April 18, 2024

Balkan Travellers

Comprehensive up-to-date news coverage, aggregated from sources all over the world

News of the Russia-Ukraine War: New Paul Whelan Video; Poland urges Belarus to expel Wagner

Polish soldiers patrol the area around the Polish and Belarusian borders in Gubiety, Poland, on August 12. (Michal Dyjuk/AP)

Poland and the three Baltic states have called on Belarus to expel the Wagner Group over border security concerns exacerbated by the presence of the Russian paramilitary organisation. Fighters from the mercenary group ā€” led until his death in a plane crash last week by Yevgeny Prigozhin ā€” moved to Belarus after a short-lived insurgency against Russian military leaders in June. Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski make request At a press conference attended by his counterparts from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

A Russian state-controlled media outlet has released new footage of Paul Whelan, a marine turned security director serving a 16-year prison sentence in Russia on espionage charges, which he and the United States deny. His brother, David Whelan, told Detroit news outlet And that the video was his first glimpse of Paul since 2020, and that he appeared resolute and powerful.

Here’s the latest news about the war and its rippling effects around the world.

Poland and the Baltic states have threatened to close their border crossings with Belarus over security and immigration concerns. ā€œIf a serious incident occurs, regardless of whether it is on the Polish or Lithuanian border, we will immediately retaliate. All border crossings that have been opened so far will be closed.ā€ He said At the press conference on Monday, according to A Reuters translation. The interior ministers accused Belarus of “artificially instigating and maintaining” an immigration that the countries – all members of NATO and the European Union – have deemed illegal.

See also  Vladimir Kara-Murza: Russian opposition figure imprisoned for 25 years

The video, released by Russia Today, appeared to show Whelan having lunch and completing various tasks around a penal colony. While he was wearing a black uniform. Whelan was arrested in Moscow in late 2018 on charges of espionage. He was sentenced in June 2020, and the Biden administration has said it is working to negotiate his release.

The Russian Federal Security Service announced today, Monday, that it intends to interrogate two American diplomats. After accusing a former employee of the consulate of “cooperating on a secret basis with a foreign country,” the Washington Post reported. The diplomats are accused of directing former employee Robert Shunov – a Russian citizen who worked at the US consulate in Vladivostok – to collect information about the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine plans to order the mandatory evacuation of all children from Vasilievsky and Bulogevsky districts In Zaporizhia region, Ukrainian state media mentioned. More than 1,400 people, including 343 children, have been evacuated from risk areas in the Kobyansk region since Aug. 9, said the governor of the Kharkiv region. He said In the Telegram Post on Monday.

Ukrainian forces took control of the village of Robotyn in Zaporizhia Oblast. according to The country’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar. It said Ukrainian forces were also advancing southeast of Ropotyn, which would bring them closer to a Russian-controlled transport hub on the road to the besieged city of Melitopol, a key target in the Ukrainian counter-offensive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend G-20 summit in New Delhi next month Russia’s Interfax news agency reported, citing a reading of a phone call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

See also  Gun, fur hat and drones: North Korean leader Kim returns with gifts from Russia

Russia said it had detected two US drones over the Black Sea near Crimea. on monday. Russian Ministry of Defense He said on Telegram That the two unmanned aerial vehicles belonged to the US Air Force and that it deployed two fighter jets before the drones finally changed direction. Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reported earlier He said A US drone was spotted flying over the Black Sea on Sunday. The newspaper was unable to independently verify the reports.

Putin, stained by Prigozhin’s death, is facing calls for a military funeral: The Kremlin said on Monday that the decision on the funerals of Prigozhin and other members of the Wagner Group who died in a plane crash last week rested largely with their families, and that it was unclear whether the Russian president would attend the ceremony. Questions about how to honor the plane crash’s victims underscore persistent divisions within the Russian elite over the war and the dangers posed by hardline pro-war “turbine-patriots” who have called for a tougher line against Ukraine, Robin Dixon reported.

As the Kremlin weighed the risk of potential unrest if Putin did not award Prigozhin and Wagner their due as “heroes” of the war, Kremlin propaganda has fueled competing theories about the cause of the incident, apparently intended to quell suspicions in Russian society that Prigozhin had been assassinated. . Western intelligence agencies have so far estimated that the plane went down after an explosion occurred on board.