Russia’s war against Ukraine: + Russia starts military maneuvers in the Arctic +

live blog

Status: 04/11/2023 07:03 a.m

More than a dozen ships, 1,800 soldiers: Russia has begun major military maneuvers in the Arctic. Ukrainian President Zelensky thanks Germany for military aid. All developments in the live blog.

7:03 a.m

Ukraine doubts US wiretapping Zelenskyy

The Ukrainian leadership has cast doubt on an alleged US wiretapping operation against President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Consultations between the head of state and the military took place differently than published secret service documents, said presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak on Ukrainian television.

The publications do not jeopardize Ukraine’s relations with its western partners. “These are normal analyses,” he said. Plans for a Ukrainian counter-offensive would also not be torpedoed because work is still in progress.

Previously, there had been reports of secret documents from the US Department of Defense, according to which Zelenskyy suggested drone strikes on Russian army locations in the Rostov region in a consultation with the army leadership at the end of February. That may have encouraged Washington not to supply Kiev with long-range weapons, it said. Podoljak contradicted this representation.

06:58 am

US protests against Gershkovich arrest

The US government has formally ruled the arrest of US journalist Evan Gershkovich wrongful. The Wall Street Journal reporter was arrested in Russia on espionage charges. With this classification, the processing of the case receives a higher priority in the management hierarchy. It means that an office of the State Department will work hard to get Gershkovich released.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said he condemned the arrest and suppression of independent media in Russia. “Journalism is not a crime,” said a statement from his ministry. “We condemn the Kremlin’s continued suppression of independent voices in Russia and its ongoing fight against the truth.” The FSB announced on March 30 that the US reporter had been arrested in Yekaterinburg the day before. He tried to get secret information about a Russian arms factory. If convicted of espionage, he faces up to 20 years in prison. He is the first US correspondent since the Cold War to be arrested in Russia on charges of espionage.

06:21 a.m

Russia launches military maneuvers in the Arctic

According to its own statements, Russia’s Northern Fleet has started a major maneuver in the waters of the Arctic. 1,800 soldiers and more than a dozen ships are to take part in the exercise, the press service of the fleet said, according to the Interfax news agency. “Particular attention will be paid to the safety of Russia’s merchant marine and sea routes, such as the Northeast Passage, during the maneuver,” the statement said.

The maneuver is expected to last several days. The interaction between the ships and the Russian Air Force is being examined under the direction of the relevant command staffs. After all, 40 airplanes and helicopters are also in use, as well as vehicles for land operations. The Northeast Passage runs along the north coast of Russia. Due to the increasing global warming, the route is becoming more and more important for shipping traffic, because in the meantime it is even passable in summer without an icebreaker.

The Northeast Passage is important for Russia in order to be able to export raw materials that the country in the far north produces, such as natural gas, which is transported in liquefied form from the arctic cold Yamal Peninsula. In order to assert its claim to the polar region, Moscow established units specializing in combat in the Arctic more than a decade ago.

2:49 a.m

Accused Russian Kremlin critic Kara-Mursa ‘no regrets’

The accused Russian opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Mursa says he does not regret any of his statements – although he now faces 25 years in prison for comments against the Ukraine offensive. “I subscribe to every word that I said and for which I am being charged today,” a journalist quoted Kara-Mursa’s last words in court on Telegram.

“Not only do I have no regrets – I’m proud of it,” he continued. The 41-year-old faces multiple charges, including high treason and spreading misinformation about the Russian army. At a closed-door hearing last week, prosecutors asked for 25 years in prison for Kara-Mursa.

2:49 a.m

Selenskyj thanks Germany for military aid

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Germany for further military aid. Armor technology, air defense systems, ammunition, machines and medical technology have been delivered in the past two weeks. All of this strengthens Ukraine in its defensive struggle against Russia.

Zelenskyy also welcomed the exchange of more than 200 prisoners of war between Moscow and Kiev. “These are 100 families who were given real joy before Easter,” said Zelenskyj in his evening video address about the Ukrainian returnees. The Orthodox Churches celebrate Easter next Sunday. According to Zelenskyy, 20 servicewomen were also released.

2:49 a.m

Monday’s live blog to read

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