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Migration: Defense Minister considers Belarus’ pressure on Lithuania unacceptable – Current events

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“Here we are talking about the exploitation of refugees and immigrants by Belarus, which is completely unacceptable,” said João Gomes Cravinho on the sidelines of the reception ceremony for the Portuguese naval forces returning from the NATO mission in Lithuania today.

Recalling that this issue was discussed by the ministers of internal administration, Gomes Kravinho recalled that on Friday he attended the meeting of the European Union defense ministers, at which “the Lithuanian colleague and several other people are also from Poland. , who is also under the same pressure, explained the situation. “

According to the Minister of Defense, what is happening on the Lithuanian border “is completely different from other realities.”

“We are talking about the exploitation by the Belarusian government of President Lukashenko, who, incidentally, remains in power despite his defeat in the elections a few months ago, who decided that this would be a way of putting pressure on Lithuania, which welcomed the winner of the elections,” the minister criticized.

“It is obvious that Lithuania is completely in solidarity, it is obvious that this is unacceptable, it is obvious that the border must be respected and supported, and therefore we are ready – we and all NATO allies and member states of the European Union – are ready to support Lithuania in these circumstances,” – he guaranteed.

In recent months, Lithuania, a member of the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has witnessed an intense influx of migrants from Belarus, mainly from Iraq.

The Lithuanian government considers this migration flow near its border to be an act of retaliation by the contested President of Belarus against the sanctions imposed by the block of communities against the Minsk regime, namely due to the diversion of a civilian plane in May last year and the arrest of an opponent who was on board the apparatus.

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In August, the Lithuanian government ordered the border guards to refuse and expel, using force, if necessary, all migrants from Belarus who tried to illegally enter the territory of Lithuania.

In response, Lukashenko ordered the Belarusian defense and security agencies to “close every meter of the border” in order to prevent migrants from re-entering Belarusian land.

This situation exacerbates the already tense relations between the two “neighboring” countries, which worsened after the August 9, 2020 elections in Belarus, which returned Lukashenko, who had been in power for almost three decades, to the sixth term, but also the situation between Minsk and West.

The Belarusian opposition and the West considered the ballot to be fake.

Lithuania, a country of just under three million people, borders Belarus with a length of almost 680 kilometers.

According to international agencies, about 4090 migrants crossed the border between Belarus and Lithuania this year.

The Lithuanian authorities predict that this year more than 10,000 migrants may try to enter the Baltic country.

The Minister of Defense was present today at the reception ceremony for the Portuguese Navy Marines, consisting of 145 troops who were on a mission in Lithuania in the context of NATO’s protection measures in this territory.

“It is always a pleasure to welcome our national forces, in this case the Marines, who have been on a NATO mission for several months now, a mission that is very important to our allies in the Baltic states and is always deeply grateful. from the authorities of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, as well as Poland, who feel our closeness and an expression of solidarity, ”he said in a statement after the official confessions.

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“This is very important because NATO is a single whole, there are times when we also need the support of other NATO allies and we demonstrate our solidarity,” he said.

This is “the best way to guarantee our own security and our full commitment to the Atlantic Alliance in the long term,” added Gomes Cravinho.

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Ukraine exchanges prisoners with Russia for the third time in a week – News

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“We managed to free twelve of our people. Among them are four Navy servicemen, two National Guardsmen, two border guards, a serviceman of the Territorial Defense Forces and three civilians: a husband and wife and a missing man,” Andriy Yermak, head of the presidential staff, wrote. ., in your online Telegram account.

Yermak said the soldiers may have been captured during the siege of the coastal city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which Russian troops occupied for a month last spring, and Snake Island in the Black Sea.

According to the head of the presidential office, with such an exchange, the number of Ukrainian prisoners of war exchanged with Russia per week rises to 98.

“We are working to free all of our people. We will not stop,” Yermak concluded.

For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry said nine Russian servicemen were returned this Saturday “from territories controlled by the Kyiv regime.”

Last Thursday, 50 Ukrainian and Russian prisoners of war were exchanged, and the day before, 35 Russian servicemen were released for the same number of Ukrainian military and one civilian.

See also  Kyiv needs long-range weapons, and fear of invasion has crossed the border | War in Ukraine
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“I share your pain,” Putin told the mothers of Russian soldiers sent to war in Ukraine – War in Ukraine

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday told mothers of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine that he “shares the pain” of those who have lost their children and urged them not to believe the “lie” about the invasion.

“I want you to know that I personally share your pain. We know that nothing can replace the loss of a child,” Putin said.

According to news site EuroNews, the Russian leader also added that Mother’s Day, celebrated in Russia this Sunday, will be marked this year by “a sense of unease and unease” among women whose “thoughts will be with their boys.”

Putin’s meeting with the soldiers’ mothers took place at the leader’s residence outside Moscow and was the first of its kind since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24. The Kremlin rarely talks about the losses suffered in Ukraine, and the meeting, which took place this Friday, comes after weeks of criticism on social media from relatives of soldiers mobilized in early autumn.

Many soldiers’ wives and mothers blamed the authorities for not properly training and equipping them before being sent to the front, EuroNews reports.

“Life is more complicated than what you see on TV or on the Internet, where you can’t trust anything. A lot of false information, a lot of lies,” Putin replied.

The Russian president also said he occasionally talks on his cell phone to soldiers sent to Ukraine and said he was “surprised” by their “state of mind.”

“They give me reason to say that they are heroes, it’s true,” he added.

See also  Kyiv needs long-range weapons, and fear of invasion has crossed the border | War in Ukraine

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Russia sends elite paratroopers to the front line in Donbass after leaving Kherson – Obozrevatel

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whitefish here our liveblog from the war in Ukraine

In the first hours of the invasion, on February 24, Russian paratroopers were in the Kyiv area. A few weeks ago they were dedicated to the defense of territories west of the Dnieper, in Kherson. After the withdrawal of Russian troops, some units are sent to a new front, this time to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

British Ministry of Defense disclosed that, despite the “strong weakening” during the nine months of the war, part of the units of the Russian Air Force (VDV) will return to the combat front.

Some of these units will be reinforced by Russians called up during the partial mobilization announced in September by President Vladimir Putin. Despite the promise of training and equipment, soldiers arrive in Ukraine ill-prepared, and there are already records of the first deaths among mobilized Russian troops. However, the British Ministry assumes that the new elements integrated into the Airborne Forces will be sent to the most important places.

Russian soldiers died in Ukraine 10 days after being sent

In the most recent report, the United Kingdom points out that “although these untrained soldiers undermine the supposedly elite capability of the Airborne Forces, Russia is likely to deploy these units in sectors considered particularly important.”

In the Donbass, units are expected to support the defense of the Kremina-Svatovo area in Lugansk. According to The Telegraph, it was in this city that Russian troops settled after leaving Kharkov. The British ministry also says units could be sent to reinforce defensive operations in the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk, which has been one of the hotbeds of heavy fighting in recent weeks.

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