11:00 EST Update:
Ukraine Rejects Talks With Russia
On Saturday, Kiev has rejected to hold talks with Moscow in Minsk, Belarus, the designated neutral grounds where it was agreed negotiations would take place. Kiev’s refusal to hold talks is connected to the conditions proposed by the Russian side described as being “unacceptable”.
Ukrainian presidential advisor Mikhail Podolyak said, “Any war ends with a negotiation process, but I think that the positions in this negotiations process will be different. These will be positions that Ukraine will dictate. It will set the conditions for what will happen next, including in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.”
As a result, Russia has called off the ceasefire to hold talks, causing Russian forces to resume operations in Ukraine. “The Ukrainian side has refused to negotiate. This afternoon Russian forces have resumed their advance in accordance with the plan of the operation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
6:00 EST Update:
Dmitry Medvedev calls for a review of diplomatic ties with some western countries: Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev warned of the possibility of a final review of relations with countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia.
“There is good news. Sanctions can be an excellent occasion for a final review of all relations with those states that have imposed them. Including interrupting the dialogue on strategic stability,” he wrote on his VKontakte page.
The politician did not rule out the possibility of a break in the dialogue on strategic stability and the rejection of international agreements related to this process.
5:30 EST Update:
Russian troops take the towns of Stanitsa Luhanska, Krymske and Markovka: The Russian military has occupied Stanitsa Luhanska, Krymske and Markovka. This was announced by the chairman of the Lugansk regional state administration Sergei Gaidai. “Unfortunately, Stanitsa Luganskaya, Krymskoye, Markovka are temporarily occupied by the Russians,” he said. Gaidai also added that the authorities are in place in all settlements
State Duma President Volodin claims that Zelensky has left Kiev:
On his Telegram account, the State Duma speaker wrote that the Ukrainian president with his closest entourage left for Lviv. Volodin refers to the Rada deputies, who were invited to Lviv to meet with Zelensky.
DPR Colonel Eduard Basurin: The retreating Armed Forces of Ukraine want to carry out bloody provocations in order to accuse the forces of the special military operation. Ukrainian militants are already destroying bridges and other vital infrastructure, said DPR Colonel Eduard Basurin.
5:15 EST Update:
Poland: Poland estimates that 100,000 refugees from Ukraine are already on its territory.
Some 100,000 Ukrainians crossed the border into Poland in recent days fleeing the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Polish Deputy Interior Minister Pawel Szefernaker said.
“Since the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine and to date, 100,000 people have crossed the border from Ukraine into Poland along the entire Ukrainian border,” Szefernaker told reporters.
5:00 EST Update:
President Sadyr Zhaparov: Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov said in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Kiev was responsible for the failure of the Minsk Agreements and supported the decisive action taken by Moscow to protect civilians in Donbas.
4:45 EST Update:
The Czech Republic sends weapons to Ukraine: The Czech Republic will supply Ukraine with weapons worth a total of 188 million Czech crowns (about $8.7 million), Defence Minister Jana Cernochova said.
“The Czech Republic will send assault rifles, machine guns, pistols, sniper rifles and ammunition to Ukraine worth a total of 188 million crowns,” Cernochova said.
Kulomety, samopaly, odstřelovací pušky, pistole a odpovídající munice v hodnotě 188 milionů. Vláda v sobotu schválila další pomoc Ukrajině, která čelí ruskému útoku. MO bezprostředně zajistuje i dopravu na místo, které určí ukrajinská strana. Naše pomoc nekončí.#StandWithUkraine
— Jana Černochová (@jana_cernochova)
February 26, 2022
“Machine guns, submachine guns, sniper rifles, pistols and equivalent ammunition worth 188 million. The government on Saturday approved further aid to Ukraine, which is facing a Russian attack. The Ministry of Defense also provides immediate transport to a place designated by the Ukrainian side. Our help does not end.”
4:15 EST Update:
President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that “partners” are sending weapons to help Kiev, adding that he had spoken by phone with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. “A new day on the diplomatic frontline began with a conversation with Emmanuel Macron. Weapons and equipment from our partners are on the way to Ukraine. The anti-coalition is working,” Zelensky said on Twitter.
3:55 EST Update:
Roscosmos Website: Russian space corporation Roscosmos website suffers cyber-attack from abroad
The website of the Russian space corporation Roscosmos is suffering a DDoS attack from abroad, which began on Friday night, the company’s press service reported.
“The Roscosmos website has been under DDoS attack from foreign servers since last night. Technicians are taking the necessary measures to neutralize the attack,” a representative of the press service said.
“The Roscosmos website is subjected to a DDoS attack from foreign servers at night. Technical experts carry out the necessary measures to neutralize the attack. Due to the current situation, the loading time of the site pages may be increased.”
3:35 AM EST Update:
Macron: “The war will last, this crisis will last.” It will have “consequences on the agricultural world.” Emmanuel Macron issued this warning on Saturday, February 26, when he inaugurated the Agricultural Show in Paris, repeating twice that “war is back in Europe.” Macron has also convened a meeting of France’s defence and security council on the situation in Ukraine according to media sources
Ukraine embassy in Moscow: Will be evacuating to Latvia according to Reuters.
Kiev Metro: In Kiev subway service has been stopped. This information was confirmed by the capital’s mayor Vitali Klitschko in his Telegram channel.” The metro has switched to shelter mode. Transportation will not be carried out,” he said. Klitschko also urged the people of Kiev to stay at home or in shelters, not to go out or go to the city.
3:30 AM EST Update:
Russian space corporation Roscosmos has suspended cooperation with Europe on launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawn its employees from French Guiana in response to European Union (EU) sanctions, the company’s director general, Dmitry Rogozin, said.
“In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roscosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners in the organization of space launches from the Kourou Cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical staff (…) from French Guiana,” Rogozin posted on his Telegram channel.
В ответ на санкции Евросоюза в отношении наших предприятий Роскосмос приостанавливает сотрудничество с европейскими партнерами по организации космических запусков с космодрома Куру и отзывает свой технический персонал, включая сводный стартовый расчёт, из Французской Гвианы. pic.twitter.com/w05KACb9nI
— РОГОЗИН (@Rogozin)
February 26, 2022
“In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roskosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners in organizing space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical personnel, including the consolidated launch crew, from French Guiana.”
3:15 AM EST Update:
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Poland notified Russian airlines of the closure of their airspace, a source close to one of the Russian airlines told Sputnik.
“Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Poland sent a NOTAM (notice to skippers) about the airspace closure,” the source said.
The three countries previously announced plans to close their airspace for Russian airlines from February 26 due to Russia’s special operation in Ukraine.
3 AM EST Update:
Fighting occurred on Saturday in Kiev near the military unit of the 101st separate guard brigade of the General Staff of Ukraine, Sputnik cited local media as reporting. Explosions were heard and fire was observed in the area, according to the video footage published by Ukrainian news agencies UNIAN and strana.ua.
Beijing Calls Russia’s Security Concerns Legitimate
According to the Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Armed Forces destroyed 821 military targets in Ukraine since the start of the special operation.
“In total, the Russian Armed Forces have disabled 821 military infrastructure facilities in Ukraine,” Konashenkov told reporters.
The spokesman said that 14 air bases, 19 command centers, 24 anti-aircraft missile systems and 48 radar stations were destroyed.
According to Konashenkov, seven fighter planes, seven helicopters, nine drones, 87 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 28 multiple rocket launchers, 118 special military vehicles and eight combat boats were destroyed.
In the early hours of 24 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the launch of a “special military operation” on Ukrainian territory, claiming that the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, already recognized by Russia as sovereign states, had requested assistance in the face of aggression by Kiev.
In response, the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs claimed that Russian troop losses “have increased significantly”.