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    Russia-Ukraine conflict updates: Russia planning the 'biggest war since 1945,' says Boris Johnson

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    Russia-Ukraine conflict updates: Russia planning the 'biggest war since 1945,' says Boris Johnson

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    Russia Ukraine conflict highlights: Tensions along the Ukraine border heightened on Friday. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of committing human rights violations against Russian minorities. Meanwhile, separatist leaders in the breakaway Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk ordered large-scale civilian evacuations, fuelling fresh fears from Western countries that Russia would use this as a pretext to invade Ukraine. US Vice-President Kamala Harris, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, said Russia must show it is serious about diplomacy, while French president Emmanuel Macron has called for a cessation of hostilities. A large explosion was reported near the rebel HQ in Donetsk city.

    Russia-Ukraine conflict updates: Russia planning the 'biggest war since 1945,' says Boris Johnson
    • With that it's a wrap to the LIVE updates on the Russia-Ukraine crisis for today. For more news views and other updates stay tuned to CNBCTV18.com.

    • 'Daily' western predictions of Ukraine invasion are provocative: Kremlin

      Repeated western predictions of a Russian invasion of Ukraine are provocative and may have adverse consequences, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. "The fact is that this directly leads to an increase in tension. And when tension is escalated to the maximum, as it is now, for example, on the line of contact (in eastern Ukraine), then any spark, any unplanned incident or any minor planned provocation can lead to irreparable consequences," he added.

    • Russia and Belarus extend large military drills near Ukraine

      The defense minister of Belarus said that the joint exercises with Russian troops will continue in view of the rising tensions in Ukraine. The exercises, which were supposed to end today, saw the arrival of a sizable contingent of Russian forces to Belarus, which borders Ukraine to the north. The presence of the Russian troops raised concern that they could be used to sweep down on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

    • Indian Embassy asks Indian nationals, students to leave temporarily

      In view of the ongoing tensions, the Indian Embassy in Kyiv issued an advisory to all Indian nationals, asking them to leave Ukraine temporarily.

    • Calm prevails at Poland-Ukraine border despite growing fears

      As tensions soar in Ukraines east and Western leaders issue dire warnings that a wider war could be coming, calm persists along Ukraines western border with European Union nation Poland. A sports center painted with the Olympic rings in a small Polish community directly on the border stands ready to house Ukrainian refugees. For now, the center in Medyka is empty. At the nearby border crossing, there is no sign of Ukrainians fleeing.

    • Russia and Belarus extend military drills north of Ukraine

      Ukraine:Russia and Belarus are extending military drills that were due to end on Sunday, the Belarus defence minister said, in a step that further intensifies pressure on Ukraine as Western leaders warn of an imminent Russian invasion. The Belarus minister said the decision had been taken "in connection with the increase in military activity near the external borders" of Russia and Belarus and because of rising tension in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. NATO says Russia has up to 30,000 troops in Belarus and could use them as part of an invasion force to attack Ukraine, although Moscow denies any such intention.

    • Shelling in east Ukraine, Russia nuclear drill raise tension

      Hundreds of artillery shells exploded along the contact line between Ukrainian soldiers and Russia-backed separatists, and thousands of people evacuated eastern Ukraine, further increasing fears Sunday that the volatile region could spark a Russian invasion. Western leaders warned that Russia was poised to attack its neighbor, which is surrounded on three sides by about 150,000 Russian soldiers, warplanes and equipment. Russia held nuclear drills Saturday in neighboring Belarus and has ongoing naval drills off the coast in the Black Sea. The United States and many European countries have alleged for months that Russia is trying to create pretexts to invade. They have threatened massive, immediate sanctions if it does. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to choose a place to meet where the two leaders could meet to try to resolve the crisis. Ukraine will continue to follow only the diplomatic path for the sake of a peaceful settlement, Zelenskyy said Saturday at the Munich Security Conference. There was no immediate response from the Kremlin.

    • Explosions heard in rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine

      Multiple explosions were heard on Sunday in the centre of the separatist-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, a Reuters witness said. A loudspeaker in the area asked citizens to exercise caution. The origin of the explosions was not clear.

    • Ukraine temporarily closes checkpoint in Donbass due to shelling

      Ukraine on Sunday suspended operations at one of the seven checkpoints to territory in the eastern Donbass region controlled by Russia-backed separatists, due to heavy shelling, the Ukrainian military said. Incidents of shelling across the line dividing government forces and separatists increased sharply last week, in what the Ukrainian government called a provocation. Kyiv's Western allies say Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine and are concerned that the escalation might be used as a pretext.

    • World Bank readies $350 million Ukraine disbursement, pledges more support

      The World Bank Group on Saturday said it is readying a $350 million disbursement to Ukraine that the group's board will consider by the end of March as part of a plan for short- and long-term financing for the country. In a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday, World Bank President David Malpass said the group will continue to support the Ukrainian people and economy for short- and long-term financing needs, the group said in a statement.

    • Ukraine receives shipment of machine guns and surveillance gear from Canada

      Ukraine has received a plane load of machine guns, surveillance gear and rifles as part of a Canadian military assistance package, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Saturday. Ukraine has received plane loads of arms and military gear from NATO allies as the country braces for a possible military attack by Russia.

    • What are false flag attacks and could Russia make one work in the information age?
      US said that a false flag operation would give Russia the pretext to invade Ukraine by provoking shock and outrage. The Biden administration sought to undermine its emotional power and stop the…
      Russia-Ukraine conflict updates: Russia planning the 'biggest war since 1945,' says Boris Johnson
    • Nearly 2,000 ceasefire violations logged in eastern Ukraine, says diplomatic source

      Nearly 2,000 ceasefire violations were registered in eastern Ukraine by monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Saturday, a diplomatic source told Reuters on Sunday. Ukrainian government and separatist forces have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014. An upsurge in shelling has thrust the region to the centre of tensions between Moscow and the West over a Russian military buildup near Ukraine.

    • Zelenskiy and Macron talk about ways of immediate de-escalation in east Ukraine

      Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday he had an "urgent" phone conversation with the French President Emmanuel Macron and discussed possible ways of immediate de-escalation and political-diplomatic settlement in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine has reported an increase in ceasefire violations by Russia-backed separatists recently, and Kyiv's Western allies are concerned that Russia is poised to launch a military offensive against Ukraine. Russia denies any plans to attack its neighbour.

    • US says Russia could launch an attack against Ukraine at any time

      The US on Saturday said that Russia could launch an attack against Ukraine at any time and said U.S. President Joe Biden will convene a National Security Council meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation. Russia's strategic nuclear forces held exercises overseen by President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, and Washington accused Russian troops massed near Ukraine's border of advancing and being "poised to strike."

    • Multiple loud explosions heard in centre of rebel-held city in eastern Ukraine

      Multiple explosions could be heard late on Saturday and early on Sunday in the centre of the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, a Reuters reporter said. The origin of the explosions was not clear. There was no immediate comment from separatist authorities or from Kyiv

    • With that, we wrap up today's coverage of the simmering Russia-Ukraine conflict. Thank you for joining us, readers, and do not forget to return as we resume our coverage tomorrow. Good night!

    • Ukraine reports two soldiers killed in separatists shelling

      The Ukrainian military said two soldiers were killed and four wounded in shelling by pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine on Saturday, where a flare up of violence this week has sparked fears it could be the trigger for Russian military action. The Ukrainian military said on its Facebook page it had recorded 70 ceasefire violations by separatists since the start of the day compared with 66 cases over the previous 24 hours.

      Separatists opened fire on more than 30 settlements along the front line using heavy artillery, which has been prohibited by agreements aimed at cooling the long-running conflict, the military said. A group of lawmakers and foreign media visiting the conflict zone came under fire and had to be evacuated to a shelter, a spokesperson for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party said in a separate statement on Saturday.

      Separatist officials accused Ukraine on social media site Telegram of shelling separatist-controlled areas and said they had to respond accordingly. Incidents of shelling across the line dividing government forces and separatists increased sharply this week, in what the Ukrainian government called a provocation. It strongly denied suggestions by Russia that Kyiv could launch an offensive in eastern Ukraine.

    • Cuba to deepen ties with Russia as Ukraine tensions mount

      Russia and Cuba will deepen ties and explore collaboration in transportation, energy, industry and banking, Cuba's Foreign Ministry said late on Friday following a visit from Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. In a statement, Cuba's communist-run government expressed support for Russia as tensions mount in Ukraine, and accused long-time rival the United States and its allies of targeting Moscow with what it called a "propaganda war" and sanctions.

      Cuba "reiterates its position against the unilateral and unjust sanctions imposed by the West on the Eurasian country and against the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization towards the Russian borders."

      Borisov earlier this week visited Nicaragua and Venezuela, key Russian allies in Latin America, and said Russia would also deepen bilateral ties with both countries. His tour follows visits to Moscow by Latin American leaders - including Argentina's Alberto Fernandez and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro - for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, prompting some analysts to suggest Russia is courting the region as tensions rise over Ukraine.

      Putin launched exercises by strategic nuclear missile forces on Saturday, as Washington said Russian troops massed near Ukraine's border were "poised to strike". Cuba and Russia have a long history of deep economic and military collaboration since Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution, though in recent decades those ties have faded.

      Borisov, who met with Cuban Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas, said in Cuba's statement that Russia had ramped up humanitarian aid to Cuba between December 2021 and January 2022. He also noted prior shipments of medical supplies to the island amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      Russia said in December that escalating tensions over Ukraine could lead to a repeat of the Cuban missile crisis, when the world stood on the brink of nuclear war. That crisis in 1962 was triggered by the stationing of Soviet nuclear missiles on the island and prompted the United States, just 90 miles (145 km) away, to impose a naval blockade on Cuba.

    • EU sends Ukraine medical emergency equipment amid fears of Russian invasion

      The European Union has delivered emergency medical equipment to Ukraine following a request from Kyiv amid an escalation of the crisis with Russia, the European Commission said on Saturday. The request was made by Ukraine on Tuesday, amid rising fears of an imminent Russian invasion. 

      So far emergency aid has come from France, Romania, Slovenia, Ireland and Austria, the Commission said. France has sent a field hospital, medicines and hundreds of tents, blankets, sleeping bags. Additional aid, including medical equipment and power generators, were deployed by the other EU countries. More help is expected in coming days.

      "Following a request from the Government of Ukraine for emergency assistance due to the threat of further escalation, the European Commission is coordinating the delivery of essential supplies to support the civilian population," said an EU statement.

      When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which coordinates assistance from EU and other European countries.

    • Lawmakers, foreign media come under fire in eastern Ukraine

      A group of lawmakers and foreign media visiting the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine came under fire and had to be evacuated to a shelter, the spokeswoman for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party said on Saturday. She did not provide further details.

    • Putin leads sweeping nuclear exercises as tensions soar

      Russian leader Vladimir Putin oversaw strategic nuclear exercises involving the launch of hypersonic ballistic missiles and other weapons on Saturday, the latest show of strength at a time of acute tension with the West over Ukraine. Putin watched the drills from a "situation centre" in the Kremlin, sitting alongside his close ally, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. The drills involved launches from warships, submarines and warplanes as well as from land that struck targets on land and at sea, the Kremlin said. Two ballistic missiles were launched - one from a site in northwest Russia and the second from a submarine in the Barents Sea - hitting targets thousands of miles away in the far east peninsula of Kamchatka, it said. (Image: Reuters)

      Russia-Ukraine conflict updates: Russia planning the 'biggest war since 1945,' says Boris Johnson
    • Ukraine says mercenaries arrived in eastern Ukraine to stage provocations

      Ukraine's military on Saturday said that mercenaries had arrived in separatist-held eastern Ukraine to stage provocations in collaboration with Russia's special services. "The purpose of these provocations will, of course, be to accuse Ukraine of further escalation," the military said in a statement.

      Ukraine has accused Russia of planning to stage provocations that could lead to civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine in order to give Moscow a pretext to attack its neighbour. Russia denies planning to attack Ukraine.

    • Germany tells its citizens to leave Ukraine; Lufthansa suspends flights to Kyiv

      The German Foreign Office has called on all German nationals to leave Ukraine immediately, as Western fears of a Russian military invasion into Ukraine continue, reports the Guardian.

      “Warnings are given against travelling to Ukraine. German nationals are urged to leave the country now,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website. A raft of other countries have previously urged their citizens to leave the country.

      The country’s flagship airline Lufthansa also announced that it was suspending flights to and from Kyiv.

      “This affects all departures from Monday, 21 February until 28. February 2022,” Lufthansa said.

      Austria on Saturday also urged all of its citizens to leave Ukraine “immediately,” with the exception of those currently residing in western Ukraine.

    • We want no escalation, only peace: Ukraine

      The Guardian quoted Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereschuk, speaking to journalists inside a kindergarten that was damaged, apparently by a strike from the other side of the lines, on Thursday, as saying, "We don’t want escalation, we want peace. It’s very important for everyone to understand that it’s the Russian federation that’s behind this. We have no offensive plans."

    • Ignoring Kremlin demands bad for stability, Russia's foreign minister warns France

      Russia's top diplomat told France's foreign minister by phone on Saturday that ignoring Moscow's security demands was bad for stability in Europe and elsewhere, Russia's foreign ministry said, as tensions surged in eastern Ukraine. Sergei Lavrov, Russia's veteran foreign minister, told France's Jean-Yves Le Drian that all countries should comply with their commitments to ensure the principle of "equal and indivisible security", the ministry said.

      "Ignoring Russia's legitimate rights in this area adversely affects the stability not only on the European continent, but also in the world," it said in a statement.

      For his part, Le Drian said that dialogue was still possible, and that France was committed to work for it, but it was up to Russia to make that choice. "Today, Russia's actions and words are out of step," Le Drian's ministry said in a statement.

    • Ukrainian separatist comments suggest false flag scenario underway: Germany

      German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Saturday comments by Ukrainian separatists in the past 24 hours appeared to follow the false flag script many people had predicted, warning that this must not become a justification for war. Ukraine did not do anything to justify the evacuations ordered in separatist areas, Baerbock said.

    • China foreign minister on Ukraine: No country should replace international norms with own will

      Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on Saturday said that no country, not even a superpower, should replace international norms with its own will as he addressed the situation in Ukraine. Speaking to a security conference via videolink, Wang said certain big powers were reviving a cold war mentality and stoking confrontations between blocs. "No country should be obsessed with turning back the wheel of history and repeating past mistakes of forging rivalling alliances," he said.

    • World in extreme danger, says British PM

      UK prime minister Boris Johnson, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, warned of “extreme danger to the world”, reported the Guardian. He said he hopes diplomacy will succeed, but the world needs to be “unflinchingly honest” about the Russian threat. (Image: Reuters)

      Russia-Ukraine conflict updates: Russia planning the 'biggest war since 1945,' says Boris Johnson
    • Russia launches hypersonic missiles as part of nuclear drills

      Russia hit sea and land-based targets with ballistic and cruise missiles on Saturday as part of strategic nuclear exercises overseen by President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, the Kremlin said. The annual exercises featured launches of Kinzhal and Tsirkon hypersonic missiles and a number of other weapons, the Kremlin said in a statement.

    Russia Ukraine conflict highlights:
    The situation along the Ukraine border remained tense on Saturday. The US says it is sure Russia will invade Ukraine in a matter of a few days. However, US President Joe Biden has warned that if Vladimir Putin’s Russia pursues its plans, it will be responsible for a catastrophic and needless war of choice. Meanwhile, Putin accused Ukraine of committing human rights violations against Russian minorities, and separatist leaders in the breakaway Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk ordered large-scale civilian evacuations, fuelling fresh fears from Western countries that Russia would use this as a pretext to invade Ukraine. In one of the worst post-Cold War crises, Russia wants to stop Kyiv from joining NATO and accuses the West of hysteria, saying it has no plans to invade, even as the United States and its allies are convinced of the military build-up continuing. Warning sirens blared in the breakaway regions of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk on Friday after rebel leaders there announced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people to Russia.

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