Protests Over Suspected Russian Plans To Turn Occupied Ukrainian Province Into Breakaway State

Protests Over Suspected Russian Plans To Turn Occupied Ukrainian Province Into Breakaway State

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55 min agoProtests over suspected Russian plans to turn occupied Ukrainian province into breakaway stateFrom CNN’s Tamara Qiblawi in Lviv  

Residents of Kherson turned out en masse on Sunday, March 13, in the largest protest the city has seen since the invasion began and it came under Russian occupation.  (From Telegram)Hundreds of demonstrators have flocked the streets of Russian-occupied Kherson to protest against suspected Russian plans to turn the southern Ukrainian oblast into a breakaway republic.  

In recent days, at least one Kherson regional council official warned that occupation forces were laying the groundwork for the “Kherson People’s Republic.” If true, the move would mirror Moscow’s establishment of two breakaway states in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. Ukraine considers those breakaway regions — the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic — to be Russian occupied.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of those two territories in the days leading up to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine as part of his pretext to launch an assault on the country. 

“A referendum on the creation of the HPR (Kherson People’s Republic) is being prepared in Kherson region,” wrote Kherson region council member Sergey Khlan in a Facebook post on Saturday calling on fellow council members to boycott meetings with Russian occupation forces. 

“Become a part of Ukrainian history as citizens, whose names will be remembered by next generations, not as dispensable traitors,” he added. 

Demonstrators in Kherson on Sunday morning waved Ukrainian flags, chanted anti-Russian slogans and shouted expletives at Putin, videographer Artem Ivanov, who is on the ground in Kherson, told CNN. “Kherson is Ukrainian,” “Putin is a ” “Russian soldiers are fascists,” and “Russian soldiers go home” were some of the slogans chanted at the protest, according to Ivanov. 

Residents of Kherson turned out en masse on Sunday, March 13, in the largest protest the city has seen since the invasion began and it came under Russian occupation.  (Obtained by CNN)43 min agoUS “concerned” about nuclear escalation from Russia, but hasn’t seen anything requiring change in posture, says US national security adviserFrom CNN’s DJ Judd and Jasmine Wright

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks with CNN on Sunday. (CNN)US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN Sunday that while the Biden administration is “concerned about the possibility of escalation,” with respect to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear posture, “we have not seen anything that would require us to change our nuclear posture at this time.”

“We are watching this extremely closely, and obviously, the escalation risk with a nuclear power is severe, and it is a different kind of conflict than other conflicts the American people have seen over the years,” Sullivan told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “And the American President, Joe Biden, has to take that responsibility extremely seriously, even as we redouble our efforts to support the Ukrainians. As things stand today, the United States has not adjusted our nuclear posture, but it is something that we monitor day by day, hour by hour, because it is a paramount priority to the President.”

He also said that Russian strikes on Lviv, approximately 12 miles from Ukraine’s border with Poland, is a sign Putin “is frustrated by the fact that his forces are not making the kind of progress that he thought that they would make against major cities, including Kyiv, that he is expanding the number of targets, that he is lashing out, and that he is trying to cause damage in every part of the country.”

2 hr 14 min agoMissile strikes in Lviv region are third strike in western Ukraine in the last couple of days, Pentagon saysFrom CNN’s Ellie Kaufman

A series of missile strikes early Sunday that struck the Yavoriv military training ground in the Lviv region of western Ukraine is the third strike by Russian forces in the western part of Ukraine “in the last couple of days,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on ABC’s This Week Sunday.

“This is the third now facility or airfield that the Russians have struck in Western Ukraine in just the last couple of days, so clearly, at least from an airstrike perspective, they’re broadening their target sets,” Kirby said.There has been “some damage” to the military training facility, Kirby said, but the Pentagon is “still assessing and talking to the Ukrainians” about the extent of the damage from the strikes, Kirby said. 

No American service members were at the training facility; they had all left the training facility weeks prior, Kirby added.

When asked if a no-fly zone would have prevented this attack, Kirby said, “No, I don’t think so.” 

Kirby added that the US establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean war with Russia.

“The United States getting involved in combat in Ukraine right now, or over the skies of Ukraine right now leads to war with Russia, and there’s very little that you can see that would make sense for this war to be escalated between two nuclear powers,” Kirby said.

1 hr 59 min agoRussian delegation member: There is “significant progress” in negotiations with Ukraine, RIA reports From CNN staff

Leonid Slutsky, a Russian delegation member for the Ukraine-Russia talks, speaks to the media on March 7 in Belarus. (Maxim Guchek/Belta/AFP/Getty Images)Leonid Slutsky, a Russian delegation member for the Ukraine-Russia talks, said “significant progress” has been made in negotiations with the Ukrainian delegation since the beginning of talks, Russian state news agency RIA reports.

“If we compare the positions of the Russia and Ukraine in th

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