Russia-Ukraine Updates: Russia Imposes Sanctions on Biden, Senior U.S. Officials; European NATO Leaders Meet Zelenskyy

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Firefighters extinguish fires in an apartment building after being hit by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday.
Firefighters extinguish fires in an apartment building after being hit by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday.Credit: Felipe Dana /AP

NATO to begin planning for more troops on eastern flank after Russia's Ukraine invasion

NATO is set to tell its military commanders on Wednesday to draw up plans for new ways to deter Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, including more troops and missile defenses in eastern Europe, officials and diplomats said.

Defense ministers will order the military advice at NATO headquarters, just over a week before allied leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, gather in Brussels on March 24.

Ministers will also hear from their Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov, who is expected to plead for more weapons from individual NATO countries, as Russian attacks on Ukraine’s cities continue and the Russian military seeks control of Kyiv.

"We need to reset our military posture for this new reality," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday. "Ministers will start an important discussion on concrete measures to reinforce our security for the longer term, in all domains," he told reporters.

While at least 10 of NATO’s biggest allies, including the United States, Britain and France, have deployed more troops, ships and warplanes to its eastern flank, and put more on stand-by, the alliance must still consider how to face up to a new security situation in Europe over the medium term.


Zelenskyy says positions of Ukraine, Russia at talks sound more realistic

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday that the positions of Ukraine and Russia at peace talks were sounding more realistic, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reported.

"Meetings continue. I am told that the positions at the negotiations sound more realistic," Zelenskyy said in a video address released early on Wednesday, the agency said. "However, more time is still needed for decisions to be in the interests of Ukraine."


Top Polish politician calls for peacekeeping mission in Ukraine

An international peacekeeping mission should be sent to Ukraine and be given the means to defend itself, the leader of Poland's ruling party said on Tuesday after meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski made his remarks after he and the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia arrived in Kyiv in a show of high-level backing for Zelenskyy, who briefed them on the war with Russia. "I think that it is necessary to have a peace mission – NATO, possibly some wider international structure – but a mission that will be able to defend itself, which will operate on Ukrainian territory," Kaczynski told a news conference.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Czech counterpart Petr Fiala and Slovenia's Janez Jansa, who all travelled by train, were the first foreign leaders to visit the capital since the invasion last month.

Zelenskiy, noting that many ambassadors had left Kyiv, said the visiting leaders were "not afraid of anything and are more afraid of our fate" and thanked them for their support." We absolutely trust these countries and the leaders of these countries… we are 100% sure that everything we discuss will achieve its goals for our country, our security and our future," he told the news conference.

The Associated Press

Russian offensive edges deeper into Kyiv, more talks planned

The Russian offensive in Ukraine edged closer to central Kyiv on Tuesday even as the two countries kept open a narrow diplomatic channel with more planned talks.

Shortly before dawn, large explosions thundered across Kyiv. A series of Russian strikes hit a residential neighborhood in the capital, igniting a huge fire and a frantic rescue effort in a 15-story apartment building. At least one person was killed and others remain trapped inside.

Shockwaves from an explosion also damaged the entry to a downtown subway station that has been used as a bomb shelter. City authorities tweeted an image of the blown-out facade, saying trains would no longer stop at the station.

When Russia launched the war nearly three weeks ago, fear of an imminent invasion gripped the Ukrainian capital, as residents slept night after night in subway stations or crammed onto trains to flee. But as the Russian offensive bogged down, Kyiv saw a relative lull. Fighting has intensified on the outskirts in recent days, and sporadic air raid sirens ring out around the capital.

There was a rare glimmer of hope in the encircled port city of Mariupol after a convoy of 160 civilian cars left along a designated humanitarian route, the city council reported. Over the past 10 days or so, the lethal siege has pulverized homes and other buildings and left people desperate for food, water, heat and medicine.

The latest negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, held by video Monday, were the fourth round involving higher-level officials from the two countries and the first in a week. The talks ended without a breakthrough after several hours, with an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying the negotiators took “a technical pause” and planned to meet again Tuesday.


Around 29,000 were evacuated through humanitarian corridors in Ukraine on Tuesday

A total of around 29,000 people were evacuated from Ukrainian cities through humanitarian corridors on Tuesday, most of them leaving the besieged port of Mariupol, said a senior government official.

Senior Ukrainian presidential official Kyrylo Tymoshenko said in an online post that about 20,000 people had left Mariupol in private cars. Ukraine earlier accused Russia of blocking a convoy trying to take supplies to the city.


'Cautious optimism' emerging from Russia talks, Zelenskyy aide says

The Ukrainian government is beginning to see progress in its negotiations with Moscow on ending Russia's invasion, presidential adviser Ihor Zhovkva says, according to Ukrainian news agency UNIAN.

Talks have been growing "more constructive," after two days of discussions via video.

"In the early rounds, Russia was not prepared to listen to our position, but only made ultimatums: that Ukraine should surrender, drop our weapons, that our president should sign an act of surrender," Shovkva said. "Now Russia has changed its tone a bit."

Shovkva said that the Ukrainian delegation was "cautiously optimistic", but that a breakthrough could only be achieved by the presidents, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine is demanding an end to the war and the withdrawal of Russian forces. Moscow's demands include that Ukraine recognize the annexed Crimean Peninsula as Russian, and the separatist areas in eastern Ukraine as independent states.

The Associated Press

Russia submits UN Security Council resolution not mentioning war

Russia circulated a proposed UN Security Council resolution Tuesday demanding protection for civilians “in vulnerable situations” in Ukraine and safe passage for humanitarian aid and people seeking to leave the country, but it makes no mention of Russia’s responsibility for the war against its smaller neighbor.

The draft expresses “grave concern” at the deteriorating humanitarian situation and reports of civilian casualties in and around Ukraine, and strongly condemns “attacks directed against civilians and civilian objects, including indiscriminate shelling.”

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters the resolution was being put in a final form that can be put to a vote on Tuesday, and a Russian diplomat said a vote could take place as early as Wednesday.

Ben Samuels

U.S. envoy to Israel: 'No complaints' on Bennett's Russia-Ukraine mediation efforts

WASHINGTON - U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides on Tuesday said the Biden administration has "no complaints" with Israel's approach to acting as a go-between for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"We're in hourly contact with the Israelis," Nides told a webinar hosted by Americans for Peace Now. "They have done everything we've asked them to do. All the communications have been clear. The prime minister has not made a move without talking to the White House. So we have no complaints with the Israelis," he added.

"The reality is that anyone one of these leaders who get themselves in the middle of this is precarious," Nides said about Bennett's diplomatic efforts, citing previous efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

"The position of the United States is 'god bless if you can gather information and can have conversations.' It's not risk-free and the prime minister knows it's never risk-free to get involved in the middle of these discussions because you're dealing with a very precarious situation," he added.

Nides also highlighted Israel's security considerations, recognizing Israel is in "somewhat of an odd place compared to many other countries" due to Russia’s hold over Syria, and its tacit approval of Israeli military operations against Iranian-backed activities within the country.


U.S. says it will not allow Russia to use Iran nuke talks to evade sanctions

The United States will not sanction Russian participation in nuclear projects in Iran under a revived nuclear deal, but would not allow Russia to use the deal as an "escape hatch" to evade Ukraine-related sanctions, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday.

Talks in Vienna were paused last week, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdoulahian and said earlier on Tuesday that U.S. suggestions that Moscow was blocking efforts to revive the 2015 deal were untrue.


Sanctions on Russia have set it back a decade, says White House

Russia's economy has been set back by a decade due to the sanctions the West has piled on it as punishment for Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, according to the White House.

"We've made [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin's war of choice a strategic failure, the unprecedented costs we've imposed with allies and partners have reversed 30 years of economic progress, something President Putin himself pushed for, and that has happened in less than a month," says White House spokesperson Jen Psaki.

She pointed to the collapse of the rouble, rising inflation and, according to experts, the possible collapse of the country's economy as backup for her claim. She also noted that pressure on oligarchs affiliated with Putin is set to rise.


Blinken discussed security needs with Ukraine's FM

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday to discuss Ukraine's security needs in its conflict with Russia, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.


U.S. Senate Republican leader says still discussing getting planes to Ukraine

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday the idea of arming Ukraine with warplanes transferred from Poland was still under discussion.

The United States last week rejected an offer by Poland to transfer Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets to boost Ukraine's air force in its defense against invading Russian forces.


Biden to visit Brussels, meet with NATO and EU leaders

U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Brussels next week to meet with NATO leaders, the White House confirmed on Tuesday, and will share more details about the United States' military and security assistance to Ukraine soon.

Biden is signing a spending bill later on Tuesday that includes $13.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. "I expect he will share more of those details in the next 24 hours," White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

An EU official said Biden would "in all likelihood" join a summit of the European Union's 27 leaders in Brussels on March 24 to discuss the conflict in Ukraine.


Turkish FM will travel to Kyiv after Moscow on Thursday

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he was sending his foreign minister to Moscow and Kyiv on Wednesday and Thursday as part of Turkey's mediation efforts to secure a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Erdogan made the announcement during a speech broadcast after a three-hour cabinet meeting.

Samuel Sokol is a freelance journalist based in Jerusalem. He was previously a correspondent at the Jerusalem Post and has reported for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Times of Israel. He is the author of Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews.

From Commons to Congress: Zelenskyy’s Knesset Address Part of Worldwide Speaking Blitz

In recent weeks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky launched a global lobbying tour, personally appealing to foreign lawmakers and politicians to drum up popular support and assistance for Ukraine, all without leaving his country’s besieged capital.

Zelenskyy addressed the Canadian parliament on Tuesday and on Wednesday, he is set to speak in front of U.S. lawmakers in an event billed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as an opportunity to “convey our support to the people of Ukraine as they bravely defend democracy.”

Zelenskyy’s virtual travels will also take him to Israel next week, where he is expected to remotely address the Knesset, although the precise date is still being discussed by Speaker Mickey Levy and the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel.

Read more about it here


Five western states condemn Russia's role in Syria on 11th anniversary of war

France, Germany, Italy, Britain and the United States issued a joint statement commemorating the 11th anniversary of the conflict in Syria, and condemned Russia's role both there and in its invasion of Ukraine.

"The coincidence of this year's anniversary with the appalling Russian aggression against Ukraine, which constitutes a breach of exceptional gravity to international law and the UN Charter, highlights Russia's brutal and destructive behavior in both conflicts," read the statement, received from the German foreign ministry.

Samuel Sokol is a freelance journalist based in Jerusalem. He was previously a correspondent at the Jerusalem Post and has reported for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Times of Israel. He is the author of Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews.

Jewish student from Hillel house in Kharkiv killed in fighting

Hillel International reported on Tuesday that one of its students, Serafim, was killed "defending Ukraine" in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

Student at Kharkiv Hillel, has been killed defending UkraineCredit: Hillel International

The head of the local Hillel chapter told Haaretz that multiple Jewish students from Ukraine’s second-largest city have joined the army as part of a national wave of civilians rallying to protect their homeland.

“We have volunteers from Hillel, students who went to the army, and we hope that Ukraine will be saved because Ukraine is a very wonderful place,” said Yulia Pototskaya.

The Associated Press

Fox News videographer, Ukrainian reporter killed by gunfire near Kyiv

Two journalists working for Fox News were killed in Ukraine when the vehicle they were traveling in outside of Kyiv with another reporter came under fire, the network said Tuesday.

The network said its video journalist, Pierre Zakrzewski, and Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova were killed in the incident in Horenka that also left reporter Benjamin Hall hospitalized.

Zakrzewski, who was based in London, had covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria for Fox, the network said in a memo to staff Tuesday morning. Later, Fox announced Kuvshynova's death. She was a 24-year-old consultant helping Fox's crews navigate the Kyiv area.
The incident that killed Zakrzewski and Kuvshynov came after Brent Renaud, a documentary filmmaker and another veteran of covering war zones, died Sunday when Russian forces opened fire on his vehicle.

Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media, said of Zakrzewski: “His talents were vast and there wasn’t a role that he didn’t jump in to help with in the field — from photographer to engineer to editor to producer — and he did it all under immense pressure with tremendous skill.”


Russia leaves the Council of Europe human rights organization

Russia on Tuesday formally quit the Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog based in Strasbourg, pre-empting possible expulsion over its attack on its neighbor Ukraine.

Pyotr Tolstoy, head of the Russian delegation at the Council's Parliamentary Assembly, handed a letter from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the Council's secretary general announcing Moscow's decision, the Tass news agency reported.


At least three journalists have been killed during Russian offensive on Ukraine

At least three journalists have been killed and more than 30 injured since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian human rights ombudsperson Lyudmyla Denisova said on Tuesday.

In addition to U.S. journalist Brent Renaud, two Ukrainian reporters were killed by Russian troops, Denisova wrote on the messaging service Telegram.

Victor Dudar was killed near the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine and cameraman Yevhen Sakun died in a missile attack in Kyiv.

"The Russian occupiers are fighting against the objective coverage of their war crimes in Ukraine - they are killing and shooting at journalists," wrote Denisova.

International reporters have been actively targeted, and several have been injured, according to the post.

Among the wounded were a Swiss reporter and two Danish journalists, while a news crew of the British channel Sky News filmed their own assault in Bucha near Kyiv. Reporter Stuart Ramsay was injured in the attack.

Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall was injured outside of Kyiv.


Zelenskyy says 97 children have been killed in the Russian invasion

Nearly a hundred children have died in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Canadian lawmakers on Tuesday, adding that the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol was left without means of communication and was nearly running out of food and water.

"Currently we have 97 children that died during this war", Zelenskiy said in a virtual address to Canadian lawmakers. "They're destroying everything: memorial complexes, schools, hospitals, housing complex. They already killed 97 Ukrainian children. We are not asking for much. We are asking for justice, for real support", the Ukrainian president said.


Russia imposes sanctions on Biden, senior U.S. officials

Russia has imposed sanctions on U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the country's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The Russian statement added that sanctions would also extend to other senior U.S. officials, including the CIA chief, defense minister and national security adviser.

Samuel Sokol is a freelance journalist based in Jerusalem. He was previously a correspondent at the Jerusalem Post and has reported for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Times of Israel. He is the author of Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews.

Russian strike hits yeshiva building in Kharkiv

A yeshiva building in Kharkiv was struck by a Russian rocket on Tuesday, Miriam Moskovitz, the wife of longtime Kharkiv Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz, told Haaretz.

While nobody was injured, pictures from the scene showed a hole in the roof of the building and a crater in the yard outside. Earlier this month, Russian bombardments struck both the local Hillel House and the Or Avner day school, while a near miss came close to destroying the city’s Chabad synagogue.

Haaretz reporter Sam Sokol's Twitter. Credit: Haaretz reporter Sam Sokol's Twitter.

"Despite the attacks on our institutions… we will, [at] the first opportunity, renovate and restore and expand all our buildings and programs more than ever before,” Moshe Moskovitz said in a statement.

"We are continuing to help evacuate people daily in addition to giving shelter and food to those who have moved into the synagogue and are sending daily hot meals and medicines to the elderly and needy who are trapped in their homes."

Samuel Sokol is a freelance journalist based in Jerusalem. He was previously a correspondent at the Jerusalem Post and has reported for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Times of Israel. He is the author of Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews.

Ukraine Chief Rabbi compares Russians to Biblical villains

Ukraine Chief Rabbi Moshe Azman compared Russian forces invading his country to the Biblical villain Haman on Tuesday in a video address urging fasting and prayer on behalf of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“More than two thousand years ago, the Jews prayed that the Almighty would give strength to Queen Esther to withstand the insidious plans and designs of the villain Haman, who wanted to exterminate the entire Jewish people,” Azman declared in a video message posted to Facebook.

Haaretz reporter Sam Sokol's Twitter. Credit: Haaretz reporter Sam Sokol's Twitter.

"The Jews fasted and prayed, and the Almighty heard their prayers and turned this day into a day of joy and fun, the holiday of Purim. There is a war going on in Ukraine today. The cruel and insidious aggressor from Russia is bombing and shooting Ukrainian cities. Hundreds of women, children and old people are dying.”

Appealing to both Jews and ethnic Ukrainians, Azman called for a fast from "from sunrise to sunset” tomorrow, which is a traditional Jewish fast day known as the Fast of Esther.

“We won’t eat or drink, but devote the day to prayers, let’s turn to the Almighty with all our heart to help, gave strength to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to endure during this difficult time,” he said.


Kyiv and Moscow resume talks

Kyiv and Moscow resumed talks on the war in Ukraine on Tuesday after a pause on Monday, Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said.

"Consultations on the main negotiation platform renewed. General regulation matters, ceasefire, withdrawal of troops from the territory of the country," he wrote on Twitter.

Noa Shpigel

2,000 former Soviet Union immigrants expected in Israel per week, health insurance to be provided

Jewish Agency Secretary General Josh Schwartz said while on a normal yearly basis there are about 15,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union to Israel, the expectation is now between 30-50,000 – about 2,000 a week in the coming weeks.

Coordinator for Aliyah from Ukraine Meir Spiegler arranged, with the Ministry of Finance and the Jewish Agency, that all immigrants considered eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return be insured with full health insurance from the moment they land in Israel until the examination of their case is complete. Those who are not insured will be able to receive care at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

The Associated Press

Slovaks charge two with spying for Russia's military service

Slovak authorities have broken a Russian spying network that was operating on Slovak territory, officials said on Tuesday.

Stefan Hamran, the country’s chief police officer said four Slovak nationals have been detained in the case with two of them facing spying and bribery charges.

Prosecutor Daniel Lipsic said the two face up to 13 years in prison if tried and convicted.

“We’re talking about serious cases,” Lipsic said. “It’s about a long term, paid cooperation with the Russian military intelligence service" (known as GRU).

The two are accused of seeking out and gathering highly sensitive, strategic and classified information about Slovakia, its armed forces and NATO and handed them over to undercover GRU officers who were based at the Russian Embassy in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, in exchange for money, Hamran said. He said such a case has not been known in Slovakia before.

Lipsic said the suspects received tens of thousands euros (dollars) from the Russian spies.

“The information the Russian intelligence service was looking for also involved Ukraine,” Lipsic said. He didn’t elaborate at a news conference in Bratislava.


About 2,000 cars have left Ukraine's besieged Mariupol

About 2,000 cars have been able to leave the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol and a further 2,000 are waiting to leave, the city council said in an online post on Tuesday.

"As of 14:00 (1200 GMT), it is known that 2,000 cars have left Mariupol," it said.


U.K. sanctions more Russians over Ukraine invasion

Britain imposed sanctions on hundreds of Russian individuals and entities on Tuesday, using a new law to catch up with the European Union and United States in targeting people accused of propping up Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Britain, the EU and U.S. hope the sanctions will deter Putin from pressing his invasion of Ukraine.

In the latest round of sanctions, brought quickly after the government's Economic Crime Bill became law, Britain moved against those close to Putin, such as former president and prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Russian businessmen Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, oligarchs who amassed their wealth before Putin came to power, were also put under sanctions.

Britain earlier said it would ban the export of luxury goods to Russia and impose a new 35% tariff on 900 million pounds ($1.2 billion) worth of Russian imports, including vodka, metals, fertilizers and other commodities.


Ukraine tries to get supplies to people 'being suffocated' in Mariupol

Ukraine planned to make a new attempt to deliver supplies to the besieged city of Mariupol on Tuesday as the first convoy of civilians allowed out by Russia reached safety and the Red Cross issued a dire warning about the situation.

People trapped in Mariupol by Russian shelling were "essentially being suffocated in this city now with no aid," Ewan Watson, spokesperson of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), told a UN briefing in Geneva.

Residents have been without heating, electricity and running water for most of the past two weeks, the Ukrainian authorities say.

Russian forces agreed on Monday to allow the creation of a "humanitarian corridor" and let the first evacuation convoy leave after more than a week of failed attempts to do so. Each side blamed the other for the previous failures.

About 300 civilians had by Tuesday morning reached the city of Zaporizhzhia, about 225 km (140 miles) from Mariupol.

"As was reported, about 160 cars left Mariupol yesterday. As of 10:00 (0800 GMT) there is information that about 300 Mariupol residents reached Zaporizhzhia," Mariupol city council said.

Despite the success of getting some civilians out, a senior presidential aide said that Russia had on Monday blocked a humanitarian aid convoy trying to reach Mariupol.

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said a new attempt would be made to reach Mariupol with supplies on Tuesday, adding: "On the way back it will pick up women and children."

At least 200,000 people are in urgent need of evacuation from Mariupol, according to official Ukrainian estimates. More than 2,500 residents have been killed since the Russian invasion on February 24, a Ukrainian official said on Monday.

Noa Shpigel

Over 800 Ukrainian refugee family members of Israelis find asylum in Israel

Since Sunday, 1,500 Ukrainians registered for asylum in Israel under a new system that allows Ukrainians with family members who are Israeli citizens to bypass the refugee quota. Of those, over 800 have already been approved as of Tuesday.

Eyal Siso the head of consular services at the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the manager of the effort to rescue Ukrainians, presented the information to the Committee on Special National Infrastructure and Jewish Religious Services.


Ukrainian region issues country-wide air raid warning

The northern Ukrainian region of Chernihiv issued a warning of country-wide air attacks on Tuesday, urging citizens to head to shelters.

It was not immediately clear whether other regions had issued similar warnings of new air strikes by Russian forces.

"Attention. Air raid ALL UKRAINE! Take shelter!," said the warning, shared in an online post.

Noa Shpigel

Zelenskyy to address Knesset members next week

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address Knesset members over Zoom next week. Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy and the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel have chosen two potential dates in the coming week for the speech.

Anshel Pfeffer

In Odessa, residents believe they're Putin's next target

ODESSA — The Russian invasion has yet to reach Ukraine’s third-largest city. But in Odessa, they are convinced it is just a matter of time. Very soon the weather will improve and landing-craft will arrive on the beaches, filled with Russian marines.

Nearly every night air raid sirens are heard in the city, and though so far there has been only one reliable report of a missile strike on a village near Odessa, in the city there are constant rumors that the Russians already made one landing attempt and were repulsed.

>> Click here to read the full article.


Kremlin says not giving predictions on Ukraine peace deal

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that it was too early to make predictions about the possible results of talks between Russia and Ukraine.

"The work is difficult and in the current situation the very fact that they are continuing is probably positive," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "We don't want to make predictions. We await results."

Russia, Peskov said, was disappointed that Western officials had made no public statements about the killing of more than 20 people in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Russia on Monday accused Ukraine of carrying out a missile attack on the city. Ukraine denied it and said the rocket used in the attack was Russian.


Russia says it fully controls Ukraine's Kherson region

Russia said on Tuesday its armed forces had taken full control of Ukraine's southern region of Kherson, although Reuters could not independently verify the statement by Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.\

The city of Kherson, a provincial capital of about 250,000 people, was the first key urban center to fall into the hands of Russian troops after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

U.S. defense officials have said Russia could use Kherson as part of a strategy for potentially moving to Mykolaiv and then on to Odessa, other strategic cities in the country's south.

"The armed forces of the Russian Federation have taken full control of all the territory of Kherson region," Konashenkov told a briefing, without elaborating.

On Monday, Russian forces seized 10 American-made Javelin anti-tank missile systems and a number of other weapons supplied by Western countries to Ukraine, he added in a clip of the briefing the ministry posted on its YouTube page.

Konashenkov said the Javelins and other foreign weapons were being handed to fighters from two breakaway regions in east Ukraine that have been controlled by Russia-backed separatists since 2014.


Ukraine's Mariupol says around 300 evacuees have reached Zaporizhzhia city

About 300 civilians from the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol have reached the city of Zaporizhzhia after leaving in the first successful evacuation of residents on Monday, Mariupol city council said on Tuesday."

As was reported, about 160 cars left Mariupol yesterday. As of 10:00 there is information that about 300 Mariupol residents reached Zaporizhzhia," it said.At least 200,000 people are in urgent need of evacuation from Mariupol, according to official Ukrainian estimates. Russia denies targeting civilians.


Kyiv to impose 35-hour curfew after increased shelling

A curfew will be imposed on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv from 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Tuesday to 7 A.M. (0500 GMT) on Thursday after several apartment blocks were struck by Russian forces based outside the city, Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko announced.

Two people were killed in the latest bloodshed, he said."

It is prohibited to move around the city without special permission, except to go to bomb shelters," Klitschko said. "The capital is the heart of Ukraine, and it will be defended. Kyiv, which is currently the symbol and forward operating base of Europe’s freedom and security, will not be given up by us."


Polish, Czech, Slovenian PMs to visit Ukraine on Tuesday

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that he would visit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Tuesday with the agreement of the European Union and the United Nations.

Morawiecki and his counterparts from the Czech Republic and Slovenia, all leaders of NATO member states, will travel to Ukraine to meet President Volodomyr Zelenskyy.

The Associated Press

Russian strikes hit Kyiv residential area, destroy apartment block

Shortly before dawn Tuesday, large explosions thundered across Kyiv. A series of Russian strikes hit a residential neighborhood in the capital, igniting a huge fire and a frantic rescue effort in a 15-story apartment building. At least one person was killed and others remain trapped inside.

Shockwaves from an explosion also damaged the entry to a downtown subway station that has been used as a bomb shelter. City authorities tweeted an image of the blown-out facade, saying trains would no longer stop at the station.

alon pinkas

Putin needs a way out of Ukraine – but isn't ready for it yet | Analysis

Is Putin really losing the war? Will this week see a dramatic escalation in Russia’s attempt to break the deadlock? Will a diplomatic negotiation follow, and between whom, exactly? Are sanctions so effective that Putin should be offered a “golden bridge” to retreat without losing face? If not, will he expand the war? Is he really contemplating the use of nuclear weapons? Is he rational? Is he crazy? Does he have an endgame in mind? Does Biden?

To all of these questions, there is only one true answer. In three words: I don’t know. Nor do those who perpetuate and grind these endless speculations on Twitter threads and in television studios. We can draw possible courses, but they have very limited forecasting value. One thing is eminently clear, however: This whole thing has gone very wrong for Russia – militarily, economically, and diplomatically.

>> Click here to read the full article



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