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“Respect the no-smoking rules.” Ukrainians mock Russians because of explosions in Crimea – Observer

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The war did not rob them of their sense of humor. Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of this year, Ukrainians have spared no jokes — be it memes or tweets — to poke fun at the Kremlin.

The most recent relates to an alleged Ukrainian attack on a Russian air base in Crimea on August 9, in which 14 people were injured and one person died, according to the Kremlin. Kyiv denied authorship of the attack: “Of course, we have nothing to do with it,” assured on Wednesday, August 10, adviser to the President of Ukraine Mikhail Podolyak, who did not rule out the possibility of actions by civilians who want to liberate Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014.

The Defense Ministry also denied Ukraine’s responsibility for the explosions, but left advice to the Russian forces stationed at the base: “Follow the no-smoking rulesSoon after, he tweeted an image with a large cloud of black smoke and what looked like beach huts (an allusion to to images of people running from the beach after the explosions), with the phrase: “The presence of the occupying troops on the territory of the Ukrainian Crimea is incompatible with the high tourist season.”

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Soon social networks were filled with allusions to the statements of the Ministry of Defense. “For some reason, I have the feeling that smoking at ammunition depots and gas stations is not a good idea,” wrote, for example, Ilya Ponomarenko, a journalist for The Kyiv Independent.

After the bombings, pro-Russian Crimean forces declared a state of emergency. Hours before, a spokesman who looked like actor Leslie Nielsen told the cameras that everything was under control, despite smoke billowing behind him. The situation is similar to the one in the movie “Aonde É Que Para a Polícia”, in which the same actor is the main character (and who, by the way, is a famous Internet meme). Of course, the situation caused another wave of jokes that spread through social networks.

The Russian Defense Ministry, in a statement on Tuesday, attributed the explosions at a Crimean military airfield, which destroyed at least nine aircraft, to an accident. “There was no attack on the ammunition depot”

Despite Ukraine’s denial of the attack, Zelenskiy defended in his usual daily video message on the night of Tuesday, August 9, that the war in Ukraine did not start on February 24 this year with the Russian invasion of the country, but with the occupation of Crimea in 2014. “This war of Russia against Ukraine and against all free Europe began with the Crimea and must end with the Crimea – its liberation.”

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World

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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