The situation in Donbass remains uneasy, as Kiev continues to carry out attacks in the region. According to Lugansk, on Tuesday alone Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire regime at least 114 times. Mass evacuation is ongoing in the DPR and LPR due to shellings by the Ukrainian armed forces.On Monday, following an appeal from the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic Russia recognised both as independent countries in a bid to stop the eight-year-long war in Donbass. Moscow also ratified friendship and cooperation treaties with both republics and promised to provide military assistance to DPR and LPR in case of a threat.In response, the US, Britain, and European countries introduced sanctions against Moscow, claiming that the recognition of the Donbass republics violated the sovereignty of Ukraine.Follow Sputnik’s Live Feed to Find Out More!New firstOld first13:47 GMT 23.02.2022Zelensky Says Budapest Memorandum Not Working, Ukraine Defends Itself13:26 GMT 23.02.2022UK’s Media Regulator Never Questioned RT’s Right to Broadcast in Country – RTUK’s media regulator Ofcom has always recognized RT’s right to broadcast in the country and has not detected any code violations for four years, RT’s deputy editor-in-chief Anna Belkina told Sputnik.Earlier in the day, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Ofcom will be instructed to withdraw RT’s license to broadcast in the United Kingdom.”RT’s operational and editorial independence from all governments is legally protected and always has been. Ofcom recognizes this and has long-endorsed RT as a license holder. Even in the face of undue political pressure it has continuously found RT to be in line with other UK broadcasters, without a single breach of broadcasting Code to be found in the last 4 years – not something that can be said about many other channels in the country,” Belkina said.She stressed that the UK politicians are now openly interfering in institutions supposed to be independent and wholly free from political pressure, “exposing their self-proclaimed commitment to such values as free speech and regulatory independence as nothing but a sham.”13:16 GMT 23.02.2022Moscow on Threats to RT: Russia Will Impose Retaliatory Measures if UK Implements ThreatsIf the United Kingdom makes moves against Russian media, Moscow will surely impose response measures, Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, said on Wednesday.”If Britain implements threats against Russian media, retaliatory measures will be imposed promptly. British journalists may ask their German colleagues how it happens,” Zakharova told reporters.13:13 GMT 23.02.2022Ukrainian Parliament Registers Draft Resolution on Appeal to UNGA on ‘Excluding Russia From UN’The Vekhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, on Wednesday has registered a draft resolution appealing to the UN General Assembly to exclude Russia from the United Nations.The document dubbed “A draft resolution on appeal of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the UN General Assembly on the Russia’s exclusion from the United Nations” has been registered on Wednesday.The resolution has yet to be published.13:12 GMT 23.02.2022Moscow Will Give Strong Response to US SanctionsMoscow will respond with strong measures to the US sanctions, and they will be sensitive to Washington, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.Moscow Vows Strong Response to US Sanctions That Will Be Painful For Washington 13:05 GMT13:00 GMT 23.02.2022Johnson: UK Media Regulator Asked to Review Broadcast Licence of Russia’s RT TV ChannelAfter Moscow recognised Dobass people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugans, Britain’s media regulator had been asked to review the broadcast licence of Russian news channel RT, Boris Johnson said during PMQ in parliament.”I believe that … the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has already asked Ofcom to review that matter.””But what I will say … is that we live in a democracy,” he added. “We live in a country that believes in free speech. And I think it’s important that we should leave it up to Ofcom rather than to politicians to decide which media organisations to ban, that’s what Russia does.”12:53 GMT 23.02.2022DPR Head Says Ukrainian Army May Launch Offensive at Any MinuteDPR Head Says Ukrainian Army May Launch Offensive at Any Minute11:59 GMT12:49 GMT 23.02.2022France Will Not Use Military Force to Protect UkraineFrance will not use its military force to protect Ukraine, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.”Regarding the possible invasion of Ukraine and our assistance, we have already spoken clearly and I want to say that the answer is no,” Attal told reporters when asked whether France will defend Ukraine by military means in the event of a Russian invasion.12:07 GMT 23.02.2022Boris Johnson Says UK to Send Lethal ‘Defensive’ Weapons to Ukraine SoonThe United Kingdom will provide Ukraine with a new package of military aid in the near future in light of the “increasingly threatening behavior from Russia,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.
“I can announce to the House [of Commons] that in the light of the increasingly threatening behavior from Russia and in line with our previous support, the UK will shortly be providing a further package of military support Ukraine,” Johnson told the parliament.
According to the prime minister, the new package will include “lethal aid” in the form of defensive weapons and non-lethal aid.11:54 GMT 23.02.2022WATCH LIVE: DPR Head Pushilin Holds Press Conference After Donbass Republics RecognitionDPR Head Pushilin Holds Press Conference After Donbass Republics Recognition11:53 GMT11:52 GMT 23.02.2022Ukrainian Armed Forces Settle Personnel in Houses of Civilians in Donbass – LPR OfficialThe Ukrainian armed forces are evicting civilians from their houses in the Zolote town and the Popasna city in Donbass to settle their military personnel, spokesman for the LPR people’s militia Ivan Filiponenko said on Wednesday.”For the completion of the 30th squadron of the Ukrainian armed forces, the arrival of personnel from the formed territorial defense units is noted. According to information received from residents of the territory occupied by Kiev, under the pretext of a planned evacuation of the population, the military-civilian administration is evicting civilians from houses in the settlement of Zolote [a disputed town near the line of contact] and Popasna [under the control of Kiev],” Filiponenko told reporters.About 60 people were evacuated from the settlements, he said, noting that arriving soldiers “were settled in the liberated houses.”11:50 GMT 23.02.2022South Korea Considers Imposing Sanctions on Russia, Excludes Military Support to UkraineSouth Korea is considering the possibility of imposing sanctions on Russia following the recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, but at the same time has excluded the option of military support to Ukraine, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Wednesday, citing a senior official from the presidential administration.”Major Western nations have expressed willingness to join in sanctions. We are also looking at this while leaving various possibilities open,” the official said, adding that it is still unclear how the Ukrainian situation will unfold.According to the media, the South Korean government has ruled out the possibility of military support and deployment in Ukraine.11:35 GMT 23.02.2022Artillery Fire Heard in Lugansk, Sputnik Correspondent Reports11:14 GMT 23.02.2022WATCH Twin Explosions Hit Trolleybus Depot in Lugansk in Yet Another Terrorist AttackWatch Twin Explosions Hit Trolleybus Depot in Lugansk in Yet Another Terrorist Attack11:07 GMT11:08 GMT 23.02.2022EU Ambassadors Approve Sanctions on RussiaThe permanent representatives of the EU member states on Wednesday agreed on all the technical details of European sanctions for recognizing the independence of the breakaway republics in Donbas at the COREPER II meeting, the final approval procedure has been launched, the French Permanent Representation to the bloc said.”COREPER II has agreed on legal instruments related to sanctions. A written procedure has been launched with a deadline of 15:00 [14:00] for their approval by the EU Council and their publication in the Official Journal of the EU today,” the mission tweeted.EU sanctions package against Russia will also targer media sector.11:07 GMT 23.02.2022Erdogan Says Turkey Cannot Abandon Ties With Russia or Ukraine”It is not possible for us to abandon either [country],” he was cited as saying by Turkish broadcasters. “Our aim is that we take such a step that, God willing, we sort this out without abandoning either one.”10:54 GMT 23.02.2022IMF Starts Second Review of Cooperation Programme With UkraineIMF Starts Second Review of Cooperation Programme With Ukraine10:36 GMT10:53 GMT 23.02.2022Ukrainian Security Council Head Says Unaware of Kiev’s Nuclear Weapons Development PlansUkrainian Security and Defense Council head Oleksiy Danilov said on Wednesday that he has no information about Kiev’s plans on the development of nuclear weapons.Ukraine signed the treaty with the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia in 1994, agreeing to give up the nuclear arsenal left behind by the Soviet Union in its territory in exchange for security guarantees by the other signatories. On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his address to the Munich Security Conference that he will initiate negotiations of the participants to the Budapest memorandum.”The Ukrainian president did not speak about developing nuclear weapons. The president drew attention to the fulfillment of the Budapest memorandum’s conditions for our security that were spelled out there by all signatories. The signatories took the power to ensure our independence for giving up all our nuclear weapons, our nuclear potential. I have not seen anywhere and have not heard anywhere that we were going to develop nuclear weapons, I do not know why you are interpreting it that way,” Danilov told a briefing.10:25 GMT 23.02.2022Kiev Enforces New Restrictions in Areas Bordering Russia, Belarus, Donbass – Border GuardThe Ukrainian border guard on Wednesday enforced additional restrictions in areas of Ukraine bordering Russia, Belarus, the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics and in areas adjacent to the sea coast.”Additional temporary regime restrictions are introduced in areas bordering Russia, Belarus, the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and areas adjacent to the sea coast,” the border guard wrote on Facebook.Restrictions include staying in the border areas at night, movement of transport except for military, law enforcement and agricultural machinery, use of radios, flights of light-engine aircraft and drones, video and photo shooting of personnel and facilities of the border guard.10:25 GMT 23.02.2022Total of 36,000 Reservists are Being Recruited Into Ukrainian Army, National Security Council Head SaysKiev will draft 36,000 reservists amid the situation in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) head Oleksiy Danilov said on WednesdayEarlier in the day, the NSDC decided to declare a state of emergency in light of the situation in the breakaway Donbas region and Russia’s alleged invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian parliament is yet to approve the decision.”Regarding the reservists, their number will be 36,000 as for today, they are mostly people who have already been to the frontline, they know what we are talking about. Depending on where there will be a need to use them, this is a question for the military, where certain military personnel will be used,” Danilov told a briefing.