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Russia-Ukraine war comes close to NATO's borders

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NATO will act if Russia hits alliance: US
Sanctions have frozen around US$ 300 bn of Russian reserves
Chernobyl Nuclear Plant restored
Bus carrying Ukrainian refugees overturns in Italy, one dead

RUSSIA,UKRAINE: In a huge escalation of tensions, Russian missiles pounded a military base – a critical hub for cooperation with NATO countries in west Ukraine on Sunday, killing 35 people.

Another fresh appeal to “close the skies” was sent out by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to NATO with a warning. “If you don’t close our sky, it is only a matter of time before Russian rockets fall on your territory, on NATO territory,” the 44-year-old said in a video address.

Over 30 cruise missiles targeted the sprawling facility at Yavoriv military base on Sunday, perilously close to the border with Poland – a NATO member. Poland is also a transit route for Western military aid to Ukraine, and the strikes followed Moscow’s threats to target those shipments, according to reports.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in the besieged port city of Mariupol. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, suffering in the port city is “simply immense” and that hundreds of thousands of residents are “facing extreme or total shortages of basic necessities like food, water and medicine”, Agencies reported.

More than 2.7 million have fled the war so far, according to the United Nations. Of these, over 1 million have arrived in Poland.

Meanwhile, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says Russia will face a response from NATO should any of its attacks in Ukraine cross borders and hit members of the security alliance.

Sullivan says a military attack on NATO territory would cause the invocation of Article 5. That requires other countries in NATO to come to the defense of the attacked nation. Sullivan says “We will bring the full force of the NATO alliance to bear in responding.”

Meanwhile, Foreign sanctions have frozen around US$ 300 billion out of US$ 640 billion that Russia had in its gold and forex reserves, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview with state TV aired on Sunday.

Siluanov also said Russia will fulfil its state debt obligations and will pay roubles to its debt holders until the state reserves are unfrozen, RIA state news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Ukraine says it has restored Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) four days after they were completely lost at the Russian-controlled site, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a bus carrying about 50 Ukrainian refugees overturned on a major highway in northern Italy at dawn on Sunday, killing one person, Italian firefighters said.

Some 35,000 Ukrainians refugees who fled war in their homeland have entered Italy, most of them through its northeastern border with Slovenia. – THE HINDUSTAN TIMES


Tuesday, March 15, 2022 – 01:00

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