March 31, 2023

Full speech: Zelensky tells UN Ukraine is ready for ‘true, honest and fair peace’

Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for Russia to be “justly punished” for its attack on Ukraine and the torture and killing of hundreds of civilians during his address to the UN General Assembly last night.

“A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand fair punishment. Crimes were committed against our national borders. A crime was committed against our human lives. The crime was committed against the dignity of our women and men,” Ukraine’s wartime president said.

His video address came on the same day that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, ordered the mobilization of Moscow’s reserve forces and threatened to use nuclear weapons.

Mr Zelensky called on world leaders gathered at UNGA to retaliate against Russia for causing “catastrophic turmoil” in their own economies with its “illegal war”.

Meanwhile, police arrested more than 1,300 people in protests across Russia in response to Mr Putin’s order for some 300,000 military reservists to be ready to serve in his country’s struggling campaign against its neighbour.


EU leaders to send weapons to Ukraine, impose more sanctions on Russia

EU foreign ministers are looking to introduce new sanctions on Russia and increase arms supplies to Ukraine in response to Vladimir Putin’s first wartime mobilization order since World War II.

EU ministers will hold a formal meeting next month where they are set to discuss the sanctions package and formalize the restrictions imposed on Moscow.

EU chief Josep Borrell said there would be “unanimous” support within the bloc for the upcoming measures.


Putin’s Military Mobilization, Ukraine Invasion Signs Failed Nuclear Threat – Trudeau

Vladimir Putin’s military mobilization order and his nuclear threats ensure Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is failing, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in New York where world leaders gathered for the United Nations General Assembly.

“Canada condemns Putin’s irresponsible escalation of the war, his partial military mobilization, his nuclear threats as well as Russia’s referendum on trying to annex parts of Ukraine as unacceptable,” Mr. Trudeau said.

“Putin’s behavior only shows that his offensive is failing,” he added.

The deployment order issued by the Russian leader was “one step closer to admitting what he didn’t want to admit to the Russians … an example of not going through with his plan,” Mr. Trudeau said.


Russia Frees Ukraine Prisoners – Suspline

Ukraine’s public broadcaster Suspline said on Wednesday that Russia had released some Ukrainian fighters after a long battle for the port city of Mariupol earlier this year.

Suspline, citing the Azov Battalion unit that did most of the fighting, said an exchange took place near the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv. It gave no details.

The Telegram account of Andriy Biletsky, the original founder of the Azov Battalion, shows him holding one of the prisoners, holding a victory sign with the caption. Reuters could not immediately verify when the photo was taken.

Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia said Russia had freed 10 foreign prisoners of war held in Ukraine through the mediation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Five British nationals were among those freed.


Putin is making nuclear threats to the West

In a dramatic escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of the military in a special address to the nation on Wednesday.David Harding writes)

Putin said members of the military reserve, some 300,000 people, especially those with active duty experience, would be called up, a move that comes seven months after the invasion of Ukraine as Moscow faced several military setbacks.

And in an apparent threat to the West, he warned against “nuclear blackmail”, threatening to respond with the power of his own vast arsenal. He said he was not bluffing, using all means at his disposal to defend Russian territory, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to Russia’s nuclear capabilities.

“We are talking about partial mobilization, that is, only those who are currently in the reserves will be recruited, and above all, those who have served in the armed forces and have a certain military specialty and relevant experience,” Putin said.

His speech alarmed many around the world and caused thousands of Russians to flee the country.


Truss and Biden denounced Putin in their first private meeting

Liz Truss and Joe Biden condemned Vladimir Putin’s recent statements about Ukraine and discussed energy security at a UN meeting in New York, a Downing Street spokesman said.

In a statement after the pair’s first private meeting, the spokesman said the leaders agreed that Mr. Putin’s war “demonstrates the need for allies to continue their economic and military support to Ukraine.” The Prime Minister updated President Biden on his recent announcement that the UK will recommit to at least the same level of defense support for Ukraine next year.

“Both leaders discussed the increasing threat posed by dictatorships to our values ​​and international order. The Prime Minister updated President Biden on the UK’s plans to update the Integrated Review to ensure the UK is fully equipped to meet growing challenges from countries such as China and Russia.

“Leaders emphasized the need to end our overdependence on authoritarian states in terms of our energy, technology and manufacturing supply chains.

“They agreed to redouble bilateral efforts to reduce energy dependence on Russia and increase the amount of renewable and other forms of energy flowing from democratic states. Both leaders reiterated their commitment to reach net zero, and the UK plans to become a net energy exporter by 2040. outlines, thanks in large part to renewable energy.

“The Prime Minister and President Biden also discussed a number of global challenges that the UK and US are working together to address, including efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”


The Truss said Russian-backed forces had released five British prisoners

Five British nationals detained in Ukraine and held by Russian-backed forces are being returned to their families, Prime Minister Liz Truss has revealed (Jane Dalton writes)

“Very welcome news of the safe return of five British nationals held by Russian-backed proxies in eastern Ukraine, ending months of uncertainty and suffering for them and their families,” he tweeted.

Aiden Aslin, a British fighter who was sentenced to death by a pro-Russian court, is among those freed, said his MP Robert Jenrick.

He tweeted: “Aiden’s return ends months of agonizing uncertainty for Aiden’s loving family in Newark who suffered daily from Aiden’s fraud trial but never lost hope. As they are reunited as a family, they can finally live in peace.”

Mr Aslin, 28, moved to Ukraine in 2018 and later joined the country’s armed forces.


Zelensky sets the red line for a peace treaty with Russia

Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine’s neutrality in the war with Russia was out of the question, as he laid out his red line for a negotiated end to the conflict.

In a recorded speech at the United Nations, Ukraine’s president said a crime had been committed against his nation and that Kyiv wanted “only punishment” for Russia.

He presented what he called five non-negotiable conditions for peace. These include punishing Russian aggression, restoring Ukraine’s security, and guaranteeing territorial integrity and security.

Zelensky addressed the United Nations on Wednesday



Britain deftly condemns Russian atrocities in meeting with Moscow’s top diplomat

Britain’s foreign secretary will condemn Moscow’s atrocities in Ukraine when he meets his Russian counterpart for the first time at a summit in New York tomorrow.

James Cleverley will face Sergey Lavrov on Thursday during a special meeting of the UN Security Council, where foreign ministers will discuss the war.

Mr Cleverley will commit to holding Russia accountable and working with allies to bring victims to justice.

He will also argue that Moscow is planning to fix the outcome of the referendum to become part of Russia by being held in Russian-controlled areas of eastern and southern Ukraine.

Later on Thursday, Mr Cleverly will attend a meeting focused on accountability for war crimes in Ukraine.

Cleverly met US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in New York



More than 1,300 arrested in anti-Russian protests

Security forces have detained more than 1,300 people in Russia, a rights group said, hours after Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s first military draft since World War II.

The independent OVD-Info protest monitoring group said that according to data it collected from 38 Russian cities, more than 1,311 people had been detained by late evening – including at least 502 in Moscow and 524 in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second most populous city.

Unauthorized gatherings are illegal under Russia’s anti-protest laws. Irina Volk, a Russian Interior Ministry official, said in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies that police had made little effort to stage small protests.

“In several regions, unauthorized activities were attempted that brought together very few participants,” Volk was quoted as saying.

“This was all off. And those who violated the law were arrested and taken to the police station for investigation and their responsibility was established.”

Below are some photos of a protest in St. Petersburg, we previously brought you photos from Moscow [see here]





Navalny says Putin’s mobilization order will result in ‘massive deaths’

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny accused President Vladimir Putin of trying to “stigmatize hundreds of thousands of people” in a “criminal war” after ordering a partial mobilization of Russian reserves (Emily Atkinson writes)

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny made the comments in a video message recorded from prison, which he released through his lawyers. He warned Putin’s new military order would lead to a “massive tragedy”.

Mr Navalny, who is serving more than 10 years in prison, said: “This will lead to a huge tragedy, a huge amount of death … To maintain his personal power, Putin went to a neighboring country, killed people there. And now in this war a huge amount Sending Russian citizens.

“It’s clear that the criminal war is getting worse, deeper, and Putin is trying to involve as many people as possible in it. He wants to stain millions of people with this blood.”

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