2 Ukrainian teenagers rescued from Russian occupation
Two Ukrainian teenage girls, aged 15 and 16, have been successfully returned to Ukraine-controlled territory from the Russian-occupied part of Kherson Oblast. This rescue operation was carried out by Save Ukraine, a Ukrainian humanitarian NGO. The girls, along with their families, are now safe and receiving the necessary assistance. Since February 2022, over 19,500 children have been identified by the Ukrainian government as abducted from Russian-occupied territories and sent to Russia, Belarus, or other Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine. However, only 388 of them have been able to return home. The issue of abducted Ukrainian children has been a matter of international concern, with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) urging European leaders to make efforts for their safe return.
Netherlands to send 6 more F-16 jets to Ukraine
The Netherlands is set to send an additional six U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, bringing the total pledged by the Netherlands to 24. Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren emphasized that Ukraine's aerial superiority is crucial in countering Russian aggression. Other countries, including Denmark, Norway, and Belgium, have also committed to providing F-16 jets to Ukraine. The exact delivery schedule and the number of jets from each country are yet to be finalized. Training for Ukrainian pilots and technicians on F-16s is ongoing in various European countries and the U.S., with operational readiness expected by late spring or early summer.
Speaker Johnson says bill on Ukraine aid, border security 'worse than expected'
The bipartisan deal on Ukraine aid and border security faces challenges as the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, expressed dissatisfaction, calling the proposed bill "worse than expected." The Senate is set to vote on the $118.2 billion package, with $60 billion allocated for Ukraine's security needs. The deal also includes funding for Israel and the U.S.-Mexico border. Johnson's criticism adds uncertainty to the approval process, particularly as he signaled that the bill would be "dead on arrival" in the House. The standoff reflects divisions between Republicans, with some seeking stricter immigration policies.