The head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic sees no reason to pardon two British citizens and a Moroccan sentenced to death after their capture while fighting with the Ukrainian army.
On Thursday, the Donetsk Supreme Court sentenced Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, as well as Moroccan Saadoun Brahim, to die by firing squad for participating as mercenaries on the side of the Ukrainian armed forces. Prosecutors said the men pleaded guilty to all charges.
“First, I should be guided by the court’s decision,” said separatist leader Denis Pushilin. “By the nature of those articles, those crimes they have committed, I see no reason, no prerequisite for me to come out with a decision to forgive them.”
Pinner’s family released a statement saying they were “devastated and saddened by the outcome of the illegal sham trial.” They described Pinner as a Ukrainian soldier, not a mercenary, and said he should be treated like a prisoner of war, not a criminal.
“We sincerely hope that all parties will work together urgently to ensure Shaun’s release or safe exchange,” the statement read. families involved in this terrible situation “.
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►German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi plan to visit Kiev ahead of this month’s G7 meeting, German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported.
►The President of Mexico called NATO’s policy on the Russian invasion “immoral”. President Andres Manuel López Obrador said on Monday that the policy was tantamount to saying: “I will supply the weapons and you will supply the dead.”
►State Department officials met on Monday with representatives from Brittney Griner’s WNBA team about the month-long detention of Phoenix Mercury star in Russia and the Biden administration’s efforts to secure his release, the Associated Press reported.
►Ukrainian authorities have opened criminal investigations into the killing of more than 12,000 people during the Russian invasion.
►Andriy Pokrasa, 15, and his father, Stanislav, are acclaimed in Ukraine for their volunteer aerial reconnaissance work after using their small drone in the early days of the Russian invasion, locating coordinates and quickly sending information to the Ukrainian army.
India and China provide large markets for Russian energy exports that finance the war
Despite Western sanctions imposed on the invasion of Ukraine, Russia is finding large markets for its energy products, keeping the Kremlin war machine well funded.
China, India and other Asian nations are becoming an increasingly vital source of oil revenue for Moscow, ignoring strong US pressure not to increase their purchases as the European Union and other allies cut Russia’s energy imports online. with sanctions. These sales are boosting Russian export profits at a time when Washington and its allies are trying to limit them.
Finland’s Center for Energy and Clean Air Research said on Monday that Russia has received approximately 93 billion euros (97.4 billion dollars) in revenue from the sale of oil, natural gas and coal since the invasion of the February 24. China overtook Germany as the largest buyer, spending $ 12.6 billion over that period. Germany, which is trying to break free from its dependence on Russian energy, has spent 12.1 billion euros.
“Revenue from fossil fuel exports is the key driver of Russia’s military formation and aggression, providing 40 percent of the federal budget revenue,” the center said.
Russia’s energy exports fell in May, but soaring global oil prices offset the losses. They have also incentivized India and other countries to buy oil which Moscow offers at hefty discounts of $ 30 to $ 35, compared to Brent crude and other international oils which are now trading at around $ 120 a barrel. According to commodity data company Kpler, India has increased its purchases of Russian oil from 12 million barrels in 2021 to nearly 60 million barrels this year, by far the biggest leap of any nation.
Nuclear arsenals will increase over the next decade, a new report says
After years of limited nuclear warhead cuts among the nine nations that own them, nuclear arsenals will increase over the next decade, a worrying sign as much of the world is affected by the war in Ukraine.
That assessment was one of the key findings of the 2022 yearbook released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which assesses the state of international armaments, disarmament and security. The United States and Russia account for more than 90 percent of all nuclear weapons, the organization said.
“All nuclear-armed states are increasing or upgrading their arsenals and most are refining nuclear rhetoric and the role nuclear weapons play in their military strategies,” said Wilfred Wan, director of the mass destruction program. of the weapons of SIPRI. “This is a very disturbing trend.”
The Russian official who questioned the invasion fired
A Russian official who questioned the invasion of Ukraine months ago was sacked from his job as deputy head of the agency that deals with international humanitarian cooperation, Russian media reported Monday. Natalia Poklonskaya, a Russian politician born in Ukraine’s Luhansk region, said in a Telegram post that she would be moving to an unidentified post and thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin “for his support and trust in her.”
In April, Poklonskaya questioned the popularity of the letter “Z” in Russia, which represents the war effort. You said the war resulted in many deaths and pain for many families.
“This letter Z symbolizes the tragedy and grief for both Russia and Ukraine,” he said.
Kremlin: Western journalists “went crazy”
Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the impact of sanctions on global energy and food prices at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum which opens on Thursday. More than 100 nations are expected to be represented at the rally, Russian organizers say. The United States will not be among them.
“We urge governments and companies to join our boycott and send a clear message that there is no ‘business as usual’ as Russian forces brutalize Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a post. on Twitter. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi will be the main guest of honor. Russian officials said representatives from business unions in Italy, Canada and France should also participate.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS that foreign journalists are welcome.
“The president feels comfortable communicating with both foreign and Russian journalists,” Peskov told state news agency Tass. But he added that “the sanity of many prominent Western journalists is currently raising questions, at least for us, and we would not call them true and impartial journalists, because they have simply gone mad.”
The Russians push Ukrainian troops out of the center of Sievierodonetsk
Russian forces stepped up an artillery-supported assault on the besieged city of Sievierdonetsk and pushed Ukrainian troops out of central neighborhoods, the Ukrainian military said Monday. Sievierdonetsk is one of only two cities in the Luhansk region of Donbas that Russia does not fully control. Regional governor Serhiy Haidai said the Russians aim to surround Sievierdonetsk, destroying the bridges that connect to the city center. He said that mass evacuations are impossible due to the bombing and that the military can only evacuate a few people a day.
“The Russians are making every effort to cut Sievierdonetsk out,” Haidai said. “The next two or three days will be significant.”
Leonid Pasechnik, head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, said Ukrainians who took up a position in Sievierdonetsk should spare themselves the trouble.
“If I were them, I’d already make the decision” to give up, he said. “We will still be able to achieve our goal.”
Russia may need reinforcements to take Donbas, the British army says
The Russians have relied on their superiority in troops and artillery to make significant progress in the Donbas industrial region of eastern Ukraine, but they will likely need to replenish their forces, according to a British intelligence assessment.
“Russia will likely have to rely on new recruits or reservists mobilized to deploy these units in Ukraine,” the assessment said on Sunday, tweeted before the ministry released a map of Ukraine highlighting Russian-controlled territory to the east and south. . large chunk, including most of Donbas, where the parties continue to wage a fierce battle for the crucial city of Sievierdonetsk in Luhansk province.
British and Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia is using inaccurate weapons that can cause mass casualties as they try to gain ground in a region that could provide them with a land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula, which they illegally annexed in 2014.
Ukraine provides the list of military hardware needed to expel the Russians
An advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country needs 1,000 155mm howitzers, 300 multiple rocket launch systems, 500 tanks, 2,000 armored vehicles and 1,000 drones to win its war against Russia. Mykhailo Podolyak said his country is “awaiting a decision” from NATO defense ministers meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Brussels. Ukrainian cities have been hit by Russian rockets and mortars for months, killing thousands of civilians and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses.
“I will be direct. To end the war and drive Russia out of Ukraine, we need heavy weapons parity,” Podolyak said on Twitter.
Ukraine arrests the alleged spy who informed the Russians about the whereabouts of the troops
The Ukrainian security service has arrested a man who allegedly leaked the position of the Ukrainian army in the Kharkiv region to the Russians. The alleged spy, detained in the suburbs of Kharkiv, is a local resident recruited via the Internet.
The government says the man, on instructions from his Russian supervisor, recorded the location of Ukrainian military units and other military formations in the region. Among other information, the Russians were interested in the coordinates of Ukrainian checkpoints and military fortifications, the government says. If convicted, the man faces 12 years in prison.
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