Crimean Bridge badly damaged after ‘multiple explosions’ in the early hours
Russia is imposing restrictions on British diplomats, requiring them to give them five days’ notice before traveling more than 120 kilometers in retaliation for “hostile acts”.
Moscow summoned senior diplomat Tom Dodd to the State Department to inform him of the move on Thursday.
He has also been criticized for Britain’s support of what the Kremlin considers Ukraine’s “terrorist acts” and for allegedly obstructing Russian diplomacy in Britain.
British diplomats, with the exception of the ambassador and three other senior officials, will be required to give at least five days’ notice of their departure outside the 75-mile “freedom of movement” zone.
The move comes after MI6 director Sir Richard Moore called on Russians angered by President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to spy for Britain.
He told them “our doors are always open” and “we will work to end the bloodshed”
Elsewhere, the Chinese consulate building in Odesa was damaged in a Russian drone and missile attack, a Ukrainian official said.
Regional Governor Oleh Kiper posted a photo showing the building with a broken window.
EU establishes a 20 billion euro section dedicated to Ukraine’s defense
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said the European Union would provide up to 5 billion euros ($5.57 billion) a year for the next four years for Ukraine’s defense needs through a “dedicated division” under the European Peace facility.
“It’s still the same old tool, the European Peace facility, which is working very well and we will continue to use it but with a separate chapter within it, with a specific funding that can be estimated based on the numbers I mentioned,” Mr Borrell told reporters at a press conference after convening EU member states’ foreign ministers.
ReutersJuly 20, 2023 19:00
Tinkoff investigates impact of US and Canadian sanctions
Tinkoff said it was investigating the impact of US and Canadian sanctions, imposed on Thursday.
The statement comes after Britain lifted sanctions on serial businessman Oleg Tinkov on Thursday, days after British billionaire Richard Branson appealed and nine months after Tinkov, a critic of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, renounced his Russian citizenship.
Britain punished Tinkov, the founder of digital bank Tinkoff, a month after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, calling him “a prominent Russian businessman” who had engaged in an area of strategic significance for the Russian government.
The United States has targeted 18 individuals and dozens of entities, including Tinkoff Bank, in the latest Russia-related sanctions on Thursday.
William MataJuly 20, 2023 18:30
Russia stepped up attacks on Ukrainian ports and threatened to attack ships
Russia stepped up its attacks on Ukrainian ports with air strikes Tuesday night and threatened that the country now considers all ships heading to those ports as potential military targets.
Saying that Moscow is deliberately turning the Black Sea into a “dangerous zone”, Kyiv responded by saying that from Friday it would treat ships going to Russian ports – or Russian-occupied ports in Ukraine – to be treated as if they were carrying weapons or other military goods.
William Mata / Chris StevensonJuly 20, 2023 18:00
Labor calls Wagner group a ‘terrorist’ organization
Senior Labor figures, including shadow foreign affairs secretary David Lammy and shadow interior secretary Yvette Cooper, have called on the Government to condemn the Wagner group as a terrorist organization for its role in the conflict in Ukraine.
Wagner forces played a key role, despite reports of heavy casualties in fierce fighting, in capturing the salt mining city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region for Moscow earlier this year.
So far, ministers have refused to register the organization, pointing instead to broad sanctions imposed by the UK on its leader.
Downing Street says it’s ‘too early’ to say the impact of the Black Sea grain deal on the UK
Downing Street said it was “too early” to say what impact Russia’s decision to end the Black Sea grain deal would have on the UK and the inflation rate.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Russia’s withdrawal from the grain agreement will affect the most vulnerable countries.”
He added that the UK was “talking to other partners to find a way to address this”.
William MataJuly 20, 2023 17:00
Confirmed that three people died in the attack on the southern cities
Three people were confirmed dead in an attack on Thursday night in the southern Ukrainian port cities that damaged a Chinese consulate building.
Regional Governor Oleh Kiper posted a photo showing at least one broken window at the Chinese consulate in the Black Sea city of Odesa, but no signs of any other damage.
Beijing, an ally of Russia, did not immediately comment on the incident, a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said 60,000 tonnes of agricultural products destined for China were destroyed in an attack on another Ukrainian port city.
William Mata / ReutersJuly 20, 2023 16:47
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense publishes a video allegedly showing the Wagner joint exercises – video
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense has released a video allegedly showing the joint Wagner exercises.
Belarusian Defense Ministry releases video showing Wagner . joint exercises
William MataJuly 20, 2023 16:23
Ryanair eyeing Ukraine tourism after war in Russia ends
Ryanair’s boss has pledged “to return to Ukraine” once commercial flights reopen and has promised $3 billion worth of investment in the war-torn country.
Michael O’Leary visited Kyiv on Thursday and said he hopes to soon reconnect Ukraine’s Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa airports with more than 20 European Union capital cities within eight weeks of reopening airspace to around 600 weekly flights.
The fastest way to rebuild and revive Ukraine’s economy is low-cost air travel.
“Ryanair intends to invest heavily in Ukraine and lead this aviation industry revival by investing up to $3 billion and ordering up to 30 Boeing MAX aircraft at Ukraine’s three main airports in Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa.
Maryam Zakir-HussainJuly 20, 2023 16:00
UK sanctions against ‘despicable’ Wagner leaders linked to murders and torture in Africa
UK sanctions have been announced against “despicable” individuals involved in the massacre, rape and torture carried out by the Wagner Group across Africa.
Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell said the Russian mercenary unit, as well as supporting the Kremlin in its invasion of Ukraine, had “acted with impunity” in countries such as Mali, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan.
Mr. Mitchell on Thursday announced 13 sanctions in a package aimed at individuals and businesses.
Officials say Wagner has been active in Mali, CAR and Sudan for several years, where it “actively pursues Russian foreign policy interests” and provides military support for counterterrorism operations that have killed hundreds of civilians.
Maryam Zakir-HussainJuly 20, 2023 15:32
UK lifts sanctions on businessman Tinkov after Branson’s plea
Britain lifted sanctions on serial businessman Oleg Tinkov on Thursday, days after British billionaire Richard Branson appealed and about nine months after Tinkov, a critic of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, renounced his Russian citizenship.
The UK sanctioned Tinkov, the founder of digital bank Tinkoff, a month after Russia invaded Ukraine last February, calling him “a prominent Russian businessman” who has engaged in an area of strategic significance for the Russian government.
Tinkov has opposed that title, frequently criticizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine, selling off his stake in Tinkoff Bank and eventually relinquishing Russian citizenship last October, saying he doesn’t want to be associated with “fascism” or those collaborating with “killers.”
“I have decided to renounce my Russian citizenship after Russia invaded independent Ukraine,” he wrote on Instagram in November. “I oppose this war and the killing of peaceful people.”
The UK Treasury said on Thursday: “The following item has been removed from the consolidated list and is no longer subject to an asset freeze or trust services sanctions.”
Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and founder of Virgin Branson are among the celebrities who have come forward to support Tinkov.
The Times on Monday quoted Branson as writing: “I feel strongly that Mr. Tinkov has been wrongly included in the list of sanctioned Russians.
“Despite being a wealthy Russian businessman, he was never a financier. I have always known him as a self-made dynamic businessman. That’s why I like and support him and continue to do so.”
The British Office for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development did not immediately comment on other questions about the decision to lift sanctions and whether Branson’s plea played any role.
Law firm Corker Binning, which represents Tinkov, said it welcomed the FCDO’s decision.
Tinkov’s lawyers say his opposition to the invasion prompted the Russian government to force him to sell his 35 percent stake in TCS Group, Tinkoff’s owner, to Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin.
Maryam Zakir-HussainJuly 20, 2023 15:18