Ukraine's Latest War: Putin Ally Tells Officials 'I'm Not Dying, Guys' After Health Rumors; the "home attack" took Russia by surprise (2023)

  • Wall Street Journal reporter's arrest extended
  • Lukashenko from Belarus says: "I will not die"
  • The Belgorod attack took Russian commentators by surprise
  • Why the Battle of Bakhmut could have started in just a few days | Sean Bell
  • Answers to your questions: What does Putin's failure look like?
  • Have a question about the war? Ask our experts
  • James Robinson live coverage


Bosnia's Serbian leader visits Moscow - a move that could destroy the hopes of EU countries

Vladimir Putin met Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik in Moscow in a way that could destroy the country's hopes of joining the European Union.

The couple praised the development of trade relations between Russia and the Serbian Republic of Dodik.

“This trend should definitely be maintained,” Putin said.

After a devastating ethnic war in the 1990s, Bosnia was divided into two autonomous regions and a third, much smaller autonomous area.

One region, known as the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is shared by Bosniaks and Croats, and the other is the Republic of Serbia.

The three are connected by a weak central government, each with its own president.

Although Bosnia does not have a unified foreign policy, Dodik, a Serbian nationalist, maintains a close relationship with Putin.


Ukraine's Supreme Prosecutor's Office initiates criminal proceedings against Belarus in connection with allegations of child abduction

Ukraine's Supreme Prosecutor's Office has initiated criminal proceedings against Belarus over the alleged abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children.

The children were to be transported from Russian-occupied Ukraine to "recreation camps" in Belarus.

The announcement came after the Belarusian opposition in exile reported that 2,150 Ukrainian children, including orphans aged 6 to 15, had been transferred to the so-called recreational camps and sanatoriums on the territory of Belarus.

The National Anti-Crisis Authority said in a preliminary report that the children had been taken to at least three locations in the country - which were used as a base for troops before Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General's office told Reuters it had opened a criminal case for the "forced transportation/deportation" of more than 19,000 children from the occupied territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia, Kherson and Kharkiv, including to Belarus.

“The fact and circumstances of deporting Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to the so-called recreational camps in Belarus are currently being investigated in the aforementioned criminal proceedings," Andriy Kostin's office said in a statement to Reuters.

Reuters said it had not received a response to a request for comment from Alexander Lukashenko's office.

In March, the International Criminal Court, the world's permanent war crimes tribunal, issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war crimes commissioner.


Wall Street Journal reporter detained in Russia for three more months

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is being held in Russia on espionage charges, will be detained for another three months, according to Russian state media.

Mr. Gershkovich, a US citizen, was arrested in Russia in March on charges.

The 32-year-old reporter, the first American journalist since the Cold War detained in Russia on espionage charges, vehemently denies the allegations.

According to the Russian state news agency RIA, Gershkowicz will remain in custody until the end of August.

Reports from Russia say the extension came after a request by the country's security agency - the FSB - for more time to investigate claims before a possible trial.

Tuesday's hearing was not announced in advance and the whole case was kept secret.

Russian authorities did not specify what evidence, if any, they had to support the espionage allegations

President Joe Biden expressed "deep concern" over the decision to extend Gershkovich's detention.

John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman, told CNN: "He must be released immediately."


Belarusian Lukashenko tells officials: "I'm not dying, guys"

Alexander Lukashenko made public appearances and rejected claims that he was in poor health.

In a video shown to state media, the 68-year-old Belarusian president told officials: "Guys, I'm not dying."

Lukashenka, one of Vladimir Putin's closest allies, has not been seen at a military parade in Moscow since May 9. He looked tired and unsure.

He told the assembly that he was suffering from adenovirus, which is the common cold virus.

The footage from the meeting was broadcast by PulPervovo, a state-owned channel reporting on Lukashenko's activities.

He claimed that although it only took three days to recover from such a virus, he was too busy to take immediate leave.

"I'm not dying, guys. You will have to fight me for a very long time.

President Lukashenko has ruled Belarus since 1994 and allowed Russian troops to launch attacks on Ukraine from his territory.


The Russian Ministry of Defense claims that American bombers have detected the approaching border over the Baltic Sea

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, two American bombers have been detected approaching the Russian border via the Baltic Sea.

They say a fighter was sent to intercept the two bombers and prevent any border raids.

The planes were described as "US Air Force strategic bombers" and, according to Russian officials, did not cross the border.

The US Air Force has three types of strategic bombers: the huge B-52 Stratofortress, the B-1 Lancer and the stealthy B-2 Spirit.


Putin met with the leader of the Bosnian Serbs in Moscow

Vladimir Putin met today in Moscow with the leader of the Bosnian Serbs.

Milorad Dodik, one of the leading politicians of Bosnia and Herzegovina, made the visit despite strong criticism from the EU.

The content of the meeting is not yet known, but it is speculated that they will discuss gas prices and gas pipelines during Dodik's time in the Kremlin.

Ethnically divided Bosnia does not have a unified view of foreign policy, and Dodik maintains close relations with Russia and Putin.

His Republika Srpska is the region that makes up Bosnia along with the Autonomous Bosnian Croat Federation - united by a weak central government.

Dodik was sanctioned by the US in 2022 for his ties to Russia.


'Must be released immediately': US responds to reports that Wall Street Journal journalist may still be held in Russia

The United States has now responded to the messages we gave you earlier regarding Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is being held in Russia on espionage charges.

Russian state media reported that the country's security service - the FSB - had applied for an extension of his pre-trial detention for three months.

John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman, told CNN: "He must be released immediately."

He said: "He shouldn't be held at all. Journalism is not a crime.

"We will continue to work very, very hard to see if we can bring him home to the family where he belongs."

He said US officials continued to press Russia to gain consular access to Mr Gershkovich - who has always "categorically" denied the allegations.


Russia's Gazprom announces a 41 percent drop in profits after Western sanctions

Russia's gas company Gazprom, which is the backbone of its economy, is a semi-state-owned company and has announced a massive drop in profits.

The gas exporter said its 2022 profit fell 41 percent to 1.226 trillion rubles ($15.4 billion).

This comes after Western countries imposed wide-ranging sanctions after they invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The UK has banned imports of Russian gas, although the EU has not.

Before the war, EU countries depended on Russian imports for around 40 percent of their gas supplies.

In September, Vladimir Putin cut off the main gas pipeline - Nord Stream - to Europe for an indefinite period.

Western countries have accused the Russian leader of trying to use energy supplies as a weapon in response to Western sanctions.

The company is trying to strengthen its export business by increasing shipments to China and other markets.

However, the company cited an unexpected tax imposed last year to boost Russian government funding as the reason for the decline.


Belgorod invasion is 'embarrassing' for Russians, says defense analyst

Professor Michael Clarke, whose defense analysis informed Sky News readers throughout the war, offered his opinion on the Belgorod raid.

The Russian defense ministry said the raid ended and about 70 attackers were killed, some on the Ukrainian side of the border.

Of course, he says, "only the Russian Ministry of Defense says that."

The raid is "an embarrassment" for the Russians, he says, but based on probabilities, "it's probably all over because it was a raid."

Clarke says this is the third such incident, but it was the biggest.

The Russian claim to have killed 70 people "looks plausible" - there were "several vehicles, at least one tank we know of, and they may have gotten some armored vehicles."

Clarke says there doesn't seem to have been much fighting - "it's not like these characters were shelling these villages or attacking a lot of Russian soldiers."

Nevertheless, the Russians were "so shocked by this in these small, well-kept villages."

The question now is, he says, whether the Ukrainians were "accomplices" in this.

"It's a real problem for them if they did."


Russian conscripts go into battle smiling and thumbs up

Thumbs up and coach smile - these young Russian conscripts may be on their way to a war zone.

Conscripts today attended a ceremony at St. Petersburg's Holy Trinity Cathedral to mark their passing.

They will be transferred to their garrisons and may even fight in Ukraine soon.

Last October, Russian officials reported that 82,000 conscripts had been sent to the front.

Last fall, Russia appointed 300,000 soldiers, and in January this year intelligence suggested that it was preparing to mobilize another 500,000.

In March, British intelligence said Russia was planning to recruit another 400,000 professional troops amid reports of heavy casualties in Ukraine.

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