Ukraine, Briefly

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  • Russia threatened Thursday to deploy nuclear weapons around the Baltic Sea region if Finland and Sweden decide to join NATO, according to CNBC. The warning comes only a day after Finland and Sweden – prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – stated they will decide whether to apply for NATO membership within the next few weeks. At the same time, Russia sanctioned 398 members of the US Congress, in response to the sanctions the Biden administration imposed on 400 Russian nationals on March 24, Axios added.
  • Russia said that its top warship sunk in the Black Sea, a massive blow for the Russian military as its invasion of Ukraine enters the second month, according to CNN. Russian officials said the Moskva ship sunk after it sustained significant damage following an ammunition explosion aboard the vessel. But Ukrainian forces countered that the vessel began to sink after it was hit by missiles, which Moscow denied. The Pentagon confirmed the sinking of the Moskva vessel but did not specify the main cause.
  • The International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor described Ukraine as a “crime scene” and stated that there are “reasonable grounds” to think war crimes had been committed, after hundreds of dead were discovered in Bucha following the withdrawal of Russian soldiers, the Independent reported.
  • The European Union closed a loophole that allowed the bloc’s countries to sell weapons worth tens of millions of euros to Russia last year alone, despite an embargo imposed in 2014 after Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region, Reuters wrote. Meanwhile, China rejected “any pressure or coercion” over its relationship with Russia, after the United States called on Beijing to use its “special relationship with Russia” to persuade Moscow to end the war in Ukraine, the Associated Press added.

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