Live blog | Zelensky: ‘War is not over until Crimea is recaptured’

Actor Steven Seagal appears in Donbas

17:36 | American actor Steven Seagal has appeared in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. The 70-year-old American visited a prison camp in the occupied eastern Ukrainian Olenivka. At the end of July, about fifty prisoners of war were killed there.

Moscow and Kiev are pointing fingers at each other over what happened in the prison camp. According to a Ukrainian reading, POWs were herded into a barracks where a bomb was detonated. Russians and pro-Russian rebels claim Ukraine fired missiles at the building. In a video circulated by Russian state media, Seagal endorsed that lecture.

Seagal has long been known as an avid Russia enthusiast. The actor, who has appeared in countless action films, once called Russian President Vladimir Putin “a friend whom I consider a brother.” In 2016, Seagal personally received a Russian passport from Putin. Partly for this reason, Seagal was banned from Ukraine for five years in 2017.

Putin reassures the Malian leader

16:50 | Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken with the leader of the Sahel country of Mali about possible supplies from Russia of food, fuel and fertilizer. The leader of the poor and divided country, Assimi Goita, thanked Putin for the support he offered.

Goita came to power in a military coup in 2020 and has had numerous conflicts with Western and neighboring countries. It was the fourth coup since the country gained independence from France in 1960. He is using controversial Russian mercenaries to fight jihadists in Mali.

Mali has more than 21 million inhabitants and, like other African countries, is suffering from the loss of a large part of its essential imports due to export problems in Ukraine and Russia. The Russian invasion has blocked Ukrainian ports and Russia’s exports are hampered by trade sanctions, Moscow says.

Slovakia gets Russian oil again

13:35 | Russia’s supply of oil via the Druzhba oil pipeline to Slovakia will resume on Wednesday. Slovak economy minister Richard Sulik said this during a press conference.

Last week, the Ukrainian oil transport company Ukrtransnafta decided to stop the supply through the Druzhba oil pipeline. This pipeline runs from Russia via Ukraine to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. According to the minister, the disruption was caused by a Western bank refusing to process a transit fee paid by Russia to Ukraine due to sanctions against Russia.

The Russian operator of the Transneft pipeline is said to have paid Ukrtransnafta, but was reimbursed a week later. According to Transneft, this was because national governments must approve cross-border payments from Russia.

The contract between Transneft and Ukrtransnafta requires 100 percent advance payment for oil transit. Refiners from Slovakia and Hungary have since offered to make the payments directly to Ukrtransnafta to resolve the dispute.

House raid against protesting Russian TV journalist

11:50 | Russian police raided the home of the TV journalist who became world famous for disrupting a news broadcast on Russian TV with a protest against the war in Ukraine. Marina Ovsyannikova, who has already been fined repeatedly for her criticism of the Russian army and the Russian invasion, must count on a long prison sentence.

The raid may be a reaction to the journalist’s recent protest. In Moscow near the Kremlin, the seat of government, she held up a placard that read: ‘Putin is a murderer, his soldiers are fascists.’

Ovshannikova accuses the authorities of intimidating opponents of the war. Since the attack began on February 24, the Russian government has passed several laws criminalizing criticism of the war. The journalist disrupted a live broadcast by the state broadcaster she worked for in March by walking into the studio and shouting “stop the war”. She also displayed a protest sign saying she could not believe the state media’s propaganda. The employee at the station then resigned and briefly went abroad.

Inspectorate: more national guidance is needed for the reception of Ukrainians

11:31 | The national government must focus more on coordinating the reception of refugees from war-torn Ukraine. The security regions need that, believes the Justice and Security Inspectorate after discussions with representatives of fourteen security regions. Unfamiliarity with the reception of displaced persons leads to differences in the approach to aid and reception in the various security regions and municipalities.

Together with the municipalities, the security regions must provide a total of 75,000 reception places. Almost 60,000 places have been realised, but the uncertainty about reception remains, according to the inspectorate. Clearer guidelines and guidance from national government should improve this. The inspectorate has now passed on the collected signals to the program director for Ukrainian displaced persons. He is the national coordinator of the reception policy for displaced persons from Ukraine.

One of the bottlenecks is that not all municipalities check the mutual relationship properly when a group from Ukraine applies. In some cases, the adult is mistakenly assumed to be the parent of minors in the company. The proportions must be well established, so that municipalities call the guardianship organization Nidos in good time if minors are not accompanied by a parent.

There is also uncertainty about the provision of live money to which Ukrainian refugees are entitled. Some municipalities require refugees to be entered in the Personal Records Database, while this is not necessary.

The security regions now receive help from organizations such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) for the reception of Ukrainians. The inspectorate calls for this support to be continued and strengthened.

Ukrainian governor: dead under fire

07:30 | At least 13 people have been killed by Russian shelling in the central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk, Governor Valentin Reznichenko said. Around ten people were injured in the attack on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The governor initially announced via Telegram that eleven people had been killed in the Nikopol district and ten in the town of Marhanets. He said more than an hour later that the shelling had killed a total of 11 people, adding moments later that two more people had died of their injuries.

The Russian army is said to have fired dozens of rockets into residential areas. According to the governor, several buildings have been damaged or destroyed.

The affected area borders the Dnieper River with the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant on the other side. The power plant, the largest in Europe, has been shelled several times in recent days. Russia and Ukraine blame each other. Dnipropetrovsk is located in the eastern half of Ukraine, bordering Donetsk and Zaporizhzhya regions.

UN discusses nuclear power plant

04:00 | The UN Security Council will discuss the recent shelling of a Ukrainian nuclear power plant in the eastern region of Zaporizhzhya on Thursday afternoon. The meeting is at the request of Russia.

Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will brief the 15 members of the Council on the situation at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. The power plant, located in the town of Enerhodar, was repeatedly shelled last weekend and sustained damage. Critical infrastructure is believed to have remained intact, but the IAEA is deeply concerned about the situation at the nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe. “It underlines that the risk of a nuclear disaster is very real,” Grossi said himself on Saturday.

The war is over, as Crimea has been recaptured

02:00 | According to Volodymyr Zelensky, the war with Russia will not end until the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea on the Black Sea, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014, has been liberated. The Ukrainian president said this in his daily video message on Tuesday. “Crimea is Ukrainian and we will never give up.”

According to the president, the Black Sea region will not be safe until Crimea is liberated. There will be no stable and lasting peace in many Mediterranean countries as long as Russia can use our peninsula as its military base,” Zelensky said. “This Russian war against Ukraine and against all of free Europe started with Crimea and must end with Crimea. With his deliverance.’

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