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Russia says it won't use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, despite threatening rhetoric

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson claims that Moscow will not unleash nuclear weapons during the war in Ukraine despite top officials' threatening rhetoric in recent weeks.

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Russia looks to utilize Nord Stream 2 domestically to boost markets as Europe shuns oil

Russia is looking to ease strains on its market caused by massive international sanctions and gas boycotts by opening the Nord Stream 2 pipeline domestically.

The West heavily relied on the threat of shutting down the controversial pipeline in an attempt to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty in the lead-up to the invasion.

Moscow dismissed the threats and on Feb. 21 announced its recognition of the "independence" of the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Germany the next day blocked the certification of the $11 billion pipeline and just two days later Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Russian-owned energy giant Gazprom has since decided to use part of the pipeline to boost domestic consumption.

"Reformatting the Nord Stream 2 infrastructure will be a significant help for the Russian market and gasification of the regions," Russian state-owned media said Friday.

For more on this story: Russia looks to utilize Nord Stream 2 domestically to boost markets as Europe shuns oil

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Russia says it won't use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, despite threatening rhetoric

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson claims that Moscow will not unleash nuclear weapons during the war in Ukraine despite top officials' threatening rhetoric in recent weeks. 

Alexei Zaitsev said Friday that "we have repeatedly refuted insinuations about Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons in the course of the special military operation in Ukraine," which has now lasted 72 days. 

"Russia adheres to the principal that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it must not be unleashed," Zaitsev added, according to a translation from Reuters. 

"Russia is aware of the threat posed by irresponsible behavior in this area," he also said. "Scenarios for Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons are clearly spelled out in Russian doctrine. They are not applicable to tasks in the special military operation in Ukraine." 

For more on this story: Russia says it won't use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, despite threatening rhetoric

Posted by Greg Norman

US denies providing Ukraine with targeting information for Russia’s sunken Moskva ship

The Pentagon is pushing back on reports that U.S. intelligence helped Ukraine target and sink Russia’s Moskva warship in the Black Sea in mid-April. 

In a statement late Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said "the Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case." 

"We did not provide Ukraine with specific targeting information for the Moskva," Kirby added, "We were not involved in the Ukrainians' decision to strike the ship or in the operation they carried out." 

For more on this story: US denies providing Ukraine with targeting information for Russia’s sunken Moskva ship

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia must face war crimes justice, Amnesty International says

Amnesty International says it has documented war crimes by Russian forces around Ukraine's capital city

The organization reported that it had collected evidence and testimony in eight cities near Kyiv, including Bucha. 

Images from the city sparked international outrage – though Russia did not take responsibility, calling photos of bodies in the streets staged.

For more on this story: Russia must face war crimes justice, Amnesty International says

Posted by Julia Musto

Bush calls Zelenskyy the 'Churchill of our time'

Former President George W. Bush praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the "Churchill of our time" following a virtual meeting Thursday.

"I was honored to spend a few minutes talking with President Zelenskyy – the Winston Churchill of our time – this morning. I thanked the President for his leadership, his example, and his commitment to liberty, and I saluted the courage of the Ukrainian people," Bush said in a statement. 

"President Zelenskyy assured me that they will not waver in their fight against Putin’s barbarism and thuggery. Americans are inspired by their fortitude and resilience. We will continue to stand with Ukrainians as they stand up for their freedom," he added.

For more on this story: Bush calls Zelenskyy the 'Churchill of our time'

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Lavrov seen for first time since Putin's apology for his Hitler comments

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was spotted Friday in his first public appearance since President Vladimir Putin reportedly apologized on his behalf over incendiary remarks he shot at Israel.

Lavrov attended a flower-laying ceremony in commemoration of former Soviet Union Foreign Ministry officials who died during the "Great Patriotic War" – a term coined by Russia in reference to World War II.

Lavrov does not appear to have publicly commented yet on remarks he made that caused an international spat and prompted Putin to apologize on his behalf, according to Israel.

The foreign minister this week alleged that Adolf Hitler was Jewish and suggested this claim supported the belief that Jews can express antisemitism.

For more on this story: Lavrov seen for first time since Putin's apology for his Hitler comments

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Ukrainian fighters in Azovstal steel plant refuse to surrender, will 'stand till the end': commander

Ukrainian fighters defending the Azovstal steel plant, devastated Mariupol’s last Ukrainian holdout, plan to "stand till the end" as Russian fighters continue their second day of a ground assault on the plant.

The wife of Azov Regiment commander Denys Prokopenko said the fighters "won’t surrender. They only hope for a miracle." 

She said she spoke to her husband on the phone Thursday, and he said he would love her forever. "I am going mad from this," she said. "It seemed like words of goodbye."

For more on this story: Ukrainian fighters in Azovstal steel plant refuse to surrender, will 'stand till the end': commander's wife

Posted by Brie Stimson

Germany to send self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine

Germany plans to send seven self-propelled howitzers in the coming weeks that can hit targets 25 miles away to Ukraine after it reversed a policy against supplying heavy artillery in battle, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said Friday, according to report.

Germans will be training a group of Ukrainian soldiers, who have experience with Soviet-made howitzers, starting next week in Germany, Reuters reported.

The Netherlands also plans to send five howitzers. 

Posted by Brie Stimson

Posted by Brie Stimson

Nearly 500 evacuated from Azovstal plant, Zelenskyy's office says

Nearly 500 civilians have been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol," Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said Friday, according to a report.

“The next stage of rescuing our people from Azovstal is underway at the moment,” he added, the Kyiv Independent reported.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia continues Azovstal ground assault for 2nd day despite promises it would merely seal plant: UK

Russia has continued its ground assault on the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol despite promising it would only seal off the plant, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in a Friday morning update.

The assault on the plant, Mariupol's last Ukrainian holdout, is likely connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin's hopes for the annual May Victory Day celebrations in Russia but has also come at a "personnel, equipment and munitions" cost to Moscow, the update said.

"Whilst Ukrainian resistance continues in Azovstal, Russian losses will continue to build and frustrate their operational plans in southern Donbas," the ministry said.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Pentagon denies providing Ukraine with specific intelligence to sink Russia's Moskva cruiser

The Pentagon is denying reports that it gave Ukraine intelligence information to sink the Moskva, Russia's flagship of the Black Sea fleet.

”We did not provide Ukraine with specific targeting information for the Moskva," Pentagon Press Secretary said in a statement. "We were not involved in the Ukrainians’ decision to strike the ship or in the operation they carried out. We had no prior knowledge of Ukraine’s intent to target the ship. The Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case."

Posted by Brie Stimson

Zelenskyy holds video meeting with George W. Bush

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a video meeting with former President George W. Bush this week, the Ukrainian office of the president said in a statement.

"It is a great honor to meet you," Zelenskyy told Bush in the meeting. "I would like to thank the United States of America, the American people. I saw how people in the United States treat us on social networks, they take to the streets, support Ukraine with flags."

Bush said Zelenskyy's "courage" is important for continued success in the war. "If you continue to do what you do, you will always have our support if you continue to fight as you do now."

Zelesnkky called Bush a "strong leader" and invoked 9/11, which he said made Ukraine rally around Americans at the time. He also invited Bush to visit Ukraine anytime.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Sanctioned Russian oligarch's superyacht seized in Fiji, US says

The U.S. said Thursday that a Russian oligarch's superyacht has been seized in Fiji, days after a judge on the country's high court said American authorities could take control of the vessel, which came into Fiji in April.

Putin ally Suleiman Kerimov had previously been sanctioned by the U.S. over alleged money laundering.

The judge put a hold on the seizure until Friday local time so the defense could have time to mount a challenge. By Friday in Fiji, U.S. authorities said Fijian authorities at the request of the U.S. have served a search warrant on the $325 million yacht, freezing it and preventing it from leaving the country.

For more on this story: Fiji judge rules US can seize Russian oligarch's superyacht

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russian oligarch's $300M luxury yacht seized in Fiji on behalf of the US

A luxury $300 million yacht belonging to a sanctioned Russian oligarch has been seized in Fiji by request of the U.S. in a move that the Justice Department says proves Putin’s allies "cannot hide – not even in the remotest part of the world." 

The sleek, 348-foot vessel called the Amadea is owned by Suleiman Kerimov, who is part of a "group of Russian oligarchs who profit from the Russian government through corruption and its malign activity around the globe, including the occupation of Crimea," according to the Treasury Department. 

"This yacht seizure should tell every corrupt Russian oligarch that they cannot hide – not even in the remotest part of the world," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement. "We will use every means of enforcing the sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine." 

For more on this story: Russian oligarch's $300M luxury yacht seized in Fiji on behalf of the US

Posted by Greg Norman

Battle for Azovstal steel plant rages, Ukrainian soldier warns Russia forces have reached the plant

The battle for the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol continues to rage Thursday as Russian forces look to capture one of the city’s last strongholds for the Ukrainian resistance

"It’s three days now since Russian troops broke into the territory of Azovstal," Deputy Commander of Azov regiment Sviatoslav Palamar said Thursday in a Telegram post translated by a Ukrainian news outlet. "Heavy fighting continues to take a bloody toll. Defenders have been taking on the overwhelming forces of the enemy one on one for 71 days."

Ukrainian troops and civilians have been holed up in the tunnels underneath the steel plant for weeks, where many fled to shelter from Russia’s constant shelling and bombing campaigns. 

For more on this story: Battle for Azovstal steel plant rages, Ukrainian soldier warns Russia forces have reached the plant

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Ukrainian teen, 15, killed in artillery fire while trying to evacuate animals from zoo

A 15-year-old teenager reportedly has been killed in eastern Ukraine while trying to help evacuate animals from a zoo. 

The Feldman Ecopark outside the city of Kharkiv – which has seen rampant fighting during the war – said Wednesday that "during the evacuation of buffaloes... the team of our employees and volunteers got under fire." 

"One person died. Two people were seriously injured. Doctors are fighting for their lives," it posted on Facebook. 

For more on this story: Ukrainian teen, 15, killed in artillery fire while trying to evacuate animals from zoo

Posted by Greg Norman

Ukraine launches 'United24' fundraising platform for war aid, Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced Thursday that his government has launched a new online fundraising platform that he says will help his country "stop the war that Russia has started and to rebuild what Russia has destroyed."

The platform, titled United24, says on its website that any donations "will be transferred to the official accounts of the National Bank of Ukraine and allocated by assigned ministries to cover the most pressing needs," which it identified as defense and demining, medical aid and rebuilding Ukraine. 

"Only together we have the potential to stop the war that Russia has started and to rebuild what Russia has destroyed. Together we can help freedom defeat tyranny," Zelenskyy said in a video message posted on the website. 

For more on this story: Ukraine launches 'United24' fundraising platform for war aid, Zelenskyy says

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia ramps up aggression in Kherson with humanitarian blockade and capture of Ukrainian officials

Russia has ramped up its aggression in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson by blocking humanitarian corridors and capturing local officials, authorities reported Thursday.

Located just north of the Black Sea, Ukrainian officials warned last month that Russia will look to annex Kherson as it attempts to take "full control" over eastern and southern Ukraine.

Dominance over these regions would not only create a land bridge to Russia from occupied Crimea but would grant it complete control over all Ukrainian port cities.

For more on this story: Russia ramps up aggression in Kherson with humanitarian blockade and capture of Ukrainian officials

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Belarus leader Lukashenko says he didn't think Russia-Ukraine war would 'drag on this way'

Belarus President and Putin ally Alexander Lukashenko revealed Thursday that he didn’t expect Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to "drag on this way." 

Lukashenko, in an interview with the Associated Press, also claimed he was doing "everything" to stop the war, despite Moscow using Belarus as a springboard for the conflict which began on Feb. 24 and is now in its 71st day. 

"I am not immersed in this problem enough to say whether it goes according to plan, like the Russians say, or like I feel it. I want to stress one more time, I feel like this operation has dragged on," Lukashenko said. 

For more on this story: Belarus leader, on day 71 of Russia-Ukraine war, says he didn't think it would 'drag on this way'

Posted by Greg Norman

Sweden says it received US security assurances if it submits NATO application

Sweden’s foreign minister says her country has received security assurances from the U.S. if it decides to forge ahead with the process of joining NATO – a move that has been met with nuclear threats from Russia

Ann Linde made the announcement after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, according to Reuters.  

Linde, speaking to Swedish media, said the assurances "would mean that Russia can be clear that if they direct any kind of negative activities against Sweden, which they have threatened, it would not be something that the U.S. would just allow to happen... without a response." 

For more on this story: Sweden says it received US security assurances if it submits NATO application

Posted by Greg Norman

Russian filtration camps are 'ghettos' of Mariupol, official says

Mariupol’s advisor to the mayor said Thursday that the filtration camps set up by Russian forces outside the southern port city have become "ghettos" where men face torture and forced labor. 

Petro Andryushchenko said three filtration camps have been established east of Mariupol in the village of Bezymiane – roughly 20 miles from the Russian border – which are believed to be housing 2,000 men who will be used in Russia's Victory Day parade on May 9.

The official said one video leaked from a camp in the Novoazovsk district shows that an old school building is being used to forcibly detain Ukrainian men taken from Guglino, Myrnyi and Volonterivka districts.

For more on this story: Russian filtration camps are 'ghettos' of Mariupol, official says

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Zelesnkyy says extended ceasefire necessary to dig civilians out from underneath Azovstal plant

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelesnkyy said Thursday morning that an extended ceasefire was necessary in Mariupol to allow civilians to be dug out of the bunkers in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, which remains under attack.

Russia previously agreed to allow civilians to leave the plant for several hours each day starting on Thursday and ending Saturday but Zelesnkyy said that wasn't enough.

"It will take time simply to lift people out of those basements, out of those underground shelters," Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. "In the present conditions, we cannot use heavy equipment to clear the rubble away. It all has to be done by hand," 

Posted by Brie Stimson

Zelesnkyy honors TV journalist killed fighting for Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid tribute to a Ukrainian TV journalist who died fighting for his country Wednesday near the eastern city of Izyum, according to reports.

Oleksandr Makhov, 36, was "patriotic and sincere, and always without vanity," Zelenskyy said in his nightly address, according to Reuters. "And he was always among the bravest, among those first in line."

Makhov was a veteran of reporting from war zones.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Wealthy Russians moving to Dubai to avoid impacts of sanctions on country: report

Wealthy Russians are moving to Dubai in large numbers to avoid the impacts of sanctions imposed by the West on the country, according to a report.

Russians buying property in Dubai has surged by 67% between January and March of this year, according to BBC News.

The United Arab Emirates hasn't sanctioned Russia over the war and isn't restricting visas for Russians who aren't facing sanctions personally.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia will likely exploit Belarus exercises to keep Ukrainian fighters in the north, UK says

Russia will likely try to inflate the threat posed by Belarus’ military conducting seasonal exercises across Ukraine's northern border to force Ukrainian soldiers to stay in the north, “preventing them from being committed to the battle for the Donbas,” Britain’s Defense Ministry said in a Thursday morning update.

Belarus’ exercises are “in line with seasonal norms as Belarus enters the culmination of its Winter Training cycle in the month of May,” the update added. “Deviation from normal exercise activity that could pose a threat to allies and partners is not currently anticipated.”

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russians breach Azovstal steel plant, which remains under heavy fire

The besieged Azovstal steel plant where hundreds of civilians and Ukrainian fighters are believed to be sheltering remains under heavy fire, according to the Ukrainian military.

Late Wednesday, Ukrainian commander Denis Prokopenko said defenders inside the plant are fighting “difficult, bloody battles” with Russian troops and a member of parliament said the Russians had been able to enter the plant for the first time, according to Reuters.

“The extent of this Russian advance remains unclear, and Russian forces likely face further costly fighting if they intend to clear the entire facility,” the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War said late Wednesday. “The Kremlin likely hopes that the successful capture of Azovstal through a ground assault will cement the Kremlin’s growing effort to claim complete control of Mariupol by May 9, [Russia's annual Victory Day] with Russian propagandists recently arriving in the city to set conditions for further claims of a Russian victory.” 

Around 200 civilians are believed to be trapped inside the plant in the destroyed port city of Mariupol along with hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers.

Azovstal is the last Ukrainian holdout in the city and Russian President Vladimir Putin already claimed victory there late last month.

Russia had promised Wednesday that starting Thursday through Saturday civilians would be allowed to evacuate the plant but fighting continued overnight. A number of civilians were able to evacuate earlier this week.

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said that Russian forces were targeting the already shattered Azovstal plant with heavy artillery, tanks, aircraft, warships and “heavy bombs that pierce concrete 3 to 5 meters thick.”

“Our brave guys are defending this fortress, but it is very difficult,” he said. 

A Russian official earlier denied that troops were storming the plant, but the commander of the main Ukrainian unit inside said Russian soldiers had pushed into the mill's territory.

“With the support of aircraft, the enemy resumed the offensive in order to take control of the plant,” the General Staff in Kyiv said, adding that the Russians were “trying to destroy Ukrainian units.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

More than 300 civilians evacuated from Mariupol, other cities Wednesday

A total of 341 civilians were evacuated from Mariupol, Manhush, Berdiansk, Tokmak and Vasylivka on Wednesday the United Nations said.

Earlier this week, more than 150 civilians were able to leave the Azovstal steel plant where they were hiding as Russians attack the city. No civilians were able to get out of the plant on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia attacks supply-line targets to keep Western military supplies away from Ukrainians

Russia has attacked rail stations and other supply line targets in an effort to prevent Western military supplies from getting to Ukrainians.

The Russian military said it used sea- and air-launched missiles to destroy electric power facilities at five railway stations across Ukraine. Artillery and aircraft also struck troop strongholds and fuel and ammunition depots.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia says it'll allow civilians trapped inside Mariupol steel plant to evacuate starting Thursday

Russia said it will start allowing civilians to evacuate the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on Thursday, according to a report.

It will allow civilians out of the plant from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday Moscow time, the Kyiv Independent reported.

Russia didn't make any mention of the injured Ukrainian service members trapped inside. Ukraine has not responded to Russia's announcement and has accused Moscow of violating humanitarian corridors in the past and killing escaping civilians.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Ukraine says it is 'ready' as Belarus suddenly announces military exercises

Ukraine is vowing Wednesday that it’s "ready" after its northern neighbor Belarus – which Russia used as a springboard for its invasion – announced military exercises to assess the combat readiness of their armed forces. 

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said the exercises that began Wednesday would also be used to assess their military’s ability to operate on "unknown terrain in a rapidly changing situation." 

"We do not rule out that the Russian Federation could at some point use the territory of Belarus, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, against Ukraine," said Andriy Demchenko, spokesperson for Ukraine's State Border Service, according to Reuters. 

For more on this story: Ukraine says it is 'ready' as Belarus suddenly announces military exercises to test combat readiness

Posted by Greg Norman

Image appears to show bodies of Russian soldiers arranged in letter 'Z' after Ukraine takes village

A grisly image has emerged purportedly showing bodies of Russian soldiers arranged in the letter "Z" after Ukraine’s military recaptured a village in the country’s east. 

The photo was taken Monday outside the city of Kharkiv and shows four corpses lined up to form the letter that has become a sign of support for Russia’s military and its invasion of Ukraine. 

The Associated Press described the area where its photographer took the image as having "the feel of an open-air morgue, where the dead lie unclaimed and unexplained, sometimes for weeks on end, as Ukrainian and Russian forces fight for control of slivers of land." 

For more on this story: Image appears to show bodies of Russian soldiers arranged in letter 'Z' after Ukraine recaptures village

Posted by Greg Norman

Zelenskyy to Fox News: Russia is ‘following the concept of Goebbels’ with Hitler comparison

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Griff Jenkins on Wednesday, said "they are following the concept of Goebbels and they are using the same methodology" after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov compared him to Adolf Hitler. 

The interview lasted nearly an hour. Russia's invasion of Ukraine is now in its 70th day. 

"So what if Zelenskyy is Jewish," Lavrov said earlier this week, according to The Times of Israel. "The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood." 

Zelenskyy told Fox News’ on Wednesday that Russia is “following the concept of [Nazi propagandist Joseph] Goebbels and they are using the same methodology and the reaction I think is to weaken the world to these phrases of Lavrov.” 

For more on this story: Zelenskyy to Fox News: Russia is 'following the concept of Goebbels' with Hitler comparison

Fox News’ Tyler O’Neil contributed to this report. 

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia reveals massive scope of May 9 military parades as war in Ukraine rages on

Russia has revealed Wednesday that tens of thousands of people and hundreds of aircraft are set to participate in military parades on May 9 to celebrate its victory in World War II. 

The scope of the demonstrations, which were outlined by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a meeting with Moscow’s armed forces, come as President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is in its 70th day. 

In a Telegram post summarizing the meeting, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said "11,000 people, 131 pieces of weapons and military equipment and 77 aircraft will take part in the parade on Red Square, dedicated to the 77th anniversary of the Victory." 

For more on this story: Russia reveals massive scope of May 9 military parades as war in Ukraine rages on

Posted by Greg Norman

EU readying sanctions on Russian Orthodox Church leader Kirill, calls him ‘long-time ally’ of Putin

The Russian Orthodox Church leader that Pope Francis has warned against becoming "Putin's altar boy" is being targeted in the latest wave of economic sanctions that the European Union is preparing to unleash against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine

Patriarch Kirill was identified in an EU document viewed by the AFP Wednesday as "a long-time ally of President Vladimir Putin who has become one of the most prominent supporters" of Russia’s bloody war in Ukraine.  

A phased-in Russian oil embargo and sanctions against the family members of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov are also part of the economic measures that the EU is proposing to implement, the AFP added. 

For more on this story: EU readying sanctions on Russian Orthodox Church leader Kirill, calls him ‘long-time ally’ of Putin

Posted by Greg Norman

Ukraine thanks Italy for arms delivery, Russian oil embargo

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukraine Foreign Ministry: 'We are not afraid'

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia's combat losses as of May 4: report

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Azovstal steel plant evacuees never arrived in Zaporizhzhia, Mariupol mayor says

The civilians who arrived in Zaporizhzhia Tuesday were not the ones who were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol days earlier, according to its mayor.

The buses allegedly carrying Ukrainian civilians from the Azovstal steel plant were not actually from Mariupol but from "other cities," Mayor Vadym Boichenko said during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine.

"The previous evacuation, which took place yesterday, which was presented by a number of media outlets as information that those were the residents of Mariupol who left, is not true. These people who were evacuated had nothing to do with the residents of Mariupol, they are from other cities," Boichenko said.

For more on this story: Azovstal steel plant evacuees never arrived in Zaporizhzhia, Mariupol mayor says

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia has started 'energy war' with Europe, Zelenskyy claims

During a phone conversation with Poland President Andrzej Duda, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned Russia has already started an "energy war" with the whole of Europe.

Zelenskyy started the conversation congratulating Duda as May 3 is the 231st anniversary of the adoption of its Constitution, before thanking the Polish leader for his assistance in Ukraine's ongoing military war with Russia, Ukraine's government said.

"Democratic values and traditions, the pursuit of justice unite our states and people. Today we feel the strong leadership support of Poland in the selfless struggle of the Ukrainian people for the protection of European values. We appreciate it!” Zelenskyy reportedly said.

Zelenskyy then cautioned Poland and the rest of Europe not to keep their energy dependence on Russia.

"Russia has already started an energy war against Poland and the whole of Europe. EU states must get rid of energy dependence on Russia," he warned.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy: Russia 'can't beat Ukraine,' attacking civilians to 'vent their powerlessness'

Russia's military has resorted to attacking civilians because Russia's leaders know "they can't beat Ukraine," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a defiant address Tuesday evening.

"Various Ukrainian cities have once again become targets for Russian missiles and Russian strikes. Lviv, Vinnytsia, Kyiv region, Dnipropetrovsk region, Odesa, Kharkiv region - such a scale of today's shelling clearly does not indicate that Russia has any special military purpose," Zelenskyy said.

"A strike at Zakarpattia? What exactly can it give Russia? They are trying to vent their powerlessness. Because they can't beat Ukraine," he added.

Zelenskyy highlighted other targets of Russia's military — such as children's attractions, grain warehouses, or civilian homes — pointing out they have no military or strategic value.

"The more [they conduct] such strikes, the farther Russia is from civilization," he said.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

'Finally': Azovstal steel plant evacuees have arrived in Zaporizhzhia, Zelenskyy says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the civilians evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol have made it safely to Zaporizhzhia.

"We finally have the result... which we have been organizing for a very long time. It took a lot of effort, long negotiations and various mediations," Zelenskyy said during his nightly address, referencing the civilians who were initially evacuated May 1.

"Today 156 people arrived in Zaporizhzhia. Women and children. They have been in shelters for more than two months," the Ukrainian president said, mentioning the youngest of the evacuees is just 6-months-old. "Finally, these people are completely safe. They will get help."

Zelenskyy thanked those who assisted in the process, in both the evacuation from the plant as well as those who are treating and housing them in Zaprozhzhia.

He also said his administration "will continue to do everything to get all our people out of Mariupol and Azovstal."

Reports estimate as many as 100,000 civilians could remain in the city which had a pre-war population of 400,000.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

21 dead, 27 injured in Donetsk, Oblast Governor vows to hold Russia accountable

In Donetsk, 21 civilians were killed and 27 more were injured following an attack by Russia's military, the Kyiv Independent reported.

Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko confirmed the attack in a Telegram post, where he also provided photos of the deceased victims and vowed to hold Russia accountable.

This is the largest attack in the region since the attack on the Kramatorsk railway station on April 8, when 57 people were killed and 109 others were injured.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukrainian ambassador: We will continue to resist Russian aggression

Posted by Louis Casiano

Medical aid to Ukrainian refugees continues

Posted by Louis Casiano

German opposition leader visits Kyiv, Scholz refuses to go

Germany’s conservative opposition leader traveled to Kyiv on Tuesday for meetings with Ukrainian officials including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz made clear that he wouldn’t be visiting Ukraine any time soon.

Scholz has traded barbs with Ukrainian officials in recent weeks because of Kyiv’s refusal to invite Germany’s head of state, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, whom Ukraine accuses of cozying up to Russia during his time as foreign minister.

To read more, click here.

Posted by Louis Casiano

John Kirby: US is doing everything we can to help Ukraine defend itself and win back its sovereignty

Posted by Louis Casiano

Fox News' Trey Yingst speaks to civilians near Kyiv

Posted by Louis Casiano

Video reportedly shows Russian cruise missile over Lviv

A video reportedly showing a Russian cruise missile over Lviv has surfaced on social media.

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said Tuesday on his Telegram page, "explosions were heard in Lviv" urged residents to stay in shelters.

Posted by Fox News

Lviv mayor reports explosions, power outages

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, in his Telegram page Tuesday, says "explosions were heard in Lviv" and is urging residents to stay in shelters.

Part of the western Ukrainian city is suffering from power outages following the blasts, he added.

A video purportedly showing the aftermath of the explosions, which was posted on Twitter, shows a large cloud of black smoke rising into the sky.

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia 'wrongfully detained' Brittney Griner in February, State Department says

The U.S. State Department determined Russia "wrongfully detained" WNBA star Brittney Griner when she was arrested in February, an official said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Tuesday.

Griner was arrested in February after Russian officials claimed a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis. Griner could face up to a decade in prison if she’s convicted. She’s expected to have a hearing in Russia on May 19.

"The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is among the highest priorities of the U.S government," a State Department spokesperson said. "The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner.

For more on this story: Russia 'wrongfully detained' Brittney Griner in February, State Department spokesperson says

Posted by Ryan Gaydos

Russia escalates spat and accuses Israel of supporting 'neo-nazis in Ukraine'

Russia's foreign ministry on Tuesday accused Israel of supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine in a move that escalated a back and forth spat between the Jewish nation and Moscow. 

The row began after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday defended claims made by Russian President Vladimir Putin as an attempt to justify his illegal invasion into Ukraine by alleging his forces are working to "denazify" regions that have been subject to oppression by Kyiv.   

Ukrainian and international leaders have rejected these comments as a guise to justify his brutal campaign and point to the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish and was democratically elected.

But in an interview with an Italian news outlet, Lavrov doubled down on the claims and said, "For some time we have heard from the Jewish people that the biggest antisemites were Jewish."

For more on this story: Russia escalates spat and accuses Israel of supporting 'neo-nazis in Ukraine'

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Russian military is now storming Mariupol steel factory, Ukrainian forces say

Ukrainian forces at the Azovstal steel factory in Mariupol said Tuesday that Russia’s military is now storming the complex. 

The move comes almost two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military not to storm the plant, but rather block off the last pocket of resistance in the besieged Ukrainian city. 

Asked about reports in Ukrainian media that the plant was being bombarded, Sviatoslav Palamar, the deputy commander of the Azov Regiment that is holed up there, said “it is true.” 

Vadim Astafyev, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, said Tuesday that Ukrainian fighters holed up at the plant “came out of the basements, took up firing positions on the territory and in the buildings of the plant.” Astafyev said Russian forces along with rebel forces from Donetsk were using “artillery and aircraft... to destroy these firing positions.” 

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said earlier Tuesday that more than 200 civilians are still at the Azovstal factory following United Nations-assisted evacuation efforts there in recent days, according to Reuters. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Posted by Greg Norman

Pope Francis says he asked to meet Putin in March over Ukraine war, but hasn't heard back: report

Pope Francis has revealed that he told the Kremlin in March that he was "willing to go to Moscow" to discuss the war in Ukraine with Russian President Vladimir Putin – but the Vatican has "not yet received a response," according to an interview published Tuesday. 

Reuters, citing Italy's Corriere Della Sera newspaper, reported Francis as saying that he first asked the Vatican’s top diplomat to deliver a message to Russia about three weeks into the war, which began on Feb. 24. 

The pope, according to Reuters, says he told Putin's staff "that I was willing to go to Moscow." 

For more on this story: Pope Francis says he asked to meet Putin in March over Ukraine war, but hasn't heard back: report

Posted by Greg Norman

Boris Johnson makes speech to Ukraine lawmakers, hails greatest feat of arms of the 21st century'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in an address by video to Ukraine's parliament Tuesday, told lawmakers in the war-torn country that their military has "accomplished the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century" by keeping Russian forces outside of Kyiv. 

Johnson made the remark as the United Kingdom government announced a new $375 million military assistance package for Ukraine in its fight against Russia. The U.K. says his speech is the first from a world leader to Ukraine's parliament since the war began. 

"As you turned the Russian army back from the gates of Kyiv, you not only accomplished the greatest feat of arms of the 21st century, you achieved something deeper and perhaps equally significant: You exposed Putin’s historic folly, the gigantic error that only an autocrat can make," Johnson said.

For more on this story: Boris Johnson makes unprecedented speech to Ukraine lawmakers, hails ‘greatest feat of arms of 21st century'

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia's combat losses as of May 3: report

Posted by Lawrence Richard

China not assisting Russia's war efforts, despite initially appearing to do so: U.S. intelligence

China does not appear to be providing significant military or economic support to Russia, despite initially gesturing to do so, U.S. intelligence officials said.

Russia and China announced a "no limits" agreement in February, and trade volume spiked between the two countries as the war kicked off, but no significant moves have since been made, Reuters reported.

The two countries have historically supported one another and China has yet to condemn Russia's invasion.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy, Israeli PM, U.S. respond after Russian foreign minister said Hitler was Jewish

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken have criticized Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, after he claimed former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was Jewish.

Bennett described the comment as "unforgiveable" and said the "lie" was being used by Russia to justify its war atrocities in Ukraine, Reuters reported.

"Such lies are intended to accuse the Jews themselves of the most horrific crimes in history that were committed against them," he added, per the report.

Bennett continued: "The use of the Holocaust of the Jewish people for political purposes must stop immediately."

During a nightly address Monday evening, Zelenskyy said Russia was further repeating mistakes Nazis themselves committed during World War II.

"Russia's foreign minister openly and without hesitation said that the biggest anti-Semites were allegedly among the Jews themselves. And that Hitler allegedly had Jewish blood. How could this be said on the eve of the anniversary of the victory over Nazism? These words mean that Russia's top diplomat is blaming the Jewish people for Nazi crimes," Zelenskyy said. "No words."

"This means that the Russian leadership has forgotten all the lessons of World War Two," he added. "Or perhaps they have never learned those lessons."

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken similarly described the comment as "vile, dangerous rhetoric."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia plans to annex Eastern Ukraine, U.S. official says

Russia intends to annex much of eastern Ukraine and an official move could come as early as this month, a senior U.S. official warned.

Michael Carpenter, U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said Moscow was moving to recognize Kherson as an independent republic, which it also did in Luhansk and Donetsk.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia ramping war effort to squeeze victory by Victory Day on May 9: report

Russia's military has implemented a "scorched earth" strategy in Luhansk, as its senior leadership wants to be able to celebrate a major accomplishment in Ukraine on its Victory Day, when it observes the end of World War II on May 9 each year.

Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Gaidai said Russia will continue to ramp up attacks on his Oblast ahead of the celebrations, the Kyiv Independent reported.

Moscow has already announced it would reduce the number of military forces used in a parade on May 9, by 35 percent, amid the ongoing war effort, Forbes reported.

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has clarified Russia is not looking to stop the war in Ukraine on or by May 9, but is dedicated to seeing-through its "special military operation," Italian media outlet Mediaset reported.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy: Russia justifies 'Nazism, kills children, and destroys peaceful cities'

Russia's actions over the last three months have caused the world to united against them, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during his nightly address Monday.

"The whole free world is united so that no one justifies Nazism, kills children or destroys peaceful cities as Russia does," Zelenskyy said.

The Ukrainian president said his country will continue to oppose Russia militarily, will refuse to surrender any of its regions to Russia, and will ultimately emerge victorious with continued international support.

"The Armed Forces of Ukraine heroically repel the occupiers' attempts to advance. Kharkiv direction, Donbas, the south of the country - everywhere the situation remains extremely difficult. But I am grateful to each and every one of our defenders who are holding the defense," he said.

Zelenskyy also Russia's military was responsible for the deaths of at least 220 children in Ukraine, since the start of its invasion on Feb. 24.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

14-year-old boy dead, 17-year-old girl injured after Russian missile attack: Zelenskyy

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday evening that a boy, 14, was killed and a girl, 17, was injured following a Russian missile strike at Odesa. 

The missile strike reportedly struck and destroyed a dormitory housing the children.

"What is it? For what? What did these children and the dormitory threaten the Russian state with?" Zelenskyy said during his nightly address.

He added: "A gymnasium founded over a hundred years ago burned down in Lysychansk, Luhansk region, due to Russian shelling. It was built by the Belgians for this city. It withstood two world wars. But, as we see, this gymnasium turned out to be a terrible threat to modern Russia."

According to the Ukrainian government, over 200 Ukrainian children have been killed during Russia's invasion, Zelenskyy said.

"And we still don't know about everyone, because we don't have access to the temporarily occupied areas of our state," the Ukrainian president added during the address.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy: Russia's goal is 'the extermination of Ukrainians and everything Ukrainian'

During an address Monday evening, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia's ongoing invasion of his country will result in their "self-destruction in every sense of the word."

"Russia does things on a daily basis that simply preclude any adequacy," Zelenskyy started in his address. "Russia has forgotten all the lessons of World War II."

The Ukrainian president then compared the actions of Russia's military in his country to the way German Nazis attacked the Jewish population during World War II.

"It is no coincidence that the Russian occupiers are creating so-called 'filtration camps' on Ukrainian land through which thousands of our Ukrainian citizens are passing," he said. "Where our people are killed, tortured and raped. It is no coincidence that the occupiers capture civilians and take them hostage or deport them as free labor."

Zelenskyy added: "It is no coincidence that they are waging a so-called total war to destroy all living things, after which only the burned ruins of entire cities and villages remain."

Russian President Vladimir Putin's goal is "the extermination of Ukrainians and everything Ukrainian," Zelenskyy claimed.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukraine kills more than 100 Russia troops in Southern Ukraine: report

At least 122 Russian troops were killed during a battle in southern Ukraine on May 2, according to a report.

Ukraine's military also prevented a Russian attack in Kherson, as they sought to take a military observation post, the Kyiv Independent reported. 

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Push to arm Ukraine putting strain on US weapons stockpile

The planes take off almost daily from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware — hulking C-17s loaded up with Javelins, Stingers, howitzers and other material being hustled to Eastern Europe to resupply Ukraine’s military in its fight against Russia.

The game-changing impact of those arms is exactly what President Joe Biden hopes to spotlight as he visits a Lockheed Martin plant in Alabama on Tuesday that builds the portable Javelin anti-tank weapons that have played a crucial role in Ukraine.

For more on this story: Push to arm Ukraine putting strain on US weapons stockpile

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Bradford Betz

Ukraine civilian death toll passes 3,000, UN says

The number of civilians killed in Ukraine during Russia’s invasion has now surpassed 3,000, the United Nations announced Monday. 

The tragic figure comes as Russia’s war in Ukraine has stretched to 68 days. 

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Monday that 3,153 civilians have died there since Feb. 24, Reuters reports

For more on this story: Ukraine civilian death toll passes 3,000, UN says

Posted by Greg Norman

White House says Biden 'would love to visit Ukraine,' but there are 'no plans in the works'

The White House said President Biden "would love to visit Ukraine," but as of Monday there are "no plans in the works" for him to travel to the country.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said the White House has "no plans in the works at this time," but said officials will "continue to assess."

"Our objective is to reopen the embassy, to have our diplomats there, not just traveling back and forth, but present in the country," Psaki said.

Read more.

Posted by Bradford Betz

Israel blasts Russian official who said Hitler had ‘Jewish origins,’ demands apology

Israel is demanding an apology after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday claimed that Adolf Hitler had Jewish roots, calling the remarks "unforgivable and outrageous."

The comments, made during an interview with Italian television, prompted Israel to summon the Russian ambassador. Lavrov made the remarks when he was asked why Russia feels it needs to "denazify" Ukraine if the country's own president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is Jewish. Moscow has repeatedly used the claim to justify its invasion of the country. 

"So when they say ‘How can Nazification exist if we’re Jewish?’ In my opinion, Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it doesn’t mean absolutely anything. For some time we have heard from the Jewish people that the biggest antisemites were Jewish," he said, speaking to the station in Russian, dubbed over by an Italian translation.

For more on this story: Israel blasts Russian official who said Hitler had ‘Jewish origins,’ demands apology

Posted by Louis Casiano

US official: Russia is making 'minimal at best' progress in eastern Ukraine

A senior U.S. official said Monday that Russia’s military has been making "minimal progress at best" in eastern Ukraine because the "Ukrainians have really been resisting quite well." 

The remark comes as Russia is now on day 68 of its invasion of Ukraine, with its military focusing on capturing the eastern parts of the war-torn country. 

"I would just tell that we continue to see minimal at best progress by the Russians in the Donbas," the official told reporters. 

For more on this story: US official: Russia is making 'minimal at best' progress in eastern Ukraine

Posted by Greg Norman

Ukraine steel plant evacuations spark new optimism – and cause for concern

There is a glimmer of hope emerging from the besieged Azovstal Steel Works plant in Mariupol, Ukraine

The first 100 of roughly 1,000 civilians, mostly women and children, have been evacuated from the sprawling plant where the citizens have been hiding out from Russian attacks since the war started two months ago. They are expected to arrive in Zaporizhzhia, about 140 miles northwest of the city. 

The operation to remove the civilians is being coordinated by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. It comes after the plant has suffered weeks of attacks by Russian forces, killing an unknown number of people and wounding at least 600. 

For more on this story: Ukraine steel plant evacuations spark new optimism – and cause for concern

Posted by Eric Shawn

Ukraine releases video of 2 Russian ships allegedly being destroyed in Black Sea

Ukraine’s military has released a video Monday purportedly showing two Russian patrol boats being blown up in the Black Sea. 

The clip begins with an aerial view of one Raptor-class boat in the water. The ship then bursts into a fireball, sending debris and sparks flying through the air.  

The second boat – which was on the move – suffers an identical fate. 

For more on this story: Ukraine releases video of 2 Russian ships allegedly being destroyed in Black Sea

Posted by Greg Norman

Heroic 'Ghost of Kyiv' fighter pilot is a myth, Ukraine says

The Ukrainian military officially ended speculation about the "Ghost of Kyiv," admitting that the legendary pilot is actually a myth.

"Ghost of Kiev is a superhero-legend whose character was created by Ukrainians!" the Ukrainian Air Force said in a Facebook post Saturday.

The admission comes after it was reported Friday that 29-year-old Major Stepan Tarabalka, who some had credited with being the Ghost of Kyiv, was shot down and killed in battle last month.

For more on this story: Heroic 'Ghost of Kyiv' fighter pilot is a myth, Ukraine says

Posted by Michael Lee

More than a quarter of Russia's army in Ukraine now 'combat ineffective,' UK says

More than a quarter of troops that Russia sent to fight in Ukraine are now believed to be "combat ineffective," the United Kingdom announced Monday. 

The startling statistic comes as Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine is in its 68th day. Prior to the assault from Vladimir Putin’s army, it was estimated that Moscow assembled around 150,000 soldiers to participate in the war. 

"At the start of the conflict, Russia committed over 120 battalion tactical groups, approximately 65 percent of its entire ground combat strength," the U.K. Ministry of Defence said in a tweet. "It is likely that more than a quarter of these units have now been rendered combat ineffective." 

For more on this story: More than a quarter of Russia's army in Ukraine now 'combat ineffective,' UK says

Posted by Greg Norman

Mariupol evacuees have not yet arrived to Zaporizhzhia: report

The first group of civilians that were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where they were trapped for weeks, have not yet arrived to their intended destination of Zaporizhzhia, according to a report.

Mariupol is located about 140 miles from Zaporizhzhia.

The Associated Press reported at least some of the 100 people who were evacuated from the plant were taken to a village controlled by pro-Russia separatists, instead of Zaporizhzhia.

Russian officials claim these individuals will be allowed to continue to Ukraine, while Ukrainian officials say their citizens have been forcibly removed.

Anastasiia Dembytska, a Ukrainian civilian who was evacuated from the steel plant, said it took her 18 hours to enter Zaporizhzhia, after crossing multiple barriers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russian corpses are transported only at night to hide 'frantic losses,' Ukraine says

Ukraine's Security Service claims it intercepted a Russian radio transmission indicating Russia's military is intentionally transporting corpses at night in an attempt to hide their heavy losses.

Translation: "To disguise the heavy losses in the war in Ukraine, Russian corpses are transported in small batches and only at night."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Patron, a mine-sniffing dog, continues to assist Ukraine's military

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia's combat losses as of May 2: report

Posted by Lawrence Richard

First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Romania & Slovakia, which neighbor Ukraine

First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Romania and Slovakia, where she will spend Mother's Day with Ukrainian mother's and their children, the White House announced Sunday.

Biden's first stop will be in Romania, where she is expected to meet with U.S. armed forces members at Mihail Kogalniceau Air Base, near the Black Sea.

She will then spend Mother's Day, on May 8, in Slovakia for a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava, before she travels to Kosice and Vysne Nemecke to meet with refugees, humanitarian aid workers, and local Slovakians.

Romania and Slovakia are NATO members.

The trip will be the first lady's first overseas trip since traveling to Tokyo in 2021 for the Olympic Games.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukraine's military destroyed two Russian boats: video

Translation: "Two Russian Raptor boats were destroyed at dawn today near Zmiiny Island."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Evacuees from Azovstal steel plant will be transported to Ukrainian-controlled Zaporizhzhia: report

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday the first 100 civilians have been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

These evacuees will be transported to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia, 140 miles northwest of Mariupol, where the U.N. and the Red Cross will ensure their continued safety.

Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, described the difficulty of reaching the wounded still trapped under the steel plant.

“There’s rubble. We have no special equipment. It's hard for soldiers to pick up slabs weighing tons only with their arms,” Palamar said. “We hear voices of people who are still alive” inside shattered buildings.

A Doctors Without Borders team was reportedly waiting in the city to assist the convoy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy awards Pelosi with 'Order of Princess Olga'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the Order of Princess Olga, following her visit to Kyiv.

Pelosi and several other members of Congress met with Zelenskyy and shared four hours of administrative talk concerning Ukraine's ongoing war with Russia.

"We discussed how we can strengthen sanctions on Russia in a way that most effectively encourages it to end the war and limits Russia's ability to circumvent existing and future sanctions," Zelenskyy said during his nightly address Sunday. "I felt the support of our initiatives."

In his address, Zelenskyy announced Pelosi's award, which he gave "for her significant personal contribution to strengthening our cooperation and sincere participation in the defense of freedom."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy thanks Pelosi and 4 hours of 'substantive negotiations' in nightly address

During a nightly address on Sunday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the congressional delegation for visiting Kyiv and affirming the U.S. commitment to helping Ukraine.

"We are grateful to all partners who convey such important and powerful signals of support for Ukraine to the world and to Russia by visiting our capital in these conditions and at such a difficult time," Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy said he and Pelosi shared "very substantive negotiations" that spanned four hours "on defense supplies, macro-financial assistance, sanctions policy, political cooperation."

The Ukrainian leader also expressed his appreciation for the Lend-Lease program, which he said could "work to strengthen our state as much as possible and help in the struggle for freedom."

"I also thanked for the preparation of a large package of aid to Ukraine worth 33 billion US dollars," he added.

The meeting also including details on how to strengthen economic sanctions against Russia, he said.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Evacuation of Azovstal steel plant has started, Zelenskyy says

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during his nightly that the evacuation of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol has started.

"Today we finally managed to start the evacuation of people from Azovstal," Zelenskyy said.

"After many weeks of negotiations, after many attempts, different meetings, people, calls, countries, proposals. Finally! There was not a single day when we did not try to find a solution that would save our people," he added.

The Ukrainian leader said more than 100 woman and children have been safely evacuated from the plant.

"Today, for the first time in all the days of the war, this vital corridor has started working. For the first time there were two days of real ceasefire on this territory. More than a hundred civilians have already been evacuated - women and children first of all."

Civilians who have lived beneath the plant did so in horrible conditions, often with little to no food or water; and, many were suffering untreated injuries.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Pope Francis calls war in Ukraine 'macabre regression of humanity'

Pope Francis called the war in Ukraine a "macabre regression of humanity," adding that it makes him "suffer and cry" during a noon blessing on Sunday in St. Peter's Square.

Francis also asked for month-long prayers for peace in Ukraine.

"My thoughts go immediately to the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the city of Mary, barbarously bombarded and destroyed," Francis said.

He said that he suffers while thinking of the Ukrainian population.

"I suffer and cry thinking of the suffering of the Ukrainian population, in particular the weakest, the elderly, the children," Francis said, adding "terrible news of children who are being expelled and deported."

Reuters contributed to this report

Posted by Adam Sabes

Schumer says Russian oligarchs will be targeted in aid package for Ukraine

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said during a press briefing that he wants to act on a request from the Biden administration that would allow the United States to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs and send money made from their sale directly to Ukraine.

"Ukraine needs all the help it can get and, at the same time, we need all the assets we can put together to give Ukraine the aid it needs," Schumer said.

Reuters contributed to this report

Posted by Adam Sabes

Finland to announce application for NATO membership on May 12

Finland will announce its decision on an application for NATO membership on May 12, Finnish news outlet Iltalehti reported.

The outlet reported that "the position is that Finland is applying for membership."

Finish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin will review the application with party leaders before reporting the decision to NATO. Niinisto will also hold a press conference to announce his position and those of the state leadership and the party field.

The decision will be confirmed by a committee formed by the president and key ministers.

Posted by Peter Aitken

Former NATO Secretary General: We should give Ukraine a 'clear perspective'

Posted by Fox News

Russian priests speak out against war despite threat of prison, sanctions from church

A pair of Russian priests have spoken out against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine despite the risk of prison or, worse, angering the Russian church. 

The church has backed the state’s "special operation" in Ukraine. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the Russian Orthodox Church’s leader, has remained a vocal proponent of Putin’s war, saying that God is on Russia’s side even as Russian soldiers allegedly commit atrocities against civilians. 

But some priests have started to speak out despite the incredible risk they face by doing so. 

Click here to read more.

Posted by Fox News

Evacuation underway from Mariupol steel plant

The United Nations has confirmed that an operation to evacuate people from a steel plant in the bombed-out Ukrainian city of Mariupol is underway.

U.N. humanitarian spokesman Saviano Abreu told The Associated Press on Sunday that the effort to bring people out of sprawling Azovstal steel plant was being done in collaboration with the International Committee for the Red Cross and in coordination with Ukrainian and Russian officials.

He called the situation “very complex” and would not give further details. Up to 1,000 civilians are believed to be hunkered down with an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters beneath the Soviet-era steel plant that is the only part of the city not occupied by the Russians.

Posted by Fox News

Germany will support Russian oil embargo after significantly reducing dependence: report

Germany will support the European embargo of Russian oil, marking another significant turnaround in the nation’s position as the invasion of Ukraine continues. 

Ambassadors will reportedly table the proposal at an ambassadors summit in Brussels on Wednesday, with expectations to approve the embargo by the end of next week.

Germany has resisted such an embargo, but government sources told German news agency dpa on Sunday that Chancellor Olaf Scholz will back the embargo. 

Click here to read more.

Posted by Fox News

Sen. Bob Menendez on sanctions: This is a 'huge blow' to Russia

Posted by Fox News

Kharkiv authorities warn residents not to leave bomb shelters all day: report

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Pelosi tells Zelenskyy: 'We are here until victory is won'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Ukraine Sunday before she and a Democratic delegation then traveled to Poland.

“Our delegation traveled to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine,” Pelosi said.

“We are here until victory is won,” she added.

Pelosi also thanked Zelenskyy for fighting "for freedom" and said she was leaving the country more informed of the struggle Ukrainians are suffering.

“We are on a frontier of freedom and your fight is a fight for everyone. Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” Pelosi added.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia's military combat losses as of May 1: report

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy welcomes Pelosi and the Democratic delegation: video

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia accuses Ukraine of shelling its own civilians: report

Russia's defense ministry has accused Ukraine of shelling its own civilians, potentially resulting in injuries and even deaths, an outlet reported.

The accusations included the shelling a school, kindergarten and cemetery in Kherson region, the Russian RIA news agency reported Sunday.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukrainian Defense Forces share photos of a MLRS launch

Translation: "Ukrainian jet artillery in action. We continue to destroy and expel the enemy from our land!"

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Pelosi, other members of Congress meet with Zelenskyy in Kyiv

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced trip Sunday to Kyiv, Ukraine, where she met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Video captured the moment Zelenskyy met the Democratic delegation, which included Reps. Jason Crow, Jim McGovern and Adam Schiff.

Zelenskyy shook the hands of each congressional representative, telling the group: “You all are welcome.”

During a recorded meeting later in the day, Pelosi affirmed the United States' commitment to helping Ukraine.

“We believe that we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom. We are on a frontier of freedom and your fight is a fight for everyone," Pelosi said. "Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.”

Zelenskyy tweeted after the meeting: "The United States is a leader in Ukraine's strong support in the fight against Russian aggression. Thank you for helping to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state!" 

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy warns potential Russian recruits not to join the war

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cautioned potential Russian recruits from joining the war effort during his nightly address Saturday, telling them their military leaders were not telling them the whole truth.

“Every Russian soldier can still save his own life. It’s better for you to survive in Russia than to perish on our land,” Zelenskyy said.

He added: “The Russian commanders are lying to their soldiers when they tell them they can expect to be held seriously responsible for refusing to fight and then also don’t tell them, for example, that the Russian army is preparing additional refrigerator trucks for storing the bodies. They don’t tell them about the new losses the generals expect."

Russia's military has already lost more than 23,000 troops since the invasion started on Feb. 24, according to the Ukrainian government.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Military engineers continue to demine areas previously occupied by Russian forces

Translation: Military engineers with Ukraine's Defense Ministry Special Transport Service continue demining transport infrastructure in territories liberated from Russia.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukraine is rebuilding but 'there is still a lot of work ahead': Zelenskyy

The Ukrainian government is actively rebuilding infrastructure that was destroyed during Russia's invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during his nightly address.

"We are actively demining the liberated territory. Every day several dozen settlements are added to the list of those where demining has been completed," Zelesnkyy said. "We are restoring electricity supply, communications, water supply and gas supply. We are doing everything to return normal medicine, educational services, access to financial institutions."

"We are doing everything to return normal life to the de-occupied part of our Ukraine," he added. "We are restoring roads."

While production is underway, Zelenskyy cautioned there was "still a lot of work ahead."

The Ukrainian president said his focus was on clearing Russia's military forces from his country.

"We still need to fight and direct all efforts to drive the occupiers out. And we will do it," he said. "Ukraine will be free."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukrainian fighter pilot alleged to be the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ was killed in battle: report

A Ukrainian fighter pilot who some outlets have identified as the “Ghost of Kyiv" has been killed, an outlet reported.

Major Stepan Tarabalka, 29, was killed after he was shot down during a combat mission on March 13, The Times of London reported Friday.

The "Ghost of Kyiv" persona grew in popularity online in the first weeks of the war as the legendary fighter pilot was credited with shooting down at least 40 Russian fighter jets. His identity was not previously been revealed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posthumously awarded Tarabalka with the title Hero of Ukraine, Ukraine’s top medal for bravery, according to the report.

Some reports, however, dispute Tarabalka's identity as the "Ghost of Kyiv" and instead claim the online persona embodies the whole of the Ukrainian Air Force and the resolve of each fighter pilot.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy: Russia's military is seeking reinforcements 'for new attacks'

In his nightly address Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia's military was gathering reinforcements for "new attacks" in his country.

"The occupiers are accumulating additional forces for new attacks against our military in the east of the country. They built up reinforcements in the Kharkiv region, trying to increase pressure in Donbas," Zelenskyy said, noting Russia has "already lost more than 23,000 soldiers."

"But they do not stop," he added.

After Russia suffered heavy losses over the past two months, Zelenskyy said Russia has been forced to recruit "new people" with "little motivation" and "little combat experience."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukrainian forces have destroyed 9 Russian aerial targets: report

Posted by Lawrence Richard

New videos and images show horrific conditions below Azovstal steelworks plant in Mariupol, Ukraine

Conditions below the Azovstal steelworks plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, where the last pocket of resistance forces in the city as well as civilians have been living for weeks could not be worse, according video and images shared with The Associated Press.

It is unclear how many of the people living in the basement of the structure are members of the military or are civilians but many are living with serious injuries.

At least 600 people had open wounds, amputated limbs, and minimally treated injuries.

The skeleton medical staff treating the wounds said several were infected with gangrene, according to the report.

In one video, a shirtless man described his own injuries, including two broken ribs, a punctured lung and a dislocated arm that “was hanging on the flesh.”

“I want to tell everyone who sees this: If you will not stop this here, in Ukraine, it will go further, to Europe,” the unidentified man can be heard saying.

The group also has been forced to survive one on meal per day with little to no water drinkable water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Angelina Jolie makes surprise visit to Ukraine, meets with children

Hollywood actress and U.N. humanitarian Angelina Jolie made a surprise visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Saturday, the Lviv regional governor said on Telegram.

According to Maksym Kozytskyy, Jolie — who has been a UNHCR Special Envoy for Refugees since 2011 — had come to speak with displaced people who have found refuge in Lviv, including children undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in the missile strike on the Kramatorsk railway station in early April.

The attack in the eastern Ukrainian city appeared to deliberately target a crowd of mostly women and children trying to flee a looming Russian offensive, killing at least 52 and wounding dozens more.“

She was very moved by (the children’s) stories,” Kozytskyy wrote. “One girl was even able to privately tell Ms. Jolie about a dream she’d had.”

Jolie spent time at a boarding school where she talked with students and took photos with them while adding that "she promised she would come again.”

Associated Press contributed to this report

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

‘I hope she didn’t feel the pain’: Ukrainian girl on her mother’s death

Tetiana Sichkar recounts her mother’s horrific death after Russians soldiers shot her in front of Tetiana, calls on the Russian people to hold their government accountable.

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Ukrainian 'small' town 'crucial' to Russian military: Lt. Col. Davis

U.S. Army Ret. Lt. Col. Daniel Davis breaks down the Kremlin's latest military tactics in Popasna, Ukraine

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Charity group uses 'language of food' to fundraise for Ukraine

Cook for Ukraine co-founder Alissa Timoshkina on educating people on Ukrainian food and culture by raising money for aid efforts.

Posted by Andrew Mark Miller

Putin made Mariupol 'hell on Earth': National security expert

Posted by Fox News

Russia hits Pentagon spokesman over emotional remarks: Kirby is 'losing his nerve'

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova hit at Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on Saturday after he got emotional talking about her country's invasion of Ukraine. 

In a post on the messaging platform Telegram, she wrote in an "opinion" post that the press secretary is "losing his nerve." 

She called his comments "rude, insulting and troublesome," noting he "said some nonsense" about Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Click here to read more.

Posted by Fox News

Ukraine defense ministry warns of 'signs' Russia is increasing troop size in Donbas

A Ukrainian military official warned Saturday that Russia is continuing to bolster its forces in the eastern Donbas region and is intensifying its offensive measures. "

As of today, we see signs that Russia has been increasing its troops in eastern areas of operations. They are increasing the numbers of their units, and they want to take as much Ukrainian territory as possible," Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense spokesman Col. Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told reporters. 

"As of now, their main goal is to get administrative boundaries of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts as well as Kherson oblast."

Click here to read more.

Posted by Fox News

Ukraine evacuation bus found with blood, passengers missing

The head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration (RDA) announced Saturday that a bus used to help evacuate civilians and carry humanitarian aid had gone missing.

A volunteer who managed to escape after Russians allegedly started shooting at two busses in the village of Popasna on Friday. Communication with the driver went dead, according to Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske.

Ukrainian troops visited the area of the alleged attack and found a damaged bus with no people aboard, but with “traces of blood” in the area. The second bus has not been found.

Posted by Peter Aitken

Russia forced to redeploy depleted units as invasion faces further issues

The Russian military has redeployed "depleted and disparate units" from across Ukraine in an effort to maintain its Donbas activities, The British Ministry of Defense said Saturday.

"Shortcomings in Russian tactical coordination remain," the report said. "A lack of unit-level skills and inconsistent air support have left Russia unable to fully leverage its combat mass despite localized improvements."

The units, which previously operated in north-east Ukraine as part of the siege on Kyiv, are "likely suffering from weakened morale," the ministry said.

Posted by Peter Aitken

Zelenskyy turns Nazi rhetoric on Russia, says US aid program will defeat 'ideological successors'

In a Friday night address riddled with Nazi comparisons, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy turned Russia’s talking points against it and claimed Moscow's strategy was "more cynical."

Zelenskyy said there were operational differences between Russian forces today and the Nazis during World War II, but said Moscow’s persistent lies are what separates the two.

"Russian troops manage to be even more cynical than the Nazis 80 years ago," he said. "At that time, the invaders did not say that it was the Mariupol residents and the defenders of the city who shelled and killed themselves."

Click here to read more.

Posted by Fox News

Ukrainian soldiers counter attack Russian forces in the Donetsk region

Posted by Landon Mion

Ukraine accuses Russia of nearly 9,000 'crimes of aggression or war crimes'

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia's combat losses as of April 30th: report

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russian forces have fired on evacuation buses in Popasna, mayor says

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Pelosi hopes $33 billion for Ukraine passes 'as soon as possible'

On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a press conference on Capitol Hill that she hopes President Joe Biden’s request to Congress for $33 billion passes "as soon as possible."

The additional funds includes over $20 billion for weapons and ammunition intending to bolster Ukraine's defenses, and $3 billion in humanitarian aid. 

The emergency funds have bipartisan support but Pelosi did not say how long it would take for the legislative body to approve of the funds.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukrainian forces destroyed Russian tanks, equipment in Kharkiv: video

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia’s defeat is inevitable & becoming ‘more and more obvious to Russia’: Zelenskyy

During his nightly address, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Ukrainian people remain “unbreakable” despite facing a “tough” adversary in Russia.

Ukraine's victory — and Russia’s defeat — though, was inevitable, he said.

“The defeat of the [Russian] occupiers is unalterable,” Zelenskyy said.

This outcome, Zelenskyy said, was “becoming more and more obvious to Russia” as the United States, European countries and other nations continue to support Ukraine.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia: War will not end until U.S. and NATO stop sending weapons to Ukraine

In remarks published early Saturday morning local time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country's invasion of Ukraine will not end until the United States and NATO countries stop aiding Ukraine.

"By publicly expressing support for the Kyiv regime, the NATO countries are doing everything to prevent ending of the operation through political agreements," Lavrov said, as Reuters reported.

Lavrov also said if the U.S. and NATO were "truly" interested in ending the war, they would stop supplying Ukraine with weapons.

When Russia first invaded its neighbor to the southwest on Feb. 24, Russian officials said it was doing so as a "special operation" to "denazify" and disarm Ukraine.

After 65 days of combat, Russian officials continue to say they are attempting to denuclearize Ukraine, clear it of alleged bioweapons, and prevent the country from being able to mount a future offensive attack.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy says Russian invaders 'differ insignificantly' to 'what the Nazis did'

On the 65th evening of the Russia-Ukraine War, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy compared the continued invasion of Russian forces to the actions of Nazis ahead of (and during) World War II.

"If the Russian invaders succeed in realizing their plans, at least in part, they will still have enough artillery and aircraft to destroy the entire Donbas. Just as they destroyed Mariupol," Zelenskyy said.

The Ukrainian president then said Russia was turning his country into "a Russian concentration camp" and said these invaders "differ insignificantly from what the Nazis did in the occupied territory of Eastern Europe."

In at least one instance, Zelenskyy said the Russian military was worse than Nazis.

"But the Russian troops manage to be even more cynical than the Nazis 80 years ago. At that time, the invaders did not say that it was the Mariupol residents and the defenders of the city who shelled and killed themselves."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy: Ukraine is beating Russia 'in all directions'

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during his nightly address that his country continues to see success after 65 days of warring with Russia.

"We are beating the occupiers in all directions where they are trying to advance," Zelenskyy said Friday evening.

"The situation in the Kharkiv region is tough. But our military, our intelligence, have important tactical success," he added.

The war is not without its losses, as both military units and civilians alike are facing Russian bombings, he said.

"Russia wants to make this area uninhabited," Zelenskyy said of the Donbas region. "Therefore, the defense of our land, the protection of our people is literally a struggle for life."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

New mass grave found in Kyiv oblast

A spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed a new mass grave had been found in the area around Kyiv on Friday. 

The president said that 900 bodies had been found in the area, but the spokesperson clarified that the number referred to the number of dead found so far around the capital, and authorities are still working to determine the total number of civilians killed during Russia’s assault.

Editor's note: A previous version of this post stated 900 bodies were discovered in a mass grave. Other reports have since indicated Zelenskyy misspoke.

Posted by Peter Aitken

UK org claims Russian forces holding two aid workers

British non-profit Presidium Network said two men, both civilians, remained in Russian military custody after trying to cross a checkpoint.

Dominik Byrne, the organization’s co-founder, said the men had been trying to help evacuate a woman.

"On Wednesday evening, I got a call and messages from contacts of theirs back in England saying that they are missing and we believe we know where they are, and that they've been taken by Russians," Byrne told Reuters.

The foreign office told Sky News that it is “doing all it can to support and identify these two people."

Posted by Peter Aitken

Pentagon spokesman gets choked up while talking about Russian ‘depravity’

The usually reserved and straight-laced Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on Friday had to fight back tears while discussing images of alleged Russian atrocities in Ukraine.

“It’s difficult to look at the…” Kirby said to reporters, pausing as he holds back some tears. “Sorry, it’s difficult to look at some the images and imagine that any well-thinking, serious, mature leader would do that.”

“I can’t speak to his psychology, but I think we can all speak to his depravity,” he added before taking another question.

Posted by Peter Aitken

Kyiv urges residents to use public transport in order to save fuel for military

Kyiv's City Council urged locals Friday to conserve fuel for the country's military by taking public transit.

"Kyiv is urged not to travel by private vehicles if possible in order to ensure the need for fuel for the military as a matter of priority," the council said in a Telegram post. 

It added that residents "are asked to remember the needs of the army and our defenders and, if possible, to use public transport."

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia uses ammo depot in Transnistria to smuggle weapons across Ukrainian borders

Ukrainian defense officials said Friday that Russia is using an ammunition depot in the Moldovan breakaway region of Transnistria to smuggle arms across its borders. 

Transnistria, which borders the Odesa region in Ukraine, has become a new focal point in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war as he looks to not only take eastern and southern Ukraine but has threatened to come for Moldova next. 

"Thirty years ago, the Russian Federation occupied the territory of Transnistria. Every year there are mobilization exercises with a task force of Russian troops stationed in this area," Vadym Skibitsky, representative of Ukraine's Main Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry, said in a statement Friday.

For more on this story: Russia uses ammo depot in Transnistria to smuggle weapons across Ukrainian borders

Posted by Caitlin McFall

EU likely to approve Russian oil embargo next week: report

European Union countries next week are likely to approve a phased embargo on Russian oil, dealing a significant economic blow to Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, the New York Times is reporting.

The newspaper, citing EU officials and diplomats involved in the discussions, reported that ambassadors will meet next Wednesday to go over a finalized proposal and the expectation is they will approve the measures by the end of next week.

Posted by Greg Norman

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist killed in Kyiv airstrike

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty announced Friday that journalist Vira Hyrych has died after a Russian missile strike on Thursday hit the residential building where she was living in Kyiv.

"We are deeply saddened by the death of our Ukrainian Service staffer Vira Hyrych in Kyiv overnight," RFE/RL President Jamie Fly said in a statement. "We have lost a dear colleague who will be remembered for her professionalism and dedication to our mission."

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Friday confirmed that one person was killed in the attack. At least 10 others were injured, the Associated Press reports, citing Ukraine’s emergency services.

For more on this story: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist killed in Kyiv airstrike

Posted by Greg Norman

International Planned Parenthood provides abortion pills, rape kits to victims of invasion

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has sent abortion pills and emergency contraception to Ukraine in response to reports of rape during Russia’s invasion. 

"What we know is there’s a significant demand from our partners, who are overwhelmed with the number of survivors presenting for services," Caroline Hickson, the regional director of the IPPF European Network explained. 

"We don’t need data to tell us that this is happening. We know that in ordinary life, violence against women is endemic in Ukraine," she added. "So the most important thing for us is to act to care right now, and to make sure that the medical services and the psychosocial services are there to support those women."

For more on this story: International Planned Parenthood Federation provides abortion pills, rape kits to victims of invasion

Posted by Peter Aitken

NATO preparing for massive military exercises as Russia continues invasion of Ukraine

Tens of thousands of troops from NATO and its European allies are gearing up for a series of military exercises that the United Kingdom is calling one of the "largest shared deployments since the Cold War." 

The exercises, backed by aircraft, tanks, artillery and armored assault vehicles, will take place in Finland, Poland, North Macedonia and along the Estonian-Latvian border. They will include troops from NATO and the Joint Expeditionary Force, which includes non-NATO members Finland and Sweden. 

"The security of Europe has never been more important," U.K. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Friday. "These exercises will see our troops join forces with allies and partners across NATO and the Joint Expeditionary Force in a show of solidarity and strength in one of the largest shared deployments since the Cold War." 

For more on this story: NATO preparing for massive military exercises as Russia continues invasion of Ukraine

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Greg Norman

Putin's war claims US Embassy security guard in Kyiv

The U.S. embassy in Kyiv announced this week that a bodyguard who took leave from his embassy position died fighting Russian forces in Ukraine.

"U.S. Embassy Kyiv is grieving the loss of our dear colleague Volodymyr, who took leave from his job as an Embassy bodyguard to rejoin the army and defend Ukraine," the embassy said in a statement on Twitter. "We will never forget his kind spirit, dedication, and bravery. Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends."

The embassy did not release details surrounding the victim’s death or his full name.  Fox News could not immediately reach the State Department for comment. 

For more on this story: Putin's war claims US Embassy security guard in Kyiv

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Ukraine admits 'serious losses' in eastern battles, but says Russia's are 'colossal'

Ukraine on Friday is admitting to have suffered "serious losses" in battles in the country’s east, but added that Russia’s are "colossal". 

The admission comes as the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence tweeted that "due to strong Ukrainian resistance, Russian territorial gains have been limited and achieved at significant cost to Russian forces." 

"We have serious losses but the Russians' losses are much, much bigger... They have colossal losses," Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said, according to Reuters. 

For more on this story: Ukraine admits 'serious losses' in eastern battles, but says Russia's are 'colossal'

Posted by Greg Norman

Putin to attend G20 summit, Indonesia says; Zelenskyy also invited

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Indonesian President Joko Widodo that he will attend this year's Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia announced Friday.

"Last night at 7, I spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin," Widodo said in a statement. "President Putin expressed his gratitude for the invitation to the G20 summit and he said he would attend."

The Indonesian president said he spoke with Putin about the importance of reaching a peace agreement with Ukrainian leadership and ending the war immediately.

For more on this story: Putin to attend G20 summit, Indonesia says; Zelenskyy also invited

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Posted by Brie Stimson

Posted by Brie Stimson

Zelenskyy to launch operation to evacuate civilians in Mariupol steel plant Friday

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy 's office on Friday said an operation was planned to evacuate civilians sheltering in the Azovstal steel plant, besieged Mariupol’s last holdout, according to a report.

The office didn’t give any details on the operation, which it said would occur Friday, according to Reuters. 

Russia has devastated Mariupol, a strategic port city, with constant attacks since the start of the invasion, many on civilians. The attacks have left the city with little power, water and food for the last two months. 

For more on this story: Zelenskyy to launch operation to evacuate civilians in Mariupol steel plant Friday

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russian troops capture 2 British volunteers in Ukraine: reports

Two British volunteers have been captured by Russian troops in Ukraine, according to reports.

The men were detained near Zaporizhzhia at a Russian checkpoint on Monday, BBC News reported.

Another British man, Scott Sibley, was killed while fighting for Ukraine, the U.K. said Thursday.

An American, Willy Joseph Cancel, was also killed while fighting with Ukraine, his widow confirmed to Fox.

The volunteers were working independently but were in touch with the Presidium Network organization, the BBC reported.

The were reportedly trying to help a Ukrainian family evacuate when they were detained.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Posted by Brie Stimson

Danish man fighting with International Legion Ukraine killed in Mykolayiv: report

A 25-year-old man fighting with the International Legion Ukraine was killed on Tuesday in Mykolayiv in southern Ukraine, a Danish broadcaster reported Friday.

The man's name wasn't reported and the Danish government said it wasn't able to confirm the report.

It may take time before the details are clarified” because the war creates “extremely difficult conditions,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen said.

Up to 100 Danes have joined the fight against Russia, a Danish newspaper said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Zelenskyy says he is grateful to Biden, American people for aid

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday morning he is grateful to President Biden and the "American people for the leadership in supporting Ukraine in our fight against Russian aggression."

His tweet came hours after Biden said he had signed a request to Congress for an additional $33 billion in aid to Ukraine.

"We defend common values ​​- democracy and freedom," Zelenskyy continued. "We appreciate the [U.S.’s] help. Today it is needed more than ever!"

Posted by Brie Stimson

Ukraine's foreign minister says 'world owes Ukraine security' because 'security vacuum' led to war

"Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons for the sake of world peace," Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's foreign minister said Friday morning in a tweet. "We have then been knocking on NATO’s door, but it never opened. Security vacuum led to Russian aggression. The world owes Ukraine security and we ask states to decide which security guarantees they are ready to provide."

Posted by Brie Stimson

Former Marine dies fighting alongside Ukrainians; Widow calls him a 'hero'

An American citizen and former Marine, Willy Joseph Cancel, died fighting alongside Ukrainian forces in Ukraine, the man's widow confirmed to Fox News Digital early Friday morning.

"My husband did die in Ukraine," Brittany Cancel, the widow of the 22-year-old former Marine, told Fox News Digital. "He went there wanting to help people, he had always felt that that was his main mission in life."

Cancel leaves behind his wife and a 7-month-old son. 

"My husband was very brave and a hero," Cancel said. "I did not expect to be a widow at 23 years old or for our son to be without a father. All I want is for him to come home, and to give him the proper burial he deserves."

For more on this story: Former Marine dies fighting alongside Ukrainians; Widow calls him a 'hero'

Posted by Fox News

Ukraine damages oil depot in disputed Donetsk

Ukrainian troops damaged an oil depot in Donetsk, held by Russian-backed separatists, a Russian news agency reported Friday.

The facility was on fire, social media posts showed, according to Reuters.

Posted by Brie Stimson

NATO will to support Ukraine in war 'long term,' Stoltenberg says

NATO is willing to support Ukraine in the war for years, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

"We need to be prepared for the long term," Stoltenberg said at a summit in Brussels, accordign to Reuters. "There is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years."

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russian gains have been limited by Ukrainian resistance as it tries to gain control of Donbas: UK

The Battle of Donbas remains Russia's main focus in Ukraine as it tries to gain full control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions but territorial gains have been limited because of Ukraine's strong resistance, the UK Defense Ministry said in a Friday morning update.

"Fighting has been particularly heavy around Lysychansk and Severodonetsk," in the region, "with an attempted advance south from Izium towards Slovyansk," the update said. "Due to strong Ukrainian resistance, Russian territorial gains have been limited and achieved at significant cost to Russian forces."

Posted by Brie Stimson

North Carolina National Guard to send armored vehicles to Ukraine

The North Carolina National Guard and several other states' plan to send armored vehicles to Ukraine as part of a larger U.S. aid package.

The N.C. Army National Guard is providing M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense, Gov. Roy Cooper said yesterday. Other states have made similar commitments.

In February, Cooper signed an executive order that directed state government agencies and departments to review all existing contracts and operations and to terminate any agreements or operations that directly benefit Russian entities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Biden seeks to give Ukraine more aid as Russian invasion continue

Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst has the latest on the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 'Special Report.'

Posted by Brie Stimson

British national killed in Ukraine: UK Foreign Office

A British national has been killed after it is believed he traveled to Ukraine to fight in the ongoing war against Russia.

Scott Sibley, 36, died a few days ago in southern or eastern Ukraine, according to Sky News.

Posted by Adam Sabes

Russia is weaponizing energy: Kirby

Posted by Fox News

Russian sanctions: German energy company agrees to Russia's ruble conversion plan

German energy company Uniper has conceded to Russia’s demands and will utilize the ruble conversion plan outlined by Moscow despite concerns it will undermine sanctions. 

Moscow threatened to pull the plug on Europe’s gas supply unless the companies fulfilled their payments in rubles. The Kremlin worked with Russian gas company Gazprombank to establish a system that would allow companies to deposit foreign currency in one account while Gazprom would complete the transactions in rubles. 

Click here to read more.

Posted by Fox News

Kyiv mayor confirms missile strikes

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said Thursday that two missiles have struck the city's Shevchenkivskyi district.

"In the evening the enemy fired on Kyiv," he said in a Telegram post. "All services are in place. Information about the victims is being clarified."

The confirmation comes as users have been posting videos on social media purportedly showing black smoke rising into the sky over Kyiv.

Posted by Greg Norman

Two loud explosions heard in Kyiv

Two explosions were heard in Kyiv on Thursday, sending black smoke rising over the city, according to Fox News' Trey Yingst.

The cause of the blasts was not immediately clear.

They came on the same day U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was in the Ukrainian capital city to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Posted by Greg Norman

A story of hope amid the Ukraine war

Fox News’ Trey Yingst shares an update on the story of a blind Ukrainian man who survived Russians shelling his home.

Posted by Fox News

Ukraine champions 'full interoperability' with NATO weapons systems in 'historic' partnership

Ukraine on Thursday championed its evolving partnership with NATO as "full interoperability" and said it has gained access to the alliance’s modern weaponry as its war with Russia continues for the ninth week.

More than 40 NATO members and allied nations from around the world met for U.S.-led talks in Germany and agreed to provide more aid for Ukraine this week. 

Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov said Thursday that there had been "tectonic shifts at the level of philosophy" when it comes to Kyiv’s relationship with NATO and other allied nations.

For more on this story: Ukraine champions 'full interoperability' with NATO weapons systems in 'historic' partnership

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Ukrainian Parliament member welcomes baby Victoria: 'Every Ukrainian baby is a victory'

Oleksandra Ustinova announces the birth of her daughter, saying she was lucky to be born in America rather than a war zone in Ukraine.

Posted by Fox News

Ukraine warns Russian-backed forces in Moldova are bolstering recruitment

Kyiv on Thursday warned that Russian-backed separatist groups in Moldova are recruiting for their ranks as Moscow threatens to expand its campaign outside of Ukraine. 

In a statement released by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, officials said a letter was sent out to the heads of local administrations in the breakaway region of Transnistria in eastern Moldova last week. 

The letter, which was provided in coordination with the statement, reportedly shows that all men under the age of 55 have been asked by the Ministry of Defense of Transnistria to join a "special meeting" for 90 days to bolster its army.

For more on this story: Ukraine warns Russian-backed forces in Moldova are bolstering recruitment

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Mariupol, Ukraine, officials warn that 'powerful, deadly epidemics could soon break out'

The Mariupol City Council is warning Thursday that "powerful and deadly epidemics could soon break out in the city" as conditions are becoming increasingly unsanitary with each passing day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In a Telegram post, the officials said about 100,000 residents in Mariupol "are in mortal danger not only due to shelling, but also intolerable living conditions and unsanitary conditions" – naming in particular the illnesses of cholera, dysentery and E. coli infections. 

"The occupiers are unable to provide the existing population with food, water and medicine. Or just not interested in it," Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said Thursday. "They block all evacuation attempts. And without that, people will die." 

For more on this story: Mariupol, Ukraine, officials warn that 'powerful, deadly epidemics could soon break out'

Posted by Greg Norman

Biden: ‘No one should be making idle comments about the use of nuclear weapons’

President Biden said Thursday that when talking about the war in Ukraine that “no one should be making idle comments about the use of nuclear weapons or the possibility of the use, it's irresponsible.” 

The remark comes after Russian officials in recent days have played up the potential that the nuclear weapons could become involved in the war, which has now stretched to 64 days. 

Biden said the comments show “the desperation that Russia is feeling about their abject failure in being able to do what they set out to do in the first instance.” 

“I think it's more of a reflection, not of the truth, but of their failure,” he added. 

Posted by Greg Norman

Biden details supplemental budget request to Congress regarding Ukraine war

President Biden said Thursday that "in order to sustain Ukraine as as it continues to fight, I'm sending Congress a supplemental budget request."

"This assistance would provide even more artillery, armored vehicles, anti-armored systems, anti-air capabilities that have been used so effectively thus far in the battlefield by the Ukrainian warriors," Biden said.

"You know, it's going to deliver much needed humanitarian assistance, as well as food, water, medicine, shelter and other aid to Ukrainians displaced by Russians war and provide aid for those seeking refuge in other countries from Ukraine," he added.

Posted by Greg Norman

Biden on new Ukraine funding request: It's 'critical' it gets approved as soon as possible

President Biden said Thursday that he has "signed a request to Congress for critical security, economic humanitarian assistance to help Ukraine continue to counter Putin's aggression.

"We need this bill to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom and our NATO allies, our EU partners, they're going to pay their fair share as well," Biden said while speaking at the White House.  

"Every day, every day, the Ukrainians pay the price and the price they pay with their lives for this fight," Biden continued. "So we need to contribute arms funding, ammunition and the economic support to make their courage and sacrifice have purpose so they can continue this fight."

"It's critical this funding gets approved and approved as quickly as possible," he declared.

Posted by Greg Norman

Biden requests $33 billion from Congress for Ukraine emergency supplemental funding

President Biden on Thursday is requesting $33 billion from Congress for additional security, military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine and for U.S. efforts to strengthen European security in cooperation with NATO allies and partners.

The Biden administration is calling for $20.4 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine, including $5 billion in additional drawdown authority, $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, and $4 billion for the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing program.

"These resources will put urgently needed equipment into the hands of Ukraine’s military and police, as well as help NATO deter and defend against Russian aggression over the long-term," an administration official said Thursday.

For more on this story: Biden to request $33B from Congress for Ukraine emergency supplemental funding

Posted by Brooke Singman

President Biden to speak about Ukraine at 10:45 a.m. ET

Click here to watch on Fox News.

Posted by Fox News

Germany flips on sending arms to Ukraine, lawmakers overwhelmingly approve heavy weaponry shipment

German lawmakers on Thursday voted to send "heavy weapons and complex machinery" to Ukraine just one week after claiming its arms reserves were tapped.

The vote in the lower house of parliament signifies a completed stance reversal after it passed with 586 votes in favor, 100 against, and seven abstentions first reported German news outlet DW. 

Germany has faced criticism for its reservations on sending significant defensive support to Ukraine, notoriously sending 5,000 helmets in the lead up to the invasion. 

For more on this story: Germany flips on sending arms to Ukraine, lawmakers overwhelmingly approve heavy weaponry shipment

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Biden sending Congress proposals to further crack down on Russian oligarchs

President Biden on Thursday is sending Congress proposals for new legislation allowing the U.S. to further crack down on Russian oligarchs as punishment for Moscow’s bloody invasion of Ukraine, the White House has announced. 

The proposed measures, which the White House says were drafted in close coordination with the Treasury, Justice, State and Commerce Departments, will "enhance the United States Government’s authority to hold the Russian government and Russian oligarchs accountable for President Putin’s war against Ukraine." 

"This package of proposals will establish new authorities for the forfeiture of property linked to Russian kleptocracy, allow the government to use the proceeds to support Ukraine, and further strengthen related law enforcement tools," the White House added in a statement. 

For more on this story: Biden sending Congress proposals to further crack down on Russian oligarchs over war in Ukraine

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia is 'increasing the pace' of its invasion after Putin threatens West, Ukraine says

Ukraine’s military said Thursday that Russia is "increasing the pace of the offensive operation" a day after Vladimir Putin warned the West that any outside interference would lead to "lightning"-fast retaliatory strikes. 

In a Facebook post, Ukraine’s armed forces said "in almost all directions, the Russian occupiers are exerting intense fire," with the heaviest activity "observed in [the] Slobozhansky and Donetsk directions" of Ukraine’s north and east. 

"Russian occupiers continue to suffer losses on land," the military added. "In the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts only, six enemy attacks have been repulsed in the past 24 hours, five tanks, one artillery system, twenty-two armored vehicles, one car and one anti-aircraft gun have been destroyed." 

For more on this story: Russia is 'increasing the pace' of its invasion after Putin threatens West, Ukraine says

Posted by Greg Norman

Putin's war on verge of expanding outside Ukraine as it cries 'terrorism' in Moldova

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deadly war in Europe is on the brink of expanding outside of Ukraine as Kremlin officials alleged Thursday that there have been "acts of terrorism" in Moldova.

Moscow set its sights on Moldova last week when a Russian general said its goal was to gain "full control" over not only eastern Ukraine, but regions along its southern that sit above the Black Sea.

This would allow Russia to gain better access to Transnistria, an unrecognized breakaway state in Moldova with sympathetic ties to Russia.

"We are alarmed by the escalation of tension in Transnistria, where in recent days there have been several incidents of shelling, blowing up social and infrastructure facilities," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday. "We regard these actions as acts of terrorism aimed at destabilizing the situation."

For more on this story: Putin's war on verge of expanding outside Ukraine as it cries 'terrorism' in Moldova

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Trevor Reed lands in US after prisoner swap with Russia

An airplane carrying Marine veteran Trevor Reed has landed in Texas early Thursday following his release from Russian jail this week in a prisoner swap, according to photos posted by Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas. 

The U.S. announced Wednesday that Reed was exchanged for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian drug trafficker who was serving a 20-year federal prison sentence in Connecticut. 

"This is the moment we have all been praying for. WELCOME HOME, Trevor Reed!" Pfluger said in a tweet. 

For more on this story: Trevor Reed lands in US after prisoner swap with Russia

Posted by Greg Norman

NATO chief says Finland, Sweden would be 'warmly welcomed' quickly

Finland and Sweden will be "warmly welcomed" into NATO is they decide to join, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday, adding he expected the "process to go quickly."

"I am confident that there are ways to bridge that interim period in a way which is good enough and works for both Finland and Sweden," Stoltenberg said from Brussels, according to Reuters.

He said he planned to speak to Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin during the day.

Russia has issued nuclear threats to both countries if they join NATO.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia claims it thwarted 'terrorist attack' by ex-Ukrainian service member

Russia claimed Thursday it had stopped a "terrorist attack" in Simferopol, Crimea, and had detained a former Ukrainian service member who had been spurred on by Ukraine's far-right Azov battalion, according to Russia media.

Posted by Brie Stimson

UN chief calls war 'evil' while touring area around Kyiv

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, while touring the damage in Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv, called the war "evil" and said he could imagine his own family under siege in the conflict.

“When I see those destroyed buildings, I imagine my family in one of those houses now destroyed and black," he said, according to BBC News. "I see my granddaughters running in panic. The war is an absurdity in the 21st century – the war is evil and when you see these situations our heart of course stays with the victims, our condolences to their families. But our emotions - there is no way a war can be acceptable in the 21st century."

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia intensifying attacks on Mariupol steel plant, satellite photos show

Russia is intensifying its attacks on the Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol, the last Ukrainian holdout in the besieged port city, satellite photos show, according to the Associated Press.

Around 1,000 civilians and 2,000 Ukrainians service members are hiding inside the plant's labyrinth of underground facilities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week told Russian troops it wasn't necessary to storm the plant. He proclaimed victory in the city despite the not having control of the plant.

The new images come as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visits Ukraine and plans to speak to Ukraine’s president about his efforts to negotiate with Moscow for a corridor for people to leave the besieged area.

"Air attacks on Azovstal do not subside. No silence, but attempts to storm again and again," Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to Mariupol’s mayor, wrote on his Telegram page Wednesday. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Donetsk governor says 2 educational institutions attacked

Russian troops attack two educational centers in the Donetsk region on Wednesday, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko tweeted.

"Two educational institutions in the center of Donetsk region came under Russian fire yesterday: the Gymnasium in Dobropillya and the Vocational Mining Lyceum in Belozersky," the governor said, according to a translation. "Since the start of the large-scale invasion, the Russians have damaged or destroyed at least 300 educational institutions in the Donetsk region."

Posted by Brie Stimson

Resident of occupied Kherson fear sham referendum to create pro-Moscow 'people's republic'

Residents of Russian-occupied Kherson, in southern Ukraine, fear the Russians re preparing for a sham referendum next month to turn it into a pro-Moscow “people's republic," which Kherson Mayor Igor Kolykhaiev says would be illegal because it officially remains part of Ukraine.

Kherson has been spared the death and destruction of other Ukrainian cities beacuse “They are trying to give the impression that they come in peace to liberate us from something," a local teacher told the Associated Press.

“The soldiers patrol and walk around silently. They don’t shoot people in the streets," she added.

Another local called the occupation "scary" and said that almost no one in Kherson wants it to become part of Russia.

Russia has been silent about any plans to hold a referendum in Kherson, with Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko saying this week he knew of no such proposal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia picking up pace in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine’s General Staff says

Russia is picking up the pace of his offensive in eastern Ukraine with the goal of gaining full control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Ukraine’s General Staff said Thursday morning.

The Russians are "exerting intense fire” from all directions, Ukraine said, including Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, but Ukraine has repelled six attacks in the Donetsk and Luhanskn regions in the last 24 hours.

Most of the attacks have come from the Slobozhanske and Donetsk directions, Ukraine said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Posted by Brie Stimson

Energy market analyst reacts to Russia cutting fuel supply to Poland, Bulgaria

Phil Flynn shares his concerns as Putin weaponizes energy on 'Special Report.'

Posted by Brie Stimson

UN chief to meet with Zelenskyy in Kyiv

UN Secretary General António Guterres plans to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday in Kyiv.

The meeting comes after Guterres met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday.

United Nations said they agreed on arranging evacuations from a besieged steel plant in the battered city of Mariupol.

He will also meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Zelenskyy, echoing EU, calls Russia cutting off gas to Poland, Bulgaria 'blackmail'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his nightly address Wednesday called Russia's decsion to cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland because they wouldn't pay in rubles "blackmail," according to a report.

His choice of words echoed other European leaders like EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.

Zelenskyy said Russia “sees a united Europe as a target," BBC News reported.

"Russia considers not only gas, but any trade as a weapon," he said. "It is just waiting for the moment when one or another trade area can be used."

He said stability will follow if European nations agree to stop depending on Russia for gas and other trade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia's Black Sea fleet still able to hit Ukrainian targets despite 'embarrassing losses,' UK says

Around 20 Russian Navy vessels, including submarines, remain in the Black Sea operational area but the country has been unable to replace its cruise Moskva because the Bosporus Strait remains closed to non-Turkish warships, the UK Defense Ministry said in a Thursday morning update. 

"Despite the embarrassing losses of the landing ship Saratov and cruiser Moskva, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet retains the ability to strike Ukrainian and coastal targets," the ministry said. 

Posted by Brie Stimson

Rockets attacks in occupied Kherson temporarily knock out Russian TV channels

Rockets fired at the occupied city of Kherson in southern Ukraine temporarily knocked out Russian television channels in the area late Wednesday after it hit near a television tower, Russian and Ukrainian news outlets reported.

Russia has occupied Kherson since the start of the invasion. The attack came from the area of Ukrainian forces in the northwest, a Russian news agency reported.

Russia began broadcasting from Kherson last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia uses energy against its opponents

 Fox News correspondent Greg Palkot has the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war on 'Special Report.'

Posted by Brie Stimson

Canadian lawmakers unanimously vote to label Russia's actions in Ukraine as 'genocide'

Members of the Canadian parliament voted on Wednesday to label Russia's actions in Ukraine as "genocide."

The motion put up for a vote in the Canadian House of Commons said that Russia's war crimes in Ukraine include mass atrocities, physical harm, systematic instances of willful killing of Ukrainian civilians, rape, and mental harm.

Reuters contributed to this report

Posted by Adam Sabes

Intelligence expert raises concerns over Zelenskyy call for 'global control' of Russian nukes

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent call for global control of Russia’s nuclear weapons poses a "reckless and provocative" action against Vladimir Putin, a former DIA operative told Fox News Digital. 

Zelenskyy marked the 36th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster with a speech condemning Russia’s "completely irresponsible actions," highlighting the dangerous actions taken around nuclear power plants during the invasion of Ukraine. 

Rebekah Koffler, author of "Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America," advised that Zelenkyy’s call will "likely trigger catastrophic measures by Putin." 

Click here to read more.

Posted by Fox News

Parents of Trevor Reed speak to media, raise health concerns following his release

Recently released marine veteran Trevor Reed’s parents raised concerns over their son’s health following the release of their son from a Russian jail. 

Joey and Paula Reed spoke with reporters outside their home Wednesday, revealing that they spoke with their son for a few minutes while he traveled by plane from Russia. 

Paula Reed said they likely wouldn’t see Trevor Wednesday, and his mother had a "panic attack" worrying that her son might remain in Russia throughout the summer.  The pair then asked for privacy. 

Click here to read more.

Posted by Fox News

UN chief, Putin agree on evacuations from war-torn Ukraine city

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday agreed to arrange evacuations from Azovstal steel complex in Ukraine's besieged city of Mariupol, the organization said. 

At a meeting, the two also reportedly agreed in principle that the U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross should be involved in the evacuation of civilians there. 

U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters that the pair discussed "proposals for humanitarian assistance and evacuation of civilians from conflict zones, namely in relation to the situation in Mariupol."

Further talks on the evacuation will be held with the U.N. humanitarian office and the Russian Defense Ministry.

For more on this story: UN chief, Putin agree on evacuations from war-torn Ukraine city

Posted by Julia Musto

Russian troops in Kherson break up pro-Ukraine rally with tear gas, stun grenades: report

At least four people have been injured Wednesday in the Ukrainian city of Kherson after Russian troops there used tear gas and stun grenades to break up a pro-Ukraine protest, authorities say. 

The forceful pushback from Russia’s army comes a day after they seized full control of the city center and appointed their own mayor, Reuters reports, citing local authorities. 

"During a peaceful pro-Ukrainian rally on Freedom Square in the city of Kherson, servicemen of the Russian armed forces used tear gas and stun grenades against the civilian population," the Office of Ukraine's Prosecutor General said Wednesday. 

For more on this story: Russian troops in Kherson break up pro-Ukraine rally with tear gas, stun grenades: report

Posted by Greg Norman

Putin vows that Ukraine war goals will be 'unconditionally fulfilled'

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday claimed Moscow’s war goals in Ukraine will be "unconditionally fulfilled" despite discussions this week amongst Ukraine’s allies to further support Kyiv’s government with weapons in the fight. 

Speaking to Russia’s parliament, Putin said "I want to emphasize again that all the tasks of the special military operation we are conducting in the Donbas and Ukraine, launched on Feb. 24, will be unconditionally fulfilled." 

That, he said, will "guarantee the security of the residents" of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine that Russia recognized as independent shortly before launching its military action in Ukraine, as well as Crimea -- which Russia annexed in 2014 -- "and our entire country in the historical perspective." 

For more on this story: Putin vows that Ukraine war goals will be 'unconditionally fulfilled'

Posted by Greg Norman

Ukrainian soldier pleads with pope, world leaders to help evacuate 600 people stuck in Mariupol

The commander of Ukrainian forces still holding off Russian troops in Mariupol made an urgent plea Wednesday to world leaders, including Pope Francis, and said there are still 600 soldiers and civilians stuck in the deadly standoff.

Serhiy Volyna, commander of the 36th separate Marine brigade, said his troops, along with civilians caught in the crossfire at the Azovstal steel plant, were "surrounded" by Russian forces.

Over 1,000 people were estimated to have taken shelter in the tunnels under the steel plant and have been unable to evacuate under Russia’s constant barrage of missile strikes.

Volyna said that not only did the elderly and injured need attention but also noted they were running short on food, water and defenses. 

For more on this story: Ukrainian soldier pleads with pope, world leaders to help evacuate 600 people stuck in Mariupol standoff

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Ukraine defense ministry claims fighting-age men abducted en masse for propaganda 'victory parades'

Ukraine’s defense ministry on Wednesday claimed that "fighting-age" men in southern and eastern regions of Ukraine are being abducted en masse in part for Russian propaganda "victory parades."

Both Western and Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia could be targeting a significant advancement in Ukraine by May 9, also known as Victory Day, which celebrates when Russia defeated Nazi Germany in 1945.

Ukraine first announced last week that it believed Russia was looking to forcibly conscript Ukrainian men in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions to "replenish" its forces. 

For more on this story: Ukraine defense ministry claims fighting-age men abducted en masse for propaganda 'victory parades'

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Russia attempting to 'storm again and again' Mariupol steel factory, Ukraine official says

A Mariupol official said Wednesday that the Russian military is attempting to "storm again and again" a steel factory in the city where officials have said up to 1,000 civilians are taking cover. 

The continuing blitz on the Azovstal plant comes a day after the Mariupol City Council shared what it described as "scary" images of medical work being done to treat the injured still trapped inside the sprawling industrial complex. 

"Air attacks on Azovstal do not subside. No silence, but attempts to storm again and again," Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to Mariupol’s mayor, wrote on his Telegram page Wednesday. 

For more on this story: Russia attempting to 'storm again and again' Mariupol steel factory, Ukraine official says

Posted by Greg Norman

Moscow threatens to hit Kyiv with long-range missiles if it attacks Russian soil

Moscow once again threatened to attack Kyiv if Ukraine targeted troop supply lines in Russia, saying it will "retaliate with long-range smart weapons."

The threat came Tuesday evening after U.K. Defense Minister James Heappey said hitting Russian logistics was a "legitimate" part of war as Russian forces continue a second assault in eastern and southern Ukraine.

"It is entirely legitimate to go after targets in the depth of your opponents to disrupt their logistics and supply lines," he said in a BBC Radio interview. 

But the Kremlin, which has accused NATO of fighting a proxy war against Russia, said it would strike Ukraine’s capital if its forces were touched on its soil. 

For more on this story: Moscow threatens to hit Kyiv with long-range missiles if it attacks Russian soil

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Ukraine says 'karma is a cruel thing' following fire at Russian ammo depot, explosions along border

A Ukrainian presidential adviser said Wednesday that "karma is a cruel thing" after a Russian ammo depot burst into flames and explosions were heard along provinces bordering the war-torn country.  

Mykhailo Podolyak made the remark after a Russian official said a fire was extinguished at the ammo depot in the Belgorod region. The border provinces of Kursk and Voronezh also reported fresh explosions Wednesday, with officials there claiming to have intercepted Ukrainian drones, according to Reuters. 

"If you decide to massively attack another country, massively kill everyone there, massively crush peaceful people with tanks, and use warehouses in your regions to enable the killings, then sooner or later the debts will have to be repaid," Podolyak was quoted by Reuters as saying. 

For more on this story: Ukraine says 'karma is a cruel thing' following fire at Russian ammo depot, explosions along border

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia frees jailed US Marine Trevor Reed in exchange for convicted Russian drug trafficker

The U.S. and Russia have carried out a prisoner swap Wednesday, exchanging Trevor Reed – a Marine veteran jailed in Moscow – for a Russian drug trafficker who has been serving time in America, a senior U.S. official told the Associated Press. 

The deal comes as tensions between U.S. and Russia are running high, with Moscow's bloody invasion of Ukraine in its 63rd day. 

"Today, we welcome home Trevor Reed and celebrate his return to the family that missed him dearly. Trevor, a former U.S. Marine, is free from Russian detention," President Biden said in a statement. "I heard in the voices of Trevor’s parents how much they’ve worried about his health and missed his presence. And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor’s freedom."

For more on this story: Russia frees jailed US Marine Trevor Reed in exchange for convicted Russian drug trafficker

Posted by Greg Norman

EU accuses Russia of 'blackmail' after it cuts gas to Poland, Bulgaria

The head of the European Union accused Russia of "blackmail" Wednesday after it moved to cut gas access to Poland and Bulgaria for refusing to pay up in rubles.

Russian-owned gas giant, Gazprom, said earlier in the day that it had shut off gas to the two EU nations in retaliation for unpaid energy bills for the month of April when they refused to abide by Moscow’s demands and pay in the Russian currency. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the stipulation that all nations must pay gas fees in rubles in late March as an attempt to bolster his flagging economy amid stiff international sanctions.  

"The announcement by Gazprom that it is unilaterally stopping delivery of gas to customers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail," EU President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

For more on this story: EU accuses Russia of 'blackmail' after it cuts gas to Poland, Bulgaria

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Zelenskyy demands 'global control' over Russia's nuclear capabilities

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy marked the 36th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster with a speech condemning Russia's "completely irresponsible actions" around nuclear power plants during its invasion and calling for "global control" of the Kremlin's nuclear capabilities.

"Every year on April 26th, the world remembers the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear disaster in human history," Zelenskyy began. "But this year it is not enough just to remember Chernobyl… because this year, Russia created new threats that could surpass even the worst accident."

The president recalled the night of March 4, when a fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after Russian forces started shelling the plant amid the invasion. "They knew exactly which object they were firing at," he said. "But they had an order to seize the object at any cost. They did not care about anything. They did not care that the Zaporizhzhia station was the largest in Europe. They didn't think about how many power units there are and how the shelling could end."

For more on this story: Zelenskyy demands 'global control' over Russia's nuclear capabilities after 'completely irresponsible actions'

Posted by Brie Stimson

German auto club suggests its members drive less, focus on fuel efficiency to lessen Russian imports

German auto club ADAC suggested its 21 million members try to drive less and focus on fuel efficiency by driving more slowly and anticipating stops with the goal of reducing Russian fuel imports.

The club also suggested alternatives to driving like public transportation or biking.

The German government says it wants to wean the country off Russian oil imports by the end of the year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Chinese drone company suspends business in Russia, Ukraine to avoid product being used in war

DJI Technology Co, a Chinese company that makes drones, said it is temporarily suspending business in Russia and Ukraine to avoid having its product used in the war, according to reports.

The company has also denied claims that it leaked data about Ukraine's military to Russia, Reuters reported.

DJI Technology is the first Chinese company to cite the war as a reason for halting sales, according to Reuters.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Donetsk city hit with 'phosphorous shells,' causing fires, regional governor says

Russian troops hit Avdiivka in the Donetsk region with "phosphorous shells," causing fires, regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko claimed Wednesday morning.

He said the Russians attacked the center of the city and the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant.

One person was injured in the attacks, he said.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Ursula von der Leyen calls Russia's decision to halt gas 'blackmail'

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Wednesday morning said that Russia announcing it would cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland over not paying in rubles was "unjustified and unacceptable."

She called Russian gas giant Gazprom's announcement "blackmail."

"And it shows once again the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier," she said.

She said the EU is prepared and "will also continue working with international partners to secure alternative flows."

She added, "Europeans can trust that we stand united and in full solidarity with the Member States impacted in the face of this new challenge. Europeans can count on our full support."

Posted by Brie Stimson

Posted by Brie Stimson

Bulgarian energy minister says country has enough gas supplies for a month after Russia cuts it off

Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said the country has enough gas for at least a month a day after Russia said it would cut off supplies because the country has refused to pay in rubles.

“Alternative supplies are available, and Bulgaria hopes that alternative routes and supplies will also be secured at EU level,” Nikolov said. He added that Poland and Lithuania are in the same situation .

He said it was obvious Russia was using gas as a political tool.

“As long as I am Minister, Bulgaria will not negotiate under pressure, Bulgaria is not for sale and does not succumb to any trade counterpart," Nikolov said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Brie Stimson

Ukraine retains control of a majority of its airspace, UK says

Ukraine has retained control of a majority of its airspace, the UK Defense Ministry said in a Wednesday morning update.

“Russia has failed to effectively destroy the Ukrainian Air Force or suppress Ukrainian air defences,” the ministry said.

“Ukraine continues to hold Russian air assets at risk.”

The update said Russia’s air activity was mainly limited to the southern and eastern Ukraine, adding the military has limited access to the northern and western part of the country.

“The majority of Russian air strikes in Mariupol are likely being conducted using unguided free-falling bombs,” it added. “These weapons reduce Russia’s ability to effectively discriminate when conducting strikes, increasing the risk of civilian casualties.” 

Posted by Brie Stimson

Zelenskyy meets with IAEA chief on anniversary of Chernobyl disaster

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Rafael Mariano Grossi, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Tuesday to discuss nuclear safety on the 36th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.

"For the Russian military, the Chernobyl zone and the station were allegedly normal territory for hostilities. A territory where they did not even try to take care of nuclear safety," Zelenskyy told reporters after the meeting, according to his office.

Grossi said his main task in to ensure the safety of Ukraine's nuclear plants during the war.

"That is why the IAEA is in Ukraine and will continue its work," Grossi said. "Today, we agreed to provide assistance and special work to restore the capacity of the damaged infrastructure."

Posted by Brie Stimson

Zelenskyy says Ukraine is prepared for Russian escalation in Transnistria

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday that the country's troops are ready for an escalation by Russia in the breakaway Moldovan state Transnistria, which he said Russia is trying to destabilize.

"We clearly understand that this is one of the steps of the Russian Federation," Zelenskyy said. "The special services are working there. It's not just about fake news. The goal is obvious - to destabilize the situation in the region, to threaten Moldova. They show that if Moldova supports Ukraine, there will be certain steps."

He said Ukraine understands Russia has been in Transnistria for years and know their "capabilities," but the "Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready for this and are not afraid of them." 

Posted by Brie Stimson

Nuclear war with Russia 'cannot be won by either side': Lloyd Austin

Ret. Gen. Philip Breedlove weighs in on Russia's nuke threats and the war in Ukraine on 'Your World.'

Posted by Brie Stimson

Russia’s Gazprom cutting off gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria for refusing to pay in rubles

Polish and Bulgarian officials said Tuesday that Russian energy company Gazprom informed them it was suspending natural gas supplies to the two countries for their refusal to pay in Russian rubles. 

The suspensions, which would take effect Wednesday, would be the first since Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that "unfriendly" foreign buyers would have to pay the state-owned Gazprom in rubles instead of dollars and euros. 

European leaders said they would not comply with the rubles requirement, arguing that it violated the terms of contracts and their sanctions against Russia over its military aggression against Ukraine. Only Hungary has agreed to Putin’s demands.

For more on this story: Russia’s Gazprom cutting off gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria for refusing to pay in rubles

Posted by Bradford Betz

Kremlin escalates rhetoric and claims Ukraine is developing nuclear weapons

Russia on Tuesday once again escalated the threat of nuclear warfare amid its illegal campaign in Ukraine by alleging that with the support of the U.S. Kyiv is developing nuclear weapons. 

"The need for demilitarization is due to the fact that Ukraine, saturated with weapons, poses a threat to Russia, including from the point of view of the development and use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons," Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, said according to state-owned news agencies. 

The Kremlin has previously claimed without evidence that Ukraine is developing a nuclear weapon, but it escalated its accusations this week after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the threat of nuclear conflict "is real."

Read more.

Posted by Bradford Betz

Secretary of Defense Austin tells Fox News how he believes the war in Ukraine will evolve

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, in a wide-ranging interview Tuesday with Fox News, said he believes Ukraine is going to need "long-range artillery and tanks and armored vehicles" to fight back against Russia in the country’s south and east. 

Austin sat down with Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin after meeting with dozens of defense ministers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany – a gathering he says was "all about making sure that we can continue to provide Ukraine what it needs to be successful in the fight today." 

"And as the fight has evolved, you've seen their needs change from a lot of at the beginning, a lot of anti-armor and anti-aircraft weaponry," Austin said. "But as the fight in the south and east of the country continues, that's a different kind of terrain." 

"They'll need different kinds of things to be able to shape that fight a bit better," he continued. "So, we're looking at long range artillery and tanks and armored vehicles and those types of things."  

For more on this story: Secretary of Defense Austin tells Fox News how he believes the war in Ukraine will evolve

Posted by Greg Norman

Ukraine nightclub owner says he evacuated more than 200 from Mariupol: 'God protected me'

A nightclub owner in Ukraine is claiming Tuesday to have helped evacuate more than 200 people from Mariupol in a war-battered red van, which he is planning to turn into a "monument" after the conflict with Russia ends. 

Mykhailo Puryshev, 36, said he made six daring journeys to save residents of his hometown in March before being told by a separatist soldier to not come back or risk detention and punishment, according to Reuters. 

"The bus came under shelling, a strike, mortar, rifle fire, to be honest, there are so many marks of war on it," Puryshev told Reuters.

For more on this story: Ukraine nightclub owner says he evacuated more than 200 from Mariupol: 'God protected me'

Posted by Greg Norman

Ukraine prepares war crimes charges against Russia military members: Report

Ukraine is reportedly preparing war crimes charges against at least seven members of the Russian military. 

The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office told Reuters that three Russian pilots suspected of bombing civilian buildings in the Kharkiv and Sumy regions, two operators of a rocket launcher who allegedly shelled settlements in the Kharkiv region and two army servicemen suspected of murdering a Kyiv area resident and raping his wife were among those under investigation. 

The office added that the individuals had been notified that they are suspects and that the probes are ongoing, though no charges have been filed with the court. 

For more on this story: Ukraine prepares war crimes charges against Russia military members: Report

Posted by Julia Musto

American in Ukraine creates tribute wall of victims from Russia's war

A Florida man by the name of Leo Soto has traveled to Ukraine to create a tribute to those who have fallen victim to Russia’s more than two-month-long war.

Soto brought flowers and pictures to Lviv where he started by creating a wire wall where people could come to see the faces of those who have been killed. 

But he said it wasn’t long before locals wanted to do more than just watch.

For more on this story: American in Ukraine creates tribute wall of victims from Russia's war

Posted by Fox News

Austin to Fox News: 'Every day is important in a fight like this'

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, in an interview Tuesday with Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin, said "every day" is important in Ukraine's war against Russia.

"Every day is important in a fight like this," he said. "And so we want to make sure that as this fight evolves, that the Ukrainians have what they need to be successful and they can be successful. They believe that."

"And by the way, I believe that and all of those nations that were in the room today, they believe that as well," Austin added.

Posted by Greg Norman

Austin to Fox News: Not worried about Ukraine conflict becoming a proxy war

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, in an interview Tuesday with Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin, said he's not concerned about the war in Ukraine becoming a proxy war.

"This is clearly Ukraine's fight and Ukraine's neighbors and allies and partners are stepping up to make sure that they have what they need in order to be successful," he said. "The Ukrainians are they are fighting for their to protect their sovereignty. And they've been very, very impressive."

Posted by Greg Norman

Austin to Fox News: Ukraine needs 'different kinds' of military support as war evolves

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, in an interview Tuesday with Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin, said the meeting he held today with dozens of defense ministers in Germany is "all about making sure that we can continue to provide Ukraine what it needs to to be successful in the fight today. 

"And as the fight has evolved, you've seen their needs change from a lot of at the beginning, a lot of anti armor and aircraft weaponry," he added.

"But as the fight in the south and east of the country, continues, that's a different kind of terrain," Austin continued. "They'll need different kinds of things to be able to shape that fight a bit better. So we're looking at long range artillery and tanks and armored vehicles and those types of things."

Posted by Greg Norman

Austin to Fox News: ‘Don’t want to speculate’ on any US response to Russia using a nuclear weapon

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, in an interview Tuesday with Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin, said he doesn’t want to speculate “on any kind of a response that we would make” if Russia used a nuclear weapon in its war in Ukraine. 

“My job is to offer the president a range of options for anything that happens. I feel confident that I can do that no matter what happens,” he said. “And I think the president feels confident and not only our ability to protect ourselves, but my ability to offer a range of options that gives the president adequate choices.” 

Posted by Greg Norman

Austin expects Ukraine to attempt to join NATO in the future

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Tuesday that "in the future, if the possibility exists, I think Ukraine will seek to once again apply to become a member of NATO. 

"But again, that's that's probably a bit down the road," Austin told reporters in Germany following a meeting with dozens of defense ministers. "And speculation at this point is not very helpful. I think the first step is to is to end this conflict."

Posted by Greg Norman

Austin: Threats of nuclear weapons being used in Ukraine war is ‘very dangerous and unhelpful’

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Tuesday that threats of the war in Ukraine escalating into a nuclear conflict are “very dangerous and unhelpful. 

“Nobody wants to see a nuclear war happen. It's a war that where all sides lose,” Austin said. “And so rattling of sabers and, you know, dangerous rhetoric is clearly unhelpful and something that we won't engage in.” 

Posted by Greg Norman

Austin: Defense ministers will meet monthly to respond to war in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, speaking Tuesday after meeting with dozens of defense ministers at the Air Force’s Ramstein base in Germany, said the gathering will “become a monthly contact group on Ukraine’s self-defense.” 

The group, he said, “will be a vehicle for nations of good will to intensify our efforts and coordinate our assistance and focus on winning today’s fight and the struggles to come.” 

Austin says the meetings may be virtual, in-person or mixed. 

Posted by Greg Norman

Secretary of Defense Austin, Press Secretary Kirby hold press conference

Click here to watch on Fox News.

Posted by Fox News

UN chief: Russia still has 'different position' on what is happening in Ukraine

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that despite two months of international sanctions and condemnation for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia still has a "different position" on what is happening in the war-torn country. 

Guterres made the remark in Moscow after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin later today before going to Ukraine on Thursday to talk with its leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

"I had a very frank discussion with the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and it is clear there are two different positions on what is happening in Ukraine," Guterres said in front of Lavrov and reporters in Moscow.  

"According to the Russian Federation what is taking place is a special military operation with the objectives that were announced," he continued. "According to the U.N. in line with resolutions passed by the general assembly, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of its territorial integrity and against the charter of the United Nations." 

For more on this story: UN chief: Russia still has 'different position' on what is happening in Ukraine

Posted by Greg Norman

Russia looks to block governor elections over fears of low support amid high sanctions

Russia may look to postpone or cancel looming governors' elections over concerns that the repercussions of severe international sanctions will affect how people vote come September, reports said Tuesday.

After one month into the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin was still seeing high approval ratings as Russians rallied around their flag amid extreme condemnation from the international community. 

While some chalk it up as an example of Moscow’s relatively effective propaganda machine, recent reporting has suggested there is mounting fear among some in the top ranks that the growing number of casualties and extreme economic pressure will take a toll on Russia's public. 

For more on this story: Russia looks to block governor elections over fears of low support amid high sanctions

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Pentagon doubles down on hopes to see a ‘weakened’ Russia

The Pentagon doubled down on its hopes to see Russia come out of its deadly war in Ukraine as a “weakened” nation that is unable to carry out another illegal invasion.

“We don't want to see them be able to do this kind of thing in the future,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Fox and Friends Tuesday. “We don't want to see a Russian capability that is persistent and an ability to invade another sovereign nation and destabilize the European continent any more than they already have."

Kirby’s comments echoed statements made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Llyod Austin Monday.

“We have always wanted one singular objective,” Kirby added. “And that is that Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity is fully respected by Russia.”

Posted by Caitlin McFall

Belarus, Russia to hold joint Air Force staff training

Belarus' Ministry of Defense announced Tuesday that its air force will be holding joint staff training with air force officials from Western Russia through Friday.

"During the operational training event, issues of interaction between aviation and air defense control bodies are worked out when planning actions and setting tasks for subordinate military units and subunits," it said in a statement.

Posted by Greg Norman

Germany to authorize tank shipment to Ukraine, bending to international pressure

Germany authorized the shipment of anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine on Tuesday, showing a policy shift after months of German leaders blocking the sale.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has come under fire from political rivals and even members of his coalition government for a lack of action in support of Ukraine. The new sale, which will be formally announced later Tuesday, provides Gepard anti-aircraft tanks as well as various anti-tank weapons, according to the Agence France Presse.

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht will announce the offer during a meeting with NATO and other Ukrainian allies at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

For more on this story: Germany to authorize tank shipment to Ukraine, bending to international pressure

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Explosions rock Moldova after Russia suggests it could be its next target in Europe

Authorities in Moldova are gathering Tuesday for an urgent security meeting following a series of blasts in a Russia-aligned separatist region, just days after one of Vladimir Putin’s generals suggested that country could be the next target of Moscow’s military aggression in eastern Europe. 

At least two blasts this morning targeted radio antennas that broadcast Russian programs in Maiac, a town around seven miles from Moldova’s border with Ukraine, according to officials in the Trans-Dniester region.  

They come a day after several explosions believed to be caused by rocket-propelled grenades were reported to have hit the Ministry of State Security in the city of Tiraspol, the region’s capital. 

For more on this story: Explosions rock Moldova after Russia suggests it could be its next target in Europe

Posted by Greg Norman

Number of injured in Zaporizhia expected to rise, city said

Two missiles hit Zaporizhia and one missile exploded in the air, the city's administration said in a Facebook post. At least one person was killed and one other was injured, according to reports.

"It is currently known that in the morning two Russian-controlled missiles were shot into the territory of one of the city's enterprises. The third rocket exploded in the air," the city said. "Damage and destruction have been suffered by the infrastructure facilities of the enterprise. All relevant services work on site."

The number of injured personnel are expected to rise as emergency services are were working to clear the areas where the missiles struck.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukrainian forces preparing for possible attack in Zaporizhzhia: report

Ukraine's military is preparing for a possible attack from Russian forces in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

1 dead, 1 wounded after Russian missile attack near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: report

One person is dead and another was injured after Russia's military reportedly fired two missiles over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, according to a report.

The plant has remained under Russia's control since it was captured on March 4.

The head of Ukraine’s nuclear company Energoatom, Petro Kotin, said the low-flying missiles could have struck the plant, putting the safety of the plant, the city, and the world, at risk, the Kyiv Independent reported.

Secretary of the Zaporizhia City Council Anatoliy Kurtev has urged residents to remain indoors or in shelters, Pravda reported.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia's combat losses as of April 26: report

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukraine: 2 children, ages 9 and 14, were killed during Russia's attack in Donetsk

Four people including two children, ages 9 and 14, were killed during Russia's attack in Donetsk on April 25, the region’s governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram.

Nine others were wounded in Monday's attack, Kyrylenko said.

At least 217 children have been killed since Russia first invaded on Feb. 24, and another 391 has suffered injuries, the Kyiv Independent reported. 

These figures are expected to be higher as Ukraine's government is unable to survey areas where fighting is continuing, or in areas currently under Russian occupation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russia's Foreign Minister says not to underestimate risk of nuclear weapons: 'War means war'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the option of a nuclear war remains "real" — and not "underestimate" it — as NATO countries, including the U.S., continues to provoke Russia.

"This is our key position on which we base everything. The risks now are considerable," Lavrov said on the use of nuclear weapons, Reuters reported. "I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it."

Lavrov claimed Russia's military mission into Ukraine was to protect Russians who lived in the country and to remove alleged fascists, who he said the U.S. and others were supplying with weapons.

"These weapons will be a legitimate target for Russia's military acting within the context of the special operation," Lavrov said of Javelin anti-tank missiles and armored vehicles, according to the report.

"Storage facilities in western Ukraine have been targeted more than once (by Russian forces). How can it be otherwise?" he added via Reuters. "NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukrainian officials have begun seeking out suspected collaborators: report

Ukrainian officials are seeking out suspected collaborators, or individuals who fed Russian forces information during their invasion of Eastern Ukraine, according to a report.

According to the Kyiv Independent, Territorial Defense units and the State Emergency Service officials are looking to prosecute certain individuals with treason as they allegedly helped Russia's military track down specific targets or help locate individuals who could provide crucial information.

“These facts do exist and we are working on them,” Kyiv’s Buchanskyi District chief of police Oleksandr Omelyanenko told the outlet.

Ukrainian officials recognize some of this information may have been passed under threatening conditions, the Kyiv Independent reported.

“It’s unknown how many of them were under duress,” deputy police chief Anatoliy Kotesh added.

A member of Ukraine's Territorial Defense reportedly told the outlet that the list of suspected collaborators is short.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Ukrainian forces have recaptured 931 settlements: Zelenskyy

Ukraine's military has liberated 931 settlements that were captured by Russian forces, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during his nightly address Monday.

"Many cities and communities are still under the temporary control of the Russian army. But I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time before we liberate our land," Zelenskyy added.

He added: "But the lessons of history are well known. If you are going to build a millennial Reich, you lose. If you are going to destroy the neighbors, you lose. If you want to restore the old empire, you lose. And if you go against the Ukrainians, you lose."

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy: 'Ukraine will definitely win' despite enduring two months of 'countless bombs'

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked those in the international community who continue to support Ukraine, as its war with Russia recently crossed the 2-month mark.

"Russia has launched an offensive against Ukraine in many directions. Missile strikes, air raids, artillery, tanks - everything!" Zelenskyy said. "Russian troops did not spare anything, any means to kill us, kill Ukrainians and destroy our land."

More than 1100 missiles have landed on Ukraine's soil since Russia first invaded the country on Feb. 24, but the Ukrainian president said Russia will not achieve the victory they seek.

"In two months, they used more than 1100 missiles against us. Countless bombs and artillery. They tortured, robbed, executed. They mined our land," he said. "Peaceful cities and villages were turned into hell. Some Ukrainian cities and communities were destroyed to the ground. But they did not achieve anything. And they will not achieve."

Zelenskyy said even the areas that fell to Russia's military continued to defy their occupation — a resilience that has come to define the Ukrainian spirit.

"Kherson, Kakhovka, Melitopol, Dniprorudne, Enerhodar and our other cities where the Russian occupiers temporarily entered didn’t obey them. People showed with their protest their attitude towards the occupiers, showed that Ukraine will definitely win," the president said.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Zelenskyy: 'Betting on Ukraine means winning'

In his April 25 nightly address, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recognized Ukraine's resilience in the face of Russia's aggression.

"Today the third month of our war for our independence began," Zelenskyy said.

This is a milestone much of the world did not foresee Ukraine reaching, he said.

"On February 24, most in the world did not even believe that we would withstand more than a week. Someone said - three days. A month ago, we still had to convince different countries that betting on Ukraine means winning. And now... Now everyone knows it," the president exclaimed.

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Russian spies appear to confuse ‘The Sims’ for SIM cards in assassination plot

An apparent effort by Russian security services accused of staging a Ukrainian assassination attempt showed copies of “The Sims” video games that could have been mistaken for SIM cards, according to reports.

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation announced it had arrested six neo-Nazis who they said plotted to kill Russian TV Host Vladimir Solovyov in Moscow, the New York Post reported.

The agency claimed Ukrainian security services tried killing Solovyov with a car bomb.

The images released shows a red T-shirt with a swastika next to three copies of “The Sims 3” video games.  

“Who knew they were so into The Sims 3?” BBC journalist Francis Scarr tweeted.

“Somebody from the top most likely wrote: “3 симки” (“three SIM cards”), and some genius obeyed,” a user replied.

Eliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat, a Netherlands-based investigative research group that has followed developments in Ukraine closely seemed to agree.

“I genuinely believe this is a dumb FSB officer being told to get 3 SIMs,” he wrote. 

Posted by Louis Casiano

Pressure mounts for U.S. officials to sanction Putin’s gymnast girlfriend

Posted by Louis Casiano

Biden administration announces new process to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion

President Biden announced last week that Unite for Ukraine initiative, a process to prove Ukrainian citizens fleeing Russia's invasion to come to the United States.

"This represents a key step toward fulfilling the President’s commitment to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine," the Department of Homeland Security said.

Biden has committed to welcoming up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing the war. The State Department announced increased refugee settlement processing and widen access to visa processing on overseas consular offices.

Posted by Louis Casiano

Ukraine suspected of striking Russian oil depot as fire rages

Posted by Louis Casiano

Dramatic images emerge of Russia oil depot fire near Ukraine border