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Police officers and opposition supporters are seen on Maidan Nezalezhnosti square in Kiev, where clashes began between protesters and the police. - Sputnik International

UPDATES: 2014 Coup in Ukraine, Staged by NATO, Was Real Threat to World and Europe, Kremlin Says

Moscow launched the special military op in Ukraine in February, after Kiev's forces intensified attacks on Donbass, triggering mass evacuations of civilians. President Vladimir Putin noted that the op aims to put an end to the eight-year-long war that Kiev wages against Donetsk and Lugansk.
Situation remains tense in Ukraine amid Moscow's special op, as Russian forces and militias are advancing, while Kiev's troops continue shelling cities in Donbass, including Donetsk.
In the meantime, the first vessel carrying grain left the port of Odessa earlier this week after Russia and Ukraine struck a deal to secure the flow of food and fertilizers via the Black Sea to avoid a global food crisis.
The ship transporting around 27,000 tons of corn, was inspected in Istanbul on Wednesday, and it is expected to continue its trip to Lebanon.
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18:08 GMT 04.08.2022
Ukrainian soldiers move a U.S.-supplied M777 howitzer into position to fire at Russian positions in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region Saturday, June 18, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.08.2022
Sputnik Explains
How Ukrainians Sell NATO-Supplied Weapons Abroad
18:08 GMT 04.08.2022
Tanks with mounted howitzers („Panzerhaubitze 2000“) of the German armed forces Bundeswehr are loaded onto heavy-duty transporters in the Hindenburg barracks in Munster on February 14, 2022. - - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.08.2022
Germany Claims Ukraine Promised Not to Transfer Aid Weapons to Third Parties
18:04 GMT 04.08.2022
Three Bulkers With Grain to Leave Ukrainian Ports on Friday - Turkish Defense Ministry
ANKARA (Sputnik) - The joint coordination center in Istanbul plans to organize departure three bulkers with grain from Ukrainian ports on Friday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday.

"With the intensive work of the Joint Coordination Center, three ships are planned to depart from Ukrainian ports on Friday," Akar said, as quoted by the state broadcaster TRT Haber.
17:47 GMT 04.08.2022
Five Foreign Fighters to Face Trial in Donetsk People's Republic – Prosecutors
DONETSK (Sputnik) - The chief prosecutor's office of the Donetsk People's Republic said Thursday it had filed charges against five foreign fighters from Europe who had joined the armed conflict illegally.
"A criminal investigation is over into Swedish citizen Matis Gutsavasson, Croat citizen Vjekoslav Prebeg, and British subjects John Harding, Andrew Hill and Dylan Healy. Their case was sent to court," a spokesperson with the prosecutor's office told Sputnik.
All but Dylan Healy are accused of fighting as mercenaries in the republic and other related crimes, while Healy is suspected of helping Ukraine recruit mercenaries. These offenses are punishable by life in prison or death in martial criminal justice, the spokesperson added.
17:47 GMT 04.08.2022
Finland Looking for Ways to Limit Tourist Visas for Russians - Foreign Minister
HELSINKI (Sputnik) - The Finnish government is looking for ways to limit the issuance of tourist visas to Russians and plans to raise the issue of visa policy during the next EU Foreign Ministers' meeting in late August, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said Thursday.
Haavisto presented information on the issue to the government earlier in the day after discussing it with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
"The idea is to limit the time required to apply for a tourist visa so that the priority can be given to those visas that are necessary but not tourist in nature. The foreign ministry can implement such an agreement. As we understand, it will be in accordance with the rules of the Schengen Area," Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat quoted Haavisto as saying.
Finland has ways to limit the issuance of tourist visas to Russian nationals, the minister said, adding that the fastest way to achieve this is to influence the issuance of other visa types, including visits to family members of Finnish residents and work visas, as well as the terms of issuance.
He added that a complete visa ban on Russians should only be introduced at the EU level. Therefore, Helsinki is planning to raise the issue during the extraordinary EU Foreign Council in the Czech Republic in late August, the minister said.
"Clearly, this is the issue of the Schengen Area. For example, many people arrive at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport with visas, issued by other countries of the Schengen Agreement. There are many countries that issue these visas more often than Finland," Haavisto said.
17:27 GMT 04.08.2022
US Working to Reinforce Foreign Infrastructure for Cyberattacks Against Russia - Medvedev
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States is enhancing cooperation with other countries in order to reinforce the cybercenters that generate attacks on Russia, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev told Sputnik on Thursday.
"The United States is now strengthening its cooperation with other countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland, to create 'digital footholds' from which attacks on Russia are coming from," Medvedev said.
The goal is to undermine the work flow of Russia's telecommunications, transport and electricity networks, large enterprises and government agencies, emergency services, banks and the financial sector. Such cybercenters operate under the pretext of "fighting Russian propaganda" and "cyberdefense," Medvedev added.
Cyberattacks against Russia have intensified since the start of hostilities in Ukraine in February. In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin postponed his address at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum due to a cyberattack.
17:26 GMT 04.08.2022
Nordics’ NATO Accession Down to 7 Member States – Stoltenberg
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US Senate has ratified Finland's and Sweden's accession to NATO, bringing down the number of outstanding approvals to seven, the alliance's secretary general said Thursday.
“A few hours ago, the US Senate ratified the accession protocols. This brings to 23 the number of Allies which have now ratified Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO,” Jens Stoltenberg said in Norway.
The Norwegian politician said during his visit to a political summer camp on the island of Utoya that several other member states in the 30-nation alliance were close to completing their national processes.
“So far, this has been the fastest accession process in NATO's modern history,” Stoltenberg admitted.
16:29 GMT 04.08.2022
NASA Reportedly Prepared Contingency Plans for Space Station in Lead-up to Russia's Ukraine Op
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Biden administration prepared contingency plans for NASA’s relationship with the Russian space agency Roscosmos regarding the International Space Station (ISS) in the lead-up to Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine, Reuters reported on Thursday.
NASA in coordination with the White House prepared contingency plans in late 2021, when tensions between Russia and Ukraine began to escalate, the report said, citing nine people familiar with the matter.
NASA’s efforts to prepare ahead of the then suspected special military operation demonstrates the delicate nature of managing US-Russia relations in space, where the two nations act as crucial allies, the report added.
In June, Russia said it will pull out from the ISS after 2024. The US government and NASA officials have both expressed surprise at the announcement, stating that they expected the ISS to continue operations with Russia as a partners until at least 2028.
Russia has said it expects to send its first crew to their new Russian Orbital Service Station (ROSS) as early as 2028.
16:28 GMT 04.08.2022
Canada Will Deploy Armed Forces to UK to Train Ukrainian Recruits – Defense Minister
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Canadian government has authorized the deployment of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) staff to the United Kingdom in order to train Ukrainian recruits, Defense Minister Anita Anand said on Thursday.
"I am therefore announcing today that we are fulfilling our promise to resume large scale training under Operation Unifier. I have authorized the deployment of up to 225 Canadian Armed Forces personnel to the United Kingdom where they will train new Ukrainian military recruits," Anand told a press conference.
The first groups of Canadian military personnel will depart from Edmonton, Alberta, starting next week.
The announcement also included the confirmation that an agreement has been made with General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) to supply the Ukrainian military with 39 Armored Combat Support Vehicles (ACSV).
"I am pleased to confirm that an agreement has been achieved with the company," Anand said.
The units which will be equipped with modern armor and machine guns will be delivered to Ukraine just as they leave the assembly line, Anand added.
13:53 GMT 04.08.2022
Lithuanian Citizens Can't Afford to Host More Ukrainian Refugees, Vilnius Says
13:21 GMT 04.08.2022
Russian Trade Ministry Allows Parallel Imports for Some Perfume and Cosmetic Brands

"The changes have affected the list of exceptions for perfumes and cosmetics. Some brands have been removed from the list of exceptions, as there are not enough goods of these brands in retail chains, in particular, Lancome, Redken, Yves Saint Laurent, Helena Rubinstein, Valentino, Giorgio Armani, Kerastase," the ministry said.

The ministry expanded the list of parallel imports for auto chemicals and spare parts, including Castrol, Liqui Moly and Datsun.
It also removed Renault from the list of parallel imports, as AvtoVAZ undertook to provide warranty service for this brand, including the sale of spare parts.
11:00 GMT 04.08.2022
Kremlin: Grain Deal Is Example of How to Conduct Negotiations

"This is a good example that the most difficult issues can be resolved taking into account the interests of all parties. Here, in this case, you can ... [note the contribution of] Guterres, and, of course, the huge contribution that Turkish president Erdogan made personally. Yes, this is an example of how can we negotiate", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

10:41 GMT 04.08.2022
2014 Coup in Ukraine, Staged by NATO, Was Real Threat to World and Europe, Kremlin Says

"The real threat to the world order and the situation in the world, and on our continent, that is, in Europe, is probably the coup that took place in Ukraine in 2014, and which was carefully staged, including by NATO member countries. Despite the guarantees that the foreign ministers of a number of countries gave. Hence the threat and danger to the world order", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

10:17 GMT 04.08.2022
Twitter Blocks Ria Novosti Accounts in EU and UK
A picture taken on September 4, 2019 shows the logo of the US social networking website Twitter, displayed on a smart-phone screen, in Lille, northern France.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.08.2022
Twitter Blocks Ria Novosti Accounts in EU and UK
10:02 GMT 04.08.2022
Mother and Her Child Killed by Ukrainian Shelling in Central Donetsk
09:49 GMT 04.08.2022
Twitter Accounts of Russian News Agency RIA Blocked in EU and Britain
08:43 GMT 04.08.2022
Five Dead as Ukraine Shells Donetsk Drama Theater Amid Farewell to Deceased Colonel Kachura - Video
Shelling of Donetsk - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.08.2022
Five Dead as Ukraine Shells Donetsk Drama Theater Amid Farewell to Deceased Colonel Kachura - Video
07:31 GMT 04.08.2022
Central Donetsk Targeted With Heavy Ukrainian Forces Shelling
Ukrainian troops have shelled the building of the Donetsk Drama Theater, hosting the farewell to the deceased Olga Kachura — the legendary commander of the rocket artillery division of the People's Militia of the DPR, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Thursday.
The center of the city is under intense shelling, according to the correspondent. Though air defenses went off, at least two shells were missed.
The farewell ceremony did not start because of the shelling, everyone was evacuated to shelters.
07:17 GMT 04.08.2022
Russian and Donbass Forces Eliminate Group of Spanish-Speaking Mercenaries Near Kharkov, Source Says
05:58 GMT 04.08.2022
Ukraine Carries Out Rocket Attack on Kherson, Missile Defenses Activated, Authorities Say
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