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7 mins ago
Putin affirms that Russia must "continue to support and improve the preparation" of its nuclear weapons
By Lare Sebastian, Anna Chernova, Sugam Pokharel
Russia's President Vladimir Putin shares a drink with laureates following a state awards ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow on December 20, 2022. (Photo by VALERY SHARIFULIN/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia needs to "continue to support and improve the readiness" of its nuclear weapons.
"We have to continue supporting and improving the preparation of our nuclear units. It is the main guarantee of our sovereignty and territorial integrity. A strategic priority is the general balance of power in the world," he declared at a meeting of the board of directors of the Ministry of Russian defense held in Moscow.
In addition, he accused the main NATO countries of using their military potential against Russia.
"It is well known that today the military potential and opportunities of virtually all the major NATO countries are being used against Russia," he said in his speech.
His speech began just after the attendees observed a minute of silence for those who "gave their lives for the homeland."
In all Russian territories, including the newly annexed parts, the safety of citizens will be guaranteed, Putin said.
"The partial mobilization revealed certain problems, it is necessary to modernize the military registration system and enlistment offices," he added.
43 minutes ago
Zelensky was seen arriving in Poland by train as part of his trip to the US.
By Seb Shukla, Sugam Pokharel
A video from TVN, a CNN affiliate in Poland, captures the moment Zelensky arrives by train in Przemysl, near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
His faces have blurred in the fountain.
President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Poland by train as part of his trip to the United States on Wednesday.
A video from TVN, a CNN affiliate in Poland, captured the moment Zelensky arrived by train in Przemysl, near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
The date of the shot is December 21, but it does not give an indication of the time.
Zelensky is seen below in a white 4x4 vehicle waiting to leave in a convoy.
According to TVN, Zelensky then flew to the United States from Rzeszow (RZE) airport to Washington.
Zelensky was seen with the US ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Ann Brink.
Zelensky is scheduled to make a surprise visit to Washington on Wednesday, using his first trip outside his country since it was invaded 300 days ago, to mobilize his main international partner for sustained military and economic aid.
2 hours ago
Russian Foreign Minister accuses the European Union of not properly investigating the Nord Stream explosions
By Robert Idiols
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that it appeared no European country was going to properly investigate the series of explosions that ruptured the Nord Stream gas pipelines in September.
"Following the explosions in the Nord Stream — which, apparently, no one in the European Union is going to investigate objectively — Russia has interrupted the transportation of gas along the northern routes," Lavrov told the virtual summit of the Organization for Economic Cooperation of the Black Sea (BSEC).
Swedish and Danish authorities have been investigating the damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, which link Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea.
In November, the Swedish public prosecutor's office claimed that the explosions at the pipeline were caused by an act of sabotage after evidence of explosives was discovered at the sites, although it did not name possible culprits.
Created to funnel gas from Russia to the European Union, the pipelines have been flashpoints in a escalating energy war between European capitals and Moscow that has battered major Western economies, skyrocketed gas prices and sparked a search for energy supplies. alternatives since the invasion of Ukraine in February.
They were controversial long before Russia went to war against Ukraine because of the significant influence they gave Moscow over Europe.
But until this year, European countries have been reluctant to divest Russian power in the face of rising prices.
3 hours ago
Kremlin says Western countries 'aggravate conflict' as Zelensky travels to Washington
By Anna Chernova, Kevin Liptak
Security forces take action around the US Capitol ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's official visit to Washington on December 21.
(Photo: Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Moscow sees no possibility of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and that the fact that Western countries make new arms deliveries to Kyiv "leads to an aggravation of the conflict."
Asked by journalists about the Russian reaction to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Washington, Peskov said: "Arms deliveries continue, the range of supplied weapons is expanding. All this leads to an aggravation of the conflict and does not bode well for Ukraine."
Zelensky will visit the Oval Office on Wednesday for extensive talks with US President Joe Biden, who will announce the delivery of nearly $2 billion in additional aid to Ukraine's security, including a sophisticated new air defense system.
Asked if Kyiv's position on the negotiation process will change after Zelensky's trip to the US, Peskov replied: "I don't think so."
Zelensky's surprise visit to Washington is his first trip outside his homeland since it was invaded 300 days ago.
He and Biden will hold a press conference at the White House before Zelensky addresses members of Congress on Capitol Hill during prime time.
3 hours ago
Chinese leader Xi Jinping meets with Russian Medvedev in Beijing
By Clare Sebastian, Hannah Ritchie
Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Beijing on December 21.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday in Beijing, where they "discussed international issues, including, of course, the conflict in Ukraine," Russian state news agency TASS reported.
In a video posted to his Telegram account showing the meeting, Medvedev could be seen talking about industrial and economic "cooperation" between China and Russia, while Xi spoke of "deepening relations" between the two countries.
Xi also reiterated his message that he hoped all parties to the Ukraine crisis could resolve security issues through political means, according to China's state news agency Xinhua, adding that Medvedev had come to China at the invitation of the ruling Communist Party. .
: China is among the handful of countries that have repeatedly abstained from votes condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations.
Beijing has refused to characterize the military aggression as an "invasion" or "war", amplifying Russian propaganda blaming NATO and the United States for the conflict, while rejecting sanctions and increasing economic aid to its neighbor.
3 hours ago
Zelensky carries a Ukrainian flag signed by soldiers as a gift to Biden and Congress
By Jonny Hallam, Josh Penington
A Ukrainian soldier presented President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday with a flag signed by frontline troops as a gift to President Joe Biden and the United States Congress, in gratitude for the weapons they had been sent.
The anonymous soldier was seen on video handing the flag to Zelensky in the city of Bakhmut, saying it was a gift "for our brothers in the US. We ask you to pass it on to them. Thank you."
"The guys gave me our wonderful flag with their signatures written on it to hand over," Zelensky told reporters traveling with him.
"Our situation is difficult. The enemy is increasing the number of his troops, but our guys are braver. We need more powerful weapons. We will convey our guys' gratitude to the US Congress and President for their support, but [the support] is not enough."
Zelensky's visit to the front lines in eastern Ukraine came a day before he was scheduled to make a surprise visit to Washington, where Biden is expected to announce nearly $2 billion in additional security aid for Ukraine. , including a sophisticated new air defense system.
The two will hold a press conference at the White House before Zelensky addresses members of Congress on Capitol Hill during prime time.
3 hours ago
Ukrainian Zelensky says he is on his way to the US to meet Biden
By Irene Nasser
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy awards a Ukrainian service member at a position in the front line town of Bakhmut amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine December 20 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that he is traveling to the United States, where he will meet with US President Joe Biden and deliver a speech to Congress.
"On my way to the US to strengthen Ukraine's resilience and defense capacity," Zelensky said on Twitter, adding that he will discuss cooperation between the two countries with Biden and "will have a speech in Congress and a series of meetings bilateral".
The trip will be Zelensky's first out of Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February.
war in ukraine