Kyiv, Mar 1 (AP) Ukrainian Orthodox bishops are calling on their superior in Moscow to urge Russia’s leadership to stop the war in Ukraine.
The Holy Synod – the governing body of bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — asked Moscow Patriarch Kirill to call on Russian leaders to stop hostilities. The appeal shows a growing chasm between Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, and his own bishops in Ukraine over the war.
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Patriarch Kirill has long had friendly ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In statements to date, he has called for an end to “fratricidal” war in Ukraine, but he has not assigned blame for the conflict and has emphasised a call for Orthodox unity.
While the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is under the ultimate authority of Kirill, it also enjoys considerable autonomy. Its synod also called for divine intervention on behalf of Ukraine’s army.
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Toronto: Canada will be supplying Ukraine with anti-tank weapons systems, upgraded ammunition and is banning all imports of crude oil from Russia.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the shipments are addition to the three previous shipments of lethal and non-lethal equipment.
Canada announced this week it would be sending new shipments of military supplies, including body armour, helmets, gas masks, and night-vision goggles.
Canada does not import much oil from Russia.
Trudeau called for the end to the war, saying its costs would only grow grow steeper and that those responsible will be held accountable.
United Nations: The United States says it is expelling 12 Russian diplomats at the United Nations for engaging in activities not in accordance with their responsibilities and obligations as diplomats.
US deputy ambassador Richard Mills confirmed the expulsions after Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the UN Security Council on Monday afternoon that he had just been informed of “yet another hostile step undertaken by the host country” against the Russian Mission.
Nebenzia called the US expulsions a “gross violation” of the UN agreement with the United States as the host of the United Nations and of the Vienna Convention governing diplomatic relations.
Brussels: The European Union has slapped sanctions on 26 more Russians, including oligarchs, senior officials and an energy insurance company, in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, bringing the total of people targeted to 680.
EU headquarters said those listed include “oligarchs and businessmen active in the oil, banking and finance sectors,” government officials, top military brass and “propagandists who contributed to spread anti-Ukrainian propaganda and promote a positive attitude towards the invasion of Ukraine.”
The bloc had already imposed an asset freeze on President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
No travel ban was imposed to allow the two men to take part in any diplomatic efforts, should Russia consider bringing an end to the war on its former Soviet neighbour.
EU sanctions now apply to a total of 680 people and 53 entities, which are usually organizations, agencies, banks or companies. Gas Industry Insurance Company SOGAZ was listed Monday.
Kyiv: Satellite images show Russian troops are attacking Ukraine on multiple fronts and are advancing on the capital city of Kyiv.
On Monday, a convoy consisting of hundreds of armoured vehicles, tanks, artillery and support vehicles was just 17 miles (25 kilometers) from the centre of Kyiv. The city is home to nearly 3 million residents.
The images from Maxar Technologies also captured signs of fighting outside Kyiv, including destroyed vehicles and a damaged bridge.
Paris: France has decided to move its embassy out of the Ukrainian capital, but the French ambassador will remain in the country.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says the French Embassy, which had been holding out in Kyiv amid war, was being transferred to the western city of Lviv.
Le Drian told French television station BFMTV on Monday that Ambassador Etienne de Poncins would remain in Ukraine. Russia invaded its smaller neighbor on Thursday, drawing international condemnation.
Asked if the ambassador was under threat in the capital, Le Drian said that “the risks and threats were sufficiently important” to transfer the embassy’s operations to Lviv, not far from the Polish border.
Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists his country “won’t give up” on its relations with either Russia or Ukraine, but says it will implement an international convention that allows Turkey to shut down the straits at the entrance of the Black Sea to the warships of “belligerent countries.”
The 1936 Montreux Convention gives Turkey the right to bar warships from using the Dardanelles and the Bosporus during wartime. Ukraine has asked Turkey to implement the treaty and bar access to Russian warships.
Several Russian ships have already sailed through the straits to the Black Sea in the past weeks and it was not clear how much of an impact Turkey’s decision to close down the straits would have on the conflict.
The convention, also provides an exception for Black Sea vessels returning to port.
Turkey has criticised Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine, but has also been trying to balance its close ties to Ukraine with its interests in not upsetting its fragile economic relationship with Russia. (AP) VM
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