Russian diplomats expelled amid accusations against Moscow and Putin: We will win in Ukraine

Russian diplomats expelled amid accusations against Moscow and Putin: We will win in Ukraine  Russian President Vladimir Putin used a rally in front of a crowded stadium on Friday to justify his invasion of Ukraine, promising tens of thousands of flag-waving attendees that all of the Kremlin's goals would be achieved.  "We know what we have to do, how and at what cost. We will fully realize all our plans," Putin said at the rally at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.  He added that the soldiers, who are fighting in what Russia calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine, are demonstrating Russia's unity.  "Together, they help each other, support each other and, when needed, protect each other from bullets with their bodies like full brothers," Putin said.  This unit hasn't been around for a long time."  During Putin's speech, state television briefly interrupted broadcasts and played patriotic songs, but the Kremlin master appeared again later on state television.  The RIA news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that a technical failure in one of the servers was the reason for the abrupt interruption of state television broadcasts during Putin's speech.  US accusations against Russia  On Friday, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, accused Russia of "abusing" its membership in the UN Security Council.  This came in a statement to reporters, hours before the council held an emergency session to discuss Russia's complaint about the presence of US laboratories for the production of biological weapons in Ukraine, at the United Nations headquarters in New York.  "Russia is abusing its membership in the UN Security Council Ukraine has no biological weapons program or laboratories near Russia's borders or anywhere else," Greenfield said.  "Russia is accusing other countries of the same violations they plan to commit, and we still believe that it is possible that Moscow plans to use chemical or biological agents against the Ukrainian people," she added.  "We will not respect Russian disinformation or conspiracy theories, we will continue to sound the alarm, and we will remind the world that Russia has repeatedly lied to this council in recent weeks," she added.  She continued, "Last week, we heard from the Russian actor (Vassily Nebenzia) a sermon about Western conspiracy theories, and this week we heard a lot from him as well, and I ask him: Where does all this come from?"  A week ago, Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, said in a session of the UN Security Council that Moscow had documents proving the presence of 30 US laboratories for the production of biological weapons in Ukraine.  Britain, France, Albania, Norway and Ireland joined the United States in asserting that it was Russia that had maintained a biological weapons program that violated international law, and that it had a documented history of using chemical weapons.  Putin also believes that the ongoing operation in Ukraine is necessary because the United States was using it to threaten his country, adding that Russia's duty to defend in the face of a "genocide" carried out by Ukraine against Russian speakers.  For its part, Ukraine says it defends its existence and that Putin's genocide claims are "nonsense".  For the second time, Bulgaria expels Russian diplomats  Bulgaria declared 10 Russian diplomats persona non grata on Friday, giving them 72 hours to leave the country over what it said were activities incompatible with their diplomatic status.  This is the second wave of expulsion of Russian diplomats from Bulgaria. On March 2, Bulgaria expelled two diplomats on charges of espionage.  Bulgaria was Moscow's closest ally during the Cold War, but is now a member of the European Union and NATO and has condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Bulgaria has expelled eight Russian diplomats since October 2019 on suspicion of espionage.  For its part, the Russian embassy in Bulgaria described this step as a "hostile step", which would harm relations between Sofia and Moscow, noting that Russia would respond in kind.  On Monday, Slovakia, a member of the European Union and NATO, expelled three Russian embassy staff based on intelligence information.  On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of "tough" economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.  To end the operation, Russia requires Ukraine to abandon any plans to join military entities, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and to adhere to complete neutrality, which Kyiv considers an "interference in its sovereignty."

Russian President Vladimir Putin used a rally in front of a crowded stadium on Friday to justify his invasion of Ukraine, promising tens of thousands of flag-waving attendees that all of the Kremlin's goals would be achieved.

"We know what we have to do, how and at what cost. We will fully realize all our plans," Putin said at the rally at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

He added that the soldiers, who are fighting in what Russia calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine, are demonstrating Russia's unity.

"Together, they help each other, support each other and, when needed, protect each other from bullets with their bodies like full brothers," Putin said.

This unit hasn't been around for a long time."

During Putin's speech, state television briefly interrupted broadcasts and played patriotic songs, but the Kremlin master appeared again later on state television.

The RIA news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that a technical failure in one of the servers was the reason for the abrupt interruption of state television broadcasts during Putin's speech.

US accusations against Russia

On Friday, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, accused Russia of "abusing" its membership in the UN Security Council.

This came in a statement to reporters, hours before the council held an emergency session to discuss Russia's complaint about the presence of US laboratories for the production of biological weapons in Ukraine, at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

"Russia is abusing its membership in the UN Security Council Ukraine has no biological weapons program or laboratories near Russia's borders or anywhere else," Greenfield said.

"Russia is accusing other countries of the same violations they plan to commit, and we still believe that it is possible that Moscow plans to use chemical or biological agents against the Ukrainian people," she added.

"We will not respect Russian disinformation or conspiracy theories, we will continue to sound the alarm, and we will remind the world that Russia has repeatedly lied to this council in recent weeks," she added.

She continued, "Last week, we heard from the Russian actor (Vassily Nebenzia) a sermon about Western conspiracy theories, and this week we heard a lot from him as well, and I ask him: Where does all this come from?"

A week ago, Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, said in a session of the UN Security Council that Moscow had documents proving the presence of 30 US laboratories for the production of biological weapons in Ukraine.

Britain, France, Albania, Norway and Ireland joined the United States in asserting that it was Russia that had maintained a biological weapons program that violated international law, and that it had a documented history of using chemical weapons.

Putin also believes that the ongoing operation in Ukraine is necessary because the United States was using it to threaten his country, adding that Russia's duty to defend in the face of a "genocide" carried out by Ukraine against Russian speakers.

For its part, Ukraine says it defends its existence and that Putin's genocide claims are "nonsense".

For the second time, Bulgaria expels Russian diplomats

Bulgaria declared 10 Russian diplomats persona non grata on Friday, giving them 72 hours to leave the country over what it said were activities incompatible with their diplomatic status.

This is the second wave of expulsion of Russian diplomats from Bulgaria. On March 2, Bulgaria expelled two diplomats on charges of espionage.

Bulgaria was Moscow's closest ally during the Cold War, but is now a member of the European Union and NATO and has condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Bulgaria has expelled eight Russian diplomats since October 2019 on suspicion of espionage.

For its part, the Russian embassy in Bulgaria described this step as a "hostile step", which would harm relations between Sofia and Moscow, noting that Russia would respond in kind.

On Monday, Slovakia, a member of the European Union and NATO, expelled three Russian embassy staff based on intelligence information.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of "tough" economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.

To end the operation, Russia requires Ukraine to abandon any plans to join military entities, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and to adhere to complete neutrality, which Kyiv considers an "interference in its sovereignty."

Greece destroys an Ottoman cemetery under the pretext of building a football stadium and Turkey demands an investigation  In an official statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed its condemnation of Greece's destruction of an Islamic cemetery in Western Thrace, dating back to the Ottoman era. The Greek authorities demanded the restoration of the cemetery as soon as possible.  The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the Greek local authorities' destruction of an Islamic cemetery dating back to the Ottoman period in the village of "Horuzulu" in Western Thrace, under the pretext of building a football stadium.  A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Friday said: "We condemn the destruction of the Islamic cemetery of the Turkish minority on March 16, 2022."  "The necessary steps have been taken by Greece regarding the inhumane work of the local authorities, the implementation of which was found by order of the mayor of Plostra (Avdera)," the statement said.  The statement added, "We are waiting for the Greek authorities, which responded to Turkey's initiatives, to complete the investigation they started by showing the necessary sensitivity towards it, and to restore the cemetery as soon as possible."

Greece destroys an Ottoman cemetery under the pretext of building a football stadium and Turkey demands an investigation


In an official statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed its condemnation of Greece's destruction of an Islamic cemetery in Western Thrace, dating back to the Ottoman era. The Greek authorities demanded the restoration of the cemetery as soon as possible.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the Greek local authorities' destruction of an Islamic cemetery dating back to the Ottoman period in the village of "Horuzulu" in Western Thrace, under the pretext of building a football stadium.

A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Friday said: "We condemn the destruction of the Islamic cemetery of the Turkish minority on March 16, 2022."

"The necessary steps have been taken by Greece regarding the inhumane work of the local authorities, the implementation of which was found by order of the mayor of Plostra (Avdera)," the statement said.

The statement added, "We are waiting for the Greek authorities, which responded to Turkey's initiatives, to complete the investigation they started by showing the necessary sensitivity towards it, and to restore the cemetery as soon as possible."

Three Russian cosmonauts arrive at the International Space Station despite political tensions  Three Russian cosmonauts arrived safely at the International Space Station on Friday after their Soyuz spacecraft docked with the station, a mission that continues a joint Russian-American presence on the station for two decades despite tensions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  The arrival of the latest Russian space team came a day after the European Space Agency announced the suspension of a joint mission to send a probe to Mars with Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine. The team on the station, consisting of four Americans, two Russians and a German, greeted the Russian cosmonauts warmly, with hugs and handshakes.  The Russian team arrived at the space station after a three-hour and ten-minute flight since the Soyuz spacecraft took off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  The Russian team will begin a scientific mission, which is scheduled to last six and a half months, led by Oleg Artemyev, with the membership of junior cosmonauts Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov.  The new cosmonauts will replace Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov and US astronaut Mark Vandy, who are due to return to Earth on March 30. (Reuters)

Three Russian cosmonauts arrive at the International Space Station despite political tensions


Three Russian cosmonauts arrived safely at the International Space Station on Friday after their Soyuz spacecraft docked with the station, a mission that continues a joint Russian-American presence on the station for two decades despite tensions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The arrival of the latest Russian space team came a day after the European Space Agency announced the suspension of a joint mission to send a probe to Mars with Russia due to the conflict in Ukraine. The team on the station, consisting of four Americans, two Russians and a German, greeted the Russian cosmonauts warmly, with hugs and handshakes.

The Russian team arrived at the space station after a three-hour and ten-minute flight since the Soyuz spacecraft took off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Russian team will begin a scientific mission, which is scheduled to last six and a half months, led by Oleg Artemyev, with the membership of junior cosmonauts Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov.

The new cosmonauts will replace Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov and US astronaut Mark Vandy, who are due to return to Earth on March 30. (Reuters)
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