Kremlin officials and state media propagandists are extensively discussing the reasons for the Russian defeat in Kharkiv.
“The Kremlin acknowledged its defeat in Kharkiv Oblast, the first time Moscow has openly recognized a defeat,” the Institute for the Study of War said in its latest assessment of a war that began with Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.
Russian officials announced a ceasefire at 10 a.m. in major cities to allow for evacuations. Ukrainian officials on Sunday said that Russian shelling prevented escape as hundreds of thousands were reportedly trying to flee the city of Mariupol and other parts of Ukraine.
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its twelfth day Monday.
- Russian shelling prevented would-be refugees from fleeing the war, Ukrainian authorities said.
- The U.N. reported that 1.5 million refugees have fled to neighboring countries since the invasion started.
More than 4,300 people were detained at anti-war protests across Russia on Sunday, rights groups and Russian authorities say.
Some 1,700 people were detained in Moscow alone, Ria news agency reports, citing the interior ministry.
The OVD-Info rights group says detentions took place in 53 cities.
Although protests have become increasingly restricted in recent years, numerous rallies have taken place across Russia since the invasion.
In the last 11 days, more than 10,000 people have been detained at protests, OVD-Info says.
“The screws are being fully tightened – essentially we are witnessing military censorship,” Maria Kuznetsova, OVD-Info’s spokeswoman, told Reuters news agency from Tbilisi in Georgia.
LVIV, Ukraine/KYIV/PARIS, March 4 (Reuters) – A huge blaze at the site of Europe’s biggest nuclear power station was extinguished on Friday, and officials said the plant in southeastern Ukraine was operating normally after it was seized by Russian forces in fighting that caused global alarm.
Separately, a presidential advisor said Ukraine had halted an advance on the city of Mykolayiv after local authorities said Russian troops had entered. If captured, the city of 500,000 people in southern Ukraine, where Russian forces have made the most progress so far, would be the biggest yet to fall.
A huge blaze at the site of Europe’s biggest nuclear power station was extinguished on Friday, and officials said the plant in southeastern Ukraine was operating normally after it was seized by Russian forces in fighting that caused global alarm.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its second week Thursday as fighting continues across the smaller country.
There were conflicting reports about which side controls the city of Kherson. Ukrainians still control capital Kyiv despite Russian efforts to overtake the city. Port city Maripol and Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second biggest city, experienced heavy shelling Wednesday.
Specific accounts of military activity are difficult to confirm as the situation on the ground in Ukraine can change quickly.
The hectic moves were the first signs that Western sanctions were shaking the foundations of Russia’s economy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States, European Union and United Kingdom on Saturday agreed to put in place crippling sanctions on the Russian financial sector, including a block on its access to the global financial system and, for the first time, restrictions on its central bank in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine.
The measures were announced jointly as part of a new round of financial sanctions meant to “hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.” The central bank restrictions target the more than $600 billion in reserves that the Kremlin has at its disposal, meant to limit Russia’s ability to support the ruble amid tightening Western sanctions.
Cumulatively the steps announced by the West since Russia began the invasion would potentially amount to some of the toughest sanctions on any country in modern times, and if fully carried out as planned, would severely damage the Russian economy and markedly constrain its ability to import and export goods.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. has picked up intelligence showing that Russian military officials were given an order to go ahead with an invasion of Ukraine, a U.S. official and another person with knowledge of the matter told NBC News.
The intelligence, which was developed very recently, informed President Joe Biden’s startling declaration Friday that the U.S. believes President Vladimir Putin has already decided to invade, the people said.
(CNN)President Joe Biden plans to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, a person familiar with the matter said, as the US warns Russia could attack Ukraine using bombs and missiles at any moment.The high-stakes talks come at what US officials describe as a critical juncture in the ongoing crisis. A significant increase of Russian ground forces and military assets have surrounded Ukraine, and Putin could decide at any moment to activate them into a deadly invasion.He hasn’t decided whether to act, the White House said Friday. But that has not stopped American officials from dramatically increasing their warnings an attack is now a “distinct possibility” and could occur swiftly.
WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday warned that if Russia invades Ukraine, there would be no Nord Stream 2, but did not specify how he would go about ensuring the controversial pipeline would not be used.
Speaking at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Biden said, “If Russia invades… again, then there will be longer Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
When asked how he would do that, he responded, “I promise you we will be able to do it.”
Europe’s most divisive energy project, Nord Stream 2 is designed by Russian energy giant Gazprom to double the amount of gas flowing from Russia straight to Germany, bypassing traditional transit nation Ukraine.
A gunman opened fire in a university in the Russian city of Perm on Monday morning, leaving at least eight dead, reports said.
A MYSTERIOUS “jellyfish-shaped object” which suddenly appeared in the Earth’s atmosphere has stunned local Russians.
In the footage, published on YouTube by Viral Hog, the comet-like object can be seen hurtling towards the Earth as stunned onlookers revel in its beauty.
A young boy, accompanied by his friends, can be heard calling out in his native Russian as he points towards the starry sky.
He then zooms in to get a closer look at the glowing object – which is spearheaded by a shiny point.
In the video’s caption, the user explains: “My friends and I saw the movement of some object in the sky, it looked like a comet, but it flew slowly and we realized that it was some kind of rocket or flying machine.
“A little later it exploded and a pattern in the form of jellyfish was formed, we even heard some kind of sound similar on blast.”
MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian prototype military transport plane crashed while performing a test flight outside Moscow on Tuesday, killing all three crew members on board, Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation said.
The new light military transport plane, Il-112V, crashed in a forested area as it was coming in for a landing at the Kubinka airfield 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Moscow, the corporation told the Tass news agency.
Two test pilots and a flight engineer were aboard the plane, and none survived, the corporation said.
A Russian Antonov An-28 passenger plane carrying 18 people made a hard landing after disappearing from radars Friday while flying over the Siberian region of Tomsk, according to reports.
The twin-engine Antonov An-28 turboprop was flying from the town of Kedrovy to the regional capital of Tomsk when communication with it was lost, said local Gov. Sergei Zhvachkin’s office, according to Agence France-Presse.
Fears had swirled over the fate of the plane, its passengers and three crew members when it disappeared from radar.
Rescuers who rushed to the area where contact was lost eventually located the survivors in a wooded section near the badly damaged plane, which was found upside down, Reuters reported.
The aircraft was flying a regional route in the far eastern peninsula of Kamchatka. There were not believed to be any survivors, Russian news agencies reported.
Newly published satellite imagery shows the ground temperature in at least one location in Siberia topped 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) going into the year’s longest day. It’s hot Siberia Earth summer, and it certainly won’t be the last.
While many heads swiveled to the American West as cities like Phoenix and Salt Lake City suffered shockingly hot temperatures this past week, a similar climatological aberrance unfolded on the opposite side of the world in the Arctic Circle. That’s not bizarre when you consider that the planet heating up is a global affair, one that isn’t picky about its targets. We’re all the target!
The 118-degree-Fahrenheit temperature was measured on the ground in Verkhojansk, in Yakutia, Eastern Siberia, by the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel satellites. Other ground temperatures in the region included 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) in Govorovo and 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) in Saskylah, which had its highest temperatures since 1936. It’s important to note that the temperatures being discussed here are land surface temperatures, not air temperatures. The air temperature in Verkhojansk was 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius)—still anomalously hot, but not Arizona hot.
In an NBC News worldwide exclusive, senior international correspondent Keir Simmons sits down with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow for a one-on-one interview, just days ahead of a critical summit with President Biden. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews
(CNN)The visuals, the body language and the setting all converged to help President Joe Biden achieve what he wanted — not only from his much-hyped summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — but from a week of pivotal meetings with US allies.From the start of the Geneva summit, Biden looked confident and relaxed. In contrast, Putin, who has made an art of appearing smug and almost bored, looked tense and on his guard. Then Biden took the initiative, extending his hand first to Putin, who walked over to grasp it.The summit mattered, of course, but it was in the dueling press conferences where Putin helped Biden achieve his objectives. That’s because Biden’s meeting with Putin had two goals. One was about managing US relations with Russia. The other was the overarching theme of his European trip and, in fact, of Biden’s presidency: strengthening democracy by drawing a sharp distinction between it and authoritarianism, all the while persuading the world that democracy is the superior model.
After bonding with his well-mannered counterparts at the G7 Summit, President Biden is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, a man he called a “killer.” Biden’s aim at the G7 was to smooth over international relations that had become frosty under Donald Trump, a goal his European allies shared. They emerged chanting gauzy slogans, seeking to “Build Back Better” after the ruination wrought by the pandemic.
Biden will similarly try to improve the relationship with his Russian counterpart. But unlike the Europeans, Putin has something very different in mind. He, too, has goals for the meeting but they involve self-aggrandizement and using the masquerade of cooperation to allow him to continue to harm America, as the Soviets before him did under détente.
As usual, the Americans are offering Russia a reset button. And as usual, Russia will contemptuously cast it aside.
Both presidents have acknowledged that U.S.-Russia relations are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. Putin has threatened that the global security system is degrading and “the potential for conflict is growing.” TASS, the official Russian government “news” agency, compared the upcoming meeting between Biden and Putin to the June 4, 1961, meeting in Vienna between John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, who was known for banging shoes on desks at the United Nations. Putin has laid the groundwork for doing so, inflicting what were undoubtedly state-sponsored cyber attacks on the United States — the employment of criminal groups to achieve the Russian state’s strategic goals is a common Kremlin tactic — and seeking to unbalance Biden by praising Donald Trump as an “extraordinary” and “talented individual,” while insulting Biden as a lifelong politician and “career man.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to address the nation on Wednesday in his annual “State of the Nation” address, a speech that will take place amid growing tensions with Ukraine and a hunger strike by dissident Alexei Navalny.
In the last week, there have been further reports that Russian troops are massing at the border with Ukraine, potentially preparing for military action.
Navalny, on hunger strike in a Russian prison, has become dangerously ill and has been moved to a prison hospital. The news prompted warnings from the U.S. that there would be “consequences” if Russia allows Navalny to die in jail.
Scientists can’t agree on why these hills in the Russian Arctic ripple with stripes.
In televised remarks, the head of Russia’s health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, said scientists at the Vektor laboratory had isolated the strain’s genetic material from seven workers at a poultry farm in southern Russia, where an outbreak was recorded among the birds in December.
The workers did not suffer any serious health consequences, she added. They are believed to have caught the virus from poultry on the farm.
MOSCOW — Thousands of people took to the streets Sunday across Russia’s vast expanse to demand the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, keeping up a wave of nationwide protests that have rattled the Kremlin. Over 1,000 were detained by police, according to a monitoring group.
Russian authorities have mounted a massive effort to stem the tide of demonstrations after tens of thousands of people rallied across the country last weekend in the largest and most widespread show of discontent Russia has seen in years.
Navalny, an anti-corruption investigator who is the best-known critic of President Vladimir Putin, was arrested Jan. 17.
WASHINGTON — Nearly a month after reports emerged of a massive hack of U.S. government agencies and corporations, the Trump administration announced Tuesday that it had formed a task force to deal with the repercussions of what it officially acknowledged — for the first time — was likely a damaging Russian espionage operation.
“This is a serious compromise that will require a sustained and dedicated effort to remediate,” said a joint statement from the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The statement said that “fewer than 10” federal agencies had been compromised by “an intelligence gathering effort” that is “likely Russian in origin.”
The statement did not name the agencies that have been hacked, but NBC News has reported that among them are Treasury, Commerce, State and Energy.
The acknowledgement that the hack appeared to have been carried out by Russia — sources have told NBC News it was likely the SVR, Russia’s equivalent of the CIA — came despite President Donald Trump having cast doubt on that finding, saying last month it could have been China.
The attack was so widespread and potentially catastrophic, the DHS’s cyber wing issued an emergency directive that stated the only way to mitigate damage was to airgap devices and uninstall affected Orion software. Meanwhile, SolarWinds filed an update with the SEC detailing the extent of the damage. It was limited, but only if you consider 18-33,000 potential infections “limited.” It’s only a small percentage because Solarwinds’s customer base is so large. The company boasts 300,000 customers, among them several government agencies and all five branches of the military. (It’s not boasting much these days. It has memory-holed its “Customer” page during this trying time.)
Unfortunately, the directive from CISA was delivered a bit too late. CISA itself was compromised by the hack, something acknowledged by the DHS less than 24 hours after its dire directive was issued.
The fallout from this hacking — which may have begun as early as March of this year — will continue for a long, long time. But this latest news — delivered by Zack Whittaker — adds another layer of irony to the ongoing debacle. Orion is Solarwinds’ one-stop shop for IT software. It promises to secure customers’ IT infrastructure by bundling in the company’s network security products.
No doubt the company claims to take security seriously. But while users are being subjected to password requirements that demand them to utilize most of the alphabet and multiple shift key presses, internal security isn’t nearly as restrictive. Here’s the “OMFG are you goddamn kidding me” news via Reuters, which first broke the news of the malicious hacking.
Security researcher Vinoth Kumar told Reuters that, last year, he alerted the company that anyone could access SolarWinds’ update server by using the password “solarwinds123”.
All five branches of the military. The NSA. The IRS. The USPS. DHS. The Treasury Department. Nearly every Fortune 500 company. All ten of the top ten telcos. The list goes on and on. And with this access, attackers could move laterally, using compromised credentials to eavesdrop on mutuals of targeted entities. And all of this “secured” by a password so simple an idiot could have created it.
“Russia has made space a warfighting domain by testing space-based and ground-based weapons intended to target and destroy satellites,” U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson — the leader of the Space Command — said in a statement. “This fact is inconsistent with Moscow’s public claims that Russia seeks to prevent conflict in space.”
Dickinson added that Moscow is looking to “exploit U.S. reliance on space-based systems.”
“We stand ready and committed to deter aggression and defend our Nation and our allies from hostile acts in space,” he continued.
The U.S. Space Command says Russia has completed several tests of a ground-based weapon system “capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit.”
(CNN)The US Commerce Department confirmed Sunday it has been the victim of a data breach.“We can confirm there has been a breach in one of our bureaus,” the Commerce Department said in a statement to CNN. “We have asked CISA and the FBI to investigate, and we cannot comment further at this time.”The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency also confirmed the data security incident, telling CNN in a statement, “We have been working closely with our agency partners regarding recently discovered activity on government networks.”“CISA is providing technical assistance to affected entities as they work to identify and mitigate any potential compromises,” the statement continued.Reuters was first to report on the data breach.The Washington Post reported Sunday that Russian government hackers targeted Commerce as well as the Treasury Department and other government agencies, according to people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Russian air strikes in northern Syria have killed more than 50 Turkish-backed militia fighters in the mainly rebel-held province of Idlib, reports say.
Many others were wounded in the attack, which marks an escalation of violence in the region.
A training base for an Islamist group called Faylaq al-Sham was hit.
The assault puts at risk a ceasefire in Idlib, brokered and monitored by Russia and Turkey, which back opposite sides in the war.
UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the number of dead at 78.
Some of the wounded were in a serious condition, and the death toll was likely to rise, the Observatory added.
It described the attack – in the Harem region north-west of Idlib city – as the deadliest since the ceasefire came into force in March.
The truce brought to a halt a Syrian government offensive on the region which had displaced almost a million people, and has largely held since then.
When the ceasefire was announced, Turkey said it reserved the right to “retaliate with all its strength” against any attack by forces allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Idlib is the last province held by rebels and jihadists, who have been beaten back in a nine-year-long civil war.
Oct. 10: What you need to know today
- Russia confirmed 12,846 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing its official number of cases to 1,285,084.
- Russia has carried out more than 500,000 coronavirus tests in a single day for the first time since the start of the pandemic, consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said Friday.
- Starting Monday, Moscow employers will be required to transfer 30% of their employees to remote work through Oct. 28 due to the city’s coronavirus situation. Workers over the age of 65 and those suffering from chronic diseases will also be required to work remotely. Workers at medical institutions, defense agencies, Rosatom and Roscosmos are exempt from the new rules.