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Russian POW ‘pleading for forgiveness’; $300 million Russian superyacht triggers court clash: Live Ukraine updates

Russian POW ‘pleading for forgiveness’; $300 million Russian superyacht triggers court clash: Live Ukraine updates


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The destiny of a Russian-owned, $300 million superyacht seized by U.S. authorities in Fiji may quickly be decided by an appeals court docket there.

The court docket heard arguments Wednesday from the U.S. Justice Division, two weeks after federal brokers gained a decrease court docket order in Fiji to grab the 348-foot yacht from Fiji’s Lautoka harbor. U.S. officers say the vessel belongs to sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.

When brokers boarded the Amadea and ordered the crew of 20 to sail east, Russian legal professionals received concerned. Eduard Khudainatov, a former chairman of the state-controlled Russian oil and gasoline firm Rosneft, filed an affidavit to say he owns the Amadeas.

A number of superyachts have been seized from sanctioned Russians world wide. Khudainatov is on no sanctions listing, and U.S. officers notice that he’s additionally the on-paper proprietor of one other superyacht tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. claims Khudainatov is making an attempt to protect the Amadea – and it is lobster tank, swimming pool and helipad – from world sanctions.

“The truth that Khudainatov is being held out because the proprietor of two of the biggest superyachts on file, each linked to sanctioned people, means that Khudainatov is getting used as a clear, unsanctioned straw proprietor to hide the true helpful homeowners,” the FBI wrote in a court docket affidavit.

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Newest developments

►A $40 billion package deal of navy and financial assist for Ukraine and its allies was anticipated to be accepted by the Senate on Thursday and despatched to President Joe Biden’s desk for ultimate approval.

►Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated Russia has fired over 2,000 missiles throughout its assault on Ukraine, which he stated was a big a part of its arsenal.

►Russia will shut the Moscow bureau of Canada’s CBC broadcaster, after Canada stopped broadcasting state-run Russian TV channels, a Russian Overseas Ministry official stated. 

A Russian POW who may face life in jail after fatally capturing a Ukrainian civilian requested the sufferer’s spouse for forgiveness Thursday. A day earlier, Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin pleaded responsible in the identical Kyiv court docket, saying he was following orders from a Russian officer when he shot Oleksandr Shelipov, 62, via a window of a automotive the Russians had hijacked in Ukraine’s Sumy area.

Shishimarin, 21, stated his group was fleeing a Ukraine advance and the officer feared the person may pinpoint their location to Ukrainian forces. He stated he at first disobeyed his instant commanding officer’s order however needed to observe the order when it was repeated by one other officer.

“I understand you could’t forgive me, however I am pleading for forgiveness,” Shishimarin stated.

Kateryna Shelipova described her husband as “my defender” and stated the soldier deserves a life sentence. However she added that he could possibly be swapped with Russia for a Ukrainian POW.

Biden greets leaders of Sweden, Finland and backs their NATO bids

President Joe Biden on Thursday provided full help for Finland and Sweden becoming a member of NATO, saying they’ve the “full, complete full backing” of the U.S.

“Finland and Sweden make NATO stronger,” Biden stated in remarks from the Rose Backyard because the leaders of these nations stood behind him. “And a robust united NATO is the muse of America’s safety.”

Biden, whose championing of NATO is a stark distinction to former President Donald Trump’s persistent complaints in regards to the alliance, stated any doubts raised in recent times about NATO’s relevance have been dispelled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.   

After a protracted custom of neutrality, Finland and Sweden on Wednesday utilized to affix NATO. All present 30 members should agree and Turkey has raised objections. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Finland and Sweden of supporting Kurdish militants and others whom Turkey considers to be terrorists and of imposing restrictions on navy gross sales to Turkey.

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden and President Sauli Niinistö of Finland each stated Thursday they’re open to discussing Turkey’s considerations. Niinistö stated Biden’s encouragement to affix was important to the method and he thanked Biden “for making historical past with us.”

Stated Andersson: “Throughout darkish instances, it’s nice to be amongst shut buddies.”

Maureen Groppe

McDonald’s introduced plans to sell its 850 Russian restaurants to Alexander Govor, a Russian businessman who already owns 25 licensed McDonald’s shops in Siberia. Govor will purchase the eating places underneath a brand new model, the corporate stated in a press release. The deal is topic to regulatory approval, and shutting is predicted to inside weeks, the assertion stated. McDonald’s has 39,000 areas in over 100 nations, 95% of them owned and operated by native enterprise homeowners.

The corporate, which didn’t disclose the sale value, introduced Monday that it was pulling out of the Russian market after greater than 30 years due to the struggle.

Virtually 25 million acres of crops have been planted in Ukraine thus far this spring and extra is being planted day by day, a Ukrainian agriculture official stated Thursday. Taras Vysotsky, first deputy minister of agriculture and meals, stated that due to Russian occupation of some areas – and land mines in others – planting will happen on about 9 million fewer acres this 12 months than final 12 months.

Ukraine farms present corn, wheat, sunflower seed and wheat to a lot of the world, and war-related struggles have helped drive meals costs larger, significantly within the growing world. Vysotsky did say the climate circumstances have been favorable to date.

“There may be potential for a good harvest this 12 months, which is able to start in late June, early July,” Vysotsky stated.

The Senate confirmed Bridget Brink as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on Wednesday, the newest sign of American diplomatic efforts throughout Ukraine’s ongoing battle against the Russian invasion.

Brink was confirmed unanimously by the Senate with out a formal roll name vote. The place has been vacant since 2019.

The identical day as Brink’s affirmation, the U.S. opened its Ukrainian embassy in Kyiv, with diplomats returning on a everlasting foundation to town. Brink instructed senators throughout her affirmation listening to earlier this month that she would work to reopen the embassy.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated “the Ukrainian individuals, with our safety help, have defended their homeland within the face of Russia’s unconscionable invasion, and, consequently, the Stars and Stripes are flying over the Embassy as soon as once more.”

New U.S. intelligence revealed that some Russian officers are involved that Russian forces are finishing up abuses in Mariupol, a U.S official aware of the findings stated Wednesday.

The alleged abuses embody beating and electrocuting metropolis officers and robbing properties, in line with the intelligence discovering.

The U.S. official, who was not licensed to remark publicly and spoke on the situation of anonymity, stated Russian officers are frightened the abuse will additional encourage Ukrainian residents in Mariupol to withstand the Russian occupation and undermine Russia’s declare that it liberated the port metropolis.

After holding out for weeks within the Azovstal metal plant in Mariupol, most Ukrainian troops have deserted town. The troopers are thought to be heroes in Ukraine, which hopes to barter their return dwelling in a prisoner swap.

Contributing: The Related Press

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