Ukraine, Briefly

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  • More than 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered at Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant this week, Russian officials said Thursday, greatly exceeding the figures reported by Ukraine, Fox News reported. At the same time, Moscow added that another 771 soldiers had turned themselves in over the past 24 hours.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will oppose Sweden and Finland’s entry into NATO, a move that could potentially prevent the two from joining the military alliance, the Independent noted. Erdogan said Turkey’s opposition originates because of the two country’s support for the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party. NATO needs all 30 of its member countries to approve a membership bid. Meanwhile, Finland remains opposed to NATO deploying nuclear weapons or setting up military bases on its territory even if it succeeds in its bid to join the alliance, Al Jazeera added.
  • China is planning to refill its strategic crude stocks with cheap Russian oil, a hint that Beijing is boosting its energy connections with Moscow as Europe is working to block imports due to the Ukraine conflict, according to Bloomberg.
  • In response to Ottawa’s ban on Russian state media outlet Russia Today (RT), the Kremlin has announced the closure of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Moscow headquarters, Radio Free Europe wrote. Canada officially banned RT and RT France from its airwaves in March, citing material that is “not consistent with Canadian broadcasting standards.”

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