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Russia

Stories under this heading cover Russia, as well as countries in the eastern part of the European continent, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.

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Borrell: Russia is waging total war against Ukraine; we must respond with total support

Borrell: Russia is waging total war against Ukraine; we must respond with total support

On Thursday (1 December) EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, addressed the annual Ministerial Council of the OSCE, which this year is meeting in Poland. Speaking about the conflict in Ukraine, Borell said that Russia was waging total war against Ukraine, and this requires total support for Ukraine in response. Borrell said that Russia has brought the war back in Europe. Russia is now turning this into a purely punitive campaign, trying to inflict as much pain as possible on Ukrainian citizens, using winter as a weapon, putting them into the darkness and the cold. The Russian army is deliberately targeting energy and water infrastructure on which normal Ukrainian citizens depend

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Editor's choice
News
Borrell: Russia is waging total war against Ukraine; we must respond with total support

Borrell: Russia is waging total war against Ukraine; we must respond with total support

On Thursday (1 December) EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, addressed the annual Ministerial Council of the OSCE, which this year is meeting in Poland. Speaking about the conflict in Ukraine, Borell said that Russia was waging total war against Ukraine, and this requires total support for Ukraine in response. Borrell said that Russia has brought the war back in Europe. Russia is now turning this into a purely punitive campaign, trying to inflict as much pain as possible on Ukrainian citizens, using winter as a weapon, putting them into the darkness and the cold. The Russian army is deliberately targeting energy and water infrastructure on which normal Ukrainian citizens depend
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News
Putin discusses with CSTO leaders in Yerevan the future of the alliance

Putin discusses with CSTO leaders in Yerevan the future of the alliance

President Vladimir Putin of Russia travelled to the Armenian capital Yerevan on Wednesday for a meeting of the heads of state and government of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). At Yerevan airport Putin was welcomed by Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, with who he held discussions soon  after on the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh.  Apart from Putin and Pashinyan also attending the summit are the leaders of the other four CSTO members,   Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the situation in Afghanistan and Ukraine dominated the talks. A report on the Kremlin website said that a number of documents were agreed. At the end of the meeting the chairmanship of the CSTO for the next year passed on from Armenia to Belarus.
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Editorial
Kherson: The end of the beginning

Kherson: The end of the beginning

The withdrawal of the Russian army from the city of Kherson ends the first chapter of Vladimir Putin's misadventure in Ukraine, which started on 24 February when he ordered his army to invade. Ukrainians rightly celebrated, as the Ukrainian army returned to the city which Russia illegally annexed only a few weeks ago. Kherson was the only regional centre the Russians were able to occupy following their February invasion, which, let us not forget, initially aimed to take Kyiv and all other Ukrainian cities. But as the Ukrainian president, and other Ukrainian officials warned, the war is far from over yet. But the Russian army is still in Ukraine, and now consolidating its positions on the left bank of the Dnipro river.  The river will now serve as a natural defence barrier for the Russians in the face of Ukrainian attempts to liberate the rest of the territory under Russian occupation. And the coming winter may prove challenging for Ukraine in other ways too, given the Russian attempts to destroy key infrastructure and disrupt energy supplies. But still Kherson can be seen as the end of the beginning. The journey for the liberation of Ukraine will take longer. And after all Ukrainian territory is liberated, another journey will have to start: that of rebuilding Europe's security architecture on new foundations. Where Russia will stand in this is still not clear. Despite the facade of defiance and bravado, it is already evident that soul-searching has already started amongst the Russian elite about the Ukrainian adventure, and indeed about how Russia itself is governed. That, the Russian people will have to figure out by themselves, and the process is not likely to be either short, or easy.
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"Today Kherson, tomorrow Sevastopol"

"Today Kherson, tomorrow Sevastopol"

Russia's leadership has ordered its troops to withdraw from the Ukrainian city of Kherson. It was the only regional capital Russian forces were able to capture after invading in February. The news was welcomed cautiously in Ukraine, where the government said it will proceed carefully to avoid losses. Some commentators however are saying that it is the first step to forcing a complete Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory. "Today Kherson, tomorrow Sevatopol" is what many Ukrainians hope, referring to the port city on the Crimean peninsula. Russia's commander in Ukraine, Gen Sergei Surovikin, said on Wednesday (9 November) it was no longer possible to keep supplying the city. The withdrawal means Russian forces will pull out entirely from the western bank of the River Dnipro. The military's top brass announced the decision on Russian state TV, with Gen Surovikin reporting on the situation on the ground in Kherson. "In these circumstances, the most sensible option is to organise the defence along a barrier line along the river Dnipro," Gen Surovikin told the meeting. Russia's annexation of Kherson, and three other occupied regions, was announced with a lot of fanfare by president Putin at the end of September.