Ukraine war live - Russia 'ready for negotiations' - if West meets conditions; Putin's 'private army' recruiting 'convicts with diseases' (2023)

Key points
  • Moscow says it is ready for negotiations - if the West 'offers some serious approaches'
  • Joe Biden says Russia's decision to suspend grain export deal is 'outrageous' and would increase starvation
  • Russia pulled out of deal with Ukraine after drone strike in Crimea
  • Putin's 'private army' is recruiting convicts with 'HIV and hepatitis C' for Ukraine war
  • Ukraine War Diaries: Listen to the latest episode as Russian power play plunges Ukraine into darkness
  • Watch live on Tuesday night: Ukraine - A Modern War, broadcast from the Imperial War Museum
  • Updates from John Sparks in eastern Ukraine and Dominic Waghorn in Moscow. Live updates by Emily Mee


Turkey in talks with Ukraine and Russia in attempt to revive grain deal

Turkish officials are trying to get Russia back on board after it withdrew from a UN-brokered deal to allow grain shipments from Ukraine.

Moscow suspended its participation yesterday, saying it was as a result of a drone strike in Crimea.

Turkey's defence minister Hulusi Akar said both sides should avoid any "provocation" that could affect the deal.

Shipments of grain from Ukraine's Black Sea ports had halted during the invasion, but the deal allowed tonnes of food to be shipped out to the world.


Russia says US 'disregarded' allegations about UK

Moscow has hit out at the US for its response to a drone strike in Crimea yesterday.

Russia's ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said: "Washington's reaction to the terrorist attack on the port of Sevastopol is truly outrageous."

He criticised America's lack of condemnation of what it called "reckless actions by the Kyiv regime".

Russia has accused Ukraine of launching the attack on its Black Sea fleet - which it said damaged one ship - but Ukraine has denied this.

The Kremlin also alleged the UK helped Ukraine to plan the strike - something that was also not commented on by the US.

Mr Antonov said: "All the indications that the British military specialists were involved in organizing the massive strike with the use of drones, are disregarded [by the US]."

(Video) Defected Russian soldier describes life inside Putin's war in Ukraine

The UK has denied the allegation and said Moscow is trying to deflect attention from its struggles on the battlefield.


NATO calls on Russia to urgently renew its role in grain export deal

NATO has called on Russia to urgently renew its participation in a grain export deal after the country decided to pull out of the agreement on Saturday.

In a plea to Moscow, the military alliance has asked Vladimir Putin to reconsider his decision to enable food to "reach those who need it most".

"President Putin must stop weaponising food and end hisillegal war on Ukraine," NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said.

"We call on Russia to reconsider its decision and renew the deal urgently, enabling food to reach those who need it most."

Russia suspended its role in the UN-brokered deal after it accused Kyiv of conducting a "terrorist attack" on a fleet of Black Sea ships in Crimea.

Signed in July, the pact had been allowing shipments of Ukrainian grain to be exported from blockaded ports.


(Video) The War With Ukraine Is Coming Home to Russians

Russia claims it has recovered drones used in Crimea attack

The Russian Defence Ministry says it has recovered and analysed the wreckage of drones used in Crimea yesterday.

It claimed the attack caused minor damage to one of its Black Sea Fleet ships.

Analysis showed the drones were equipped with Canadian-made navigation modules, the ministry said.

It also alleged yesterday that the attack was carried out by Ukraine under British leadership.

Russia's Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said he will defend what Russian territory by any means necessary.

Crimea, which is in the south of Ukraine, was annexed by Moscow in 2014.


Russia has 'detonated key bridge in Luhansk region'

A Ukrainian official has said Russia detonated the Krasna Bridge in the eastern Luhansk region today - an apparent attempt to hamper Ukrainian forces.

Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said Russian forces are "afraid" that the Ukrainians are "very close" as the counteroffensive in the region continues.

Russian forces also reportedly blew up another bridge near Kreminna yesterday.

Heavy fighting has been taking place in the Luhansk region as Ukraine pushes towards the Russian-occupied towns of Svatove and Kreminna.

Yesterday we reported that the road between the towns is largely under the control of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian authorities.

The bridge is roughly halfway between the two towns.


Ukraine's internet army of 'fellas' are using dog memes to fight Russian propaganda

It may be NATO sending missiles and tanks to Ukraine, but on social media an information war is being fought by a rowdy band of online comrades called NAFO. Meet the fellas.

NAFO - or the North Atlantic Fella Organisation - are on the front lines of a fight against Russian propaganda and have raised a million dollars for Ukraine's armies on the real world battlefield.

They hound Russian officials on Twitter and ensure those who spout lies about the war are met with a horde of cartoon Shiba Inu dogs mocking them.

But beyond the jokes and memes, the "fellas" have raised huge sums to buy ammunition and vehicles for the Ukrainian resistance.

Read more from our foreign news reporter Michael Drummond here...

(Video) Russia and China hold talks in the shadow of Ukraine war


Ukrainian MP's seven-year-old son 'knows what to do in a nuclear attack'

If you were watching our Sophy Ridge on Sunday show earlier, you may have seen Inna Sovsun's impactful interview.

The Ukrainian MP said that while heading to an underground shelter, her seven-year-old son had asked her: "Mum, am I going to die?"

"I had to be very calm and say no, I’mdoing my best to protect you," she said.

"But trust me, this is not the question you want to be answering to a kid at any point in time and then when we reached the metro station, he looked at me again and said to me: 'Mum, are those bombs that we are hearing, are those the nuclear bombs or the regular ones?'"

When she explained they were regular bombs, her son had "proudly" told her: "I know what happens in a nuclear attack because that is what we learned at school."

Ms Sovsun continued: "And that is again something you never want to hear from your childbut he said 'yes, we had instructions about what to do and I will tell you what to do in case you forget'."


Russia expands list of 'unfriendly countries' to include territory with population of only around 50

The Russian government has expanded its list of countries and territories which are "unfriendly", including 11 British overseas territories.

The list now includes:

  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Montserrat
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Islands of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia

Three British territories were already considered "unfriendly" to Russia - Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Gibraltar.

It's worth noting that the Pitcairn Islands, in the southern Pacific Ocean, have a population of only about 50 people.

(Video) Inside Russia, anguish as men are enlisted to fight in Putin’s war


Russia says it is ready for negotiations - if the West 'offers some serious approaches'

Moscow has dangled the prospect of negotiations with the West, but made clear it will need some concessions.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said the Kremlin is ready to negotiate if the West "fully takes into account the interests" of Russia, according to state-controlled news outlet RIA Novosti.

He said Western leaders would also need to offer "some serious approaches that will contribute to defusing tensions".

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov made similar comments today, saying Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden could "discuss Russia's security guarantees" but that such talks would require US willingness to return to "the state of December-January".

Back in December, the Kremlin drafted agreements and sent them to NATO and the US.

In the documents, it had demanded that NATO would not expand further, and would abandon any military activity on the territory of Ukraine, other states of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

This was rejected by the US and NATO at the time.

Next month, the G20 summit of the world's largest economies will see Mr Putin and Mr Biden both attending.

However, Politico reported that US officials were working to make sure the two leaders do not cross paths.

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