War in Ukraine. Ukrainian prisoners at the front, role of China… update on the night

War in Ukraine. Ukrainian prisoners at the front, role of China… update on the night
War in Ukraine. Ukrainian prisoners at the front, role of China… update on the night

A Ukrainian court on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, ordered the release of the first detainees who volunteered to fight in the army, under a new law aimed at mobilizing more soldiers to fight against the Russian invasion.

According to the Ukrainian authorities, more than 3,000 detainees have expressed a willingness to join the army in exchange for release.

A court in the western town of Khmelnytsky said it approved on Tuesday the release of two of them, a man born in 2000 and another in 1981, both convicted of theft, to join the Ukrainian National Guard.

“The court granted their requests and ordered the Khmelnytsky detention center to immediately release the men from their sentences to perform military service under contract”the court said in a statement released Wednesday.

“Each of the men is suitable for military service, has passed professional and psychological selection, and has a sufficient level of physical fitness”added the court, which is currently examining around fifty similar requests.

At the beginning of May, Ukrainian deputies adopted a law, signed immediately by President Volodymyr Zelensky, allowing certain categories of prisoners to fight on the front in exchange for conditional release.

It does not concern prisoners convicted of certain serious crimes, in particular intentional homicide of more than two people, sexual violence, attacks on national security or convictions for corruption.

Beijing provides ‘lethal aid’ to Russia

China currently provides “lethal aid” to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine, British Defense Minister Grant Shapps denounced on Wednesday.

“We have evidence that Russia and China are collaborating on the development of combat equipment for use in Ukraine”he said in a speech at the London Defense Conference.

“US and UK defense intelligence are able to reveal that lethal aid is currently being transported from China to Russia and Ukraine”he said.

Mr Shapps warned that NATO must ” wake up ” and increase alliance-wide defense spending.

The strategic partnership between China and Russia has only strengthened since the invasion of Ukraine, but Beijing has refuted Western claims that it is aiding Moscow’s war effort.

China has offered a lifeline to Russia’s economy, with trade booming since the invasion and expected to reach $240 billion in 2023, according to Chinese customs figures.

Nearly 500,000 Russian soldiers killed

The Ukrainian General Staff has published its regular assessment of the losses suffered by Russian troops since the invasion of the country on February 24, 2022.

According to kyiv, Kremlin forces are approaching half a million men killed in combat. Moscow shows a loss of 496,370 soldiers, an increase of 1,300 deaths in the space of twenty-four hours, as well as 17,442 tankers and supply vehicles (+59), but also 14,721 armored vehicles (+22) , 12,820 artillery pieces (+41) or even 10,346 drones (+56) and 7,611 assault tanks (+6).

The regular publication of these figures, which could not be verified, is part of the Ukrainian communications strategy intended to undermine the morale of Moscow’s troops.

The G7 studies the Ukrainian file

Financial support for Ukraine thanks to frozen Russian assets, sanctions against Moscow, Chinese commercial threat: global tensions are at the top of the agenda of the big financiers of the G7, meeting from this Thursday in the north of Italy.

The finance ministers and central bankers of the seven richest countries in the world will meet until Saturday in Stresa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, to prepare the ground for the summit of heads of state and government planned for mid- June in Puglia (south).

A thorny subject, the project to finance crucial aid to Ukraine with interest generated by the 300 billion euros of assets of the Central Bank of Russia frozen by the G7 and Europe will be scrutinized.

On the negotiating table is the United States’ proposal to grant Ukraine up to $50 billion in loans guaranteed by future profits generated by these assets.

“It is vital and urgent that we collectively find a way to unlock the value of stranded Russian sovereign assets” for the benefit of Ukraine, launched American Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

However, the details of this project have not yet been finalized, in particular who will issue the debt, the United States alone or the G7 countries.

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