Now, the United States and its allies are expected to take their proposal to condemn Russia to the United Nations General Assembly.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized "a special military operation" in Donbass. Below are the most recent developments in this conflict.
Canadian calls for Russia's removal from SWIFT payment system. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new round of sanctions on Russia, calling for Russia's removal from the SWIFT payment system, which is used for most international financial transactions.
Trudeau said that his country will join some other nations to impose sanctions directly on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle of advisers. The sanctions will also extend to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Putin's chief of staff.
The US proposal was not approved by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The draft resolution to condemn Russia proposed by the United States and allies was not approved by the UN Security Council at its meeting on Friday afternoon.
The resolution obtained 11 votes in favor and the abstentions of China, India and the United Arab Emirates. As a member of the Council, Russia also vetoed the project.
Once the failure of the resolution in the Security Council was confirmed, the U.S. and its allies are expected to take their proposal to condemn Russia to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), where 193 countries take part in the discussions.
Since there is no right of veto there, it is expected that the resolution will go ahead without problems. However, the UNGA resolutions are not binding.
Russia Warns That Ukraine Refuses to Negotiate. Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced that the Ukrainian authorities proposed to Russia to talk on Saturday about possible negotiations between the parties. However, they did not want to move forward on that matter on Friday.
"The Ukrainian side refused to negotiate today. The representatives of the Kiev regime proposed to address this issue tomorrow," she said.
Earlier, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Ukraine is avoiding sitting at the negotiating table after Moscow accepted Kiev's proposal and suggested Minsk, the Belarusian capital, as the venue for the talks. Ukraine proposed Warsaw as an alternative place for dialogue. After making this proposal, however, the Ukrainians "paused" and "broke off" communication.
"Unfortunately, that pause is accompanied by the deployment of multiple launch systems in residential neighborhoods, including in Kiev," the Kremlin spokesperson said, commenting that this situation is "extremely dangerous."
The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky previously declared he was willing to discuss his country's neutrality in exchange for some guarantees for Ukraine.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced defensive deployments. It will commit its forces to "protect and defend" the eastern part of the Alliance. "We will make all necessary deployments to ensure strong and credible defense and deterrence across the Alliance, now and in the future," NATO stated.
Through his twitter account, the Ukrainian President said: "Strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance and an anti-war coalition have just been discussed with the U.S. President Joe Biden. Thank you United States for your strong support."
President Xi Jinping assured Putin that China respects the Russian actions in the Ukrainian crisis. The Chinese president's statements occurred during a telephone conversation that had a "constructive and friendly" character and showed the coincidence of positions of the two countries regarding the main issues on the international agenda.
"The Russian president informed the Chinese president in detail about the reasons for his decision to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and to carry out a special military operation aimed at protecting the civilian population from genocide and ensuring the demilitarization and denazification of the Ukrainian state," the Kremlin said.
Xi pointed out that recent dramatic changes in the Ukraine situation have drawn great attention from the international community, adding that China decides on its position based on the merits of the Ukrainian issue itself.
He called on dropping the Cold War mentality, attaching importance and respecting the legitimate security concerns of various countries and forming a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiation.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that sanctions imposed by the #West on #Russia may have an impact on the global economy due to increasing inflation caused by rising oil and grain prices. #Ukraine #NATO pic.twitter.com/6HJaQLe4ts— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) February 25, 2022
People fleeing amid escalating Ukraine-Russia conflicts. Kiev has plunged into chaos after Russian forces launched a military operation against Ukraine. Many left Kiev to seek shelter in western Ukraine, building up kilometers-long traffic jams.
"We were not able to leave, there were terrible traffic jams... We saw people walking from Kiev just along the highway, with children, animals, suitcases. Today we will sleep in the dressing room, there are no windows there," 28-year-old Iryna said.
Oksana, a 40-year-old manager, said she was hiding in an underground parking area after an air defense alarm in Kiev. "I keep my bag at the door, I'm afraid that the attack on the city will continue," she said adding that explosions were heard near her home the whole day.
Russia will send delegation to Minsk for talks with Ukraine. President Putin is ready to send a Russian delegation to Minsk for negotiations with Ukraine at the level of representatives of the Defense Ministry, the foreign ministry and the presidential administration.
��#Zakharova: For 8 years, we have tried to encourage the authorities in Kiev to stop the punitive operation against its own people and settle the conflict in #Donbass by peaceful, political and diplomatic means.— MFA Russia ���� (@mfa_russia) February 25, 2022
☝️Unfortunately, they simply ignored us. pic.twitter.com/A7GCwN37dO
Ukraine's senior defense official says Russian troops moving toward Kiev. On Friday, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar aknowledged that Russian troops were fast heading toward the center of Kiev, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for negotiations with Russia over ending the military operation.
"The Russian military seized two vehicles of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, changed into the uniform of the Ukrainian military and are moving at high speed towards the center of Kiev," Maliar's posted on Facebook.
In a video message on Friday, Zelensky urged Russia to stop its military operation in his country and negotiate with Ukraine over how to end the conflict.
"Did yesterday's sanctions convince Russia? We hear in our sky and see on our earth that this is not enough," he added, referring to the additional sanctions against Russia announced by the United States and its allies.
Putin says Russia ready to hold high-level negotiations with Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin said that his country is ready to hold high-level negotiations with the Ukrainian side.
Putin made the remarks during a phone conversation with President Xi Jinping, who pointed out that China supports the Russian side in solving the issue through negotiation.
Russian Armed Forces have disabled 118 military infrastructure facilities in Ukraine. Eleven military airfields, 13 command posts and communication centers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 14 S-300 and Osa anti-aircraft missile systems, and 36 radar stations were among the facilities put out of order, the ministry's Zvezda broadcaster reported, citing Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has instructed Russia's armed forces to "treat Ukrainian troops with respect" and create safety corridors for those servicemen who "have laid down their arms."
On Thursday, 137 Ukrainian soldiers and another 316 injured on the first day of the Russian operation. A total of 11 airfields, three command posts, a Ukrainian naval base, and 18 radar stations of the S-300 and Buk-M1 air defense missile systems were destroyed.
-- U.S. President Joe Biden announced additional sanctions against Russia and the deployment of more troops to Europe as conflicts in Ukraine continue to evolve.
-- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin has expressed his preparedness to engage in discussions with his Ukrainian counterpart with a focus on obtaining a guarantee of neutral status and the promise of no weapons on the Ukrainian territory.
-- Ukraine severed diplomatic relations with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law in the country following Russia's military operation.
#Ukraine | The People's Militia of the LPR publishes images of how soldiers of the 57th brigade of the Ukrainian army lay down their weapons. After the end of hostilities, they will be allowed to return home, they said in the LPR. pic.twitter.com/nXOGuAsisz— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) February 24, 2022