LIVE UPDATES
Key developments

The second caravan of ships transporting grain from Ukraine arrived at the shores of Istanbul, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry on Saturday.

The first grain-laden cargo ship leaving the Ukrainian port under a UN-brokered deal anchors off Istanbul on the Black Sea on Tuesday, waiting to be inspected by the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) before it resumes the voyage to Lebanon.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the situation in Ukraine during a phone conversation.

Russia and Ukraine each signed a deal in Istanbul respectively with Türkiye and the United Nations to resume grain shipments to international markets via the Black Sea.

16:28 2022-02-26
Russia strikes Ukrainian military facilities with cruise missiles -- spokesman
Photo taken on Feb 25, 2022 shows an empty street in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. [Photo/Xinhua]

MOSCOW -- The Russian Armed Forces have struck Ukrainian military objects with air- and sea-based cruise missiles, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.

"During the night, the Russian Armed Forces carried out a long-range precision strike with air- and sea-based cruise missiles on Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities," Konashenkov said, according to a statement of the Russian Defense Ministry.

"I would like to emphasize once again that only military facilities are subject to attack, no damage is caused to residential and social infrastructure," he added.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin had authorized "a special military operation" in Donbass, and Ukraine confirmed that military installations across the country were under attack.

15:24 2022-02-26
UN chief pledges solution to Russia-Ukraine conflict, urges protection of civilians
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to the press at the UN headquarters in New York, Feb 25, 2022. Guterres said Friday that the world body will not give up on finding a solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, while calling on conflicting parties to better protect civilians. [Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS -- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that the world body will not give up on finding a solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, while calling on conflicting parties to better protect civilians.

Speaking to journalists after the Security Council meeting on Ukraine, the top UN official said that "we must never give up."

"We must give peace another chance. Soldiers need to return to their barracks. Leaders need to turn to the path of dialogue and peace," he said.

Despite growing operational challenges, he assured that the United Nations is expanding the delivery of life-saving assistance on both sides of the contact line.

"All concerned in this conflict must respect international humanitarian law and guarantee the safety and freedom of movement of UN staff and other humanitarians. Especially in a moment like this, it is important to remember that the UN ... is tens of thousands of women and men around the world," said Guterres.

15:12 2022-02-26
UN chief appoints Amin Awad of Sudan as UN crisis coordinator for Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS -- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Amin Awad of Sudan as assistant secretary-general to serve as UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine.

Guterres announced the appointment on Friday while meeting reporters at the UN headquarters in New York after the Security Council meeting on Ukraine concluded.

Awad has served in a range of senior roles with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which brought with him over 30 years of experience in the field of humanitarian affairs, strategic action, planning and development, according to a press note issued by the UN chief's office.

Awad's appointment came as Ukraine is faced with increasing humanitarian needs amid its growing tensions with Russia.

14:57 2022-02-26
Fighting takes place in Kyiv near military unit
People take shelter in a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

KYIV - Fighting occured on Saturday in Kyiv near the military unit of the 101st separate guard brigade of the General Staff of Ukraine, Sputnik cited local media as reporting.

Explosions were heard and fire was observed in the area, according to the video footage published by Ukrainian news agencies UNIAN and strana.ua.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a "special military operation," and Ukraine confirmed that military installations across the country were under attack.

13:59 2022-02-26
Russia seizes lots of Western weapons in Ukraine: Russian defense ministry
Russian military tanks and armored vehicles advance in Donetsk, Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022. [Photo/IC]

MOSCOW -- Russia's special military operation in Ukraine has seized a large quantity of weapons supplied by Western countries in recent months, said Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov on Friday.

The seized weapons include the US Javelin anti-tank missile systems and British NLAWs, the spokesman said.

"In total, the Russian Armed Forces disabled 211 facilities of the military infrastructure of Ukraine. Among them, 17 command posts and communication centers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 19 S-300 and Osa anti-aircraft missile systems, 39 radar stations. Six combat aircraft, one helicopter, five unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down," Konashenkov said.

13:46 2022-02-26
Russia continues to hit Ukraine targets, with Moscow-Kyiv talks expected
Photo taken on Dec 2, 2020 shows the Saint Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin in Moscow, capital of Russia. [Photo/Xinhua]

MOSCOW/KYIV -- Moscow continued to exert hefty pressure on Kyiv by striking more military targets in Ukraine, while the two sides have expressed intention to start direct dialogue.

The Russian armed forces have disabled 211 military infrastructure facilities in Ukraine since the operation began on early Thursday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday night, up from 118 facilities reported in his morning briefing.

During the fighting, a large number of weapons supplied by Western countries to Ukraine over the past few months have been seized, including the Javelin anti-tank missile systems from the United States, Konashenkov said.

The Russian forces have blockaded Kyiv after capturing the Gostomel airfield in a suburb of Kyiv, killing more than 200 members of Ukraine's special units.

Russia has also taken full control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and military units of the two sides there have reached agreement on the protection of the nuclear facilities and the sarcophagus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting with permanent members of the country's Security Council via video link on Friday, commending the performance of Russian soldiers and officers.

"The Russian army's main armed clashes are taking place not with regular Ukrainian armed forces' units but with nationalist groups," he said.

The president noted that Ukraine's nationalists are deploying heavy weapons, including multiple-rocket launchers, right in the central districts of large cities, including Kyiv and Kharkov.

Putin urged the Ukrainian military to "take power into your own hands."

Russia has no intention of occupying Ukraine and Moscow is ready to hold negotiations straight after the Ukrainian forces "lay down their arms," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a press conference on Friday.

Also on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a televised address that he wants to hold dialogue with Russia.

Putin agreed to send a Russian delegation to the Belarusian capital of Minsk for negotiations with Ukraine at the level of representatives of the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the presidential administration.

But Kyiv later suggested holding talks in Poland's Warsaw and then stopped responding, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Ukraine and Russia are currently discussing a date and a place of possible negotiations, as the sooner dialogue begins, the more chances there will be to resume normal life, Zelensky's press secretary Serhiy Nikiforov said on Friday night.

13:36 2022-02-26
UN gives $20m to scale up aid to Kyiv
The UN Security Council meets on Ukraine in New York, US on Feb 17, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS-The United Nations announced on Thursday it is immediately allocating $20 million to scale up UN humanitarian operations in Ukraine.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said the $20 million from the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund will support emergency operations along the contact line in eastern Donetsk and Luhansk and in other areas of the country, and will "help with healthcare, shelter, food, and water and sanitation to the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict".

David Beasley, executive director of the UN World Food Program, expressed deep concern at the potential impact of the conflict on access to food for civilians in conflict areas.

Missiles pounded the Ukrainian capital as Russian forces pressed their advance into Kyiv on Friday.

China has called for restraint and is encouraging every effort to find political and diplomatic solutions to the Ukraine crisis.

On Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China would continue to promote the political settlement of the crisis.

Noting the door of peaceful settlement of the conflict has not been completely shut, Wang said China hopes all parties stay calm and rational, act on the principles of the UN Charter and solve relevant problems through peaceful negotiations.

The spokesman said what Beijing did constitute a sharp contrast to Washington's behavior of creating a crisis and gaining interests from the crisis, adding that history would draw a fair conclusion in which move was more conducive to European long-term stability and security.

China's embassy in Ukraine has announced the organization of charter flights to evacuate Chinese nationals in Ukraine.

The embassy on Friday launched a process on its website to collect information of those wanting to leave, saying that the registration window would close on Sunday.

"The flight time will be confirmed according to the safety situation of the flights, and will be notified in advance," the embassy said in a statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron said after a summit of EU leaders on Friday that it was useful to keep alive the chance of dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Macron said that "while condemning, while sanctioning" it remained useful "to leave this path open so that the day when the conditions can be fulfilled, we can obtain a cessation of hostilities".

Zhao Jia in Beijing contributed to this story.

Agencies Via Xinhua

11:44 2022-02-26
Views of Kyiv amid Ukraine-Russia conflicts
People take shelter in a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

KYIV -- Xinhua reporter Lu Jinbo from Belarus drove all night long and arrived in Kyiv on Friday. Follow his camera and have a glimpse of the current situation in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine.

People get on a vehicle to leave the city in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
People take shelter in a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
Photo taken on Feb 25, 2022 shows an empty street in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. [Photo/Xinhua]
People take shelter in a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
People take a subway in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
People take shelter in a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
Photo taken on Feb 25, 2022 shows an interior view of a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. [Photo/Xinhua]
Cleaners are seen in a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
Photo taken on Feb 25, 2022 shows an exterior view of a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. [Photo/Xinhua]
Photo taken on Feb 25, 2022 shows a screen reading "Dear customers, we will soon resume the work" in a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. [Photo/Xinhua]
People take shelter in a subway station in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
08:07 2022-02-26
UN Security Council fails to adopt resolution on Ukraine
By MINLU ZHANG in New York
The UN Security Council meets on Ukraine in New York, US on Feb 17, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

The United Nations Security Council on Friday failed to adopt a draft resolution on Ukraine. The draft resolution, proposed by the United States and Albania, was vetoed by Russia, a permanent member of the UNSC. Any negative vote from the council's five permanent members means a failed resolution.

China, India and United Arab Emirates abstained in the voting. Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, reiterated China's position on the Ukraine crisis, and cautioned that any action by the Security Council should be truly conducive to defusing the Ukraine crisis.

"China always forms its own position according to the merits of the matter at hand. We believe that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states should be respected, and that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be jointly upheld," he said after the voting.

Zhang said China has always called on all parties to seek reasonable solutions to address each other's concerns through peaceful means on the basis of equality and mutual respect. "We welcome and encourage all efforts for a diplomatic solution, and support the Russian Federation and Ukraine in resolving the issue through negotiations," the envoy said.

Zhang said the very complex and sensitive situation calls for the Security Council to make a necessary response. "At the same time, such a response should also be made with extreme caution. Any action should be truly conducive to defusing the crisis, rather than adding fuel to fire," he said.

"If not properly handled, or blindly exerting pressure and imposing sanctions, it may only lead to more casualties, more property loss, more complicated and chaotic situations, and more difficulties in bridging differences," Zhang said.

"It may completely shut the door to a peaceful solution, and eventually it is the vast number of innocent people that will be the victims," Zhang said. He stressed that the world must draw profound lessons from the extremely painful experience in the past. "For this reason, China abstained in the voting just now," he said.

Zhang stressed that the issue of Ukraine is not something that only emerged today; nor did the current situation occur suddenly overnight. "It is a result of the interplay of various factors over a long period of time," he said.

"The legitimate security concerns of all countries should be respected," he said. Against the backdrop of five successive rounds of NATO's eastward expansion, Russia's legitimate security aspirations should be given attention to and properly addressed, Zhang continued.

Zhang said that Ukraine should "become a bridge between the East and the West, not an outpost for confrontation between major powers."

"We strongly call on all parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint, ease tensions, and avoid civilian casualties," he said.

"The final settlement of the Ukraine crisis still requires abandoning the Cold War mentality, giving full attention and respect to the legitimate security concerns of all countries, and conducting negotiations to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism," the ambassador said.

"We call on all parties to immediately come back to the track of diplomatic negotiations and political settlement, show sincerity and goodwill, make a political decision and engage in dialogue and consultation for a comprehensive settlement of the Ukraine issue," Zhang said.

07:53 2022-02-26
Ukraine shots down Russia's transport plane

KYIV - Ukraine shot down a Russian transport plane IL-76 near Vasylkiv town in Kyiv region, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a statement on Facebook.

07:25 2022-02-26
Kremlin is ready to send delegation for negotiations
By REN QI in Moscow
Photo taken on Dec 2, 2020 shows the Saint Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin in Moscow, capital of Russia. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Friday that Russian advance forces have entered the northern suburb of Kyiv and residents are remaining indoors.

The Ukrainian military later claimed it had wiped out all Russian ground forces in Kyiv after exchanging fire. The Russian military hasn't released any information on that encounter.

Media reported gunshots were heard in the areas near the government building.

The Kremlin said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to Belarus' capital Minsk for talks with Ukraine. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader was "ready" to send a high-level delegation to Minsk "for talks with a Ukrainian delegation". Minsk was the host city of previous peace talks and agreements.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said in a text statement to media that Ukraine wants peace and is ready for talks with Russia, including on Ukrainian neutral status regarding NATO.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later said he was ready to have talks on the issue.

Asked about Zelensky's offer, Peskov described it on Friday as "a move in a positive direction", but he added that he could not say anything about possible talks between the two countries' leaders.

Peskov said he could not comment on whether talks would take place between Putin and Zelensky.

Saying that Moscow would analyze Zelensky's offer, Peskov added that Moscow's expectations of Kyiv remained unchanged. Moscow has long demanded guarantees that Ukraine would never join NATO or allow the bloc to deploy troops and weapons on its territory.

On Friday, a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet was shot down over the capital. Photos from emergency services showed a two-story home on fire after fragments of an aircraft fell on it, although it was unclear whether they were from the Su-27 jet.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the country's airborne assault troops blew up a bridge over the Teteriv River at Ivankiv, about 50 kilometers north of Kyiv, in an effort to prevent a column of Russian forces from advancing toward the capital.

Russia's military said it has destroyed 118 Ukrainian military targets on the first day of its "special military operation" in Ukraine.

The Kremlin said on Friday that Russia will retaliate against new sanctions, as the West hit Moscow with a wave of economic penalties in answer to its military actions in Ukraine.

"It goes without saying that retaliatory measures will follow," Kremlin spokesman Peskov told reporters.

"Just how symmetrical or asymmetrical they will be depends on the analysis; the restrictions have yet to be analyzed," he added.

Russia was hit with painful new sanctions on Thursday that target its two largest banks. Their assets have been frozen and the banks will be cut off from US dollar transactions. Further, state energy giant Gazprom and other major companies will not be able to get financing in Western markets.

In addition, the Western allies imposed export controls on high-tech items aimed at crippling the Russia's defense and aerospace sector, and Washington targeted another group of Russian oligarchs.

Agencies via Xinhua contributed to this story.

06:52 2022-02-26
Xi talks with Putin about Ukraine issue
By CAO DESHENG

Chinese leader says security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously

President Xi Jinping said on Friday that China supports Russia and Ukraine in resolving their tensions through negotiations, reiterating Beijing's consistent position in respecting countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity and upholding the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

Xi made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin following the escalation of the Ukrainian issue on Thursday. Both leaders exchanged their views about the current Ukraine situation.

Xi said China decides its position based on the merits of the Ukrainian issue. It maintains that Cold War mentality should be completely abandoned, reasonable security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and respected, and a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism should be formed through dialogue and negotiation, he added.

Xi's remarks came after Putin briefed him on the historical evolution of the Ukrainian issue as well as the development of Russia's special military operation in the eastern region of Ukraine and Russia's position.

Putin said that the United States and NATO had been neglecting Russia's legitimate concerns about security issues, broke their commitments and continued to expand eastward with military deployments. Such moves have challenged Russia's strategic bottom line, he added.

The Russian president said his country is willing to develop high-level negotiations with Ukraine.

Xi said that the drastic changes in the situation of the eastern region of Ukraine have drawn a high level of attention from the international community.

China stands ready to work with the international community to promote a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and firmly safeguard the international system with the United Nations at the core and the international order underpinned by international law, he said.

Xi also expressed to Putin his appreciation that the Russian leader attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and he congratulated the Russian athletes on their outstanding performance in the Games by ranking second in the Games medal tally.

Putin expressed his warm congratulations to the Chinese people on Beijing's complete success in hosting the Games as well as the excellent performance of the Chinese sports delegation in the Games.

06:27 2022-02-26
Chinese FM elaborates China's basic position on Ukrainian issue
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday elaborated on China's basic position on the Ukraine issue.

Wang also had an in-depth exchange of views on the situation in Ukraine during his phone talks with British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell as well as Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic counselor to French President Emmanuel Macron, respectively.

On China's basic position on the Ukraine issue, Wang stressed the following five points.

Firstly, China firmly stands for respecting and safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and earnestly abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. China's position is consistent and clear, and it also applies to the Ukraine issue.

Secondly, China advocates the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, he said.

China believes that a country's security cannot come at the expense of harming others' security, and regional security cannot be guaranteed by reinforcing and even expanding military blocs. And all countries' reasonable security concerns should be respected.

Following the five consecutive rounds of eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Russia's legitimate demands on security should be taken seriously and solved in a proper way, Wang added.

Thirdly, China has been following the evolution of the Ukraine issue, and the present situation is something China does not want to see.

It is absolutely imperative that all parties exercise necessary restraint in order to prevent the situation in Ukraine from deteriorating or even getting out of control. The safety of ordinary people's lives and properties should be effectively safeguarded, and in particular, large-scale humanitarian crises have to be prevented.

Fourthly, the Chinese side supports and encourages all diplomatic efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. And China welcomes direct talks and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine as soon as possible.

The Ukraine issue has evolved in a complex historical context. Ukraine should be a bridge of communication between the East and the West, instead of the frontline of confrontations between major countries.

China also supports Europe and Russia in their efforts to hold dialogue on an equal footing over the European security issue, and eventually form a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism.

Fifthly, China believes that the UN Security Council should play a constructive role in resolving the Ukraine issue and that regional peace and stability as well as the security of all countries should be put first.

Actions taken by the Security Council should reduce the tension rather than add fuel to the flames, and should help advance the settlement of the issue through diplomatic means rather than further escalating the situation.

China is always opposed to wilfully citing the Chapter VII in Security Council resolutions to authorize the use of force and sanctions.

Wang said that China, as a permanent member of the Security Council as well as a responsible major country, China has always been faithfully fulfilling its international obligations and playing a constructive role in safeguarding world peace and stability.

When it comes to the peace and security issue, China is a major country with the best record, Wang said, adding that China has never invaded other countries, launched proxy wars, sought spheres of influence or engaged in any military bloc confrontation.

China adheres to the path of peace and development, and is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind, Wang said.

China will continue to firmly reject all hegemonies and strong powers, and firmly safeguard the legitimate and legal rights and interests of developing countries, especially small and medium-sized countries, he added.

22:17 2022-02-25
Putin ready to send delegation to Minsk for talks with Ukraine
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a joint news conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow, Russia, Feb 18, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir 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, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

22:00 2022-02-25
Russian airborne forces land near Kyiv

MOSCOW -- Russian airborne forces successfully conducted a landing operation at the Gostomel airfield outside Kyiv, blocking the Ukrainian capital city from the west, the Russian Defense Ministry said Frday.

21:56 2022-02-25
China to seek political settlement of Ukraine issue: FM spokesperson
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin [Photo/fmprc.gov.cn]

BEIJING -- China has always stood on the side of peace and justice and will continue to promote a political settlement of the Ukraine issue, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.

Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a news briefing in response to a relevant question.

China has always decided its own position and policy based on the merits of the matter itself, and has always stood on the side of peace and justice, Wang said.

China always believes that there is a complex historical background and context on the Ukraine issue, and the legitimate security concerns of all sides should be respected, Wang said, calling on parties concerned to completely abandon the Cold War mentality, seek a comprehensive solution through dialogue and negotiation, and finally form a balanced, effective and sustainable security mechanism in Europe.

He said for a period of time, China has been actively promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine issue and stressed all parties concerned should adhere to the general direction of political settlement, make full use of multilateral platforms, and seek a comprehensive solution to the Ukraine issue through dialogue and consultation.

In the future, China will continue to make its own efforts to promote a political settlement of the Ukraine issue, and China's approach is in sharp contrast to the US approach that aims to create a crisis and benefit from the crisis, Wang added.

"History will come to a just conclusion as to which approach is more conducive to the security and long-term stability of Europe," he said.

At present, the door to a peaceful solution to the Ukraine issue has not been completely closed, Wang said, adding that China hopes that parties concerned can remain calm and rational, and commit themselves to peacefully resolving relevant issues through negotiation in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter.

"China will continue to promote peace talks in its own way, and welcome all efforts to promote a diplomatic solution," the spokesperson said.

21:05 2022-02-25
Timeline: Development of Russia-Ukraine conflict
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attends a news briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb 24, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

KYIV -- The Russian Armed Forces have attacked multiple locations since Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized on Thursday morning "a special military operation" in Donbass.

Moscow expressed its willingness to talk with Kyiv with a focus on obtaining a guarantee of neutral status and non-deployment of offensive weapons in Ukraine. Here is a timeline of some major events related to the current crisis:

Feb 25, 2022

-- A total of 137 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another 316 injured on the first day of the conflict, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message on Thursday night.

Feb 24, 2022

-- US President Joe Biden announced on Thursday additional sanctions against Russia and the deployment of more troops to Europe as conflicts in Ukraine continue to evolve.

-- Advisor to head of the President's Office of Ukraine Mykhailo Podoliak said Russian forces seized Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

"After a fierce battle, our control over the Chernobyl site has been lost," Podoliak said.

-- The Russian Defense Ministry said that 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 among the facilities destroyed.

-- 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 non-deployment of offensive weapons in Ukraine.

-- Ukraine on Thursday severed diplomatic relations with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law in the country following Russia's military operation.

-- According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian Armed Forces are destroying "military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields, aviation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces" with high-precision weapons, not targeting Ukrainian cities.

-- Putin on Thursday authorized "a special military operation" in Donbass.

"Our plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories. We are not going to impose anything on anyone by force," Putin said in a televised speech to the nation, noting that Russia's move is in response to "fundamental threats" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which has expanded to eastern Europe and brought its military infrastructure closer to Russian borders.

-- According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian Armed Forces are destroying "military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields, aviation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces" with high-precision weapons, not targeting Ukrainian cities.

-- Ukraine on Thursday severed diplomatic relations with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law in the country following Russia's military operation.

Feb 21, 2022

-- The Russian Security Council held an extraordinary meeting, when the country's top officials supported the recognition of Lugansk and Donbass.

-- Putin signed two decrees recognizing Lugansk and Donbass as independent and sovereign states.

At a ceremony held in the Kremlin, Putin also inked the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between Russia and Lugansk and Donbass respectively.

-- Through a statement attributable to his spokesperson, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for "peaceful settlement" of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, in accordance with the Minsk Agreements, as endorsed by the Security Council in resolution 2202 (2015).

-- At the Security Council emergency meeting on Ukraine, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, called on all parties concerned to seek "reasonable solutions" to the Ukraine issue.

Feb 18, 2022

-- An explosion occurred close to "DPR government building." Local armed groups in eastern Ukraine ordered the evacuation of civilians to Russia, citing the danger of a possible military offensive.

Feb 17, 2022

-- The Ukrainian military claimed that local armed groups in eastern Ukraine launched shelling on the area controlled by government forces. Local armed groups in eastern Ukraine accused the Ukrainian government forces of first using heavy weapons to attack areas under their control. Tensions in eastern Ukraine continued to escalate.

Feb 2, 2022

-- The United States decided to deploy additional troops to Europe, including 1,000 troops to be repositioned to Romania and another 2,000 troops to be sent from the United States to Germany and Poland, in preparation for what it claimed to be an "imminent" Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Jan 26, 2022

-- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States has delivered a written letter to Russia addressing Moscow's concerns amid escalating tensions on Ukraine's border.

Jan 22, 2022

-- The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the first shipment of military aid from the United States arrived in Kyiv.

Jan 10-13, 2022

-- The latest round of talks aimed at defusing tensions between Russia and the West within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe ended without a breakthrough as both sides warned of potential escalation.

Dec 10, 2021

-- The Russian Foreign Ministry demanded "legal guarantees" that NATO wouldn't expand eastward.

Feb 7, 2019

-- The Ukrainian parliament passed a constitutional amendment stating Ukraine's commitment to joining NATO.

Feb 12, 2015

-- The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France announced a peace deal in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, which envisaged a ceasefire between Ukrainian government troops and local armed groups in eastern Ukraine.

Dec 23, 2014

-- The Ukrainian parliament renounced Ukraine's "non-aligned" status with the aim of deepening cooperation with NATO.

Sept 5, 2014

-- Then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and local armed groups in eastern Ukraine signed a ceasefire protocol in Minsk, where envoys from the two warring sides as well as Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe held talks for a possible political solution to the crisis.

April 2014

-- Unrest erupted in eastern Ukraine, where protesters seized government buildings, demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia.

February 2014

-- Amid rising protests, Ukraine's parliament voted to dismiss then President Viktor Yanukovych and set early elections.

November 2013

-- The Ukrainian government suspended the signing of partnership agreements with the European Union to avoid straining ties with Russia, triggering widespread protests, which soon snowballed into a violent nationwide movement against the authorities.

20:05 2022-02-25
Ukrainian president seeks talks with Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy makes a statement in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that he wants to hold negotiations with Russia over its military operation.

Zelensky made the remarks in a televised address, according to a statement published in the president's official website.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized "a special military operation" in Donbass, and Ukraine confirmed that military installations across the country were under attack.

At least 137 Ukrainians were killed and more than 300 injured in the military operation, Zelensky earlier said.

19:22 2022-02-25
Xi and Putin exchange views on Ukrainian situation
By CAO DESHENG

President Xi Jinping said on Friday that China supports Russia and Ukraine in resolving their tensions through negotiations, reiterating Beijing's consistent position in respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries and upholding the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

Xi made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Ukraine issue escalated on Thursday.

He said China decides its position based on the merits of the Ukrainian issue. It maintains that the Cold War mentality should be completely abandoned, countries' reasonable security concerns should be respected and a balanced, effective and sustained European security mechanism should be finally formed through dialogue and negotiation, Xi added.

For his part, Putin said that the Russian side is ready to hold high-level negotiations with the Ukrainian side.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

14:49 2022-02-25
UNGA president calls on Russia, Ukraine to settle disputes through dialogue

UNITED NATIONS - Abdulla Shahid, president of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on Thursday called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and peaceful means to settle disputes.

"I call for an immediate ceasefire, deescalation of tensions and a firm return to diplomacy and dialogue," said the UNGA president in a statement.

Underscoring that the UN Charter is based on the principle of sovereign equality, Shahid called on all member states to settle their international disputes by peaceful means.

"I renew my call to all member states to uphold their obligations under international law and international humanitarian law," said the UNGA president.

"The safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and its people is a priority and the need of the hour," he said.

Page 35 of 38
Most Read Stories
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349
FOLLOW US