Breaking news from Ukraine crisis: Defense minister says army ready to take on Russia
Boris Johnson visits Ukraine region amid rising tensions with Russia
Ukraine fears the worst in the current confrontation with Russia, but its army is prepared for an invasion, a defense minister said.
General Yulia Laputina said that although “the situation is very serious now,” the Ukrainian army has learned through experience to cope with Russia.
Thousands of volunteers recently began intensive training for Ukraine’s military as Russia deployed troops on the border.
Gen Laputina said the volunteer force could play a crucial role in the event of an invasion.
She said: “Even in the worst case, when the leadership and control are badly damaged, when the logistics are badly damaged, [the volunteers] can effectively protect and liberate our territories.” This was the case with the 2014 invasion, she said.
Meanwhile, Britain is considering doubling the troops it will send to Eastern Europe to bolster NATO’s response to the standoff.
Boris Johnson said the offer of more troops would “send a clear message to the Kremlin” that Britain would “not tolerate their destabilizing activities”, adding that an invasion would be a “tragedy”.
NATO will not send combat troops to Ukraine if Russia invades, a top official says
NATO Secretary General said on Sunday that the alliance has no plans to deploy combat troops in Ukraine if Russia invades because Ukraine is not a NATO member.
Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with the BBC: “We have no plans to send NATO combat troops to Ukraine… our focus is on providing support.”
He added: “There is a difference between being a NATO member and being a strong and valued partner like Ukraine. There is no doubt about that.”
NATO has increased its military presence in member countries bordering Russia as fears over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine gather momentum.
Maroosha MuzaffarJanuary 31, 2022 6:35 am
NATO’s “line of defense” is moving further east, says Russian minister
Amid ongoing fears of a possible invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s foreign minister questioned NATO as a “defense alliance” and said they are sending Kyiv an “urgent request to explain how they intend to fulfill the obligation not to up their security.” cost of strengthening security of others”.
Sergei Lavrov told Russian evening show Channel One on Sunday: “Let her take comfort in the fact that she is defensive. That doesn’t make it easier for us. The line of defense is already close to us.”
He added: “It turns out every time that the line they are supposed to defend moves further east. Now it already got near Ukraine.
“This will be a gross violation of the obligations of the Presidents of the United States and other member states of the alliance,” the minister said.
Maroosha MuzaffarJanuary 31, 2022 6:05 am
US Senate close to agreeing legislation to sanction Russia
Two senior US senators said Sunday they were close to reaching an agreement on legislation to sanction Russia. They said that the agreement should be reached this week.
Reuters reported that Senators Bob Menendez and James Risch, the chairman and chief Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said they hoped to move the bill forward this week.
Mr Menendez said: “There is a strong bipartisan determination to support Ukraine and punish Russia if it invades Ukraine.” He replied, “I believe we will succeed,” when asked if they reach an agreement this week.
Maroosha MuzaffarJanuary 31, 2022 5:40 am
Activist Bill Browder says: ‘Follow Putin’s money’
Bill Browder, the head of the Global Magnitsky Justice campaign, said in an interview that the “easiest” way to stop Russia from invading Ukraine is by chasing Vladimir Putin’s money.
“Vladimir Putin is a kleptocrat and has been a dictator for 20 years,” he said in an interview with Sky news. “He values money more than people’s lives.”
He said attacking oligarchs in the West is an “effective” way to deter Russia from invading.
He also wrote on Twitter: “The easiest way to stop Putin from invading Ukraine is to freeze the assets of the Russian oligarchs holding his money in London. The UK can punch well above its weight to stop this crisis because there is so much Russian money here.”
Maroosha MuzaffarJanuary 31, 2022 5:01 am
Ukraine calls on Russia to continue diplomatic engagement with the West
Ukraine’s foreign minister on Sunday urged Moscow to withdraw its troops to de-escalate the situation between the two countries’ borders.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “Diplomacy is the only responsible way.”
He said: “If Russian officials are serious, if they say they don’t want a new war, Russia must continue its diplomatic engagement and withdraw its forces amassed along Ukraine’s borders and in the temporarily occupied areas of Ukraine.”
The minister also thanked the UK for its “leading role in global efforts to deter further Russian aggression”. He wrote on his social media: “Britain continues to demonstrate its leadership in the global effort to stop Russia from further aggression. Measures like sanctioning Russian financial interests in the UK can hit Russia where it hurts.”
Maroosha MuzaffarJanuary 31, 2022 4:16 am
Amnesty International warns of a “devastating” escalation of the conflict
Amnesty International has warned that Russia’s use of military force against Ukraine would be “devastating”.
In a statement, Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard said: “Russia’s threats to use military force are already affecting the human rights of millions of people in Ukraine and beyond.”
She added: “The consequences of actual military force will likely be devastating. The recent history of Ukraine is marked by conflicts between Russian troops in the Donbass and the illegal annexation of Crimea. These incidents have torn communities and lives apart as military forces have trampled on civilians’ rights with impunity; It is time to break this vicious circle.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Major General Yulia Laputina said that the country’s army has learned through experience to deal with Russia, although “the situation is very serious now.” She said: “We are now one of the most experienced armies in the world; we have been forced upon so many years of constant conflict. I can’t think of any other army, certainly not in Europe, that has gone through something like this.”
Maroosha MuzaffarJanuary 31, 2022 3:59 am
thanks for following The Independent‘s live coverage of the Ukraine crisis today.
Live updates will continue in the morning.
Liam JamesJanuary 30, 2022 21:09
The US wants to attack Russia at the UN Security Council meeting
The US said it would pressure Russia over Ukraine at an emergency meeting Monday at the UN Security Council.
The US ambassador to the United Nations said the Security Council would be persistent in urging Russia to rally troops near Ukraine and feared it was planning an invasion.
“Our voices are unified as we ask the Russians to explain themselves,” Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield said of the US and other ABC Council members In this week Program.
“We go into the room to listen to them, but we don’t let their propaganda distract us.”
Given Russia’s veto power and its ties to other Council members, including China, formal action by the Security Council is extremely unlikely.
But the US referral of Russia’s troop surge to the UN’s most powerful body gives both sides a stage in their battle for global opinion.
A senior US official said on Friday that Russia’s threats against Ukraine “go to the heart of the UN Charter and have serious implications for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and for the “security” of member states.
They added: “This is exactly the kind of situation for which the United Nations and the Security Council in particular were created.”
Liam JamesJanuary 30, 2022 21:04
NATO wants to “pull” Ukraine into the alliance, says the Russian defense minister
Russia’s foreign minister has claimed that NATO wants to “draw Ukraine in” and has questioned the alliance’s claim that it is all about defense.
Sergei Lavrov, speaking on Russian state television today, said NATO “is already getting close to Ukraine. They also want to move this country there.”
“Although everyone understands that Ukraine is not ready and cannot contribute to strengthening NATO security.”
Mr. Lavrov also underscored Russia’s claim that NATO enlargement poses a threat because it has engaged in offensive actions outside of its member countries.
He said: “It’s difficult to call it defensive. Do not forget that they bombed Yugoslavia for almost three months, invaded Libya in violation of the UN Security Council resolution and how they behaved in Afghanistan.”
Liam JamesJanuary 30, 2022 8:00 p.m
Canada wants to withdraw employees from the Ukrainian embassy
Canada will temporarily withdraw non-essential Canadian staff and remaining dependents from its embassy in Ukraine, the State Department has announced, amid an international standoff over Russian troops massed at the country’s borders.
“As we continue to closely monitor the situation, our top priority remains the safety of Canadians. Our officers stand ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens when needed,” the ministry said.
The embassy in Kiev will remain open, it said.
Canada said last week it would be bolstering the embassy team with experts in security, conflict management, democratic reform and consular services.
“Together, they will enhance our diplomatic capacities and allow us to further assess and respond to the evolving situation in support of Ukraine,” it said.
The US and UK began withdrawing staff from their embassies in Ukraine earlier this week. The US has asked its citizens in Ukraine to leave the country.
Liam JamesJanuary 30, 2022 6:50 p.m