The US and its allies would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea Fleet if Russian President Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons, said former CIA director and retired four-star Army General David Petraeus on Sunday. Petreaus said he has not spoken to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan about the likely US response, but he told ABC News that he believes a Russian nuclear attack in Ukraine would trigger a US-led NATO response. “They don’t want to get into another nuclear escalation here. But you have to show that there is no way this can be accepted,” said Petraeus.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that Ukraine has “completely evacuated” Russian forces from the key eastern city of Lyman. a day after Moscow admitted its troops had withdrawn after being encircled. In a short video clip on his Telegram channel, the Ukrainian President thanked the Ukrainian troops for liberating Lyman.
The British Ministry of Defense has described the town of Lyman as strategically crucialdue to its “important crossroads across the river Siversky Donets, behind which Russia has tried to consolidate its defenses”.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Smyhal said that 900 Ukrainian teachers had volunteered for the Ukrainian army fighting the Russian invasion since February 24. “This is a great example of serving your people,” he said.
The body of Paul Urey, a British volunteer who died after being captured by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, has been returned to Britain. Urey’s family raised £9,000 for the repatriation of his body after the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it was unable to pay for the cost of transport.
A leading UK charity that has been helping the government reunite Ukrainian refugees with hosts after initial accommodation has ended or collapsed will scale back its activities because it says that the scheme is not feasible. Hosting agreements are for a minimum of six months and many will expire after the program opened in March.
According to the Kyiv Independent, Ukrainian forces shot down eight Iranian-made kamikaze drones on Sunday. According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Ukrainian Air Force also carried our four airstrikes, which hit two Russian weapons caches and two anti-aircraft missile systems.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said he believed Ukraine was “making progress” in the war. In a CNN interview that aired on Sunday, Austin attributed the changing tide of war to the caliber of Ukrainian soldiers and their use of weapons provided to them by the US and NATO countries.
According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s top representative in the region, Ukraine is beginning to believe it can retake Crimea. While there is no indication that Ukraine is on the verge of regaining the annexed region, Tamila Tasheva and her team spend their days discussing the logistics of what would happen should Kyiv regain control.
The nine European countries that previously issued a statement condemning Russia’s annexation of Ukraine all signaled their support for Ukraine’s NATO membership. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Slovakia supported a path for Ukraine’s NATO membership in their somewhat opaque joint statement.
The Associated Press has found evidence of 10 torture sites in the city of Izium after Russia’s withdrawal. “The AP spoke to 15 survivors of Russian torture in the Kharkiv region, as well as two families whose loved ones disappeared into Russian hands,” the AP reported.
Russia’s constitutional court has recognized the lawful annexation of four key Ukrainian territories. The court effectively sanctioned the annexation deals signed by Vladimir Putin with the Moscow-backed leaders of the regions, despite widespread condemnation from the West.
Germany, Denmark and Norway have commissioned the construction of long-range weapons for Ukraine. The delivery of 16 Slovak Zuzana-2 howitzers just announced by the Federal Ministry of Defense is scheduled to begin next year.
Gas leaks from the damaged Nord Stream 1 pipeline have now stopped. This follows Saturday’s announcement that gas was no longer flowing from Nord Stream 2. The Danish Energy Agency said on Sunday it had been informed by Nord Stream AG that stable pressure had been reached in the damaged Nord Stream 1 pipeline and that this indicated that the outflow of natural gas from recent leaks has now stopped was reported by Portal.