Ukraine, Briefly

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  • The Biden administration says it will deploy a small number of high-tech, medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine, a key weapon that Ukrainian authorities have been pleading for as they try to halt Russian advancement in the Donbas region, Al Jazeera wrote. Russia condemned the move, saying the US is adding “fuel to the fire.” At the same time, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday that Germany will send modern air defense missiles and radar systems to Ukraine “in the coming weeks,” Politico added.
  • More than 15,000 alleged war crimes have been registered in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion, according to the country’s chief prosecutor, Sky News noted. Chief Prosecutor Iryna Venediktova said more than 500 suspects have been identified, including Russian ministers and military commanders. She added that prosecutions have started against around 80 individuals.
  • Russian forces claim to have discovered four undetonated landmines beneath the remains of 152 dead Ukrainian servicemen at Mariupol’s huge Azovstal steelworks facility, Euronews reported. Russia’s defense ministry said Kyiv purposefully sought to destroy the remains. Meanwhile, officials in Kyiv have long accused Moscow of abandoning its soldiers who have died in battle.
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reaffirmed his country’s ties with Russia by saying Beijing will cooperate with Moscow to foster “real democracy,” according to Bloomberg. In a veiled jab at the United States, Wang said that “monopolizing” the notion of democracy and human rights to influence other countries was a strategy “doomed to fail.” Meanwhile, a projection appeared on the façade of the US embassy in Russia’s capital, accusing “US warmongers” of complicity in the deaths of children in Ukraine’s Donbas region, the Moscow Times said.
  • A court in Russia’s Far East handed down the country’s first guilty verdict for spreading “fake news” about Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine, the Moscow Times wrote separately. Authorities in the Zabaikalsky area accused a local man of fabricating certain Russian Defense Ministry documents and posting “knowingly false” videos in a social media chat he moderated in March.
  • Russia is planning to build a “fun and tasty” restaurant chain that will replace McDonald’s, following the franchise’s exit from the country about two weeks ago, the Washington Post reported.

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