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Archive for February 27, 2022

Newsline: The U.S. ambassador to U.N. condemns increased readiness of Russia’s nuclear weapons

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations responded to the news from Moscow while appearing on a Sunday news program. “President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. “And we have to continue to condemn his actions in the most strong, strongest possible way.” (https://ktla.com/news/nationworld/ukraine-russia-diplomats-to-meet-on-belarus-border-as-troops-draw-closer-to-kyiv/) In a dramatic escalation of East-West tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces put on high alert Sunday in response to what he called “aggressive statements” by leading NATO powers. Speaking at a meeting with his top officials, Putin directed the Russian defense minister and the chief of the military’s General Staff to put the nuclear deterrent forces in a “special regime of combat duty.” “Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country,” Putin said in televised comments. The order means Putin has ordered Russia’s nuclear weapons prepared for increased readiness to launch, raising the threat that the tensions could boil over into nuclear warfare. In giving it, the Russian leader also cited hard-hitting financial sanctions imposed by the West against Russia, including Putin himself. The Russian leader this week threatened to retaliate harshly against any nations that intervened directly in the conflict in Ukraine, and he specifically raised the specter of his country’s status as a nuclear power.

Newsline: Iran’s ambassador to UK dismissed after hosting ‘un-Islamic’ party at embassy

Iran’s ambassador to the UK has been dismissed after hosting an “un-Islamic” party which featured a British singer and a female pianist who was not wearing a hijab. Mohsen Baharvand hosted the party at the country’s embassy in Kensington, west London, to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. After a video of the event emerged on social media, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, summoned Mr Baharvand back to Tehran. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/02/27/irans-ambassador-uk-dismissed-hosting-un-islamic-party-embassy/) The footage, posted on social media, shows the ambassador at a reception attended by Iranian and foreign guests.

Newsline: Lithuanian Women Appeal To Russian Mothers To Stop War

Several thousand woman protested at the Russian Embassy in the Lithuanian capital on Sunday, calling on Russian women to rise up and stop the war in Ukraine. “Today we send the message for the mothers of Russian soldiers. You can stop this war … If only you will go to the streets and say ‘we don’t want this war when we don’t want our children to die’,” march organiser Daiva Zeimyte said. Protester Ineta Miliniene added: “We want to ask Russian women – stop war. You can do this. You can do this because it is your children dying.” (https://www.ibtimes.com/it-your-children-dying-lithuanian-women-appeal-russian-mothers-stop-war-3416078) Demonstrations against the conflict have been held around the world, including in Russia, where more than 5,500 protesters have been detained since Thursday, the OVD-Info monitoring group said.

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Newsline: Ukraine, Russia diplomats to meet on Belarus border

The office of Ukraine’s president has confirmed that a delegation will meet with Russian officials as Moscow’s troops draw closer to Kyiv. (https://ktla.com/news/nationworld/ukraine-russia-diplomats-to-meet-on-belarus-border-as-troops-draw-closer-to-kyiv/) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy office said on the Telegram messaging app that the two sides would meet at an unspecified location on the Belarusian border and did not give a precise time for the meeting. The announcement on Sunday came hours after Russia announced that its delegation had flown to Belarus to await talks. Ukrainian officials initially rejected the move, saying any talks should take place elsewhere than Belarus, where Russia has placed a large contingent of troops.

Newsline: U.S. Ambassador to U.N. says Russia ‘will feel the pain’

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Sunday said the U.S. and the U.N. won’t stop ramping up sanctions and penalties against Russia until the country backs down from its attacks on Ukraine. “The Russians can be assured that we will continue to put more and more sanctions as they continue to press more on the Ukrainian government,” Thomas-Greenfield said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We will escalate as the Russians escalate. And that’s exactly what we have done,” she said. (https://news.yahoo.com/russia-feel-pain-thomas-greenfield-172151829.html) The ambassador’s comments come amid the fourth day of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, where fighting continues to escalate as the U.S. and its allies pile sanctions onto the Russian president and the country’s financial institutions. The penalties have been gradually added over the last few days rather than all levied at once on Thursday when the attacks started, a move that Thomas-Greenfield said has been intentional.

Newsline: Man launches paint at Russian embassy in London

Police have said a man launched paint at the Russian embassy in London as Ukrainian protests took place outside the building. Hundreds gathered outside the embassy in Kensington and at Downing Street to call for Vladimir Putin to withdraw from Ukraine. The embassy’s walls were covered in chalk-written messages, Ukrainian flags, eggs and fake blood. Even the building itself appeared to have egg stains and cracked shells on it. A man also rode past on a bike and threw paint at the wall at just after 3:30pm. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Inquiries are ongoing and no arrests have been made. (https://www.aol.com/man-launches-paint-russian-embassy-173611323.html) Protesters encouraged motorists to beep their horns in support, while a woman could be seen pressing the building’s intercom.

Newsline: Finland’s US ambassador responds to Russian threats over potential NATO membership

Finland’s ambassador to the U.S. boasted about his country’s strong military and said he didn’t see an “immediate threat” after a Russian official suggested military action if the Nordic nation were to join NATO. “We are not in a position that we will get scared because of one statement,” Ambassador Mikko Hautala told Fox News. “We have one of the best armies in Europe.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Finland and Sweden would “face some military and political consequences” if they joined. (https://www.foxnews.com/world/finland-ambassador-russia-threats-nato-membership) Hautala said Russia’s been threatening Finland over NATO for years.