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Russian energy giant Gazprom suspends gas supplies to Latvia following tensions between Moscow and the West over the conflict in Ukraine and sanctions. online news
The company says the flows have been stopped “due to violations of the conditions” of purchase by Latvia.
Gazprom drastically cut gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline on Wednesday to about 20 percent of its capacity.
EU states have accused Russia of squeezing supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Blame traded over strike on POW jail –
Russia and Ukraine blame each other for striking a jail holding Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian-held Olenivka, with Moscow saying 50 prisoners were killed and 73 taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Russia’s defence ministry says Ukraine carried out strikes with US-supplied long-range missiles, in an “egregious provocation” designed to stop soldiers from surrendering.
It adds that among the dead were Ukrainian forces that had laid down their arms after repelling Moscow’s assault on the sprawling Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calls the incident “a deliberate Russian war crime”.
- World won’t recognise Russian annexations: Blinken –
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tells his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that the world will not recognise any further annexations of Ukrainian territory, in their first conversation since the war began.
“Additional significant costs” will be imposed on Moscow if it follows through, Blinken warns, saying Russia was planning “sham referendums” in territory it controls.
- Azov fighters deserve ‘humiliating’ death –
The Russian embassy in Britain tweets that fighters from Ukraine’s controversial Azov regiment “deserve a humiliating death” by hanging rather than firing squad.
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The post is accompanied by a video purportedly showing a couple in Russian-held Mariupol claiming they had been shelled by Ukrainian forces at the Azovstal steelworks during the fierce battle for the city.
Russia has said the regiment is made up of fascists and Nazis.
“In the 21st century, only savages and terrorists can talk at the diplomatic level about the fact that people deserve to be executed by hanging,” Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the Ukrainian presidency, writes on Telegram.
- Deaths in Mykolaiv –
The mayor of the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv says one person died and six were injured in overnight Russian rocket attacks on residential districts.
Oleksandr Sienkevych adds that two more people died in hospital following a strike on a bus stop on Friday, bringing the toll from that attack to seven.
- First grain ship loaded –
Zelensky visits the port of Chornomorsk in southern Ukraine to oversee the loading onto a Turkish ship of the first grain for export since Russia’s February 24 invasion.
A deal last week brokered by the UN and Turkey to lift a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s grain exports is aimed at helping mitigate a global food crisis causing prices to soar in some of the poorest nations.
A Ukrainian statement says exports could start in “the coming days” under the plan aimed at getting millions of tonnes of grain from one of the top grain exporters to world markets.
- First war crime sentence slashed –
The Kyiv court of appeals reduces to 15 years a life sentence handed to a Russian soldier in May for pre-meditated murder in the country’s first war crimes trial.
Vadim Shishimarin, 21 at the time of the ruling, was found guilty of war crimes for killing an unarmed civilian and handed a life sentence, in the first verdict of its kind after Russia’s invasion.
The sergeant from Siberia had admitted to killing a 62-year-old civilian, Oleksandr Shelipov, as he was riding his bike in the village of Chupakhivka in northeast Ukraine.
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