- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.
In this June 23, 2016 file photo, a worker on a lift adjusts the EU flags in front of EU headquarters in Brussels. - Sputnik International

UPDATES: Novak Not Ruling Out Shortage of Petroleum Products in EU in Event of Russian Oil Embargo

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In February, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine in response to calls by the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics for protection from Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defence Ministry said the goal of the operation, which targets Ukrainian military infrastructure, is to "demilitarize and deNazify" Ukraine.
As the Russian armed forces and Donbass troops continue the special military operation in Ukraine, US President Joe Biden has announced a new military assistance package for Kiev, which includes High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
The head of the Russian National Defence Control Centre, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev has warned that Ukrainian nationalists are planning to deploy US long-range missile systems in the city of Shostka in northern Ukraine to strike at Russian territory.
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03:47 GMT 03.06.2022
Deputy Chairman of the of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev during an interview on 17 April 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.06.2022
'They Are Always Mistaken': Medvedev Calls Talks About Impossibility of Nuclear War Wrong
01:19 GMT 03.06.2022
Western Sanctions Against Russia to Bring End to US Hegemony - Venezuelan Lawmaker
US and EU sanctions against Russia are accelerating the transition to a multipolar world without US and dollar hegemony, Venezuelan lawmaker Julio Chavez said on Friday in an interview with Sputnik.

"Sanctions are far from weakening Russia, China, or the bloc of developing countries. All they [sanctions] have done is strengthen them [countries] and accelerate the transition to a multipolar world without US hegemony and dollar dictatorship," Chavez said.

Chavez added that illegal and absurd sanctions of the West, aimed at damaging the economies of Russia, China, and a number of other countries, only harm the population of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
20:58 GMT 02.06.2022
US Commerce Department Publishes Names of 71 Blacklisted Russian Entities - Notice
The US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a notice on Thursday in which it published the names of 71 newly blacklisted Russian entities, including aircraft and shipbuilding companies.
"In response to the Russian Federation’s (Russia’s) further invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Department of Commerce is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by adding 71 entities... to the Entity List. These entities have been determined by the US government to be acting contrary to the national security interests or foreign policy of the United States," the BIS notice said.
The sanctioned entities include the Chkalov Novosibirsk Aviation Plant, Irkutsk Aviation Plant, St. Petersburg Shipbuilding Institution Krylov 45, Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center and the All Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics, among others.
19:45 GMT 02.06.2022
A damaged Ukrainian tank outside Severodonetsk in the Lugansk People's Republic, 6 March 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.06.2022
Ukrainian Cabinet Estimates Country's Overall Losses From Russia's Operation at $600Bln
16:41 GMT 02.06.2022
Nebenzia: The West is Committing a Crime by Flooding Ukraine With Weapons
16:33 GMT 02.06.2022
'Are They All Junkies There?' Resident of Donetsk Tells How Tired Locals are of Constant Ukrainian Shelling
16:27 GMT 02.06.2022
Mariupol Resident Tells British Journo Who She Thinks Azov Militants Are - Video
16:08 GMT 02.06.2022
The Guardian Says Russia Winning Economic War Against West
The Guardian, a British newspaper, opined on Thursday that Russia is winning the economic war that the West has been waging since February in the hope of forcing it to back down on Ukraine.

The daily said economic sanctions against Russia led to a hike in global fuel and food prices that have boosted Russia's budget coffers while putting a significant strain on Western economies.

It suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been playing a long game in the hope that the rising costs of sanctions would wear out the West.

The economic effect of a prolonged standoff was reportedly on everyone’s mind as world leaders and bankers met in Davos last week. EU countries have seen inflation rates soar and are in for slow or even negative growth, reminiscent of the 1970s' stagflation.

Russia’s economy is likewise expected to contract 8.5% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, but the ruble is strong and Russia arguably has time to replace collapsing Western imports and explore the Asian energy markets. China, in particular, has been scooping up Russian oil and gas, doubling energy imports in April.

The Guardian argued that Russia will eventually feel sanctions pain as its stockpiles of goods shrink, but this is not likely to end the conflict in Ukraine.

Waiting for the economic blockade to work would be one way out, although collateral damage would be great, the daily said.
14:42 GMT 02.06.2022
Russia Vows Response to Sixth Round of EU Sanctions
The Russian foreign ministry has vowed to respond to the sixth round of EU sanctions against Moscow. The reaction comes shortly after the French delegation, which currently holds EU presidency, announced that the legal text of the sixth package of Russia sanctions had been approved.
The list includes a ban on the import of Russian oil transported by sea, further restrictions on exports of chemicals and high-tech products to Russia, as well as a ban on broadcasting of three Russian TV channels.
14:42 GMT 02.06.2022
Grain crops harvesting - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.06.2022
Anadolu: Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, and the UN Working on Roadmap to Open Corridor for Grain Shipments
14:23 GMT 02.06.2022
US Imposes New Sanctions on Russia
The fresh US sanctions target multiple individuals, including Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, and Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov. The US Treasury Department has also imposed restrictions on Severstal, the largest steel company in Russia.
"Today’s designations were taken in tandem with the US Department of State and the US Department of Commerce. The US Department of State imposed sanctions on five of Russia’s oligarchs and elites, including Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Alexey Mordashov, the leader of Severgroup and one of Russia’s wealthiest billionaires; and family members and entities associated with the oligarchs and elites", the Treasury Department announced on Thursday.
Washington has also sanctioned seven yachts, including two that the Treasury claims are linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The department has slapped restrictions on three aircraft in Russia, too.
The White House then announced that Washington would be prohibiting 71 "parties" from Russia and Belarus from accessing American technology and equipment.
"The Department of Commerce is further restricting the Russian military’s ability to obtain technologies and other items it needs to sustain its aggression and project power. This includes adding 71 parties located in Russia and Belarus to the Entity List, effectively cutting them off from obtaining U.S.-origin items or foreign-made products derived from certain U.S. technology or software," The US Commerce Department said.
14:13 GMT 02.06.2022
Russian Deputy PM Novak Not Ruling Out Shortage of Petroleum Products in Europe in Event of Russian Oil Embargo
14:04 GMT 02.06.2022
EU Approves Sixth Package of Russia Sanctions
The EU has approved the sixth batch of sanctions against Russia, including an oil embargo. The full text will be released on Friday.
The Department of Energy said Friday it's considering buying 5 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in a move that could signal a government plan to bolster an industry suffering from collapsing prices.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.06.2022
Sixth Package of EU Sanctions Includes Restrictions on Russian Oil Delivered by Sea: French Mission
Meanwhile, Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, has announced that Russian company representatives "are no longer allowed to enter" EP's premises, "effective immediately".
13:44 GMT 02.06.2022
Sweden to Supply Ukraine With Anti-Ship and Anti-Tank Weapons
Sweden will supply anti-ship missiles and anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, and will also provide financial assistance to the country's military forces, Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde said on Thursday.
"Sweden will send anti-ship missiles, anti-tank weapons and 12.7 mm rifles, including ammunition, to Ukraine. This fourth support package also includes financial assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The total amount includes more than 95 million euros," Linde wrote on Twitter.
13:31 GMT 02.06.2022
Politician Medvedchuk Facing Up to 15 Years in Prison in Ukraine, State Bureau of Investigation Says
13:22 GMT 02.06.2022
Russian National Guard Says Serviceman Died in Donbass in Battle With UK Lawmaker's Son
The National Guard of Russia said on Thursday that its brigade commander died in Donbass in a battle with a group of foreign mercenaries, led by the son of a conservative member of UK Parliament.

Sergeant Adam Bisultanov, brigade commander of the North Caucasian National Guard District, died on May 26, saving his comrades while performing a combat mission, according to the statement.

"As it turned out, a National Guard unit was engaged in a battle with a group of mercenaries from the United Kingdom and the United States. On May 28, a video of the clash was released online and The Daily Telegraph published an article. A GoPro camera captured the attack and one of the mercenaries, Ben Grant — the son of a member of the UK Parliament," the statement read.

The National Guard said that Bisultanov was covering for personnel. During fire support, the armored personnel carrier with Bisultanov was hit by a grenade launcher. Despite multiple injuries, he continued to cover his comrades. With another hit, the sergeant received injuries incompatible with life.

The leadership applied to posthumously award Bisultanov the Order of Courage.

The statement noted that video materials confirming the crimes of foreign mercenaries were transferred to the Main Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee.

At the end of May, the Investigative Committee said it would give a legal assessment of the actions of Grant.
13:02 GMT 02.06.2022
Kherson Region Will Permanently Remain Under Russian Control, Everything Necessary Being Done to Let People Live in Peace and Plan Their Future, Head of Local Administration Says
12:09 GMT 02.06.2022
Hungary Seeks to Resell Russian Oil to EU, Sanctions Waiver for Patriarch Kirill – Source
Hungary has been pushing for more exemptions to the proposed sanctions against Russia, including the right to resell pipeline crude and dropping top Russian cleric Patriarch Kirill from the list of sanctioned individuals, a EU official said.

Hungary reportedly stalled the adoption of the sixth package of sanctions at a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels on Wednesday, two days after the European Commission announced that all 27 nations had agreed to ban seaborne Russian oil and allow Hungary to continue importing crude through the Druzhba pipeline.

"They discussed again the technical details of the timeframe for reselling Russian pipeline oil products in EU but I believe this is not a very easy topic to find common ground with the Commission," the EU official said on condition of anonymity.

Hungary wants to continue selling Russian oil products it refines, while its oil infrastructure is being adapted to crude sourced from elsewhere. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Tuesday EU leaders insisted that Russian oil imports be used domestically and that the pipeline exemption last for a short period.

Another demand that Hungary voiced during the Wednesday meeting was to remove Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, from the proposed EU blacklist for allegedly backing Russian President Vladimir Putin and the military operation in Ukraine.

"They ask for the removal of Patriarch Kirill from the sanctions list of the 6th sanctions package suggesting they will not give the green light unless Patriarch’s name is removed from the list," the source said.

The official added that it had caused frustration among EU ambassadors, as Hungary had not mentioned this condition during the EU summit on Monday and Tuesday. The source said that removing names from sanctions lists had never been easy, especially at a late stage, but suggested "this might be a possibility."

European Commission foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano confirmed on Thursday that the list of individual sanctions had not been finalised.

"This is the privilege and the competence of the member states to decide when it comes to the sanctions list specifically who will end up on the sanctions list and be adopted for the sanctioning or not these discussions are not finalized yet," he told a news briefing.
11:02 GMT 02.06.2022
US, NATO Have No Plans to Supply Kiev With Advanced Combat Aircraft - Official
The United States and its NATO allies are not considering the possibility of handing over advanced combat aircraft, including F-16 fighter jets, to the Ukrainian armed forces as there is no need for such at the moment, US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said.

"No," Smith told Air Force Magazine on Monday, when asked whether the US or NATO members had discussed the transfer of US aircraft to Ukraine.

Smith also said that the type of weapons provided to Kiev is tied to its needs on the battlefield in real time. She added that the US and NATO allies are "in constant contact with the Ukrainians." Contact group meetings at different moments have focused on air defence, ammunition, coastal defence and armoured vehicles.

"We've seen an evolution in terms of what's been provided. It reflects the evolution of the war, of the situation on the ground, of the Ukrainians own internal debates about what is needed in this moment," Smith said, as quoted by the media outlet.

According to Air Force Magazine, NATO's eastern flank official said that the alliance members did not "directly" talk about providing Kiev with US aircraft. The official said that the allies almost do not even discuss the transfer of Soviet-era fighters like MiG-29.

"There are other ways to sustain the [Ukrainian] Air Force," the official added.

In May, Poland transferred to Ukraine a large number of spare parts and weapons for MiG-29 fighter jets to help restore the country's air combat capabilities. Initially, the talks were focused on the transfer of MiG-29 fighter jets from Poland to Ukraine. However, an agreement at the NATO level was not reached.

Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly appealed to the West for additional arms deliveries. Although a number of countries have started supplying certain types of weapons to Kiev, the Ukrainian authorities are still dissatisfied. In particular, Kiev has repeatedly criticised Germany for slow deliveries. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Ukraine needs all the weapons that it asks for and not what other countries give.
10:55 GMT 02.06.2022
US to Build 110 Military Facilities in Poland Within Next 10 Years, US Ambassador to Warsaw Says
The United States plans to build over 110 military facilities in Poland in the next 10 years, US ambassador in Warsaw Mark Brzezinski said on Thursday.

The diplomat attended a ceremonial breaking of the ground to formally begin a construction project of a military warehouse in Poland’s Powidz. During the ceremony, Brzezinski said that it is planned to build 110 similar facilities in the next 10 years.
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