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Ukraine Crisis

Zelensky makes urgent plea for talks with Putin



During a news briefing, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky says he ‘has to talk’ with Russian Present Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine enters its eighth day, Zelensky has made an urgent plea to Putin for one-on-one talks, adding that “any words are more important than shots”. 

“It’s not about I want to talk with Putin, I think I have to talk with Putin,”

“The world has to talk with Putin because there are no other ways to stop this war.”

-Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky

This comes as Ukraine’s key war negotiator says the latest round of talks with Russia didn’t achieve the results he was hoping for.

The negotiator says the humanitarian crisis currently unfolding throughout his nation is at the top of the agenda, as a number of cities remain surrounded by Russian forces. It’s expected talks will pick up and continue in “the near future”.

Ukraine’s leader is also pleading for the west to provide more planes so his troops can fight the invasion.

Russia continues to move in on Ukraine’s north, east, and south and is telling his constituents that the war is going to plan. There are further reports of intense shelling in the Mariupol region, as Russian forces cease control of Kherson.

Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv remains in government control, with a kilometers-long convoy still sitting quite a distance away from the capital city’s borders.

“We are not attacking Russia and we do not plan to attack it. What do you want from us? Leave our land.”

-Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Zelensky says his nation’s armed forces are holding out against Russian aggression and there has been no rest in Russia’s ongoing shelling. He says his people have nothing to lose but their own freedom.

The president vows that his country will be rebuilt and Moscow will pay for what it has done.

Athletes banned

Meanwhile, Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned from the upcoming Winter Paralympics in Beijing.

The Paralympic Committee’s president says this follows a number of threats of boycotts by a number of other nations if Russia was to compete.

The IPC had previously given the go-ahead for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete, noting “athletes are not aggressors”. However, this has been swiftly changed.

Lives in danger

In Geneva, the head of human rights at the United Nations has warned tens of millions of lives are at risk as Russian troops move in.

The chief is calling for an immediate end to the war and has begun setting up an international inquiry into alleged violations by Russia.

However, Russia’s ambassador has dismissed the need for any inquiry, calling out a so-called “criminal regime in Kyiv”.

Russia is also accusing the United States and its Western allies of stoking the flame by supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine.

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



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.”


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



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.


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Ukraine Crisis

Russian missiles hit NATO territory, killing two



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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