Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev resigns, blasts war in Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News

A veteran Russian diplomat to the United Nations workplace in Geneva has handed in his resignation and despatched a press release to international colleagues criticising the “aggressive warfare unleashed” by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

Boris Bondarev, who labored as a counsellor at Russia’s everlasting mission to the UN in Geneva, informed the Reuters information company: “I went to the mission like every other Monday morning and I forwarded my resignation letter and I walked out.”

Within the assertion, circulated to quite a lot of diplomatic missions in Geneva, he condemned the invasion of Ukraine and lashed out at Russia’s international ministry.

“For twenty years of my diplomatic profession I’ve seen totally different turns of our international coverage, however by no means have I been so ashamed of my nation as on February 24 of this yr,” Bondarev stated within the assertion first printed by UN Watch, an advocacy group.

The date refers to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in what Russian President Vladimir Putin describes as a “particular army operation” to “de-nazify” the nation.

“The aggressive warfare unleashed by Putin in opposition to Ukraine, and in reality in opposition to your complete Western world, isn’t solely against the law in opposition to the Ukrainian individuals, but in addition, maybe, probably the most critical crime in opposition to the individuals of Russia,” the assertion stated.

There was no fast remark from the Russian everlasting mission to the UN.

Bondarev, 41, stated he had labored with the Russian ministry of international affairs for 20 years, and had labored as counsellor on the nation’s mission in Geneva since 2019.

The resignation represents a uncommon protest from a Russian diplomat as dissenting and significant voices, particularly of Moscow’s narrative of the warfare, have been swiftly cracked down on. It comes at a time when Putin’s authorities has sought to crack down on dissent over the invasion.

“Those that conceived this warfare need just one factor — to stay in energy ceaselessly, dwell in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and price to your complete Russian Navy, having fun with limitless energy and full impunity,” he stated within the assertion.

The diplomat didn’t spare harsh criticism of Russia’s international ministry and its chief, Sergey Lavrov, who has been a staunch defender of Putin’s army operation: “In 18 years, he went from knowledgeable and educated mental, whom lots of my colleagues held in such excessive esteem, to an individual who continually broadcasts conflicting statements and threatens the world (that’s, Russia too) with nuclear weapons!

“At present, the Ministry of Overseas Affairs isn’t about diplomacy. It’s all about warmongering, lies and hatred,” he added.

The diplomat informed the Related Press information company that he had not obtained any response but from Russian officers, however added: “Am I involved in regards to the attainable response from Moscow? I’ve to be involved about it.”

He recommended his case might turn out to be an instance. “If my case is prosecuted, then if different individuals need to observe, they might not,” he recommended.

Hillel Neur, UN Watch govt director praised Bondarev’s transfer and urged different Russian diplomats on the UN “to observe his ethical instance and resign”.

Ukraine war speeds Greece’s transition to EU energy gateway | Russia-Ukraine war

Athens, Greece – In a few month, Greece will end constructing a pipeline to Bulgaria that can finish Russia’s gasoline monopoly there and in southeast Europe.

Russia has equipped 90 p.c of Bulgaria’s gasoline till now, however on April 27, it minimize Bulgaria off after Sofia stated it might not renew its contract with Russian gasoline large Gazprom on the finish of the 12 months.

Poland stated the identical, and suffered the identical destiny.

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin didn’t need it to appear as if he’d misplaced shoppers, so he threw them out early,” stated Mike Myrianthis, an oil business veteran and analyst.

Bulgaria is now seeking to the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria, as the brand new pipeline is known as, to produce it with gasoline from Azerbaijan, which Greece receives by way of the Trans-Anatolian pipeline that traverses the Caucasus and Turkey.

“Since a couple of days in the past, Bulgaria is already out of the [Russian] pipeline system and totally depending on Greece [for gas]. That has by no means occurred earlier than. Greece has by no means been accountable for securing one other nation’s vitality safety,” stated Michalis Mathioulakis, who heads the Greek Vitality Discussion board, a think-tank.

What provides the IGB strategic significance, nonetheless, is that it may quickly grow to be the means for supplanting Russian gasoline all through the Balkans with liquefied pure gasoline from the US, Qatar, Egypt and elsewhere.

On January 31, a consortium of Greek, Cypriot, Bulgarian and Italian firms introduced that they’ll construct a floating terminal to import LNG offshore Alexandroupolis, in northern Greece.

This floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), which can re-vaporise liquefied gasoline, will hook up with the IGB pipeline and begin supplying it on the finish of subsequent 12 months.

“I firmly consider that we’re witnessing a brand new daybreak in Europe’s vitality independence,” stated European Council president Charles Michel, at a ceremony to focus on the FSRU in Alexandroupolis on Could 3.

Curiosity within the undertaking has prolonged past Bulgaria.

North Macedonia, whose prime minister was additionally in attendance, was reportedly concerned about changing into a shareholder within the FSRU.

With Russian gasoline provide now embroiled within the politics of its conflict in Ukraine, even Russia-friendly Serbia is intrigued.

Its president, Aleksandar Vucic, instructed the Could 3 gathering of regional leaders, “I used to be one of many sceptics who all the time stated, ‘It received’t occur’ … Now that we see it’s prepared to start out, I can say we’re really grateful and we’re ready to obtain comparatively giant portions of gasoline.”

Mathioulakis instructed Al Jazeera, “[Southeast Europe] will rely increasingly more on gasoline that comes from Greece, so its geopolitical footprint within the Balkans will increase.”

Greece is changing into a gateway for LNG as a result of it’s surrounded by sea.

It has the one LNG import terminal within the Balkans as far north as Croatia, however its capability can barely cowl Greek demand in the intervening time.

However demand for non-Russian gasoline within the area has been rising so quick that the consortium constructing the Alexandroupolis FSRU, Gastrade, utilized for, and obtained, a licence for a second FSRU.

The Ukraine conflict was the important thing catalyst each for larger demand and for larger costs.

Motor Oil Hellas, a refinery close to Korinth in southern Greece, has been contemplating its personal FSRU. Earlier this 12 months, it performed a market take a look at petroleum business circles stated was extremely profitable, and an funding resolution is predicted this 12 months.

Yet one more FSRU is at a conceptual stage of growth offshore the japanese Greek port of Volos, which might be sponsored by ExxonMobil and buyers from the Gulf.

And Greece’s current LNG terminal at Revythousa close to Athens is being optimised to function at capability.

“Greek LNG terminals will likely be ready to totally cowl not solely the Greek market, however to supplant a good portion of Russian pure gasoline to the Balkans,” stated Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“Moscow’s latest pure gasoline blackmail now render this cooperation not simply vital however, I’d say, pressing,” he stated.

Mitsotakis believed the initiatives which might be in superior phases of planning or building can be able to bringing in about 21 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gasoline a 12 months. In the course of the subsequent three years, Greece’s consumption has been projected to rise to soak up about half that quantity, leaving about 10bcm a 12 months for export to the Balkans.

The IGB can carry solely 5.5bcm a 12 months, however that might change if Greece sees demand for LNG past the Balkans.

“We’ll see over time what number of EU nations will demand LNG gasoline from Greece by means of this technique,” stated Myrianthis.

“It’s clear {that a} second pipeline will likely be made, parallel to IGB … The route is now a given. The land has been appropriated so there are not any bureaucratic hurdles. It can occur in a short time, so you’ll be able to simply attain 10bcm a 12 months,” he instructed Al Jazeera.

Compressors may conceivably double that, making IGB a rival to Turkish Stream, the Russian-built pipeline that crosses the Black Sea to feed into southeast Europe.

Greece has additionally been planning a separate interconnector to North Macedonia, and outdated, Soviet-era pipelines that used to convey Russian gasoline south are being reversed to hold LNG north to Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

However essentially the most audacious use of Russian infrastructure in opposition to Moscow continues to be to return, believed Myrianthis.

A Gazprom-led consortium has simply constructed a brand new pipeline traversing Bulgaria and Serbia to succeed in Hungary. Moscow meant it as an extension of Turkish Stream, pumping 15bcm per 12 months of Russian gasoline into the Balkans.

The EU has banned Russian coal and is within the technique of banning Russian oil.

Many analysts believed gasoline may comply with, stranding Russian gasoline infrastructure.

“EU sanctions [will at some point stop] Russian gasoline from flowing in it, and the gasoline from Alexandroupolis can movement by means of IGB and into this infrastructure. That is the geopolitical significance [of IGB],” stated Myrianthis.

Greece is able to play the position of gasoline conduit because of the final main Russian gasoline disaster of 2009, when Russia minimize off provide to Ukraine in midwinter, resulting in shortages and energy cuts all through southeast Europe.

That was when the European Fee started to fund the so-called “Southern Gasoline Hall”, which led to the creation of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline bringing Azeri gasoline throughout Greece. That was additionally when Gastrade utilized to licence the Alexandroupoli FSRU.

The idea of a southern vitality hall is being expanded.

The EU introduced this 12 months that it’s going to spend 657 million euros ($693m) to put a two-gigawatt undersea electrical energy cable to import electrical energy from Israel by way of Cyprus and Greece to the EU grid. Greece can even be the conduit for the same cable stretching from Egypt.

“Unquestionably the geopolitical significance of [Greece] is rising,” stated Thrasy Marketos, a visiting lecturer in Eurasian geopolitics on the College of the Peloponnese.

“Russia has tried to encompass Japanese Europe by means of its vitality wants in recent times … Putin understands Europe’s strategic vitality safety as a geopolitical recreation to divide Europe and promote his personal coverage.”

Since Putin declared conflict on Ukraine, the EU appeared to have declared conflict on his vitality coverage.

US providing additional $150m in military aid to Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News

President Joe Biden urges Congress to approve extra funds, saying they’ll assist Kyiv on battlefield and in talks with Russia.

The US has authorised an extra $150m in army assist for Ukraine, the State Division mentioned, bringing the overall of such help to $3.8bn since Russia’s invasion of the nation started.

In a press release on Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned the bundle would come with extra weapons and gear from defence division inventories, with out going into extra element.

“We are going to proceed to offer Ukraine the arms its forces are successfully utilizing to defend their nation and the liberty of their fellow residents,” mentioned Blinken, including that the army assist comes alongside different efforts by Washington to help Kyiv and put stress on Moscow.

That features help to doc “atrocities” dedicated by Russian troops of their persevering with invasion, the highest US diplomat mentioned, in addition to curbs on the Russian economic system.

“Taken collectively, these efforts will assist strengthen Ukraine’s place on the negotiating desk whereas persevering with to isolate Russia from the world till it ends its mindless conflict of selection on Ukraine,” Blinken mentioned.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the nation’s Western allies to ship extra heavy weaponry to assist Kyiv stave off a Russian offensive within the jap Donbas area.

The newest US weapons bundle pales compared to the scale of earlier ones authorised by the Biden administration, nevertheless.

Final month, Washington permitted two, $800m army assist packages for Ukraine, which included howitzer artillery techniques and associated ammunition, in addition to armoured autos, helicopters and armed drones.

Earlier on Friday, US President Joe Biden mentioned the brand new safety help bundle would come with “extra artillery munitions, radars, and different gear”.

“US help, along with the contributions of our Allies and companions, has been important in serving to Ukraine win the battle of Kyiv and hinder Putin’s conflict goals in Ukraine,” he mentioned in a press release.

Final week, Biden urged the US Congress to approve an extra $33bn in help to Ukraine.

Congress, which has the authority to allocate cash for the manager department, has permitted $13.6bn in help to Kyiv as US lawmakers have nearly unanimously backed assist for Ukraine to this point.

However the Biden administration has mentioned it already used a lot of the funds.

“Principally, we’re out of cash,” Biden mentioned on April 28. “And in order that’s why as we speak, to be able to maintain Ukraine because it continues to combat, I’m sending Congress a supplemental finances request. It’s going to maintain weapons and ammunition flowing with out interruption to the courageous Ukrainian fighters and proceed delivering financial and humanitarian help to the Ukrainian individuals.”

The US president reiterated that decision in his assertion on Friday, saying “Congress ought to rapidly present the requested funding to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield and on the negotiating desk”.

Somali family flees Ukraine, becoming refugees twice over | Russia-Ukraine war

On February 24, a cloudy Thursday, Mohamud Abdi was making ready for work in Kyiv whereas his spouse Zamzam Hussein was getting their seven-year-old daughter prepared for varsity when the Russian army began bombarding the Ukrainian capital.

As explosions rang out, Abdi, a grocer, and his household stayed of their condominium. They felt nervous, considering how the dreaded battle would unfold.

Understanding Russia had launched an all-out battle, they mentioned evacuation plans.

Abdi hurriedly packed their luggage and raced down the steps of the 14-storey residential constructing.

“The battle all of the sudden modified my household’s goals and we instantly began excited about how we may escape,” Abdi informed Al Jazeera by telephone from Germany, the place he in the end ended up after escaping Ukraine.

After they left their constructing for the closest bus station, they noticed that everybody else was additionally attempting to flee.

The town’s roads have been jammed and drivers have been repeatedly honking their horns.

Abdi, a Somali refugee who fled the armed battle in Somalia along with his spouse, arrived in Ukraine in 2015 through Ethiopia and Russia.

Abdi
Mohamud Abdi labored as a journalist in Somalia however fled the battle there to reach in Ukraine in 2015 [Courtesy: Mohamud Abdi]

The 31-year-old, who had labored as a journalist within the East African nation, was completely happy to be in a secure European nation.

However simply seven years later, he was attempting to flee battle as soon as once more.

In Kyiv, the minibus the household tried to flee in ran out of gas. There was a way of panic at filling stations as automobiles lined up for petrol to proceed their journeys to western Ukraine, close to the nation’s European borders.

Hours later, they have been lastly capable of replenish and be a part of 1000’s of others escaping by highway.

“On our method to the Polish border, we have been terrified of doable Russian army air strikes. I used to be always considering of the uncertainty surrounding our future,” stated Abdi.

He by no means imagined he may face the identical destiny in Europe and has been repeatedly reminded of his bleakest occasions in Somalia.

After a three-day journey which he describes as tedious and filled with fears, they arrived on the Ukraine-Polish border the place they met refugees from the Center East, Asia and Africa.

“The rationale I left my nation within the first place was resulting from battle. The identical battle devastated my second residence in Europe, and I’m once more in search of refuge in Kassel, Germany.”

The younger household now lives in a studio condominium within the central German metropolis and hopes to achieve the USA.

That could be troublesome, nevertheless.

In March, President Joe Biden stated the US would settle for as many as 100,000 refugees from Ukraine.

However it stays unclear how such a course of would work.

Washington’s Western allies have additionally introduced extra billions of {dollars} of humanitarian assist to Ukrainian refugees in Europe, however it isn’t clear whether or not that assist may very well be obtained by non-Ukrainian refugees affected by the battle.

Earlier than Russia’s invasion, Ukraine was a vacation spot and transit nation for asylum seekers attempting to enter Europe – and lots of have been from war-torn nations in Africa, Asia and the Center East.

In keeping with the UN Refugee Company (UNHCR), on the finish of 2021, some 5,000 refugees in Ukraine wanted humanitarian assist.

Abdullahi Wa’eys, a former refugee from Somalia who now advocates for asylum seekers in Kassel, is busy welcoming individuals fleeing Ukraine to his adopted residence.

“It’s not the most effective time to be a refugee in Europe,” he informed Al Jazeera.

“It’s unlucky that many refugees have once more been affected by the identical motive they left their place of origin, and are nonetheless in search of secure place to stay. Will probably be troublesome for them to combine with Germans given the tradition distinction and the European nations’ reluctance in receiving refugees [who are not Ukrainian nationals] now.”

US speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Ukraine, meets President Zelenskyy | Russia-Ukraine war News

Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking American chief to go to Ukraine because the begin of the warfare.

US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a Congressional delegation to Kyiv to fulfill Ukraine’s president within the newest present of assist for the combat towards Russia by a senior Western politician.

Pelosi, second in line to the presidency after the vp, is the highest-ranking American chief to go to Ukraine because the begin of the warfare, and her go to marks a significant present of assist for the nation’s wrestle towards Moscow’s invasion.

“We consider that we’re visiting you to say thanks to your combat for freedom… Our dedication is to be there for you till the combat is finished,” Pelosi instructed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in keeping with a video from the Ukrainian presidency.

“Our delegation travelled to Kyiv to ship an unmistakable and resounding message to the complete world: America stands firmly with Ukraine. We’re right here till victory is received.”

She additionally condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “diabolic invasion”.

Moscow calls its actions a “particular army operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of anti-Russian nationalism fomented by the West. Ukraine and the West say Russia has launched an unprovoked warfare of aggression.

Zelenskyy took to Twitter to thank the US “for serving to shield the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state”.

“The US is main sturdy assist for Ukraine in its combat towards Russian aggression,” he mentioned. “We’ll win and we’ll win collectively.”

‘Freedom towards tyranny’

The Congressional delegation included Adam Schiff, Jim McGovern, and Barbara Lee, amongst others. The go to was not beforehand introduced.

The delegation continued its journey to southeast Poland and the capital, Warsaw, to fulfill President Andrzej Duda and different Polish officers.

Poland has acquired greater than three million refugees from Ukraine since Russia launched its warfare on February 24.

In a information convention in Poland, Pelosi mentioned she and others within the delegation applauded the braveness of the Ukrainian folks.

INTERACTIVE_RefugeesDAY67 - May1-01

Schiff mentioned the US legislators had a three-hour assembly with Zelenskyy and his administration, speaking about sanctions, weapons and help help. Schiff promised intelligence-sharing would proceed between Ukraine and the US.

“It is a wrestle of freedom towards tyranny,” Schiff mentioned. “And in that wrestle, Ukraine is on the entrance traces.”

McGovern mentioned Russia’s warfare had repercussions far past Ukraine, saying it was exacerbating a meals disaster that might be disastrous for poor folks throughout the globe.

“Putin’s brutal warfare is now not solely a warfare towards the folks of Ukraine. It’s additionally a warfare towards the world’s most susceptible. I don’t suppose that Putin cares if he starves the world,” McGovern mentioned.

Huge-ranging sanctions

US President Joe Biden final week proposed a $33bn package deal for arming and supporting Ukraine. He additionally outlined proposed new legal guidelines to permit utilizing luxurious belongings stripped from Russian oligarchs to compensate Ukraine for the destruction wreaked by the invading Russians.

Russia’s Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov urged the US and NATO to cease supplying Kyiv with arms if they’re “actually thinking about resolving the Ukraine disaster”.

Russia has additionally slammed the West for imposing wide-ranging sanctions largely slicing off Russia’s monetary sector from the worldwide economic system. Lots of of multinational companies have additionally exited Russia within the wake of the warfare in a blow to its economic system.

European nations have pledged to chop reliance on Russian gasoline to deprive Moscow of income.

US Congress revives WWII-era weapons programme for Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News

‘Lend-Lease’ laws handed in Home of Representatives will make it simpler for US to ship weapons on to Kyiv.

America Congress has handed lend-lease laws that may make it simpler to export navy gear to Ukraine, reviving a World Battle II-era US weapons financing programme.

The US Home of Representatives overwhelmingly backed the “Ukraine Democracy Protection Lend-Lease Act of 2022” on Thursday by a vote of 417 to 10, sending the invoice to President Joe Biden for his signature. The invoice had sailed by means of the Senate with unanimous assist.

The measure revives a World Battle II-era association that allowed Washington to lend or lease navy gear to Nice Britain and different allies at little value. The brand new plan will assist these affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, together with Poland and different Japanese European nations.

Two months into the conflict, members of Congress mentioned they hoped the act would work because it did eight many years in the past by permitting US corporations to rapidly resupply associate nations with out having to clear bureaucratic hurdles.

“Right this moment the Ukrainian persons are standing on the entrance traces within the combat for democracy and in opposition to tyranny, and the US wants to supply them with each doable measure of humanitarian and navy help,” mentioned Consultant Mary Homosexual Scanlon, a Democrat.

Airmen and civilians from the 436th Aerial Port Squadron palletize ammunition, weapons and other equipment bound for Ukraine during a foreign military sales mission at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
The US is delivery superior anti-tank rockets, aerial drone weapons and ammunition to Japanese Europe for distribution to Ukraine [File: Mauricio Campino/US Air Force via AP]

The lend-lease financing association permits the US to supply gear to Ukraine now, with only a technical requirement to pay at some later date, primarily giving it to the Kyiv authorities.

“Ukrainian forces have demonstrated unbelievable energy and bravado, and we should once more function the arsenal of democracy and guarantee they’ve the complete vary of assets essential to defend their sovereignty,” Republican Senator John Cornyn, a lead sponsor of the invoice within the Senate, mentioned in an announcement.

Earlier within the day, President Biden requested Congress to approve an extra $33bn in help for Ukraine, together with greater than $20bn for weapons, ammunition and different navy help.

Biden’s request contains $8.5bn in direct financial help to the Ukrainian authorities and $3bn in humanitarian help. It’s supposed to cowl the conflict effort’s wants by means of September, the tip of the US authorities’s fiscal 12 months.

“We’d like this invoice to assist Ukraine in its combat for freedom,” Biden mentioned on the White Home on Thursday. “The price of this combat – it’s not low cost – however caving to aggression goes to be extra pricey.”

Congress had beforehand permitted $13.6bn in navy and humanitarian help for Ukraine, together with $3bn for the US European Command operations bolstering American troops within the area and $3.5bn to replenish US shares of kit despatched to Ukraine.