Ukraine, Briefly

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This week, a helicopter carrying top Ukrainian officials crashed in a Kyiv suburb, killing a senior member of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s cabinet and more than a dozen others, the New York Times reported. Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, a trusted adviser of Zelenskyy, died in the crash, along with his top deputy, leaving a vacuum at the top of the ministry in charge of domestic security overseeing the country’s police, its national guard and border patrol units.

Monastyrsky’s death came just days after Belarus and Russia began joint military exercises, adding to fears that Moscow will use its ally to launch a new ground offensive, as it did with the invasion in February, NBC News wrote. Meanwhile, Ukraine has been pleading with Western nations for tanks, even though Germany has stated that it will neither allow allies to deliver German-made tanks to Ukraine nor will it deploy its own systems – unless the US agrees to deliver American-made battle tanks, the Wall Street Journal added.

Germany’s announcement came a day after the government appointed Boris Pistorius as the country’s new defense minister Tuesday, following the resignation of his predecessor, Christine Lambrecht, Politico noted. Lambrecht stepped down following a series of gaffes and failures, a move that left Germany without a clear military leadership ahead of the crucial meeting to discuss tank deliveries.

In other news:

  • Kazakhstan has changed its entry rules for foreigners, making it harder for Russians fleeing military conscription to enter and stay in the country, the Washington Post said. At the same time, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić – a Russian ally – slammed the Russian mercenary Wagner Group for trying to recruit soldiers from his country after the group ran an advertisement in local media for Serbs to fight in Ukraine, according to Al Jazeera.
  • The United Nations’ cultural organization is training law enforcement and judiciary officials from nations along Ukraine’s western borders to prevent the trafficking of looted cultural artifacts from the country in the midst of Russia’s war on its neighbor, the Associated Press reported.

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