Russia-Ukraine war news – live: UK accuses Putin of ‘disinformation’ over depleted uranium ammo claims

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Russian SU-35 fighter jet intercepts two US B-52 nuclear bombers over Baltic Sea

The UK has accused president Vladimir Putin of stirring deliberate disinformation after he claimed the UK was supplying Ukraine with “weapons with a nuclear component”.

Mr Putin said Russia will “respond accordingly” if Britain sends depleted uranium tank ammunition to the government in Kyiv.

In response, the British defence ministry said: “The British Army has used depleted uranium in its armour piercing shells for decades. It is a standard component and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities.”

“Russia knows this, but is deliberately trying to disinform.”

This comes as Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has said there were fewer and fewer steps left before a potential “nuclear collision” between Russia and the West, reports say.

Moscow would respond to reports that Britain would supply Ukraine with ammunition containing depleted uranium, he said, even after the defence ministry called the depleted uranium a “standard component”.

And, the US has called on Chinese president Xi Jinping to urge Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine if Beijing wants to play a constructive role.


UK dismisses Putin ‘disinformation’ over depleted uranium tank ammunition

Britain has accused Vladimir Putin of stirring deliberate disinformation after he claimed the UK was supplying Ukraine with “weapons with a nuclear component”.

Following talks in Moscow with China’s president Xi Jinping, Mr Putin said Russia will “respond accordingly” if Britain sends depleted uranium tank ammunition to the government in Kyiv.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) however dismissed the warning, saying the armour-piercing shells had been standard equipment for decades and were “nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities”.

Read the full story here:

Arpan Rai22 March 2023 03:56

Russia may be losing grip on Bakhmut, says MoD

There is a realistic likelihood that Russia’s assault on Bakhmut is losing the limited momentum it gained over winter and spring, the British defence ministry has said today.

“Over recent days Ukrainian forces initiated a local counterattack to the west of the Donetsk oblast town of Bakhmut, which is likely to relieve pressure on the threatened H-32 supply route,” the MoD pointed out in the latest intelligence update.

It added that fighting continues around the town centre and the Ukrainian defence forces remain at risk from envelopment from the north and south.

“However, there is a realistic possibility that the Russian assault on the town is losing the limited momentum it had obtained, partially because some Russian MoD units have been reallocated to other sectors,” the ministry said.

Arpan Rai22 March 2023 06:39

‘Signs’ Putin has requested lethal weapons from China, Nato chief says

Nato general secretary Jens Stoltenberg has warned that China appears to be mulling arms supplies to Russia as Xi Jinping discussed Beijing’s peace plan for Ukraine with Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

“We haven’t seen any proof that China is delivering lethal weapons to Russia but we have seen some signs that this has been a request from Russia, and that this is an issue that is considered in Beijing by the Chinese authorities,” Mr Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.

He said China should not provide weapons that could be used in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as “that would be to support an illegal war.” He added that arms supplies would prolong the conflict.

Read the full sotry here:

Arpan Rai22 March 2023 06:29

ICYMI | Vladimir Putin appears to be heckled during visit to Mariupol

Vladimir Putin appears to be heckled during visit to Mariupol
Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 06:00

Artillery attacks near Bakhmut doubled up as residents queue up for water and food

The Russian attacks in and around Bakhmut have risen sharply in the past 24 hours as Ukrainian officials gave the latest details from the fiercest battle along the frontline.

Bursts of incoming and outgoing artillery fire could be heard in the town of Chasiv Yar just west of Bakhmut where intense fighting has been observed in the last few months.

The fiercest fighting continued to take place near Bakhmut and Avdiivka to the south, said the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said: “Today the number of Russian attacks rose sharply. There were some 120 along the principal parts of the front line, about double the number from the day before.”

With fighting taking place in largely residential neighbourhoods, elderly residents queued for water and food delivered by a team from the state emergency services between apartment blocks in Chasiv Yar.

One of the residents, Oleksii Stepanov, said he had been in Bakhmut until five days ago but was evacuated when his house was destroyed by a missile.

“We were in the kitchen and the missile came through the roof. The kitchen was all that was left standing,” the 54-year-old said.

Arpan Rai22 March 2023 05:42

Putin does not have whole lot of friends on international stage, says White House

The White House has said that Vladimir Putin really needs and wants his Chinese counterpart’s support as he does not have a lot of international allies.

“In president Xi, president Putin sees a potential backer here. This is a man who doesn’t have a whole lot of friends on the international stage; they can count them on one hand mostly. And he really needs and wants president Xi’s support for what he’s trying to do, because he’s running through — he’s blowing through inventory,” the White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said.

He added: “He’s [Putin] blowing through manpower. His military is getting embarrassed constantly. They’ve lost greater than 50 per cent of the territory that they took in the first few months of this war. He needs help from president Xi, and that’s what this visit was all about.”

Mr Kirby was answering a question on whether the world is “watching a budding alliance between China and Russia” after the bilateral meet in Moscow.

“I wouldn’t go so far to call it an alliance. Yesterday I called it a ‘marriage of convenience’, because that’s what I think it is. In president Putin and Russia, president Xi sees a counterweight to American influence and Nato influence certainly on the continent and elsewhere around the world,” he said.

Arpan Rai22 March 2023 05:11

US announces sanctions on Iran drone procurement network

The United States said Tuesday it is imposing a new round of sanctions on Iranian firms and people accused of procuring equipment used for Iranian drones.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control coordinated with the FBI to designate four firms and three people in Iran and Turkey for allegedly buying equipment, including European-made engines, to be used for Iran’s drone and weapons programs.

The Associated Press has more on this story here:

Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 05:00

China is not impartial on Ukraine invasion, says US

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby has said that the US does not view China as an impartial player in the continuing war on Ukraine as claimed in the joint statement issued by Moscow and Beijing.

On being asked about the statement which stated that “the Russian side speaks positively of China’s objective and impartial position on the Ukraine issue” and whether China has an impartial position, Mr Kirby answered in a firm no.

“…I don’t think you can reasonably look at China as impartial in any way. They haven’t condemned this in — this invasion. They haven’t stopped buying Russian oil and Russian energy,” he said.

He added: “President Xi saw fit to fly all the way to Moscow, hasn’t talked once to President Zelensky, hasn’t visited Ukraine, hasn’t bothered to avail himself of the Ukrainian objective. And he and his regime keeps parroting the Russian propaganda that this is somehow a war of the West on Russia, that it’s some sort of existential threat to Mr Putin. That’s just a bunch of malarkey. Ukraine posed no threat to anybody, let alone Russia.”

Arpan Rai22 March 2023 04:03

Dramatic moment Russian fighter jet ‘intercepts two US nuclear bombers over Baltic Sea’

The Russian Defence Ministry released the footage on Tuesday, which it claimed was captured from a Russian Su-45 on Monday.

It said its fighter jet met B-52 strategic bombers flying towards the Russian border on Monday, but that it returned to base after they moved away.

Kate Plummer has the details:

Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 04:00

China should urge end of Ukraine invasion to be constructive, says White House

Chinese president Xi Jinping should urge Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine if Beijing wants to play a constructive role for the European nation under siege for more than a year, the White House said.

Suggesting that one way to stop the hostilities in Ukraine is to pull Russian troops out of thewar-hit nation, the White House national security spokesperson said that “short of that, Mr Putin could stop bombing hospitals, could stop bombing schools.”

“He could stop launching Iranian drones into civilian infrastructure. He could stop the forcible deportation of young kids — thousands of them — putting them in filtration camps inside other places inside Ukraine but also inside Russia. He could stop reducing cities like Bakhmut to bricks — to piles of bricks. That is a way to stop the prolongation of hostilities,” Mr Kirby said. He added: “So, now, if China wants to play a constructive role here in this conflict, then they ought to press Russia to pull its troops out of Ukraine and Ukrainian sovereign territory. They should urge president Putin to cease bombing cities, hospitals, and schools; to stop the war crimes and the atrocities; and end the war today. It could happen right now.”

The White House official was speaking about the diplomatic meeting between the Chinese and Russian president in Moscow where the two emerged from two days of talks with warm words of friendship between China and Russia and joint criticism of the West.

However, there was no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough over Ukraine.

Arpan Rai22 March 2023 03:37