Ukraine, Briefly

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  • US intelligence officials warned that Russia is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine, adding that Moscow will not stop fighting even after taking the country’s eastern Donbas region, Al Jazeera noted. Meanwhile, the United Nations warned that thousands more civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the war began in February than reported, according to Reuters. An estimated 3,381 civilians have been killed, the UN said but in reality, no one yet is able to provide an accurate number of casualties.
  • Russia bombarded the key port of Odesa on Tuesday in an apparent attempt to disrupt supply lines and Western weapons shipments critical to Ukraine’s security, the Associated Press reported. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the international community to take prompt action to lift the Russian blockade of his country’s ports, allowing for wheat exports and averting a worldwide food crisis, the Guardian said. His pleas come as US President Joe Biden signed legislation that will shorten the lengthy process of giving Ukraine military equipment for its war against Russia, CNBC added.
  • Lithuanian legislators unanimously passed a resolution branding Russia a “terrorist state” and describing Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine as an act of “genocide,” Euronews wrote. At the same time, Germany and the Netherlands’ foreign ministers paid an unexpected visit to Ukraine, stopping in the Kyiv suburbs of Bucha and Irpin, where Russian forces are accused of committing war crimes before fleeing last month, Radio Free Europe added.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin sacked Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), which was in charge of supplying intelligence on the invasion of Ukraine, and replaced it with the military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), Insider reported. Russian investigative journalists said Putin was fed up with intelligence failures by the FSB during Russia’s operations in Ukraine, adding that the president also purged the agency, which is considered the successor of the Soviet Union’s KGB. Meanwhile, The European Union and Britain criticized Russia Tuesday for an “unacceptable” cyberattack on satellite communications provider Viasat in February, which brought Ukrainian networks down, according to Politico. The cyberattack came hours before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
  • The United Nations said Tuesday that it had “received credible information of torture, ill-treatment and incommunicado detention” by Ukrainian forces of Russian prisoners of war and others from affiliated armed groups, the Washington Post reported. “We continue to see the publication of videos, which show inhumane treatment, including prisoners from both sides being coerced to make statements, apologies and confessions, and other forms of humiliation,” Matilda Bogner, head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, told a news briefing. “While the scale is significantly higher on the side of allegations against Russian forces, we are also documenting violations by Ukrainian forces.”

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