US advises citizens against travel to Russia amid tensions on Ukraine border
The United States has warned its citizens against travelling to Russia in the wake of tensions on the border with Ukraine. Russia has amassed 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border, a move which the US-led countries say is a prelude to war.
"Do not travel to Russia due to ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine," a statement from the US State Department said, adding that Americans could also face "harassment" and that the embassy would have "limited ability to assist US citizens."
The families of American diplomats in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv have been ordered to leave the country “due to the continued threat of a Russian invasion”.
Along with troops, Russia has also deployed tanks, fighting vehicles, artillery and missiles on its border with Ukraine.
Intense diplomatic efforts have been launched to convince Russia to tone down its aggressive posturing but they have yielded little results.
The Kremlin has so far denied any intentions to invade its neighbour - but is making de-escalation conditional on treaties guaranteeing non-expansion of Natos, especially to Ukraine, and a withdrawal of the alliance from Eastern Europe.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken dismissed the idea of slapping punitive sanctions on Moscow before any potential invasion, saying they should be used as a means of "dissuading" an attack.
However, British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab warned Russia of “severe consequences” if it tries to invade Ukraine or install a puppet regime there.
The minister made the accusation while speaking to Sky News on Saturday, also saying that Russian intelligence officers had been in contact with a number of former Ukrainian politicians as part of plans for an invasion.
The New York Times said that US President Joe Biden was mulling plans to send 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, with the possibility of increasing the number should tensions flare further.
The United States has described the alleged plotting over Ukraine as deeply concerning, and US officials said they were bracing for Russian action.
New Delhi: Japan plans to allow the exports of lethal military equipment, including missiles and jets, to India and 11 other countries, a move that could bolster efforts by New Delhi and Tokyo to cooperate in defence manufacturing. Regulations will be eased by March next year to allow the exports to India, Australia and some European and Southeast Asian nations, according to a report by Nikkei. It still bans exports of lethal weapons.
The World Health Organisation says nearly 200 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 20 countries not usually known to have outbreaks of the unusual disease, but described the epidemic as “containable” and proposed creating a stockpile to equitably share the limited vaccines and drugs available worldwide.
The Al Jazeera news network says it will submit a case file to the International Criminal Court on the killing of reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead earlier this month during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank. The Qatar-based network and the Palestinian Authority have accused Israeli soldiers of deliberately killing her. Israel rejects those allegations as a “blatant lie."
China on Friday accused US Secretary of State Antony Blinken of “smearing” the country and exaggerating the “China threat” after the top American diplomat said Beijing was undermining global order, adding that US sees it as a “long-term challenge”. During a globally-tracked 45-minute China policy speech at George Washington University on Thursday, Blinken said the US was determined to avoid conflict or “a new Cold War” but wanted Beijing to adhere to international rules.
Speaking for the first time on the horrific Texas elementary school shootout, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed, Adriana Reyes, the mother of the accused, Salvador Ramos, said she had an 'uneasy feeling' sometimes. Reyes also said her son, when angry, used to be aggressive, but was 'not a monster.' “Those kids…I have no words. I don't know what to say about those poor kids,” she further said.