Day 455 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Prigozhin prophesied a new October Revolution in Russia
Day 455 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Lavrov: NATO is involved in the conflict in Ukraine
- Peskov: There are no conditions for peace talks with Kyiv
- Borrell: 220,000 shells have been delivered to Ukraine by the EU in the last 2 months
- The Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office with criminal proceedings for the deported children
- Prigozhin prophesied a new October Revolution in Russia
Lavrov: NATO is involved in the conflict in Ukraine
Russia is against the freezing of the conflict in Ukraine and in this respect is in solidarity with the Western countries. This was stated by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, adding that the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to the Ukrainian army will not affect the so-called "special military operation".
According to Peskov, the discussion of the peace initiatives proposed by some countries is premature, because at the moment there are no prerequisites for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. According to him, Russia seeks to guarantee its interests and achieve its goals either through the so-called "special military operation" or through other available means.
At the same time, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov stated at a forum in Moscow that NATO is de jure involved in the conflict in Ukraine and thus increases the danger of a direct military confrontation between nuclear states. According to him, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends signals to Western governments that such a scenario is unacceptable, but they either ignore them or use them for propaganda purposes.
Peskov: There are no conditions for peace talks with Kyiv
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS that Moscow does not see an opportunity to negotiate peace with Kyiv at the moment.
"It is hardly possible to talk about it, because any negotiations with the Russian Federation are prohibited ****[in Ukraine]," said the Russian president's spokesman.
Dmitry Peskov pointed out earlier that it is premature to talk about a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, since there are still no prerequisites for this.
The last face-to-face talks between Russia and Ukraine took place at the end of March 2022 in Istanbul. After the meeting, it was announced that Moscow had received confirmation of Kyiv's intentions to abandon its NATO membership course. A few rounds were then held in an online format, after which the talks were terminated.
Later, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree banning negotiations with the Russian leadership, Peskov also said.
Borrell: 220,000 shells have been delivered to Ukraine by the EU in the last 2 months
220,000 shells have been delivered by the European Union to Ukraine over the past two months under a plan approved by defense ministers in late March. This was announced by the High Representative for Security and Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell.
Ammunition of various calibers is from the available stocks of the countries participating in the plan. The first joint orders for new shells for Kyiv are expected in the summer. Meanwhile, Poland has expressed willingness to train Ukrainian pilots to fly US F-16 fighter jets after the US gave its approval. According to Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, this training has not yet started, while earlier the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, assured that the training in Poland has already started. And other countries have also announced their intention to join.
Dutch Defense Minister Kaisa Ollongren said her country had received permission from Washington to train Ukrainian F-16 pilots and was working on a specific schedule. "Delivery of the aircraft will be the next stage," she added, mentioning "joint efforts with Denmark, Belgium, Great Britain and other allies." Some countries, including Germany, Sweden, Latvia and Estonia, have announced that they do not have F-16s and will not be able to conduct training.
In his evening video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he visited the Donetsk region and forward positions near Vuhledar and Mariinka, where he announced the creation of a marine corps in Ukraine. “New marine infantry brigades will be added to our existing divisions, which we will equip with modern weapons and equipment”, Zelensky said.
At the same time, the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine announced that it had opened criminal proceedings for the "forced transportation of over 19,000 children" from the occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye, Kherson and Kharkiv regions, including to Belarus. It was in response to an earlier report by exiled Belarusian opposition leaders that the Belarusian government was involved in carrying out such deportations.
The Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office with criminal proceedings for the deported children
The Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office has started criminal proceedings for the children deported from the occupied regions.
Proceedings for the forced removal of over 19,000 Ukrainians to Russia and Belarus have been initiated in Kyiv. These are children from Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye, Kherson and Kharkiv regions.
In most cases, the children are deported to camps - some of them under the pretext that they will spend the summer at sea for a month.
The US has distanced itself from strikes by pro-Ukrainian Russian fighters in Belgorod
The US has distanced itself from the incursion into Russia's Belgorod region, which Moscow says has ended in the defeat of armed rebels who crossed over from Ukraine. Parts of the border area were attacked on Monday in one of the biggest cross-border attacks since the start of the war. Russian authorities have released photos of abandoned or damaged Western military vehicles, including US-made ones.
"Let me say a few things on this occasion. First, we've seen some of the reports circulating on social media and elsewhere alleging that US-supplied weapons were used in these attacks. We are skeptical about the veracity of these claims. As a more general principle, we do not encourage or enable strikes in Russia, and that has been clearly stated. But we have also said that Ukraine decides for itself how to fight this war," said Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the US State Department.
Prigozhin prophesied a new October Revolution in Russia
The founder of the mercenary group "Wagner" Yevgeny Prigozhin has warned that Russia could face a revolution similar to that of 1917 and lose the conflict in Ukraine if the elite does not get serious about the conduct of the war, Reuters reported.
The oligarch said his political views were dominated by love of country and service to President Vladimir Putin, but warned that Russia was at risk of upheaval.
Prigozhin emphasized that he did not believe in the existing optimistic position that the West would tire of war and China would broker a peace agreement. Instead, he said, Kyv is preparing a counteroffensive aimed at pushing Russian troops back to its borders before 2014, when Moscow annexed Crimea.
Ukraine will try to encircle Bakhmut, where intense fighting is going on in the east, and attack Crimea, he added.
"Most likely, this scenario will not be good for Russia, so we have to prepare for a heavy war," he emphasized in an interview published on his Telegram channel. "We are in such a state that we can lose Russia," he added. "We have to impose martial law."
Prigozhin stated that his nickname "Putin's chef" was silly as he could not cook and had never been a chef, joking that "Putin's butcher" might be a more appropriate nickname.
"They could have just given me a nickname right away - Putin's butcher, and everything would have been fine," he said. According to him, if ordinary Russians continue to have their children in galvanized coffins while the children of the elite "shake their asses" in the sun, Russia will face upheavals along the lines of the 1917 revolutions that led to civil war.
"This division may end as it did in 1917 with a revolution," he said. "The soldiers will rise first, and then your relatives," warned the oligarch. "There are already tens of thousands of them - relatives of those killed. And it will probably become hundreds of thousands - we cannot avoid this."
Russia's defense ministry did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment on the statement.
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