Ukrainian official shares footage of Wagner Base destroyed in the Donbas on Friday
A Russian spy used a fake identity to apply for an internship at the Hague, the Dutch intelligence service said.
Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov pretended to be a Brazilian national called Viktor Muller Ferreira to try to infiltrate the International Criminal Court (ICC) in April, according to the Netherlands.
Dutch intelligence agency chief Erik Akerboom said: “This was a long-term, multi-year GRU [Russia’s military intelligence service] operation that cost a lot of time, energy and money.”
The ICC had accepted the man for the internship, he also said. The Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) said in a statement that the man was apprehended at an airport in the Netherlands, where he was declared to be an “undesirable alien” and put on the next flight back to Brazil, where he faces court proceedings.
Mr Akerboom said: “It clearly shows us what the Russians are up to – trying to gain illegal access to information within the ICC. We classify this as a high-level threat.”
ICC spokesperson Sonia Robla said: “The ICC takes these threats very seriously and will continue to work and cooperate with The Netherlands.”
ICYMI: Putin’s ally rants about European leaders’ visit to Kyiv
Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has launched a bizarre Twitter rant as French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, visited Ukraine today.
The close ally of Vladimir Putin said that “fans of frogs”, “liverwurst” and “spaghetti” were in Kyiv.
He also mocked the idea of Ukraine becoming a member of the EU and predicted the meeting of European leaders “won’t bring Ukraine closer to peace”.
You can read the full story here:
Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 03:00
‘Russia has not invaded Ukraine,’ Lavrov insists in BBC interview
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has insisted that Russia has not invaded Ukraine.
He told the BBC: “We didn’t invade Ukraine. We declared a special military operation because we had absolutely no other way of explaining to the West that dragging Ukraine into Nato was a criminal act.”
Lavrov repeated the official Kremlin line that there were Nazis in Ukraine, and that the Russian military is “de-Nazifying” the country.
Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 02:00
Ukraine on Independent’s front page tomorrow
Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 01:00
Former US embassy employee jailed in Russia on drug charges
A Russian court has reportedly sentenced a former employee at the US embassy to 14 years in prison on charges of drug smuggling.
Marc Fogel had been detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in August 2021 with drugs. He had once worked at the embassy but at the time of his arrest he was employed at the city’s Anglo-American school.
Mr Fogel pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling, storing, transporting, manufacturing and processing narcotic drugs, Interfax news agency said.
He will be imprisoned in a maximum-security penal colony, the agency added.
The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Fogel.
In January, CBS News reported that Mr Fogel told lawyers who visited him that he used marijuana for medical reasons after spinal surgery.
The amount he possessed when detained was 17 grams or just over half an ounce, CBS quoted Mr Fogel as telling the lawyers.
Star S basketball player Brittney Griner was detained at a Moscow airport on February 17 on allegations of having cannabis oil vape cartridges in her luggage. This week her pre-trial detention was extended to 2 July.
Former US Marine Paul Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian jail on espionage charges in June 2020.
Lamiat Sabin17 June 2022 00:00
London to host summit to plan how to help rebuild Ukraine
A summit will be held in London tomorrow to establish how the UK can help rebuild Ukraine once the Russian invasion comes to an end.
Representatives from Ukraine and businesses will join international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan to discuss how UK firms can help with reconstruction efforts in areas including digital and services, water and sanitation, energy, power and transport.
Ms Trevelyan will also sign a memorandum of understanding with Ukraine confirming support for future reconstruction efforts.
The memorandum also recognizes a new joint task force, which will help build partnerships between UK and Ukrainian businesses to assist the reconstruction of infrastructure in Kyiv.
Lamiat Sabin16 June 2022 23:00
Macron ‘asks firm to make more howitzers for Ukraine’
Emmanuel Macron has reportedly asked French arms manufacturer Nexter to make more Caesar howitzers so that he could send six of them to the Ukrainian army.
This is according to a source close to France’s defense ministry.
French president Mr Macron had urged Nexter – prior to his visit to Kyiv today – “to review its organization to be able to work in a ‘wartime’ mode to be able to produce Ceasars much more quickly for the French army”, the source said .
While in Kyiv, Mr Macron pledged to send six more Ceasar howitzers out of French army stocks to Ukraine, in addition to the 12 previously delivered. The French army in total holds less than 80 such artillery weapon systems.
Lamiat Sabin16 June 2022 20:00
Russian peace talks proposals ‘are attempt to deceive world’
Ukraine’s ceasefire negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak has dismissed Russia’s latest claim about being ready to resume peace talks.
He said that Russia’s claims were “an attempt to deceive the world.”
Russia wanted to give the impression of being ready to talk while planning to stab Ukraine in the back – Mr Podolyak said in an online post.
Kyiv would definitely return to the negotiations but only at the right time, I added.
Lamiat Sabin16 June 2022 19:30
‘Hundreds of Ukrainian households homeless in England’
At least 660 households of Ukrainian refugees have been classed as homeless or threatened with homelessness in England because of a lack of suitable housing and/or relationship breakdowns.
The households were owed a statutory homelessness duty by local authorities in England in the period up to 3 June, according to the Department for Leveling Up, Housing & Communities.
Some 180 were single households, while 480 were households with dependent children, according to the government’s new figures.
But the data does not reflect the scale of homelessness across England because more than a quarter (26 per cent) of local authorities did not respond to the non-compulsory survey.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, two schemes have been established to allow refugees to travel to the UK – the Homes For Ukraine sponsorship scheme and the Ukraine Family Scheme.
A government spokesperson said: “More than 77,200 Ukrainians have arrived in the UK since Putin’s invasion and all arrivals have access to benefits and public services, as well as the right to work or study, from the day they arrive.
“The overwhelming majority of people are settling in well but in the minority of cases where family or sponsor relationships break down, councils have a duty to ensure families are not left without a roof over their head.
“Councils also have access to a rematching service to find a new sponsor in cases under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.”
Lamiat Sabin16 June 2022 19:00
US ‘working hard’ to probe case of two missing Americans
The White House said that it’s “working very hard to learn more” about two US citizens who are missing in Ukraine and feared to have been captured by pro-Russian forces.
Alexander Drueke, 39, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Andy Huynh, 27, of Hartselle, Alabama, were last in contact with their families on 8 June.
The pair did not return from a mission around the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine, where they had volunteered to fight to defend the country against the Russian invasion.
Lamiat SabinJune 16, 2022 18:48
‘Grain and metal exports could leave Mariupol’ – DPR leader
Ships loaded with grain and metals will leave the Azov Sea port of Mariupol soon, with shipments potentially headed to the Middle East, a pro-Russian separatist leader told the Interfax news agency on Thursday.
Mariupol, on Ukraine’s southern coast, fell under the control of Russian and separatist forces in May after a months-long siege.
Denis Pushilin, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said plans were for the port to handle around 1 million tonnes of freight by the end of the year.
“Concerning exports, it will be metals, and a little later grain,” Interfax quoted Pushilin as saying.
Reuters16 June 2022 18:00