President Joe Biden told CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday’s “60 Minutes” that so far there has been “no indication” that China is trying to provide Russia in its war on Ukraine. Weapons or “something else Russia wants”.
Biden also said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping shortly after Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February and strongly opposed the Chinese leader’s aid to Russia.
“I said, ‘If you think Americans and others are going to keep investing in China because you violated sanctions on Russia, I think you made a huge mistake, but it’s your decision,'” Biden told the News programme.
In a highly anticipated meeting on Thursday, Putin acknowledged that China has “questions and concerns” about the war, which took a dramatic turn last week when Ukraine regained most of the territory it lost in the northeast. Xi has not publicly mentioned the conflict, which may indicate lukewarm support from his government.
turning point? :Ukraine regains land and confidence as Russia admits defeat in Kharkiv
► Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, was one of the foreign dignitaries who appeared in London’s Westminster Hall on Sunday to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
►Olga Simonova, 34, a Russian woman who fought for Ukraine in the war, received a three-gun salute and a Ukrainian flag on her coffin at her funeral in Kyiv over the weekend. Simonova, known as “Simba”, is 34 years old.
Schools close in Russian border area
The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region ordered schools to operate remotely from Monday as the Ukrainian military’s counteroffensive pushes toward the border.
Vyacheslav Gladkov said Sunday that Ukrainian artillery damaged many houses and recreational areas.
The United States sends long-range artillery to Ukraine on the condition that it is not used to bomb Russian towns. But Ukrainian troops are close enough to the Russian border to reach these towns with their own equipment.
“I have decided that from tomorrow, schools in the Belgorod region within 10 kilometers of the border will move to distance learning,” Gladkov said in a VK social media post.
The post drew a flood of responses from locals, urging Gladkov to set up a volunteer battalion to provide protection, including mining at the border.
“Why is the rest of the country ‘self-mobilizing’ while our region, which is often shelled and borders the enemy, hesitates?” writes Andre Rosenberg. “Self-defense units must be established.”
Discovery of Russian torture tool prompts investigation
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than 10 “torture chambers” had been discovered in the Kharkiv region since last week’s counterattack by Russian troops prompted a hasty retreat of Russian troops.
The district attorney’s office said on Telegram that it opened an investigation after seizing tools of torture and documents showing that the Russians had created a police force that runs prisons suspected of abuse.
Russian troops have been accused of atrocities and war crimes at several stages of the conflict, most notably in the Kyiv suburb of Bha. Reports of these tactics shocked the world and galvanized support for Ukraine. Last week, officials said they had discovered more than 440 graves outside the Kharkiv city of Izium with bodies showing signs of violent death.
“A torture chamber and electrocution tools” were found at the train station in the Kharkov town of Kozacha Lopan, Zelensky said Saturday night, comparing the Russians to Nazis during World War II.
“They will answer the same way,” he said, “whether on the battlefield or in court.”
Pope’s envoy shot in Ukraine
Pope Francis’ envoy Cardinal Konrad Kraevsky was shot dead Saturday while delivering humanitarian aid in Pope Francis’ name near the Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye, the Vatican said. The Vatican Press reported that Kraevsky “continues his mission unscathed.”
Krajewski’s group, which includes a Catholic bishop, a Protestant bishop and a Ukrainian soldier, was fired at with small arms and sought cover while working outside Zaporozhye, he said. They escaped unscathed.
The incident occurred on September 17, 2013, during a ceremony in the presence of Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica on the ninth anniversary of Bishop Kraevsky’s appointment. The Cardinal said he and his team had filled a minibus with food and headed for the front lines when they opened fire – with “no one entering except the soldiers” due to the intense fighting.
“For the first time in my life I didn’t know where to run,” he told Vatican News. “It’s not enough to run. You have to know where to go.”
Eventually, the shooting stopped and the group continued to provide assistance.
Russian singer asks to be added to list of foreign agents
Popular Russian singer Alla Pugacheva said on Sunday that she would like to be included on a list of foreign agents in Russia in solidarity with her husband. Her Instagram post comes after Pugacheva’s husband, singer and TV presenter Maxim Galkin, was added to the Foreign Agents Register by the Justice Department on Saturday. Galkin, who has criticized Russia for sending troops to Ukraine, has been accused of conducting political activities on behalf of Ukraine and receiving Ukrainian funding. Gorkin responded that he made money on a comedy show in Ukraine a few years ago.
“The rationale for this decision was that I allegedly received funds from Ukraine that I used for political activities,” he said on Instagram. “First of all, I don’t do politics. On my concert stage, I do humor and political satire like I did for 28 years.”
Contributed by: Associated Press