Ukrainians head home ready to die for their country

Source: BBC

In Przemyśl on the Polish-Ukrainian border, women and children are arriving on foot with only the belongings they can carry – leaving husbands, fathers, brothers and sons behind to fight.

But there also is a steady stream of men aged under 45 walking in the opposite direction into Ukraine to defend their country. They are mostly Ukrainian men living abroad, and we’ve been told of some coming from as far afield as Canada.

I meet a man waiting for a train to Ukraine.

He says: “I was a corporal in the army. From 2017 I’ve been working here in Poland. I must go back now quickly for the war. I am from the army, that’s why I must go back.”

I ask him if he is frightened and he says: “No, I’m not scared because I’m going to defend my country. I’ve earned money here. But this is my country, my land. I must defend it. I must go back and I must defend my country.”

I ask him if he’s prepared to die and he replies: “Yes, for my country I’m prepared to die.”

Outrage at treatment of Nigerians at Poland border

Source: BBC

As thousands flee the crisis, Nigeria’s government has condemned reports that its citizens, and those from other African countries, have been prevented from leaving war-torn Ukraine.

We’ve heard from Isaac, a Nigerian man living in Ukraine who’s been trying to gain entry into Poland. He says border staff told him they were “not tending to Africans”.

There have also been reports of Ukrainian security officials preventing Africans from catching buses and trains going to the border.

On Sunday Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geofrey Onyeama said he had spoken with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and had been assured that Ukrainian border guards had been given an order to allow all foreigners leaving Ukraine to pass without restrictions.

Petrol prices hit record high in UK

Source: BBC

Surges in global oil prices prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are being felt at the petrol pump in the UK.

 

 

The average price of petrol jumped to £1.51 a litre on Sunday, the RAC said, while diesel rose to £1.55.

 

 

Russia is the second-biggest exporter of crude oil, and while only 6% of UK imports come from Russia, there are concerns sanctions could restrict supplies worldwide and drive up prices.

Queues at cash points as sanctions start to hit Russia

Source: BBC

The Kremlin does not want the Russian people to think that these sanctions are going to bite, even though international experts are saying that they will, and deeply too.

 

 

We are seeing some effects already today – the rouble fell to a record low, we’ve learned that the stock exchange is not going to open and Russia’s central bank has more than doubled its key interest rate.

 

 

Nevertheless, the Kremlin has reiterated that Russia was expecting these sanctions and it has prepared for them.

 

 

Beneath that of course there is going to be concern in the Kremlin, and Vladimir Putin is going to meet economic advisers today.

 

 

People are of course going to start noticing a difference. Already there have been queues at cash points, with people predicting perhaps even a run on banks.

 

 

Presumably in the coming days people will see the value of their savings start to fall, perhaps job losses – all that comes with such unprecedented sanctions.

 

 

Russia kills dozens in Kharkiv shelling, Ukraine officials say

Source: BBC

Dozens of civilians have been killed and hundreds more injured during heavy Russian shelling of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials say.

 

 

Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to Kyiv’s interior minister, wrote on Facebook that Moscow’s troops had bombarded residential areas with Grad missiles, saying: “Dozens have been killed and hundreds wounded!
“The whole world must see this horror! Death to the occupiers!”

 

 

It is not possible at this stage to say exactly how many civilians have been killed so far. The UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet said earlier today that at least 102 civilians had been killed, with a further 304 people injured.

 

 

“Most of these civilians were killed by explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multi-launch rocket systems, and air strikes. The real figures are, I fear, considerably higher,” Bachlet said.
 

Group of Ghanaian students in Ukraine transported safely to Romania – NUGS

Source: myjoyonline

A group of Ghanaian students who were living in Chernivtsi in Ukraine have been evacuated to Romania, following arrangements made by the Foreign Ministry.
 
 
The students who arrived safely in the neighbouring country will be catered for by the Romanian government, a tweet by the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) on Saturday said.

 

 

According to NUGS, another batch of students, about 21 are expected to enter Hungary after spending some hours at the country’s border.

 

 

Some 150 students, including 400 Nigerians, are yet to set off from Ukraine.

 

 

“We have confirmed very reliably that Ghanaian Students who were in the City of Chernivtsi-Ukraine have arrived safely in Romania and are being catered for by the government of Romania as per arrangements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

“Their food, shelter, and basic needs are all being taken care of. Train to Hungary safely on the move as well,” the student body revealed.

 

 

This comes in less than 24 hours after the government announced interventions put in place to evacuate Ghanaians to neighbouring countries.

 

 

The Foreign Affairs Ministry says a list of students caught up in the conflict has been compiled to facilitate the exercise, adding that plans are far advanced to evacuate them.
The move is in line with the closure of Ukraine’s airspace, a situation that has made it difficult to airlift people from the country.

 

 

Meanwhile, relatives of Ghanaians in Ukraine have been invited to a meeting on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

 

 

The meeting will take place at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) at 10 am.

 

 

A statement issued by the Ministry on Saturday, February 26 explained that the meeting is in line with “the prevailing precarious security situation in Ukraine, which has necessitated the evacuation of Ghana nationals, among others from the country to safety.”

Ukraine invasion: Would Putin press the nuclear button?

Source: BBC

Let me begin with an admission. So many times, I’ve thought: “Putin would never do this.” Then he goes and does it.

 

“He’d never annex Crimea, surely?” He did.

“He’d never start a war in the Donbas.” He did.

“He’d never launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.” He has.

I’ve concluded that the phrase “would never do” doesn’t apply to Vladimir Putin.

 

And that raises an uncomfortable question:

“He’d never press the nuclear button first. Would he?”

It’s not a theoretical question. Russia’s leader has just put his country’s nuclear forces on “special” alert, complaining of “aggressive statements” over Ukraine by Nato leaders.

Listen closely to what President Putin has been saying. Last Thursday when he announced on TV his “special military operation” (in reality, a full-scale invasion of Ukraine), he delivered a chilling warning:

 

“To anyone who would consider interfering from the outside – if you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history.”

“Putin’s words sound like a direct threat of nuclear war,” believes Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov, chief editor of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

“In that TV address, Putin wasn’t acting like the master of the Kremlin, but the master of the planet; in the same way the owner of a flash car shows off by twirling his keyring round his finger, Putin was twirling the nuclear button. He’s said many times: if there is no Russia, why do we need the planet? No one paid any attention. But this is a threat that if Russia isn’t treated as he wants, then everything will be destroyed.”

 

Mr Putin, pictured watching a missile launch in 2005, could resort to more desperate measures if his war in Ukraine is perceived to be failing

In a 2018 documentary, President Putin commented that “…if someone decides to annihilate Russia, we have the legal right to respond. Yes, it will be a catastrophe for humanity and for the world. But I’m a citizen of Russia and its head of state. Why do we need a world without Russia in it?”

Fast forward to 2022. Putin has launched a full-scale war against Ukraine, but the Ukrainian armed forces are putting up stiff resistance; Western nations have – to the Kremlin’s surprise – united to impose potentially crippling economic and financial sanctions against Moscow. The very existence of the Putin system may have been put in doubt.

“Putin’s in a tight spot,” believes Moscow-based defence analyst Pavel Felgenhauer. “He doesn’t have many options left, once the West freezes the assets of the Russian Central bank and Russia’s financial system actually implodes. That will make the system unworkable.

“One option for him is to cut gas supplies to Europe, hoping that will make the Europeans climb down. Another option is to explode a nuclear weapon somewhere over the North Sea between Britain and Denmark and see what happens.”

If Vladimir Putin did choose a nuclear option, would anyone in his close circle try to dissuade him? Or stop him?

“Russia’s political elites are never with the people,” says Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov. “They always take the side of the ruler.”

And in Vladimir Putin’s Russia the ruler is all-powerful. This is a country with few checks and balances; it’s the Kremlin that calls the shots.

“No one is ready to stand up to Putin,” says Pavel Felgenhauer. “We’re in a dangerous spot.”

The war in Ukraine is Vladimir Putin’s war. If the Kremlin leader achieves his military aims, Ukraine’s future as a sovereign nation will be in doubt. If he is perceived to be failing and suffers heavy casualties, the fear is that could prompt the Kremlin to adopt more desperate measures.

 

Especially if “would never do” no longer applies.

Ghanaian students in Ukraine to be transported to Poland

The leadership of Ghanaian students in Ukraine have set plans in motion to transport their members to Poland for safety.

 

The President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) in Ternopil City, Richard Ofori, said Ghanaian students in the region, numbering about 250, are expected to be safely transported by Tuesday.

 

“Buses have been booked for tomorrow (Saturday) and Tuesday to transport students to Poland, about 200 to 250 Ghanaian students. We had to make the decision ourselves,” Richard said.

 

He said this on the back of a recent attack launched on Ukraine by Russia. Following this development, Ghanaian students in the region have sent home appeals for them to be evacuated.

 

Government in response has asked them to seek safe places of abode in the interim, while it works to ensure their safety in the country.

 

In a statement announcing this, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said it is doing its best to guarantee the wellbeing of Ghanaians.

 

“The Government of Ghana is gravely concerned about the security and safety of our over 1,000 students and other Ghanaians in Ukraine as we engage the authorities, our relevant diplomatic missions, and our honorary consul on further measures,” it said.

 

The students, however, have taken up the task of ensuring their safety. Richard said, “our national executives [NUGS] in Ghana on Tuesday spoke to some officials in Ghana, but we are also trying to be proactive from this side.”

 

He also noted that they have a 15-day ultimatum to make plans and exit Poland.
“In Poland, we heard we have a Maximum of 15 days to be there so within that 15 days we have to make plans and book tickets and fly out of the country,” he said.

 

Richard added that students are still living in fear.
“As of now I have been in touch with only a couple of guys on the Eastern side and most of them are scared and panicking,” he said.

 

“There is also a limit on cash withdrawals from some ATMs, so I started withdrawing yesterday, and I got just a small percentage of my money. Banks and shops have closed, a friend of mine told me there are queues at the various ATMs. The drivers are not even working,” he added.

 

Background
Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched an unprecedented attack on Ukraine. The move comes after Putin ordered troops into two pro-Russian, breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine on Monday.

 

There have been multiple reports of explosions, bombings, and Russian Military vehicles entering Ukraine from various parts of the border with Russia, with a growing number of casualties being counted on both sides.
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