Ukraine-Russia war latest LIVE: Civilians have no escape from siege as supplies run out, as Putin backed by China’s Xi

MORE than 500 people including children and babies are holed up in Azot chemical plant with dangerously low supplies of food and water as Putin’s troops continue their bombardment.

Russian forces wrecked three bridges leading out of the city of Sievierodonetsk, Donbas region, giving Ukrainians an ultimatum to leave by Wednesday morning.

Ukrainian forces refused Moscow’s exit corridor, and remain in the plant under constant artillery fire from Russian soldiers.

Their food and water supplies are dipping dangerously low.

Governor Haidia of Luhansk has said evacuation is now “simply not possible”.

As the bloodbath battles rage on, President Xi of China has declared support of Putin’s cruel invasion of Ukraine, saying the country backs Russia’s “sovereignty” and “security”.

Reportedly Mr Xi said: “China is willing to push for the steady and long-term development of bilateral pragmatic cooperation.

“China is willing to mutually support Russia on core interests and matters of paramount concern, such as sovereignty and security, as well as [achieve] closer strategic cooperation,” Xi was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster CCTV.

Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy gave a grave warning to fellow European leaders today in Kyiv, telling them Russia aims to: “break Ukraine and to break the whole of Europe through Ukraine.”

Read our Ukraine war live blog below for the latest news & updates…

  • NATO pledged to deploy military to eastern Europe

    There are already 40,000 troops mobilised in response to Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine.

    Germany has previously announced that it will strengthen engagement with Lithuania.

    France aims to increase its presence in Romania, where it plans to have deployed 1,000 troops by the end of 2022.

  • ‘China is watching’ and the fate of Russia’s war with Ukraine

    UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said “the West lacks resolve.”

    Speaking with a group of defence ministers from European countries, he said: “Ukraine matters because China is watching.

    “You see the issues around Taiwan…. This [the war in Ukraine] is ultimately about the West’s resolve to defend its values, that’s it.

    “Therefore all sorts of people who have a different view of the world – or indeed who are our adversaries or our competitors – will look and test that resolve and see and be able to engage how far they can push it.”

    It seems the consensus is China may take a similar stance on Taiwan, which has been a controversial subject since Taiwan broke away from China after World War 2.

  • Russian spy CAUGHT attempting to secure an internship at the International Crime Court

    The individual used a false ID, claiming to be Brazilian citizen.

    A 36 year old man called Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov was caught in the act, as he tried to obtain a place at the International Crime Court’s internship programme.

    Dutch immigration officials were warned and he was detained.

    He called himself Viktor Muller Ferreira and knocked three years off of his age.

  • Azot evacuation is now ‘impossible’ according to officials

    More than 400 civilians, soliders and children are holed up in the chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk.

    Speaking to CNN, Luhansk governor, Serhiy Haidai made the chilling comment: “It is impossible to get out of there now. I mean, it is physically possible, but it is very dangerous due to constant shelling and fighting.”

    He said that they would only be able to escape if there was a ceasefire.

  • Germany’s chancellor: war of ‘unimaginable cruelty’ HAS to end

    The chancellor has condemned Putin’s actions and the invasion of Ukraine.

    Olaf Scholz, said Russia’s war of “unimaginable cruelty” and “senseless violence” must end.

    He Tweeted: “Irpin, like Bucha, has long since become a symbol of the unimaginable cruelty of the Russian war, of senseless violence.

    “The brutal destruction in this city is a memorial – this war must come to an end.”

  • Finland REMOVES Lenin statue

    The nation also seeks NATO membership.

    It was a controversial decision to remove the statue, but the city of Kotka has boldly removed the tribute to the former Russian leader.

    This statue based in the city has been moved to a museum, according to reports.

    The statue of Lenin was given as a gift by Kotka’s twin city, Tallinn in 1979. It was sculpted by Estonian artist Matti Varikin.

  • Russia & U.S. must discuss nuclear treaty extension

    Russia and the United States must discuss the extension of the START nuclear arms reduction treaty, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the RIA news agency in an interview today.

    “The matter was important for global security and Russia’s military operation in Ukraine was no reason to avoid its discussion,” Peskov added.

  • Sanctions on Russia could be ‘crippling’ for its economy

    Russia’s economy will never be the same again according to Russian experts.

    The head of the Russian Central Bank warned Thursday that the country’s economy has “changed for a long time, if not forever” after crippling sanctions.

    “It seems to me that it’s obvious to everyone that it won’t be as it was before,” Elvira Nabiullina said at a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

  • Civilians and soldiers are still stuck in Azot chemical plant

    It is thought more than 400 people including babies and children are holed up in the plant.

    Experts believe Russia has claimed more than 70 per cent of Sievierodonetsk, a city in the Donbas region.

    Russian forces told them to leave using a humanitarian route by Wednesday morning, but the Ukrainians refused.

  • Death sentence of Moroccan man is being ignored, according to family

    He was captured by Russians whilst fighting alongside two Brits for the Ukraine army.

    The British and Ukrainian governments have both condemned the Russian’s for the harsh trial, but Morocco is yet to comment.

    Iman Saaudun told the BBC he had been “left aside” as attention focused on the other men.

    “At first, when they captured all of them, then it was like different news about every person,” she told the BBC.

    “There wasn’t much attention on my brother… Maybe it’s because of my government, they are not doing much about it, they are literally silent.”

  • Russia accused of child abduction

    Amid the horrific war ongoing in Ukraine, reportedly Ukrainian children are being trafficked out of the country and adopted in Russia.

    More than 2,000 Ukrainian children have been snatched from their homes, or were missing parents and were sent to Russia.

    The UN is investigating the claims.

  • Robot replaced guests at Putin’s annual economic summit after other nations boycott it

    A ‘female’ robot replaced human guests for Putin’s summit, as Russia continues to batter Ukraine.

    This new guest was invited to today’s meeting was a Russian robot woman attended the forum which is being boycotted by the West over the war in Ukraine.

    Android barmaid Dunyasha was seen selling ice cream at the St Petersburg event.

    Putin, 69, is only due to attend for one day of the four-day annual forum, sparking speculation over medical problems amid rumours of cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

    Recent reports say he has been advised not to attend public events for long, despite the Kremlin insisting he is healthy.

    The robot will be present throughout even though one Russian outlet slammed her outfit as “resembling a mix of The Stepford Wives and Soviet shop assistants from 1950s”.

    She is made as the spitting image of 2014 Perm beauty contest winner Diana Gabdullina, 31, wife of the owner of robot making company Rashid Gabdullin.

    Credit: Getty
  • French President Macron says ‘Ukraine must win’

    The leaders of France, Germany and Italy have taken an important visit to the Presidential Palace in Kyiv.

    President Macron says Ukraine “must resist and win” and condemned Russian “barbarism”.

    Macron, Olaf Scholz and Mario Draghi were brought outside to look at the horrific damage Russian shelling has caused.

  • German chancellor reflects on his visit to Kyiv

    Olaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany, has reflected on his visit to Irpin, Kyiv.

    He took to Twitter to say: “Irpin, like Bucha, has long since become a symbol of the unimaginable cruelty of the Russian war, of senseless violence.

    “The brutal destruction in this city is a memorial – this war must come to an end.”

    He was joined in Ukraine by France’s Emmanuel Macron, and Italy’s Mario Draghi.

  • Putin holding Europe to ransom by cutting gas supplies in response to sanctions

    RUSSIA has blamed Western sanctions for its decision to curb gas supplies to Europe.

    On Tuesday, Gazprom – Moscow’s state-backed energy giant – announced it would slash gas deliveries through a key European pipeline by 40 per cent, report The Guardian.

    In a statement, the firm said it had been forced to partially suspend operations at the Portovaya compressor station on the Russian Baltic Sea coast. 

    “Due to the sanctions imposed by Canada, it is currently impossible for Siemens Energy to deliver overhauled gas turbines to the customer,” it said.

    “Against this background we have informed the Canadian and German governments and are working on a viable solution.”

    The move, Germany says, is politically motivated, and has appealed to Canada to review its sanctions on Moscow.

    Robert Habeck, Germany’s economic minister, said: “I also have the impression that what happened yesterday (Tuesday) is a political decision, and not a decision that is technically justifiable.”

    He added: “What effect it has on the European and German gas market, we will have to wait and see.

    “The Russian side’s argument is simply a pretext. It is obviously a strategy to unsettle and drive up prices.”

  • UK sets out new Russia sanctions for “barbaric treatment of children in Ukraine”

    Britain has today said it had sanctioned Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the “forced transfer and adoption of Ukrainian children”, as part of a new wave of sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.

    “We are targeting the enablers and perpetrators of (Russian President Vladimir) Putins war who have brought untold suffering to Ukraine, including the forced transfer and adoption of children,” Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

    Britain said the latest sanctions round of sanctions also included Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, targeted for his support and endorsement of the war in Ukraine. 

  • Russia sanctions 121 Australians – including journalists

    Russia’s foreign ministry said today that it was sanctioning an additional 121 Australian citizens, including journalists and defence officials, citing what it calls a “Russophobic agenda” in the country.

    Among the sanctioned individuals are journalists from Australia’s ABC News, Sydney Morning Herald and Sky News, as well as various defence officials, it said.

    Russia announced a similar move against dozens of British journalists on Tuesday, in what Moscow said was a response to Western sanctions and the “spreading of false information about Russia”. 

  • Macron meets Zelensky for first time since war began

    French President Emmanuel Macron met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv today, Macron’s office said.

    This marks the first time the two leaders had met physically since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

    Macron was visiting Kyiv alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, in a show of support which the Kyiv government hopes will be followed by concrete action to help it in the war with Russia.

  • Japan airline ditches ‘Z’ logo used as pro-Russia symbol

    Japan’s Zipair budget airline only launched in 2020, but an unfortunate coincidence has forced a rebrand of its logo – the letter Z, now linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    The symbol shot to controversy worldwide after being spotted on Russian tanks and military uniforms in Ukraine.

    It has since appeared on cars and clothing in Russia and online and has become a sign of support for the invasion, a patriotic trend the Kremlin is keen to encourage.

    Zipair president Shingo Nishida said Wednesday that the company is ditching the logo to avoid anyone mistakenly thinking his business is in favour of the bloody conflict.

    “Some people might feel that way when they see it without any explanation,” he told reporters, according to Kyodo News and other local media.

    Zipair’s new logo – a green, black and white geometric design – will from Saturday replace the black ‘Z’ currently on the tail fin of its planes, the reports said.

  • Macron, Scholz, Draghi visit war-scarred Kyiv suburb Irpin

    French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi visited Irpin today.

    It is a battle-damaged suburb of Ukraine’s capital, and they visited in a show of support for the country at war with Russia.

    AFP journalists on the scene said the European leaders had arrived to the town north of Kyiv, where residential buildings and civilian infrastructure remain damaged following Russian troops’ attempts early in the invasion to capture the capital.

  • Russia-backed forces to reopen humanitarian corridor at Azot plant

    Russia-backed forces will reopen a humanitarian corridor for civilians to leave the Azot chemical plant in Sievierdonetsk, the Interfax news agency reported today, citing a separatist leader.

    Leonid Pasechnik, head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, said separatist forces had entered the plant – where Ukraine says hundreds of civilians are taking shelter – but had been unable to dislodge Ukrainian fighters from the factory, the Tass news agency reported. 

  • German, French, Italian leaders arrive in Kyiv

    French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi have arrived in Kyiv, on a joint trip to show their backing for Ukraine.

    “It’s an important moment. It’s a message of unity we’re sending to the Ukrainians, of support, to talk both about the present and the future, since the coming weeks, as we know, will be very difficult,” Macron said as they arrived.

    “We’re here, we’re focused, we will join president Zelensky to go to a war site where massacres have been carried out,” Macron said.

  • MoD: Situation in Donbas extremely difficult for Ukrainian troops

    The British Ministry of Defence has given its latest intelligence report, and says that bridges over the Siverskyy Donets River,  which flows through eastern Ukraine into western Russia have likely been destroyed.

    “All of the main bridges over the Siverskyy Donets River, which link the contested town of Sieverodonetsk and Ukrainian-held territory, have now highly likely been destroyed,” the defence ministry said on Thursday morning.

    “Ukraine has probably managed to withdraw a large proportion of its combat troops, who were originally holding the town. The situation continues to be extremely difficult for the Ukrainian forces and civilians remaining east of the river,” the British MoD said.

  • Russia ‘strategically’ lost war in Ukraine

    The head of the UK’s armed forces says Russia has already “strategically lost” the war in Ukraine and is now a “more diminished power”.

    Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Vladimir Putin had lost 25% of Russia’s land power for only “tiny” gains.

    While Russia may achieve “tactical successes” in the coming weeks, he said any notion that the war had been a success was “nonsense”.

    Admiral Radakin, who is the UK’s chief of defence staff, said Russia was running out of troops and advanced missiles and would never be able to take over all of Ukraine.

    Admiral Radakin spoke to the PA news agency as he visited Scotland on Wednesday, where he met soldiers at Edinburgh Castle.

    He said: “This is a dreadful mistake by Russia. Russia will never take control of Ukraine.

    “Russia has strategically lost already. NATO is stronger, Finland and Sweden are looking to join.”

  • Macron, Scholz and Draghi headed to Kyiv by train

    French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi left Poland today onboard a train bound for Kyiv, an AFP reporter said.

    The three leaders left this morning, according an AFP video – which showed the trio sitting together in a train compartment.

    It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

    They are due to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the visit comes as Kyiv is pushing for membership of the EU.

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