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- Russian energy giant Gazprom warned this week that it could not guarantee the proper operation of “critical” equipment for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, despite Canada’s decision to return an important turbine after it had been repaired there, Politico reported. Nord Stream, Germany’s primary supplier of Russian gas, was shut down on Monday for 10 days of scheduled maintenance, raising concerns among EU leaders that Gazprom will not reopen the pipeline after the interruption.
- Russian missiles have killed at least 23 people, including three children, the BBC wrote, with another 100 injured in the attack near Vinnytsia, southwest of Kyiv and far from the center of the battle in Donbas in the east. Meanwhile, Ukraine destroyed a number of Russian ordnance stores in the 20th week of the war, displaying the effectiveness of US-supplied HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) rocket weapons and other Western weaponry while also alarming Russian military observers, Al Jazeera noted.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a number of laws related to the Ukraine conflict Thursday, including one making it illegal for Russians to join Ukrainian forces, according to the Washington Post. Although the Russian government continues to deny that its invasion of Ukraine constitutes a war, Moscow’s activities suggest that it is preparing for a protracted confrontation.
- North Korea recognized two Russian-backed separatist “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine as independent states, the latest country to do so, Sky News added. The move makes North Korea the third country to offer recognition after Russia and Syria, despite protests from Ukraine. Following Pyongyang’s decision, Ukraine moved to sever ties with the isolated nation.