Ukraine and Putin to Schulz: “NATO is never at our borders.” The Kremlin is withdrawing some troops

On Telegram, a spokeswoman for the Moscow Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, wrote: “February 15, 2022 will go down in history as the day when Western propaganda for the war failed. They lost their luck and were destroyed without a single shot being fired. The date the West has indicated so far is February 16. Today, Putin – says the Kremlin – in response to the various appointments made by the West that set the exact day for the invasion, jokingly asked when this is supposed to happen. In short, today is the day of Russian mockery of the West. The Kremlin says Russia is still bound by the Minsk agreements.

Born: pulls the means, not only men

The response to the Russian move by the withdrawing forces comes from NATO Secretary General Jane Stoltenberg: to consider a serious de-escalation of the situation on the Russian side, NATO wants to see the withdrawal of heavy machinery and military equipment in Iraq. Areas bordering Ukraine and not only men. Stoltenberg stressed at the press conference that “the process of accumulating Russian forces has been going on since last spring, in periods of ups and downs.” In practice, the Russians leave the military infrastructure in designated areas, then “quickly return the men to their positions” when necessary. “For now, we have not seen any signs of de-escalation” of the presence of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine, says Stoltenberg, we continue to monitor the situation. The signals coming from Moscow about readiness to negotiate are grounds for cautious optimism. “We expect a significant withdrawal of troops and equipment,” says Stoltenberg. He noted that “at the moment we have not seen a de-escalation on the ground, in fact it has been the opposite in recent weeks.”

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Cyber ​​attack on major websites, banks and the Ministry of Defense

However, the “de-escalation” does not appear to coincide with the end of hostilities. In the afternoon of February 15, a cyber attack occurred in Ukraine on the websites of several banks, as confirms the Government Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security. It will be a Ddos type attack. The participating banks are Privatbank and Oschadbank. According to unconfirmed sources, there is also Crédit Agricole and First International Ukrainian Bank. The website of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces was also damaged. And last month, websites belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emergencies were attacked.

Draghi for Zelensky, Italy’s support for its territorial integrity

On the Italian side, the government emphasizes its proximity to Ukraine. The Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, had a telephone conversation today with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. In the midst of the talks, explains a note from Palazzo Chigi, there were the latest developments of the Ukrainian crisis. President Draghi reiterated the Italian government’s firm support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The importance of strengthening a joint commitment to a sustainable and lasting solution to the crisis, while maintaining an open channel for dialogue with Moscow, was shared. As part of the intense diplomatic work undertaken by Italy, together with partner and allied countries, the Chigi Palace confirms, Minister Luigi Di Maio is visiting Kiev today for talks with his counterpart Kuleba.

Di Maio, support Ukrainian integrity as Draghi emphasized

“I expressed to Minister Kuleba of Italy’s closeness to the government and people of Ukraine, and of our firm and continuous support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and complete sovereignty, which is embodied in its international policy choices. President Draghi reiterated to President Zelensky in a phone call today.” This was stated by Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio at the end of the meeting with his Ukrainian colleague Dmitry Kuleba in Kiev.

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