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Russia-Ukraine Conflict - Last Minute Update | Russia Announces New Military Bases, "New York Times" Shows Videos Of Executions In Bucha, "Hell In Donbass", Russia Wants Victory, Secret Services In Action, USA & Russia Blame Game

Russia announces construction of new military bases in the west of the country

The Russian government is reacting to the planned northern expansion of NATO. According to Russian news agencies, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that " twelve military bases " are to be built in the west of the country by the end of the year.

Sweden and Finland are currently in accession talks with NATO representatives. The admission of the two countries would mark a historic northern expansion of the military alliance. Finland and Russia share a border that is around 1,300 kilometers long.

Among the NATO member states, Turkey in particular has so far made negative comments about the possible accession of Finland and Sweden. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that he intends to veto the countries' admission.

Executions in Bucha

In March, Russian troops killed hundreds of civilians in the Kiev suburb of Bucha. The New York Times has now published several videos showing the killing of several civilians by Russian paratroopers. The US newspaper also interviewed witnesses and coroners on site. According to this, the act of violence took place on March 4, at the beginning of the month-long Russian occupation of the small town. According to the New York Times report , the videos analyzed are "the clearest evidence yet that the men were in the custody of Russian troops before they were executed." 

The Azov Battalion, Surrenders

The massacre of a total of 420 civilians in Bucha became known at the beginning of April after Russian troops withdrew from the Kiev region. The Kremlin denies any responsibility for the killings and spoke either of a "staging by Western secret services" or of the fact that the people were killed by Ukrainian artillery fire. However, forensic studies and satellite images supported the Ukrainian account, according to which the civilians had been shot by the occupiers. International investigators are also involved in the investigations.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks of "hell in Donbass"

The Ukrainian President has described the situation in Donbass as hell in view of the Russian war of aggression. The army continues to work on the liberation of the Kharkiv region, said Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Donbass, on the other hand, was "completely destroyed".

In the Donbass, the occupiers are trying to increase the pressure. There's hell, and that's no exaggeration

The command of Ukrainian forces in the region reported Thursday that 14 enemy attacks had been repelled. The information was not independently checked. As a sign of the intensity of the fighting, numerous civilian deaths were once again recorded. According to the authorities, five people were killed in the Donetsk region alone.

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Russia wants victory in Mariupol

According to Russian information, 1,730 Ukrainian fighters from the Azov steelworks have now surrendered. While Ukraine insists on a prisoner exchange, the Kremlin rejects such a negotiation. Maxim Kireev writes about the meaning of a triumph in Mariupol on the Russian side.

Secret services want to help solve war crimes

The Five Eyes intelligence agency has pledged its support to Ukraine in prosecuting Russian war crimes. It would also support the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation, said the spy alliance, which includes intelligence agencies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The ICC has sent 42 investigators to Ukraine to investigate.

The Fate Of The Ukrainian Fighters

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office recently reported more than 11,000 cases of suspected war crimesto investigate. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian judiciary began the first trial of a Russian soldier accused of murdering a Ukrainian civilian. The 21-year-old who confessed faces life imprisonment. 

USA and Russia blame each other for poor food situation

The USA and Russia blame each other for the increasingly tense food situation worldwide as a result of the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports. At a UN Security Council meeting, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused the Russian government of taking hostage the food supplies of "millions of Ukrainians and millions of other people around the world."

Stop threatening countries that criticize your war of aggression with export bans on food and fertilizers 

Blinken also called on Russia to allow the export of Ukrainian grain. Millions of tons are currently blocked in warehouses on the Black Sea. Russia's UN Ambassador Wassili Nebensja rejected the allegations. The food crisis is due to rising inflation worldwide, which is caused by high insurance costs, logistical bottlenecks and "speculation on western markets". The Ukrainian armed forces have also blocked their ports with mines themselves.

Will React If They Reinforce Their Army

Russia's ex-head of state Dmitry Medvedev also joined in the mutual accusations. "On the one hand crazy sanctions are being imposed on us, on the other hand they are demanding food deliveries," he wrote on Telegram. "It doesn't work that way, we're not idiots." 

And in European and other fields without our fertilizers only succulent weeds will grow

Ukraine, meanwhile, reiterated its allegations that Russian troops from occupied territories are stealing grain. The thefts now amount to "an estimated 500,000 tons," said Serhiy Dwornyk, a member of Ukraine's diplomatic mission to the UN. 400 million people worldwide are dependent on grain deliveries.

"Before the invasion, Ukraine exported five million tons of grain a month," the diplomat said. In March, exports fell "to only about 200,000 tons and in April to about 1.1 million tons". Russia and Ukraine together produce 30 percent of the world's wheat supply.

Russia wants to raise the age limit for the military

The Russian parliament is considering raising the age limit for soldiers to over 40 years. According to a first draft by the Duma, non-Russian citizens should only be able to register for military service over the age of 30.

As a result, the military could recruit older professionals, the reasoning goes. So far, Russians between the ages of 18 and 40 and non-Russian citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 can enlist in the military. 

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