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Russia Ukraine war live: British-Russian Putin critic disappears as Hungary to backtrack on Kyiv stance

Moment Russian plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war appears to crash

A jailed Russian-British opposition activist who has been openly critical of the Kremlin has been moved to an unknown location, his family has said.

Vladimir Kara-Murza is currently serving a 25-year- sentence for treason and spreading “fake news” about the war in Ukraine and was being held in the IK-6 maximum security penal colony in Omsk, around 2,700 kilometres from Moscow.

In a post on social media, his wife Yevgenia Kara-Murza said: “We just learned that after 4 months of solitary confinement my husband @vkaramurza ‘left’ (as put by an official) the strict-regime penal colony in Omsk in an unknown direction.”

Elsewhere, the European Union has denied that a confidential document seen by the Financial Times is evidence of a Brussels plot to sabotage Hungary’s economy if Budapest blocks a €50bn package of aid for Ukraine.

A Brussels spokesperson insisted the document was merely a factual “background note” which “describes the current status of the Hungarian economy”.

While Budapest was the one EU member state to block the €50bn package in December, Viktor Orban’s government signalled it was ready to change its position, despite levelling furious allegations of “blackmail” against the EU in response to the FT report.

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Zelensky publishes details of income in anti-corruption drive

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has publicly declared details of his income in a bid to reassure allies of Kyiv’s grip on corruption, after military officials were accused of a major embezzlement scheme.

The income of the Ukrainian president declined in 2021 and again in 2022 after Russia launched its full-scale invasion on 24 February, according to his presidential website.

Mr Zelensky’s income fell by 12m Ukrainian hryvnia (£250,000) in 2021 from the previous year as he and his family reported a total income of 10.8m hryvnia (£220,000).

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 January 2024 05:30

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Watch moment vibrating phones alert UN to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Watch the moment vibrating phones alert United Nations ambassadors to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The clip, which is shown in a new BBC documentary, Putin vs the West, shows UN ambassadors discovering Russia’s invasion has started during a meeting of the UN Security Council. The emergency meeting, to try and prevent such an escalation happening, was taking place, when the news broke and messages were sent to member’s phones. Putin vs the West will air on BBC Two tonight (29 January) at 9pm.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 January 2024 04:30

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Who is Boris Nadezhdin? Russia’s unlikely candidate being allowed to stand against Putin

A bespectacled 60-year-old who freely admits he lacks charisma or heroism has emerged as Russia’s unlikely anti-war candidate willing to oppose Vladimir Putin in the upcoming election.

Boris Nadezhdin, whose surname stems from the Russian word for hope, is a local legislator and former bureaucrat turned academic. Now, he is running to become the next president of Russia as the country goes to the polls next March.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 January 2024 03:30

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Nancy Pelosi under fire for suggesting Russia is behind pro-Palestine protests

“We have to think about what we’re doing, and what we have to do is try to stop the suffering in Gaza … but for them to call for a ceasefire is Mr Putin’s message,” she said in an interview on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning.

“Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see. I think some of these protesters are spontaneous and organic and sincere. Some, I think, are connected to Russia.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 January 2024 02:30

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Ukrainian and Hungarian foreign ministers meet but fail to break a diplomatic deadlock

A years-long diplomatic conflict between Ukraine and Hungary took a step toward resolution on Monday during a meeting of their foreign ministers, but no breakthrough was reached on Hungary’s blocking of a crucial European Union financial aid package for Kyiv.

The meeting, at a resort near the Ukrainian city of Uzhhorod, came as European leaders are scrambling to persuade Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to lift his veto of 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in EU aid to Ukraine which he announced at an EU summit in December.

Orbán, widely perceived as the Kremlin’s closest EU ally, has said he will not support financing the aid through the 27-member bloc’s budget, frustrating other EU leaders who are struggling to force a change in his position before a summit in Brussels on Thursday when they will try again to approve the funding.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 January 2024 01:30

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Jailed Putin opposition activist Kara-Murza missing after being ‘transferred’ to unknown location

A jailed Russian-British opposition activist who has been openly critical of the Kremlin has been moved to an unknown location, his family have said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain30 January 2024 00:30

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Putin wanted to bring back Russia’s huge wild tigers. It’s not going well

In December last year a man and his dog were attacked and killed in the village of Obor, in the eastern region of Khabarovsk, the Moscow Times reported.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain29 January 2024 23:30

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Anti-war rock band at risk of being deported to Russia

The seven members of progressive rock band Bi-2 were arrested last week after a concert at a popular beach resort in Phuket, for allegedly failing to obtain the proper working papers.

Five of the seven members travelled using Russian passports, and at least four of the members are reportedly Israeli nationals, according to the Associated Press.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain29 January 2024 22:30

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Putin and Lukashenko meet in St Petersburg to discuss expanding alliance

The leaders of Russia and Belarus met on Monday to discuss ways to further expand their close alliance that has seen the deployment of some of Russia‘s nuclear weapons on the territory of its neighbour.

President Vladimir Putin emphasised that Russia and Belarus have developed a “strategic partnership” as part of their 25-year union agreement.

That pact stopped short of a full merger, but envisaged close political, economic and military ties between the two nations.

“It’s important that amid an unprecedented foreign pressure Russia and Belarus have closely co-operated on the international arena and have offered unfailing support to each other as true allies,” Mr Putin said at the start of the talks in St Petersburg that involved senior officials from both countries.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has relied on Russian subsidies and political support to rule the ex-Soviet nation with an iron hand for nearly three decades.

Moscow’s backing helped Lukashenko survive months of major protests against his re-election in a 2020 vote that the opposition and the West saw as rigged.

Mr Lukashenko allowed the Kremlin to use Belarusian territory to send troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

(AP)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain29 January 2024 21:30

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Russia hits key Ukrainian industrial site for second day as Moldova warned it faces Putin’s wrath

Russian troops struck an industrial site in a central Ukrainian district for a second day as attacks were launched across wide areas of civilian and critical infrastructure, Kyiv officials said.

Ukraine’s air force said Russia attacked the central Poltava region with two ballistic missiles fired from the Iskander ballistic missile system on Sunday, and three surface-to-air missiles over the Donetsk region in the east.

“For the second day in a row, the enemy is attacking Poltava region,” Poltava Regional Governor Filip Pronin wrote on the Telegram messaging app, noting that the target was in Kremenchuk district.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain29 January 2024 20:20


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