Merkel joins diplomacy rush to avert Ukraine military misstep

Ukraine's Zelensky on frontline as Merkel urges Putin to pull back troops

In Moscow, a senior Kremlin official sternly warned Ukraine against using force to reclaim control of the rebel east, saying that this might force Russian Federation to step in to protect civilians there.

Referring in his reply to Srebrenica, where about 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war, he said: 'It all depends on the scale of the fire.

A spokesman for US President Biden said that the Ukrainians have long wanted to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and that the US government is also talking to them about this.

Germany and France, which are mediating between Kyiv and Moscow in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine as part of the so-called Normandy Format, have made similar pledges.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of provocative action in eastern Ukraine that was inflaming the situation there during a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

The president's words reflect the masses of military hardware which has been seen being ferried for thousands of miles to the border region. Russian Federation has to react with caution when it has "such a restless region as Ukraine near our borders with the potential for renewed hostilities", he added.

A month later, Russian-backed rebels in the predominantly Russian-speaking Donbass seized the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Beyond Russian opposition, there are other problems related to internal politics that stand in the way of Ukraine joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Over 7.44 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses administered till now
India recorded the highest increase in COVID-19 cases in one day so far amid the second wave of coronavirus, in almost six months. Besides, 4,57,78,875 and 7,65,354 beneficiaries aged more than 45 have been administered the first and second dose respectively.

The downing of Malaysian flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur by a BUK missile in July 2014 caused a major worldwide scandal.

Ukrainian media on Wednesday accused Russian Federation of escalating violence in the Donbass region and continuing to move large amounts of military hardware to the Ukrainian border using highways and railroads.

The Kremlin has not denied the troop movements but insisted that Moscow was "not threatening anyone".

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he was visiting eastern Ukraine on Thursday, following a rise in tension with Russian Federation over a long-running conflict.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy flew to eastern Donbass in a show of support on Thursday. Their efforts follow a call between U.S. President Joe Biden and his counterpart in Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelensky, who's also spoken with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg and renewed a push for membership of the alliance.

The official, Dmitry Kozak, said that Russian forces could intervene to "defend" its citizens.

The standoff has also pushed Ukrainian sovereign bonds to their lowest level since November.

Zelenskiy has accused Russian Federation of flexing its military muscles and held a series of calls with Western leaders to rally support for Ukraine amid the tensions.

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