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Ukraine Crisis

LIVE: KYIV UNDER ATTACK

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There are reports a large convoy of Russian troops and tanks is now heading towards Kyiv

Russian President Vladimir Putin is moving his nation’s nuclear deterrent to “special alert” citing Nato aggression as the reason why.

It’s not entirely certain what this entails, but it may be a “preliminary command” making a retaliatory strike possible.

It is an action that allows Russia’s command and control to be able to react if necessary, meaning it is a very high level of command.

NATO has labeled the move as dangerous and irresponsible.

‘Leave immediately’

The US State Department has issued an urgent warning to any American residents still in Russia.

The warning comes as an increasing number of airlines based in locations right around the world cancel flights to and from Russia, while countries impose strict sanctions on Russian-owned airlines.

In a statement, the US department says:

“An increasing number of airlines are canceling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. US citizens should consider departing Russia immediately.”

Massive explosion

There has been a massive explosion to hit the area of Cherkasy in central Ukraine.

The huge blast was captured on camera.

FIFA cancels Russia

The UK’s Football Association has confirmed England will not play any matches against Russia “for the foreseeable future.”

In a statement, the FA says:

“Out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership… we won’t play against Russia in any international fixtures”.

HERE’S WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS HOUR:

Russian President Vladimir Putin moves his nation’s nuclear deterrent to “special alert”

  • The US has condemned the move, labelling it as “unacceptable” while Putin says it is in response to Nato aggression.
  • Ukrainian troops remain in control of Kharkiv following a Russian attack
  • There are reports around 4,300 Russian troops have been killed so-far in battle.
  • Ukraine says 352 civilians, including 14 children, have been killed so-far as war engulfs the nation.
  • A Ukrainian delegation is set to meet with their Russian counterparts for talks at the Belarus border.
  • US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield says Putin is ready to do whatever he can to intimidate Ukraine and the world…

Ukraine’s Deputy Interior Minister says talks between the two delegations will take place on Monday morning local time.

The scheduled meeting follows the office of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko calling the office of the Ukrainian president.

The politicians have agreed both delegations will convene “without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River”.

In his latest video address, Zelensky says his country’s residents “will fight as long as it takes to liberate the county.”

Meanwhile, Western allies are preparing new sanctions against Russia for its military action in Ukraine

These include banishing key Russia banks from the main global payments system – SWIFT.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says Europe is also closing its airspace to all Russian planes.

Europe will also ban all Russian state-owned media including Russia Today, or R-T and Sputnik.

Von der Leyen says the new rules will apply to all Russian-owned planes, including the private jets of oligarchs.

The United Kingdom has also imposed similar restrictions.

This comes as Europe also moves to impose stringent sanctions on Russian ally, Belarus… with restrictive measures being placed against the nation’s most important sectors.

In a statement, the leaders of the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Canada and the US say they “will hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin”.

Business

Europe is preparing for winter: how can you keep costs down?

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Britain is facing a surge in cold weather, with icy conditions and fog expected for much of this week

The UK Met Office has issued a Yellow warning, which means there could be damage to buildings as Britons brace for cold conditions.

Like much of Europe, the UK are bracing for very strong winds on Wednesday, causing disruption to travel and some utilities.

Drivers are also urged to take extra care on the roads, with warnings in place for icy stretches forming on UK roads.

But some residents who are seeking to heat their homes are on edge, as power prices remain high.

Peter Smith is the director of policy and advocacy at National Energy Action, who said the rising cost of living is impacting Britons.

“The average annual bill has almost doubled since this time last year.”

The organisation seeks to close the gaps when it comes to energy affordability. It predicts 6.7 million UK households will be in fuel poverty in the coming months.

This means millions of Britons will be unable to afford living in a warm, dry and safe home.

“So far the milder than usual weather has protected many from the spiralling bills as they haven’t needed to heat their homes as high or as long as usual,” Mr Smith said.

How to keep warm without blowing your bill

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged people to make their own decisions, as he met with world leaders in tropical Bali last week.

“There are things that we can do—all of us—to improve the efficiency with which we use energy, to be careful about it,” he said.

For example, an efficient heater; taking advantage of the sun, where appropriate; and rearranging furniture are some cost-effective methods to reduce the burden on gas and energy bills.

Pipes at the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline are pictured in Germany.

In addition, there are some other cheap ways to reduce dependence on gas and electricity bills, as the temperature continue to plunge.

  • close off rooms you’re not using
  • lower the temperature of heating
  • make sure windows are fully closed
  • block cold drafts from under doors using door snakes or carpet.

The UK Government has placed a cap freeze on energy prices.

This means households will pay an average £2,500 on their energy bills. But there is a catch: if households use more, they pay more.

National Energy Action believes an additional 2.2 million homes could be in fuel poverty, when compared to the same time last year.

Why are energy prices so high?

As demand increases, so too does the cost of heating homes.

But there is another factor, which has sent prices rising across Europe: the war in Ukraine.

Russia accounts for 25% of global gas trade, 15% of global thermal coal trade and 10% of global oil trade.

However, countries are struggling to find alternative supplies after sanctioning Moscow for the ongoing conflict.

“Putin’s abhorrent war in Ukraine, and rising energy prices across the world are not a reason to go slow on climate change. They are a reason to act faster.”

RISHI SUNAK, UK PRIME MINISTER

Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was expected to double the amount of Russian gas shipped to Europe.

In July, Russia cut the amount of gas pumped through Nord Stream 1 to 20 per cent capacity.

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Ukraine Crisis

Hoax call between Polish and “French” Presidents

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Poland President Andrezj Duda spoke to a hoaxer posing as France counterpart Emmanuel Macron, on the night a missile hit near the Poland-Ukraine border.

The news was confirmed after two Russian pranksters, Vovan and Lexus, posted a recording of the incident, and Duda’s office also affirmed the incident.

During the call, Duda was asking who was responsible for the attack on November 15, wanting to avoid a war with Russia.

The missile landed six kilometres from the border.

Initial reports suggested the missile was Russian-made, but it was later discovered to likely be a Ukrainian air defence missile.

This is the second time the pranksters have targeted the Poland President, who have made their names going after celebrities and politicians, especially those opposed to the Kremlin.

ENDS

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Ukraine Crisis

Russian missiles hit NATO territory, killing two

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Russian missile hits Poland, as the west assesses the attack on a NATO member

Reports a Russian missile has landed in Poland, killing two people. A projectile struck an area where grain was drying in the village of Przewodów, near the Ukraine border. 

An anonymous U.S. intelligence official suggested a barrage of Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian power grid, and spilt into neighbouring Poland.

Poland is a NATO member, therefore, this signifies a potential escalation to the ongoing war. It also marks the first time weapons have impacted a NATO country.

Emergency talks

Currently, the Polish government are holding urgent talks. A Polish spokesman Piotr Mueller has confirmed that top leaders are holding an emergency meeting regarding the “crisis situation.”

Under Article 5 of NATO, an attack on one country is considered an attack on all.

The White House has not confirmed the reports but the Pentagon is assessing the situation.

“I don’t want to speculate or get in hypotheticals. When it comes to our security commitments in Article 5—we’ve been crystal clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory.”

Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon Press Secretary

While NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, including in response to the situation in Syria and the Russian invasion of Ukraine—it has only invoked Article 5 once.

For the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States, NATO evoked Article 5 and came to the defence of the United States.

“Terror is not limited to our national borders.

Russian missiles hit Poland. To fire missiles at NATO territory.

This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a very significant escalation. We must act.”

volodymyr zelensky, Ukraine’s president

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