THE LATEST: Abramovich’s yacht docks in a Turkish port

The latest news on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

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ANKARA, Turkey — A yacht belonging to Chelsea football club owner, sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, has docked in Bodrum, a Turkish tourist destination on the Aegean Sea, local media reported on Monday, amid international action. to freeze assets belonging to the Russians. businessmen linked to the Kremlin.

Private Turkish broadcaster NTV reported that the Bermuda-flagged luxury yacht ‘Solaris’ docked in the port of Turkey – a country that has not sanctioned Russia – after leaving Montenegro.

A group of Ukrainians carrying Ukrainian flags with the text “No to war” written on them boarded a small speedboat and tried to prevent the yacht from docking, the Sozcu newspaper reported.

It is not known if Abramovich was on board the yacht or if the boat was taken to Turkey to avoid sanctions.

The European Union last week imposed sanctions on Abramovich when it updated a list of people facing asset freezes and travel bans for their role in Ukraine’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia. Abramovich had already been sanctioned by Britain.

As a member of NATO, Turkey maintains close ties with Russia and Ukraine. Ankara criticized Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but also positioned itself as a neutral party trying to mediate between the two. It closed the Turkish Strait connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean to most Russian warships, but did not sanction Russia or close its airspace to Russian flights.

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland — One of the world’s greatest chess players has been banned from competition for six months for supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sergey Karjakin, a former world title contender, expressed his “full support” for Russian President Vladimir Putin in an open letter shortly after Russia sent troops to Ukraine last month and regularly posted on social media support for the Russian campaign.

An International Chess Federation (FIDE) Disciplinary Board has determined that Karjakin broke a rule to avoid tarnishing the reputation of the game of chess or the organizations he manages. He can appeal the decision, but he told Russian news agency Tass he has no plans to do so.

The 32-year-old was born in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula which Russia annexed in 2014, and represented Ukraine until 2009, before switching allegiance to Russia.

He was at one point the youngest player to win the Grandmaster title and faced world champion Maguns Carlsen in 2016 when he lost in a rapid playoff.

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NEW YORK — Russia warned on Monday that relations with the United States were “on the verge of breaking down” and summoned the US ambassador to protest President Joe Biden’s recent remarks about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry refers to Biden’s “recent unacceptable statements” about Putin. A few days ago, Biden called Putin a “war criminal” for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian ministry added that during the meeting with the American ambassador John Sullivan in Moscow, “it was pointed out to him that comments like these from an American president, incongruous for a personality of this status, put in danger relations between Russia and the United States”. “breaking edge”.

Kyiv — Radiation sensors around the Chernobyl power plant, the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents in 1986, have stopped working, Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory agency said.

In a statement Monday, the agency also said firefighters are no longer available in the region to protect forests that have been contaminated with radioactivity for decades as temperatures rise. The factory was taken over by Russian forces on February 24.

According to the statement, the combination of risks could involve a “significant deterioration” in the ability to control the spread of radiation not only in Ukraine, but also beyond the country’s borders, in the weeks and months to come.

Management at the Chernobyl plant said on Sunday that 50 employees who had been working non-stop since the Russian takeover had been replaced and replaced.

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KYIV — A Russian shell hit a chemical plant outside the city of Sumy shortly after 3 a.m. on Monday, according to Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office, causing a 50-ton ammonia tank to leak that took hours to contain.

For his part, Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the leak was “a planned provocation” by Ukrainian forces to falsely accuse Russia of a chemical attack.

Konashenkov also said a cruise missile hit a Ukrainian training center in the Rivne region overnight. At the scene, 80 Ukrainian and foreign fighters were killed, he added.

Vitaliy Koval, head of the regional military administration in Rivne, confirmed that two Russian missiles hit a training center there on Monday morning, but gave no information on injuries or deaths.

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NEW YORK – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said further progress in the negotiations was needed before Russian President Vladimir Putin could meet his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Peskov said that “to talk about a meeting of the two presidents, you have to do your homework first, you have to hold talks and agree on the results.”

“So far there has been no significant movement” in the talks, he added, and “there is no agreement they could commit to” during the meeting. a joint meeting.

The Russian and Ukrainian delegations held several rounds of talks in person and via videoconference. Zelenskyy expressed his willingness to meet directly with Putin to seek agreement on key issues.

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BRUSSELS – European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine, particularly in the besieged city of Mariupol, where hundreds of civilians have been killed.

“What is happening in Mariupol is a huge war crime,” Borrell said. “Destroy everything, bombard and kill everyone indiscriminately. It’s an awful thing.”

Russia has lost all moral superiority, he claimed, and “war has laws too.” Borrell made the remarks on Monday upon arriving to chair a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is collecting evidence on possible war crimes in Ukraine. But Russia, like the United States, does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said his country was “certainly open to other accountability mechanisms for the atrocities currently taking place in Ukraine”.

Coveney said images of the war circulating on social media are “sparking outrage across the European Union” for those responsible to be held accountable.

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LONDON – Heavy fighting continued north of kyiv as Russian forces persisted in their stalled effort to encircle the Ukrainian capital, the British Ministry of Defense said on Monday.

Russian advances from the northeast of the city have been blocked, the ministry said in a social media update on Monday, while troops advancing from Hostomel to the northwest were repelled by Ukrainian resistance. fierce. The bulk of the Russian forces were more than 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the city center.

“Despite the continued lack of progress, kyiv remains Russia’s main military target and it is likely that they will prioritize the encirclement of the city in the coming weeks,” according to British authorities.

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LEOPOLIS, Ukraine – Rescuers contained an ammonia leak at a chemical plant that contaminated a large area of ​​the eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy, authorities said on Monday.

Sumy Region Governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy did not specify the cause of the leak, which spread within a radius of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the Sumykhimprom plant.

The factory is on the outskirts of the city, which has a population of around 263,000 and has been attacked frequently by Russian troops in recent weeks.

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KYIV, Urania- Shells fired in a kyiv neighborhood devastated a shopping center, which left a still-smoldering ruin on Monday morning amid multi-storey towers.

Emergency services reported at least eight deaths in Sunday night’s attacks near the city center. The force of the explosion blew out all the windows in the neighboring block and twisted their metal frames.

Artillery fire could be heard in the distance as firefighters worked through the destruction in the populated neighborhood of Podil.

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LEOPOLIS, Ukraine – An ammonia leak at a chemical plant in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sumy contaminated an area more than 2.5 kilometers (about 1.5 miles) in all directions, officials said. authorities on Monday morning.

Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy did not specify the cause of the leak.

The Sumykhimprom plant is on the outskirts of the city, which has a population of some 263,000 and has been attacked frequently by Russian troops in recent weeks.

“Now there is no longer a threat to the center of Sumy, because the wind is not blowing towards the city,” Zhyvytskyy said.

The nearby town of Novoselytsya, about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) southeast of Sumy, was under threat.

Rescue teams were working to contain the leak.

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