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Prince William makes surprise trip to Poland base near Ukraine border – live



China’s Xi Jinping tells Putin ‘change is coming’ as he departs Moscow

Prince William has thanked British troops based roughly an hour’s drive from the Ukrainian border for “defending our freedoms” during a surprise trip to Poland.

The Prince of Wales told soldiers at an air defence military base in the south-eastern Polish city of Rzeszow that their work to keep “an eye on” the situation in Ukraine is “really important”.

Speaking to the soldiers, he said: “I just wanted to come here in person to say thank you for all that you’re doing, keeping everyone safe out here and keeping an eye on what’s going on.

“So, just a big thank you for what you do on a day-to-day basis.”


It comes after Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin looked to shaping a new world order as the Chinese president left Moscow on Wednesday, having made no direct support for the Russian president’s war in Ukraine during his three-day visit.

Mr Xi made a strong show of solidarity with Putin against the West, telling Mr Putin as he departed: “Now there are changes that haven’t happened in 100 years. When we are together, we drive these changes.”


Analysis: China’s sway over Russia grows amid Ukraine fight

It was a revealing moment during Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s tightly scripted visit to Moscow: Standing in the doorway of the Grand Kremlin Palace, he told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the two of them were “witnessing the changes that haven’t been seen in more than a century, and we are pushing them together.”

“I agree,” Putin responded.

The remarks — caught on a Kremlin camera over a bodyguard’s shoulder — offered a rare glimpse into Xi’s ambitions and his relationship with Russia after more than a year of fighting in Ukraine.


Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 01:00


Xi Jinping’s parting comment to Putin on leaving Moscow: ‘Changes are happening’

Xi Jinping had a parting comment about China for his “dear friend” Vladimir Putin as he concluded his two-day trip to Moscow.

On Tuesday evening, Mr Xi shook Mr Putin’s hand and talked about unprecedented change.

Maroosha Muzaffar has more:

Emily Atkinson23 March 2023 00:00


US weighs in on Moscow’s reaction to depleted uranium tank ammunition

The US has accused Russia of “driving a stake” through “yet another straw man” over Moscow’s assertion the UK increased the chances of a “nuclear collision” by supplying Ukraine with depleted uranium tank shells.

Asked about Russia’s remarks, US defence department spokesman John Kirby said: “Well, certainly we would let the the UK speak for itself in terms of what sovereign decisions they’re going to make about providing ammunition but I mean, make no mistake, this is yet another straw man through which the Russians are driving a stake.

“This kind of ammunition is fairly commonplace been in use for for decades. I think what’s really going on here is Russia just doesn’t want Ukraine to continue to take out its tanks and and, and render them inoperative.”

Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 23:00


China ‘very carefully’ West’s response to Russian invasion, says Blinken

China is “very carefully” watching how Washington and the world respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but has not yet crossed the line of providing lethal aid to Moscow, US secretary of state Antony Blinken has said.

Speaking on the heels of a visit to Moscow by Chinese president Xi Jinping, Blinken told a Senate hearing that if Russia was allowed to attack its neighbor with impunity, it would “open a Pandora’s box” for would-be aggressors and lead to a “world of conflict.”


“The stakes in Ukraine go well beyond Ukraine. … I think it has a profound impact in Asia, for example,” Blinken said, noting that Japan and South Korea had been major supporters of Ukraine in the conflict.

However, he said he did not believe that China has been providing lethal aid to Moscow.

“As we speak today, we have not seen them cross that line,” Blinken told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, the first of four times he will testify to congressional committees this week.

Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 22:00


World Bank puts cost of rebuilding Ukraine at $411 billion

A World Bank report released on Wednesday puts the cost of Ukraine‘s recovery and rebuilding from Russia’s invasion at $411 billion over the next decade, with the cost of cleaning up the war rubble alone at $5 billion.

The report provides both sweeping and closely detailed looks at some of the toll of Russia’s war in Ukraine: at least 9,655 civilians confirmed dead, including 465 children; nearly 2 million homes damaged; more than one out of five public health institutions damaged; and 650 ambulances damaged or looted.


(Getty Images)

In all, the World Bank calculated $135 billion in direct damage to buildings and infrastructure so far, not counting broader economic damage.

The damage would be even worse if not for the strong defense mounted by the Ukrainian forces, Anna Bjerde, the World Bank vice president for Europe and Central Asia, noted in a call with reporters. She said the worst damage has been confined to the front-line regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk and Kherson.

(AFP via Getty Images)

As it is, the World Bank said, Russia’s invasion has undone 15 years of economic progress in Ukraine, cutting Ukraine‘s gross domestic product by 29 per cent and pushing 1.7 million Ukrainians into poverty.

Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 21:02


Zelensky points to Xi’s Moscow visit as he hits out at Russian strikes

Volodymyr Zelensky made an apparent reference to Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow while condeming the latest waves of Russian strikes on Ukraine.

Mr Zelensky tweeted: “Every time someone tries to hear the word ‘peace’ in Moscow, another order is given there for such criminal strikes.”

It came after Russia blasted an apartment block in Ukraine with missiles on Wednesday and swarmed cities with drone attacks overnight.

Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 20:00


Russian air strikes on two Ukrainian cities kill seven, officials say

At least seven people were killed on Wednesday in Russian air strikes on Ukrainian cities which President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said showed Moscow was not interested in peace.

In a series of early-morning drone strikes, six people were killed and 18 taken to hospital when two dormitories and a college were hit in Rzhyshchiv, 40 miles (64 km) south of the capital Kyiv, regional police chief Andrii Nebytov said.


The attack left a gaping hole in the top floor of a five-storey dormitory and a pile of rubble marked where part of another building had stood, a Reuters witness said.

Hours later, two residential buildings were damaged in a missile strike on the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia. One person was killed and 33 taken to hospital, officials said.

The Ukrainian military said it knocked out 16 of 21 Iranian-made Shahed drones fired by Russia.

Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 19:30


More images from Prince William’s visit to Poland





Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 19:00


Mary Dejevsky: Why the West should worry about the end to the Putin and Xi summit

This week’s RussiaChina summit in Moscow was not unusual in itself, writes Mary Dejevsky. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have met many times more, and less, formally. They appear to have established an amicable and straight-talking relationship – their discussions were described by Putin at their closing press conference as “frank, open and friendly”.

Viewed through the longer lens of history, however, this visit may end up being seen as a unique, landmark, occasion: the point at which the global centre of gravity started seriously to shift from West to East.

Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 18:30


Russia says risk of a nuclear clash ‘is at its highest level in decades’

The risk of a nuclear clash is at its highest level in decades, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov has said.

Strained relations between Russia and the United States have worsened since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. In February, Moscow pulled out of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Washington.

Speaking at an event entitled “A World Without START: What’s Next”, Ryabkov said there was “no question” of Russia restoring the treaty for now, criticising what he called Washington’s “hostile course” towards Moscow.

“I wouldn’t want to dive into a discussion about whether the likelihood of a nuclear conflict is high today, but it is higher than anything we have had for the past few decades, let’s put it that way,” the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Ryabkov said Russia was committed to keeping the world “safe and free” from the threat of nuclear war, but added later that business could not continue as usual, given that Moscow was now “in a de facto state of open conflict with the United States”.

Emily Atkinson22 March 2023 18:00

Source: Independent


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