Live Updates: Australia To Send Lethal Weapons To Ukraine

Publish Date : 2022-02-28 00:00:00


Live Updates: Australia To Send Lethal Weapons To Ukraine

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia will provide lethal military equipment to Ukraine to help the Ukrainians resist the Russian invasion.

The Australian government’s announcement Monday gave no details on what material it may be sending. The move follows an offer on Friday of non-lethal military equipment, medical supplies and a $3 million contribution to a NATO trust fund for support of the besieged country.

Australia has imposed sanctions on more than 350 Russian individuals, including Russian President Vladimir Putin since Thursday.

Australia has also targeted with sanctions 13 individuals and entities in Belarus, including that country’s defense minister, Viktor Khrenin. Belarus is supporting Russia in its war with Ukraine.

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TORONTO — The two largest media companies in Canada are dropping Russian state TV channel RT from their cable offerings.

Rogers spokesman Andrew Garas says Russia Today will no longer be available on its channel lineup as of Monday.

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The Bell media company also is removing RT.

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez is commending the action, saying Russia has been conducting warfare in Ukraine since 2014 and information warfare across the world. He says RT is the propaganda arm of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime that spreads disinformation.


FRANKFURT, Germany — An Austria-based subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Sberbank has been ruled likely to fail after depositors fled due to the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The European Central Bank said early Monday that the bank had 13.6 billion euros in assets at the end of last year, but has experienced “significant deposit outflows” due to “geopolitical tensions.”

The ECB says Vienna-headquartered Sberbank Europe AG “is likely to be unable to pay its debts or other liabilities as they fall due.” The bank is a fully owned subsidiary of Russia’s Sberbank, whose majority shareholder is the Russian government.

Europe’s bank resolution board separately says it has imposed a payments ban on money owed by the bank and a limit on how much depositors can withdraw. The board will decide on further steps, which could include restructuring, selling or liquidating the bank.

Sberbank Europe operates 185 branches and has more than 3,933 employees.


KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed during Russia’s invasion, including 14 children. It says an additional 1,684 people, including 116 children, have been wounded.

he ministry’s statement Sunday does not give any information on casualties among Ukraine’s armed forces.

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Russia has claimed that its troops are targeting only Ukrainian military facilities and says that Ukraine’s civilian population is not in danger.

Russia has not released any information on casualties among its troops. The Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged on Sunday only that Russian soldiers have been killed and wounded, without giving any numbers.


RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says his government will remain neutral regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Bolsonaro said he had a two-hour long conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday to talk about the war and assured Russia’s leader that Brazil will keep a neutral position. However, Brazil’s foreign ministry later said Bolsonaro did not speak to Putin on Sunday, but rather was referring to his two-hour meeting with the Russian during a visit to Moscow earlier this month.

Brazil’s ultra conservative president said Sunday that he does not want to “bring the consequences of the conflict” to Brazil.

Bolsonaro says that Russia has no intention of carrying out any massacres and that in some regions of Ukraine “90% of the people want to get closer to Russia.”

The Brazilian president also criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, saying people “entrusted the fate of the nation to a comedian.”


WASHINGTON — The U.S. for the first time has approved the direct delivery of Stinger missiles to Ukraine as part of a package approved by the White House on Friday.

The exact timing of delivery is not known, but officials say the U.S. is currently working on the logistics of the shipment. The officials agreed to discuss the development only if not quoted by name.

The decision comes on the heels of Germany’s announcement that it will send 500 Stinger missiles and other weapons and supplies to Ukraine.

The high-speed Stingers are very accurate and are used to shoot down helicopters and other aircraft. Ukrainian officials have been asking for more of the powerful weapons.

The Baltic states have also been providing Ukraine with Stingers since January, and in order to do that had to get U.S. permission.


TORONTO — Canada will send an additional $25 million worth of defensive military equipment to Ukraine in an effort to help the country defend against Russia’s invasion.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly says the equipment includes helmets, body armor, gas masks and night-vision gear.

She says it will be routed through Poland to get there as quickly as possible.

Anand says Canada will offer up cybersecurity experts who can help Ukraine “defend its networks against cyber attacks that are increasingly forming part of modern-day warfare.”


UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council has voted for the 193-member General Assembly to hold an emergency session on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Monday.

The vote on Sunday to authorize an emergency meeting was 11 in favor, Russia opposed, and China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining. That was the exact same vote on a resolution Friday demanding that Moscow immediately stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all troops. But in that case, Russia used its veto and the resolution was defeated.

Ukrainian U.N. Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya asked for the General Assembly meeting to be held under the so-called “Uniting for Peace” resolution, initiated by the United States and adopted in November 1950 to circumvent vetoes by the Soviet Union during the Korean War.

That resolution gives the General Assembly the power to call emergency meetings when the Security Council is unable to act because of the lack of unanimity among its five veto-wielding permanent members — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France.

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MOSCOW — The U.S. Embassy in Moscow urged American citizens in Russia to think about leaving the country immediately on Sunday, as some airlines halt flights there and some countries close their skies to Russian aircraft.

“U.S. citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available,” the Embassy said in a statement on its website.

U.S. officials in recent weeks have urged Americans not to travel to Russia, and warned that the U.S. government could not help in any evacuation of Americans from there.

An earlier alert recommended Americans develop contingency plans about how to leave the country if necessary.

The European Union was among those announcing Sunday they were closing their airspace to Russian flights

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NEW YORK CITY — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order on Sunday forbidding her state from doing business with Russia. The order includes canceling its investments in Russia.

During a press conference in Albany, the governor said her state would also welcome refugees from the besieged country. Hochul said New York is home to the largest Ukrainian population in the United States.

“If you need a place to stay, you want to come over here, we will help you become integrated into our community,” she said.

The economic sanctions follow those issued by President Joe Biden to help siphon resources from the Russian government, which launched its long-expected invasion of Ukraine last Thursday.

It remains to be seen how Hochul’s move will aid the effort to severely squeeze the Russian economy in the global effort to get Russian President Vladimir Putin to retreat.


KYIV, Ukraine — As Russian troops draw closer to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv’s mayor is both filled with pride over his citizens’ spirit and anxious about how long they can hold out.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, after a grueling night of Russian attacks on the outskirts of the city, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said there were no plans to evacuate civilians if Russian troops managed to take Kyiv.

“We can’t do that, because all ways are blocked,” he said. “Right now we are encircled.”

When Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Thursday, the city of 2.8 million people initially reacted with concern but also a measure of self-possession. However, nerves started fraying when grocery stores began closing and the city’s famously deep subway system turned its stations into bomb shelters.

The mayor confirmed to the AP that nine civilians in Kyiv had been killed so far, including one child.


NEW YORK — Some early signs are emerging of significant economic consequences to Russia following its invasion of Ukraine three days ago. While official quotes for the Russian ruble were unchanged at roughly 84 rubles to the dollar, one online Russian bank, Tinkoff, was giving an unofficial exchange rate of 152 rubles over the weekend.

Videos from Russia showed long lines of Russians trying to withdraw cash from ATMs, while the Russian Central Bank issued a statement calling for calm, in an effort to avoid bank runs. Reports also showed that Visa and Mastercard were no longer being accepted for those with international bank accounts.

“Banks and credit card companies dealing with Russia are going into lock down mode given the fast pace and increasing bite of the sanctions,” said Amanda DeBusk, a partner with Dechert LLP.

Russia may have to temporarily close bank branches or declare a national bank holiday to protect its financial system, analysts said.

“If there’s a full-scale banking panic, that’s a driver of crisis in its own right,” said Adam Tooze, a professor of history at Columbia University and Director of the European Institute. “A rush into dollars by the Russian general population moves things into an entirely new domain of financial warfare.”


MOSCOW — The Russian military said Sunday that some of its troops were killed and some were wounded in Ukraine — admitting for the first time that it had suffered casualties since the Russian invasion.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Sunday “there are dead and wounded among our comrades,” without offering any numbers, but adding that Russia’s losses were “many times” fewer than those of Ukraine’s forces.

It was the first time Russian military officials mentioned casualties on their side. Ukraine has claimed that its forces killed 3,500 Ru



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