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Putin wants to stop the export of Ukrainian grain to Europe

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would speak with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to demand that Ukrainian grain be sent to the “poorest countries” rather than Europe.

“Without taking into account Turkey as an intermediary, practically all the grain leaving Ukraine goes not to the poorest countries, but to Europe,” Putin said.

The President of Russia, speaking at the parliamentary meeting of the 7th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, said that “only two out of 87 ships entered developing countries. Sixty thousand tons out of 2 million.”

“It is worth thinking about how to limit the export of grain and other food products along this route. I will definitely talk about this with Turkish President[Recep Tayyip]Erdogan,” the Russian leader said.

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West of violating the Istanbul International Agreement by preventing Russian grain and fertilizer exports across the Black Sea.

“Our Western colleagues are not doing what the UN Secretary General promised us. [António Guterres]”, Lavrov said at a press conference.

The Russian minister accused Western countries of refusing to take steps to “lift logistical sanctions that prevent free access of (Russian) grains and fertilizers to the world market.”

Lavrov stressed that Moscow is working with the UN to fully implement the agreements reached in July in Istanbul, which created a sea corridor from the coast of Ukraine, which was blocked by the Russians after the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, to the Mediterranean Sea for the export of Ukrainian cereals.

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The agreement, brokered by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also provided for the supply of Russian grain and fertilizer through the Bosphorus.

Several dozen ships with Ukrainian products departed from the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny located on the Black Sea.

Russia, which has turned the Sea of ​​Azov into an inland ocean by seizing the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk, claims its export capacity is far greater than Ukraine’s, making its supplies critical to averting a global food crisis.

Some countries, especially African ones, have called for the lifting of sanctions affecting Russian grain exports.

The military offensive launched by Russia on February 24 in Ukraine has already caused nearly 13 million people to flee — more than six million internally displaced people and almost seven million to neighboring countries, according to the latest UN figures. the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945).

The Russian invasion was condemned by the international community as a whole, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia in everything from banking to energy to sports.

During the course of the war, the UN presented 5,587 civilian deaths and 7,890 wounded as confirmed, stressing that the real figures are much higher and will only become known after the end of the conflict.

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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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