Recent events in the Russia-Ukraine war:
MILAN – Italian financial police have seized a 530m-euro ($ 578m) Russian superyacht in the port of Trieste as part of a confiscation of oligarchs’ wealth to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war against Ukraine.
The yacht “Sy A” was identified by the Italian police as the property of billionaire Andrei Igorevich Melnichenko, who made a fortune from the production of fertilizers and energy from coal. It was seized on Friday night.
The video shows police officers in cars with flashing lights approaching a triple mast yacht and officers boarding.
Italian authorities last week seized about 143 million euros ($ 156 million) in luxury yachts and villas owned by Russian billionaires in such picturesque places as Sardinia, the Ligurian coast and Lake Como.
LONDON – Britain’s Defense Ministry says fighting northwest of Kyiv has continued with most of Russia’s ground forces, which are now about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the city center.
A daily intelligence update says elements of Russia’s large military column north of Kyiv have dispersed. It says it is likely to support Russia’s attempt to encircle the Ukrainian capital. According to the document, this could also be an attempt by Russia to reduce its vulnerability to Ukrainian counterattacks, which have had a significant impact on Russian forces.
The update says that beyond Kyiv, the cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol remain surrounded and continue to suffer heavy Russian shelling.
BERLIN – Foreign Minister Analena Burbock said Germany is working with allies to transport people who have fled Ukraine to more distant countries as neighboring nations struggle to deal with all newcomers.
Burbock said on Saturday that Moldova, a nation of 2.5 million on the border with Ukraine, has accepted 100,000 people – almost as much as Germany, which has a population more than 30 times larger.
Speaking in Chisinau with her Moldovan counterpart, she said Germany had taken “only a small part of the responsibility” so far and praised the poor Eastern European nation for its efforts to help refugees.
Baerbock said the European Union is creating a “green corridor” to transport people by bus through Romania to other EU countries, but is also working with partners to help their citizens who have fled Ukraine back home, and “In particular, to fly Ukrainians as an example across the Atlantic.”
She called on allies to show solidarity with those affected by the war and accused Russia of spreading “increasingly insane propaganda that now does not even deviate from threats of using weapons of mass destruction.”
The International Maritime Organization, the UN’s supervisory body for international shipping and maritime law, is calling for a safe corridor in the Black and Azov Seas to allow merchant ships to evacuate.
Many of the waters have been mined, and Russian navy ships are off the coast of Ukraine. Explosions have struck at least two cargo ships in the area, and dozens more have been blocked.
The IMO Council held an extraordinary session and said it condemned the Russian Federation’s attacks on merchant ships, their confiscations, including search and rescue ships, which endangered the safety and well-being of seafarers and the marine environment.
Russia’s space agency has sent a letter to NASA and other international partners demanding an end to the sanctions, saying they could threaten the International Space Station.
In a tweet on Saturday, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said the letter called on space agencies in the United States, Canada and Europe to keep the space station operational.
He illustrated the call with a map showing the flight path of the ISS – and a potential fall zone that covers much of the world but barely touches Russia.
Four NASA astronauts, two Russian astronauts and a European astronaut are currently on the space station.
ISTANBUL – The Ukrainian embassy in Turkey said a group of 86 Turkish citizens, including 34 children, were among those taking refuge in a mosque in the besieged city of Mariupol.
A spokeswoman for the embassy, citing information from the mayor, said they had taken refuge in the mosque along with others seeking refuge from the Russian attack on the besieged port of the Sea of Azov.
She says: “There are really big communication problems in Mariupol and there is no way to get to them.”
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been trapped in Mariupol for more than a week without food, water, heat or electricity in sub-zero temperatures. Efforts to establish a ceasefire to allow them to leave have repeatedly failed.
Turkish authorities did not respond to requests for comment. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that Turkey had evacuated nearly 14,000 of its citizens from Ukraine.
LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian authorities have accused Russia of damaging a cancer hospital and several apartment buildings in the southern city of Nikolaev with heavy artillery fire.
The hospital’s chief physician, Maxim Beznosenko, said several hundred patients were in the hospital at the time of the attack, but no one was killed. The attack damaged the building and blew out windows.
Russian forces have stepped up attacks on Nikolaev, 470 kilometers (292 miles) south of Kyiv, in an attempt to encircle the city.
Ukrainian and Western officials have previously accused Russia of shelling a maternity hospital in the southern city of Mariupol on Wednesday. Three people were killed in the attack.
LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia on Friday of kidnapping the mayor of Melitopol, equating him with the actions of “ISIL terrorists”.
“They have entered a new phase of terror, in which they are trying to eliminate physical representatives of the legitimate local authorities in Ukraine,” Zelensky said in a video message Friday night.
Kirill Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, posted a video on social media Telegram, which he said showed a group of armed men carrying Mayor Ivan Fedorov across the square.
Russian forces captured the southern port city of Melitopol with a population of 150,000 on February 26th.
The prosecutor’s office of the Luhansk People’s Republic, a Moscow-backed rebel region in eastern Ukraine, said on its website that Fedorov was facing criminal charges. The prosecutor’s office accused Fedorov of “terrorist activity” and of financing the nationalist militia “Right Sector” for “committing terrorist crimes against civilians in Donbass.”
The office said they were looking for Fedorov and called on anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact them.
SAVANA, Georgia – US troops continue to be stationed in Europe, joining thousands already sent abroad to support NATO allies amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
About 130 soldiers from the 87th Division Maintenance Battalion, 3rd Division Support Brigade, gathered Friday at Hunter Airport in Savannah, Georgia, and departed on a charter flight.
The troops are in addition to approximately 3,800 troops from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, who were recently stationed at nearby Fort Stewart.
A division commander said the soldiers were being told to prepare for about six months abroad. The Pentagon has ordered about 12,000 troops from various US bases in Europe.
The soldiers’ mission is to train with NATO Allied forces in a demonstration of force aimed at deterring further Russian aggression. The Pentagon stressed that US forces are not ready to fight in Ukraine.
LVIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian authorities have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in the port city of Mariupol, which is surrounded by Russian forces and cut off from food and medicine supplies.
Representatives of Mariupol said on Friday that 1,582 people had been killed in the 12 days since the siege began.
“There is a humanitarian catastrophe in the city and the dead are not even buried,” the Mariupol mayor’s office said in a statement on Friday, calling on Russian forces to lift the siege.
Ukrainian authorities have accused Russian forces of shelling evacuation routes and preventing 430,000 civilians from fleeing the city.
BERLIN – Ukraine told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Friday that technicians have begun repairing damaged power lines at the decommissioned Chernobyl plant in an attempt to restore power, the UN nuclear agency said.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian authorities said Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear accident, had been cut off from the grid, with emergency generators supplying backup power.
Ukraine’s nuclear regulator said on Friday that workers had repaired a section of the line, but there still seemed to be damage elsewhere, the IAEA said. Repair efforts will continue despite the “difficult situation” outside the plant, which was taken over by Russian forces at the beginning of the invasion, the statement said.
The Ukrainian regulator said additional fuel had been delivered to the generators, but it remained important to repair the power lines as soon as possible. The IAEA reiterated that the interruption “will not have a critical impact on the basic safety functions of the site”.
The Vienna-based UN nuclear service said it had not yet received data from surveillance systems installed to monitor Chernobyl’s nuclear materials and activities, but a broadcast from the Zaporozhye plant, the largest in Ukraine that Russian forces seized last week, has recovered from being lost earlier this week.
PARIS – Interpol limits Russia’s ability to enter information directly into the World Wide Web’s extensive network, deciding that communications must first be checked by the General Secretariat in Lyon, France.
The French Foreign Ministry said on Friday that heightened surveillance measures followed “numerous suspicions of attempted fraudulent use” of the Interpol system in recent days, but gave no details.
Interpol said in a statement Thursday that it maintains its promise of neutrality amid the war between two of its members sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But it said “enhanced oversight and surveillance measures” by the National Central Bureau of Moscow were needed “to prevent any potential misuse of Interpol channels”, such as targeting people inside or outside Ukraine.
The ministry noted that Interpol’s decision had a number of implications from communications, to the release of so-called “red notices” for criminals in loosening or even filing lost or stolen documents – all of which must now receive compliance checks from headquarters. Interpol.
Interpol, which has 195 members, said it had received calls to stop Russia from the network, along with calls from law enforcement officials seeking continued co-operation to better fight crime.
“In addition to the tragic loss of life, conflicts invariably lead to an increase in crime, as organized crime groups try to exploit despair,” Interpol said. Risks include human trafficking, arms smuggling and trafficking in illegal goods and medicines.
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Italy confiscated the yacht of the Russian billionaire for 578 million dollars
Source link Italy confiscated the yacht of the Russian billionaire for 578 million dollars