Monday 23 January 2023
Latvia announced on Monday that it had asked the Russian ambassador to leave Latvian territory and, hours after a similar decision by Estonia, decided to lower the level of its diplomatic ties with Moscow.
“The Russian ambassador will leave Latvia no later than February 24, 2023. Likewise, the ambassador of the Republic of Latvia in Russia will leave Russia by February 24,” the Latvian Foreign Ministry justified its decision in a statement, explaining the continuation of the conflict in Ukraine and “out of solidarity with Estonia and Lithuania.”
NEW EU AID TO UKRAINE
The European Union on Monday granted new funds of 500 million euros for arms sales to Ukraine and provided 45 million euros for the training of Ukrainian soldiers in the EU, diplomatic sources said.
The EU foreign ministers met in Brussels and, after a video conference interview with their Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kouleba, agreed to release these two allocations funded by the European Peace Facility.
SOUTH AFRICA “FRIEND” OF RUSSIA
South Africa, which has been criticized for its “neutral” position that has refused to condemn Moscow since the start of the war in Ukraine, took a new step on Monday by calling itself “friend ‘ Russia’s designated two countries in Pretoria.
The South African country recently announced that it will host the Russian and Chinese navies for joint maneuvers off its coast in February and “to strengthen already blossoming ties”.
“All countries are conducting military exercises with their friends,” South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said at a press conference on Monday after meeting her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. The Minister welcomed “a most pleasant meeting” with a “valuable partner”.
A former mercenary from the Russian group Wagner who fled to Norway has been arrested, police said on Monday. The reasons for the arrest were not given, but according to his lawyer it was a matter of “violations of security regulations”.
Andrei Medvedev, 26, crossed the Russian-Norwegian border on the night of January 12-13 and applied for asylum in the Scandinavian country. He said he was willing to “speak about his experiences with people investigating war crimes.”
The man says he fought in Wagner’s uniform for four months before deserting in November when the paramilitaries renewed his contract against his will.
According to an official press release, Estonia will expel the Russian ambassador as a countermeasure following the similar decision Moscow made a few hours earlier regarding the Estonian ambassador.
“We respect the principle of reciprocity in relations with Russia,” the Estonian Foreign Ministry said in a tweet on Monday, stressing that the Russian ambassador must leave Estonia on the same day as his diplomat Russia, i.e. on February 7.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Monday his country would seek Berlin’s approval to supply German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
“We will ask for such an agreement, but that is a side issue,” Morawiecki told reporters. “Even if we don’t get their approval, we will hand over our tanks to Ukraine,” he added, recalling that his country wants to form a “coalition” of countries ready to supply tanks to Ukraine.
The Lviv region is experiencing an emergency power outage. Maksym Kozytskyi, the regional governor, published an appeal to residents regarding the energy shortage on Telegram.
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Russia on Monday announced the expulsion of the Estonian ambassador, denouncing Tallinn’s “total Russophobia” after 21 Russian diplomats and other Russian embassy employees were expelled in early January.
“The Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia will leave Russia on February 7, 2023,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, which suggests lowering the level of diplomatic relations to the level of chargé d’affaires.
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The highest-ranking Russian official officially deployed by Moscow in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, Denis Pushilin, said he visited the town of Soledar. A city Russia is said to have conquered earlier this month.
Denis Pushilin posted a short video on the messaging app Telegram, in which he can be seen driving and walking through deserted areas and destroyed buildings.
I visited Soledar today,” Pushilin said in a statement. Ukraine has never publicly stated that the city was taken by Russian forces.
“Just a little reminder: Ukraine officially requested Germany to provide Leopard tanks on March 3, 2022, the 7th day after Russia launched a war of annihilation against the Ukrainian state and nation.” .Day of War. Maybe it’s time to speed up this process?” said Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andriy Melnyk.
Just a friendly reminder: Ukraine officially asked Germany to supply Leopard tanks on March 3, 2022, 7th day after Russia launched a war of extermination against the Ukrainian statehood &🇺🇦nation. Today is the 334th day of the barbaric 🇷🇺 war. Maybe it’s time to speed up this process? pic.twitter.com/C3N2C6pelT – Andriy Melnyk (@MelnykAndriy) January 23, 2023
“The first thing I want to talk about today is justice. Justice, which, by the way, is one of the foundations of unity. In a society that feels justice, the unity of people is today the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers dismissed a deputy minister exposed by NABU. Law enforcement agencies are free to investigate and take the case to court. And I want this to be our signal to anyone whose actions or behavior violate the principle of justice. Of course, the focus today is on defense, foreign policy, and war. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t see or hear what’s being said in society at different levels, both central and in the regions. And this week will be an opportunity to make appropriate decisions. These decisions are already prepared. I don’t want to announce them now, but everything will be fair,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address published on social media.
According to Ukrainian Armed Forces, Morocco has reportedly sent an unknown number of T-72B main battle tanks to Ukraine.
“A week ago, Morocco sent about 20 T-72B tanks to Ukraine, which were modernized in the Czech Republic,” the Ukrainian army said.
LFI MP François Ruffin on Sunday pleaded for RT France journalists “not to be branded” after their passage on this French branch of the Russian channel, which closed on Saturday.
“That we eliminate RT France is one thing. It is a decision that has been made. But I demand that the people who have worked for RT France are not branded and that their careers are not interrupted,” declared France 3 in the program “Sunday in politics”, the former journalist.
François Ruffin said he hopes “that the press groups will not see the fact of having gone through RT France as something negative, but as a real work of information, of counter-information in the pluralism of the French media”. RT France, which has existed since 2017, announced its closure on Saturday after formally freezing its assets on Friday.
In nearly a year of clashes, the war in Ukraine has left nearly 180,000 dead or wounded in the ranks of the Russian army and 100,000 on the Ukrainian side, not counting the 30,000 civilians killed, according to estimates by Ukraine’s chief Norwegian army on Sunday .
“Russian losses are gradually approaching around 180,000 dead or wounded soldiers,” Norway’s chief of staff Eirik Kristoffersen said in an interview with TV2, without specifying the origin of these figures.
Norway, a country bordering Russia, has been a NATO member since its inception in 1949. “Ukrainian losses are likely to exceed 100,000 dead or wounded. Also, Ukraine has about 30,000 civilians who died in this terrible war,” added the Norwegian general.
Hi everyone and welcome to this live starting Monday 23rd January 2023 dedicated to the war in Ukraine.