Latest news about Russia and the war in Ukraine

Norman Ray
Norman Ray

Global Courant 2023-04-17 13:36:17

Russian Putin, Shoigu, discusses exercises in the Pacific Fleet

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on April 17, 2023.

Gavril Grigorov | Afp | Getty Images

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported Monday to President Vladimir Putin about exercises conducted by the Pacific Fleet.

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Footage aired on state television showed Shoigu saying the exercises included “imitation attacks on enemy naval groups” in the Pacific.

Putin responded by saying that quick checks had shown that the Pacific Fleet, which is stationed in Russia’s Far East, was on high readiness, and that Russia’s priority was Ukraine.

The exercises are taking place while Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu is visiting Moscow. On Sunday, he met with Putin.

— Reuters

The Russian Foreign Minister is going on a tour of Latin America

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will embark on a tour of Latin America on Monday, with planned visits to Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

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Russian State Duma | Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will embark on a tour of Latin America on Monday, with planned visits to Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

During the trip, which lasts until Friday, the top Russian diplomat will hold talks with the leaders and foreign ministers of those countries, the Russian foreign ministry said.

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It added that Lavrov has a “specific agenda aimed at strengthening our countries’ mutually beneficial cooperation in political, trade, economic, educational, humanitarian, cultural and other fields,” the ministry said.

The main aim of Lavrov’s tour is to strengthen cooperation between the countries in political, economic, trade and humanitarian and cultural fields, it said.

“Latin America is for us a friendly region, one of the centers of the formation of a multipolar world, with which Russia wants to maintain a dynamic dialogue and develop constructive cooperation, not subject to any outside dictate,” the ministry said. said on Telegram.

Russia regularly promotes the concept of a “multipolar world” and criticizes the perceived hegemony of the West in global affairs. Since the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has stepped up its efforts to strengthen alliances and friendships abroad, such as with China, Brazil and India.

— Holly Ellyatt

UK says mine clearance in Ukraine could take at least 10 years

A member of the Ukrainian emergency services’ demining division prepares to survey an area of ​​farmland and power lines for landmines and other unexploded ordnance for electricians to access and repair power towers damaged by Russian attacks, in Korovii Yar, in the East Donetsk region of Ukraine, on March 20, 2023.

Violeta Santos Moura | Reuters

Clearing mines in Ukraine, an activity taking place in regions formerly occupied by Russian forces in northeastern and southern Ukraine, could take at least a decade, the British defense ministry said on Monday.

“Civilian casualties from mines are reported daily in Ukraine. The hardest hit areas are Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts (regions), areas that Russia has previously occupied,” the ministry said in an intelligence update on Twitter.

With the arrival of spring and more people involved in agricultural work, the risk of civilian mining incidents will increase, the ministry warned.

“Since the invasion began, more than 750 civilian mine-related casualties have been reported – one in eight involved a child. It will likely take at least 10 years to clear Ukraine of mines,” the ministry said.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s Putin meets with China’s defense minister, further strengthening military ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin makes the Sign of the Cross during the Easter Orthodox service at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on April 16, 2023 in Moscow, Russia.

Contributor | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu on Sunday on the latest high-profile meeting between Russian and Chinese officials in recent months.

Footage from the meeting showed Putin shaking Li’s hand and then sitting down at a table that also featured Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

“We are actively working through our military branches, regularly exchanging useful information, collaborating on military-technical cooperation and conducting joint exercises,” Putin said, Reuters reports.

Recent joint exercises, he said, reinforced “the highly trustworthy, strategic nature of our relationship”.

Russia’s defense ministry said on Friday that Li would make his first foreign trip to Russia on April 16-18 since taking up the post. The ministry said negotiations between Li and Shoigu will take place during the visit, which concludes Tuesday, and officials will discuss defense cooperation and issues of global and regional security.

Putin’s latest meeting with a senior Chinese official comes nearly a month after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow in March, during which the leaders reaffirmed their strategic cooperation. Putin also met with one of China’s top diplomats, Wang Yi, in February.

China’s State Council issued a statement on Sunday saying Beijing is ready to work with Russia to “deepen strategic communications between the two armies, strengthen multilateral coordination and cooperation, and make new contributions to preserving security and stability in the world and in the region”.

— Holly Ellyatt

Dozens of prisoners of war released as Ukraine celebrates Orthodox Easter

Ukrainian POWs pose for a photo after an exchange, during the Russian attack on Ukraine, at an unknown location, Ukraine.

Ukrainian Armed Forces | Via Reuters

More than 100 Ukrainian prisoners of war have been released as part of a major Easter exchange with Russia, a top official said Sunday, as Orthodox Ukrainians celebrated the holiday for the second time since Moscow unleashed its full-scale war more than a year ago.

While celebrations were suppressed due to security concerns, with a curfew banning worshipers from usual nightly services, Ukrainian authorities and ordinary people shared messages of hope, linking the story of Jesus’ resurrection to their desire for peace and a Ukrainian victory .

Dozens of families had special reasons to rejoice when presidential adviser Andriy Yermak announced that 130 soldiers, sailors, border guards and others captured by Moscow were on their way home after a “major Easter prisoner exchange”.

Yermak said in a Telegram post on Sunday that the troops released included those fighting near Bakhmut, the eastern mining town that has been the center of the Russian offensive for months.

“The lives of our people are of the highest value to us,” Yermak said, adding that Kiev’s goal was to recover all remaining POWs.

— The Associated Press

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