Published on : Modified :
Russia announced Friday to withdraw tanks deployed near the Ukrainian border and bombers in annexed Crimea, which are returning to their garrisons, amid Western fears of an attack from Ukraine. Follow the latest developments in the Ukrainian crisis hour by hour.
10:01 a.m .: Vladimir Putin will supervise strategic missile firing exercises on Saturday (agencies)
8:01 am: Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists accuse each other of shelling in eastern Ukraine
The Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists accused each other on Friday of new bombardments in the east of the country, plagued since the day before by an outbreak of violence amid fears of an attack from Moscow.
Ukrainian authorities reported 20 ceasefire violations by separatists overnight, while pro-Russian rebels reported 27 Ukrainian army fire
The day before, Thursday February 17, the protagonists had returned the responsibility for the bombardments on the city of Stanytsia Luhanska, where a shell fire affecting a nursery school injured three people.
07:15 am: Ukrainian military says it has recorded dozens of ceasefire violations by pro-Russian separatists
Ukraine’s military has recorded 60 ceasefire violations by pro-Russian separatists in the past 24 hours, it said on Friday, citing one soldier injured.
The bombings on the line separating government forces from the separatists were repeated on Thursday, described by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a “provocation”.
In a statement, the army said the separatists opened fire on more than 10 localities, using heavy artillery, mortar fire and a tank.
5:21 a.m .: Russia announces the departure of military units from Crimea after maneuvers
Several Russian mechanized infantry units have returned to their bases in Dagestan and Chechnya after completing maneuvers in Crimea, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.
Interfax also indicated that a train carrying tanks had left an undisclosed location in the direction of their military base of origin in the province of Nizhny Novgorod.
According to another statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by the Tass agency, some 30 trucks carrying soldiers and equipment returned to their bases after leaving training grounds located in an undisclosed location.
Moscow announced this week that it had begun to withdraw some of the troops deployed in regions close to Ukraine, which Kiev and NATO contested.
5:10 a.m .: Berlin denounces Russian “demands” “dating from the Cold War”
Russia is endangering Europe’s security with “Cold War-era demands”, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock lamented on Friday ahead of the annual Munich security conference which will be dominated by the Ukraine crisis. . She urged Moscow to make “serious de-escalation efforts”.
According to her, the heads of diplomacy of the G7, who will meet on Saturday, will send “a message of unity”: “We are ready for a serious dialogue on security for all. Even millimeter steps towards peace are better than great steps towards war,” added Annalena Baerbock. She regrets that Russia has not planned to send representatives to the annual security conference in Munich.
4 a.m.: Antony Blinken to meet Sergei Lavrov next week, unless Russia invades Ukraine
The US Secretary of State had offered to meet his Russian counterpart ‘in Europe next week. there is no Russian invasion of Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. “If they invade in the next few days, it will clearly show that they were never serious about diplomacy,” he added.
A White House official for his part indicated that US President Joe Biden would meet on Friday afternoon “with transatlantic leaders (…) about the Russian military troops massed on the border with Ukraine” and efforts to make diplomacy prevail.
According to the program of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, this remote meeting will bring together the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, the European Union and NATO.