Smoke rises over Kiev as Russian strikes hit regions across Ukraine

Russian mercenary Wagner the head of the group Yevgeny Prigozhin has accused the Russian president and his boss Vladimir Putin suspending him because of his call to resupply arms and ammunition in the grinding battle in the east Ukraine.

“To make me stop asking for ammunition, all emergency lines to offices, to departments, etc. have been cut off from me. But the real humdinger is that they’ve also blocked agencies from making decisions (related to Wagner), private Russian military leader says on Telegram.

Earlier this week, he claimed his forces controlled the entire city of Bakhmut east of a river running through it.

Russia unleashed a barrage of missiles, including six Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missiles—one of them Moscows prized weapons of war – against Ukraine in the early hours of yesterday as people fell asleep.

The attacks caused Ukraine’s The nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia is to be cut off from the country’s power system again, leading to demands for a protection zone around Europe’s largest power plant.

Russia fired 81 missiles and eight drones at Ukraine in the early morning strikes, the Ukrainian air force claims.


Wagner boss ‘cut off’ by Putin over call to arms

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has accused the Russian president and his boss Vladimir Putin of cutting him off over repeated requests to replenish his forces in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

“To make me stop asking for ammunition, all emergency lines to offices, to departments, etc. have been cut off from me. But the real humdinger is that they’ve also blocked agencies from making decisions (related to Wagner), private Russian military leader says on Telegram.

Arpan Rai10 March 2023 03:27


Pope says war in Ukraine not only fueled by ‘Russian Empire’

The war in Ukraine is driven by the interests of several “empires” and not just Russia’s, Pope Francis said in an interview published on Friday.

Francis said the conflict was driven by “imperialist interests, not only from the Russian Empire, but from empires from elsewhere”.

(AFP via Getty Images)

He expressed a willingness to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for peace.

The Pope spoke to Italian-Swiss TV channel RSI in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday. Excerpts were published on Friday by the Italian dailies La Repubblica, La Stampa and Corriere della Sera.

Emily Atkinson10 March 2023 07:57


Russia’s latest missile attack shows it needs to stockpile before major strikes – MoD

Russia’s intermittent massive missile attacks on Ukraine show that Moscow needs to replenish its stockpile of newly produced missiles before launching major attacks that could overwhelm Ukraine’s defense systems at work, according to the latest British intelligence.

The British Ministry of Defense cited a wave of at least 80 long-range strikes against Ukrainian critical infrastructure yesterday. “Russia deployed cruise missiles, air defense missiles in a surface-to-surface role, Iranian one-way strikes with unmanned aerial vehicles and an unusually large number of hypersonic air-launched ballistic missiles during the attack,” the MoD said.

“This was the first major wave of long-range strikes since February 16, 2023 and likely one of the largest since December 2022. Ukrainian officials reported at least 11 civilians killed,” the ministry added.

The ministry said the interval between waves of strikes “is likely to grow because Russia now needs to stockpile a critical mass of newly produced missiles directly from the industry before it can resource a strike large enough to credibly overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses.”

Arpan Rai10 March 2023 06:51


What is driving Putin’s relentless assault on Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin’s central motivation, since his earliest years as president, may well have been to restore Russia’s standing in the world after what he saw as the humiliation of the Soviet collapse.

But according to Russian state media and his own statements, consideration for Russia’s security is paramount in his view. One could put the 2008 war in Georgia and the 2014 annexation of Crimea in this category: a deep fear that the West was encroaching on what he saw as Russia’s security barrier.

One of the reasons that makes him tick – most relevant in the context of the war in Ukraine – is the accusation that his ambition is to restore the Soviet Union or the Russian Empire. He has said: “Anyone with a heart cannot help but regret the demise of the Soviet Union, but no one with a head could possibly want to take it back.”

Arpan Rai10 March 2023 06:34


Where Ukraine stands in Bakhmut today

Ukrainian fighters have thwarted Russia’s attempt to completely encircle Bakhmut from the western arc this week and stepped up their counterattacks, military analysts monitoring the symbolic target city on Russia’s list say.

Ukrainian soldiers have also sabotaged Russian advance on the front line on the southern side which it had held for several days, while the enemy had made some progress in villages in the north, Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov has said.

Last week, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin had claimed that his forces have “practically surrounded” Bakhmut, and on Wednesday he said his troops controlled the entire town east of a river running through it.

This week there was an apparent change as Ukraine decided to fight on in Bakhmut, a city that has borne the brunt of a Russian winter offensive in the bloodiest fighting of the war.

Bakhmut has little strategic value to Russia’s military offensive and has turned into a meat-grinding phase of the war where Russian forces are sacrificing lives to give Vladimir Putin his only victory since he sent hundreds of thousands of reservists into battle late last year.

“Russian forces may temporarily focus their operational efforts northwest of Bakhmut to set the stage for future offensive operations directed at these fortified Ukrainian positions around Khromove or intended to bypass them to a greater extent,” the US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War said today.

Arpan Rai10 March 2023 05:55


Civilians lament Russian attacks: ‘They are not human’

When Russia launched a superior aerial salvo against Ukraine with hypersonic missiles that the beleaguered country has no way of stopping, the civilians caught in the aftermath of those attacks rejected Russia’s plans.

“How can they do this? How is this possible? They are not human,” Liudmyla, 58, said as she stood outside her shattered apartment, holding a small child in her arms as she vented her anger.

Air raid sirens wailed over Ukraine for seven hours on Thursday night.

Those missiles hit villagers in the western Lviv region and closer to the frontline in the central Dnipro region, while Russian artillery also killed at least three people in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

Russia claims that these attacks are aimed at reducing Ukraine’s ability to fight, but Kiev has pointed out that these attacks are a war crime because they have no claimed military purpose and are carried out to intimidate civilians.

Volodymyr Zelensky echoed this position, saying: “The occupiers can only terrorize civilians. That’s all they can do. But that will not help them. They will not avoid responsibility for everything they have done.”

Arpan Rai10 March 2023 05:22


Energy restoration work continues in Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky has said authorities are working around the clock to restore power at several facilities that were attacked in a spate of attacks yesterday.

“Restoration work at power plants has been going on all day. Kharkiv and Zhytomyr region have the most difficult situation. Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk region, Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia also face difficulties,” he said in his evening speech.

He added: “Repair crews, power engineers, local authorities and central government – everyone will work as long as necessary to restore power to cities and districts where there are problems. I thank everyone who is working on this.”

The wartime president said the country “has already shown what Ukraine is capable of.”

“And no matter how treacherous Russia’s actions are, our state and our people will not be in shackles. Neither missiles nor Russian atrocities will help them,” the president said.

Arpan Rai10 March 2023 05:03


Kevin McCarthy rejects Zelensky’s invitation to visit Ukraine

USA House speaker Kevin McCarthy has rejected the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky invitation to visit Ukraine to see how US aid is spent on the war effort against Russia as the California Republican battles with large sections of his party that want to cut or completely end US aid to the country.

Mr. Zelensky appeared CNNsaying that “he has to come here to see how we work, what is happening here, what war caused us, what people are fighting now, who are fighting now. And then after that, make your assumptions”.

McCarthy has been hesitant to say whether he would support additional aid, telling CNN he would not travel to Ukraine following Zelensky’s invitation, and the speaker criticized the Biden administration for not moving quickly enough to support the country.

But he still maintained his position that the United States should not send a “blank check” to the Ukrainians. He initially resigned from that position last fall, before becoming speaker, prompting bipartisan political reversals.

Mr McCarthy has made the “blank cheque” comments despite there being federal oversight of how the money is used.

Read the full story here:

Eleanor NoyceMarch 10, 2023 at 05.00


Russia’s first missile bombardment of Ukraine in weeks knocks the nuclear plant off the grid for hours

Russia launched a massive wave of missile strikes across Ukraine, killing scores of civilians and forcing Europe’s largest nuclear power plant off the grid for hours.

It is the first mass attack in weeks, with the strikes including the use of hypersonic cruise missiles – one of Moscow’s most valuable weapons which travel at such a speed that they can evade air defences.

– The occupiers can only terrorize civilians. That’s all they can do. But it will not help them,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. They will not avoid responsibility for everything they have done.”

Read the full story here:

Arpan RaiMarch 10, 2023 4:03 am


How British eels could help Putin in his war with Ukraine

Wildlife groups are calling on the UK to ban the transport of eels to Russian conservation projects over fears they are being sold on to China for food.

The alarm was raised after a shipment of half a million eels was moved to Kaliningrad. Charities have said that the profit Russia have made from these sales can finance Ukraine war.

Multi-member organization Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL), representing the RSPCA, CPRE and the Marine Conservation Society, has called for action by Defra (Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs).

Conservation has been called for with the European eel population declining by 90 percent over the past four decades despite hundreds of millions of young, or glass eels, arriving each year.

William Mata has the full story:

Eleanor NoyceMarch 10, 2023 at 04.00