Russia adds five more states to ‘unfriendly’ list

Russia adds five more states to ‘unfriendly’ list


Dhaka July 23 2022 :


Inside Russia: Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on July 23 2022.



Russia adds five more states to ‘unfriendly’ list

More European countries now face a cap on diplomatic staff they are allowed to hire in Russia

Russia extended its list of states considered adversarial on Friday to include Greece, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia.

“The government has updated the list of foreign states engaged in unfriendly actions against Russian diplomatic and consular missions abroad,” the statement reads.

The decree imposes restrictions (up to a complete ban) on the countries hiring local personnel for their embassies, consulates, and representative offices of government agencies in Russia.

Greece has a limit of 34 people, Denmark – 20, Slovakia – 16. “Slovenia and Croatia cannot hire employees for their diplomatic missions and consular institutions,” the government said.

Russian authorities also signaled that the list was open-ended and could be expanded to more nations, given “the ongoing hostile actions by foreign states against Russian representative offices abroad.”

“Of course, ending up on the list of hostile countries leads to a lower level of contacts… Simply put, the move is based on the unfriendly policies pursued by these states,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

In May, Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a package of economic measures meant to retaliate against international sanctions placed on Moscow. The move aimed to protect Russia’s national interests in response to the unfriendly actions of Western countries to illegally deprive Russian entities of their property, the Kremlin said at the time.

In March, following Russia’s attack on Ukraine and fierce pushback from Western countries, Moscow introduced a lengthy list of foreign states that pursue hostile policies towards Russia. All the countries mentioned in it, including the US, the UK, Canada, and EU countries, have slapped sanctions on Russia.


Kremlin disavows any criticism over delayed return of turbine for Nord Stream

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. Any blame directed at Russia due to the delayed return of the turbine for the Nord Stream pipeline from Canada is groundless, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

Earlier Reuters reported citing sources that the turbine got stuck during transit in Germany, allegedly because of lack of a permit from Russia.

Peskov recalled the statement by President Vladimir Putin, on the night of July 20 in Tehran, that as of that time, Moscow had not received any legal, technological, or any other documentation on this turbine.

“Therefore, any sort of admonishment [against Russia] is utterly unfounded, in this case it’s the wrong sources,” the Kremlin spokesman said. He stressed that in this story “the primary source” should be referred to, which is Gazprom.

Peskov also pointed to the data of foreign media sources that claimed the Russian side allegedly did not provide information on where exactly the turbine should be brought to.

“This is complete nonsense, because Siemens knows perfectly well where this turbine is installed. That is, this is just an absurd report from sources,” Putin’s press secretary emphasized.

Since mid-June, the Nord Stream project has been operating at 40% of its maximum capacity due to the delayed return of gas compressor units from maintenance work. One of the turbines built by Siemens Energy in Canada was sent to Montreal for an overhaul. The producer refused to return the repaired turbine to Germany due to Canada’s sanctions against Russia.

On July 9, after numerous requests, Canada decided to return the turbine to Germany. The return date has not been defined yet. The European Commission said that such actions do not violate sanctions against Russia since these measures do not apply to gas transit equipment.

However, Gazprom did not receive documents from Siemens on the return of the gas turbine engine and sent a new request to the German company. The Russian gas giant spotlighted the fact that the return of the turbine under the conditions of sanctions and the subsequent overhaul of other engines affect the safe operation of Nord Stream.

President Vladimir Putin said that if the turbine for Nord Stream is not returned to Russia, only 30 million cubic meters of gas per day can be pumped along the route instead of the current 60 million cubic meters. He highlighted the fact that at the end of July “another turbine should be sent” for maintenance work.


Adding Slovenia to list of unfriendly states a response to its actions — envoy

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. The Russian government’s order to include Slovenia to a list of unfriendly states has become a response to Ljubljana’s extremely unfriendly actions towards Russia, Russian Ambassador to the republic Timur Eyvazov said on Russian TV Friday.

“First of all, I would like to say that this decision of the government is a response to the extremely unfriendly actions of the previous government of Slovenia, taken in April this year, when the staff of the Russian embassy was reduced by almost 80%. A total of 33 employees had to leave Slovenia with their families, which effectively brought our mission’s staff down to 8 people. The today’s decision is a response to these unfriendly actions,” the diplomat said.

The envoy underscored that the reduction of the Russian embassy’s staff was radical, unjustified, and unprovoked.

“[The staff reduction] led to a shutdown of the Russian cultural center here in Ljubljana, which worked here for 11 years, and generally benefitted both Russia and Slovenia by a kind of uniting our peoples via culture,” he added.

The Russian government press office announced earlier that Greece, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia have been included in the list of states unfriendly to Russia. Slovenia and Croatia will not be able to hire embassy employees from among people present on the Russian territory, while employment options for Greece, Denmark, and Slovakia has been limited.

Earlier in May 2021, similar restrictions were imposed on diplomatic missions of the US and the Czech Republic. The governmental list of unfriendly states is not final and can be expanded with consideration of foreign states’ hostile actions aimed against Russian diplomatic missions.



Zelensky refuses peace talks

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, explaining the reasons behind his country’s refusal to negotiate with Moscow, compared Russia to an insatiable “cachalot” who would not understand the language of diplomacy.

In a Friday interview with the Wall Street Journal, Zelensky responded to the recent remarks of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, who said earlier this week that Russia and Ukraine could have ended their conflict in March if Kiev had not withdrawn from negotiations.

Calling this statement “total delirium,” the Ukrainian leader said that, prior to Moscow’s offensive, he had been trying to talk to Putin for a long time but he couldn’t be bothered to take a phone call.

“He came here without talking, killed people, displaced 12 million, and now says Ukraine doesn’t want to negotiate. They just murder people, destroy cities, enter them, and then say: ‘Let’s negotiate’. With whom can they talk? With rocks? They are covered in blood, and this blood is impossible to wash off. We will not let them wash it off,” Zelensky said.

Now, five months into the military conflict, Ukrainians believe that all of the country’s territories must be “liberated” before any negotiations can resume, according to him. Zelensky stressed that he would prefer to conduct ‘de-occupation’ in a non-military manner but, in his opinion, Russia would not understand anything until it got “smashed in the face.”

Moreover, he believes there is another reason conducting talks no longer makes sense. Russia will never stop seizing Ukrainian territories, he claimed.

“It is a cachalot that has swallowed two regions and now says: Freeze the conflict. Then it will rest and, in two or three years, it will seize two more regions and say again: Freeze the conflict. And it will keep going further and further. One hundred percent,” the Ukrainian leader said.

Meanwhile, Putin said that back in March, Moscow and Kiev had “actually reached an agreement, the only thing left to do was to sign it.” “In order to create these conditions, our troops withdrew from central Ukraine, from Kiev, but the Kiev authorities refused to implement these agreements” and have no desire to do so even now, the Russian president added.

Moscow and Kiev started peace talks four days into the Russian military offensive in Ukraine in late February. The sides held several rounds in person in Belarus and then continued the talks via video link. In late March, delegations from Russia and Ukraine met once again, in Istanbul. Since then, however, the talks have stalled completely.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.


Deal struck on Ukraine grain exports

A deal to unblock much-awaited grain exports from Ukraine was signed at the UN-brokered talks in Istanbul, Turkey on Friday.

Under the terms of the deal, which was agreed provisionally last week, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the UN, and Turkey agreed to open a joint coordination center in the Turkish capital to oversee shipments from Ukraine, and to maintain safe transit routes for these shipments across the Black Sea. 

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar signed an agreement with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, while Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Aleksandr Kubrakov signed a separate document with Akar, completing the deal.

Guterres described the signing as “a beacon of relief in a world that needs it more than ever,” and thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his “persistence” in getting the agreement signed. Guterres also praised Russian and Ukrainian officials for “putting aside [their] differences” for the sake of the world’s food supply, particularly in developing countries.

Wheat deliveries from Ukraine, a major producer, were disrupted after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in late February. The sides previously blamed each other for causing the crisis.

Ukraine and some Western officials have accused Russia of deliberately preventing the shipments by blockading the country’s Black Sea ports. Moscow insists that Ukraine made the shipments impossible by laying naval mines outside of the ports, including Odessa.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned in March that delays in shipments of wheat from Ukraine and Russia could lead to “a hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the global food system.”

He said that 45 African and other less developed countries receive at least a third of their wheat from either Ukraine or Russia, and that for 18 of them, these exports make up at least 50%.




Russia destroys base of Ukrainian ‘Black Hundred’ unit – MoD

Several hundred Ukrainian nationalist fighters located in the Donetsk People’s Republic were taken out following a high-precision strike, the Russian Defense Ministry announced in a daily update on Friday.

The ministry says that Russian forces destroyed a temporary deployment point of the ‘Black Hundred’ nationalist formation using ground-based high-precision weaponry. The fighters were allegedly hiding in the building of a school in the city of Kramatrosk in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Up to 300 fighters and over 40 units of special equipment were eliminated as a result of the strike, according to the announcement.

Additionally, the ministry reported taking out an ammunition depot of the Ukrainian Armed Forces located in the eastern part of the city of Nikolaev, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the port city of Odessa. The strike also took out up to 30 Ukrainian servicemen and six armored vehicles and cars, as well as over 2,000 shells for the GRAD MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) and about 1,000 shells for the Akatsiya self-propelled howitzers.

On Wednesday, the ministry reported destroying a Ukrainian Armed Forces supply depot in Soledar, located in the DPR, along with 40 nationalist fighters and some 19 units of armored vehicles.

The latest update from Russia’s Defense Ministry shows that Russian forces have so far destroyed 260 Ukrainian planes, 144 helicopters, 1,589 drones, 357 anti-aircraft missile systems, 4,141 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 762 MRLS systems, 3,176 field artillery pieces and mortars, as well as 4,453 units of special military vehicles.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.


How is a war different from a special military operation? —

Effi Stounem

When will the Russian Air Force get a chance to answer to the Ukrainians’ strikes on hydroelectric power plants and nuclear power plants?

There is a debate on the Web about what is happening right now. Is it a war or a special operation? The answer is that Ukraine is waging a full-scale war, while Russia continues its special operation. Reports of terrorist strikes against power plants, residential neighborhoods, and social institutions by Ukraine are becoming a routine information agenda. Enerhodar, Kherson, Kakhovka, Bryansk, Belgorod and Donetsk are under constant attacks. What’s coming at them in response?

In response, Russia carefully targets arms depots, strongholds, occasional bridges, and decision-making centers. For this is the law of special operations, not the war. Only military infrastructure. At the same time, the non-banned terrorist state “Ukraine” strikes peaceful targets not to destroy them (they do not have the resources to have them thrashed). But rather to frighten the population, create a myth of invincible HIMARS, and force the liberated territories to live in fear and panic.


American Specialists are Behind HIMARS Attacks in Kherson Region, Local Authorities Say

SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) – American specialists are behind the attacks recently launched by Ukrainian forces against the Kherson Region using the US-supplied multiple rocket launcher HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), the deputy head of the Kherson regional military-civil administration, Kirill Stremousov, said.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian troops launched strikes against the hydroelectric power station (HPP) in Novaya Kakhovka and the Antonovsky Bridge that crosses the Dnieper river in Kherson Region. At least a dozen of HIMARS missiles used in the attacks were downed by air defense.

“It is not Ukrainian nationalists who are behind the shelling of the Antonovsky bridge. These are specific actions of the Americans. American specialists who have arrived in Ukraine are firing at the bridge,” Stremousov said, adding that the bridge will be restored in any case, military and civil engineers are already working on it.

He specified that, if needed, pontoon crossings could be set up across the Dnieper river within a few hours.

At the start of this week, Stremousov said that the Kherson Region was beefing up its air defense system amid intensifying missile attacks from the Ukrainian army.

The shelling of residential districts in Kherson by Ukrainian troops has become more frequent in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the city of Novaya Kakhovka was targeted by Ukrainian forces using the US-supplied multiple rocket launcher HIMARS. As a result, a hospital and residential buildings were damaged and several deaths were reported.

The Kherson Region and most of Zaporozhye Region of Ukraine are now controlled by Russia’s military as a result of the special operation that began on February 24, after the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics requested help from Russia amid intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops. Local military-civil administrations have already been formed in the two regions, which have announced plans to hold referendums for accession to Russia.

A Russian security source said on Thursday that there are two HIMARS, supplied to Ukraine by the United States, currently deployed near the Kherson Region, while the rest are deployed in the Donbass area. The source said that, according to information received from the Ukrainian military, out-of-staff NATO personnel are in charge of the use of HIMARS systems in Ukraine.

The Pentagon has pledged to provide Kiev with more than 20 HIMARS, 12 of which have already been transferred.


Scoop: NATO Doesn’t Trust Ukraine With HIMARS, Operating Advanced Artillery Themselves, Source Says

The US has delivered 12 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, and the Pentagon announced Wednesday that Washington would soon send at least four more in the near future. The Russian military and the Donbass People’s Militias have accused Kiev of using the installations to strike civilian areas.

The HIMARS mobile artillery operating Ukraine are manned by outstaffed career NATO military personnel, and information regarding the advanced weapons systems’ operation is not being transferred to the Ukrainian side due to a lack of trust, a Russian security source has told Sputnik, citing intelligence received from sources inside the Ukrainian military.

“According to information received from sources in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, at least two HIMARS are operating in the southern direction, with the remaining 10 dispersed in the northern arc, in the area of active hostilities” in Donbass, the source, who requested anonymity, said.

“The crews of the artillery installations are manned by out-of-staff NATO military personnel, and guarded by private military contractors close to the Pentagon,” the source added.

Further, the source indicated that targets are selected using US military satellites, and that HIMARS operate in a shoot-and-scoot manner, quickly changing their positions after firing to avoid return fire, and never returning to positions where they have previously been deployed.

In addition, the source said that each time that HIMARs salvos are launched, they are covered by several additional salvos from less advanced artillery, such as Uragan and Smerch, with the goal being to saturate Russian air defenses and deplete munitions before HIMARS rounds are launched. The mobile artillery are moved around and fired in the dead of night.

“Ukrainian MLRS crews which participate in the joint strikes do not know anything about their joint operations with HIMARS, and are often not even aware that they are a cover for HIMARS launches. They are informed only of the launch time and target coordinates,” the source indicated.

The Russian military has said that of the 12 HIMARS delivered to Ukraine, three have been destroyed in fighting in the Donetsk People’s Republic, two in the area of Malotaranovka, and one near the city of Krasnoarmeysk.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that the US is considering Kiev’s request to provide Ukraine with longer-range munitions for its HIMARS, but that the existing rounds also pack a powerful punch. “The range of HIMARS, our GMLRS round, is 80 kilometers, and so that’s pretty good reach. It has allowed and will continue to allow [Ukraine] to get after those longer-range targets that they’ve been unable to reach,” Austin said.

Scores of civilians have been killed in attacks on settlements in the Donbass and eastern Ukraine using HIMARS. Last week, the LPR Joint Center for Control and Coordination monitoring mission reported that two civilians were killed in shelling of the city of Alchevsk using the US-made systems. A week before that, seven people were killed and 40 others injured in a HIMARS attack on the city of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region. At the beginning of July, DPR JCCC monitors said Ukraine had fired HIMARS at the city of Snezhnoye in the eastern DPR.

Developed in the 1990s by Lockheed Martin and introduced into service with the US military in the 2010s, HIMARS have a per-unit cost of $5.6 million, and at least 540 of the systems have been built. Along with the United States and Ukraine, the systems have been ordered or deployed by Australia, Estonia, Jordan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. Before their use in Ukraine, the advanced mobile artillery were used in the US wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deployed in US-occupied areas of Syria.

The system’s effective firing range varies dramatically depending on the round used, ranging from 2-92 km for standard rounds, and 300 km for the US Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has recently expressed confidence that NATO will eventually provide Kiev with the 300 km munitions.



Lavrov: Russia, Africa Seek to Reduce Share of Dollar, Euro in Mutual Trade

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia and African partners are working on a gradual reduction of the share of the US dollar and the euro in mutual trade payments, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“For sure, the current geopolitical situation requires certain adjustment of the mechanisms of our interaction: first of all, there is a question of ensuring seamless logistic and tuning the system of financial settlements to make them secure from the outer interference. In cooperation with its partners, Russia takes steps to enhance the use of national currencies and payment systems. We are working to gradually reduce the share of dollar and euro in mutual trade,” Lavrov said in an article to several African media, published by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday.

Russia advocates the establishment of an independent and efficient financial system that is “proof against the potential impact from the unfriendly states.”

Russia will continue to fulfill its obligations to supply food, fertilizers and energy to African countries, despite Western sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“It is essential that all our African friends understand that Russia will continue to fulfill in good faith its obligations under international contracts with regard to exports of food, fertilizers, energy and other goods vital for Africa. Russia is taking all measures to this end,” Lavrov said in an article to several African media, published by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday.

Moscow is well aware of the importance of Russian supplies of socially important commodities, including food, for many countries of the world, the minister added.

“I would like to emphasize that the speculations of Western and Ukrainian propaganda that Russia allegedly “exports hunger” are completely unfounded. In fact, these are yet another attempt to shift the blame to others,” Lavrov said.

The collective West, using the pandemic situation in the world, absorbed commodity and food flows, forcing developing countries to be dependent on its food imports, which was the starting point of the global food crisis, according to the official.

Lavrov will travel to Africa on July 24-28 and is scheduled to visit Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and the Republic of the Congo.