Iran has announced pardons for tens of thousands of arrested protesters, but in order to be released, one must repent. The rest is like this:
- Zelensky announced a “toughening” of the situation at the front. According to various intelligence sources, the Russian offensive should begin in the next 10 days.
- Russia hit the center of Kharkov with S-300 missiles. Five people are injured.
- In Odessa, hundreds of thousands of people were left without power due to an accident at a substation previously damaged by Russian rocket attacks.
- On Saturday, a new exchange of prisoners took place: 63 people returned to Russia, 116 to Ukraine.
- A Kuban blogger who posted photos of the new cemetery of the PMC Wagner is receiving death threats.
- A report was drawn up against a Muscovite about “discrediting” the army for reposting a video of the detention of a pensioner with a poster “No to war”.
- In the United States, a Chinese balloon was shot down.
The President of Ukraine announced in his Sunday address about the “toughening” of the situation on the fronts of the Donetsk region. A Financial Times source claims that Kyiv has received “very reliable intelligence about Russia’s intention” to launch an offensive in the next 10 days. Attempts to capture Bakhmut intensified, the Russian pro-war channel Wargonzo even wrote that the Ukrainian army was leaving the city, but the telegram channel of Prigozhin’s press service denied this information. British military intelligence notes in its daily report that the city is becoming increasingly isolated from the supply routes of the Ukrainian army. Various formations of the Ukrainian army are fighting near Bakhmut, including the Freedom of Russia legion manned by Russians – this is a conversation with two fighters.
On Sunday morning, the Russian army attacked the center of Kharkov with two S-300 missiles, injuring five people. In Odessa, hundreds of thousands of people were left without electricity due to an accident at a substation that had previously suffered from a Russian missile strike. The region has announced two-day school holidays.
The head of North Ossetia, Sergei Menyailo, along with employees of TASS and Channel One, came under fire in the Zaporozhye region – Menyailo “visited the positions of Ossetian volunteer detachments,” and the press filmed this solemn event. In the Lugansk region, a political strategist and one of the founders of the E.N.O.T. Igor Mangushev – last summer, he spoke from the stage, holding the skull of a murdered Ukrainian military man in his hands (as he said), and called for the destruction of all carriers of the “idea of Ukraine as an anti-Russian state.” Who shot Mangushev in the head is not known. According to Taiga.Info, Dmitry Savelyev, a United Russia deputy from Novosibirsk, who allegedly left Novosibirsk for Ukraine by train with the Vega volunteer battalion, actually got off the train without even leaving the region, and a day later flew to Moscow from Omsk.
On Saturday, as a result of another exchange of prisoners, 63 Russians and 116 Ukrainians returned home. The Russian Defense Ministry claims that among the released were persons of a “sensitive category”, the exchange of which was carried out with the mediation of the UAE. In addition, the bodies of dead foreign volunteers, Christopher Matthew Perry and Andrew Tobias Matthew, were returned to Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has officially adopted the Delta battlefield control system – what it is is explained here. Canada sent the first Leopard 2 to Ukraine, Italy and France are sending SAMP-T-Mamba, a medium-range ground-based anti-aircraft missile system designed to destroy ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as aircraft.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Russia and Iran are going to build a plant for the production of advanced Shahed drones in Yelabuga. How this drone can be improved is explained here (spoiler: you can teach them to fly in a “swarm”, coordinating with each other). The same Wall Street Journal writes about the multimillion-dollar deliveries of electronics, spare parts and other American-made goods to the Russian army, carried out after the start of the war through Turkey, bypassing US sanctions.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, during the full-scale war in the country, at least 460 children were killed, and another 919 were injured. Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke of the mediation efforts to end the war, which he undertook with the knowledge of Western countries immediately after the Russian invasion. Then Ukraine and Russia were ready to make mutual concessions, but any negotiations lost their meaning after Bucha. Separately, Bennett mentioned that Putin promised him not to kill Vladimir Zelensky.
Volodymyr Zelensky has revoked the citizenship of several ministers from the Yanukovych era. The text of the decree has not been published, but the Ukrainian media write that among those deprived are the former secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Klyuev, the former head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Vitaly Zakharchenko, the former head of the SBU Alexander Yakymenko, and the former Minister of Education Dmitry Tabachnik. All of them left Ukraine shortly after the flight of Yanukovych himself in February 2014.
Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Ukrainian press report the resignation of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov. He will be replaced as minister by the current head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kirill Budanov. Reznikov, on the other hand, should become the Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine “to strengthen military-industrial cooperation,” although he himself claims that he has not received such an offer. Voting on this issue should take place in the Verkhovna Rada today.
War, view from Russia
- The Telegram channel Baza reports on the escape of six mobilized people in the Voronezh region: they got off the train without the permission of the commander and disappeared in an unknown direction. There is no other confirmation of this information.
- Krasnodar blogger Vitaly Votanovsky, who monitors the expansion of the local cemetery and the fresh graves of Wagner PMC mercenaries, said that after the publication of photographs and some analytics on the dead, he was offered a discount to buy a plot in the cemetery for use in the next two years, and as a gift – to process the photo to the monument.
- In Rostov-on-Don, two local residents were sentenced to 2 years 8 months and 2 years 7 months in a colony-settlement in the case of setting fire to a car with the letter Z. They were found guilty under the article on the deliberate destruction of someone else’s property (the car belonged to a policeman).
- A resident of Bashkortostan was sentenced to one and a half years probation in the case of an attempted arson of a military registration and enlistment office.
- In the Oryol region, a poet and former school teacher Alexander Byvshev was detained on suspicion of promoting terrorism. Russian authorities have been persecuting him since 2014 for publishing pro-Ukrainian poetry. Six criminal cases were opened against him; after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he was fined for “discrediting” the army and subjected to administrative arrest for “inciting hatred or enmity.”
- An administrative protocol was drawn up against a Muscovite about “discrediting” for reposting a video of the detention of a pensioner with a poster “No to war”.
- The girl, who was detained in Moscow for wearing a blue-and-yellow ribbon on her backpack, was left at the police station until the trial. It is not known what article they are going to impute to her – the lawyer was never allowed to see her.
- Departure and return: an interview with a former employee of St. Petersburg University about a long flight from warring Russia; the story of a Russian who permanently lived in Vietnam about pressure from the Vietnamese authorities at the request of Russia and obtaining refugee status in Canada; conversation with Ivan Luzin, former Navalny staffer in Kaliningrad, who returned to Russia to run the “Enough, fight!” campaign – he explains such a risky step by the impossibility of doing nothing, looking at what is happening in Ukraine.
- A court in Moscow has toughened the punishment for the former editor of the student publication DOXA, Alla Gutnikova: her correctional labor was replaced by two months in a penal colony. Gutnikova is now in Berlin. A criminal case was opened against the editors of DOXA for “involving teenagers in rallies”: during actions in support of Navalny, they drew up instructions for the detainees and called on the Russian authorities to stop intimidating students.
- A court in Moscow sent activist Oleg Seliverov to a pre-trial detention center – he is accused of public calls for terrorism and involvement in the Belarusian telegram channel Nexta Live, which arose in 2020 in the wake of protests in Belarus. The telegram channel itself stated that Seliverov had nothing to do with the project, “and people, even minimally connected with this channel, do not visit Russia and are not there.”
International echo of the war
- The European ban on the import of Russian oil products and price ceilings for them have come into force. Why these ceilings are being introduced and what will now happen to Russian incomes and world fuel prices is explained here.
- According to the British The Telegraph, the British authorities plan to declare PMC Wagner a terrorist organization.
- According to the results of a study conducted by the American National Democratic Institute in December last year, the majority of Georgian citizens are dissatisfied with their government’s policy towards migrants from Russia and are in favor of introducing a visa regime with the Russian Federation.
- The Berlin prosecutor’s office has begun checking the Russian House of Science and Culture (RDNK), better known as the Russian House, for compliance with the Law on Foreign Trade and Payments during the period of sanctions. Formally, this organization is designed to promote cultural interaction between countries, but de facto it has become one of the tools of a hybrid war. For example, Russia House paid for a visit to Russia by German citizen Maxim Schlund, who in September 2022 was one of the organizers of a mass rally in Cologne in support of the Kremlin’s policy. The Insider found out that the German Schlund turned out to be the previously convicted Russian Rostislav Teslyuk.
- According to the German agency dpa, the bankrupt Frankfurt-Hahn Airport was sold to NR Holding, which is backed by Russian oligarch Viktor Kharitonin, one of the founders of the Pharmstandard holding.
All the rest
- The US shot down a suspicious balloon from China that had been in US airspace for several days. Earlier, in connection with the appearance of this balloon, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken canceled a visit to China, which was supposed to take place this week.
- Pakistan’s former military dictator Pervez Musharraf has died in exile in Dubai.
- For those who have not followed what is happening with Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia, here is a brief retelling of the events since his return to his homeland in October 2021.
- Dictatorship. An excerpt from Alexander Baunov’s book “The End of the Regime. How three European dictatorships ended” (published by “Alpina Publisher”), which compares the “dictator-knight” Franco and the “dictator-monk” Salazar. Or a conversation between Sergei Medvedev and Baunov, including about this book.
- Anniversaries. Essay on Norman Mailer – for the centenary of the author of The Naked and the Dead and The American Dream. Or a selection of quotes from the diaries of Mikhail Prishvin – on the 150th anniversary of the “writer about nature”, who, after the publication of these notes, turned out to be completely different from what everyone imagined him to be.
- Ryabushinsky. An excerpt from the monograph by Natalia Semenova “The Ryabushinsky Brothers: From Millionaires to Junkmen” (Slovo / Slovo Publishing House), which tells about the impressions of one of the brothers, Mikhail, who returned to Moscow at the end of 1917 in the hope of saving at least something from the former states. Or a fragment from the book by Ilya Pechenkin and Olga Shurygina “Ivan Zholtovsky. The experience of the biography of a Soviet architect ”(publishing house“ UFO ”), which reveals the secret of the authorship of the translation of Palladio’s treatise, published by Zholtovsky under his own name.
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