Russia-Ukraine crisis LIVE: Russian paratroopers attack Kharkiv | Nicola Sturgeon promises medical supplies to Ukraine

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The Ukraine military says Russian paratroopers have landed in its second-largest city Kharkiv.

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At least 21 people were killed and 112 wounded in the shelling of Ukraine’s second most populous city Kharkiv, the city’s mayor has said.

At least 21 people were killed and 112 wounded in the shelling of Ukraine’s second most populous city Kharkiv, the city’s mayor has said.

It comes as US President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address to announce US airspace was closed to Russian flights, adding his administration would be joining the UK and other allies in pursuing the Russian oligarchs and “corrupt leaders who built billions of dollars off (Vladimir Putin’s) violent regime”.

Scotland will send half a million items of medical supplies to Ukraine to help those “fighting a battle for democracy and freedom” against the Russian invasion, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister visited an NHS Scotland distribution center in North Lanarkshire on Wednesday to see the medical equipment being packed before it is flown to Ukraine.

Ms Sturgeon said the shipment will be an “initial consignment” of items requested by the Ukrainian Government from NHS Scotland’s reserve stockpile, and she pledged to continue providing the “maximum we possibly can” for the duration of the conflict.

There have been reports of significant shelling overnight in Chernihiv in the north of Ukraine overnight.

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Describing the UK Government’s reluctance to waive visa requirements as shameful, Ms Sturgeon said: “The position of the UK Government has moved in the right direction in the last couple of days, but it hasn’t gone nearly far enough.

“I would appeal to the Prime Minister to stop moving forward incrementally, stop having to be dragged into a better position.

“Follow the example of the European Union who’s opened its doors and said people from Ukraine will get entry and the right to stay for three years, follow the example of Ireland as they drop visa requirements, open the doors of the UK to people fleeing this horror in Ukraine and sort the paperwork later.

Scotland will send half a million items of medical supplies to Ukraine to help those “fighting a battle for democracy and freedom” against the Russian invasion, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Russian and Belarusian athletes have been given the green light to compete as neutrals at the Paralympic Games in Beijing despite the invasion of Ukraine.

The International Paralympic Committee met to make a decision on the issue on Wednesday, with the Games officially opening on Friday.

“The RPC (Russian Paralympic Committee) and NPC Belarus will participate as neutrals at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games,” an IPC statement read.

“They will compete under the Paralympic flag and not be included in the medal table.”

The shadow minister for immigration Stephen Kinnock has said that he is “mystified” about why the British Government is not publishing the names of the Russian people that “we are sanctioning and getting on with the job”.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny suggested a list of Russians that should be sanctioned, but the names of everyone on the list is yet to be published in the UK.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Kinnock said the list “includes people like (Roman) Abramovich, (Alisher) Usmanov. We’ve seen the European Union and the United States publishing those names.

“I am just mystified as to why the British Government is not publishing the names of the people that we are sanctioning and getting on with the job.

“It’s too slow and just looks like foot-dragging.

“The Government’s got to step up and show the leadership that we must show just to reflect the tremendous courage and leadership that the people are showing.”

Apple has stopped selling iPhones and other popular products in Russia in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The company is one of the latest major corporations to boycott the country following the invasion ordered by Russian president Vladimir Putin last week.

Fellow tech giants Google and Twitter have also cut down their business in Russia.

As well as halting product sales, Apple says its mobile app store is blocking downloads of RT News and Sputnik News from outside Russia.

The price of a barrel of oil soared again on Wednesday as the conflict in Ukraine raged on.

A barrel of Brent Crude hit 111.36 dollars, a new seven-year high, as hard-hitting sanctions on the Russian economy took hold.

Sanctions have so far excluded energy shipments of gas and oil from Russia – a country that is the world’s largest gas and second-largest oil exporter.

With large parts of Europe reliant on Russian gas, sanctions have avoided being placed on payments for energy and shipments can still flow through the continent.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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