Russia-Ukraine: Army and people ‘ready for deterrence’, says Ukrainian defense chief : LIVE UPDATES

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Nikki Haley: Putin, dictators know Biden is ‘the weakest president in history’ so they want to act now

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin and other autocrats know that Joe Biden is “the weakest president in history” and therefore understand that if they want take drastic measures like invading Ukraine, “now is the time to do it.”

Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, told ‘Special Report’ that it was important for Biden to meet Germany’s new left-leaning chancellor, Olaf Scholz – because Berlin is in a sensitive diplomatic position given its place in the NATO and Western democracy while being dependent on Russian energy.

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Biden warns Nord Stream 2 pipeline won’t be operational if Russia invades Ukraine

The United States and Germany have announced their “united approach” to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine, with President Biden warning that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will not be operational if Russia pursues an invasion of Ukraine .

Biden welcomed German Chancellor Olaf Sholz to the White House for his first official visit to Washington on Monday for what he described as a “very productive meeting” in which the two discussed their countries’ “shared values ​​that shape how each of us approaches leadership.”

Biden and Scholz, at a joint press conference on Monday, said they spent a lot of time discussing the situation between Russia and Ukraine, maintaining their preference to pursue a diplomatic approach to prevent an incursion.

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Biden clarifies Nord Stream 2 pipeline won’t be operational if Russia invades Ukraine

President Biden has made it clear that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will not come online if Russia goes ahead with an invasion of Ukraine.

“If Russia invades, that means tanks with troops are crossing the Ukrainian border…there will be no more Nord Stream 2,” Biden said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Scholz said his country was committed to working closely with the United States on the Russia issue, although he did not specifically mention closing the controversial pipeline.

Russia-backed separatist leader suggests war in Ukraine could ‘start at any time’

Denis Pushilin, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, said in an interview on Monday that a full-scale war could break out at any time, according to Reuters.

“We rely on ourselves first, but we do not exclude that we will be forced to turn to Russia if Ukraine, with the support of Western countries, crosses a certain line,” he reportedly said.

“Anything can start at any time, regardless of the weather conditions,” Pushilin added. “Sometimes adverse weather conditions are good cover to launch an attack.”

Former Ukrainian defense official: ‘It’s going to be bloody hell for the Russians’ if they invade

Alexander Khara, a former Ukrainian defense official, told Al Jazeera in an interview on Monday that “it’s going to be bloody hell for the Russians” if Moscow decides to launch an invasion of Ukraine.

“See, if they decide to cross [the border] and especially if they then decide to enter our cities… Thanks to the British, we have quite powerful anti-tank missiles that can be used in urban warfare, and certainly, we have enough to deploy them,” Khara said.

“The war was imposed on us, we will fight back, and I have not seen any signs that Ukrainian society is tired of war or [preparing to] capitulate to Russian demands,” he added.

Khara also told the outlet that he sees “no room for diplomacy” in the current standoff between the two sides, because “[Russia wants us to be] some sort of pro-Russian buffer zone, and that’s not going to happen.”

“Second, they are trying to use Ukraine as leverage against the European Union and NATO, to divide Europeans between themselves and Europeans from Americans,” he said.

US expects Russian invasion of Ukraine

Former Assistant Secretary of State Robert Charles discusses the US response to rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine and what is expected next.

Ukraine’s defense chief urges ‘calm’ as fears of Russian invasion grow

KYIV, Ukraine — Despite dire warnings from the White House and the Pentagon about the growing number of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border and what is being presented as an imminent “overnight” invasion, Ukrainian leaders say their people to “keep calm”.

Two hours north of the Ukrainian capital, in an abandoned town outside Chernobyl, decades after one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, Ukrainian forces trained in urban combat in freezing temperatures outside interior of deserted buildings. Fox News attended the live-fire training, which included ambush, sniper, mortar, evacuation and advanced firefighting scenarios.

Some 30,000 Russian troops, dozens of attack aircraft and fourth-generation air defense systems have now massed on the Ukrainian border, not far from Chernobyl in neighboring Belarus to the north, according to US officials. Asked by a Fox News reporter if he feared Russian forces were invading Belarus, less than 100 miles from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, the country’s defense chief didn’t seem worried.

“I’m not worried,” said Oleksii Reznikov, Ukrainian Defense Minister. “I am very, very sure that the Ukrainian armed forces are ready for deterrence, for resilience. The Ukrainian people are also ready for deterrence.”

“The word ‘imminent’ doesn’t work,” he added. “Keep calm.”

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Biden to meet with German Scholz amid tensions in Ukraine

President Biden is due to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday and one of the key topics will be Russia and what a united front with Berlin would look like, who critics have accused of not taking a strong stance on the issue.

Scholz told the Washington Post in an interview Friday that Russia will face “high prices” if it decides to invade.

The Biden administration has said the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline will not move forward if Russia invades.

Scholz said Berlin was ready to take “all necessary measures” to prevent a conflict.

“And we have a very clear agreement with the US government on gas transit and energy sovereignty in Europe,” he told the newspaper. “We have already agreed also that we will support Ukraine, that we will fight intensely for gas transit through Ukraine and that we will be very strong if this gas transit should be endangered. Moreover, it is absolutely clear that in a situation like this, all options are on the table. Please understand that I will not go into details, but our response will be united and decisive. –Edmund De Marche

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, is on his way to Moscow on Monday to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin as tension on Ukraine’s eastern border nears an all-time high.

Reuters reported that Macron’s decision to meet Putin is a “risky diplomatic move” and may “prove embarrassing if he returns empty-handed”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried his hand at mediating between the two countries last week, but came to nothing. Erdogan said the United States and other Western countries had done nothing to bring down the temperature in the region.

“When we look at… the United States, Biden has yet to show a positive approach to the issue,” he said, according to Reuters.

Macron interacted with other Western leaders, including President Biden in calls last weekend, and said he believed he could find a “historic solution”.

Macron told a French newspaper that Moscow wants a clarification of the rules when it comes to NATO.

“The intensity of the dialogue we have had with Russia and this visit to Moscow are designed to prevent that from happening,” Macron said, according to the Guardian. “Then we will discuss the modalities of de-escalation. We have to be very realistic. We will not get unilateral gestures, but it is essential to prevent the situation from deteriorating. –Edmund De Marche

Sullivan teases what Russia deal could look like, but warns if they invade Ukraine, ‘we’re ready’

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that while the United States is prepared for multiple scenarios involving Russia and Ukraine, it is ready to discuss a number of topics when it comes. is about a possible agreement with the Kremlin.

As Russia continues to muster troops near the border with its neighbor, the Biden administration remains hopeful that a diplomatic solution can be found. During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Sullivan hinted at what it might look like. – Ronn Blitzer

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