Update(1700ET): Into the late night hours local time, there were widespread reports of a series of large explosions outside Kiev’s city limits. This as there’s said to be a convoy of infantry, tanks, and artillery that stretches “forty miles” that’s still approaching Kiev – though it’s believed the Russian assault on the Ukrainian capital has been severely hampered by logistical, supply, and fuel issues.
Calls have grown in US Congress to give Ukraine “everything they need as rapidly as possible” – as the latest words from Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell ahead of Biden’s evening State of the Union indicated. Both in the media and in some corners of Europe calls for “confronting” Russia’s militarily have grown, as expected.
Ukrainian government officials, including top ministers apparently, are reportedly working to run the country from bomb shelters and metro stations under Kiev. Tuesday evening into overnight hours it appears most of the heavy Russian shelling is still focused on Ukraine’s second largest city.
?? Kharkiv this evening pic.twitter.com/AfSyPO3uRn
— Intelsky (@Intel_sky) March 1, 2022
Heavy multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) shelling of Kharkiv continues as battles rage at its outskirts tonight pic.twitter.com/mlFvHZPn1n
— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) March 1, 2022
Also on Tuesday European Parliament moved closer to granting Ukraine “candidate status” – ironically not long after Turkey’s Erdogan chided the body for suddenly seeking to fast-track Ukraine after Turkey has sought EU entry for years:
The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Tuesday calling on the European Union institutions “to work towards granting” Ukraine the status of EU candidate country, it said in a statement.
The resolution, which also demanded the EU to impose “tougher sanctions” on Russia, was voted in favor by 637 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). It condemned “in the strongest possible terms Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and demands that the Kremlin end all military activities in the country.”
Meanwhile the economic war against Russia from the West has continued ratcheting up, with the latest including the UK barring any ships with Russian ties access to British ports. A UK government statement said:
“The ban on Russian ships from UK ports, and new economic sanctions against key Russian financial institutions including its central bank, in close coordination with our allies, will degrade Russia’s economy and help make sure Putin loses,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in the statement.
?? Russian forces have struck Independence Square in central Kharkiv with a powerful explosion.
According to a video of the event, the blast detonated right in front of the headquarters of the Kharkiv Oblast government.
Video: Ukraine NOW/Telegram pic.twitter.com/poZjYcjRjD
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 1, 2022
Further measures were listed as “including against the Russian Central Bank and the state’s sovereign wealth fund, also mean the majority of Russia’s financial system” – all now covered under UK sanctions.
The Czech Republic introduces potential 1 to 3 year prison sentence for public support of Russia's actions, expressed online or in any other space
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) March 1, 2022
What an odd little map the NYT has created. Ukrainians fleeing violence by heading to the west are "refugees," while Ukrainians fleeing violence by heading east to seek refuge in Russia are just "migrants" (and are graphically minimized to the point of being barely visible). pic.twitter.com/Rp31UdVwLw
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 1, 2022
* * *
Update(1349ET): Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan issued some strong words on Tuesday which are sure to be taken as provocative both by Russia and Turkey’s European allies. “Asked about Ukraine’s bid for European Union membership at a news conference in Ankara, Erdogan said Turkey, an EU candidate for decades, would support any enlargement of NATO and the EU.”
- EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RECOMMENDS GIVING UKRAINE EU CANDIDATE STATUS
Of course, Turkey has lobbied for entry into the EU for years, and has long stood as NATO’s second largest military, behind the United States. This fact was cause for stinging sarcasm in his words:
Erdogan called on the bloc to show the “same sensitivity” it showed for Kyiv’s membership bid for Turkey’s application, and slammed member states for being “not sincere”.
“Will you put Turkey on your agenda when someone attacks (us) too?” he said.
In the overnight hours, huge blasts in Kharkiv have been reported…
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) March 1, 2022
Turkey has for months walked a tightrope on the Ukraine issue amid Russia’s prior military build-up. But with the Russian invasion now in full-swing, Ankara has gotten more vocal – but is still seeking to strike more of a balance compared to the firm hardline of European countries:
“Our call to both Russia and Ukraine is: let the firing stop as soon as possible, let Russia and Ukraine make a beautiful contribution to peace,” Erdogan said Tuesday during a joint news conference with Kosovar President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, on Tuesday.
On Monday Turkey had closed the straits under its control to all warship traffic, especially Russian vessels, in line with the Montreux Convention.
Russian and Ukrainian delegations are set to meet for a second round of ceasefire talks, but it’s looking increasingly shaky that this will even happen:
#UPDATE Polish President Andrzej Duda (L), during a visit by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg (R), said his country would not send military planes to Ukraine since it would be seen as "military interference" pic.twitter.com/Y67w8tgtRr
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) March 1, 2022
Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission