Ukraine denies sending ‘saboteurs’ into Russia
- The Russian military said five people had been killed when the Ukrainian saboteurs were thwarted.
Russia’s military said on Monday Ukrainian military saboteurs had tried to enter Russian territory in armed vehicles, an accusation dismissed as “fake news” by Kiev amid Western accusations that Moscow could fabricate a pretext to invade.
The Russian military said five people had been killed when the Ukrainian saboteurs were thwarted. Ukraine and its Western allies have been saying for days that Moscow could manufacture a pretext to invade Ukraine with a huge force it has massed on the border.
Russia’s military said troops and border guards had prevented a “diversionary reconnaissance” group from breaching Russia’s border from Ukrainian territory near Rostov and that five people had been killed, Russian news agencies reported.
Interfax cited the Russian military as saying that Ukrainian armed vehicles had been destroyed.
Ukraine rejected the report, calling it fake news, and said no Ukrainian forces were present in the Rostov region where the incident was alleged to have taken place.
Satellite imagery released at the weekend appeared to show Russian deployments closer to Ukraine’s border than before.
Russia has tens of thousands of soldiers in Belarus - part of what Washington says is a force now numbering 169,000-190,000 troops in the region, including pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
After talks in Brussels with Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, British foreign minister Liz Truss said Western countries were preparing for a “worst-case scenario”. The airlines Lufthansa, KLM and Air France all cancelled flights to Kiev. But the European Union rebuffed a call from Kiev to impose some sanctions now to try to avert war before it started
Putin to recognise
rebel territories as independent: Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin will recognise the independence of eastern Ukraine’s separatist republics, the Kremlin said in a statement on Monday, adding that he had informed the French and German leaders of his decision.
“In the near future, the president plans to sign the order,” the Kremlin said. It added that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had “expressed disappointment” over the decision in phone calls with Putin.
Earlier, presiding over a long and carefully stage-managed meeting of his powerful Security Council, Putin listened to senior officials say it was time for Russia to recognise the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent.
“I have heard your opinions. The decision will be taken today,” the Russian leader said after the meeting, which aired on state television for more than 90 minutes.
Such recognition would put an end to an already shaky peace plan in the separatist conflict, which has rumbled on since 2014 after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine and has left more than 14,000 dead. Russia could now move in troops to protect hundreds of thousands of residents in the regions who have been granted Russian passports, justifying an intervention as a defence of its citizens.
Ukraine would either have to accept the loss of a huge chunk of territory, or face an armed conflict with its vastly more powerful neighbour.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday vowed to expand military cooperation with the country's allies, noting that Moscow is ready to offer them its most advanced weapons. Putin hailed the Russian military's action in Ukraine, which has triggered massive Western sanctions, and thanked Moscow's allies for their support. “We highly appreciate that we have many allies, partners and people who share our thinking on various continents,” he said.
The CEO is one of many people who have contracted Covid despite receiving full vaccination and boosting. The mutating coronavirus has continually found ways to at least partially evade immunity induced by shots and previous infections, although usually causing milder cases.
China has carried out fresh military drills near self-governed Taiwan in response to the ongoing visit of US lawmakers to the island as high tension, sparked earlier this month by the visit of US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to Taipei, continues in the Taiwan Strait. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and says official ties between the island and another country is a violation of the mainland's sovereignty.
Health authorities in the financial hub said that they imposed “temporary control measures” at the store, after they found out that a close contact of a 6-year-old boy with an asymptomatic Covid infection had been there. They didn’t say when the close contact was in the store.
Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to six more years in prison on Monday in a judgment that could further anger supporters of the 77-year-old Nobel peace prize laureate. It's the fourth round of criminal verdicts against Suu Kyi since the military seized power in a 2021 coup and brings her total jail term to 17 years, extinguishing any chance of her staging a political comeback while the junta remain in power.