Tit for Tat between Germany and Russia with dipolmat’s sent home….
This has been on the regular between Russia and Western countries since the conflict began with the Ukraine…
The Ukraine says it’s new Western equipped troops are ready to go into action….
The Wagner Group IS taking more of Bakhmut….
The NATO Sec says the Ukraine could join the organioztion sometime down the road after giving a frank estimate that there isn’t gonna be spot because Puin would be pissed…..
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- More than 20 German diplomats will be expelled, Russia’s state-owned Tass news agency reported Saturday, citing Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Tass said the German ambassador to Russia was informed of the decision April 5. Many Western countries have expelled Russian diplomats since the invasion of Ukraine, with Moscow responding in kind.
- The German Foreign Ministry acknowledged that Russian diplomatic staffers were on their way out of Frankfurt. “In recent weeks, we were in contact with the Russian side on the presence of our respective missions abroad, with the aim of reducing the Russian intelligence presence in Germany,” the ministry said in a statement. “Today’s departure of a certain number of Russian embassy staff is related to this.”
- Nine new mechanized Ukrainian brigades are ready for combat, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters after the 11th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a gathering of U.S. allies and partners interested in providing aid to Kyiv. “Those brigades are trained, they’re manned and they’re equipped,” he said. The allies have so far provided Ukraine with more than 230 tanks and 1,550 armored vehicles.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed faith that Ukraine would retake more territory. “I’m confident that when Ukraine decides to launch new operations to liberate more land, Ukraine will be successful,” he said.
- Authorities in Belgorod, Russia, removed an explosive device that had prompted evacuations Saturday, according to Mayor Valentin Demidov’s Telegram page. The explosive, which was in a residential area, was removed about two hours after the announcement, Demidov said, and people were returning to their homes. The device was destroyed safely, according to the regional governor. This week, a Russian warplane accidentally fired on the city near northeastern Ukraine and injured three people, national and local officials said.
- Fierce fighting continues in Bakhmut, Ukraine’s military said early Saturday. Geolocated footage shows Russia’s Wagner mercenary group apparently capturing a railway station in the central part of the city, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank.
- Russia is struggling to remain consistent in its efforts to compare the war in Ukraine to World War II, according to the British Defense Ministry — thus challenging one of the key narratives the Kremlin uses to justify its invasion. In its update Saturday, the ministry noted recent statements from the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, in which he wondered whether there actually were any Nazis inside Ukraine and said that Russian authorities probably had canceled marches commemorating World War II because of concerns over the events being used to highlight Russian losses in Ukraine.
- There is still constant shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the U.N. nuclear agency said. Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency who are stationed at the Russian-occupied plant as observers have heard near-daily shelling in the past week, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said, according to a news release. The IAEA staff was at one point told to shelter at the site, he added. The United Nations has repeatedly expressed concern about the possibility of a nuclear disaster because of the fighting near the plant.
- Ukraine’s top military intelligence official was charged in absentia on counts of terrorism by Russia,state media reported. Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s defense intelligence chief, is wanted for suspected involvement in the attack on the Crimean Bridge last year, according to Tass.
- The FBI has spoken to members of the private Discord server where classified U.S. documents were leaked, The Post reports. Questioning has included how the individuals came to know Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old Air National Guardsman who was arrested last week over allegedly sharing the documents, as well as whether any of the server’s members were foreign nationals. On Friday, Defense Secretary Austin thanked international allies for their “commitment to reject efforts to divide us” over the leaked information, which detailed U.S. spying on friendly countries as well as enemies.
- NATO allies have agreed that Ukraine eventually will join the alliance, Stoltenberg said Friday. But he emphasized that “the main focus now is, of course, on how to ensure that Ukraine prevails.” Stoltenberg stressed the need to ensure that Kyiv will have “the deterrence to prevent new attacks” once the war is over. Zelensky has accepted an invitation to the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July, he added.
- The United Nations’ World Food Program sent a shipment of fertilizer seized under European sanctions to Kenya, the Latvian government announced Saturday. Latvia seized about 200,000 tons of fertilizer, which originated from Russia, last year, and decided to donate it in “support for the countries that have been affected by the food crisis triggered by Russia’s war on Ukraine.” Russia has previously linked sanctions on Russian fertilizers and grains to the extension of a deal to allow exports from the Black Sea, according to the Reuters news agency.
- Britain said it imposed sanctions on five people “connected to the poisoning and arrest” of politician and journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza. They include Elena Lenskaya, the judge who approved the arrest of Kara-Murza, a longtime opposition politician and Washington Post Opinions contributor. Kara-Murza was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday on charges of treason for criticizing Russia’s war against Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the sanctions “unacceptable attempts” to influence the consequences of the ruling.
- Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Saturday defended his comments last week urging the United States to “stop encouraging” the war in Ukraine. During a trip to Portugal this weekend, Lula tweeted, “I never equated Russia and Ukraine. I know what invasion is and what territorial integrity is. But now the war has started and someone needs to talk about peace.”…
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