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    President Joe Biden will announce 'Uniting for Ukraine' program to accept 100,000 refugees that starts on April 25th. He will also say that Ukrainians will be turned away at the border under Title 42 in four days  President Joe Biden on Thursday will announce a new program for Ukrainian refugees seeking asylum in the United States that will also end entry for those trying to come in via the southern border with Mexico. The 'Uniting for Ukraine' program is designed to handle the additional 100,000 Ukrainians the president pledged to accept from their war-torn country. Vladimir Putin's invasion has forced more than 10 million Ukrainians from their homes and four million have escaped to countries around Europe and the rest of the world. In March, U.S. border officials detained 5,000 Ukrainians trying to enter via land, sea and air. Applicants must have been a resident in Ukraine as of February, have a sponsor in the United States, and be vaccinated against covid. Biden announced in March, during his trip to NATO headquarters in Brussels, that the U.S. would extend the number...
    A GROWING band of Kremlin insiders fear their Russian leader will resort to nuclear weapons to defeat Ukraine and halt a palace coup, reports say. Some elite members in Moscow are also questioning President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of its neighbour and its economic and political impact. 4Some members of Moscow's elite fear Vladimir Putin is becoming increasingly paranoid and could use his nuclear arsenal to defeat Ukraine 4Russia's terrifying 2S7M Malka is capable of firing tactical nuclear weaponsCredit: Russian Ministry of Defence 4Crew members use a mechanical arm to load the massive shell into the chamber Putin’s critics are spread across senior positions in government and state-run business, according to Bloomberg who cited ten sources with direct knowledge of the situation. Putin’s opponents believe the war against Ukraine has been a terrible blunder and will set Russia back decades. The sources shared the concerns previously expressed by US intelligence officials that Putin could use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine. During an interview on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov didn’t give a direct answer to repeated questions on whether Russia might use...
    Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that it was time for the United States to talk about sending troops to Ukraine. Partial transcript as follows: MARGARET BRENNAN: In some public remarks this week, you said the country needs to talk about when it might be willing to send troops to Ukraine. You said if the answer is never, then we are inviting another level of escalation and brutality by Putin. Are you arguing that President Biden- COONS: Margaret- BRENNAN: -was wrong when he said he would not send troops to Ukraine? Are you asking him to set a red line? COONS: Margaret, I think those of us in Congress who have a critical role in setting foreign policy and in advising the president in terms of his decisions as commander in chief need to look clearly at the level of brutality. This is a moment of enormous challenge for all of us. And I deeply respect President Biden’s leadership in pulling together the West and imposing crushing sanctions on Russia. And in bringing to this...
    A Senate Democrat said that the U.S. needs to discuss sending American troops to Ukraine — arguing that Vladimir Putin “will only stop when we stop him.” Appearing on Face the Nation Sunday, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) was confronted by CBS’s Margaret Brennan about comments he made earlier in the week in which he argued the U.S. needs to figure out when it would be willing to send armed forces to Ukraine. “We are in a very dangerous moment where it is important that on a bipartisan and measured way we in Congress and the administration come to a common position about when we are willing to go the next step and to send not just arms but troops to the aid in defense of Ukraine,” Coons said. “If the answer is never then we are inviting another level of escalation in brutality by Putin.” Brennan asked Coons, “Are you arguing that President Biden was wrong when he said he would not send troops to Ukraine? Are you asking him to set a red line?” The senator praised Biden’s...
    Russia accused the Biden administration of 'adding fuel' to the conflict in Ukraine and warned there could be 'unpredictable consequences' if it continued to supply the most sensitive weapons to the war-torn nation, according to details of a diplomatic message published on Friday. It came after Washington stepped up its support to Ukrainian armed forces with an $800 million package that for the first time included 155 mm howitzer long-range artillery, as well as armored vehicles, and coastal defense drones.  The supply of weapons - particularly anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems - has been credited with thwarting Russian efforts to seize the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. A two-page diplomatic note or démarche, dated Tuesday, was sent to the State Department by the Russian Embassy in Washington. It was titled, 'On Russia's concerns in the context of massive supplies of weapons and military equipment to the Kyiv regime,' according to the Washington Post which obtained a copy of the note in Russian.  It accused the U.S. and N.A.T.O. allies of trying to force Ukraine to 'abandon' negotiations with Russia 'in order to continue the...
    Sweden is on the verge of applying for NATO membership after its Scandinavian neighbour Finland said it would open a debate on joining the security alliance.  Sweden's prime minister Magdalena Andersson is understood to be eager for the country to join the trans-Atlantic alliance by June, to the fury of Vladimir Putin who invaded Ukraine in part for its desire to join to the pact. The application is expected to be submitted by the NATO meeting in Madrid on June 29-20 despite Kremlin threats of 'destruction', Swedish reports say. Similarly, Finland is hoping to start its application process 'within weeks, not within months', with a decision expected soon on the country's security. A Finnish government report released today that examines the 'fundamentally changed' security environment will now make its way through parliament, followed by a debate next week, and is expected to form the basis of their decision.   Today, Andersson hosted her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in Stockholm for a meeting on their prospective memberships of the alliance. Marin said: 'There are different perspectives to apply (for) NATO membership or not to...
    Petr Fiala has powerful early memories of tanks. In August of 1968, the Soviet Army invaded Czechoslovakia and crushed an uprising against the Soviet Union’s dictatorial rule. More than 100 people died in the street while resisting the soldiers. Back then, Fiala was just 4 years old, but he can still recall his parents’ shock and distress, which lingered long after the Soviet soldiers had withdrawn to their nearby barracks. Now, Fiala is 57 and prime minister of the Czech Republic, which split peacefully from Slovakia in 1993. The Soviet invasion that went down in history as the “Prague Spring” has left Fiala extremely vigilant when it comes to Russia. This is why Fiala did not hesitate when the idea of going to war-torn Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came up at the European Union summit in Versailles. “I saw the Soviet tanks in the streets of Prague and I know very well what it did to my country for the next 20 years. I don’t want to see Russian tanks here or anywhere else in Europe again,”...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden and his fellow world leaders hope to finalize and unveil a package of new measures to punish Russia, help Ukraine and demonstrate Western unity at a string of emergency summits in Europe this week.But aside from a dramatic wartime show of resolve, few observers believe anything the leaders can agree upon will be enough to end the bloodshed in Ukraine or dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from continuing his attacks that are increasingly harming civilians.Since the prospect of the NATO leaders summit was first broached roughly two weeks ago, American and European officials have been discussing potential announcements for leaders to make at the conclusion of the gathering, according to several people familiar with the plans.That could include new rounds of sanctions on Russian oligarchs, additional measures restricting the country's finances and new steps to limit import of Russian energy products. Discussions are also underway on what measures can be unveiled to provide more support for Ukraine, including new shipments of military assistance or financial aid to bolster the country's defenses. And Biden has left open the...
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday on CNN’s “Situation Room” that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will end with an independent Ukraine and no Vladimir Putin. Blinken said, “I am confident of, first of all, there will be an independent Ukraine a lot longer than a Vladimir Putin. One way or the other, Ukraine will be there, and at some point, Putin won’t. The real question is how much death and destruction is brought by Russia’s aggression in the meantime. That’s what we are working as hard as we can to limit to stop to put an end to this war of choice that Russia is committing. We’re doing that through the support we are providing Ukraine every single day. We are doing that by the pressure we are exerting against Russia every single day. My hope is we can end this sooner rather than later so that death and destruction doesn’t continue. I can tell you how it will end, with an independent Ukraine and somehow without Vladimir Putin. Blitzer said, “So what is your message to Vladimir Putin?”...
    President Joe Biden will call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday to discuss the situation in the Ukraine as Russia closes in on Kyiv and peace talks break down in Turkey.    Biden's involvement comes as top diplomats from Russia and Ukraine failed to make progress during talks on Thursday, dashing hopes for a quick resolution to the invasion. President Erdogan had said on Wednesday that the meeting could 'crack the door open to a permanent cease-fire.' But both sides left with no ceasefire in place nor an agreement for safe passage for Ukrainian civilians caught in the war zone. Relations between Turkey and the United States have been strained the past few years over several issues, including Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems. Washington imposed sanctions on Ankara in December 2020 over the S-400s.  Biden and Erdogan met on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Rome in October, where the American president warned his counterpart that they must manage their relationship better. President Joe Biden will call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday to discuss the...
    For some European countries watching Russia's brutal war in Ukraine, there are fears that they could be next. Western officials say the most vulnerable could be those who aren't members of NATO or the European Union, and thus alone and unprotected - including Ukraine's neighbour Moldova and Russia's neighbour Georgia, both of them formerly part of the Soviet Union - along with the Balkan states of Bosnia and Kosovo. But analysts warn that even NATO members could be at risk, such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Russia's doorstep, as well as Montenegro, either from Moscow's direct military intervention or attempts at political destabilization. Russian President Vladimir Putin 'has said right from the start that this is not only about Ukraine,' said Michal Baranowski, director of the German Marshall Fund's Warsaw office. 'He told us what he wants to do when he was listing his demands, which included the change of the government in Kyiv, but he was also talking about the eastern flank of NATO and the rest of Eastern Europe,' Baranowski said. For some European countries watching Vladimir...
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday defended the Biden administration amid an onslaught of Republican accusations that the president's policies led to record-high energy prices.  United States gas prices reached a record-high nationwide average of $4.25 per gallon on Wednesday, rising eight cents the day after President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian energy imports.  Global oil and gas prices have skyrocketed since Vladimir Putin gave Moscow's forces the order to invade Ukraine on February 24.   During remarks at the White House on Tuesday, Biden commiserated with US drivers as he announced his Russian energy blockade. He admitted prices would rise further and vowed 'to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home.' But Republican lawmakers claim it's the president's clean energy policies that are to blame for cutting US fossil fuel production. 'Yes, oil is an international market, but the main reason Americans are paying so much is bad domestic policies. These aren’t Putin’s price hikes. They’re President Biden’s,' House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a press conference on Wednesday.' Psaki...
    Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's top aide pleaded for more support from the West to fend off Russia's attacks and warned that Vladimir Putin would 'go for blood beyond Ukraine' if its allies don't do more to stop him. 'This war could be a prologue to a greater European or even global massacre,' Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, wrote in a New York Times guest essay that he penned from a bunker in the capitol beside President Zelensky. He wrote as officials in Mariupol said a 'full-scale genocide' was underway after Putin's men unleashed a 15-hour artillery barrage, and a day after Russian strike targeted a TV tower in Kyiv and damaged the nearby Babi Yar Holocaust memorial. 'Not since the end of World War II has Europe seen violence and naked territorial ambition at such a scale,' Yermak wrote, begging Ukraine's Western allies to pay attention to the 'existential challenge' Putin 'poses to the world order.' Yermak said that Ukraine has precipitated the severity of his aggression since it began in 2014. 'That's because we know...
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels, Belgium on February 25, 2022.Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images LONDON — The U.S. and its allies have imposed a second barrage of sanctions against Russia after President Vladimir Putin launched an unprecedented invasion of Ukraine. Some analysts have questioned their effectiveness, however, and Kyiv has called for a stronger response. President Joe Biden on Thursday said the measures would impose a "severe cost" on Russia, Britain imposed its "largest-ever" sanctions package and the European Union agreed on new sanctions to punish "a deluded autocrat creating misery for millions." The coordinated move was designed to effectively cut off Russia's largest banks and companies from western financial markets, while also targeting the country's technology sector and penalizing those in Putin's inner circle. Notably, the measures stopped short of targeting the SWIFT international payments system as well as Russia's energy sector and some have questioned whether they will be able to successfully deter Putin.VIDEO1:1101:11Biden: SWIFT is an option but not a position we wish to take right nowThe ExchangeIndeed, Ukraine President...
    Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a joint press conference with German Chancellor O. Scholz (SPD) after several hours of one-on-one talks in the Kremlin. Scholz met the Russian president for talks on the situation on the Ukrainian-Russian border.Kay Nietfeld | picture alliance | Getty Images The world is waiting to see what happens next in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to move into breakaway regions of the eastern part of the country. In the course of a dramatic few hours on Monday evening, Putin said Russia would recognize the independence of two self-proclaimed and pro-Russian republics in eastern Ukraine, and then said he would send Russian troops to the region on a "peacekeeping" mission. Many fear that the sending of troops into the so-called Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic — areas in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine that have been backed by Russia — is a precursor to a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The West has condemned Putin's latest move on Russia's neighbor with the U.S., EU and U.K. all expected to...
    President Joe Biden confirmed on Monday that there will be no Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invades the Ukraine although he did not detail how that would be accomplished. Biden made his remarks in a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Germany would be one of the biggest benefiters of the pipeline. The country relies on 50% of its natural gas supply from Russia.   'If Russia invades - that means tanks and troops crossing the border of Ukraine again - then there will no longer be Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it,' Biden said. But when pressed as to how that would happen - the pipeline stretches 764 miles from Russia across the Baltic states and into Germany - Biden declined to give details.  'I promise you we'll be able to do it,' the president said.  Scholz was more measured in his response, declining to say the pipeline's name and only noting the two countries would 'work together.'   'We're acting together,' the German chancellor said. 'We're absolutely united and we will not take different steps. We will...
    Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that if Russian President Vladimir Putin were allowed to invade Ukraine, he would not stop there. Menendez told CNN anchor Dana Bash, “Listen, this is beyond Ukraine, although certainly we dramatically support Ukraine. We cannot have a Munich moment again. Putin will not stop with Ukraine if he believes that the West will not respond. We saw what he did in 2008 in Georgia. We saw what he did in 2014 and pursued Crimea. He will not stop. So at the end of the day, this is about defending Ukraine, but also about sending a message, you can’t by force change the boundaries of a country, you can’t by force tell them they cannot look westward.” Senator James Risch (R-ID), also a guest on the program, backed Menendez’s statement. “There’s no question about that. If it wasn’t for NATO, the Baltic countries would be gone already, and there would be worse problems on the other side. Bob is absolutely right in that. This isn’t a place where there’s...
    Any economic sanctions NATO imposes against Russia will have minimal impact since China would provide relief in an effort to embarrass the U.S., a former defense official told Fox News Digital.  Diplomatic discussions stalled this week after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken provided a handwritten response to Russian demands. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that the response offered "little ground for optimism" but acknowledged "prospects for continuing dialogue."  The U.S. has threatened to hit Russia with sanctions – both on the state itself and against individuals, including President Vladimir Putin – should it proceed to invade Ukraine.  Robert Wilkie, the secretary of Veterans Affairs, holds a briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. November 8, 2019.  But Robert L. Wilkie, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness during the Trump administration, said that any such economic punishments would not provide the kind of impact American officials believe it will due to Russia's strong bond with China.  "A lot of the talk about economic sanctions is really a pie in the sky because China is now Russia’s...
    MUMS and grandads pledged to fight Vladmir Putin’s army to the death today - as they trained for war in Ukraine holding wooden rifles. Volunteers in tracksuits were put through their paces as a key Putin ally boasted the feared invasion will be over "in 48 hours". 9This grandad is one of 600 new recruits in Ukraine's Self Defence Force volunteer armyCredit: AP 9Mums and dads from all walks of life are training with wooden gunsCredit: AP 9Recruits will get real weapons later, ready to bolster defences against a Russian invasionCredit: AP In an inspirational show of grit, hundreds of ordinary folk assembled for military drills in snow-covered abandoned railways sidings outside the capital Kiev. The Self Defence Force recruits cut a touching Dad’s Army dash as their rag-tag ranks lined up in an assortment of winter coats and sportswear. Commanders vowed they would be fully armed within weeks and ready to help face down the Russian troops and heavy armour surrounding their nation. The ranks of the partisan-style force have now swelled to around 600 in Kiev with dozens...
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