Russia’s Medvedev issues new nuclear threat
Russia has reached an agreement with neighboring Belarus to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory, Russian state media quoted President Vladimir Putin as saying.
Mr Putin has reportedly said that such a move would not violate any nuclear non-proliferation agreements. He added that the US has deployed nuclear weapons on the territory of European allies.
“We have agreed with (Alexander) Lukashenko that we will deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus without violating the non-proliferation regime,” media agency Tass quoted Putin as saying.
It was also reported that Russia has transferred ten aircraft capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus.
It comes after the speaker of Russia’s parliament proposed to ban the activities of the International Criminal Court (ICC) after the court issued an arrest warrant for Mr Putin and accused him of war crimes.
Vyacheslav Volodin, an ally of Mr Putin, said Russian legislation should be changed to ban any ICC activity in Russia and punish anyone who provides “aid and support” to the body.
More Brits rush to take in refugees on anniversary of Homes for Ukraine scheme
The Ambassador of Kyiv has called on more people in the UK to take in refugees fleeing the Russian invasion on the one-year anniversary of the Homes for Ukraine programme.
Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko thanked the British for standing “shoulder to shoulder” with Ukraine and said in a video message that 160,000 Ukrainian women and children had arrived under the program since Vladimir Putin’s invasion last February – but warned that “some still need your help”.
Refugee aid organizations told The Independent that Homes for Ukraine was “riddled with failures” in its first year, while councils warned that “significant challenges remain” to ensure Ukrainian refugees “can be supported over the long term”.
Alisha Rahaman SarkarMarch 26, 2023 07:00
Russia pardons over 5,000 prisoners after fighting in Ukraine
More than 5,000 Russian prisoners who fought in Ukraine have been pardoned after ending their contracts for the war, the founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner group, reportedly recruited thousands of men from prisons and offered them a chance at freedom in exchange for serving in some of Ukraine’s most dangerous battles.
“Currently, more than 5,000 people have been pardoned after completing their contracts with Wagner,” Prigozhin said.
Alisha Rahaman SarkarMarch 26, 2023 6:30 am
Spain PM urges ‘territorial integrity’ for Ukraine visit to China
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he would urge a fair peace that includes “territorial integrity” in the war in Ukraine during a state visit to China next week.
Speaking to reporters at the Ibero-American Summit in the Dominican Republic, Mr Sanchez said he would discuss prospects for peace with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is trying to position himself as a mediator in the war between Russia and Ukraine.
“The most important thing…is that if this peace is achieved in Ukraine, it will be fair and lasting…and when we say fair, I mean that the territorial integrity of Ukraine, which has been violated by Putin , is respected,” Mr. Sanchez said in a news conference.
Alisha Rahaman SarkarMarch 26, 2023 06:00
Ukraine says fight over Bakhmut ‘stabilizing’
The commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s military said his forces were pushing back against Russian troops in the long and bitter battle for the town of Bakhmut.
“The Bachmut direction is the most difficult. Thanks to the titanic efforts of the Defense Forces, the situation is being stabilized,” General Valerii Zaluzhnyi said in a Telegram post, providing a summary of a phone conversation with Adm Sir Tony Radakin, the British Chief of Defense Staff.
The seven-month battle for Bakhmut, with Russian troops approaching from three sides, is the longest engagement of the war, with Russia using both regular soldiers and fighters from the Wagner mercenary group.
Russian troops must pass through Bakhmut to advance deeper into parts of the eastern Donbass region, although Western officials say capturing the city would have limited impact on the course of the war.
Alisha Rahaman SarkarMarch 26, 2023 5:30 am
India says Russia is waiving important arms supply commitments because of the war
Russia is waiving its arms supply obligations to India, according to the Indian Air Force (IAF), as arms shipments have hit a roadblock due to the war in Ukraine.
The comments appear to be the first sign that India may be recalibrating its reliance on Russia amid ongoing border challenges from its nuclear neighbors Pakistan and China.
The IAF, in a released statement, told a committee of India’s lower house of parliament that Russia was planning a “large shipment” this year, without specifying which shipment it was.
Alisha Rahaman SarkarMarch 26, 2023 05:00
New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has expressed concern to China at a meeting with her Chinese counterpart over any provision of deadly aid in support of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Her press office yesterday detailed Mahuta’s cautionary remarks in Beijing days after Chinese President Xi Jinping finished his trip to Moscow, a cordial affair in which Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin praised each other and spoke of a deep friendship.
Mahuta’s four-day trip, which began on Wednesday, was the first by a New Zealand foreign minister to Beijing since 2018, but it came at an awkward time when Xi visited Moscow that same week to give Putin a diplomatic boost, the International Criminal Court said she wants put him on trial for alleged war crimes.
Alisha Rahaman SarkarMarch 26, 2023 4:24 am
Statement of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has spoken out against Vladimir Putin’s decision to stockpile nuclear weapons in Belarus.
“As long as President Putin has nuclear weapons, Europe cannot be safe,” Daniel Hoegsta, ICAN’s interim executive director, said in a statement on Saturday.
“He justifies this dangerous escalation with NATO’s decades of nuclear sharing. As long as countries continue their complicity in treating nuclear weapons as something other than a global problem, it helps provide Putin with cover to get away with this type of behavior.”
Wilhelm MataMarch 26, 2023 02:00
Gazprom cuts gas exports to EU via Ukraine by 15 percent – reports
The Russian state gas supplier Gazprom wants to reduce its exports to the EU by 15 percent.
The Kyiv Independent news site reported on Saturday that Gazprom on March 24
“On March 25, volume dropped to 36.2 million cubic meters, according to RBC,” added a tweet.
Wilhelm MataMarch 25, 2023 11:00 p.m
War in Ukraine: A week in pictures
Wilhelm MataMarch 25, 2023 10:00 p.m
“Russia’s attack on the Donbass city of Bakhmut has largely stalled the British government
Russia’s attack on the Donbass city of Bakhmut has largely stalled, the British government said in a tweet.
The Defense Ministry wrote on Saturday that both sides have suffered heavy casualties but that Russia’s own spending has caused things to stall.
The statement added: “The Russian situation has also likely been aggravated by tensions between the Russian Defense Ministry and the Wagner Group, both of which are deploying troops to the sector.”
“Russia has likely shifted its operational focus to Avdiivka south of Bakhmut and to the Kremina-Svatove sector to the north, areas where Russia is likely only striving to stabilize its front line.
“This indicates a general return to a more defensive operational design following the inconclusive results of his attempts to conduct a general offensive since January 2023.”
Wilhelm MataMarch 25, 2023 9:00 p.m