Ukrainian President to Speak at Munich Security Conference Amid Mounting Fears of New Russian Offensive
As tensions escalate between Russia and Ukraine, the Munich Security Conference opens on Friday, with Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelenskiy as the opening speaker. This comes amidst urgent calls from the west to increase ammunition production and supplies to Kyiv, as fears of a new Russian offensive grow.
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy is set to be the opening speaker at the Munich Security Conference, a three-day event that will be attended by over 100 world leaders and diplomats, including US Vice President Kamala Harris. The conference is expected to be a crucial test of the west's resolve to fight out a grinding, prolonged, expensive war in the face of mounting fears that Russia is planning a new offensive.
Negotiations to Extend UN-Backed Initiative to Export Grain from Blockaded Ports
Negotiations will start next week to extend a UN-backed initiative that has allowed Ukraine to export grain from ports blockaded by Russia following its invasion. Yuriy Vaskov, a senior Ukrainian official, expressed confidence that “common sense will prevail and the corridor will be extended.”
Energy Grid Working Without Consumption Restrictions Across Ukraine
According to Ukraine's state broadcaster, Suspilne, the energy grid is working without consumption restrictions across the country except in Odesa, where “due to damaged infrastructure, there are still restrictions” and “power outage schedules are applied.”
Finland to Vote on Joining NATO
Finland’s parliament is set to vote on 28 February to approve the necessary legislation that will eventually enable the country to become a member of NATO. The head of the Finnish parliament's foreign affairs committee said the move would deepen Finland’s cooperation with the West.
US Accused of Inciting Ukraine to Strike Directly at Russian Territory
Russia's foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has accused the US of inciting Ukraine to strike directly at Russian territory following comments made by US under secretary of state Victoria Nuland about Crimea. Nuland had said the US considers that Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, should be demilitarised at a minimum, and Washington supports Ukrainian attacks on military targets on the peninsula.
Exiled Moldovan Oligarch Allowed to Run Ads Calling for Protests Against Pro-Western Government
Facebook allowed exiled Moldovan oligarch Ilan Shor, who has ties to the Kremlin, to run ads calling for protests and uprisings against the pro-western government, despite his political party being on US sanctions lists.
War Crime Investigation Initiated Following Attack in Bakhmut
Russia fired Grad rockets and barrel artillery at a residential district in the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut on Thursday, killing three men and two women and wounding nine others. Ukraine's prosecutor general said the attack was being investigated as a war crime, and "criminal proceedings have been initiated."
Russia Fires 36 Missiles at Ukraine Overnight
Ukrainian officials have reported that Russia launched a total of 36 air- and sea-based cruise missiles, guided air-to-surface missiles, and anti-ship missiles at Ukraine overnight into Thursday. Ukrainian forces shot down at least 16 missiles, including eight Kalibr missiles fired from a ship in the Black Sea.
Zelenskiy Rules Out Giving Up Ukrainian Territory in Potential Peace Deal with Russia
In an interview with the BBC, Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy has ruled out giving up any Ukrainian territory in a potential peace deal with Russia, stating that conceding land would mean Russia could “keep coming back”. He added that a predicted spring offensive had already