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On Tuesday morning, the Russian Defense Ministry warned about carrying out urban military actions and asked Ukrainian citizens to leave Kiev.
On Feb. 25, President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of a special military operation to protect the Russian-speaking population of the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Below are the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine conflict as they unfold.
Ukrainian FM Urges Poland, France, Germany to Provide More Weapons, Aid. On Tuesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Poland, France and Germany to increase sanctions pressure on Russia and provide more weapons and financial support to Ukraine.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kuleba said via an online briefing that Ukraine is working with its partners towards various solutions to close the airspace over the country.
NATO foreign ministers will discuss the Ukraine issue on Friday. Brussels will be the venue for an extraordinary meeting of the NATO foreign affairs ministers. This meeting will will be held in person at the Alliance headquarters, the NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said.
He mentioned that NATO is deploying its Response Force for the first time in the context of its "collective defense." As part of this deployment, French troops are already arriving in Romania.
Russian regulator demands lifting restrictions on RT and Sputnik on social networks. The Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor demanded that Facebook and Instagram lift the sanctions imposed on Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik. The Russian authorities explained that these companies violate the principle of the free dissemination of information.
"Through their actions, U.S. technology companies deliberately restrict free access to Russian information for citizens of the world and seek to form a one-sided image among users about the special operation carried out by the Russian Army," Roskomnadzor pointed out.
Previously, the European Commission (EC) on Monday vetoed the broadcasts of the RT and Sputnik platforms, arguing that they are part of "Russia's war machine".
Venezuela supports Russian actions in Ukraine. During a telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin, the Bolivarian President Nicolas Maduro expressed "strong support for Russia's decisive actions, condemned the destabilizing activity of the United States and NATO, and emphasized the importance of countering the campaign of lies and disinformation launched by Western countries," as reported by the Kremlin.
Kiev television tower is disabled. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry admitted that the Kiev TV tower is not operational due to a Russian attack. TV broadcasts will not be able to take place "for a while," it said.
Previously, the Russian Defense Ministry warned about carrying out urban war actions and asked citizens to leave Kiev.
The U.S. questions Russia's presence in the Human Rights Council. On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested that Russia be removed from the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is currently made up of 47 countries that remain as its members for periods of three years.
He also called on the Council to reject Russian arguments that the special military operation was motivated to protect the Russian-speaking community from being attacked and humiliated.
Although the majority of social media is swamped with images from Ukraine, in Donbass the killing continues (as it has done for 8 years). Reports are coming in now that two people have been killed by Ukrainian forces near Shakhtyorskaya Square in Donetsk. #Donbasspic.twitter.com/HE0yeSSijI
China welcomes Ukraine-Russia negotiations. OnTuesday, Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson said China has always supported and encouraged all diplomatic efforts that are conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis, and welcomes the launch of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine
"We have noted that the two sides have agreed to hold a new round of negotiations in the near future," Wang said, adding that China hopes the two sides will seek a political solution that accommodates reasonable security concerns of both sides, serves common security of Europe and is conducive to lasting peace and stability in Europe.
Second Round of Russia-Ukraine Talks Could Happen Wednesday. The TASS news agency reported that the second round of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine could take place on Wednesday. The first round of the negotiations, which lasted about five hours, concluded on Monday in Belarus' Gomel region, with no clear breakthrough.
"Most importantly, we agreed to continue the negotiation process. The next meeting will be held in the coming days on the Polish-Belarusian border," Vladimir Medinsky, head of the Russian delegation, said after the first round.
Lavrov assures that the Russian objective is to "denazify Ukraine". On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov assured that the goal of the Russian special military operation launched in Ukraine on Feb. 25 is to "demilitarize and denazify Ukraine."
The Russian operation "is particularly relevant now that Ukraine is being drawn into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and is receiving weapons," he said through a video that was boycotted by Western diplomats, who left the United Nations Human Rights Council room during Lavrov's intervention. Nevertheless, the Russian diplomat stressed that "the neo-Nazis took power in 2014 and this occupation must stop."
Stoltenberg reiterates that NATO will not send troops to Ukraine. The NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said that his organization “is not going to be part of the conflict. NATO is not going to send troops to Ukraine or move planes into Ukrainian airspace." Simultaneosuly, however, he confirmed that NATO will offer all necessary military support.
China has announced that it opposes Western sanctions against Russia, arguing that they will create new problems, rather than solve existing issues, in light of the Ukrainian conflict.
Switzerland to follow EU packages of sanctions against Russia. On Monday, the Swiss Federal Council decided to adopt the packages of sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) against Russia, including freezing the assets of a number of Russian individuals and companies.
The financial sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are also to be implemented with immediate effect. The Council also decided to impose entry bans against a number of individuals "who have a connection to Switzerland and are close to the Russian president."
In line with airspace closures in other European countries, Swiss airspace will be closed to all flights from Russia and to all movements of aircraft with Russian markings from 3 p.m. on Monday, except for flights for humanitarian, medical or diplomatic purposes.
The Chinese embassy in Moscow denounced that more than 80 percent of the armed conflicts registered since the middle of the last century to the beginning of the present century were started by United States #China#US#Russiapic.twitter.com/sSkUn6Jxrp