• Ukraine says it has uncovered a Russian spy ring within its military
  • Germany could stop using Russian oil by the end of the summer

This story was last updated at 03:53 UTC/GMT.

Russian tycoon forced into sellout after criticizing war

Oleg Tinkov, the founder of one of Russia’s biggest banks, told the New York Times on Sunday that he was forced to sell a 35% stake in his bank to a company run by Vladimir Potanin, a mining oligarch. considered close to Vladimir Putin. .

The sell-out came following Tinkov’s criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Instagram. The day after his criticism was published, the Kremlin contacted his bank and threatened to nationalize it if the financial institution did not cut ties with Tinkov.

Tinkov told The New York Times, “I couldn’t discuss the price. It was like a hostage.”

He would not discuss his current location, but said he had hired bodyguards for fear of reprisals from the Russian state.

Ukraine says Russian spy ring detected

Ukrainian security forces said they uncovered a Russian spy ring and said one of the spies worked in Ukraine’s military staff.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said: “The comrades were supposed to shoot down an airliner over Russia or Belarus and then say Ukraine was responsible.

He added that Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles would have been used to carry out the planned shootout.

Lavrov: No plans to end the war before VE Day

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his country does not plan to end the war any time soon.

He said Moscow would not rush to end the conflict in time for the May 9 Victory Day commemorations, which mark Nazi Germany’s surrender to Allied forces – including the Soviet Union. era – in 1945.

“Our military will not artificially adjust their actions on any date, including Victory Day,” Lavrov said in an interview with Italian network Mediaset.

“The pace of the operation in Ukraine depends, above all, on the need to minimize the risks for the civilian population and Russian military personnel,” he added.

He also said that NATO and the EU have “resigned” to the United States.

“And in Washington they decided the world should now be monopolar, they talk about it all the time.”

Lavrov also accused the United States and Canada of forming “neo-Nazi subdivisions” that entered the ranks of the Ukrainian army, in comments mainly referring to the Azov regiment.

Russian governor talks about two explosions in Belgorod

Vyacheslav Gladkov, the regional governor of Belgorod region in southern Russia that borders Ukraine, said two explosions occurred on Monday morning.

No further details were given and Gladkov said no casualties or damage were reported.

Germany could do without Russian oil by the end of the summer

German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said he expects his country to be fully independent of Russian crude oil imports by the end of the summer.

Swedish Foreign Minister says Finland will apply to join NATO

Ann Linde, Sweden’s foreign minister, told Swedish television that Finland would almost certainly apply for NATO membership.

Sweden and Finland already cooperate with NATO on military and security issues, but are not officially members of the alliance.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced a rethink of the two nations’ policy of military neutrality.

The clause in article five of the treaty of alliance which states that an attack on one is an attack on all member states is seen in a new light in both countries as offering stronger protection in the event of an attack on Russia.

Summary of Sunday’s events in Russia’s war on Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described a meeting in Kyiv on Sunday with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a strong indication of support. Other members of the US Congress accompanied her as part of the delegation.

In his daily televised address, Zelenskyy said Ukrainians “are grateful to all partners who are sending such important and powerful signals of support by visiting our capital at such a difficult time.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told a German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Germany’s response to the war in Ukraine has been hesitant compared to that of other European nations.

Kuleba said that if Russia wins the war, “Europe will not enjoy stability and security for decades.”

The diplomat also gave a lengthy interview to Chinese state media, a rare move for China given its reluctance to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the interview, Kuleba called on China to be Ukraine’s “security guarantor”, referring to a pledge Beijing made in 2013 to act in that capacity if Kyiv ever came under threat.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has defended his policy of sending arms to Ukraine so the country can defend itself against Russian aggression.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Western sanctions were aimed at weakening Russia’s economy so it could not start another war.

A planned operation to evacuate civilians from parts of Mariupol outside the Azovstal steel plant on Sunday was postponed until Monday morning. Those evacuated under the UN-brokered “Operation Safe Passage” will be taken to Zaporizhzhia, northwest of Mariupol.

It is a separate operation from an evacuation operation that saw dozens of civilians leave the besieged Azovstal steelworks in the strategic port city on Sunday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said around 100 people managed to leave the compound.

British military intelligence said Russia may aim to wield strong political and economic influence over the Ukrainian city of Kherson after initiating a currency switch to the ruble and ruling out its return to Ukrainian control.

Russia said a fire broke out at a Russian Defense Ministry facility in the Belgorod region, bordering Ukraine.

ar/jsi (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)