Russia continues its military invasion of Ukraine, launched on February 24 following Vladimir Putin's order. He called this war "a special military operation in the Donbass." DW continues to follow the events of Wednesday, April 6.
On day 42 of the war against Ukraine, Russian troops still try to capture the settlements of the neighboring country. The Ukrainian army and territorial defense units offer stiff resistance to aggression. Statements by representatives of both sides of the conflict cannot be verified by independent sources. More than 10 million residents of Ukraine have already left their homes. DW is following the developments on Wednesday, April 6 (Moscow time).
In the United States, a group of Ukrainian military has been trained in the use of Switchblade kamikaze drones, which are designed to destroy armored vehicles and tanks, a Pentagon spokesman said at a briefing. On March 16, the White House announced the delivery of 100 Switchblade-300 drones to Ukraine worth $ 800 million.
Ukraine's international reserves as of April 1 amounted to $ 28.1 billion, which is 2% more than in early March, the National Bank said. It is ireported that the reserves increased primarily due to the financing received from international partners, which compensated for the sale of currency by the National Bank and payments for servicing the national debt.
Since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Swiss authorities have seized money and real estate of Russians who fell under EU sanctions, totaling 5.75 billion francs (5.63 billion euros). According to the Ministry of Economy in Bern, most of these assets fall on accounts and deposits in banks. According to the Swiss Bankers Association, between 150 and 200 billion francs belonging to Russian clients is held on Swiss accounts.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported a missile strike on the fuel base of the Ukrainian army in the Kharkiv region. As a result, the base was destroyed "in the area of the settlement of Chuguev, from which fuel supplies for equipment of the Ukrainian troops were carried out," said the official representative of the Ministry of Defense Igor Konashenkov.
US sanctions will cause severe damage to the Russian economy and will probably negate all its achievements over the past 15 years, US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday. He added that the steps taken by the United States and its allies are projected to reduce Russia's GDP "by double digits" this year alone.
The United States will not participate in the meetings of the "Big Twenty", which will be attended by representatives of Russia. This was reported to CNN by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. According to her, the aggressor country should not retain its place in the G20; it should be excluded, and if Indonesia (currently heads the G20) still invites the Russian Federation, the United States will refuse to attend the summit.
Finnish customs stopped three shipments of antiquities, including paintings and statues, heading from Italy and Japan to Russia. According to the representative of the department, an investigation has been launched, the purpose of which is to establish whether they fall under EU sanctions against Russia, which apply to luxury goods. It is reported that the works of art belong to Russian museums, they were provided for temporary use for exhibitions abroad. The total value of the exhibits is estimated at 42 million euros.
The United States imposed sanctions against Russian banks and the children of Putin and Lavrov
The United States announced the introduction of a new package of sanctions against Russia due to war crimes in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, which the Russian army is accused of. The punitive measures are directed against the two largest Russian banks - Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, founded by a number of oligarchs - and the adult children of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the White House in Washington said. In addition, the United States has banned any new investments of American citizens in Russia.
Another group of businessmen and banks from the Russian Federation has been included in the UK sanctions list in connection with Russia's war against Ukraine. Among them are Leonid Mikhelson, co-owner of NOVATEK and SIBUR, Sergey Ivanov, head of ALROSA, Andrey Akimov, chairman of Gazprombank, Alexander Dyukov, head of Gazprom Neft, Andrey Guryev Sr., founder of PhosAgro, Vyacheslav Kantor, the main beneficiary of Akron, Sergey Kogogin, CEO of KAMAZ. Sberbank and Credit Bank of Moscow are also under UK sanctions now. London imposed sanctions against Sberbank simultaneously with the United States.
The Board of the Finnish state railway concern VR has decided to terminate freight traffic with Russia as soon as possible. It may take several months. At the end of March, the VR Transpoint company already tried to stop freight rail traffic with the Russian Federation, after "Russian railways" were included in the British sanctions list, but then it turned out that the sanctions did not prohibit international freight transportation, and train traffic was restored, the Finnish media company YLE reports. According to it, now VR wants to stop freight traffic on a voluntary basis.
The Czech Parliament recognized the Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people
The Czech Parliament recognized the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as the genocide of the Ukrainian people and condemned it. The relevant resolution was adopted unanimously. 15 years ago, the parliament in Prague condemned the Holodomor as the work of a "monstrous totalitarian regime", but did not qualify it as genocide. In connection with the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, Prague is now paying its historical debt, said Parliament Speaker Marketa Pekarova-Adamova.
Fearing a new Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine, the government in Kyiv called on residents of Luhansk, Donetsk and Kharkiv regions to evacuate. "Go to a safe place while there is still such an opportunity," said Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk. "It is necessary now, because then people will be under fire and the threat of death. They won't be able to do anything against it, and we won't be able to help." The head of the Luhansk regional military Administration, Sergei Gaidai, said that Russia continues to concentrate forces in the region, indicating that attempts at major attacks are expected in the next three to four days.
Bundestag condemns Russia for war crimes in Ukraine
German deputies and members of the government sharply condemned Russia for the actions of its troops in Ukraine. "The terrible footage from Bucha has deeply shocked us all," German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said during a debate in the Bundestag. He stressed that the killing of civilians is a war crime and appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, "Immediately stop this destructive war, withdraw your troops from Ukraine!".
Bundestag Speaker Berbel Bas also "in the strongest terms" condemned Russia's war crimes, demanding an independent investigation of the Bucha massacre and indictment of the perpetrators. According to government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit, the March satellite images of Bucha confirm the commission of war crimes by the Russian military.
Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova told about the problems in her family that arose after she showed a poster with anti-war slogans live on Channel One. According to her, her son, mother and herself have directly opposite political views: the mother listens to state propaganda all day long, it is "impossible to talk to her or convince her," her son does not support Ovsyannikova either. The journalist's ex-husband works for the state TV and radio company RT. "Thus, we are on opposite sides of the information war," Marina Ovsyannikova told the project "Gesichter der Demokratie" ("Faces of Democracy"). "He fully supports Kremlin propaganda. I, on the contrary, adhere to more liberal views."
NATO fears that the war in Ukraine will drag on for a long time. According to the Secretary General of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, it is important to realize that the war can last "for many months and even years," and there are no signs that President Putin has abandoned his ambitions to fully control the whole of Ukraine.
According to the calculations of the British media company BBC, about 20 percent of the Russian servicemen killed in Ukraine, reported by Russian regions, are officers. So, out of 1083 dead, whose names were published in Russian official sources as of April 5, 217 are officers from junior lieutenant to general.
The Lake Como villa owned by Vladimir Soloviov was set on fire, which local authorities tend to regard as a "demonstrative act" against the Russian TV news anchor. According to the chief of the Como fire department, the fire was extinguished by "just one team of firefighters" in a very short time, the AFP news agency reports. There was practically no damage from the fire, car tires were burning, from which black smoke was coming. The house in the city of Menaggio was confiscated by the Italian financial police in March.
Russia paid off Eurobonds in rubles for the first time
After the United States banned the use of frozen foreign exchange reserves for servicing the external debt of the Russian Federation, the Russian Ministry of Finance for the first time made payments on issues of Eurobonds "Russia-2022" and "Russia-2042" in rubles. The National Settlement Depository (NSD) received payments at the official exchange rate of the Bank of Russia on April 4 in the amount of $ 649.2 million "due to the unfriendly actions of the US Treasury," the ministry said in a statement. The Fitch rating agency stated back in March that payments on Eurobonds in rubles would be considered a default.
On April 7, the UN General Assembly will vote on the US proposal to exclude Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. In order to suspend the country's membership for gross and systematic violations of human rights, two thirds of the 193 members of the organization must vote for this proposal.
Since the beginning of the war, the EU has paid Moscow 35 billion for energy
Since the war in Ukraine began, the EU has already paid Russia 35 billion euros for energy imports. This was stated by the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrel, stressing how important it is to reduce the EU's dependence on oil and gas imports. According to him, this can be achieved by increasing the share of renewable energy sources.