Ukraine Russia Military Operation 8148585 21.03.2022 A sapper of one of the engineering brigades of the Russian troops clears a fortified area from mines in Kherson region, Ukraine. Sputnik Kherson region Ukraine PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xx

For the time being, Russia does not want to allow the US to continue to control its nuclear arsenal under the terms of the agreement. This was announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday in Moscow. Under the current conditions, Russia cannot carry out the planned controls on US territory. Therefore, resuming US inspections on Russian territory would give the Americans an advantage, the statement said.

The mutual controls are provided for in the disarmament treaty New Start. It is the only remaining major arms control agreement between the US and Russia. The treaty limits the nuclear arsenals of both countries to 800 delivery systems and 1,550 operational warheads each. In February 2021, US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to extend New Start until 2026. The inspections have been suspended since March 2020 due to the corona pandemic. (dpa)

According to US figures, between 70,000 and 80,000 Russian soldiers have been injured or killed since the invasion of Ukraine began. That says the department head in the US Department of Defense, Colin Kahl. (Reuters)

The US is doubling its financial aid to Ukraine. The US Agency for International Development Cooperation announced that an additional $4.5 billion would be made available for the country’s budget. The US is helping Ukraine with a total of 8.5 billion dollars. The funds are intended to help the Ukrainian government to meet the most important expenses, such as social assistance and financial aid for people who are fleeing the country. According to the agency, Ukraine will receive the funds in several tranches, which will be coordinated with the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank. $3 billion was due to be paid out in August. Ukraine received $1.7 billion in July and $1.3 billion in June. In addition, the US is also planning further military aid of one billion dollars. (Reuters)

Although grain prices have fallen slightly, they are still at a high level. And Putin has broken his word too many times for us to trust him. We can never be certain that he will stop using grain as a weapon.

The TV journalist Marina Owsyannikova, who became known for her live protest against the Russian military operation in Ukraine, has been sentenced to another fine by a Moscow court. The fine of 40,000 rubles (around 645 euros) was justified by the fact that she had “discredited” the Russian army, Ovsyannikova said on Monday in the online service Telegram.

The punishment refers to a message from the journalist on the online platform Facebook, added her lawyer Dmitry Sakhvatov. The journalist openly and violently criticizes the Russian military operation in Ukraine. As a result, she had repeatedly been sentenced to fines.

So far, however, the Russian authorities have not initiated any criminal investigations against the mother of two. However, this could still change, Ovsjannikova’s lawyer told the AFP news agency. Criminal investigations could lead to a significantly harsher sentence than the previous fines.

Ovsyannikova became internationally known when she appeared behind the news anchor during a live broadcast on March 14 and held a protest poster up to the camera. After the action, she was briefly taken into police custody, but was only sentenced to a fine and then released.

The journalist then spent several months abroad and worked briefly for the German newspaper “Die Welt”. She later announced her return to Russia, where she was briefly arrested again after demonstrating alone near the Kremlin. She held up a sign criticizing the military operation in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin. (AFP)

An accident at Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant during hostilities could lead to an unprecedented nuclear accident, according to a Ukrainian diplomat. “What would then happen within a radius of 40 or 50 kilometers around the power plant would be absolutely incomparable with Chernobyl and Fukushima,” said Kiev’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yevheniy Tsimbaliuk, on Monday in Vienna. Not only Ukraine, but all of Europe will suffer serious consequences.

Zaporizhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The facility, occupied by Russian units, has been fired upon several times in the past few days. Kyiv and Moscow blame each other. No radioactivity escaped.

In 1986, a devastating meltdown occurred in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami triggered another nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant. According to nuclear experts, Zaporizhia is better protected than the two nuclear power plants involved in the accident thanks to a separate cooling circuit and a special protective layer. However, Zaporizhia would probably not withstand a targeted military attack.

Zymbalyuk not only called again for the deployment of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to Zaporizhia, but also suggested sending unarmed international military observers there. In any case, the IAEA should be on site by the end of the month, he said. According to the IAEA, their deployment would require the support of Moscow and Kiev. (dpa)

Russian troops are said to have “wired power units of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant with explosives,” the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine said on Twitter. The commander of the Russian troops stationed in the power plant had therefore declared himself ready “to blow up the power plant, which would lead to a nuclear catastrophe”.

The Ukrainian authorities quote him as saying: “This will either be Russian land or scorched earth.” He told his soldiers that no matter how difficult the orders may be, they must carry them out “with honor”.

Earlier, a representative of the Ukrainian defense intelligence service had already reported about explosives on the energy units of the power plant, the agency reports.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is the most powerful nuclear power plant in Europe. Russian troops have occupied it for months. (tsp)