Ukraine: Biden urges Xi not to back Russian aggression
19 March 2022 | 12:01 pm
During a nearly two-hour call, the US president called on his Chinese counterpart to rule out military and economic support to Moscow, to ensure Western sanctions are effective.
Some 250 Ukrainian peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo prepare to return home to face Russian forces. Also, Egypt bans exports of staples such as wheat and flour in an effort to secure food reserves. The country depends heavily on wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia. And Nigeria sees long queues at the petrol pump, grounded flights and electricity cuts due to fuel shortages. Prices are surging, partly because of the war in Ukraine.
At a top-level summit in Versailles, EU leaders have agreed to give Ukraine another half a billion euros in military aid. But they rejected the idea of fast-tracking Kyiv's EU membership bid.
Russia has this week widened its military offensive in Ukraine. For the first time, Russian forces have now begun striking targets in the west of the country. But as well as bombarding new cities Russia has continued its bombardment of Mariupol in the South and Sumy as well as Kharkiv to the east. Satellite images of the long-awaited Russian convoy suggest that it is now attempting to encircle the capital, Kyiv.
Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, is bracing for an all-out attack as Russian forces close in. Shelling has already reached the outskirts of Kyiv, while others cities are also suffering heavy bombardment.
Tens of thousands of people spilled into the streets of Berlin to demand peace in Ukraine. Many waved Ukrainian flags or held banners with slogans opposing the Russian invasion.
Authorities in Berlin say they are struggling to cope with the massive influx of Ukrainian refugees arriving in the German capital. City officials called on the federal government to help transfer thousands of people to other parts of the country.
Russian airstrikes target a military base near Poland's border with Ukraine in what many papers see as Russia's direct threat to the US-led NATO alliance. Also, Russia asks China for economic and military assistance as Beijing faces pressure to clarify where it stands in the war in Ukraine. Finally, a British minister suggests seizing oligarch's homes to rehouse Ukrainian refugees and American footballer Tom Brady is “unretiring”!
The IMF has issued a warning that the world's food supplies are in peril. Russian's invasion of Ukraine is not the sole factor driving global food insecurity, but it is significant.
The leaders will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. A European Union aid package is also expected to be presented.
Grossi said he has had constructive talks with the warring sides, who both agree that “something needs to be done” to safeguard the safety of the plants, but that the IAEA is still working on an agreement to ensure that the risk “of a nuclear accident is completely excluded”.
Turkey is one of the many countries calling for calm in Ukraine. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government will relentlessly try to find a long-lasting ceasefire and Turkey has already hosted the first high-level peace talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers. But Ankara is walking something of a tightrope because it's traditionally a friend of Ukraine and has been supplying drones to Kyiv. Yet it also depends on Russia for gas. Our Turkey correspondent Jasper Mortimer tells us more.
The UN says the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen risks being forgotten as the world focuses on the war in Ukraine. And that conflict is also likely to directly impact Yemen's already stricken food supply, experts say.
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