UKRAINE UPDATES: Zelensky warns Italy of Putin’s end game; Russia could use nuclear weapons under ‘existential threat’

Belorussian volunteers prepare to fight against Russian forces in Ukraine. Credit: BBC | YouTube

As Russia’s invasion of a sovereign European nation under false pretexts marks one month, here’s the latest headlines from the war in Ukraine….

• Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Italian parliament via video call on Tuesday. He warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ultimate goal is to take Europe. He said that Putin’s aim is “to have influence and control over your politics, to destroy your values. Ukraine is the gateway to Europe for Russian troops.” Zelensky received a standing ovation before and after his 12-minute speech to lawmakers in Rome, saying…

“Tens of thousands of families have been destroyed. The dead are buried in mass graves, the Russian invasion is destroying our country, our people have become an army.”

• Putin’s top spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons. In an interview with PBS host Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, Peskov said nuclear weapons would only be used in the event of an “existential threat” to Russia. Afterward, the US Pentagon denounced the remark as reckless, saying…

“It’s not the way a responsible nuclear power should act.”

• Western intelligence agencies say the Russian advance continues to stall, as Putin’s troops take up defensive positions in their effort to encircle large Ukrainian cities like Kyiv. There are reports of supply shortages and frostbite among Russian troops.

• Meanwhile, in the southern city of Mariupol, around 100,000 residents remain trapped. Russian forces have focused their efforts on capturing on capturing the strategic port city and have surrounded it, cutting off humanitarian aid and preventing the escape of civilians.

• In his nightly Facebook address, Zelensky said around 7,000 Mariupol residents were rescued on Tuesday. He said that the city, which is home to more than 450,000 people, is being “reduced to ashes.” New images show Russian forces dug in around the southern port city.

• Fighting rages around the Kyiv suburbs with Russian and Ukrainian forces reportedly each making gains. Ukraine’s forces said a counterattack north and west of Kyiv appears to have made some headway and they regained control of Makariv, a town west of the capital. According to a US official, Ukrainian forces are now fighting to take back lost territory.

• US President Joe Biden and European allies will hold a series of emergency summits in Europe this week. The US is expected to announce “a further package of sanctions” on Moscow when Biden travels to Brussels for talks with G7 and Nato leaders on Thursday. Zelensky is expected to address the gathering via remote teleconference. Ukrainian officials say he will request more air defence systems.

SOURCES: CNN | BBC | France 24 | Wanted in Rome

World News


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