Recent developments on Russian-Ukrainian war:
Tel Aviv, Israel – The Israeli prime minister has returned from an unexpected trip to Russia, where he met with President Vladimir Putin to discuss the war in Ukraine.
Naftali Bennett flew to Moscow on Saturday, where he met with the Russian leader for three hours. The trip took place “with the coordination and blessing” of the Biden administration, according to Bennett’s office.
Bennett spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after meeting with Putin. He then flew to Germany to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Bennett landed in Israel on Sunday morning and is expected to convene his cabinet for a weekly meeting later that day.
Bennett’s trip was the last attempt at diplomacy in the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. Israel is one of the few countries that has good working relations with both Russia and Ukraine. Israel has delivered humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but also maintains ties with Moscow to ensure that Israeli and Russian warplanes do not come into conflict in neighboring Syria.
KIV, Ukraine – A Ukrainian paramedic shot dead during the evacuation of victims from the outskirts of Kiev, buried Saturday in the capital.
Valentina Pusic was known in the area as “Chamomile”, which means “Chamomile”. A friend described her as a “brave man” who was never afraid to “get shot”.
She always “ran to the most dangerous places” to save the victims, said Natalia Voronkova.
Previously, Pusic was a well-paid employee at a transport and logistics company. But in 2016, she enlisted in the army as a paramedic in response to the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Several women, including some wearing camouflage jackets, cried as her body lay in a casket at work. A portrait of Pushych hung on the wall nearby.
Red roses were laid on Pusych’s body in the cemetery. After her funeral, the dirt was covered with the flag of Ukraine.
KIU, Ukraine – Crowds of men lined up in Kyiv to join the Ukrainian army.
A decree of the Ukrainian government prohibits men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country to keep them available for conscription.
But some like Vladimir Anisko went to war.
“We know why we are here. We know why we are defending our country. And our guys, who are actually standing there and fighting with the Russian military, ”he told the British Sky News. “We know what we’re doing and that’s why we’re going to win.”
Others, like British Army veteran Mark Ayres, traveled to Ukraine to help.
Aires said that the Ukrainian people are inspiring, and “it pushed everyone.”
“I have no illusions. I don’t have a romantic idea of war or “I’m going to be a hero” or change anything … but that’s what I’m doing, “Ayres said.
BEIJING – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that China opposes any steps that “add fuel to the flames” in Ukraine.
Blinken says the world is watching which nations uphold the principles of freedom and sovereignty.
They spoke on the phone on Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
Wang called for talks on resolving the immediate crisis, as well as talks on establishing a balanced European security mechanism. Wang says the United States and Europe should pay attention to the negative impact of NATO’s eastward expansion on Russia’s security.
The US State Department says Blinken stressed that the world is acting in unison in response to Russian aggression and guarantees that Moscow will pay a high price.
China has broken with the United States, Europe and other countries that imposed sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. China says the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations must be respected, but sanctions create new problems and disrupt the political settlement process.
WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden has called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss ongoing efforts to impose economic costs on Russia and speed up US military, humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine.
The White House said the couple also discussed talks between Russia and Ukraine during a more than 30-minute conversation Sunday, but did not offer further details.
Zelensky said on Twitter that the presidents discussed security, financial support for Ukraine and the continuation of sanctions against Russia.
LVIV, Ukraine – President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked SpaceX Executive Director Ilan Mask for giving Ukraine access to his Starlink satellite internet system.
“I am grateful to him for supporting Ukraine in words and deeds,” Zelensky said on Twitter. “Next week we will get another batch of Starlink systems for destroyed cities.” He joked that they were discussing possible space projects, which he will talk about “after the war.”
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko on Saturday demonstrated a batch of Starlink systems that arrived in the capital. He said Starlink would help ensure the operation of critical infrastructure and protect the city.
Several major Ukrainian cities were left without internet and telephone after shelling by Russian troops.
CHERNIHOV, Ukraine – Russia has dropped powerful bombs on residential areas of Chernihiv, a regional official said on Saturday.
According to him, Vyacheslav Chavus published a photo of an unexploded FAB-500, a 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) Soviet-designed bomb.
“Usually these weapons are used against military-industrial facilities and fortified structures,” said Chavus, head of the Chernihiv district of the same name. “But in Chernihiv against residential areas.”
The city of Chernihiv, located north of Kiev with a population of 290,000 people, came under heavy fire from Russian troops. Officials said 17 people had been killed in the shelling in the region.
A video released by the Ukrainian government on Saturday shows people greeting as they watch a Russian military plane fall from the sky and fall.
NEW YORK – Mastercard and Visa are suspending operations in Russia, the company said on Saturday.
Mastercard has said that cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by their network, and any card issued outside the country will not work in Russian stores or ATMs as a result of the latest blow to the country’s financial system since its invasion of Ukraine.
Mastercard said it made its decision after discussions with customers, partners and governments.
Visa said it is working with customers and partners in Russia to stop all Visa transactions in the coming days.
The suspensions are a continuation of more limited steps earlier in the week to block financial institutions from networks that serve as arteries for the payment system. The Russians have already been hit hard by the heavy sanctions and financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. government and others.
Follow the coverage of the AP on tensions between Russia and Ukraine at /hub/russia-ukraine
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