Home U.S Tony Abbott recalls meeting Vladimir Putin after Russian shot down MH17 as...

Tony Abbott recalls meeting Vladimir Putin after Russian shot down MH17 as he invades Ukraine

75
0


Tony Abbott has recalled a meeting he had with Vladimir Putin in 2014 where the Russian President grabbed him with both hands and said: ‘You are not a native Australian but I am a native Russian’.

Mr Abbott said the comment helped explain why President Putin invaded Ukraine on Thursday by revealing his ‘passion for blood and soil’.  

The former Prime Minister chatted to Mr Putin on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Beijing in 2014.

The talk came after flight MH17 was shot down by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people including 38 Aussies.

Tony Abbott has recalled a meeting he had with Vladimir Putin in 2014 (pictured together at the G20 summit in Brisbane in 2014) where the Russian President grabbed him with both hands

Tony Abbott has recalled a meeting he had with Vladimir Putin in 2014 (pictured together at the G20 summit in Brisbane in 2014) where the Russian President grabbed him with both hands

The talk came after flight MH17 (pictured) was shot down by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people including 38 Aussies

The talk came after flight MH17 (pictured) was shot down by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people including 38 Aussies

Speaking at a conservative think tank in Hungary on Monday, Mr Abbott – who was born in London – described a moment where President Putin said he was not a native Australian.

‘With rare intensity, he insisted that Ukraine was really Russian and that their government was fascist or worse – and that provocateurs had brought down the plane,’ Mr Abbott said. 

‘And then he grabbed me with both hands and said something both strange and revealing: ”You are not a native Australian”, he said, ”but I am a native Russian”.

‘It’s this passion for blood and soil and sacred mission that drives my fear that he’s ready to take big risks to restore the Russia of his dreams, especially if he senses weakness and vulnerability.’

The attack has come to Ukraine on all fronts with bombs and missiles dropped on targets across the country in the early hours, followed by troop attacks from Crimea, the Donbass, Belgorod and Belarus as well as helicopter landings in Kiev and at power plants on the Dnieper River. Chernobyl nuclear power plant has also fallen to Russian forces

The attack has come to Ukraine on all fronts with bombs and missiles dropped on targets across the country in the early hours, followed by troop attacks from Crimea, the Donbass, Belgorod and Belarus as well as helicopter landings in Kiev and at power plants on the Dnieper River. Chernobyl nuclear power plant has also fallen to Russian forces

Police block Red Square ahead of a planned unsanctioned protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Moscow

Police block Red Square ahead of a planned unsanctioned protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in central Moscow

President Putin gave the order to attack Ukraine – which used to be part of the Soviet Union – on Thursday morning. 

By the afternoon Russian forces seized control of Chernobyl nuclear power plant after a ‘fierce’ battle, with the condition of nuclear storage facilities ‘unknown’, sparking fears of a radiation leak that could cause fallout in Europe. 

Video revealed Russian tanks and armoured vehicles standing in front of the destroyed reactor, which sits just 60 miles north of the capital Kiev. 

An official said Russian shelling hit a radioactive waste repository and an increase in radiation levels was reported, although this has not yet been corroborated. 

The International Atomic Energy Agency said it is following the situation in Ukraine ‘with grave concern’ and appealed for maximum restraint to avoid any action that may put Ukraine’s nuclear facilities at risk. 

Ukrainian presidential advisor Myhailo Podolyak said: ‘After the absolutely senseless attack of the Russians in this direction, it is impossible to say that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is safe.’

Attack helicopters are pictured flying over the Kiev region of Ukraine after dozens of Russian aircraft attacked the city

Attack helicopters are pictured flying over the Kiev region of Ukraine after dozens of Russian aircraft attacked the city

Meanwhile Turkey reported that one of its ships had been hit by a ‘bomb’ off the coast of Odessa, where fighting is also going on. Turkey is a member of NATO, underlining fears that the war in Ukraine could quickly suck in other states and spark an all-out conflict in Europe.

Speaking after the latest developments, Joe Biden announced more sanctions against Russia but admitted that he had not expected previous threats of financial penalties to deter Vladimir Putin.

He also resisted calls to send in US troops to Ukraine, saying he has no plans to speak to the Russian leader who he accuses of trying to rebuild a Soviet empire.

The sanctions will target Russian banks, oligarchs, state-controlled companies and high-tech sectors, but Russian oil and natural gas were exempt in a bid to avoid disruption to global markets. 

‘Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences,’ Biden said in remarks at the White House. 

Elsewhere, Kiev ordered civilians into bomb shelters and declared a curfew amid concerns Russia is about to strike the capital as Ukrainian troops lost control of a key airfield around 15 miles away. Russian forces had attacked it with around two dozen attack helicopters earlier in the day, four of which are thought to have been shot down.

‘They are going to bomb Kyiv now. Authorities told us to hide in shelters,’ a source in the city told MailOnline as authorities said a hospital had been hit, killing four people.

The Ukrainian army was this afternoon fighting in almost every region of the country, battling the Russians for control of military bases, airports, cities and ports from Kharkiv to Kiev, and Donetsk to Odessa.

It came after Vladimir Putin personally gave the order to attack around 5am, unleashing a salvo of rocket fire that American intelligence said involved more than 100 short and medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles, and 75 bombers that targeted military sites including barracks, warehouses and airfields in order to knock out the country’s military command structure.

Russia said the strikes destroyed 74 Ukrainian military ground facilities, 11 airfields, three command posts and 18 radar stations controlling Kiev’s anti-aircraft batteries.

Ukrainian security forces accompany a wounded man after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv

Ukrainian security forces accompany a wounded man after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv

Previous articleKendall Jenner is unrecognizable with wild new hair color at Milan Fashion Week as Kim Kardashian cheers from front row
Next articleBrave Ukrainian mum-of-three leaves children at home to fight Russia – ‘We will resist’

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here