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Ukraine Russia news – live: Putin claims he ‘shares pain’ of troops’ mothers

President meets women ahead of Russia’s Mother’s Day

Ukraine war: Putin meets soldiers’ mother

Warmonger Vladimir Putin has claimed that he and other government ministers “share the pain” of the mothers whose sons are fighting and dying in Ukraine.

The president, overseeing the conflict from his luxury residence in Moscow, met with troops’ mothers on Friday ahead of Mother’s Day - celebrated in Russia on the last Sunday in November.

Some reports say that around 100,000 have been killed or injured in Mr Putin’s bloody war, which he claims is a “special military operation.”

Speaking on Friday, he told the women: “I would like you to know that, that I personally, and the whole leadership of the country - we share your pain.

“We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son - especially for a mother,” he aded, breathing heavily, and frequently clearing his throat. “We share this pain.”

Earlier Britain’s Ministry of Defence said many Russian troops are being compelled to serve in Ukraine with "serious" health problems, while those forced to build trenches under fire are likely to have suffered "particularly heavy casualties".

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Putin ‘forcing troops with chronic health problems into battle’

Many Russian troops are being compelled to serve in Ukraine with "serious" health problems, while those forced to build trenches under fire are likely to have suffered "particularly heavy casualties", British defence experts believe.

A number of "common themes" are emerging in the experience of Moscow’s mobilised reservists, according to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), with their deployment often characterised by "inadequate" training and personal equipment.

An MoD defence intelligence update suggests the Kremlin will likely be concerned that an increasing number of families are prepared to risk arrest by protesting against the conditions their relatives face at war.

Most mobilised reservists have previously served, it says, with "numerous examples" suggesting it is highly probably they are not having their medical status "adequately reviewed".

"Many are being compelled to serve with serious, chronic health conditions," the update states.

Matt Mathers25 November 2022 11:31
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Zelensky: Europe must avoid division

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday called on Europeans to remain united against Russia’s war as he addressed a conference in Lithuania.

"There is no split, there is no schism among Europeans and we have to preserve this. This is our mission number one this year," Zelensky said via a video link.

(AFP via Getty Images)
Matt Mathers25 November 2022 12:39
1669382100

ICYMI: NATO vows to aid Ukraine 'for as long as it takes'

NATO is determined to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia for “as long as it takes” and will help the war-wracked country transform its armed forces into a modern army up to Western standards, the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg vowed on Friday.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Romania next week, Stoltenberg urged countries that want to, either individually or in groups, to keep providing air defense systems and other weapons to Ukraine. NATO as an organization does not supply weapons.

“NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will not back down,” the former Norwegian prime minister said. “Allies are providing unprecedented military support, and I expect foreign ministers will also agree to step up non-lethal support.”

Lorne Cook has the full report:

NATO vows to aid Ukraine 'for as long as it takes'

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military organization stands ready to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia “for as long as it takes.”

Matt Mathers25 November 2022 13:15
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Watch: Escaping Mariupol with my family and my cat

Alona Zahreba is a 15-year-old Ukrainian, living with her parents and her cat when the invasion by Russian forces happened in 2022.

Living in Mariupol, one of the areas in Ukraine that has seen the most fighting, Alona’s family had to try to escape in order to survive but just before leaving, her cat Peaches went missing.

With encouragement from producers Jim Lenz, Noah Berlow and John Chua, this is a short film about the rescue of her cat during the Russian invasion, exclusive to watch on Independent TV.

Matt Mathers25 November 2022 13:40
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German lawmakers want to declare 1930s Ukraine famine a genocide

Lawmakers from Germany’s ruling coalition and opposition want to declare the Holodomor, the death by starvation of millions of Ukrainians in 1932-33 under Soviet leader Josef Stalin, a genocide, according to a draft motion seen by Reuters.

The draft describes the Soviet leadership’s attempts to control and suppress farmers as well as Ukrainian culture and language through hunger and repression. This "from today’s perspective, suggests a historical-political classification as genocide. The German Bundestag agrees with this classification".

According to German media reports, the draft will be debated and passed in the Bundestag lower house of parliament next week.

Matt Mathers25 November 2022 13:59
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Warmonger Putin claims he ‘shares pain’ of soldiers’ mothers

Warmonger Vladimir Putin has claimed that he and other government ministers “share the pain” of the mothers whose sons are fighting in Ukraine.

The Russian president, overseeing the war from his luxury residence in Moscow, met with troops’ mothers on Friday ahead of Mother’s Day - celebrated in Russia on the last Sunday in November.

Some reports say that around 100,000 have been killed or injured in Mr Putin’s bloody war, which he claims is a “special military operation.”

Speaking on Friday, he told the women: “I would like you to know that, that I personally, and the whole leadership of the country - we share your pain.

“We understand that nothing can replace the loss of a son - especially for a mother," he aded, breathing heavily, and frequently clearing his throat. "We share this pain."

Matt Mathers25 November 2022 14:26
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Poland asks for German launchers to be sent to western Ukraine

Germany said on Friday it was discussing with allies Poland’s request that German Patriot air defence units be sent to Ukraine, after NATO’s chief suggested the military alliance might not oppose such a move.

"We are talking with our allies about how to handle Poland’s ... suggestion," a German government spokesperson told reporters in Berlin.

Berlin offered Warsaw the Patriot system to help secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed and killed two people in Poland last week. Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak later asked Germany to send the fire units to Ukraine instead.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said such deployments should be decisions for individual nations, taking into account rules around final users.

"The specific decisions on specific systems are national decisions," he told reporters in Brussels.

"Sometimes there are end users agreements and other things so they need to consult with other allies. But at the end of the day, it (the decision) has to be taken by the national governments," he added.

Matt Mathers25 November 2022 15:17
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Millions of Ukrainians still without power

Millions of Ukrainians were still without heat or power on Friday after the most devastating Russian air strikes on its energy grid so far, with residents warned to brace for further attacks and stock up on water, food and warm clothing.

Moscow says the attacks on Ukraine’s basic infrastructure are militarily legitimate, and that Kyiv can end the suffering of its people if it yields to Russian demands. Ukraine says attacks intended to cause civilian misery are a war crime.

"Together we endured nine months of full-scale war and Russia has not found a way to break us, and will not find one," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address overnight.

Matt Mathers25 November 2022 15:50
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ICYMI: Feeling flush? Naked Vladimir Putin golden toilet sculpture up for auction to raise cash for Ukraine

A nude effigy of Russian president Vladimir Putin perched on top of an ornate golden toilet has been put up for auction by a group of Czech activists who plan to use the proceeds from the sale to buy and send a combat drone to Ukraine’s forces.

Parodying a monarch holding an orb and sceptre, the Russian leader grips a glided toilet brush and minature washing machine pouring with what appears to be fake blood.

“Naked Killers”, which also features Mr Putin’s close ally and Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, was initially created to critique the Russian leader’s opulent lifestyle, and has been adorned with several different props to reflect the changing circumstance of his rule since it was unveiled last year.

My colleague Emily Atkinson reports:

Feeling flush? Naked Vladimir Putin sculpture on golden toilet put up for auction

Proceeds from the sale will be used to buy a drone for Ukraine’s forces

Matt Mathers25 November 2022 16:15
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NATO vows to aid Ukraine 'for as long as it takes'

NATO is determined to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia for “as long as it takes” and will help the war-wracked country transform its armed forces into a modern army up to Western standards, the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg vowed on Friday.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Romania next week, Stoltenberg urged countries that want to, either individually or in groups, to keep providing air defense systems and other weapons to Ukraine. NATO as an organization does not supply weapons.

Full report:

NATO vows to aid Ukraine 'for as long as it takes'

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military organization stands ready to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia “for as long as it takes.”

Matt Mathers25 November 2022 16:45

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