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06-2022

Live Updates | Putin: West’s sanctions ‘blitz’ have failed

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin says the barrage of Western sanctions against Russia has failed.

Putin said on Monday that the West expected “the financial-economic situation to quickly worsen, panic in the markets, collapse of the banking system and shortage of stores.” He said the “economic attack strategy has failed.”

The Russian leader made the remarks on television during a video call with top economic officials.

Putin noted that “Russia has faced unprecedented pressure,” arguing that the ruble has strengthened and the country recorded a historic high trade surplus of $58 billion in the first quarter of the year.

Instead, he argued, the sanctions had the opposite effect against the US and its European allies, leading to spurt in inflation and a drop in living standards.

Putin acknowledged the sharp rise in consumer prices in Russia, saying they rose 17.5% on a year-on-year basis to April and asked the government to index wages and other payments to reduce the impact of inflation on people’s incomes. instructed to do.

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Major Developments in the Russo-Ukraine War:

– ‘No surrender’: Ukrainians fight at Mariupol Steel Plant

– Russia strikes again on the capital of Ukraine, attacks on other cities

Mother, grandmother crying over 15-year-old child killed in Kharkivo shelling

Follow all Associated Press stories on Russia’s war against Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

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Other Developments:

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s deputy prime minister said Russia could be prosecuted for war crimes for refusing to allow humanitarian corridors for civilians trapped in the city of Mariupol.

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Earlier on Monday, Irina Vereshchuk said that no evacuation was possible for the second day in a row because of Russian attacks on civilian convoys.

“Your refusal to open these humanitarian corridors will be a reason to prosecute everyone involved in war crimes in the future,” she wrote on her Telegram and Facebook channels.

Vereshchuk again called on Russia to allow the safe evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, in particular the Azovstal steel mill, which covers more than 11 square kilometers (4 sq mi) and is lined with tunnels.

According to Vereshchuk, the government was in talks with other cities as well on a route from the Luhansk region to Mariupol and Berdyansk. The Luhansk government said four civilians trying to flee the area were shot by Russian forces.

The Russians, in their turn, have accused “neo-Nazi nationalists” in Mariupol of obstructing the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol.

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KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s State Security Service has posted a video of a Ukrainian politician charged with treason posing in exchange for evacuating stranded civilians from Mariupol, while surrendering to Russian forces in Mariupol. Two British men appeared on Russian media asking to be part of an exchange.

A video of Viktor Medvedchuk, a former leader of a pro-Russian opposition party with personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was posted on Monday. In it, he appealed to Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to consider an exchange by name.

Medvedchuk was detained last Tuesday in a special operation conducted by the State Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU. The 67-year-old oligarch had escaped from house arrest on February 24, several days before hostilities began in Ukraine. He is facing 15 years and life imprisonment on charges of treason and aiding and abetting a terrorist organization for mediating coal purchases for the separatist, Russia-backed Donetsk Republic in eastern Ukraine.

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The British men identified themselves as Sean Pinner and Aiden Aslin. In one video, Pinner expected an exchange from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Pinner had dark circles under his eyes and looked tired, but he said both men were treated fairly.

Ukrainian officials have said that Kyiv wants to try Medvedchuk and eventually exchange him for Ukrainian prisoners.

The circumstances of the video were unclear. The two videos were released within an hour of each other.

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ROME – Italian officials will go ahead with an energy-dealing trip to Africa this week as part of Premier Mario Draghi’s efforts to quickly reduce the country’s heavy dependence on Russian gas, but he is not going because he Has tested positive for COVID-19.

Announcing the infection, the premier’s office said on Monday that Draghi had no symptoms. Missions to Angola and Congo, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, will instead be represented by the government’s ministers for foreign affairs and ecological transition.

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Italy buys about 40% of its gas from Russia. Draghi is set to seal deals with other energy-producing countries to substantially reduce that dependence over the next two or three years. Draghi recently traveled to Algeria to work out such an agreement as part of the strategy.

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Belgrade, Serbia – Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has accused Ukraine’s secret services and an unnamed EU country of being behind a series of false bomb threats against Air Serbia flights to Russia.

The Serbian national carrier is the only European airline not to engage in international flight sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine. Several of its flights to Moscow and St Petersburg have been delayed or returned to Belgrade following unidentified bomb threats.

In an interview with pro-government Pink TV late Sunday, Vucic said that “foreign (intelligence) services of two countries are doing this. One is an EU country, and Ukraine is the other.”

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The Serbian pro-Russian leader did not provide evidence for his claim. Other Serbian officials alleged that the threatening emails were sent from Ukraine or Poland.

Vucic said that although Air Serbia flights to Russia are not making a profit due to the frequent return to its base in the Serbian capital, flights will continue “as in our principle”.

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Madrid: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said that Spain will reopen its embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in a few days.

Following similar decisions by several European neighbours, Sánchez said the reopening was “to revisit the commitment of the Spanish government and the Spanish people to the Ukrainian people.”

“Spain is with Ukraine and we are against (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” Sanchez said in an interview on Spain’s Antena 3 television. “This is a war by Putin for the EU.”

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Spain closed the embassy within hours of the Russian invasion on 24 February.

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KYIV, Ukraine – Lviv Mayor Andrey Sadovy said Russian attacks on the city in western Ukraine killed seven people and injured 11 others, including a child.

According to Associated Press staff Lviv, plumes of black smoke could be seen rising over the city as multiple explosions were caused by missile strikes.

Lviv regional governor Maxim Kozitsky said there were four Russian missile strikes, three of which affected military infrastructure and one struck a tire shop. He said emergency teams are dousing the fire caused by the attacks.

The chairman of Ukraine’s rail service, Oleksandr Kamyshin, said the attacks took place near railway facilities. He said train traffic has resumed after some delay and he has vowed to restore the damaged network.

Lviv and the rest of western Ukraine have been less affected by the fighting than other parts of the country, and are considered a relatively safe haven.

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MOSCOW: The Russian military says it has targeted more than 20 military bases in Ukraine with missiles.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Monday that precision-guided air-launched missiles destroyed 16 military facilities, including five command headquarters, a fuel depot, three ammunition depots, and several Ukrainian areas. Contains concentrations of military vehicles and personnel. Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya and Dnipro regions.

Konashenkov also said that the military fired Iskander land-based missiles to destroy four ammunition depots and three groups of Ukrainian troops in the east near Popasna and Kramatorsk, and Yampil in central Ukraine.

He said the army used artillery to hit 315 Ukrainian targets, and Russian warplanes launched 108 strikes targeting Ukrainian troops and military equipment.

Konashenkov’s claims could not be independently verified.

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LONDON – Britain’s Defense Ministry says the continued siege of Mariupol is tying up Russian forces and slowing its progress ahead of plans for a major offensive in eastern Ukraine.

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In a daily intelligence update, Britain’s military says that “concrete resistance from Ukraine has led to severe testing of Russian forces and removal of men and materials, slowing Russia’s progress elsewhere.”

The Sea of ​​Azov port city has been devastated in weeks of Russian pummeling. Britain says “large areas of infrastructure have been destroyed” and there have been “significant” civilian casualties.

Britain accused Russia of using similar tactics of an all-out war on civilian areas stationed in Chechnya and Syria, despite Russian claims at the beginning of its invasion, “Russia will neither attack cities nor threaten the Ukrainian population.” “

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LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian soldiers in southern Ukraine are being tortured and kidnapped, and called on the world to respond on Sunday.

Addressing the nation in the evening, Zelensky said, “torture rooms have been built there.” “They abduct representatives of local governments and anyone they deem visible to local communities.”

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Zelensky said humanitarian aid had been stolen, causing famine.

In the occupied parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions, he said, Russian separatists are creating states and introducing the Russian currency, the ruble. Zelensky said Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, had killed 18 people and wounded 106 in the past four days.

“This is nothing but deliberate terror. Mortars, artillery against ordinary residential neighbourhoods, against common civilians,” he said.

He added that a planned Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine “will begin in the near future.”

Zelensky again called for increasing sanctions against Russia, including its entire banking sector and oil industry. “Everyone in Europe and America already sees Russia openly using energy to destabilize Western societies,” Zelensky said. “All of this requires greater impetus from the West in formulating a new, powerful package of sanctions.”

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