Air raid sirens were activated across Ukraine on Monday morning, including in the capital Kyiv, the country’s authorities and CNN teams on the ground reported.
“Please proceed to the shelters!” authorities in Kyiv said in their official Telegram channel.
4:07 a.m. ET, February 20, 2023
China says US "is not qualified to lecture" on supplying arms to Russia
From CNN's Beijing bureau
China's Foreign Ministry on Monday said the United States "is not qualified to lecture" on the supplying of arms amid concerns from US officials that Beijing is considering providing "lethal support" to Russia's military.
Speaking to reporters, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said: "It is the US side, not the Chinese side, that supplies a steady stream of weapons to the battlefield."
"The US side is not qualified to lecture China, and we would never accept the US dictating or even coercing pressure on Sino-Russian relations," he said.
"Who is calling for dialogue and peace and who is handing out knives and encouraging confrontation?"
Wang added that China continues to "urge peace and promote talks" to resolve the conflict in Ukraine and that it stands firmly on "playing a constructive role in promoting the de-escalation and cooling down the situation."
Some context: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday he has concerns that Beijing is considering stepping up its partnership with Moscow by supplying Russia's military with “lethal support.” Blinken raised the issue when he met with China's top diplomat Wang Yi on Saturday, officials said.
CNN previously reported that the US has begun seeing “disturbing” trendlines of late in China’s support for Russia’s military, and there are signs that Beijing wants to “creep up to the line” of providing lethal military aid to Russia without getting caught, according to US officials familiar with the intelligence.
The officials would not describe in detail what intelligence the US has seen suggesting a recent shift in China’s posture but said US officials have been concerned enough that they shared the intelligence with allies and partners.
1:55 a.m. ET, February 20, 2023
Analysis: After nearly one year of war, how Ukraine defied the odds — and may still defeat Russia
Analysis from CNN's Tim Lister
“When you attack us, you will see our faces. Not our backs, but our faces.”
They were prophetic. Many analysts expected Ukrainian resistance to crumble in days. But for a year, the Ukrainian military has faced down a much larger force, rolling back the Russians’ initial gains in Kharkiv and Kherson, holding the line in the hotly contested Donbas region.
In the process the Ukrainians have inflicted stunning losses on the Russian army, and laid bare the outmoded tactics, stale leadership and brittle morale of a force more impressive on parade than on the battlefield.
By contrast, Ukrainian units have proved nimble and adaptive, harnessing drone technology, decentralized command and smart operational planning to exploit their enemy’s systemic weaknesses.
And few would have bet that one year into this war, the vintage Ukrainian air force would still be flying.
Biden will arrive in Warsaw on Tuesday where he will meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda, the White House said in a statement Sunday.
"The President will deliver remarks ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, addressing how the United States has rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and democracy, and how we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes," the statement said.
One year ago, Biden was urgently warning a sometimes-skeptical world that a massive buildup of Russian troops along Ukraine's borders was the precursor to war. At the time, even some inside his own government questioned the ability of the Ukrainians to withstand an invasion, predicting the imminent fall of the capital Kyiv.
Instead, Ukrainian fighters have held the capital and continue to resist Russian attempts to control territory, helped by a massive influx of Western weapons, ammunition and equipment. The war has become a grinding conflict that US officials say could last for months or even years.
It has come to shape Biden's foreign policy, the fallout reverberating in the global economy and leading to newfound unity between the United States and its European allies.
Biden's aides have been planning for several weeks how they will mark the anniversary of the invasion, including potentially a major address. They hope to emphasize the resilience of the Ukrainian people while stressing the importance of unity in the uncertain months ahead.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is currently preparing for an expected Russian offensive in the spring, appealing to Western governments for additional assistance and weaponry to help sustain the fight.
12:32 a.m. ET, February 20, 2023
Analysis: Why the US is accusing Russia of crimes against humanity and what that means
Analysis from CNN's Paul LeBlanc
A year into Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the US has seen enough.
“In the case of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, we have examined the evidence, we know the legal standards, and there is no doubt: These are crimes against humanity,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at the Munich Security Conference this weekend. “To all those who have perpetrated these crimes, and to their superiors who are complicit in those crimes, you will be held to account.”
The declaration marks the strongest accusation yet from the US as it seeks to punish Moscow for its war of aggression.
The US government declared last March that members of the Russian armed forces had committed war crimes in Ukraine. President Joe Biden has gone as far as saying that atrocities at the hands of Moscow’s troops qualify as “genocide.”
While the “crimes against humanity” determination is significant, it remains largely symbolic for now. It does not immediately trigger any specific consequences, nor does it give the US the ability to prosecute Russians involved with perpetrating crimes.
However, it could provide international bodies, such as the International Criminal Court, with evidence to effectively try to prosecute those crimes.
2 people injured after Russian shelling in Dnipropetrovsk
From CNN's Mariya Knight and Kostan Nechyporenko
Two people were injured following Russian shelling of civilian infrastructure in numerous areas of the Dnipropetrovsk region on Sunday, Mykola Lukashuk, head of the Dnipropetrovsk region council said on Telegram.
“Two districts of Dnipropetrovsk region — Nikopol and Synelnykove — came under enemy fire today. Four attacks on civilian communities were registered during the day,” Lukashuk wrote. “We have two injured.”
The regional head reported Russians also shelled Nikopol, Marhanets, Myrove and Velykomykhailivka communities with "heavy" artillery.
Several residential buildings, gas pipelines and power grids were damaged in Myrove, he said.
1:02 a.m. ET, February 20, 2023
Zelensky says Ukraine is "inflicting extremely tangible losses" on Russian troops in Vuhledar
From CNN's Mariya Knight
Ukraine is "inflicting extremely tangible losses" on Russian troops in the strategic eastern town of Vuhledar, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Sunday.
The situation in the area is “very difficult,” he added.
“The more Russia loses there, in Donbas — Bakhmut, Vuhledar, Maryinka, Kreminna, the sooner we can end this war with Ukraine's victory,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky also noted that the situation around the southern region of Odesa is unchanged and "we are controlling all potential prospects."
The situation in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv meanwhile is “completely under control, as well as along the entire northern border,” he said.
New sanctions: Zelensky said he had made “a new sanctions step against all those who fuel Russian aggression.”
“I have signed a decree enacting the National Security and Defense Council [NSDC] decision on sanctions against Russian financial entities,” he said. “These are Ukraine's sanctions. But each of our sanctions packages becomes the basis for working on sanctions with our partners.”
Zelensky implemented a NSDC decision to impose sanctions on an additional 333 Russian citizens and the Moscow Stock Exchange, a public joint-stock company.
"The next EU sanctions package — the tenth one already — is now being prepared,” he said. “We are working with our partners to strengthen it."
7:49 p.m. ET, February 19, 2023
US ambassador to UN says China would cross "red line" by providing lethal aid to Russia
“We welcome the Chinese announcement that they want peace because that’s what we always want to pursue in situations like this. But we also have to be clear that if there are any thoughts and efforts by the Chinese and others to provide lethal support to the Russians in their brutal attack against Ukraine, that that is unacceptable,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN’s Pamela Brown on “State of the Union.”
“That would be a red line,” she said.
As CNN previously reported, the US has begun seeing “disturbing” trendlines in China’s support for Russia’s military, and there are signs that Beijing wants to “creep up to the line” of providing lethal military aid to Russia without getting caught, US officials familiar with the intelligence told CNN.
The officials would not describe in detail what intelligence the US has seen suggesting a recent shift in China’s posture but said US officials have been concerned enough that they have shared the intelligence with allies and partners at the Munich Security Conference over the past several days.
“The secretary was quite blunt in warning about the implications and consequences of China providing material support to Russia or assisting Russia with systematic sanctions evasion,” a senior State Department official told reporters.