In this live blog you can read the most important developments regarding the war in Ukraine.
More than 30 countries against participation of Russia and Belarus in Paris Games
Governments of more than thirty countries, including the Netherlands, Great Britain, France and the United States, have issued a joint letter calling again for the banning of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international sporting events such as the Olympic Games.
The countries have asked the International Olympic Committee how the IOC thinks athletes from Russia and Belarus can compete in the Paris Games in 2024. Athletes from those two countries are currently barred from most international sporting events due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the support the Russian army received from Belarus.
- A massive ‘no’ to Russian participation in the Paris Olympic Games
The Netherlands is supplying another 230 soldiers for training Ukrainians
This year, the cabinet will deploy another 230 soldiers for the training of Ukrainians. They will contribute to the training of a total of 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The cabinet calls the training of Ukrainian soldiers “essential for Ukrainian sustainability”.
- The Netherlands is supplying another 230 soldiers for training Ukrainians
King Charles visits Ukrainian soldiers during training
British King Charles today visited Ukrainian soldiers who are being trained in England. The king watched during various exercises, during which the Ukrainians receive instructions from British soldiers.
The training takes about 35 days. In the past six months, some 10,000 soldiers in England have been trained for the war between Ukraine and Russia.
Podcast De Dag Special: one year of war in audio
Almost a year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine. That is why Podcast De Dag is all about this war this week: victims, refugees, stragglers, reporters and analysts pass by. Today: one year of large-scale war in audio, an annual review in sound:
- Podcast De Dag Special: one year of war in audio
White House informed Russia of Biden’s Ukraine trip yesterday
The White House notified Russia yesterday of President Biden’s visit to Kyiv today. According to National Security Adviser Sullivan, Moscow was briefed yesterday just before leaving Washington.
Sullivan declined to comment, except that the visit was reported to avoid escalation. During Biden’s visit, US surveillance aircraft monitored Kyiv from Polish airspace. In the Ukrainian capital, streets were closed and long columns of cars drove by to monitor the situation.
The visit was kept strictly secret. According to Sullivan, it has been months in the making and Biden gave his approval for the trip last Friday at the White House.
Hoekstra: soon new ammunition for Ukraine
The Netherlands supports new European arms deliveries to Ukraine. That is what Minister Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs said during a consultation with European fellow ministers in Brussels.
“There is an EU plan to buy ammunition together. As the Netherlands, we want to fully support that.” According to Hoekstra, it is important that the European plans are worked out quickly: “It is essential that the ammunition arrives, sooner rather than later.”
US President Biden announced today during a lightning visit to Kyiv that the United States will again support Ukraine militarily, with a package worth half a billion dollars. These include artillery ammunition and air surveillance radars.
Top Chinese diplomat calls for peace ahead of visit to Moscow
China hopes that the violence in the world will soon come to an end. China’s top diplomat Wang Yi said this prior to his visit to Moscow. He is probably referring to the war in Ukraine.
Yi said on a visit to Budapest where he spoke with Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjarto. “We jointly want to let the world know that China and Hungary are happy to work with other peace-loving countries to end the current violence as soon as possible,” Yi said. The top diplomat is expected in Moscow at any moment, probably for a meeting with President Putin.
China says it is working on a peace plan for the war in Ukraine. US Secretary of State Blinken expressed concern yesterday about the possibility that China will supply arms to Russia. EU foreign policy chief Borrell says China has said it will not do that: “But we remain vigilant,” said Borrell.
Biden leaves Kyiv after a five-hour surprise visit
US President Biden has left the Ukrainian capital again after showing up there this morning. The US president was in Ukraine for the first time since the war almost a year ago.
Biden and President Zelensky the Wall of Remembrance where all fallen Ukrainian soldiers are honored. Then the two spoke. Biden once again condemned the war and made commitments again. For example, the US will supply additional artillery ammunition, anti-armour systems and air surveillance radars.
Biden visit to Kyiv ‘great support for Ukraine’
Zelensky said upon Biden’s arrival that he experiences the visit as great support for Ukraine:
Biden and Zelensky walking along the memorial wall in the center of Kyiv
President Biden pledges new military aid worth half a billion dollars
US President Biden plans to provide $500 million in new military aid to Ukraine. These include so-called Himars missile systems. That is what Biden promised Ukrainian President Zelensky in Kyiv. Biden is likely to officially announce the delivery tomorrow, during his visit to Poland tomorrow.
In a statement, Biden writes: “I will announce a new delivery of key equipment, including artillery ammunition, anti-armour systems and aerial surveillance radars to help protect the Ukrainian people from aerial bombardment”.
Zelensky calls Biden’s Kyiv visit ‘extremely important’
Ukrainian President Zelensky says the US President’s surprise visit to his country is extremely important for supporting Ukrainians. The two leaders spoke, among other things, about arms deliveries, the Reuters Zelensky news agency quotes. For example, Biden has promised the delivery of new Himars missile systems.
“Biden left last night and arrived in Kyiv by train”
A journalist from The Financial Times says President Biden left the US by plane last night and arrived in Kyiv by train this afternoon local time. It is not known where Biden landed with his plane.
US President Joe Biden is on a surprise visit to Kyiv, where he’s meeting with President Zelensky ahead of the one-year mark of Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. He left overnight and arrived by train in Kyiv this morning. He and Zelensky just visited St. Michael’s Square.
February 20, 2023
First images of Biden in Kyiv
Air raid sirens sounded in Ukraine during Biden’s surprise visit
Air raid sirens went off this morning in Kiyiv and other parts of Ukraine. The alarm went off when US President Biden arrived in the capital for a surprise visit.
President Biden for the first time since war broke out in Kyiv
US President Biden is in Ukraine for the first time since the outbreak of war. He is in capital Kyiv for an unannounced visit. Officially, only a visit to Poland was on Biden’s program. He would land there tomorrow.
Several streets in the center of the Ukrainian capital were closed to traffic this morning, after which rumors of a possible visit from Biden grew stronger.
Hoekstra: years of war in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine will go on for a long time, says Foreign Minister Hoekstra in the AD. He says military aid to Ukraine must continue unabated. “You can’t stop supporting now, then everything will have been for nothing.”
According to Hoekstra, the war is less than halfway. “Look at history: the Soviet Union was at war in Afghanistan for nine years, the Russians have been out for decades for domination in Eastern Europe, and in 1940 and 1941 there was also the idea that World War II would soon be over.”
The minister warns of war fatigue. “It’s a litmus test of our credibility. This is seen in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran.”
Memorial week invasion of Ukraine started
Friday marks one year since Russia invaded Ukraine. This is being discussed in various places this week. For example, US President Biden will fly to Poland today to give a speech there tomorrow. He will not travel to Ukraine. Biden may discuss sending additional US troops to Poland with Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki.
The United Kingdom will hold a minute’s silence on Friday. Prime Minister Sunak will kick off the moment of silence. The British cabinet is calling on people and organizations to get involved.
The UN is voting this week on a draft resolution that emphasizes achieving “just and lasting peace”. The resolution demands that Moscow withdraw its troops and that hostilities cease. In addition to the vote, speeches are also held on the occasion of the year mark.
From today Ukrainian spelling for almost all place names
As of today, the NOS has switched to Ukrainian spelling of almost all Ukrainian place names. This means that we no longer write Kiev (a conversion from Russian), for example, but Kyiv (a conversion from Ukrainian). There are still a few exceptions. We explain how it all works here.
Welcome to this live blog about the main developments surrounding the war in Ukraine. A quick look back at the main events of Saturday and Sunday:
- European Union foreign chief Josep Borrell has called for more ammunition to be delivered to Ukraine. Speaking at the Munich security conference, he said Ukrainian President Zelensky and the Ukrainians “get a lot of applause but not enough ammunition”. “That’s the paradox. There should be less applause and more guns.”
- US Secretary of State Blinken has warned China not to supply military equipment to Russia in the fight against Ukraine. Supporting the war will have serious consequences for US-China relations, Blinken told top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
- Minister Hoekstra announced on Saturday that the Netherlands will expel a number of Russian diplomats because Russia will not stop placing intelligence officers as diplomats. Russia also refuses to issue visas for Dutch diplomats for Saint Petersburg and the Dutch embassy in Moscow.
Read more? Here you will find the previous live blog.