| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Putin: Countries imposing no-fly zone over Ukraine will be party to conflict

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he has no plans to declare martial law in Russia, warning that any country which imposes a no-fly zone in Ukraine would become considered a party to the conflict. NATO had said on Friday that it won’t be sending its troops and fighter planes to Ukraine even as President Zelensky has repeatedly requested the European military alliance to impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine.

“Any movement in this direction will be considered by us as participation in an armed conflict by that country,” the Russian president declared.
“Martial law should only be introduced in cases where there is external aggression, we are not experiencing that at the moment and I hope we won’t,” Putin said as Russian forces continued their bombing campaign against Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin hit out against sanctions imposed by Western nations as spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The world is too big for Europe and America to isolate a country, and even more so a country as big as Russia. There are many more countries in the world.”
EU and the US announced a wave of sanctions against Russia amid Ukraine’s invasion as Peskov asserted that “Russia has an interest in being attractive for investment,” while adding, “now is hardly a time when we can talk about being attractive for investment, but times change quickly.”

Intense fighting is underway in Kharkiv including in Sumy in northeast Ukraine even as bombing campaign continues in Kyiv.

Reports say Chernihiv city has been heavily bombed with heavy civilian casualties reported. International agencies say at least 1.37 million refugees have fled the country into neighbouring European states.

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