welcome to newsday. reporting live from singapore, i'm mariko oi. the headlines... as warnings persist that a russian attack may be imminent, ukraine's president zelensky says his country is ready to fight for its freedom. translation: they tell us that february the 16th will be - the day of the invasion. we will make this into unity day. president biden has been speaking with borisjohnson about the crisis. both men agree a crucial window for diplomacy still exists. canadian prime minister, justin trudeau, invokes rarely used emergency powers in an attempt to end protests against covid measures. the world anti—doping agency says it's disappointed that a 15—year—old
russian ice skater has been allowed to compete in the winter olympics later today, despite failing a drugs test. and a month since the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami wreaked havoc in tonga, we speak to the island's prime minister about the recovery effort. live from our studio in singapore. this is bbc news. it's newsday. it's 7am in singapore, and 1am in kyiv — where ukraine's president volodymyr zelensky has declared wednesday a day of national unity after us intelligence suggested that could be the day russian forces attack. earlier, president zelensky had met the german chancellor olaf sholtz who said he wanted to see concrete
steps from russia to try and de—escalate the crisis. and prime minister borisjohnson has spoken with president biden — the pair said that a"crucial window for diplomacy" over the crisis remained. around 130,000 russian troops mass on ukraine's border. russia, for its part, has said diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis should continue and even he stepped up. 0ur eastern europe correspondent sarah rainsford is in kyiv. janik here in ukraine, you might expect there to be a real tension, some panic, even people running for the ~ . ., , ., some panic, even people running for the ~' . . , , the exit. ukrainians are staying put and doinu the exit. ukrainians are staying put and doing their _ the exit. ukrainians are staying put and doing their very _ the exit. ukrainians are staying put and doing their very best _ the exit. ukrainians are staying put and doing their very best to - the exit. ukrainians are staying put and doing their very best to try - the exit. ukrainians are staying put and doing their very best to try and stay calm. in fact, tonight there are couples out filling the restaurants here in kyiv celebrating valentine's day. and this country is
stuck in the very midst of a very real crisis, a standoff between russia and the west, and neither side looks ready to blink. russia is still building up its forces, parading its potential near ukraine's border. so much so that western governments are saying an invasion could be launched within days now — the war warnings coming thick and fast. so volodymyr zelensky has addressed the nation, assuring ukrainians the country is confident, stronger than ever, that russia is trying to scare them and they won't succumb. and the talks to defuse this crisis have been intensifying. today, it was the german chancellor's turn in town, showing support for kyiv, seeking ways to get russia to pull back its troops. president zelensky underlined
that won't be by ukraine dropping its right tojoin nato. tomorrow, the german leader heads to moscow. translation: i'm making it clear once again, here in kyiv, - that ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity are non—negotiable for germany. we therefore expect russia to take clear steps to de—escalate the current tensions. in russia, the foreign minister was shown, urging president putin to keep talking to the west. "it is worth it," he said. but borisjohnson spoke to the us president today too, and both are still sounding the alarm. we are on the edge of a precipice, but there is still time for president putin to step back, and what we are urging is for everyone to engage in dialogue, for a conversation to take place, and for the russians to avoid what i think everybody, certainly everybody in the uk could see would be a disastrous mistake. it can be hard to make a connection between all the politicians warning of imminent, all—out war, even the bombing of this city, kyiv, and how things actually feel here on the ground.
because even as the negotiations and diplomacy continue, so does life here, pretty much as normal. although beneath the surface, people do say they're feeling increasingly nervous now. what we have to say and what we have to do is to be brave, and being afraid every hour of our life, we don't want to live like that, ans we just want to live... yeah, we are patient and ready for anything. so we just hope that our city will be safe and our families will be safe. music plays for now, the musicians play on. even the school trips haven't stopped, as ukrainians still can't quite believe the worst predictions. sarah rainsford, bbc news, kyiv. president putin has long made it clear that he considers ukraine and russia as one people, linked by history. his desire to keep ukraine within russia's sphere of influence
is threatened in part by ukraine's desire to be part of the nato, a defence alliance of countries in western europe and america. since the end of the cold war, countries have applied to join nato, expanding the organisation and pushing it eastward. ukraine has long wanted tojoin, and now the west believes russia, may be willing to go to war, to stop it. so, what's motivating the kremlin in these next crucial hours? steve rosenberg reports from moscow. eight years after russia annexed crimea, is moscow on the brink of another invasion of ukraine? the west seems to think so, but what's the kremlin�*s view? western leaders may be warning of an imminent russian military escalation in ukraine, but moscow dismisses all of that as hype, hysteria. and if you look at the way the state media here has been
covering the ukraine story, you'll see that the picture presented to the russian public is the polar opposite of how the west sees things. so, according to that kremlin picture, russia has no plans for an invasion — instead, it's america who's the aggressor and pouring weapons into ukraine, it's nato that's threatening russia by expanding eastwards. still, that doesn't explain why russia is massing more than 100,000 troops right now near ukraine's border — and why it launched a large—scale military exercises in the region. so what is vladimir putin's aim? that is a difficult question to answer, because no—one's quite sure. some in the west think this is all about russia trying to force ukraine back into moscow's orbit. some believe the kremlin�*s objective is much wider — to carve out a new sphere of influence for itself in europe, basically to dismantle the post—cold war european security order,
to push nato back. today, with moscow sensing a lack of unity in europe and perhaps feeling that america is too busy with problems at home, a resurgent russia may feel that this is the moment to take action. but if there was all—out war with ukraine, how would the russian public react? it's hard to see the public here supporting a large—scale conflict with ukraine. many russians have said to me that they see ukrainians almost like brothers. there are very deep cultural, historical ties. war is the last thing that people want here. but it won't be the public that decides this. it'll be the president. so what happens next? well, that may depend on whether president putin is willing to compromise over ukraine and european security — even if he doesn't get everything he wants, like an end to nato enlargement eastwards. whether he's willing to reach a deal
or determined to continue with coercive diplomacy. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. i'm joined now by our state department correspondent barbara plett usher in washington. barbara, a lot of back—and—forth and speeches, and even a signal of diplomacy from the kremlin — is it possible to de—escalate still? weill. possible to de-escalate still? well, ou have possible to de-escalate still? well, you have the _ possible to de-escalate still? well, you have the west, _ possible to de-escalate still? well, you have the west, the _ possible to de-escalate still? well, you have the west, the united - possible to de—escalate still? -m you have the west, the united states and its allies in europe talking constantly about a dual track — one of deterrence and diplomacy. so they are keeping the door open to talks on those issues, they feel they can discuss with the russians, it does not include barring ukraine from joining nato, but other security issues. and at the same time, they keep threatening sanctions if there
is an invasion, and they keep raising the alarm about the military build—up. so certainly, there is hope that there will be de—escalation. it was interesting that signal from the kremlin, de—escalation. it was interesting that signalfrom the kremlin, the russian foreign minister on television saying to president putin, i will go i think we should continue with talks although not everything we want is on the table, but we should expand them and continue them." here in the us, the state department noted those comments, but again, the response was, "how serious are they? we still see the military build—up and the force is going to the borders of ukraine, and there's no de—escalation." so if those negotiations are supposed to be successful, then de—escalation will have to accompany it — and that's what we will be looking at closely. but that doesn't mean they won't talk. the secretary of state will probably again speak with the foreign minister of russia, and the
dialogue will continue. it's just the question of how meaningful that dialogue can be. but the question of how meaningful that dialogue can be.— dialogue can be. but if the nato is the redline — dialogue can be. but if the nato is the redline here, _ dialogue can be. but if the nato is the redline here, is _ dialogue can be. but if the nato is the redline here, is there - dialogue can be. but if the nato is the redline here, is there an - the redline here, is there an alternative security arrangement that the us could possibly offer? an that the us could possibly offer? in alternative security arrangement to nato? to alternative security arrangement to nato? ., ~' . alternative security arrangement to nato? ., ~ . 0h alternative security arrangement to nato?_ 0h - _ alternative security arrangement to nato?_ 0h - well, - alternative security arrangement to nato?_ 0h - well, the l nato? to ukraine. 0h - well, the united states _ nato? to ukraine. 0h - well, the united states has _ nato? to ukraine. 0h - well, the united states has made - nato? to ukraine. 0h - well, the united states has made it - nato? to ukraine. 0h - well, the united states has made it very i nato? to ukraine. 0h - well, the i united states has made it very clear that it will not send troops to ukraine, it will not fight for ukraine, it will not fight for ukraine if the russians invade. but what they have done is send weapons and sent the message that there would be resistance from the ukrainians backed by the west if the russians took military action. so they are sending that message as a deterrent. now the question is about ukraine's membership of nato, and
that's something the russians want nato to say will not happen. the message publicly very strongly as at the open door policy of nato will continue, and if the ukrainians want to make a compromise or put a pause on membership to deal with the escalation, that is something that's up escalation, that is something that's up to the ukrainians. but from the us, they say they are not pressuring that sort of actions take place. barbara, thanks so much forjoining us on newsday. let's take a look at some of the stories in the headlines in the uk... one immediate knock—on effect of the tensions over ukraine is the rising cost of energy, which has seen the price of petrol reach record highs across the uk. the motoring organisation, the aa, says the cost of petrol increased to ia8p per litre over the weekend. a long—awaited public inquiry into the most widespread miscarriage ofjustice in british legal history has started. more than 700 post office branch
managers were wrongly convicted and thousands lost their businesses, when faulty accounting software, made it look as if money had gone missing from their tills. the canadian prime minister, justin trudeau, has invoked rarely used emergency powers to try and end protests against covid measures. demonstrations have taken place across the country, including this one at the busiest border crossing between the province of british columbia and the united states. here's some of what mr trudeau said. the emergencies act is not something that's been used ever. but it exists for a reason. invoking the emergencies act is never the first thing the government should do, nor even the second. the act is to be used sparingly and as a last resort.
right now, the situation requires additional tools not held by any other federal provincial or territorial law. 15—year—old russian ice skater kamila valieva has been cleared to compete later today at the beijing winter olympics, despite failing a drugs test. the world anti—doping agency says it's disappointed at the ruling, and promised to investigate the case properly. the doping of children was "evil and unforgivable", it said. the court of arbitration for sport made the decision, saying a provisional suspension should not be imposed on her. our sports news correspondent laura scott in beijing has more on the backdrop of the controversy. in explaining its decision to allow kamila valieva to continue competing here in beijing, the panel from the court of arbitration for sport relied upon a series of exceptional circumstances — including that valieva is only 15,
and the fact that her positive drugs test results came back midway through these games, 44 days after her sample was taken — meaning she had little time to mount a defence. they said that provisionally suspending her would cause her irreparable harm. but that decision has prompted widespread criticism, with the world anti—doping agency saying that the panel had relied upon an exception in its rules that doesn't exist, and that mandatory provisional suspensions apply to adult athletes and minors, as well. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: is this a new beginning for the british chagos islands, long claimed, by mauritius?
nine years and 15,000 deaths after going into afghanistan, the last soviet troops were finally coming home. the withdrawal completed in good order, but the army defeated in the task it had been sent to perform. malcolm has been murdered — that has a terrible effect for the morale of the people. i'm terrified of the repercussions in the streets. one wonders who is next. gunfire as the airlift got under way, there was no let—up in the eruption itself. lava streams from a vent low in the crater flowed down to the sea on the east of the island, away from the town for the time being. it could start flowing again at any time. the russians heralded _ their new—generation space station with a spectacular night launch. they've called it mir — l the russian for "peace".
this is newsday on the bbc. i'm mariko oi in singapore. our headlines... as warnings persist that a russian attack may be imminent, ukraine's president zelensky says his country is ready to fight for its freedom. canadian prime minister, justin trudeau, invokes rarely—used emergency powers in an attempt to end protests against covid measures. it's been a month since the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami wreaked havoc in tonga. on 15 january, a volcano located nearly 65km north of the capital erupted. the sheer scale of the explosion was unprecedented. nasa said it was hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on hiroshima during the second world war. tonga was covered in ash and power lines were damaged, severing its connection from the rest of the world. tsunamis triggered by the eruption destroyed houses and threatened
people's livelihoods. the international community sent aid supplies to the disaster—struck nation to help with the recovery effort. but the aid effort was complicated in part due to tonga's strict covid measures, and ash cloaking a key runway. in an exclusive interview with the bbc, my colleague karishma vaswani spoke to tonga's prime minister, siaosi sovaleni. we were at home that night. and that explosion was nothing — i mean, i haven't heard something like that. it was terrible, but at the same time, you know, all of a sudden, it was nightfall. just like in 20—30, to half an hour, we were in daylight, then all of a sudden it was dark, you know, it was night—time. and that's like in the middle of town — imagine going through that in some of the islands, it must be very terrifying.
and that's why we believe that we can rebuild some of the houses, but the mental state will take some time. i know that this disaster struck i thinkjust a few days after you were sworn in as the prime minister. having to deal with a challenge of this scale, just how difficult was that? what happened here with the volcano and this tsunami was unprecedented in terms of the scale, in terms of, you know, this is the first time that we've actually had such a traumatic event so close to the capital of tonga. so one of the big issues for us, again, is relocation — that comes with its own challenges, you know, taking you away from your home, rebuilding it somewhere else. some of them are actually having second thoughts about moving back to the island, they're looking at possibly relocating somewhere else. it's not an easy choice, trying to decide whether you stay
in a vulnerable place, or move into a very new place, leaving behind all the memories and what have you because, you know, all the homes were destroyed by the tsunami. but we recognise that, even though we might start rebuilding some of the houses like next month or so, the mental side of it will take a little bit longer. how difficult has it been not to have foreign aid workers on the ground — as many of them as perhaps you need to help with the recovery and the rebuilding process? very difficult, i mean... it would've been nice to have those extra hands on shore to actually help us with some of the efforts. we're accepting the fact that covid will be here to stay, and we have to live with covid—i9. now that the virus has, you know, it made its presence felt here, will you consider allowing foreign aid workers on the ground to help with the rebuilding
and recovery process? in terms of changing the current protocols, we are still reviewing it. but we are hopeful that, with the current assistance and, of course, the new data as we are getting from some of our neighbouring islands, especially like new zealand and australia, we will have a more adaptable protocol in place given the situation we're in right now. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines. court documents in new york show that donald trump's long—time accounting firm has cut ties with him and his family business. mazars told the trump organisation it could no longer stand behind financial statements it had prepared forformer—president trump. the statements from the ten years to 2020 are crucial to legal cases alleging mr trump and his company exaggerated the value of their assets.
schools and colleges in the indian state of kar—nataka partially re—opened on monday — after being closed since last week following protests over the wearing of hijabs in classrooms. the row was sparked after six female students were barred from entering college premises for wearing hijabs. the brother of a pakistani social media star who was murdered in one of the country's most notorious so called "honour killings" has been acquitted after a number of witnesses retracted their statements. muhammad waseem had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 2019 after he had admitted strangling his 26—year—old sister, qandeel baloch. the mauritian flag has been raised for the first time on the remote chagos islands in the indian ocean. they've been under british control for 50 years. but the united nations has told britain to hand the islands back to mauritius, which had jurisdiction over them previously.
andrew harding has travelled with the islanders and is the first journalist to broadcast from the chagos islands. is this idyllic archipelago still british territory? today, the government of mauritius said no. a mauritian delegation, visiting the remote chagos islands for the first time, put up a flagpole and then raised their national flag, politely but provocatively staking claim to territory held by britain for half a century. this being part of mauritius, it deserves to have a flag here, so that when people come, they know that they are entering mauritian territory. the mauritians then sang their national anthem, a little softly, but don't mistake that for a lack of determination. mauritius has won worldwide support, its prime minister sending
this recorded message. as the state with sovereignty over the chagos archipelago, mauritius will ensure a wise stewardship of its territory. applause the mauritians are already acting like it is a done deal, bringing in these international experts to map their new maritime borders, surveying this reef to see if it might actually count as an island. i haven't seen any dry land yet. no dry land? no. that's not good news, then, for the mauritians? well, the legal aspects, i'll leave them to the lawyers. and the mauritian lawyers have been busy. they have won two victories at the united nations. under international law, britain is illegally occupying these islands.
the british and the americans say their priority here is security, that if the uk surrenders sovereignty over this strategic archipelago, before long, the chinese navy could be muscling in here. but the mauritian government insists they won't allow that to happen. but this isn'tjust about sovereignty and security. also visiting chagos today, islanders who were forcibly removed from their homes here by britain, 50 years ago. it is a rare chance to visit their ancestors' graves. "it is in such a mess. it makes me sad", says rosamund. and, although the chagossians are not united on this, the group raises another mauritian flag, in defiance of britain. andrew harding, bbc news, on the chagos islands. that's all for now —
stay with bbc world news. hello there. a very powerfuljet across the atlantic will pick up areas of low pressure and deepen them into storms later this week. notjust one named storm, but two are heading our way. before this very windy weather arrives, we'll find some spells of rain, again, coming in from the atlantic, you can see all that cloud that's pushing in from the west. and, after a wet start in scotland in the morning, we'll see that rain pushing up toward the northern isles. we've got this rain pushing its way towards southeastern parts of england, where it could stay a bit wet into the afternoon. but away from here, many places will brighten up — there'll be some sunshine, a few showers, mainly in scotland, where they could be a bit wintry in the hills. it will be a slightly cooler day here, but again, elsewhere, we're going to find temperatures up to 9—10 celsius. it does cloud over in the afternoon in northern ireland, and that cloud will continue
to thicken into the evening. rain soon arriving, and that rain will push its way quickly eastwards overnight. could be a bit more snow perhaps over higher parts of northern scotland, it'll still be quite cold here, but elsewhere it should be fairly mild, the rain having cleared away by wednesday morning. but it's only a brief respite because, we'll find more rain coming in from the atlantic, mainly affecting northern and western areas of the uk. and ahead of that rain, it'll be extremely mild on wednesday across more southeastern parts of the uk, temperatures at 17 celsius. but the winds will be strengthening through the day, and they will continue to strengthen as we head into the evening and overnight — that's because storm dudley is arriving, it races to the north of scotland with the strongest winds to the south of the storm itself. and, whilst it'll very windy in most areas, this is where the core of strongest winds is expected to be. this is where we have this amber wind warning from the met office — gusts of 80mph or so could bring some damage and some disruption, as well. the winds do gradually ease during thursday as the storm races away. we've got a few showers and some
sunshine, some wetter weather in scotland, a mixture of rain and some snow to higher levels, as well. temperatures around 6—7 celsius here, highs of 12 in the south east of england. things get windier, though, as we head towards the end of the week. the next named storm — this is storm eunice — this area of low pressure will deepen, there's still a lot of uncertainty about the track, but it'll bring some very windy weather to much of the country, particularly so across england and wales, and further north in the colder air, particularly in scotland. there's likely to be some snow and some blizzards.
this is bbc news, the headlines. ukraine's president zelensky has delivered a defiant statement saying �*we want freedom and are ready to fight for it.�* earlier he said he's counting on european support in the country's bid — eventually — to become a nato member. but he said ukraine might never get there. the latest intelligence from washington says russia is adding more military force and capability near ukraine's border with each passing day. the russian teenager, kamilia valieva, has been cleared to compete in the individualfigure skating competiton in the winter olympics, despite failing a drugs test late last year. the world anti doping agency says it's disappointed by the decision. canadian prime ministerjustin trudeau has invoked rarely used emergency measures to tackle anti—covid restrictions protests that have shut some border crossings. but he says he's not sending in the army.