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Last minute and live news of Russia's war in Ukraine this Thursday, February 2


Ukraine's defense minister said Wednesday that Kyiv believes Russia will mark the first anniversary of its invasion next month with a new offensive.

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6 mins ago

EU-Ukraine summit sends 'very strong signal' to Ukrainians and Russia, says senior European official

By James Frater

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

(Photo by Valeria Mongelli / AFP)

The joint EU-Ukraine summit to be held in Kyiv on Friday is "a very strong signal" of support, a senior EU official told a briefing ahead of the meeting.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels this week, a senior EU official said holding the meeting in Kyiv during Russia's invasion "is a signal first of all to the Ukrainians, of support, in person, to be there." .

"It is a signal, of course also for Russia," the official added.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, arrived in the Ukrainian capital this Thursday, together with her commissioners, before the summit.

This is the 24th summit between the European Union and Ukraine, but the first since the start of the Russian invasion and also since the European Council granted Ukraine candidate country status.

The leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine's progress towards becoming a full EU member state, the response to Russia's continued aggression against Ukraine, additional support for Ukraine and global food security.

The official said that "the question of whether Ukraine will join the European family has decisively been answered with a yes, it is no longer a question of whether."

However, he did not want to speculate on when this process will conclude, as it historically takes years to become a full member of the EU.

A second senior EU official welcomed Ukraine's recent anti-corruption efforts, including a recent government reshuffle amid a growing corruption scandal.

"Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done in this regard and we are working with Ukraine on it," the official added.

On January 24, a spokeswoman for the European Commission stated that "anti-corruption measures are, of course, an important dimension of the EU accession process."

8 mins ago

Former Russian officer claims he witnessed torture in Ukraine

By Mick Krever

A former Russian army officer has claimed he witnessed Ukrainian soldiers being tortured while stationed in the south of that country last year.

Konstantin Yefremov told the BBC in an exclusive interview that he had been part of a mine clearance unit in Chechnya in the months before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and had been on an exercise deployment in Crimea on February 24 last year. .

Yefremov, who has since fled Russia, told the BBC that he then found himself at an air base in the southern city of Melitopol, where Russian forces had captured a Ukrainian soldier.

"The Ukrainian was blindfolded. The colonel put a gun to the prisoner's forehead and said: 'I'm going to count to three and then I'm going to shoot you in the head,'" Yefremov told the BBC through a translator.

"He Counted and then shot right to the side of the head. To both sides."

The BBC shared an image of Yefremov's military ID and said it had geolocated images the former officer took while deployed in Ukraine.

"The interrogations, this torture, went on for about a week," Yefremov told the BBC.

"Every day. At night. Sometimes twice a day."

"During another interrogation, the colonel shot the prisoner in the arm and in the right leg. Below the knee and in the bone. I went to the commanders and told them: 'The Ukrainian needs to go to the hospital. He will be dead by morning by loss of blood.' We dressed him in a Russian uniform and took him to the hospital. We told him: 'Don't say that you are a Ukrainian prisoner of war. Because either the doctors will refuse to treat you or the wounded Russian soldiers will hear you and shoot you.' ".

10 mins ago

Austria to expel four Russian diplomats

By Angus Watson

Austria revoked the diplomatic status of four Russian diplomats, labeling them "personae non gratae" and giving them a week to leave the country.

The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that two Russian diplomats from the embassy in Vienna had "committed acts incompatible with their diplomatic status."

Two other Russian diplomats at the country's permanent mission to the United Nations must also leave Austria after "committing acts inconsistent with the Headquarters Agreement," the statement added.

The Ministry did not specify in the statement what those acts were.

12 mins ago

Ukraine expects Russia to celebrate invasion anniversary with new offensive, defense minister says

By Mick Krever, Arnaud Siad, Yulia Kesaieva

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov attends the "Ukrainian Defense Contact Group" meeting at Ramstein airbase, Germany, on January 20.

(Photo: Michael Probst/AP)

Ukraine's defense minister said Wednesday that Kyiv believes Russia will mark the first anniversary of its invasion next month with a new offensive.

"We think that since they believe in symbols, they will try something around February 24," Oleksii Reznikov said in an interview with French channel BFM.

"They can try a two-axis offensive," Reznikov said.

"It can be in Donbas, it can be in the south. And we tell our partners that we ourselves must also be prepared as soon as possible, and for that we need weapons, to contain the enemy. Wars are a matter of initiative, and not We may lose the initiative."

Reznikov echoed repeated warnings by Ukrainian officials in recent weeks about an anticipated spring offensive by Moscow forces.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said on Tuesday that the coming months of the war will be "defining".

The Ukrainian General Staff, in its daily morning update on Thursday, said Russian forces were "active in reconnaissance and preparing for an offensive."

war in ukraine

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-02-02

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