Zelensky urges Russians to resist conscription; U.S. warns of consequences if Russia uses nuclear weapons
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Russians to resist conscription into the military as the United States on Sunday warned Russia of "catastrophic" consequences if it uses nuclear weapons. © Laurent Gillieron/EPA-EFE A Russian protestor carries a placard showing a picture of Russian president Vladimir Putin with the name "Terrorist No1" during a demonstration against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in front of the Palais des Nations, European headquarters of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sunday.
China warned the United States it could face severe consequences—including the prospect of nuclear war—if it allows Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), drawing the 30-member alliance into the country's conflict with Russia. © Alexandr Demyanchuk/Sputnik / AFP China's President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose with Mongolia's President during their trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand on September 15, 2022.
In a Sunday editorial in the state-owned Global Times, Beijing warned that allowing the country into the alliance—as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has requested—would lead to an inevitable escalation in the conflict, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin's threats to use nuclear arms against the West.
Russia prepares to annex occupied Ukraine despite outcry
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia is poised to formally annex areas of Ukraine where it has military control after referendums there reportedly endorsed Moscow’s rule. But the ballots were widely discredited and earned the Kremlin no relief Wednesday from international pressure over its assault on its neighbor. Pro-Moscow administrations of all four occupied regions of southern and eastern Ukraine said Tuesday night that their residents voted to join Russia in five days of Kremlin-orchestrated balloting.
While unlikely—U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan stated in a White House press briefing last week that NATO should delay talks on allowing the country into the alliance—the newspaper warned "all European countries will tremble under the shadow of a possible nuclear war" should it take place, and called for the Western alliance to withdraw from its longstanding involvement in Eastern Europe.
"In that case, there will be no security for anyone, not for Ukraine, and not for the world," the newspaper wrote. "Instead of pursuing resolutions to end the conflict, Washington has, over and over again, displayed that the US is charging toward the other direction—fanning the flames of war."
The editorial comes amid a series of comments by traditional Russian allies like India and the Chechen Republic expressing misgivings either over the war or the prospect of deploying nuclear weapons in the conflict. In recent weeks, Putin has publicly acknowledged China itself has expressed some concern with the direction of the war as the two countries have sought to align themselves as a bulwark to the West.
Russia smuggling Ukrainian grain to help pay for Putin's war
BEIRUT (AP) — When the bulk cargo ship Laodicea docked in Lebanon last summer, Ukrainian diplomats said the vessel was carrying grain stolen by Russia and urged Lebanese officials to impound the ship. Moscow called the allegation “false and baseless,” and Lebanon’s prosecutor general sided with the Kremlin and declared that the 10,000 tons of barley and wheat flour wasn’t stolen and allowed the ship to unload. But an investigation by TheMoscow called the allegation “false and baseless,” and Lebanon’s prosecutor general sided with the Kremlin and declared that the 10,000 tons of barley and wheat flour wasn’t stolen and allowed the ship to unload.
David Shullman, senior director of the Atlantic Council's Global China Hub, told Newsweek that the Global Times editorial should not be read as a willingness from Beijing to end the war, but rather, a call to the West to cede to Russia's position that the U.S. and NATO are to blame for the conflict, and that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was legitimate under the pretext it felt threatened by NATO's expansion into the country.
"Yes, China does legitimately want the war to end, because it does not serve its strategic aims and the war clearly not going well for Russia, Beijing's most important strategic partner," Shullman wrote in an email. "But rather than encourage any change on Putin's part, Xi is doubling down on blame of the U.S. and NATO as the bad actors somehow forcing Putin to increasingly threaten the West. Unfortunately, we should expect no significant effort from Xi Jinping to use China's supposed leverage with Russia to encourage a more responsible tack from Russia. "
6 Bits Of News From The War In Ukraine You May Have Missed
Ukrainian forces continue to push forward, but Putin isn't backing down.Kyiv is successfully pushing back the frontline of the war, forcing Russia’s troops off Ukrainian land. Meanwhile, Moscow is upping the ante through more and more extreme measures.
The editorial comes amid a tumultuous week in the conflict in which Putin delivered a nationally televised address declaring the country would be annexing four occupied territories along the Russia-Ukraine border, marking another escalation in Russia's nearly eight-month long campaign in the country amid nationwide protests over the country's newly instituted conscription policy.
Though the U.S. has so far avoided direct military involvement in the war, Congress put its stamp of approval on approximately $12 billion in additional aid to the war effort late last week. President Joe Biden—once a supporter of Ukrainian efforts to join NATO prior to Russia's invasion—issued his own warning to Russian forces, hinting at dire consequences in the event Russian forces invaded any bordering NATO-aligned countries in Eastern Europe.
"America's fully prepared with our NATO allies to defend every single inch of NATO territory. Every single inch," Biden said in Friday remarks in Washington, D.C.
NATO, meanwhile, has openly expressed support for Ukraine's efforts to retake territory claimed by Russia over the course of the conflict—a process that already seems to be taking place.
Authorities: 3 dead in explosion on bridge linking Russia to Crimea
Three people died in a huge explosion that severely damaged a strategic bridge linking Russia and the occupied Crimean peninsula, Russian authorities said Saturday. © UPI Investigators survey the damage on the Kerch Strait Bridge on Saturday following an explosion that destroyed parts of the span and killed three people. Image provided by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation/UPI Two spans supporting the roadbed of one lane of the bridge collapsed when a truck exploded on the bridge early Saturday morning, Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee told the Interfax news agency.
Just one day after Putin announced the annexation of Lyman—a strategic city in the Donetsk region of Ukraine—Russian forces retreated from the city under heavy fire from Ukrainian forces, while several other occupied cities in the Kherson region were liberated from Russian control.
- Russia 'Losing' in Ukraine, Putin's Failures 'Irreversible': Gen. Petraeus
- Russian-State TV Stunned by Lyman Retreat, Say Kyiv May Bomb Moscow
- Putin Has 'Nothing Left to Maneuver' in Ukraine as Russia Flees Lyman: Gen.
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NATO Plans to Fly Nuclear-Capable Aircraft in Annual 'Deterrence' Exercises .
NATO's exercise comes as many fear Russia could turn to nuclear weapons in its invasion of Ukraine.The annual exercise, called "Steadfast Noon," was planned before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the Ukraine "special military operation" in February and will mainly take place more than 625 miles from Russia, the Associated Press reported. It will involve 14 NATO members, as well as nuclear-capable aircraft, conventional jets, surveillance and refueling aircraft.