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Putin Warns Against Ukraine No-Fly Zone 'Threat' as Zelenskyy Asks US for Aid


Vladimir Putin warned that Russia would view any third-party declaration of a no-fly zone over Ukraine as "participation in the armed conflict."

While speaking at a meeting with female pilots on Saturday, Russia's president said Moscow would consider "any move in this direction" as interference that "will pose a threat to our service members." 

"That very second, we will view them as participants of the military conflict, and it would not matter what members they are," Putin said.

The U.S. State Department urged Americans to leave Russia immediately due to the possibility of harassment by Russian security officials and the likelihood of having issues with accessing money while in the country.

Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over his country while indicating that "all the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you." 

NATO stated that a no-fly zone, which would prohibit all unauthorized aircraft from flying over Ukraine, could incite widespread war in Europe with Russia.

Zelenskyy spoke with U.S. senators Saturday via teleconference and requested more aid and sanctions against Russian oil.

Fox News reports that Ukraine's president urged Russia and Belarus to cooperate with humanitarian efforts for civilians.

"Humanitarian corridors must work today," Zelenskyy said in a video posted on Instagram. "To save people. Women, children, the elderly. To give food and medicine to those who remain."

"Our help is already on the way," he said. "Everyone who needs help should be able to leave."

Meanwhile, Russian forces captured Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant after striking it with a "projectile" causing a fire, leading to worries of a nuclear catastrophe that could affect Europe for decades.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is Russia's latest prize, a key holding point near Enerhodar, Ukraine. It was seized by Russian troops Friday morning after a dangerous and incredibly risky attack. 

Friday, ministers of NATO met for an emergency meeting in Brussels to address the mounting crises. 

"Every ally in one way or another is helping to strengthen NATO itself," said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "And as the Secretary-General (Jens Stoltenberg) said, ours is a defensive alliance. We seek no conflict. But if conflict comes to us, we are ready and we will defend every inch of NATO territory."

Reuters reports that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Putin in the Kremlin on Saturday to discuss the war in Ukraine and later spoke with Zelenskyy by phone.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OUNHCR) confirmed the deaths of 351 civilians in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also warned that crisis in Ukraine is just beginning. The agency estimates that more than 4 million Ukrainians will become refugees and millions more will be displaced.

More than 650,000 people have entered Poland, with 50,000 and 80,000 more crossing daily. 

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