Russia nearly doubled revenue from wartime energy sales to EU, study finds

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has denounced the “absurdity” of Moscow’s war in Ukraine as Russia steps up its large-scale offensive in the east more than two months after invading its neighbour.

The UN chief, who arrived in kyiv on April 28 after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow the day before, tour several towns just outside kyiv – including Bucha and Borodyanka – where dead civilians, some showing signs of torture, were found after Russian troops withdrew earlier this month.

Live briefing: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the major developments on the invasion of Russia, how kyiv is fighting back, the plight of civilians and the Western reaction. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

The apparent evidence of atrocities has prompted several countries, as well as the UN and the International Criminal Court (ICC), to call for investigations into whether war crimes have been committed.

“I fully support the ICC and I call on the Russian Federation to accept, to cooperate with the ICC,” António Guterres said after visiting both locations, adding, “but when we talk about war crimes, we cannot remember that the worst crime is war itself.

“War is nonsense in the 21st century. War is bad. There is no way war is acceptable in the 21st century,” António Guterres added.

“We will continue our work to expand humanitarian aid and ensure the evacuation of civilians from conflict areas,” António Guterres tweeted.

“The sooner this war ends, the better – for the good of Ukraine, Russia and the world,” he said. mentioned ahead of talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

While António Guterres roamed the areas near the capital, located in the north of the country, Russia continued its offensive in eastern and southern Ukraine, tackle along a strategic frontline highway linking Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, to the Russian-occupied city of Izyum.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov warned April 27 of major “destruction” in the east of the country as Russia “will try to inflict as much suffering as possible” on Ukraine in its ongoing offensive in the east.

Reznikov warned of “painful destruction and loss” among Ukrainians as he and officials from around 40 countries met for a second day at the US airbase in Ramstein, Germany.

“This is a real coalition whose goal is not just to hold the Kremlin to account, but to defeat Russian tyranny, to ensure that the civilized world can win this war,” Reznikov said. Facebook.

The British Ministry of Defense warned early on April 28 that the Russian Black Sea Fleet retained the ability to strike Ukrainian and coastal targets.

Despite the loss of the Saratov landing ship and the Moskva cruiser, Russia still has about 20 warships, including submarines, in the Black Sea operational zone, the ministry said on Monday. Twitter.

In its daily intelligence report, the ministry said Russia was temporarily unable to replace its lost ships, as Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait linking the Black Sea to the Sea of ​​Marmara and the Mediterranean “remains closed to all vessels from non-Turkish war”.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was ready to support Ukraine in its war against Russia, even if the conflict drags on for years.

“We have to be prepared for the long term… It is absolutely possible that this war will drag on and last for months and years,” Stoltenberg said at a youth summit on April 28, adding that the alliance will help modernize kyiv. its Soviet-era weaponry to modern Western military equipment.

The United States, NATO’s largest member, has already supplied $3 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine since the unprovoked invasion of Russia began.

US President Joe Biden is to formally ask Congress for billions of dollars in additional US funds to supply Ukraine’s military and bolster its economy. Biden is expected to comment on April 28 in support of kyiv’s fight against Russia, a day after Putin threatened “blitzkrieg retaliation” if other countries interfere in Ukraine.

Russia has told the West to stop sending arms to Ukraine, saying large Western arms shipments are fueling the conflict.

Addressing lawmakers in St. Petersburg on April 27, Putin warned against foreign interference in Ukraine.

“If anyone intends to intervene from the outside in current events and create strategic threats to Russia that are unacceptable to us, he should know that our retaliatory strikes will be lightning fast. “, Putin said, according to the video of his speech provided. by the Russian media.

Amid ongoing fighting, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated.

Russian forces pounded a steelworks in Mariupol where the city’s last defenders and some civilians are entrenched.

Petro Andryushchenko, assistant to the city’s mayor, said there was no letting up of airstrikes on the Azovstal factory. Several recent attempts to establish a humanitarian corridor to allow civilians to escape have failed.

During his talks with Putin, Guterres repeated calls for Russia and Ukraine to work together to set up humanitarian corridors. Putin told him he hoped negotiations could end the conflict although the talks remained stalled.

Canadian lawmakers voted unanimously on April 27 to label Russian attacks in Ukraine as “genocide”, with MPs saying there was “ample evidence of systemic and massive war crimes against humanity” committed by Russia.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Russia has denied targeting civilians since launching its unprovoked war in Ukraine on February 24.

A series of recent explosions in the Russian-backed separatist region of Transnistria, which borders Ukraine, have raised fears that war could spill over into Moldova.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said April 28 that Moscow views the Transnistria incidents as an attempt to drag it into the wider conflict in Ukraine.

Zakharova was speaking a day after Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak accused Moscow of wanting to use Transnistria to “destabilize” Moldova, amid fears the war could spill over into Moldova proper. Transnistria has a border with Ukraine.

“If Ukraine falls, tomorrow Russian troops will be at the gates of Chisinau,” Podolyak said, referring to the Moldovan capital, after separatist authorities in Transnistria called the blasts “terrorist attacks”.

With reporting from AP, AFP, BBC, CNN, dpa and Reuters

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