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LIVE: Ukraine’s Denazification Will Be Completed - Russian Rep

  • A man walks past flags of United Nations member countries outside of United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 27 April 2022.

    A man walks past flags of United Nations member countries outside of United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 27 April 2022. | Photo: EFE/EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Published 27 April 2022

Ukraine’s denazification will be completed and those responsible for crimes will be punished, Sergey Leonidchenko, senior adviser to Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said on Wednesday.

On April 27, Russia warned the United States and its allies not to get more involved in what is happening in Ukraine. Below are the main developments of the armed conflict.

Air Defense Systems Activated in Russia's Belgorod, Explosions Heard - Governor's Office

A Sputnik correspondent reported that at 01:50 local time (22:50 GMT on Wednesday),an explosion was heard in the southern part of Belgorod. Local media also reported about two explosions a bit earlier.

The governor's press service said that the air defense systems were working in the city, the Izvestiya newsaper reported, citing the governor's press service.

Italy's Eni will open ruble accounts in Gazprombank to pay for gas from Russia

Italian energy company Eni SpA is preparing to open ruble accounts at Gazprombank to pay for gas supplied by Russia, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing sources.

"Italian energy giant Eni is preparing to open ruble accounts at Gazprombank, potentially allowing it to meet Russia's requirement to pay for gas in local currency," the agency wrote.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported quoting a source close to Gazprom that ten European buyers have already opened special accounts at Gazprombank to pay for Russian gas supplies using the new mechanism - with conversion to rubles.

According to the agency, the list of gas buyers from the list of "unfriendly countries" includes a total of 21 countries, and four European buyers have already paid for supplies in rubles.

A new wave of payments for gas will come after May 15, the source Bloomberg added.

For her part, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the payment by European companies in rubles for gas supplied by Russia violates EU sanctions. "There is a high risk of sanctions for those companies that will go for it (agree to Moscow's demands - IF)," she added.

On March 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Decree No. 172, "On the special procedure for foreign buyers to fulfill their obligations to Russian natural gas suppliers."

According to the document, payment for Russian pipeline gas supplied after April 1, 2022, as specified in the decree to foreign counterparties, should be made only in rubles. For this purpose, special ruble and foreign currency "K" accounts are opened for foreign buyers in an authorized financial institution - Gazprombank.

Poland and Bulgaria have been deprived of Russian gas supplies due to their refusal to accept the new settlement system.

Ukraine’s denazification to be completed - Russian diplomat

Ukraine’s denazification will be completed and those responsible for crimes will be punished, Sergey Leonidchenko, senior adviser to Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said on Wednesday.

"Torture centers are really unthinkable in the 21st century and there is a lot of evidence, a lot of eye-witness evidence that SBU (Ukraine’s Security Service - TASS) has established a secret torture center at the Mariupol airport, which is cynically dubbed as a ‘library,’" he said at an Arria-formula meeting of the United Nations Security Council. "The center was set up in 2014, when the Azov nationalist battalion was housed in Mariupol. This center was used for torturing, raping and killing "books," as neo-Nazis called the center’s prisoners - civilians suspected of unloyalty to the Kiev regime."

"I assure you that those responsible for this and other atrocious crimes will be brought to trial. No one will evade punishment. The denazification of Ukraine will be completed," he stressed.

Ukraine should decide whether to take actions that go beyond its borders - US top diplomat

It’s up to Ukraine to decide whether to take actions that go beyond its borders, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, addressing the US Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.

"We are determined to get them what they need to deal with this Russian aggression and to push the Russians out of the country. It’s another matter as to whether the Ukrainians should take actions that go beyond their borders," he pointed out. "My own view is that it’s vital that they do whatever is necessary to defend against Russian aggression and the tactics of this are their decisions but what we are doing with all of these systems is making sure the Ukrainians have the means to defend themselves, that’s what this is about, and making sure that they can do whatever is necessary to push the Russians out of the country," Blinken added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Head of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin handed down instructions to document the evidence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ illegal activities in Russia’s Kursk and Voronezh regions. On Wednesday morning, a small reconnaissance drone was downed near the city of Voronezh. Last night, a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was intercepted in the Kursk region. The incidents caused no casualties or damage. On April 25, two Ukrainian drones were downed in the Kursk region and the Nekhoteyevka settlement came under a shelling attack from Ukraine, which damaged homes and cars. On Monday, several Russian regions bordering Ukraine extended their high terror-alert level for 15 days.

UN chief comes under criticism in Ukraine for visiting Moscow first

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has come under criticism in Ukraine for visiting Moscow before going to Kiev.

"As for the UN Secretary General’s visit, for me <…> it is surprising when foreign leaders or representatives of international organizations, especial such as the United Nations, go first to Russia rather than to Ukraine to see with their own eye what is going on in Ukraine," Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office chief, said in an interview with the Ukraina-24 television channel on Wednesday.

According to Podolyak, representatives of foreign countries and international organizations should go to Russia only after visiting Ukraine. He accused international organizations of weakness and indolence. "I think we should understand that some international organizations, institutions are quite weak. Some formal words will be uttered that they are ready to act. By thee way, Guterres has already said that he is allegedly ready to organize a trilateral commission to open humanitarian corridors," he said. "As for me, I think that the positions of many international institutions, which are supposed to address humanitarian or security problems, is, so to say, quite indolent."

Guterres arrived in Kiev on Wednesday after visiting Poland, where he met with President Andrzej Duda. On Monday, he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. On Tuesday, he visited Moscow and spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin.

In Kiev, the United Nations chief will have talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and President Vladimir Zelensky. Key attention will be focused on diplomatic efforts to ensure ceasefire and organize humanitarian deliveries under the UN auspices, first of all, to Mariupol.


European Union Prepared For Russian Gas Cut-Off: Von Der Leyen

Russia warns with 'lightning attack' in case of Western interference in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin warned on Wdenesday that Russia will perform a "lightning-speed" attack to any strategic interference in what is happening in Ukraine.

"If someone sets out to interfere in ongoing events and creates unacceptable strategic threats to Russia, they should know that our retaliatory strikes will be swift," he said during an address to the Council of Parliamentarians in St. Petersburg.

Implicitly alluding to hypersonic weapons, Putin recalled his country has "all the instruments" for an extremely rapid response, adding that "we are not going to brag. We will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know it. All decisions on this have already been made."

He also accused Western countries of turning Ukraine into an "anti-Russia." The US-NATO strategy has pushed the Ukrainians to clash with Russia, attack the Crimean peninsula and Donbas, and open bioweapons laboratories.

Russia destroyed warehouses storing foreign weapons at Zaporozhye aluminum plant.  Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov announced that his armed forces used high-precision sea-based Kalibr missiles to destroy hangars, with a large batch of foreign weapons and ammunition supplied by the United States and European countries.

Ukraine seeks to receive US$5 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) per month. "We are talking about US$5 billion a month -- the need for this amount has been confirmed by both the IMF and the World Bank. These are the funds that the budget of Ukraine needs in order to fulfill all our social and humanitarian obligations," Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

Russia sanctions 287 members of the British House of Commons. This is a response to the decision of the British government to impose sanctions against 386 members of the Russia's State Duma on March 11.

Russia declared three Norwegian diplomats "personae non gratae" in a tit-for-tat move. On Wednesday, Norwegian Ambassador Rune Resaland was summoned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry on in protest over the unjustified decision to expel employees at the Russian Embassy in Norway, as well as Norway's provision of military assistance to Ukraine and Oslo's cover-up of the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists.

Russia announced the expulsion of eight Japanese diplomats. They must leave the country before May 10. A representative of the Japanese Embassy in Moscow was summoned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, where he was informed about the expulsion of the diplomats.

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