Ukraine war latest: Putin faces Russia coup sending him 'to grave or to retirement' as fighting closes in on Kyiv

VLADIMIR Putin could face a Russian coup which could send him 'to the grave' as 'resistance' is growing, according to Russian ex-minister.

Andrei Kozyrev, who was foreign minister from 1990 to 1996, believes Putin could soon be ousted with an “armed escort either to the grave or to retirement.”

In an interview with the Daily Express, he said: “Many Russian tsars were killed. Many were dismissed one way or the other.

“Even in the Soviet Union, there were ways; Stalin was said to have been poisoned, Khrushchev was just escorted out of the Kremlin.

“With Putin, I very much expect there to be resistance growing and discontent growing that will be resolved one way or another.

“I don’t know which way but Russian history is full of unexpected outcomes.”

There is currently intense fighting north west of the Ukrainian capital as reports suggest the bulk of Russian forces are now just 25km from Kyiv.

The news comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed the abduction of Ivan Fedorov, mayor of Melitopol, branding Russian forces as 'ISIS terrorists' for their actions.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up to the minute updates…

  • Louis Allwood

    Russians warn that US military shipments to Ukraine could come under fire

    Russia could target Western shipments of military equipment to Ukraine, a senior Moscow diplomat has said after Joe Biden warned of "World War Three".

    Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia had warned the US that "pumping weapons from a number of countries it orchestrates isn’t just a dangerous move, it’s an action that makes those convoys legitimate targets".

    He also denounced the US sanctions against Moscow as an “unprecedented attempt to deal a serious blow to various sectors of the Russian economy,” but noted that Moscow will act in a measured way to avoid hurting itself.

    Ryabkov said that Russia has no intention to expel Western media and businesses amid the soaring tensions with the West, adding that ”we aren’t going to escalate the situation.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Roman Abramovich BANNED from owning Chelsea

    ROMAN ABRAMOVICH has been BANNED from being director of Chelsea by the Premier League

    The Russian was sanctioned by the UK government over Russia's invasion of Ukraine and his ties to president Vladimir Putin.

    And now the Chelsea billionaire owner will no longer be permitted to have ANY involvement in the running of the club.

    The stunning development was announced in a Premier League statement issued at lunchtime.

    A Prem spokesperson said: "Following the imposition of sanctions by the UK Government, the Premier League Board has disqualified Roman Abramovich as a Director of Chelsea Football Club.

    "The Board’s decision does not impact on the club’s ability to train and play its fixtures, as set out under the terms of a licence issued by the Government which expires on 31 May 2022."

  • Louis Allwood

    Russian army has suffered its largest losses – Zelensky

    Ukrainian President, Zelensky, says the Russian army has suffered its largest losses in decades.

    He claimed 31 Russian batallion tactical groups have now been rendered incapable of combat.

    He demands the immediate release of the mayor of Melitopol who has reportedly been abducted by Russian forces.

  • Louis Allwood

    Attacks continue despite evacuation plans

    The governors of both Kyiv and Donetsk regions have said Russian attacks continue despite planned civilian evacuations, Reuters news agency reports.

    Plans to open up humanitarian corridors and get people out from cities under Russian attack had been made in Mariupol.

    Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko is quoted as telling local media: "Humanitarian cargo is moving towards Mariupol, we will inform you how it develops… The situation is complicated, there is constant shelling.

    "The situation is extremely difficult."

  • Louis Allwood

    Joe Biden warns of ‘World War Three’

    Joe Biden has warned of "World War Three" after personally halting plans to send MiG fighter jets from Poland to Ukraine.

    The US President said that a direct conflict between Russia and NATO would be catastrophic – adding that he would defend "every single inch" of the military alliance if needs be.

    It comes after Poland offered its 28 twin-engine jet fighter aircraft to the US – but Biden blocked the offer, fearing it would lead to "World War Three".

    Earlier this week, Poland said it's ready to deploy its MiG-29s to the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany and put them at the disposal of America.

    Spokesman John Kirby said it would mean jets departing from a Nato base would have to fly into airspace contested with Russia.

    "We will continue to consult with Poland and our other Nato allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland's proposal is a tenable one," he said.

  • Louis Allwood

    Legendary pilot the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ is REAL insist Ukrainians

    Ukrainians have insisted the Ghost of Kyiv is REAL after releasing a photo they claim is of the legendary pilot who has shot down ten Russian jets.

    The Ukrainian military shared the image of the alleged ace with a threat aimed at Russian pilots, reading: “Hello, occupier, I’m coming for your soul!”.

    In the snap, a person can be seen in the cockpit of an MiG-29 fighter jet – but his face is concealed behind an oxygen mask and black visor as scepticism over whether he really exists lingers.

    The so-called Ghost of Kyiv became a symbol of resistance in the face of Vladimir Putin's invasion after Ukrainian government officials shared macho propaganda of the masked pilot appearing to shoot down enemy planes.

    Footage allegedly showed the MiG-29 jet soaring through the air before destroying six Kremlin planes on the first day Putin launched his war.

    But one of the videos has been debunked by experts as being from the 2008 videogame Digital Combat Simulator.

  • Louis Allwood

    Russian forces push on Ukrainian capital

    THE battle outside Kyiv is raging on as Russian forces close in on the capital as defiant Ukrainian soldiers set up tank traps on the streets to repel invaders.

    Vladimir Putin's troops are believed to be just 15 miles from the city as it's reported an airbase just miles from Kyiv has been struck by missiles.

    The mayor of Vasylkiv claimed this morning that a Russian rocket had destroyed a Ukrainian airbase near the city in Kyiv Oblast, Interfax news agency reported.

    According to Vasylkiv Mayor Natalia Balasynovych, an ammunition depot was also hit as footage on social media appears to show smoke billowing from the scene.

    Kyiv Oblast police said a fire broke out at the depot after being struck by six Russian missiles.

    Air raid sirens blasted out across the capital this morning as well as in other cities – with reports of explosions in Dnipro, Mykolaiv, Nikolaev and Kropyvnytskyi.

  • Louis Allwood

    Military airfield near Kyiv has been targeted with missiles

    A Ukrainian military airfield has been hit with Russian missiles just south of Kyiv.

    The mayor of Vasylkiv said the attack destroyed the runway and a fuel depot.

    The attack also caused explosions at an ammunition store, with video from social media showing thick black smoke billowing from the airfield.

  • Louis Allwood

    Ukrainian mayor is kidnapped by Russian forces and dragged away

    THIS is the horror moment a Ukrainian mayor was kidnapped by Russian forces who dragged him away with a bag over his head.

    Ukraine's parliament says Ivan Fedorov, mayor of Melitopol, "refused to cooperate with the enemy" and was abducted at the southern city's crisis centre, where he was dealing with supply issues.

    "A group of 10 occupiers kidnapped the mayor of Melitopol Ivan Fedorov," officials wrote on Twitter.

    "During Fedorov's abduction, they put a plastic bag on his head."

    Footage shows Fedorov being marched out of the building by Russian soldiers.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed the abduction late on Friday as he branded it a "sign of weakness of the invaders" and compared Russian soldiers to "ISIS terrorists".

  • Milica Cosic

    US issues new round of sanctions against Russian oligarchs

    The US has issued a new round of sanctions against Russian oligarchs and elites on Friday, reports Reuters.

    The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on more Russian oligarchs and elites, increasing pressure on those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that those hit with sanctions today include 10 people comprising VTB Bank’s board, 12 members of the Duma and the family of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

  • Milica Cosic

    ‘The war in Ukraine is a crime’

    A Russian pilot has been videoed telling passengers that he thinks that “the war in Ukraine is a crime”.

    In the clip he can be heard saying: “I think each sensible citizens will agree with me and will do everything to make it stop.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukraine accuses Russia of violating international law

    Ukraine on Friday accused Russia of violating international law today by abducting the mayor of Melitopol, reports Reuters.

    Ukrainian officials said Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov was kidnapped after being falsely accused of terrorism.

    Ukraine’s foreign ministry in a statement: “The abduction of the mayor of Melitopol is classified as a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocol, which prohibit the taking of civilian hostages during the war”.

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia to supply Belarus with modern weapons

    There are fears that Belarus could join the invasion as Moscow is to supply its neighbour with the most up-to-date military equipment in the near future, it has been announced.

    It follows a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko at the Kremlin.

    The two also agreed mutual support following Western sanctions imposed.

    No further details were given.

  • Milica Cosic

    Putin accused of ‘insane delirium’

    Vladimir Putin has been accused of “insane delirium” over claims that Ukraine is seeking to spread biological weapons.

    Speaking at at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York on Friday, Russian representative Vasily Nebenzya said: “We call upon you to think about a very real biological danger to the people in European countries, which can result from an uncontrolled spread of bio agents from Ukraine.

    “And if there is a such a scenario then all Europe will be covered.”

    He added: “The risk of this is very real given the interests of the radical nationalist groups in Ukraine are showing towards the work with dangerous pathogens conducted together with the ministry of defence of the United States.”

    He said Russia “does not give a monkeys about the safety of its own citizens, including thousands of decomposing bodies of its soldiers”.

    He said Ukraine ran a health care system that was “in full compliance with its its international obligations and in full cooperation with all relevant international organisations.

    “The rest is his bunch of insane delirium from Putin and his henchmen, including the Russian Mission to the United Nations,” he added.

  • Milica Cosic

    Ukrainian mum’s horror as her own SON bombs her in Russian jet

    A UKRAINIAN mum has revealed her son is a Russian fighter pilot – and bombed her country before he was shot down.

    Tearful Elena Golovenskaya spoke of her horror that Major Aleksey Golovensky was attacking Ukraine, in a video released by Ukraine's military.

    She said Golovensky was shot down in the Mykolaiv area on March 5.

    In video message, heartbroken Golovenskaya speaks of her "grief and shame" at son's actions.

    She also apologises to the Ukrainian people for her son and also that she “could not raise a normal, worthy person”.

    She revealed that she currently lives in the city of Kremenchug, in the Poltava region of central Ukraine.

    Her son is a pilot in a naval aviation regiment, which is has been deployed in the city of Saky, in Russian occupied in Crimea, she says in the video.

    She said “on March 5, 2022, following the criminal orders of the command of the Russian army” he flew to Mykolaiv in his SU-30SM fighter.

    There “he was shot down by Ukrainian air defence and captured", Golovenskaya revealed.

    "We learned about this news from the media, watching a report about downed pilots," she said.

  • Milica Cosic

    'Ukrainians buried in mass graves'

    Speaking to the UN on Friday, Ukrainian envoy Sergiy Kyslytsya condemned Russia for its lies, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    “What will be the next target? One more residential building? One more maternity hospital?” he asked. "Russian troops have already hit all of these sites."

    Kyslytsya spoke about the state of Mariupol, which is under near-constant assault from Russian forces.

    "Russia's indiscriminate air strikes and shelling have almost destroyed Mariupol and killed 1,582 civilian residents of that city, according to the local administration," he said. "For the first time since World War Two people are being buried in mass graves in Ukrainian cities."

  • Milica Cosic

    NATO supplying arms 'not a realistic scenario'

    Artur Kacprzyk, a researcher on nuclear deterrence, arms control and NATO for the Polish Institute of International Affairs, has suggested a nuclear attack by Russia is currently unlikely.

    He has said that Vladimir Putin's threats were "met with a measured response from NATO nuclear-armed countries and has not prevented arms deliveries to Ukraine nor the imposition of sanctions on Russia".

    And in a relatively reassuring analysis, he continues: "Even a limited nuclear retaliation for arms supplies to Ukraine and sanctions is not a realistic scenario.

    "Russia would risk a NATO nuclear response and even more isolation, while having little to gain. Even if sanctions and arms deliveries were curtailed, Russia would not then become an attractive economic partner and still would be far from breaking Ukraine’s resistance.

    "Nuclear escalation is, however, a real danger should a Russia-NATO conflict erupt. Even in that case, the use of  nuclear weapons is not a foregone conclusion (especially in case of an unintended military incident) and Russia would most likely initially limit itself to conventional operations.

    "But eventually, NATO would prevail in such a fight and the probability of Russia reaching for nuclear weapons would rise, especially if the hostilities expanded beyond Ukraine. NATO could still try to prevent or stop nuclear escalation (through deterrence and communicating that it does not seek to overthrow Putin and occupy Russian territory), but it would not be able to control the escalation. Awareness of the risks of entanglement in a nuclear conflict contributed to NATO's ruling out armed intervention before and after the invasion."

  • Milica Cosic

    Explained: What are chemical weapons

    There are different categories of chemical weapons:

    • Choking agents = like phosgene attack the lungs and respiratory system
    • Blister agents = like mustard gas that burns the skin and blinds people
    • Nerve agents = which interfere with the brain’s messages to the body’s muscles. A tiny drop of these can be fatal.

    Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund

    PICTURES of women and children fleeing the horror of Ukraine’s devastated towns and cities have moved Sun readers to tears.

    Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun's Ukraine Fund.

    Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.

    Donate here to help The Sun's fund

    Or text to 70141 from UK mobiles

    £3 — text SUN£3
    £5 — text SUN£5
    £10 — text SUN£10

    Texts cost your chosen donation amount (e.g. £5) +1 standard message (we receive 100%). For full T&Cs visit redcross.org.uk/mobile

    The Ukraine Crisis Appeal will support people in areas currently affected and those potentially affected in the future by the crisis.

    In the unlikely event that the British Red Cross raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help them prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.

    For more information visit https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund

    Thanks for reading!

    Milica Cosic here, signing off from our live coverage.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed reading today’s rolling updates.

    My colleague Louis Allwood will be with you on the blogs from 10am tomorrow.

    US issues new round of sanctions against Russian oligarchs

    The US has issued a new round of sanctions against Russian oligarchs and elites today, reports Reuters.

    The United States today imposed sanctions on more Russian oligarchs and elites, increasing pressure on those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that those hit with sanctions today include 10 people comprising VTB Bank’s board, 12 members of the Duma and the family of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

    • Milica Cosic

      ‘The war in Ukraine is a crime’

      A Russian pilot has been videoed telling passengers that he thinks that “the war in Ukraine is a crime”.

      In the clip he can be heard saying: “I think each sensible citizens will agree with me and will do everything to make it stop.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Biden: 'A direct confrontation between NATO & Russia is World War III'

      The US president, Joe Biden, has tweeted that the US will "not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine".

      He said: "I want to be clear: we will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full might of a united and galvanized NATO."

      But he added: "A direct confrontation between NATO and Russia is World War III. 

      "And something we must strive to prevent."

      He also claimed that Vladimir Putin has already "failed".

      He wrote: "Putin's war against Ukraine will never be a victory. 

      "He hoped to dominate Ukraine without a fight. 

      "He hoped to fracture European resolve. 

      "He hoped to weaken the trans-Atlantic Alliance. 

      "He hoped to split apart America. 

      "He failed."

    • Milica Cosic

      Ukraine: Russia blocking evacuations from Mariupol

      Ukraine's deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, has accused Russian forces of violating a ceasefire.

      She has also accused the troops of targeting people being evacuated from cities under bombardment.

      In a video address posted today, Vereshchuk said shelling had prevented evacuations from Mariupol.

      Despite this, some planned evacuations were successful, including 1,000 people who were escorted from the village of Vorzel in the Kyiv region.

    • Milica Cosic

      Ukraine accuses Russia of violating international law

      Ukraine has today accused Russia of violating international law today by abducting the mayor of Melitopol, reports Reuters.

      Ukrainian officials said Melitopol mayor Ivan Fedorov was kidnapped after being falsely accused of terrorism.

      Ukraine’s foreign ministry in a statement: “The abduction of the mayor of Melitopol is classified as a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocol, which prohibit the taking of civilian hostages during the war”.

      Source: Read Full Article