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Alexei Vadatursky, anti-Putin grain tycoon Russia is looking for as a spy – Observer

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The business world is often cold and impersonal, but the respect and fame that Oleksiy Vadatursky gained throughout his life has led to almost all Ukrainian businessmen, including his rivals, treating him as “grandmother”. He was one of the richest people in Ukraine with a fortune estimated at 400 million euros, acquired mainly through grain export business.

Aleksey Vadatursky was born in 1947 in a village near Odessa and began his career as an engineer, running a chain of state bakeries in a country hit by the Holodomor, the great Ukrainian famine declared by Stalin. It was then that he realized the weakness of the Soviet agrarian system.who, together with the collective farms, did not encourage the sowing of wheat.

After gaining independence, Oleksiy Vadatursky fundou a Nebulon, an agricultural company engaged in the cultivation of wheat. Despite initial difficulties at a time when Ukraine – as a sovereign state – was reorganized, the businessman managed to succeed in the middle, Account Al-Jazeera, which made one of the main contributions to Ukraine becoming one of the main exporters of wheat.

In the business world, one of the greatest strengths of Alexei Vadatursky was for the control he exercised in the river ports, which has existed since Soviet times. Critics noted that the businessman did everything to save river management monopoly in Ukraine – and did not hesitate to extend his influence to the political sphere. It is not surprising that his son, Andrei Vadatursky, was in parliament or that in recent months he has tried to manipulate former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s centre-right party to his advantage.

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However, unlike many tycoons, most Ukrainians treated Aleksey Vadatursky favorably. “He worked. He didn’t exploit the Soviet industrial legacy. He built his empire in the countryside,” Ukrainian political scientist Vadim Karasev recalled to Al Jazeera, describing him as the man who “created Ukraine’s miracle of grain exports.”

The popularity of Alexei Vadatursky was also due to the fact that he was a patriot. He financed the army from the beginning of the war in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. and in 2018 he was blacklisted by Russia. After the invasion the tycoon decided to stay in Ukrainein relation to the majority of Ukrainian oligarchs who fled abroad.

Oleksiy Vidaturskiy fiku in Ukraine, but I knew my life was in danger. He lived in Nikolaev, not far from the front of the war, and was not particularly liked in the Kremlin. However, respectively It is reported by Corriere dela Sera, citing Ukrainian sources. Russia has come a proportionshortly after the invasion, which tycoon to become a secret accomplice of the Russian regime.

Russia wanted to use Oleksiy Vadatursky’s influence in the agricultural and business world, thus being able to quickly capture southern Ukraine, as well as cutting off access to the Kyiv river ports. In return, Moscow promised to protect the tycoon’s assets, as well as benefits in the agricultural and naval industries of the country after the conquest of the region.

The Russian proposals were in vain, and Alexei Vadatursky would never have accepted them. The tycoon died last Saturday after a precise attack by Russian troops that was supposed to be aimed at his room, leading to several rumors about his death. it was an act of revenge by the Kremlin. For example, on social networks, adviser to the President of Ukraine Mikhail Podolyak said that the businessman’s house is clearly a “target”.

The business and monopoly of the river ports is now in the hands of his son Andrei Vadatursky and his three grandchildren.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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