At the behest of Vladimir Putin, Russian soldiers marched into Ukraine – the world reacted with horror. Follow the news situation and background information in the live blog.
There is war in Europe. Russia has invaded Ukraine, making its worst fears of the last few weeks come true. Putin’s troops are advancing in the neighboring country and have already reached Kiev. The world is shocked and concerned. The EU, the USA and numerous other countries are reacting with comprehensive sanctions against Moscow. But the Kremlin continues its attacks undeterred.
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Follow the events in star-Live blog:
Follow the events on the stern live blog:
In the conflict with Russia, the federal government is preparing to block German airspace for Russian aircraft. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing supports the closure and has ordered everything to be prepared for it, his ministry announced on Saturday evening. This is apparently happening in connection with a planned EU decision to block the entire European airspace for Russian aircraft.
Lufthansa no longer flies to or via Russia. Due to “the current and emerging regulatory situation”, this applies for seven days, the group announced on Saturday evening. Flights to Russia are therefore suspended. “Flights that are in Russian airspace will leave it again shortly.”
The “regulatory situation” presumably refers to the action taken by the EU, to block European airspace for Russian planes. ARD journalist Matthias Deiss reports on the project on Twitter. Since Russia is expected to take immediate countermeasures, Lufthansa has apparently already ordered its planes back.https://twitter.com/MatthiasDeiss/status/1497671385686196228
France wants to tighten its sanctions against Russia because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At a Defense Council meeting on Saturday, President Emmanuel Macron announced “a strengthening of economic and financial sanctions in consultation with the Europeans and Americans,” as the Elysée Palace in Paris announced. It is therefore both about freezing the funds of Russian citizens at the national level and about “new measures” that should be taken “with the European partners regarding the Swift system”.
The use of Facebook is already restricted in Russia, now apparently there are also problems with Twitter. Complaints about problems using the short message service have been increasing since Saturday morning. Again and again the social network could not be called up on mobile phones. Twitter later said, “We are aware that Twitter is restricted for some people in Russia and we are working to keep our service safe and accessible.” The background of the disturbances was initially unclear.
Ukraine is temporarily closing checkpoints on the borders with neighboring countries Russia and Belarus. Ukrainian citizens who were in one of the two countries and want to return can continue to do so, says Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. “Come back and show that you stand up for good!” Schmyhal said.
The Baltic states of Lithuania and Latvia were pleased to see Germany’s change of course in the Ukraine crisis. “I welcome the German government’s decision to supply Ukraine with anti-tank weapons and missiles. It is a major breakthrough in our joint efforts to help the defenders of Ukraine,” Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted: “Thank you Germanythat’s the right decision.”
Pope Francis also spoke to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy on the phone. The head of the Catholic Church expressed his sorrow at the tragic events following the Russian attack on Ukraine, the Embassy of Ukraine to the Holy See said in a tweet.
YouTube has noticeably restricted several Russian state media on the video platform. “We are pausing monetization of a number of channels on YouTube, including several Russian channels related to recent sanctions,” says a YouTube spokesman.
The restrictions primarily affect the Russian foreign television program RT, which was called “Russia Today” until 2009 and classified in the West as a Russian government propaganda channel. RT is accused, among other things, of targeted disinformation such as the dissemination of conspiracy theories and justifying the war of aggression against Ukraine.
For the first time since the outbreak of war, UN chief António Guterres has spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “The Secretary-General conveyed to the President the United Nations’ determination to increase humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine,” the UN said.
According to a senior US Department of Defense official Russia has so far fired more than 250 missiles at targets in Ukrainemost of them short-range missiles.
Contrary to Russian claims, the projectiles hit “without a doubt” also “civilian infrastructure and residential areas”, he says, according to a Pentagon transcript. It is unclear whether this is intentional or accidental.
meanwhile be Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine. The Russians now have “more than 50 percent” of their combined combat troops on Ukrainian territory.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Selenskyj contacted Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Twitter for the planned arms delivery thanks:
Germany has just announced the delivery of anti-tank grenade launchers and Stinger missiles to Ukraine. Keep it up, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz! Anti-War Coalition in Action!
The Russian Biathlon Union RBU has a decision of the world association IBU sharply criticized, according to which athletes from Russia and Belarus may only compete under a neutral flag at the last three World Cups this winter. The RBU considers the move “illegal, unreasonable and categorically unacceptable,” it said in a statement on its own website on Saturday night. “In order not to expose the Russian athletes to the risk of humiliation” and to ensure their safety, they have now decided not to compete in the upcoming World Cups or in the second-rate IBU Cup.
The Union is increasing the pressure on the federal government to force the exit from the Swift payment system. The Union faction asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to agree to an immediate exclusion of Russia from the banking communication network. So far, the government has only talked about checking whether a “targeted and functional” restriction is possible.
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