February 20 Ukraine-Russia news (2022)

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9:32 p.m. ET, February 20, 2022

White House official says Blinken and Lavrov will discuss the possible Biden-Putin summit

From CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Arlette Saenz

A White House official says Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will discuss a possible summit between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet later this week.

But the official added a word of caution about those discussions.

“Blinken and Lavrov will discuss further if the invasion hasn’t started by then — in which case it’s all off,” the official said.

Another senior official added that no plans currently exist for a summit when it comes to timing or format.

9:27 p.m. ET, February 20, 2022

Macron spoke with Putin for a second time on Sunday

From CNN's Samantha Beech

French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a second time in fewer than 24 hours, the Elysée Palace said in a statement late Sunday.

The talk comes as Macron proposed a summit between US President Joe Biden and Putin, the Elysée Palace said.

Of the second Putin call late Sunday Paris time, the Elysée said: “The phone call between the French President and President Putin started at 11 p.m. Paris time (1 a.m. Moscow time)." That is 5 p.m. ET on Sunday.

The Elysée said the call lasted an hour.

This is the second time Macron has spoken to Putin in fewer than 24 hours, according to the French presidency. The first call lasted one hour and 45 minutes.

Macron’s second call with Putin follows his conversation with Biden earlier on Sunday. The White House said Biden and Macron spoke for 15 minutes.

Context: President Joe Biden has agreed "in principle" to a meeting with President Putin as long as Russia does not further invade Ukraine, according to a statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki. CNN has asked the Kremlin if it has also agreed in principle, but has not received an immediate response.

(Video) Biden convenes with national security team on Ukraine-Russia conflict

9:05 p.m. ET, February 20, 2022

French President proposes Biden-Putin summit during call with Biden, Elysée says

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey, Samantha Beech, Kaitlin Collins and Matthew Chance

February 20 Ukraine-Russia news (1)

French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed a summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Elysée Palace said in a statement.

The statement said the potential summit can only be held “if Russia does not invade Ukraine.”

Macron and Biden spoke by phone for around 15 minutes to discuss the situation in Ukraine on Sunday.

The French presidency also said Macron had two calls with Putin on Sunday.

The Elysée said Macron proposed a summit on security and strategic stability in Europe with Biden and Putin, and then with all other stakeholders. The statement did not name those stakeholders, but said Macron would work with them to prepare the content of these discussions.

The Elysée claimed both Biden and Putin agreed to the summit “on principle."

Biden has agreed "in principle" to a meeting with Putin as long as Russia does not further invade Ukraine, according to a statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

CNN has reached out to the Kremlin to ask about the agreement in principle for a summit, but did not receive an immediate response.

The Elysée said the content of the summit will be prepared by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during their planned meeting on Feb. 24. CNN is yet to confirm this assertion from the French presidency.

8:54 p.m. ET, February 20, 2022

President Biden agrees to meet with Putin "in principle" as long as Russia does not invade Ukraine

From CNN’s SamFossumand ArletteSaenz

February 20 Ukraine-Russia news (2)

President Joe Biden has agreed "in principle" to a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as long as Russia does not further invade Ukraine, according to a statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

This potential summit, according to an Elysee Palace statement, was proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The meeting, according to Psaki, would happenafter US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet on Feb.24.

"President Biden accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following that engagement, again, if an invasion hasn’t happened," Psaki said in a written statement on Sunday night.
"We are always ready for diplomacy.We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war.And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon."
(Video) Gravitas Plus | Explained: The Russia-Ukraine crisis
8:40 p.m. ET, February 20, 2022

Satellite imagery shows Russian ground forces dispersing to positions close to the Ukraine border

From CNN's Tim Lister in Kyiv and Paul Murphy

February 20 Ukraine-Russia news (3)

New satellite imagery shows intensified activity among Russian units close to Ukraine's northeastern border, with units that were in garrisons appearing to take up field positions.

The satellite images were collected by Maxar on Sunday.

Maxar assesses that "multiple new field deployments of armored equipment and troops have been observed northwest of Belgorod and near Soloti and Valuyki, Russia."

These towns are within 35 kilometers (around 21 miles) of the Russian border with Ukraine.

Maxar observes, "This new activity represents a change in the pattern of the previously observed deployments of battle groups (tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery and support equipment). Until recently, most of the deployments had been seen primarily positioned at or near existing military garrisons and training areas."

“Today (Sunday) most of the combat units and support equipment at Soloti have departed and extensive vehicle tracks and some convoys of armored equipment are seen throughout the area."

The images show that encampments or staging grounds that contained substantial forces last Sunday, February 13, are now relatively empty.

"Some equipment has also been deployed east of nearby Valuyki, Russia in a field approximately 15 kilometers north of the Ukraine border," Maxar noted.

Separately, CNN has geolocated several videos from the region over the weekend that show long columns including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and howitzers moving through rural areas in the Belgorod oblast (district).

"A number of new field deployments are also seen northwest of Belgorod (deployments are approximately 30 kilometers from the border with Ukraine) with much of the equipment and troops positioned in or near forested areas," Maxar observed.

The images show extensive tracks where armor has moved across the countryside.

"Other company-sized units are deployed within farm and/or industrial areas."

CNN has observed that some tanks and other vehicles in the area appears to have been marked with a large "Z" -- suggesting they are being formed into a fighting unit.

Watch:

8:09 p.m. ET, February 20, 2022

Ukrainian military alleges separatists in the east fired on their own territory to 'falsely accuse' Ukraine

From CNN's Tim Lister

The Ukrainian Joint Forces Command has alleged that Russian-backed separatists launched "'heavy armament fire' against their own territory in an effort to 'falsely accuse' the armed forces of Ukraine and further escalate the situation."

It said the barrage began at 9 p.m. local time Sunday and involved firing from Lobacheve toward the city of Luhansk. Both places are within the self-declared Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine.

"With Ukrainian defenders refraining from any aggressive acts that could possibly trigger a violent response, the occupation forces continue to destroy civilian infrastructure on the temporarily occupied territories and sporadically shell civilian settlements," the command said.

"By doing so, the occupation forces once again demonstrated their cowardice and complete disregard for the lives and health of the local civilian population."

For its part, the LPR alleged that Ukrainian forces were "firing artillery into the territory of the LPR along the entire line of contact, presumably they are preparing to attack."

Ivan Filiponenko, an LPR official, said, "All along the line of contact, the enemy undertook preparations for an intended offensive."

The separatists have accused Ukraine of preparing for an offensive against the two self-declared republics, an accusation that has been denied by Ukraine.

On Saturday, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said it deplored "the spreading of disinformation about an imminent military action by the Ukrainian government forces."

(Video) Ukraine's Crimean fightback having 'psychological impact' on Russia - BBC News
4:50 p.m. ET, February 20, 2022

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron speak about situation in Ukraine

From CNN’s Lauren Kent in London and Mitchell McCluskey in Atlanta

February 20 Ukraine-Russia news (4)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke about the situation in Ukraine on Sunday, according to readouts from the United Kingdom and France.

In a readout of the call, the Élysée Palace said the two leaders updated one another on their diplomatic efforts involving Ukraine, including Macron’s call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where France said the leaders agreed to hold trilateral talks to reach a ceasefire.

“The Prime Minister noted that President Putin’s commitments to President Macron were a welcome sign that he might still be willing to engage in finding a diplomatic solution. The Prime Minister stressed that Ukraine’s voice must be central in any discussions," a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement.

“The leaders agreed on the need for both Russia and Ukraine to meet their commitments under the Minsk Agreements in full. They also underscored the need for President Putin to step back from his current threats and withdraw troops from Ukraine’s border,” the Downing Street statement said.

Johnson and Macron agreed to stay in close contact over the next week.

4:20 p.m. ET, February 20, 2022

New intel adds to US fears that Russia is readying for military action

From CNN's Jim Sciutto in Lviv, Ukraine, and Natasha Bertrand in Munich

February 20 Ukraine-Russia news (5)
(Video) Ukraine frontline: Bakhmut - a city under relentless Russian attack - BBC News

The US has intelligence indicating orders have been sent to Russian commanders to proceed with an attack on Ukraine, according to two US officials and another source familiar with the US intelligence.

The intelligence regarding the order to tactical commanders and intelligence operatives is one of several indicators the US is watching to assess if Russian preparations have entered their final stages for a potential invasion.

Other indicators, such as electronic jamming and widespread cyber-attacks, have not yet been observed, according to some of the sources. The sources cautioned that orders can always be withdrawn or that it could be misinformation meant to confuse and mislead the US and allies.

But the news of the intelligence comes after President Biden said on Friday that he believes Putin has made a decision to invade — a comment echoed by Vice President Kamala Harris and by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday.Blinken said the Russian playbook is “moving forward.”

“We believe President Putin has made the decision,” Blinken said Sunday in an interview on CNN.“But until the tanks are actually rolling and the planes are flying, we will use every opportunity and every minute we have to see if diplomacy can still dissuade President Putin from carrying this forward.”

The Washington Post first reported on the orders being given.

CNN's Katie Bo Lillis contributed to this report

2:40 p.m. ET, February 20, 2022

Biden and Macron expected to speak soon

From CNN’s Kevin Liptak

February 20 Ukraine-Russia news (6)

President Joe Biden is expected to speak Sunday with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron following Macron’s back-to-back phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, a source familiar said.

The exact timing of the conversation wasn’t clear.

Macron is working to find a diplomatic path to avoid conflict, as reflected in the Élysée readouts of his calls today.

Biden's Sunday National Security meetingregarding Ukraine has ended, per a White House official. The meetingbegan at 11:30 a.m., a White House official told CNN.

Some more context: French President Emmanuel Macron and Putin agreed on Sunday on “working intensively to enable a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group to be held in the next few hours,” the Élysée Palace said in a readout of the call on Sunday.

The Élysée readout said the aim of the meeting would be to “obtain a commitment from all parties to a ceasefire on the line of contact.”

The Trilateral Contact Group includes representatives from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Per the statement, the two leaders agreed on the need to “give priority to a diplomatic solution to the current crisis and to do everything possible to achieve it.”

FAQs

What do you call someone who loves Russia? ›

(Learn how and when to remove this template message) Russophilia (literally love of Russia or Russians) is admiration and fondness of Russia (including the era of the Soviet Union and/or the Russian Empire), Russian history and Russian culture.

How many Russians are leaving Russia? ›

In 2022, an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 Russians moved to Serbia. As the majority of European countries closed their airspace to Russian flights following the invasion, Russians seeking to leave the country have often had to take detours through the Caucasus or have had to find overland routes.

Why is Ukraine so important to the United States? ›

Ukraine is a key regional strategic partner that has undertaken significant efforts to modernize its military and increase its interoperability with NATO. It remains an urgent security assistance priority to provide Ukraine the equipment it needs to defend itself against Russia's war against Ukraine.

Has Google helped Ukraine? ›

Together, Google.org and Google employees are contributing $15 million in donations and in-kind support to aid relief efforts in Ukraine. Google is also contributing $5 million in advertising credits to trusted humanitarian and intergovernmental organizations.

What do Russians call their girlfriends? ›

Russian has a lot of words and phrases for girlfriend. These words include podruga, devushka, paren', molodoi chelovek, and moia. Podruga, in British, means “girlfriend”; however , the meaning of 'girlfriend' is less charming than 'devushka'.

What do Russians call their kids? ›

A young child can be called малыш [mah-LYSH] — a little one; зайчик [ZY-chik] — a little wild rabbit; even рыбка [RYB-kah] — a little fish. Generally, the Russian language is rich with suffixes that modify the meaning of the original word.

Can you leave Russia? ›

Exit visa. You must have a valid visa to be allowed to leave Russia. If your visa expires, your sponsor must apply for an exit visa on your behalf. To avoid problems, including deportation, make sure your visa is valid beyond your intended departure date.

How many Russians live abroad? ›

Statistics
CountryEthnic Russians
United States3,100,000
Germany1,213,000
Brazil1,800,000
Israel1,000,000
26 more rows

What is the population of Russia in 2022? ›

The current population of the Russian Federation is 146,077,918 as of Thursday, October 20, 2022, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data. Russia 2020 population is estimated at 145,934,462 people at mid year according to UN data.

Can I go to Ukraine to help? ›

We understand many people want to help Ukraine and those suffering from ongoing Russian aggression. We strongly advise against U.S. citizens traveling to Ukraine. Please see the below resources on ways you can safely contribute.

Why is Ukraine not in NATO? ›

Plans for NATO membership were shelved by Ukraine following the 2010 presidential election in which Viktor Yanukovych, who preferred to keep the country non-aligned, was elected President.

What weapons has the U.S. sent to Ukraine? ›

M-777 155 mm Artillery Howitzer

Those have been sent to Ukraine along with a small number of additional howitzers that were squeezed out of overhead activities. Total production was about 1,000 systems, divided about evenly between the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.

How much money did Google donate to Ukraine? ›

Google in a blog post mentioned that its $5 million fund will help allocate equity-free cash awards to Ukrainian startups all through 2022.

Is Gmail still available in Russia? ›

Is Gmail available in Russia? Like Google search services, Gmail is available in Russia.

What is united help Ukraine? ›

United Help Ukraine is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It was started in 2014, after the Russian attack on Ukraine, by a small group of people who met at a protest in Washington, DC. Most, but not all of us have a personal connection to Ukraine.

What is baby boy in Russian? ›

малыш {m} boy (also: baby, piccaninny, tot)

What do Russian children call their parents? ›

Most commonly Russians use the words Mama and Papa to refer to their parents.

What is Lapochka mean? ›

Lapochka is a Russian term of endearment for a young girl.

What does Ovich mean? ›

“Russians have three names: a first name, a father's name with –ovich or –evich added (meaning “son of”) if male, or –evna or –ovna (meaning “daughter of” if female); and a last, or family name.

Does babushka mean baby? ›

Babushka definition

An old Russian woman or grandmother. A kerchief or scarf worn on the head by a woman or girl and tied under the chin. An old woman.

What does Lapushka mean in Russian? ›

of course, there are examples of terms of endearment that are meant specifically for girls. “lapochka” and “lapushka” are two examples because they're both known to translate to “lassie”. it'd be a bit… girly, to call your boyfriend your “lapochka”.

Videos

1. Global National: Feb. 21, 2022 | Putin orders "peacekeeping troops" in Ukraine breakaway regions
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2. Russia controls 20% of Ukrainian territory, President Zelensky says – BBC News
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3. Tensions Escalate With Overnight Violence Along Russia-Ukraine Border
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4. Ukraine war: Russia blames 'sabotage' for new Crimea explosions - BBC News
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5. Vladimir Putin announces partial military mobilisation to fight Ukraine war – BBC News
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6. Russia continues military exercises along Ukraine border
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