Arrest warrant issued for Vladimir Putin over ‘war crimes’ in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the occupied city of Mariupol on Sunday morning -a day after making a surprise visit to Crimea.
The city in Donetsk was captured by Russian forces after a gruesome battle in May last year and has remained under the control of Moscow’s fighters since.
The Russian president reached Mariupol and was seen driving a car around the city as he visited several districts of the city. Mr Putin also met with the top brass leading his military operation in Ukraine, state media reported.
The leader, facing an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for war crimes, also met with chief of the general staff Valery Gerasimov who is in charge of Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
It comes ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow on Monday. The two leaders will discuss a “comprehensive partnership and strategic co-operation”, the Kremlin said.
Putin meets top command of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine
Russian president Vladimir Putin has met with the top brass leading his military operation in Ukraine, state media said today.
The leader, facing an arrest warrant for war crimes, also met with chief of the general staff Valery Gerasimov who is in charge of Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
The meeting took place at the Rostov-on-Don command post in southern Russia, reported TASS news agency.
Arpan Rai19 March 2023 04:17
Black Sea drones show US involvement in conflict against Russia – Kremlin
US drone flights over the Baltic Sea are a sign of direct US involvement in conflict with Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Last week, a US drone crashed into the sea after being intercepted by Russian Su-27 fighter planes in the first known direct military encounter between the two sides since Russia launched its war in Ukraine last year.
“It is quite obvious what these drones are doing, and their mission is not at all a peaceful mission to ensure the safety of shipping in international waters,” Interfax news agency quoted Mr Peskov as saying in a TV interview.
“And in fact, we are talking about the direct involvement of the operators of these drones in the conflict, and against us.”
US said the Russian planes harassed the drone in Tuesday’s incident and sprayed fuel on it before one of them clipped its propeller and caused it to crash while on a reconnaissance mission in international airspace.
Matt Mathers19 March 2023 13:10
South Africa aware of legal obligations regarding Putin visit
South Africa is aware of its legal obligation, a spokesperson for President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday, referring to a proposed visit by Vladimir Putin after an international court issued an arrest warrant against the Russian leader.
Russian President Putin was expected to visit South Africa in August to attend a BRICS summit.
“We are, as the government, cognisant of our legal obligation. However, between now and the summit we will remain engaged with various relevant stakeholders,” spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said.
While there has been no official confirmation of Putin’s visit, he has been expected to attend the 15th BRICS summit, as he did in 2013.
But such a visit would place Ramaphosa’s government, which has not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in a precarious position after the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday.
“We note the report on the warrant of arrest that the ICC has issued,” Magwenya said.
“It remains South Africa’s commitment and very strong desire that the conflict in Ukraine is resolved peacefully through negotiations.”
Matt Mathers19 March 2023 12:40
Why China is trying to mediate in the Ukraine invasion
The war has handed Beijing opportunities that it might once have considered to be quite a lot further down the line, writes Mary Dejevsky.
Read Mary’s full piece here:
Matt Mathers19 March 2023 12:00
ICYMI: Russia, Ukraine extend grain deal to aid world’s poor
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ukrainian officials say an unprecedented wartime deal that allows grain to flow from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where hunger is a growing threat and high food prices are pushing more people into poverty has been extended.
Russia, Ukraine extend grain deal to aid world’s poor
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ukrainian officials say an unprecedented wartime deal that allows grain to flow from Ukraine to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where hunger is a growing threat and high food prices are pushing more people into poverty has been extended
Matt Mathers19 March 2023 11:30
Mid-morning re-cap cont.
* Xi Jinping walks a diplomatic tightrope as he heads to Moscow on Monday, seeking to present China as a global peacemaker while strengthening ties with Putin, his closest ally, who is increasingly isolated by the West.
* Russia, China and Iran have completed three-way naval exercises in the Arabian Sea that included artillery fire at targets on the sea and in the air, the Russian defence ministry said on Saturday.
* Three senior U.S. security officials held a video call with a group of their Ukrainian counterparts to discuss military aid to Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff said.
* Ukrainian forces outside the battered eastern city of Bakhmut are managing to keep Russian units at bay so ammunition, food, equipment and medicines can be delivered to defenders, the army said on Saturday.
* Russia’s Wagner mercenary group plans to recruit approximately 30,000 new fighters by the middle of May, its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Saturday.
* Reuters could not verify battleground reports.
Matt Mathers19 March 2023 11:00
* A deal allowing the safe Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain was renewed for at least 60 days – half the intended period – after Russia warned any further extension beyond mid-May would depend on the removal of some Western sanctions.
* Putin may not see the inside of a cell anytime soon, but his war crimes arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court could hurt his ability to travel freely and meet other world leaders, who may feel less inclined to speak to a wanted man.
* The ICC issued the warrant on Friday, accusing Putin of the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. Moscow denies committing atrocities in the conflict and dismissed the warrant as outrageous, but meaningless for Russia.
Matt Mathers19 March 2023 10:23
Countries supplying Russia with weapons are ‘marginals in free world’ – Zelenksy
Countries that are supplying Russia with weapons can only be “marginals in the free world”, Volodymyr Zelenksy has said.
The Ukraine president made the comments in a video shared overnight on Twitter as fighting continued on the front line.
“All those who produce weapons for terror against Ukraine, who help Russia incite aggression, in particular by supplying Shahed drones, who support Russia’s destruction of international law, can only be marginals for the world”, he said.
Matt Mathers19 March 2023 09:41
ICYMI: ‘My life was in danger’- rail enthusiast flees Russia after photographing Putin’s armoured train
Trainspotter Mikhail Korotkov’s blog was his passion – but shutting up shop and leaving home felt like the only option after pictures he posted of his favourite target attracted some unwanted attention, finds Robyn Dixon.
Matt Mathers19 March 2023 09:20
Germany will arrest Putin if he enters country, says minister
Germany will have to arrest Russian president Vladimir Putin if he enters its territory and the International Criminal Court requires the contracting nation for enforcement, the country’s justice minister Marco Buschmann said today.
An arrest warrant for Mr Putin has been issued by the ICC in The Hague, which accuses him of war crimes by taking hundreds of Ukrainian children from orphanages.
The court accuses Mr Putin and his children’s rights commissioner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, of “unlawful deportation” of children “from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”.
Arpan Rai19 March 2023 08:57