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Russia-Ukraine War News: New Video by Paul Whelan; Poland urges Belarus to expel Wagner

Polish military personnel patrol the area around the Polish-Belarusian border in Gobiaty, Poland on August 12. (Michal Dyjuk/AP)

Poland and the three Baltic countries have called on Belarus to expel the Wagner group due to border security concerns exacerbated by the presence of the Russian paramilitary organization. Fighters from the mercenary group – led by Yevgeny Prigozhin until his death in a plane crash last week – moved to Belarus following a short-lived rebellion against Russian military rulers in June. Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski made the request at a press conference attended by his Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian counterparts.

New footage of Paul Whelan, the Marine-turned-security chief serving a 16-year prison sentence in Russia on espionage charges he and the US deny, has been released by a state-controlled news outlet. the Russian state. His brother, David Whelan, told a Detroit news outlet that the video was his first glimpse of Paul since 2020 and that he looked determined and strong.

Here is the latest news on the war and its repercussions around the world.

Poland and the Baltic countries have threatened to close their border crossings with Belarus for security and immigration reasons.. “In the event of a critical incident, whether on the Polish or Lithuanian border, we will respond immediately. All border crossings that have been open so far will be closed,” Kaminski said. said at Monday’s press conference, according to a Reuters translation. Interior ministers accused Belarus of “triggering and artificially supporting” migration that the countries – all members of NATO and the European Union – deemed illegal.

Whelan’s video, published by Russia Today, appears to show him having lunch and carrying out various tasks in a penal colony. while wearing a black uniform. Whelan was arrested in Moscow at the end of 2018 for espionage. He was sentenced in June 2020 and the Biden administration said it was working to negotiate his release.

The Russian Federal Security Service announced on Monday its intention to interview two American diplomats, after accusing a former consulate employee of “cooperation on a confidential basis with a foreign state,” the Washington Post reported. The diplomats were accused of ordering former employee Robert Shonov, a Russian citizen who worked at the US consulate in Vladivostok, to gather information about the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine plans to order mandatory evacuation of all children from Vasylivskyi and Pologivskyi districts in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukrainian state media reported. More than 1,400 people, including 343 children, have also been evacuated from dangerous areas in Kupyansk district since August 9, the Kharkiv regional governor said in a Telegram message on Monday.

Ukrainian forces took control of the village of Robotyne, in the Zaporizhzhia region, according to the country’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar. She added that Ukrainian troops were also advancing southeast of Robotyne, which would bring them closer to a Russian-controlled transport hub on the way to the besieged town of Melitopol, a key target of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be present Group of 20 summit in New Delhi next month, Russian news agency Interfax reported, citing an excerpt from a call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Russia said it spotted two US drones over the Black Sea near Crimea. Monday. The Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram that the two unmanned aerial vehicles belonged to the US Air Force and that it had deployed two fighter jets before the drones finally changed direction. Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said earlier that a US drone was detected flying over the Black Sea on Sunday. La Poste could not verify this information independently.

Putin, tainted by Prigozhin’s death, faces calls for military funeral: The Kremlin said on Monday that the decision on the funeral of Prigozhin and other members of the Wagner band who died in a plane crash last week lay largely with their families, and that it was unclear whether the Russian President would attend a ceremony. Questions about how the plane crash victims will be honored underscore continuing divisions among Russia’s elite over the war and the risks posed by war-supporting ‘turbo-patriots’ who have demanded a tougher approach to Ukraine, reports Robyn Dixon.

As the Kremlin weighed the dangers of potential unrest if Putin did not give Prigozhin and Wagner their due as ‘war heroes’, Kremlin propagandists stoked competing theories about the cause of the crash, apparently intended to allay the suspicions of Russian society that Prigozhin was murdered. . Western intelligence agencies have so far believed the plane crashed following an explosion on board.


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