War in Ukraine: all the key events of Friday

Outrage in Kyiv after Amnesty International accused it of endangering civilian lives

Ukraine has reacted furiously to an Amnesty International report accusing it of brutalizing civilians in the country’s fight against Russia.

The humanitarian organization’s report says the Ukrainian military is endangering civilians by placing bases and weapons in residential areas, including schools and hospitals, in an effort to repel a Russian invasion.

“Ukraine’s tactics violated international humanitarian law as they turned civilian targets into military targets,” Amnesty said. “Following Russian strikes on populated areas resulted in the death of civilians and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the findings.

Amnesty “shifts responsibility from the aggressor to the victim,” he said in his daily video message, accusing the NGO of “trying to grant amnesty to the terrorist state” of Russia.

On Friday evening, the head of Amnesty International Ukraine resigned. Oksana Pokalchuk said her team was not consulted about the report.

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Putin hopes to expand economic ties with Turkey by hosting Erdogan in Sochi

Moscow is seeking a deal to strengthen economic cooperation with Ankara, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday while hosting his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the southern city of Sochi.

The meeting took place as the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine was in its sixth month.

“I hope that today we will be able to sign a memorandum on strengthening our trade and economic ties,” Putin said at the beginning of the meeting with Erdogan, which was broadcast on Russian television.

The head of the Kremlin thanked the Turkish president for his efforts to reach an agreement between Moscow and Kyiv on the supply of grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

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Zelensky accused Russia of “nuclear terrorism” because of the terrorist attack at the nuclear power plant

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that Russia should be held responsible for the “terror attack” at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, one of the largest in Europe.

The plant is occupied by the Russian army and is subject to airstrikes, which both Moscow and Kyiv blame each other for.

“Today, the occupiers have created another extremely risky situation for the whole of Europe: they twice attacked the largest nuclear power plant on our continent in Zaporozhye,” Zelensky said in a video message.

“Any bombing of this facility is an unscrupulous crime, an act of terror. Russia must bear responsibility for the very fact of creating a threat to a nuclear power plant,” he continued.

As a result of the latest attack, a high-voltage line was damaged, which led to the shutdown of one of the station’s reactors.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tuesday said the situation at the Zaporozhye power plant was “unstable” and “becomes more dangerous every day.”

When the plant was occupied in March, the Russian military opened fire on the buildings on the site, raising the risk of a major nuclear accident.

Three more shipments of grain are sent from Ukraine

Three more ships carrying thousands of tons of corn left Ukrainian ports on Friday and headed for mined waters to inspect their delayed cargo, a sign that the international grain export deal, which has been on hold since Russia invaded Ukraine, is slowly moving forward. But there are still major hurdles ahead to get food to the countries that need it most.

Ships bound for Ireland, the UK and Turkey follow the first batch of grain to cross the Black Sea since the start of the war. The passage of the vessel, bound for Lebanon earlier this week, was the first in a breakthrough deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations with Russia and Ukraine.

The first ships to leave will be more than a dozen bulk carriers and cargo ships loaded months ago but stranded in ports since the Russian invasion at the end of February. While the resumption of supplies has raised hopes of easing the global food crisis, most of the reserve cargo is for animal feed, not people, experts say.

The Black Sea region has been described as the world’s breadbasket, where Ukraine and Russia are the world’s key suppliers of wheat, corn, barley and sunflower oil, on which millions of impoverished people in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia depend for survival.

However, initial shipments are not expected to have a significant impact on world prices for corn, wheat and soybeans. Exports under the deal are starting slowly and cautiously due to the threat of mines floating off Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.

And while Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat to developing countries, there are other countries, such as the US and Canada, with much higher production levels that could affect world wheat prices. And they are in danger of drought.

Russia bans dozens of Canadians from entry amid new sanctions

On Friday, Russia announced it would ban 62 Canadians from entering its territory, including political and military figures, priests and journalists, in response to recent Canadian sanctions targeting Russian individuals.

The decision was made “in view of the particularly hostile nature of the regime of (Canadian) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau” and in response to actions aimed at “insulting not only the multi-ethnic and multi-religious people of Russia, but also Orthodox believers around the world,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Russia.

In recent months, Canada has imposed a series of sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict, in particular against Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Some of the Canadians on Friday’s list include Canadian Foreign Affairs spokesman Adrian Blanchard; Catholic priest and editor of the Convivum magazine, Raymond J. de Souza; Canadian Forces Intelligence Commander Michael Charles Wright; as well as several advisers to Canadian Vice Prime Minister Christia Freeland and LGBT activist Brent Hawkes.