War in Ukraine: Five things you need to know about Tuesday’s conflict

Ukraine faces ‘brutality’ not seen in Europe since World War II, NATO chief says ahead of Madrid summit

Ukraine is facing “brutality” not seen in Europe “since World War II” against the background of the Russian invasion, said Jens Stoltenberg. on the opening day of the key NATO summit in Madrid.

The comments come a day after a Russian attack on a crowded shopping mall in Kremenchuk in central Ukraine killed at least 18 people, according to preliminary reports. G7 leaders called the strike a “war crime”.

NATO countries, which have already supplied billions of euros worth of weapons to Kyiv, will agree in Madrid on a “comprehensive assistance program” to help Ukraine “defend its right to self-defense,” Stoltenberg said at a briefing along with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro. Sanchez.

“It is extremely important that we are ready to continue to provide support, because Ukraine is now facing a brutality that we have not seen in Europe since the Second World War,” said Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General.

The military alliance summit, which will last until Thursday, gathers more than 40 heads of state and government in the Spanish capital. In many ways, it will be dedicated to the war that Russia launched against Ukraine on February 24th.

On Monday, Stoltenberg announced a massive increase in NATO’s rapid reaction force from 40,000 to 300,000, a major boost to the alliance’s eastern flank.

2. Survivors describe the “hell” of the Russian attack on the Kremenchug shopping center

Survivors Russian missile attack on a shopping center in central Ukraine on Monday described their experiences, with one simply calling it “hell.”

At the state hospital in Kremenchug, five people are crammed into the intensive care unit, their wounds are bandaged with bloody bandages. The dead body lies on a stretcher outside, covered with a blanket.

Julia, a 21-year-old woman covered in deep cuts, said Monday was her first day of work at one of the mall’s stores.

The hospital is 25 victims of the attack, six of them are in critical condition. Ukrainian authorities said on Tuesday that at least 18 people were killed, 59 were injured and more than 40 were missing in the strike.

The strike sparked outrage around the world, with G7 leaders denouncing it as “disgusting” as they convened for a summit in Germany.

“This is not an accidental hit, this is a calculated Russian strike,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an evening video message. He said the death toll could rise.

He estimated that there were about 1,000 people in the mall at the time of the strike. Prior to the invasion, the city had a population of 217,000.

Russian opposition leader Ilya Yashin jailed for criticizing war in Ukraine

Moscow court sentences one of Russia’s last remaining opposition leaders up to 15 days in prison.

Ilya Yashin was arrested on Monday and taken to the pre-trial detention center in Luzhniki.

A familiar journalist said that the municipal councilor was detained when they were walking in a Moscow park. He was convicted of “disobedience to the police” during his arrest, the press service of the Moscow court reports.

Yashin denied any wrongdoing and claimed on Telegram that the charges were “fabricated”.

“I’m not crazy enough to fight three cops,” he said, adding that his case could lead to a longer prison sentence.

Yashin is one of the very few politicians in Russia who openly criticizes the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. According to the independent news site Meduza, he was charged last month with discrediting the Russian army and ordered to pay 90,000 rubles (1,600 euros).

Ukraine detains former Soviet KGB agent suspected of assisting Russia in attack on its troops

Ukraine’s security service said on Tuesday it had arrested a former Soviet KGB agent who helped direct Russian missile strikes that killed more than 50 soldiers in March against a military installation in the country’s west.

The suspect sent the coordinates of the targets in the Yavoriv military training center to contacts in an unidentified Russian agency using the Telegram messaging app, according to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and local prosecutor’s office.

“As a result of missile strikes on the Yavorovsky training ground, more than 50 servicemen were killed, almost 150 were injured,” the SBU said in a Telegram message.

Ukraine said that 35 servicemen were killed after a missile strike at a facility located 25 km from the Polish border.

The suspect, a native of western Lvov, is in custody and under investigation on charges of high treason, prosecutors said.

Bulgaria expels 70 Russian diplomats on suspicion of espionage

Bulgaria said on Tuesday it was expelling 70 Russian diplomatic staff over suspicions of espionage and placed a limit on the size of Moscow’s representation as tensions between the two countries, once close allies, escalated over Ukraine.

The move, announced by the Foreign Ministry and the outgoing prime minister, was Sofia’s biggest expulsion of Russian diplomats in recent years and more than halved Moscow’s diplomatic presence in the Balkan nation.

According to the Russian state news agency TASS, a response from Moscow is expected.

“Today we expelled 70 Russian diplomats… Many of them worked directly for the (intelligence) services, and their diplomatic role was more of a front,” said Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who lost his parliamentary distrust last week. vote.