Putin will eventually be killed by inner circle, says Zelensky
Vladimir Putin will eventually be killed by a member of his inner circle, Volodymyr Zelensky believes.
As Russia is subject to increasingly tough economic sanctions, Putin's regime will become ever more fragile and provoke his rivals to get rid of him, he told the journalist Dmytro Komarov in a documentary.
"There will certainly be a moment when the fragility of Putin’s regime is felt in Russia," he said.
"Then carnivores will eat a carnivore. It is very important, and they will need a reason to justify this.
They will remember. They will find a reason to kill a killer.
Will it work? Yes. When? I don’t know."
Putin keeps a close circle, impenetrable but to a few close advisers whose loyalty stretches back decades. However, a rift has emerged between the Russian army and the Wagner mercenaries as each blames the other for failures on the battlefield while trying to claim credit for triumphs for themselves.
Today's top stories
That's it for today. Here are the day's big news:
A Russian mercenary from the Wagner Group who escaped to Norway from Russia has been arrested for attacking a policeman
Ukraine has reportedly struck a Russian ammunition depot and other military equipment in the occupied city of Mariupol
Russia has likely run out of its kamikaze drones which have wreaked havoc on Ukrainian cities by attacking energy infrastructure and acting as decoys for heavier weapons
French President Emmanuel Macron said he would visit China in early April and called on Beijing to "help us pressure Russia" to end the war in Ukraine
Polish energy group PKN Orlen announced that it had stopped receiving Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline, which under its last contract accounted for 10 percent of Orlen's needs
Finance chiefs of the world's largest economies strongly condemned Moscow for its war on Ukraine on Saturday, with only China and Russia itself declining to sign a joint
Life on the frontline: Rebuilding Bucha a year after Russia's massacre
British humanitarian group Vans Without Borders were one of the first to visit Bucha and Irpin and saw the devastation Russia had unleashed, writes Valerie Browne.
Vans Without Borders (VWB) is a British humanitarian group, that delivers essential food and medical supplies to civilians who are left with no choice but to live near the Ukrainian-Russian frontline.
The team have been braving countless dangers and driving down bombed-out roads since March 2022. Bringing relief to vulnerable people, recently liberated from Russian occupation and left to starve in the wake of Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
VWB were one of the first humanitarian groups to visit Bucha and Irpin after the March 2022 massacre. They witnessed the devastation the Russian army had unleashed upon the local population during their occupation.
Zelensky expects 'decisive steps against Rosatom' as new sanctions imposed
The 10th 🇪🇺 sanctions package targets russian military industry, propaganda & financial system. The pressure on russian aggressor must increase: we expect decisive steps against Rosatom & russian nuclear industry, more pressure on military & banking.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 25, 2023
Russia has taken little land since July last year, says ISW
The #Kremlin did not comment on the first anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of #Ukraine on February 24, likely because #Russia has failed to achieve any of its stated objectives and has not made significant territorial gains since July 2022.https://t.co/aDX0jN482i pic.twitter.com/D1IkKRV5ct
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) February 25, 2023
Polish group says Russia stopped oil pipeline deliveries
Polish energy group PKN Orlen announced that it had stopped receiving Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline, which under its last contract accounted for 10 percent of Orlen's needs.
"Deliveries through the Druzhba pipeline towards Poland were stopped by the Russian side," the Polish company said in a statement to AFP.
Orlen said the move would not impact supply to Polish clients and that all oil deliveries would now come by sea.
Until now, PKN Orlen had imported about 10 percent of its oil needs through the pipeline from Russia and the rest from other countries through maritime routes.
How Ukraine and Russia will analyse each other's next steps
The Telegraph's associate defence editor uses a British Army exercise to break down what the next few months might hold
Military planning is a tricky pastime.
The British Army teaches that when grappling with the thorny issue of what a resourceful, capable and adaptable enemy is going to do, two extremes of action should be planned for: the Most Likely Course Of Action and the Most Dangerous (MLCOA and MDCOA).
The wave that eventually breaks upon you is likely to be somewhere in the middle of these two scenarios.
To be right is not the point. Instead, the process of examining one’s vulnerabilities and an enemy’s desires from every angle – including the enemy’s – should allow a commander and military staff to foresee problems before they occur – and have a plan up their sleeves for each potential scenario just in case.
Protest in Berlin over arming Ukraine against Russia draws thousands
A demonstration against supplying Ukraine with weapons for war with Russia attracted 10,000 people on Saturday, drawing criticism from top German government officials and a large police presence to maintain order.
Organised by a prominent left-wing German politician, the protest comes a day after the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which drew promises of more weapons from western allies, fresh sanctions against Russia and shows of support for Kyiv across the globe.
"We call on the German chancellor to stop the escalation of arms deliveries. Now!...Because every day lost costs up to 1,000 more lives - and brings us closer to a 3rd world war," the protest's organisers said on their website.
🇩🇪 Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters are demonstrating in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin this afternoon.
Speakers at the rally call for immediate peace talks, an end to Germany's support for Ukraine and halting any further NATO enlargement. pic.twitter.com/HVHBP0Cjje
— dana (@dana916) February 25, 2023
'Ukraine strikes out-of-reach Mariupol'
Ukraine has reportedly struck a Russian ammunition depot and other military equipment in the occupied city of Mariupol.
The strikes, which happened at night, set off big explosions, according to the Ukrinform news agency, and suggest Ukraine is using new weapons with an extended reach.
According to a local official, Russian targets were struck in the villages of Yalta and Yurivka where there is a “large concentration of occupiers”.
Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the Mariupol city mayor, posted on Telegram that he has verified the reports and that the “occupiers are struck. It’s a good trend."
Mariupol held out for more than two months out against Russian assaults before it was eventually captured by Moscow. The city had been previously of range of Ukrainian cannon and missiles, but Nataliya Humeniuk, a senior spokeswoman for the Ukrainian army, said that is no longer the case.
“At this stage, we can only state that inaccessibility is a very relative concept. What is considered so remote that it is unreachable, is not always so. The direction of Mariupol is no longer completely unreachable for us.”
Lithuanians raise 14 mn euros to buy radars for Ukraine
Lithuanians have donated 14 million euros (£12.30 million) to buy air defence radars for Ukraine in a month-long fundraising drive, the organisers said Saturday.
"At this crucial moment, we must do all that is possible to guarantee our backing for the Ukrainian people," President Gitanas Nauseda said on Friday.
Lithuania has been a major backer of Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in February last year. The money raised will be used to buy 14 radars, the organisers said.
"14 million euros from Lithuanians to buy radars to protect Ukraine. In four weeks. It's from us. For now. We'll be back,' television presenter Andrius Tapinas, one of the organisers, tweeted.
"Many call these donations but I say it's an investment ... for our security and that of our children," Tapinas told AFP.
Here is the G20 statement in full
All member countries except Russia and China agreed to statement on Ukraine adapted from G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration: G20 Chair's summary and Outcome Document on Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting pic.twitter.com/rLyKrgZ6Ue
— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2023
Germany regrets China's position on Ukraine war
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said it was "regrettable" that China had blocked a Group of 20 communique to condemn Russia's war on Ukraine.
"But for me it was more important that all the others adhered to a clear position of international law, multilateralism and the end of the war," he said.
Mr Lindner was speaking to reporters after a meeting of finance leaders from the world's major economies in Bengaluru.
Watch: Vladimir Klitschko drive a German leopard tank
'Thank you, Germany! Thank you, the free world for all you do for us Ukrainians!' - world boxing champion Volodymyr @Klitschko tried out the Leopard tanks. pic.twitter.com/P7zPWj1cX7
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) February 25, 2023
Lithuanians raise 14 mn euros to buy radars for Ukraine
Lithuanians have donated 14 million euros (£12.3 million) to buy air defence radars for Ukraine in a month-long fundraising drive, the organisers said Saturday.
The Baltic country, a member of both the European Union and Nato, has been a major backer of Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in February last year.
"At this crucial moment, we must do all that is possible to guarantee our backing for the Ukrainian people," President Gitanas Nauseda said on Friday, the last day of the month-long collection drive.
Most G20 nations condemn Russia for war but China stays silent
Finance chiefs of the world's largest economies strongly condemned Moscow for its war on Ukraine on Saturday, with only China and Russia itself declining to sign a joint statement.
India, which as chair of the Group of Twenty (G20) economies was hosting a meeting in the city of Bengaluru, was reluctant to raise the issue of the war but Western nations insisted they could not back any outcome that did not include a condemnation.
The lack of full consensus among G20 members meant that India resorted to issuing a "chair's summary" in which it simply summed up the two days of talks and noted the disagreements.
Belarus leader Lukashenko says he had long chat with Putin on war anniversary
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he held a long conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Friday.
"I'll tell you a secret, last night he and I spoke for a long time on various topics," a social media channel linked to Lukashenko's press service quoted him as telling reporters, without giving details.
The Kremlin has yet to provide any statement about the conversation.
Latest on the war fom the MoD
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 25 February 2023
Find out more about Defence Intelligence: https://t.co/dnK9iMITD3
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/vozmOE36aJ
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) February 25, 2023
EU adopts fresh sanctions amid vow to ramp up pressure on Moscow
The European Union vowed to increase pressure on Moscow "until Ukraine is liberated" as it adopted a tenth package of sanctions on Russia on Saturday, a day after the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.
"We now have the most far-reaching sanctions ever - depleting Russia's war arsenal and biting deep into its economy," European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter, adding the bloc was turning up the pressure on those trying to circumvent EU sanctions.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned the bloc would continue to pile more sanctions on Moscow.
German leader seeks Indian support for Russia's isolation
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Germany wants to get India to support, or at least not block, Western efforts to isolate Russia for waging a devastating war against Ukraine.
Following his talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Scholz stressed that developing countries were being negatively impacted by energy and food shortages resulting from the war and hopes that India will help secure critical supplies to Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Mr Modi maintained his cautious approach and said India wanted the conflict to be ended through dialogue and diplomacy. "India is ready to make its contribution to any peace initiative," he added.
Escaped Wagner mercenary arrested for attacking policeman
A Russian mercenary from the Wagner Group who escaped to Norway from Russia has been arrested for attacking a policeman, writes James Kilner
Andrey Medvedev, 26, is alleged to have had a drunken brawl in an Oslo bar and then punched police when they intervened, less than six weeks after his escape.
Norwegian prosecutors have charged Medvedev and a court will hear his case on April 25.
Medvedev has said that he joined Wagner in July and served for four months as a commander in its army of mainly ex-convicts fighting in Bakhmut, east Ukraine.
He said that he fled after being told to stay on despite only signing up for four months. After a couple of months lying low, Medvedev escaped to Norway in mid-January.
Since fleeing to Norway, Medvedev has detailed how he witnessed the murder of at least two Russian mercenaries by Wagner commanders for refusing to fight. He is considered a potentially valuable witness to Russian brutality and war crimes.
Moscow 'runs out of drones'
Russia has likely run out of its kamikaze drones which have wreaked havoc on Ukrainian cities by attacking energy infrastructure and acting as decoys for heavier weapons.
The Ministry of Defence said Russia will be looking to resupply its stock and comes amid Nato fears that Beijing is looking to aid Moscow’s war machine with a shipment of weapons.
According to Der Spiegel magazine, the supply could include as many as 100 kamikaze drones that can carry warheads of up to 50kg, similar to the Iranian-made Shahed-136.
The MoD said its findings were based on the absence of reports of Shahed-136 drones being used in Ukraine since February 15 suggests Russia has “run down its current stock.”
China must pressure Russia into avoiding chemical and nuclear weapons, says Macron
President Macron suggested China's engagment in peace in Ukraine could help pressure Moscow into avoiding escalation of the war.
"The fact that China engages in peace efforts is a good thing," Mr Macron told reporters at an agricultural fair in Paris.
"China must help us put pressure on Russia so that it never uses chemical or nuclear weapons, (an effort) which China has already made, and that it stops its aggression as a precondition for talks," he added.
Russia doubled number of ships in Black Sea, strikes possible, says Ukraine
Ukraine's military said Russia had doubled the number of ships on active duty in the Black Sea on Friday and predicted this could be a preparation for more missile strikes.
Russia's navy has regularly launched missiles from its Black Sea Fleet as part of an effort by Moscow to target Ukrainian critical infrastructure and power generating facilities.
"In the Black Sea, the fleet of warships has doubled compared to this morning -- it is now eight ships," the military command in the southern region said in a Facebook update.
Russia's Medvedev says defence factories meeting demand, denies missile shortage
Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said the country's factories are working round the clock to meet an exponential increase in defence orders, mocking the idea that Moscow's forces in Ukraine were running out of missiles.
Mr Medvedev said Moscow had increased military production "by tens of times" at some factories and was closely studying weapons fired into Russian-held areas from the Ukrainian side in an effort to gain an advantage.
Macron says will visit China in 'early April'
French President Emmanuel Macron said he would visit China in early April and called on Beijing to "help us pressure Russia" to end the war in Ukraine.
Speaking a day after China called for urgent peace talks as it released its plan to end the war in Ukraine, Mr Macron said on Saturday that peace was only possible if "the Russian aggression was halted, troops withdrawn and territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and its people was respected".
Yellen says 'absolutely necessary' for G20 to condemn war in Ukraine
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that a strong statement condemning Russia's war in Ukraine was "absolutely necessary" for a communique from the G20 finance leaders' meeting in India concluding on Saturday.
Ms Yellen told Reuters in an interview that leaving a war condemnation out of the communique would be a step back from a statement made by G20 leaders last November on the Indonesian island of Bali.