Replay: Ukrainian Zelenskyi delivers a speech at the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia
In an address to the Arab League, Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the leaders of the Arab League not to turn a blind eye to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“None of you would turn a blind eye and allow your country to be invaded,” the Ukrainian president said.
He continued, “I’m here so everyone can see honestly that no matter how much the Russians try to influence, there must still be independence.”
The Ukrainian president also called on countries at an Arab League summit to support his peace initiative to end Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Mr Zelenskyy landed in Jeddah today on his first trip to Saudi Arabia to attend an Arab League summit.
During his visit, the Ukrainian President will meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
After arriving in Saudi Arabia, he said his priorities were discussing Ukraine’s peace formula to end Russia’s war against his country, protecting Ukraine’s Muslim community and returning political prisoners from Russia-annexed Crimea.
Britain says Russia will ‘pay the price’ for invasion as new sanctions are announced
Rishi Sunak warned Vladimir Putin at the start of the G7 summit in Japan that he and other Western leaders “will not walk away”.
The prime minister said the Russian president must understand that Ukraine’s western allies would “unwaveringly” support the country’s resistance to its invasion.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will attend the summit in Japan on Sunday, while Mr Sunak and other leaders are increasing pressure on Russia. The prime minister said Russia will “pay a price” as he launched a new wave of sanctions against the country, including an import ban on Russian diamonds, copper, aluminum and nickel.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 19, 2023 21:02
Russia brands ‘terror state’ as flights with Georgia resume
Protesters flocked to Tbilisi Airport around 1:20 p.m. local time to meet Azimuth Airlines flight A4851, which had arrived from Moscow.
The flight is the first tourist plane to land in Georgia from Russia in four years.
Many demonstrators held placards with slogans such as “Russian airship – fuck yourself”, “You are not welcome” and “Russia is a terrorist state”.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 19, 2023 20:56
Russia targets Greenpeace to crack down on dissenters, but Kremlin critic Roizman avoids jail
On Friday, Russia declared the global environmental group Greenpeace an undesirable organization and effectively banned it from operating in the country – another step to silence critical voices.
A statement from the Prosecutor General’s Office said it had determined that Greepeace posed “a threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation,” noting in particular the conflict in Ukraine.
“Since the beginning of the Russian Federation’s special military operation to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, Greenpeace activists have been conducting anti-Russian propaganda and calling for further economic isolation of our country and tougher sanctions,” it said.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 19, 2023 8:30 p.m
Russia Wants ICC Prosecutor Who Requested Putin’s Arrest
Russia has issued an arrest warrant for the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), who in March prepared an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin on war crimes charges, Russian media reported on Friday.
British prosecutor Karim Khan has been put on the Home Office’s wanted list, the state news agency TASS said, citing the ministry’s database.
Moscow opened trials against Khan and three ICC judges on March 20, days after the order to arrest Putin.
The ICC and its prosecutors initially did not comment on this.
The ICC warrant orders the arrest of Putin and Russia’s Children’s Rights Ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova on war crimes charges related to the kidnapping of Ukrainian children.
Russia has not hid a program that has brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, but has presented it as a humanitarian campaign to protect those left behind in the conflict zone.
Russia and Putin deny committing war crimes during what the Kremlin has dubbed a special military operation in Ukraine, saying they were victims of Western aggression and lies.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 19, 2023 20:00
Putin claims the West is trying to break up Russia into different states
Vladimir Putin said the West is trying to drive a wedge between different ethnic and national groups in Russia.
According to Reuters, the Russian president said on Friday that the West wants to split the country into many different states.
He added that the more sanctions the West imposes on Russia, the greater the cohesion within Russian society.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 19, 2023 7:30 p.m
Ukrainian refugees living in the EU will have to travel back for abortions, a study warns
Research has found that some Ukrainian women now living in Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia are being forced to temporarily return home because it is “easier” to access reproductive health care there, despite the stress that associated with the return journey to the war-torn country.
The study, conducted by the Center for Reproductive Rights and eight human rights organizations, warned that refugees are “at risk” as they face problems such as legal restrictions and cost barriers when trying to access the right care.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 19, 2023 7:00 p.m
Russia says 500 Americans will be banned, Obama is on the list
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that former President Barack Obama is among 500 US citizens who will be suspended in response to the latest round of sanctions announced by Washington.
The ministry also said Russia had denied a recent US request for consular access to jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in March on suspicion of espionage.
The move was prompted last month by the United States’ refusal to issue visas to media traveling to the United Nations with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a statement said.
“Washington should have learned long ago that no single enemy attack on Russia will go unpunished,” it said.
Earlier on Friday, the United States announced punitive measures against more than 300 targets. The aim was to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and tighten up one of the toughest sanctions efforts ever.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 19, 2023 6:30 p.m
The secret network of tunnels under the bunker of “paranoid” Putin
Unearthed plans suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a secret network of underground tunnels running beneath his hidden Black Sea palace.
Putin had a huge underground bunker built under the Gelendzhik Palace, according to plans published online by the engineering firm responsible for the project, with a network of tunnels about 50 meters below the surface.
The complex, first reported by business insider, Believed to have been built for protection in the event of revolution or war, it was built before Russia took over Crimea in 2014.
Maryam Zakir-HussainMay 19, 2023 5:52 p.m
WhatsApp faces a fine in Russia for the first time for failing to delete “banned” content
Messenger service WhatsApp faces a maximum fine of 4 million rubles (51,500) after Russia accused it of failing to delete banned content, state news agency RIA reported on Friday, citing a Moscow court.
Although WhatsApp’s parent company Meta Platforms Inc was banned in Russia last year as an “extremist” organization, the messenger app, which is widely used in Russia, has not yet faced a court case for failing to remove banned information.
The RIA report didn’t elaborate on what information WhatsApp allegedly didn’t delete. The administrative lawsuit was said to have been filed by the communications regulator, Roskomnadzor.
Early in its military operation in Ukraine, Russia introduced tough new military censorship laws that fined tech companies like Google, Wikipedia and Discord.
Martha McardyMay 19, 2023 4:01 p.m
Russia’s nuclear weapons rhetoric ‘dangerous and unacceptable’ – G7
Russia’s nuclear rhetoric and its stated intention to use nuclear weapons in Belarus are “dangerous and unacceptable,” the Group of Seven (G7) leaders said in a statement.
The G7 countries on Friday called for a “world without nuclear weapons,” calling on Russia, Iran, China and North Korea to end nuclear escalation and turn to non-proliferation, according to a statement released by the White House.
Leaders also said Russia should return to full implementation of the New START treaty.
Martha McardyMay 19, 2023 3:45 p.m