reiterated demands for long-range missiles, more ammunition and more modern aircraft, and said the EU needed to speed up the process to grant Ukraine membership.


“If Europe waits, the evil may have time to regroup and prepare for years of war. It is in your power to prevent this,” he said as EU leaders held talks with U.N. chief Antonio Guterres.

Zelensky was particularly critical of what he called the EU’s delay in signaling stronger sanctions against Russia.

Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 20:00


Drone strikes and border trenches: Russia’s war on Ukraine comes home

Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 19:15


Latest images from frontline in Soledar, near Bakhmut




Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 18:34


Russian forces leave town in southern Kherson region – Ukrainian military

Russian forces have left the town of Nova Kakhovka in southern Kherson region, the Ukrainian military’s General Staff said on Thursday.

“As of 22nd March 2023, all units of the occupying army that had been deployed in the town of Nova Kakhovka in Kherson region, have left the city,” the General Staff said in its evening report outlining conditions on the front lines.

A map showing the location of Nova Kakhovka

(Google Maps)

The town is located on the east bank of the Dnipro River, where Russian forces redeployed last November after abandoning positions on the west bank in the face of a counter-offensive by Ukrainian troops.

The report said Russian troops had stolen appliances, valuables, clothing and mobile telephones from nearby houses as they departed.

Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 18:02


EU leaders endorse joint ammunition purchases for Ukraine

European Union leaders have endorsed a plan for sending Ukraine 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition within the next 12 months to help the country counter Russia’s invasion forces.

EU foreign and defense ministers approved the plan for a fast-track purchasing procedure earlier this week, and the leaders of the bloc’s 27 member nations gave it their political blessing at a summit in Brussels on Thursday.

“Taking into account the security and defense interests of all member states, the European Council welcomes the agreement … to deliver ground-to-ground and artillery ammunition to Ukraine and, if requested, missiles,” the meeting’s conclusions on Ukraine read.

Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 17:25


Finnish president signs Nato legislation

Finland president Sauli Niinisto signed legislation making his country part of Nato in a ceremony on Thursday.

Finland last year sought to join the military alliance in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, and legislation incorporating Nato’s founding treaties was passed in parliament in Helsinki on 1 March.

Hungary and Turkey, the only Nato members that have yet to ratify Finland’s membership, have both signaled that they will soon do so.


Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 16:54


Ukrainian refugees to drive home because of UK registration fees

Two Ukrainian refugees are planning to drive their car more than 2,000 miles from Manchester to Dnipro and leave it in a “warzone” because of costly registration fees, ministers have heard.

Labour MP Jeff Smith told the Commons the refugees who had come to live in his Manchester Withington constituency faced the situation because of the high fees and bureaucracy around permanently registering their car in the UK.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt said the decision they faced once their temporary registration expired was “crackers”.

According to Google Maps, the journey from Manchester to Dnipro would take 38 hours, and cover more than 2,000 miles through six countries.

Liam James23 March 2023 16:15


No peace in Ukraine til Russian failure ‘very clear’, says Varadkar

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar has said he does not think peace in Ukraine is possible “until it’s very clear that Russia’s military objectives in Ukraine have failed”.

Speaking before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels where an ammunition deal would be discussed, Mr Varadkar said European support of Ukraine means increasing supply of ammunition.

He said there was now a need to support Ukraine to ensure an effort by Russia to “take its territory” and “overthrow its government” fails.

“That means supporting Ukraine in its fight and talking to other European governments. Part of that means increasing the supply of ammunitions,” he said.

He said due to Ireland’s military neutrality, it was not providing military aid but it was contributing to non-lethal equipment through the European Peace Facility.

Varadkar at an EU summit in Brussels today


Liam James23 March 2023 15:37


Don’t give Hornets to Ukraine, says Finnish defence minister

Finland’s defence minister said he did not want to donate Hornet fighter jets to Ukraine, despite a Ukrainian request for such planes to help with its fight against Russia.

“My view as Finland’s defence minister is that we need these Hornets to secure our own country,” Antti Kaikkonen told a news conference in Helsinki.

“I view negatively the idea that they would be donated during the next few years. And if we look even further, my understanding is that they begin to be worn out and will have little use value left,” he said.

Finland will, however, give additional military equipment to Ukraine, including three more Leopard 2 tanks that come on top of a similar-sized donation made earlier, Kaikkonen told a news conference.

Liam James23 March 2023 14:45

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