The Russian journalist who won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize will auction off his medal to support Ukrainian refugees. Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov said he was compelled to the action by seeing “wounded and sick children” needing “urgent treatment” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Muratov shared the 2021 Nobel with Filipino American journalist Maria Ressa for their “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.” Proceeds will go to The Foundation of Assistance to the Ukrainian Refugees, which supports refugees from Ukraine. Muratov stressed the need for a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners and provision of humanitarian corridors. More than 3.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine during the invasion.
Russia and Ukraine have reportedly drawn up a 15-point peace deal that would bring a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops – in return for commitments from Kyiv to become a “neutral” country and accept limits on the size of its army.
The deal would allow Ukraine to keep a standing army, but prevent it from ever joining Nato or hosting foreign military bases, sources familiar with the negotiations told the Financial Times.
A similar 1955 pledge convinced the Soviet Union to end the decade-long occupation of Austria after the Second World War.
Austria declared itself permanently neutral that year, leading to the Soviet Union agreeing to an end to its occupation. It promised not to join any military alliance, such as Nato, and to never host foreign military bases on its soil.
The compromise has the potential to meet one of Vladimir Putin’s key demands: that Ukraine never joins Nato. However, other Russian demands will prove hugely problematic for Kyiv.
Russian and Ukrainian negotiators were considering a plan involving a constitutional commitment to neutrality, the Kremlin said on a third day of heavy shelling of Ukrainian cities.
Parts of a possible peace deal between Russia and Ukraine are close to being agreed, the Russian foreign minister has said, as negotiations to end the conflict continue.
Sergei Lavrov said some formulations for an agreement are near completion, with neutral status for Kyiv under “serious” consideration.
“Neutral status is now being seriously discussed along, of course, with security guarantees,” Mr Lavrov told RBC news.
“Now this very thing is being discussed in negotiations – there are absolutely specific formulations which in my view are close to agreement,” he added.
Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, is providing satellite internet access to Ukraine after a plea from the country’s vice prime minister that communications were being knocked out by Russia.
The tech entrepreneur has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites, designed to bring the internet to hard-to-reach places around the world, and announced on Saturday evening that the service is now active in Ukraine.
The move came after a plea from Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov.
“Elon Musk, while you try to colonise Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people!” he tweeted.
Within 10 hours, Mr Musk replied: “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”
Internet connectivity in Ukraine has been affected by the Russian invasion, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the country where fighting has been heaviest, internet monitors said on Saturday.
While extremely costly to deploy, satellite technology can provide internet for people who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fibre optic cables and cell towers do not reach. The technology can also be a critical backstop when hurricanes or other natural disasters disrupt communication.
In response to Mr Musk’s actions, Mr Fedorov said: “Starlink terminals are coming to Ukraine! Thank you Elon Musk, thank you everyone, who supported Ukraine!”
SpaceX has already launched 2,000 Starlink satellites and has permission from US authorities to send up 12,000 in total.
A crowd of unarmed Ukrainian civilians gathered in front of a Russian tank east of Kyiv and prevented it from entering their village, in the latest apparent act of brave resistance.
“The tank has stopped,” a man in one clip is heard saying. “Looks like it’ll be turning round,” he adds as dozens of other men, dressed in winter jackets, mass around the armoured vehicle. A Russian soldier also appears to be walking in shot.
The scene took place in Koriukovka, a town of some 12,000 people in the Chernihiv region, according to social media posts. “The locals won’t let the occupier in,” one of the posts read. “Together we are strong.”
This clash between Ukrainian civilians and Russian troops is just one of the many acts of resistance captured on video and shared on social media in recent days.
In images reminiscent of Tiananmen Square, footage has been shared of menin the northeastern town of Bakhmach apparently trying to block Russian tanks from advancing with their own bodies.