Ukraine live: Separatist leader says Russia advancing in Bakhmut

Read Time:9 Minute, 22 Second
  • Russia-backed separatist leader Denis Pushilin says Moscow’s troops are advancing in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and have almost taken full control of a metals plant there, as Kyiv aimed to wear down what it called “overwhelming” enemy forces.
  • Belarus says it was forced to house Russian nuclear weapons because NATO aggression threatens national security, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

    Ukraine war response highlights ‘double standard’: Amnesty

    Amnesty International’s annual report highlighted the West’s “double standards” towards human rights abuses in the context of the Ukraine war.

    “The West’s formidable response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underscored double standards, exposing in comparison how inconsequential their reactions have been to so many other violations of the UN Charter,” said Amnesty secretary general Agnes Callamard as she presented the group’s world report in Paris.

    The report found that as Western countries quickly bound together to impose sanctions on Moscow, the same approach was missing from previous violations by Russia and others to current “pitiful” responses to conflicts in Ethiopia and Myanmar.Callamard told Al Jazeera from Paris on Monday,” in 2022, we had the fantastic example of how the world came to support and show solidarity with the Ukrainian people. But we did not have a similar kind of support and solidarity for the Palestinian people, the people of Ethiopia, Myanmar, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

    Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 398

    Click here for a roundup of the key events from day 398 of the war.


    • Russia says oil sales to India soared 22-fold last year
    • Why does Russia want tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus?
    • Ukraine receives Leopard, Challenger battle tanks
    • Russia-Ukraine war exposed human rights ‘double standards’
    • Russia redirects crude oil exports to ‘friendly countries’

      Russia has redirected all its crude oil exports affected by Western sanctions to “friendly” countries, Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said.

      The West imposed wide-ranging sanctions, including an embargo on seaborne Russian oil imports, after Moscow sent its armed forces into Ukraine in February 2022.

      “I can say today that we have managed to completely redirect the entire volume of exports affected by the embargo. There was no decrease in sales,” Shulginov told an energy forum.

      Speaking at the same event, Alexander Dyukov, CEO of Russian oil major Gazprom Neft, said that 2023 would be more complex than 2022, and the pressure from sanctions would grow.

    • 52m ago

       (11:27 GMT)

      Russia navy fire supersonic missile into Sea of Japan

      Russia’s navy fired supersonic anti-ship missiles at a fake target in the Sea of Japan, the Russian defence ministry said.

      “In the waters of the Sea of Japan, missile ships of the Pacific Fleet fired Moskit cruise missiles at a mock enemy sea target,” the ministry said on Telegram.

      “The target, located at a distance of about 100 kilometres (62.14 miles), was successfully hit by a direct hit from two Moskit cruise missiles.”

      IOC president defends plan for Russian athletes

      International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach defended plans to get Russian and Belarusian athletes back into competitions as neutrals, saying their participation “works” despite the ongoing war.

      The IOC has set a pathway for athletes to earn Olympic slots through Asian qualifying but has faced pushback, with Ukraine threatening to boycott the Paris Games.

      “Participation of athletes with Russian and Belarusian passports in international competitions works,” Bach said in his address at the start of the IOC’s executive board meeting.

      Bach added that politics could not be a part of sports competitions and athletes should not be punished for their passports.

      “We will not be able to come up with a solution which pleases everyone. With this we may have to live.”

      Ukrainians are also tired’ of fighting: Adviser

      Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak said that as support for Ukraine wanes in certain countries, Ukrainians are also tired of fighting in the war.

      On Twitter, he wrote: “We hear from certain countries: people are tired, support for Ukraine is decreasing. I get it. Ukrainians are also tired. But we have no choice. We are an outpost of European security & intl law. True leadership is seeing the challenges of times & seeing that Europe also has no choice.”

      Russian forces are pushing ahead in Bakhmut: Pushilin

      A Russian-installed regional leader said that Russian forces are moving forward in Bakhmut despite fierce resistance and have almost taken complete control of a metals plant.

      Denis Pushilin, the Russian-installed leader of the part of the Donetsk region under Moscow’s control, said the bulk of Ukrainian forces had been forced to pull back from the AZOM metals factory on the western side the Bakhmutka river.

      “The important thing here was to clear out the industrial zone at the plant itself. You can practically say that has now been done, with the guys just finishing off (Ukrainian) fighters there who are only left in solitary groups,” said Pushilin.

      Pushilin said fighters from Russia’s Wagner mercenary force were continuing to spearhead the offensive in the city.

      “The (Wagner) guys are moving forward, of course they are moving forward, though it takes their hardest efforts to do that,” Pushilin told state TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov.

      Russia will keep demanding probe into Nord Stream blast: Kremlin

      The Kremlin said it would keep demanding an international investigation into explosions that damaged the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea last year after failing to win backing for a resolution at the United Nations.

      Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said everyone should be interested in an impartial investigation to find the culprits.

      “We will do everything in our power to continue to insist and to initiate such an international investigation,” he told a daily conference call with reporters without specifying.

      On Monday, Russia failed to get the UN Security Council to ask for an independent inquiry into explosions.

      Peskov said Russia viewed the outcome at the UN “with regret”.

      “We believe that everyone should be interested in an objective investigation involving all interested parties, all those who can shed light on who commissioned and perpetrated this terrorist act,” he said.

      Britain, Poland to build two temporary villages in Ukraine

      Britain and Poland will build two temporary villages in western and central Ukraine to provide housing for those forced from their homes by Russia’s invasion, London said

      Britain’s government, who pledged 10 million pounds ($12.3 million) in funding, said the villages in Lviv in western Ukraine and Poltava in central Ukraine would be able to house more than 700 people, a fraction of the millions either displaced in Ukraine or who have fled the country.

      “For the past year, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has continued to target civilian homes and infrastructure, with the Ukrainian people paying a heavy price,” British foreign minister James Cleverly said in a statement.

      “This new UK-Poland partnership will help bring light, heat and homes to those most in need.”

      British families have hosted almost 118,000 Ukrainians as part of the government’s response to the invasion, but some are finding it increasingly difficult to get permanent housing.

      Russia warns of possible drone attacks on its energy infrastructure

      Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said that possible drone attacks against critical energy infrastructure seriously threaten its energy security.

      “The key threat now is acts of illegal interference through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),” Shulginov said during a round-table discussion addressing the security of Russia’s energy facilities.

      He said he was cooperating with Russia’s defence ministry and FSB security service.

      Shulginov did not mention Ukraine by name, but Russia says it has foiled several attempted Ukrainian drone attacks in recent months.

      Ukraine aims to exhaust Russian troops in Bakhmut, says general

      Ukraine aims to exhaust and inflict heavy losses on Russian forces trying to capture Bakhmut, the commander of Ukrainian Ground Forces said.

      General Oleksandr Syrskyi said in a video posted to Telegram: “They do not stop trying to surround and capture the city.

      “As of today, our main task is to wear down the overwhelming forces of the enemy and inflict heavy losses on them. It will create the necessary conditions to help liberate Ukrainian land and speed up our victory.”

      Syrskyi has been meeting troops near the front line as Ukraine prepares for a possible counteroffensive after 13 months of fighting.

      On Monday, the general said the defence of Bakhmut was a military necessity.

      Belarus says decided to host Russian weapons after years of Western pressure

      Belarus said it had decided to host Russian tactical nuclear weapons after years of pressure from the United States and its allies aimed at changing its political and geopolitical direction.

      The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “Over the last two and a half years, the Republic of Belarus has been subjected to unprecedented political, economic and information pressure from the United States, the United Kingdom and its NATO allies, as well as the member states of the European Union.

      “In view of these circumstances, and the legitimate concerns and risks in the sphere of national security arising from them, Belarus is forced to respond by strengthening its own security and defence capabilities.”

      Minsk said the plans would not contravene international non-proliferation agreements as Belarus would not have control over the weapon.

      Russian troops holding nuclear plant hostage: Zelenskyy

      President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian troops were holding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant hostage, and its safety could not be guaranteed until they left.

      Russian troops have occupied the nuclear power plant since the early weeks of the invasion of Ukraine.

      “Holding a nuclear power station hostage for more than a year – this is surely the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of European or worldwide nuclear power,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

      He referred to the Russian presence as “radiation blackmail”.His comments followed a meeting with Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), at the Dnieper hydroelectric power station, where he said on his official website, “without an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops and staff from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station and adjacent areas, any initiatives on restoring nuclear safety and security are doomed to failure”.

      Russia’s bid for Nord Stream inquiry was a meaningful option, says China

      Russia’s bid to get the UN Security Council to ask for an independent inquiry into explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines was a meaningful option in the search for the truth, said China’s foreign minister.

      On Monday, Russia failed to win over the 15-member council to pass a draft resolution asking UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish an international investigation into the “sabotage” and identify who was to blame.

      Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council before the vote, “Without an objective and transparent international investigation, the truth will not be uncovered as to what happened.”

      Only Russia, China and Brazil voted in favour of the resolution, while the remaining 12 council members abstained.

      Those who abstained said they did so because the national investigations should be allowed to conclude before considering any UN action.


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