Russia-Ukraine war: Putin to give G20 speech as Zelensky shrugs off assassinations

Russia-Ukraine war: Putin to give G20 speech as Zelensky shrugs off assassinations

New foreign secretary David Cameron meets Zelensky

Vladimir Putin will set out Russia’s view of the “deeply unstable world situation” in a shock G20 speech this week, the Kremlin has said, as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that the Kremlin had tried to assassinate him at least “five or six times”.

Putin has avoided meeting Western leaders since he launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February. The upcoming event, held virtually, will be the first time in months he has spoken at an event in which major Western leaders have been either present or invited.

It comes as Ukrainian wartime leader Volodymyr Zelensky said he had become numb to the threat of assassination as he compared recent attempts to like having Covid-19.

“The first one is very interesting, when it is the first time, and after that it is just like Covid,” he said in a new interview.


EU’s Michel, in Kyiv, says Ukraine continues to get closer to EU

European Council President Charles Michel said during a trip to wartime Kyiv on Tuesday that Ukraine continued to get closer to the European Union and described Kyiv’s progress as remarkable.

He made the comment at a joint news conference in the Ukrainian capital alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Moldovan President Maia Sandu.

Charles Michel said Ukraine continued to get closer to becoming a European Union member

(AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Watling21 November 2023 15:00


A detailed look at Germany’s new €1.3bn military aid package

Earlier we reported that Germany had announced a new €1.3 billion (£1.1bn) military package for Ukraine during defence minister Boris Pistorius’ visit to Kyiv today.

Below are some more in-depth details about what that package will include.

The Ukrainian defence ministry said they are “grateful” to Berlin for its “steadfast support”.

Tom Watling21 November 2023 14:33


Here are some more of the latest pictures

Below are some of the latest pictures that have been published throughout today.

The 21st of November is an annual day of celebration in Ukraine, called the Day of Dignity and Freedom. It marks the beginning of the revolution that eventually overthrew the pro-Russian government a decade ago.

Another photo shows a recruitment poster put up in Kyiv calling for Ukrainian soldiers to join the frontline. Russians pictured in the posters are portrayed as orcs, the evil characters in Lord of the Rings. The comparison has become a popular one within Ukraine and its military ranks.

Photos from a Russian defence ministry meeting were also posted on their official channels. Earlier today, Sergei Shoigu, the head of the ministry and a key, longstanding ally of Vladimir Putin, claimed Ukrianians had failed to cross the Dnipro River into occupied southern Ukrainian territory in Kherson Oblast despite reports suggesting otherwise.

A soldier pays his respects at the monument to the so-called ‘Heavenly Hundred’, the people killed during the Ukrainian pro-European Union (EU) mass demonstrations in 2014


A poster depicting Ukrainian servicemen fighting with Russian ‘orcs’ with a sign reading ‘Fight together in 3rd assault brigade (a brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces)’ in Kyiv

(AFP via Getty Images)

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu chairs a roundtable meeting with military officials in Moscow

(Russian Defence Ministry/AFP via)

Tom Watling21 November 2023 14:15


Berlin announces new military aid package for Ukraine worth 1.3 bln euros

Germany will support Ukraine with another military aid package worth 1.3 billion euros (£1.1bn) that will include an additional IRIS-T air defence unit, defence minister Boris Pistorius said in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Berlin is the second-biggest supplier of military assistance to Kyiv after the US. The chancellor, Olaf Scholz, pledged last month that Germany would maintain its aid to Kyiv, insisting that “we will support Ukraine as long as necessary”.

German defence minister Boris Pistorius (R) sits down his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov in Kyiv

(AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Watling21 November 2023 13:50


Slovak parliament confirms government promising to halt Ukraine military aid

Body: Slovakia’s parliament has confirmed prime minister Robert Fico’s government on Tuesday, backing a policy agenda that promises to halt state military aid to Ukraine.

Mr Fico won an election in September on a campaign that took aim at critical media, Western partners and liberal policies.

Fico’s governing coalition combines his leftist, socially conservative SMER-SSD party with a smaller leftist party and a small nationalist party.

The coalition adopted its policy programme last week, and parliament supported it in a vote of confidence on Tuesday.

The programme incorporates Mr Fico’s campaign pledge to halt Slovakia’s official military aid to Ukraine as its neighbour battles Russia’s invasion and to seek a cessation of hostilities, while recognising Ukraine’s international borders.

Newly appointed Slovakia’s prime minister Robert Fico arrives for a swear in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Tom Watling21 November 2023 13:30


Ukraine suspects lawmaker of first-ever cryptocurrency bribe

Ukrainian investigators suspect a lawmaker of trying to bribe the head of a government reconstruction agency in the country’s first-ever documented cryptocurrency kickback, authorities said on Tuesday.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) said the lawmaker, a member of parliament’s anti-corruption committee, is believed to have offered the equivalent of $50,000 in bitcoin in exchange for state funds to rebuild infrastructure under his control.

The bureau did not name the official, who was served by prosecutors with an official notice of suspicion.

The head of Ukraine‘s State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development reported the bribe to authorities after receiving the first $10,000 tranche, NABU said.

“This is the first illegal benefit in cryptocurrency in the history of (Ukraine‘s) anti-corruption institutions that has been documented,” the agency said in a statement.

Ukraine has stepped up efforts to stamp out corruption as it pursues membership of the European Union, which has made the fight against graft a key condition for negotiations to begin.

Tom Watling21 November 2023 13:00


10 years later, a war-weary Ukraine reflects on events that began its collision course with Russia

It happens every November, when the cold descends on Kyiv. The change in weather always makes Dmytro Riznychenko think back, and he is overwhelmed by his emotions.

“This is where it truly began,” Riznychenko said, walking through central Kyiv’s Independence Square recently, reflecting on the uprising that unleashed a decade of momentous change for Ukraine, eventually leading to the current war with Russia.

“Ten years of war and struggle,” the 41-year-old psychologist continued, wearily and reluctantly. “And it seems like the blood has only just begun to flow, truly. I regret nothing. But, God, it’s just so tiresome.”

Tom Watling21 November 2023 12:30


Ukrainian troops beat back Russian attacks near Bakhmut as Putin’s forces make desperate push

The attacks are focused on Klishchiivka, a village on higher elevation about 9km away from Bakhmut, said Volodymyr Fityo, a spokesperson for Ukrainian ground forces.

“Russian occupying forces have brought in the necessary reserves and gone on the attack,” the spokesperson said, referring to renewed assaults by Moscow.

Ukrainian troops repelled 11 attacks in the past 24 hours, Mr Fity said. “The enemy is trying to dislodge our men from defensive positions around Klishchiivka,” he said.

Tom Watling21 November 2023 12:00


Ukrainians who fled their country for Israel find themselves yet again living with war

Tatyana Prima thought she’d left the bombs behind when she fled Ukraine more than a year and a half ago, after Russia decimated her city, Mariupol. The 38-year-old escaped with her injured husband and young daughter, bringing the family to safety in southern Israel.

The calm she was slowly regaining shattered again on Oct. 7, when Hamas militants invaded.

“All these sounds of war that we hear now, they sometimes work as a trigger that brings back memories of what we’ve gone through in Mariupol,” she said. “It’s hard feeling like that you’re the one responsible for your child, the one who wants what’s best for them, and in some way like you’ve failed them.”

Tom Watling21 November 2023 11:38


Russian defence minister claims Ukraine failing to cross the Dnipro River

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has claimed that Ukraine have failed to carry out a landing operation in the Kherson region, the Interfax news agency reported.

The Russian politician, a senior figure involved in the “special military operation” and an integral member of Vladimir Putin’s siloviki (inner circle), was echoing dismissive claims made by the official channel of his own ministry earlier today.

Vladimir Putin, left and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu arrive at the headquarters of Russia’s Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don


Tom Watling21 November 2023 11:08

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