A bomb takes out a Russian military blogger IN Russia…
Donetsk and Kharkiv shelling’s results in civilian deaths….
Russian efforts to conquer the Luhansk and Donetsk regions have failed…..
We all wait for the Ukraine Spring offensive to begin with freshly Western trained and equipped Ukraine forces *against a ‘tired’ Russian military far from home…
Meanwhile, an explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg killed prominent Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky and injured 16 others, the Russian Interior Ministry reported Sunday.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Blinken also urged the Kremlin to “immediately release wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan,” according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel. Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, was convicted in Russia on espionage charges in 2020. His attorney said Whelan was set up.
- Lavrov asked Blinken to “respect the decisions of the Russian authorities,” according to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement. Lavrov said Gershkovich’s arrest was in accordance with the law and international obligations of the Russian Federation, according to the Foreign Ministry.
- The U.S. government is moving quickly to designate Gershkovich as “unlawfully detained,” the Journal’s editor in chief, Emma Tucker, said in an interview Saturday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The designation would speed the process to try to free him, she said. Measures such as expelling Russia’s ambassador to the United States — which the Journal’s editorial board has called for — are “not the plan right now,” Tucker said.
- St. Petersburg police are investigating the cafe explosion, according to the Russian Interior Ministry. Tatarsky, one of the most prominent pro-Kremlin military bloggers, had more than 560,000 followers on his Telegram page that chronicled and promoted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- A Ukrainian court has placed the head of Kyiv’s most prominent monastery under house arrest on charges of justifying Russia’s armed aggression, the latest escalation in a long-simmering conflict between Ukrainian officials and a local branch of the Orthodox Church they say has ties to Moscow, The Washington Post reported. Metropolitan Pavlo, the head of the Lavra monastery, has denied the charges.
- Six people were killed when Russian forces targeted the Donetsk city of Kostyantynivka with “massive shelling,” Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said on Telegram on Sunday. Kostyantynivka is near the besieged city of Bakhmut. Russian forces deployed antiaircraft and S-300 missiles in the attack, Yermak said, which damaged 16 apartment buildings, eight homes and a kindergarten. Eight people sustained shrapnel injuries, he said.
- Russian shelling killed a 43-year-old civilian in a village in northeast Kharkiv, regional governor Oleh Synyehubov said on Telegram early Sunday. A 46-year-old man was also injured in the attack, Synyehubov added, which targeted a village in the Kupiansk district. In the same district, he said, S-300 missiles damaged a farm building and a private home.
- Russia failed to meet its objective of seizing the Luhansk and Donetsk regions by the end of March, the Institute for the Study of War noted. A planned Ukrainian counteroffensive is widely expected to begin in coming weeks, the U.S. think tank added.
- Noncombat deaths and injuries account for a “significant minority” of the casualties sustained by Russian forces, according to the British Defense Ministry. It said the casualties totaled “up to 200,000,” in line with previous estimates. British officials identified alcohol consumption, poor weapon handling, road accidents and hypothermia as among the leading causes of Russian casualties beyond those sustained in combat.
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