Lavrov: US crusade against Russia
«Everyone understands that the Americans have declared a crusade against the Russian Federation, against its legitimate interests, against Russian culture, Russian traditions, choosing the Nazi regime in Kiev as the tip of the spear, pumping it with new weapon systems». This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Serghiei Lavrov during his visit to Cuba. The Kremlin defines the Ukrainian authorities as “neo-Nazis”, but these accusations – among the pretexts used by Moscow to start the conflict – are considered by many observers to be clearly false .
Zelensky: “NATO must now let Ukraine enter the war”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged NATO to invite his country to join the Alliance during his visit Stoltenberg in Kiev. «I am grateful for the invitation to participate in the summit» in Vilnius in July, «but it is important that Ukraine also receives a corresponding invitation. There is no objective barrier preventing the adoption of political decisions on Ukraine’s invitation to the Alliance,” she said. “It is time for appropriate decisions. It is no longer possible to imagine the security of the Euro-Atlantic area without Ukraine, and people understand this,” he noted, quoted in a statement.
Intelligence GB: “Big losses of the Russian army in Dnipro”
«It is – the report continues – one of the first references to the existence of a Dnipr Group of Forces. In fact, Russia uses the term »group of forces« specifically, indicating a large operational formation organized by tasks. At the beginning of the invasion, Russian forces were organized into groups of forces each named after their home military districts in Russia, for example, the Western and Central Groups of Forces. “The existence of an apparently new group – he concludes – suggests that the original organization of forces has evolved, probably due to heavy losses. The mission of the new group should be that of defending the southern sector of the occupied area, and in particular the south-western flank, currently marked by the Dnipro River», concludes the report.
After the EU, Switzerland also sanctions the Wagner Group
Following the EU example, Switzerland has decided to sanction the Wagner Group – made up of mercenaries active in Ukraine alongside the regular Russian army – and the Ria Fan news agency, sanctioned by the EU for spreading pro-government propaganda and disinformation . The measures will come into force at 18.00. On April 14, Brussels sanctioned the Wagner Group for its active involvement in Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. It is – underlines a note from the Swiss Federal Department of the Economy, Training and Research (Defr) – a Russian military organization, led by Evgenij Prigozhin, which acts as an instrument for hybrid warfare.
Mattarella: support for Kiev as long as necessary
«We talked a lot about the war in Ukraine and – he explained – the theme sees our countries in harmony on the defense of the territorial integrity of Kiev. Italy will provide support as long as it is necessary and requested from every point of view, because not only independence is at stake but also Europe’s future of peace. Other aggressions would follow and we cannot allow this: therefore we will guarantee our commitment to every measure”. This was stated by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, speaking from Bratislava.
Putin also reintroduces pioneers
Vladimir Putin insists that the youth organization founded last December with the name “Movement of the first” be renamed with the Soviet term of “Pioneers”, which instead had been discarded at first. “What are we talking about? They are the pioneers, right?” Putin said, interrupting a presentation by Deputy Premier Tatyana Golikova with a reference to the Movement of the First. “It’s the old saying,” Golikova replied. “The old way, the new way, as it was and as it is, there is no escaping it. The terminology, this name, is devoid of any ideological connotation, unlike Komsomol, the youth lege of the Communist Party. Think about it,” the President replied. “I know that another name has been chosen, but when we use it now we have to think about it and consult with the young people, right?” Putin pressed.
ISW: “Moscow is making a change to the security bodies”
The Russian Federal Security Service, the FSB, is conducting a “large-scale change of internal security organs” after the leak of news about the war in Ukraine, reports the Institute for the Study of War, ISW, a think US tank, in its current update. Russia’s state-run Tass news agency reported on April 19 that the FSB and the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ (MVD) security service conducted mass inspections at the Moscow Central District Directorate of Internal Affairs and several police offices in the Moscow district after “data leaks by Russian security forces at the request of Ukrainian citizens” in recent weeks. Russian media have reported that police officers have leaked personal data about Russian security forces to outside individuals, some of whom are citizens of Ukraine. The alleged raids by the FSB and MVD on Moscow police departments are taking place against the backdrop of a series of arrests and firings of top members of the Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard) leadership.
Moscow, maxi salaries to recruit 400,000 professional soldiers
The Russian military has launched a video campaign to recruit more professional soldiers to fight in Ukraine, challenging to prove that you are “a real man” and change a mundane civilian life for the adrenaline of the battlefield. The announcement, set to impressive rock music, follows a British military intelligence report suggesting that Moscow is seeking to recruit up to 400,000 professional soldiers – on a voluntary basis – to bolster its forces in Ukraine. The Guardian reports it. The announcement has so far been posted on major Russian social networking sites. He invites you to sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry for a salary starting at 204,000 rubles ($2,495) a month (twice the standard salary), and begins by showing a man in a supermarket dressed in a military uniform holding a heavy machine gun. “Is this the kind of defender you dreamed of becoming?” is the question. Later in the video, a man is walking through the fog with other soldiers on what appears to be a battlefield.
“You are a man,” concludes the ad. In recent weeks, posters have sprung up in the Russian capital looking for professional soldiers declaring that “our profession is to defend the fatherland”.
First visit to Kiev by NATO secretary general
Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Kiev for the first time since the beginning of the war. The Kyiv Independent writes it by publishing two photographs of the NATO secretary general in the city. Stoltenberg “was seen by an independent journalist from Kiev on the morning of April 20 while paying tribute to the fallen Ukrainian soldiers in St. Michael’s Square”, in the center of the Ukrainian capital, writes the portal on Twitter.
Denmark and Holland will deliver 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine
Denmark and Holland will deliver 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. This was announced by the Danish news agency Ritzau. Denmark’s Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen spoke of a “very significant contribution”, cited by Danish broadcaster DR. Copenhagen Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen specified that the tanks in question could arrive in Ukraine in early 2024.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant stops production
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, captured by Russia last year, will stop using US-made nuclear fuel as soon as possible. This was written by the Interfax news agency, quoting a Russian official. Renat Karchaa, adviser to the CEO of Russia’s nuclear power company Rosenergoatom, who now heads the plant that Russia occupied and captured in March last year, said the plant had US-made fuel reserves for about four years, reports Interfax. But the Russian leadership will try to replace the fuel with Russian one as quickly as possible, as it believes that its own technologies are superior.