LIVE: Day 344 of Russian aggression against Ukraine

A destroyed Russian armoured vehicle, the Kharkiv region, Ukraine. Photo: PAP/Mykola Kalyeniak

The situation on the front lines in eastern Ukraine “has become tougher” as Russian forces push for gains that they could show on the first anniversary of their invasion, on February 24, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a sombre assessment.

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Ukrainian soldiers came to Germany for training on the Patriot air defense system. According to the German dpa news agency citing a source withing German security service, the 70-servicemen- strong group arrived on Tuesday.

The German government, in agreement with the U.S. government, wants to deliver Patriot weapons system to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian attacks.

Source: dpa via PAP

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The Baltic nations and Poland are calling on international sports bodies to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus from the Olympics and other events while the war in Ukraine continues, Lithuanian sports minister Jurgita Siugzdiniene said on Thursday.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Thursday for more punitive measures against Russia by the European Union and said he had discussed a new EU sanctions package with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

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Austria is expelling four Russian diplomats for behaving in a manner inconsistent with international agreements, a reason often invoked in spying cases, the Austrian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday without giving specifics.

Two of the four diplomats declared personae non gratae and ordered to leave the country by February 8 are stationed at the Russian Embassy to Austria while the other two work at the Russian mission to the United Nations in Vienna, the ministry said in a statement.

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