As of 7.31 on February 20.
Given the sharp escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, US Congressman Jim Banks called on Germany to immediately shut down the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline and supply weapons to Ukraine. “Germany’s surrender to Russia over Nord Stream 2 and other issues is what the rest of the world, especially Americans, is worried about,” a Republican opposition spokesman in the US House of Representatives told the German news agency dpa in on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. “At the moment, Germany can do much more to put pressure on Putin. America is watching this closely. ”
Many Americans doubted Germany’s reliability, Banks said. He specifically demanded that Germany supply Ukraine with weapons, as demanded by the authorities in Kyiv. The United States has been supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine for several years. Germany categorically excludes this. Banks also accused the German federal government of blocking the export of nine artillery systems from GDR reserves to Ukraine.
The German federal government considers the shutdown of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline as possible sanctions in the event of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Given the current situation, Banks demands an immediate halt to the project. He said that “skepticism about Germany’s restraint is growing in the United States.” The Republican politician is a member of the American delegation to the security conference in Munich. Germany could play a much bigger role in preventing a catastrophe in Ukraine. The American politician asks the question, “for what reason does Germany refuse to do this?”
New attacks in eastern Ukraine. International Red Cross “very concerned”
7:30. New shelling took place in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine on Sunday night. Militants in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts said in the morning that villages had been shelled several times since midnight. In the morning, the Ukrainian army also listed several violations of the current ceasefire. Relevant data cannot be verified by independent observers. Nothing has been known about the victims so far. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have already reported two soldiers killed on Saturday.
According to international observers, the number of violations of the silence regime is growing significantly. According to the report of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), on the night of Sunday, February 20, this year. 975 violations were registered in Luhansk region, including 860 explosions. The number is based on testimony from Friday, February 18, this year.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also said that at least two pumping stations in the Donetsk region had failed over the past few days. They provided drinking water to more than a million people. The head of the ICRC delegation to Ukraine, Florence Gillette, said that “we are very concerned about developments in eastern Ukraine.” She called for the protection of the population during the fighting.
NATO chief: Putin is planning a “full-scale attack” on Ukraine
19.02, Saturday, 21.38
NATO expects a full-scale Russian military attack on neighboring Ukraine. “All indications are that Russia is planning a full-scale attack on Ukraine,” Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Saturday night on ARD’s Tagesthemen.
Stolteberg, a Swedish citizen who is currently a guest at the Munich Security Conference, said he was in favor of continuing the military deployment. “Troops are not being withdrawn, as Russia reports, but new ones are being added.” There are also signs that Russia is preparing to create a pretext for an attack.
Despite the threat of escalation, Stoltenberg still hopes for a political solution to the conflict. He said that “we want to force Russia to change course and sit down with us at the negotiating table.”
At the request of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to be more honest about his country’s membership in NATO, Stoltenberg replied: “We are helping Ukraine to strengthen its defense capabilities. We offer training, equipment and help find Euro-Atlantic integration. ”
NATO membership is possible, but only as a result of a decision by 30 NATO member countries. At present, we are talking less about Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance, and more about “whether we recognize that such a powerful power as Russia is trying to use force to dictate to another state what it can and cannot do.”
The OSCE reports more than 1,500 violations of the silence regime in eastern Ukraine
21:21: The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observer mission has recorded more than 1,500 ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine over the past 24 hours. There were 591 military incidents in the Donetsk region on Friday, the OSCE said on Saturday. 975 violations were recorded in the neighboring Luhansk region. These are the highest figures since the beginning of the year.
In the midst of the deteriorating situation due to the mass deployment of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, violence is now intensifying in areas in the east of the country, for which fighting has been going on since 2014. On Saturday, Kyiv announced the deaths of two Ukrainian servicemen during separatist shelling. During a visit to the front by the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Denys Monastyrsky, shelling broke out, AFP correspondents report.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reflects on motives for Putin’s actions in the conflict over Ukraine
20.16. Given the deployment of more than 100,000 Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has expressed a lack of understanding of Putin’s motives. Blinken told the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung that he had accelerated all the processes that Putin may have wanted to slow down.
In particular, at least half of Ukrainians have already turned away from Russia and are in favor of joining NATO. And the result of “Russia’s aggressive actions” was the strengthening of NATO. “Actually, he wanted to prevent that, but now he’s on that path,” Blinken said.
Blinken strongly warned Moscow against invading Ukraine and said that in this case there would be “many severe sanctions” against Russia. At the same time, he renewed his proposal for negotiations. If Russia does not launch an invasion, he will have a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Europe on Wednesday, February 23. However, he is guided by the fact that Putin has already made his decision to start a war.
Ukraine reports the death of its soldiers in hostilities in the east.
17.04. February 19. Another Ukrainian serviceman was killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine on Saturday. On Saturday afternoon, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that “as a result of the shelling, two Ukrainian soldiers were fatally wounded.” The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced that one of the fighters died as a result of injuries after the shelling. Four more soldiers were wounded.
We are talking about the first Ukrainian soldiers killed in more than a month of fighting. According to the latest OSCE data, there has been a significant increase in shelling along the front line in eastern Ukraine recently. Russia’s armed forces and Russian-backed separatists have blamed each other for violating the terms of the silence.
During the crisis around Ukraine, Putin carried out test launches of nuclear missiles
16:10. February 19. Amid serious tensions with the West, Russia’s nuclear forces have conducted exercises using ballistic missiles. Referring to Interfax in Moscow, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that President Vladimir Putin had ordered the start of training on Saturday from the Kremlin. The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko was present. As early as Friday, he arrived in the Russian capital for talks. Politicians were seen at a large table in state media photos.
Russia’s Defense Ministry announced military exercises on Friday. According to their plan, they were planned in advance. The purpose of the exercise was to test strategic nuclear weapons for their reliability. The military, according to Kremlin reports, launched ballistic and cruise missiles. In addition, dagger-type hypersonic missiles have been successfully tested.
Russia tests missiles several times a year. This country, along with the United States, is by far the largest nuclear power in the world. According to the Kremlin, the exercises were conducted at a test site in the Astrakhan region in the south, other tests were conducted on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Far East. In addition, warships of the Black Sea and Northern Fleets were involved in the exercises.
A Kremlin spokesman, Peskov, said on Friday that Putin would monitor the exercise from the command post. In addition, there were doubts that Putin, who is 69 years old, will fly to study at all. The exercises were held in parallel with the Munich Security Conference.
Lufthansa suspends flights to Kyiv
15.37. February 19. German airline Lufthansa has previously suspended all flights to and from Kiev. On Saturday, February 19, this year the airline warned that from Monday, February 21, this year it does not intend to fly to the capital of Ukraine. The cancellation of flights will be valid at least until next Monday, February 28, this year.
On Saturday and Sunday (February 19-20 this year) only individual passengers were given the opportunity to fly. Passengers who were injured, according to an unnamed spokesman, were informed and re-registered on alternative airlines. According to Lufthansa, flights to Lviv in western Ukraine are on schedule.
“Lufthansa continues to closely monitor the situation and is in close contact with national and international authorities,” a company spokesman said.
The German federal government has previously called on Germans in Ukraine to leave the country immediately.