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Zelensky rents his Italian villa to Russians : media

Bangladesh Beyond
  • Updated on Thursday, September 1, 2022
  • 251 Impressed

Zelensky rents his Italian villa to Russians : media

 

Dhaka September 01 2022 :

 

Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on September 01 2022

 

INSIDE RUSSIA

Putin highlights Gorbachev’s influential role in world history

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram on Wednesday with deep condolences to the family and friends of Mikhail Gorbachev, the first and only USSR president who died at the age of 91 on Tuesday.

“Mikhail Gorbachev was a politician and statesman who played an influential role in world history,” the telegram published on the Kremlin website reads. “He led this country in a period of radical changes, as well as large-scale challenges faced by foreign policy, economy and society. He felt reform was needed and strived to come up with his own solutions to the burning issues.”

In his telegram, Putin also highlighted Gorbachev’s major humanitarian, charitable and educational activities.

Gorbachev held the Soviet presidential post for six years. The politician proclaimed a new course almost immediately after his appointment as Secretary General of the Communist Party’s Central Committee in 1985, then he headed the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Gorbachev proposed to establish the post of president and abolished the Constitutional article on the leading role of the party. The Russian words of his invention, ‘perestroika’ and ‘glasnost’, entered many languages at the time. Gorbachev resigned as the President of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991 and that marked the end of the USSR.

 

Mikhail Gorbachev has died at age 91

MOSCOW, August 30. /TASS/. Mikhail Gorbachev, the first president of the Soviet Union, has died, the Central Clinical Hospital said on Tuesday. He was 91.

“Tonight, after a serious and prolonged illness, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev has died,” the hospital said.

Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931. He graduated from the Department of Law of the Moscow State University in 1955 and later received a second education in 1967 from Stavropol Agricultural Institute. Gorbachev joined the Communist Party in 1952 and became a member of its Central Committee in 1971. The last secretary general of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, he was elected to the post in 1985 following the death of his predecessor Konstantin Chernenko. Gorbachev promoted glasnost – a policy of open discussion of political and social issues – and perestroika, a policy of political and economic reforms. He was the first and the last president of the Soviet Union, winning elections for the post in March 1990 and resigning on December 25, 1991. Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. After stepping down as Soviet president, he was engaged in social and literary activities.

 

In current era, Russia has nobody but itself to rely on — Lavrov

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Russia is living through a long historical period when it has nobody but itself to rely on, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the educational marathon Znaniye (Knowledge) on Wednesday.

“As we can see, the West’s reaction to the implementation of the special military operation’s goals clearly shows that from the very outset the tasks of the West were global and aimed at weakening, and, as some political scientists in the West admit, dismembering our country,” he said. “During the era we are now living through, and it is precisely an era, a long historical period, we have to be prepared to realize we have nobody to rely on but ourselves.”

Lavrov stressed that Russia was well aware of the West’s inability to negotiate and honor commitments, and that its promises not to expand NATO to the east and to adhere to the principles of indivisible security “have gone into the dustbin.”

“We will advance our agenda, which is based on the principles of the UN Charter and respect for the sovereign equality of states, which is violated by the Americans and their European and other allies,” Lavrov said.

He recalled that “80% of those living on the globe represent countries that have not joined the sanctions announced by the US and its satellites.”

“This is so despite the colossal daily pressure that is exerted on the governments of these countries with the aim to force them join the mainstream of anti-Russian and Russophobic politics,” he stressed.

“We have not only the UN Charter, but also a large group of countries on our side,” Lavrov concluded.

 

Some in EU call for normalization of relations with Russia, but relapses possible — Lavrov

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Sober calls for coming to terms with Russia can be heard among European politicians, but Russia first of all needs to protect itself from relapses, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the educational marathon Znaniye (Knowledge) on Wednesday.

“True, sober calls can be heard. Many politicians publicly say that sanctions will be sanctions, but someday there will have to be negotiations. We live side by side, and everything that is happening now harms us very much. So far, this has not become a mainstream attitude and has not taken over the minds of the governments that are now in office in Europe. The very same EU, its heavyweights, according to our sources, are already beginning to think about some steps towards each other, but the so-called Young Europeans – the Baltic states, Poland and the Czech Republic – they are categorically against it,” he said.

Lavrov remarked that at some stage the European partners would eventually opt for realism, but for now Russia should focus on how to secure itself and its relations with friendly countries from any whims of the West. “The whims that we see today and those we may see in the future. Given the events that we are witnessing in the political life of Europe, relapses cannot be ruled out. Nothing can be ruled out. First, let’s be on the safe side. Then, when our partners come round, we’ll see what offer they have for us,” Lavrov concluded.

 

Russia and Iran to integrate payment systems – Lavrov

Russia’s domestic credit and debit payment system Mir will soon be integrated with its Iranian analogue Shetab in order to facilitate mutual transactions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“On the integration and mutual use of the Russian Mir and Iranian Shetab systems, substantive talks are being held at the level of central banks. They communicated in July and agreed on a kind of a road map that will lead us to this result. I am sure that this will take place relatively soon,” Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Amir-Abdollahian also expressed hope that the last technical problems for the integration would be resolved in the nearest future.

Earlier, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari said that the availability of the necessary technical infrastructure allows Iran to connect to the Mir system within a few months. Meanwhile, Korban Eskandari, the general director of the Iranian Economy Ministry’s Department of Banking and Insurance Affairs noted that Iran could use Mir for financial transactions with Russia at the early stages of cooperation, and then expand its use to settlements with other international partners.

Earlier this month, reports emerged that India also plans to start accepting Russian Mir cards, while, in return, Russia is likely to “clear the way” for Indian RuPay cards to be accepted in the country.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

 

Major multinational military drills kick off in Russia

China and India are among the 13 foreign participants in the Vostok 2022 war games

International military drills have been launched in Russia’s Far East, with countries including China and India taking part. The US has voiced concern over Moscow’s ability to get other nations to participate in the exercises.

The opening ceremony of the Vostok 2020 strategic exercises took place at a military range in Russia’s Primorsky Region on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry reported. Russia holds drills of this type annually, with the country’s military districts rotating each year as hosts. This year, the Eastern Military District welcomed 13 foreign nations, which accepted Russia’s invitation to send troops or military observers.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, who represented the host nation at the ceremony, said the wide participation and scale of the exercise made it exceptional and demonstrated “the increased role and importance of joint training of our armed forces.” Leaders of other delegations stressed in their speeches that the event was strictly defensive in nature.

Footage from the scene shows soldiers from participating nations marching as a military band plays. The list of foreign guests includes Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Syria, and Tajikistan. Nine of them sent troops to participate in the maneuvers portion of the exercises.

Vostok 2022 includes war games for staff officers and field exercises for troops, as well as naval and aerial training. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, over 50,000 soldiers and officers and more than 5,000 pieces of heavy military equipment, including some 140 aircraft and 60 navy ships, will be taking part in the week-long exercise, which starts on Thursday.

The US has expressed concern over the event. During a daily briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Washington has reservations about “any country exercising with Russia while Russia wages an unprovoked, brutal war against Ukraine.” When pressed, she declined to say whether the US would retaliate against participants, particularly India, for sending its troops to Russia.

 

Gazprom boosts gas supplies to China via Power of Siberia by 60% in 8 months — CEO

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Gazprom managed to increase gas deliveries via the Power of Siberia to China by 60% in January-August, the company said in a statement following the results of a conference call dedicated to the day of workers in the oil and gas industry.

“We are consistently increasing supplies via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China. And this year, we have several times updated the record for daily gas supplies in excess of contractual obligations in terms of daily contractual quantities. Our gas supplies to the Chinese market in eight months of 2022 compared to 2021 grew by 60%,” the company’s CEO said Alexey Miller.

He added that Gazprom will definitely fulfill its obligations to supply gas to China in 2023, which needs more and more gas. A new resource base has also been prepared to increase supplies – gas from the Kovykta field will begin to flow in the Power of Siberia gas pipeline before the end of the year. The holding has also already begun to develop design and estimate documentation for the Far East gas supply route to China.

“Until the end of the year, we will be celebrating a very important, significant event. This is the beginning of the flow of gas from the Kovykta field to the Power of Siberia gas pipeline. We are already completing the linear part of the Kovykta-Chayanda. And, without a doubt, all contractual obligations for 2023, which we have to our Russian consumers and to our Chinese partners, to increase the volume of gas supplies to China, we will fully fulfill it,” he added.

Miller recalled that the eastern program is largely aimed at expanding export opportunities and increasing gas supplies to the Chinese market. According to him, the Chinese market is the most dynamic market in the world, and over the next 20 years, the increase in gas consumption in China will be 40% of the growth in world gas consumption.

 

OUTSIDE RUSSIA

Serbia won’t consider imposing sanctions on Russia, Vucic insists

BELGRADE, August 29. /TASS/. Serbia isn’t is planning to change its policy course regarding sanctions on Russia, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday, when asked whether Belgrade could reconsider its stance and introduce restrictions against the Russian Federation.

“As far as the sanctions are concerned, we expressed our position almost 190 days ago through a decision by the Security Council. These decisions have been in place for six months and Serbia has been demonstrating its seriousness. You never know what may happen one day, but we are demonstrating our seriousness and resolve, and our convictions. This is our policy, and right now we aren’t thinking about changing our policy. I think the policies that we have pursued so far have been proven to be wise [ones], despite all the difficulties that we have had to endure,” Vucic explained.

The Serbian leader said all the pressure that his country has been experiencing in the past six months over the issue of sanctions on Russia could serve as a script for a book or an action movie. “I could write a book about this that would be thicker than Marx’s Das Kapital. We will stick to our policy,” the president vowed.

The European Parliament by a majority of votes earlier adopted a resolution demanding that Serbia join the EU sanctions against Russia, as well as sign an agreement with Kosovo, which hasn’t been recognized as an independent country, to develop relations based on mutual recognition.

In an address to the nation following a meeting of the Security Council, Vucic said that Serbia supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but will not impose sanctions on Russia. The president said that the Balkan country will suspend military and police exercises with all foreign partners. He said that Serbia considers Russia and Ukraine to be fraternal nations, and regrets what is happening in Eastern Europe, and is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Kiev. In a speech at the Globsec forum in Bratislava, Vucic said that 77% of Serbs oppose sanctions against Russia.

 

Ukrainian officials accused of stealing trainloads of aid

The allegation comes amid mass raids by the SBU and anti-corruption agency in Zaporozhye Region

Ukrainian officials in the eastern Zaporozhye Region are being investigated for allegedly stealing massive amounts of humanitarian aid sent to them. They are accused of looting hundreds of freight cars’ worth of goods.

Raids at offices and addresses associated with the suspected embezzlers were reported on Tuesday. Agents of the SBU, Ukraine’s successor to the KGB, and the anti-corruption agency NABU conducted the operations, according to a statement by the agencies.

The region is mostly controlled by Russian forces, but its capital Zaporozhye and some of the surrounding areas are under Kiev’s control. The raids targeted the Kiev-appointed administration and members of the city council, according to the SBU and NABU. The agencies also reported confiscating what they believe to be narcotics and illegal firearms while searching the premises.

While the official statement offered few details, a more comprehensive account of the ongoing probe came from Ukrainian public figure Evgeny Shevchenko, who is widely described by the local media as an unpaid agent for the NABU. The agency had previously confirmed working with him.

According to his post on Facebook, the suspected grifters made off with “almost all humanitarian aid” sent to the region, selling the goods through local retail chains. The total volume of what was stolen amounts to 22 sea transport containers, 389 freight train cars and 220 trucks, Shevchenko claimed.

Afghanistan all over again: Ukraine’s rampant corruption means the Western supply of weapons is likely to eventually backfire

The activist named several senior officials in Zaporozhye Region as suspects and shamed them for posing as Ukrainian patriots while profiting at the expense of the country. 

Shevchenko is a controversial figure in Ukraine. He emerged from the radical wing of the so-called Maidan protests of 2013-2014 and made a name for himself as an associate of militia commander and former MP Konstantin Grishin, who prefers to be called by his nom de guerre Semyon Semenchenko.

Last year, Shevchenko and Semenchenko were arrested on allegations of involvement with an illegal militia. The arrests came after Shevchenko had accused the office of President Vladimir Zelensky of derailing an intelligence operation aimed at luring a group of Russian security contractors to Ukraine and detaining them. 

Shevchenko believes that his arrest and that of Semenchenko were an act of revenge by Zelensky’s chief-of-staff, Andrey Ermak. In his post about the raids in Zaporozhye Region, he linked the suspects with the president and the head of his office, pointing out that the officials targeted had been appointed by Kiev.

 

Russia views passage by US Navy ships in Taiwan Strait as provocation — diplomat

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Moscow thinks that the passage of two US Navy ships in the Taiwan Strait is a provocation which does not facilitate the bolstering of security in the region, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday.

“We consider the August 28 passage of two US Navy ships through the waters of the Taiwan Strait precisely as a new provocation, as part of a chain of provocations directed at the comprehensive containment of Beijing, additional pressure on it and the destabilization of the situation in the region in general,” she said. “All of this obviously does not facilitate the strengthening of security in the Asia-Pacific region, on the contrary, it makes the situation more complex and unpredictable,” the diplomat added.

According to the diplomat, “yet another foray by the US Navy is implemented in the context of a visit of American politicians to the island, all of these are the links of one chain.”

“We consider the settlement of the situation in the Taiwan Strait as purely China’s domestic affair with it having the right to take measures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russia’s stance remains invariable: there is only one China, the government of the People’s Republic of China, with Taiwan being an indivisible part of China,” the spokeswoman emphasized.

 

Zelensky rents his Italian villa to Russians – media

The realtor in charge of the villa denied the report, but did not provide any evidence, citing privacy

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has rented his luxury villa in Tuscany to Russians for the month of August, Italian newspaper Il Tirreno reported on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Zelensky has called on EU leaders to deny visas to Russian tourists.

A Russian couple with a London address have rented the villa for the month of August, paying the princely sum of €50,000 ($50,237), the newspaper reported. The villa, located in the seaside town of Forte dei Marmi, was bought by Zelensky for four million euros while the Ukrainian leader was still an actor, the report added.

Corriere Della Serra, another Italian newspaper, contacted the realtor managing the property, who said that “The tenants weren’t Russian, but I can’t say more because privacy prevents me.” However, the paper said that the tenants are likely of Russian origin, “but have long since had their residence and perhaps English citizenship.”

Ever since Russian forces entered Ukraine in February, Zelensky has urged the EU to deny visas to Russian visitors. The Russian people, he told the Washington Post earlier this month, “should live in their own world until they change their philosophy.”

Back in March, Zelensky specifically called on the Italian government to “block all [Russian] real estate, accounts and yachts, from the Scheherazade to the smallest ones,” referring to a 140-meter (460 ft) superyacht allegedly belonging to a wealthy Russian individual that was moored at the Italian port of Marina di Carrara.

All flights between the EU and Russia have been halted since the earliest days of Moscow’s military operation, and the bloc suspended a bilateral visa facilitation agreement with Russia on Wednesday. The suspension reduces the number of new EU visas available for Russians without eliminating travel entirely.

In addition to Zelensky’s Tuscan villa, the Ukrainian president and his inner circle reportedly hold an extensive portfolio of offshore properties and assets, including several expensive residences in London.

 

SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE

Ukrainian saboteurs plotted nuclear plant attack – officials

Saboteurs sought to attack the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant during a visit by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the local authorities have claimed. The group was reportedly taken into custody.

The suspected Ukrainian plotters had comprehensive information about the nuclear site and its vulnerabilities, a council member of the Russian-allied administration of Zaporozhye Region, Vladimir Rogov, told journalists on Wednesday.

Footage purportedly showing the moment the group of would-be attackers was apprehended has circulated on social media. It features heavily armed men in uniforms busting into a dark apartment and securing at least three people in civilian clothing.

The curtains in the room were drawn at the moment of the breach. There appeared to be three assault rifles placed next to the walls.

The video also included what is presumed to be items seized during the arrest. They included what appeared to be three shoulder-fired rocket launchers, several hand grenades, a small commercial reconnaissance drone, a solar panel charger, and printouts of the city map and aerial photos of the nuclear plant.

Rogov did not disclose when the arrests took place, but claimed that the group planned a “series of terrorist attacks” in the city, possibly timed to coincide with the expected visit of IAEA inspectors. The fact-finding mission dispatched by the UN’s nuclear watchdog is expected to arrive in Energodar later this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

The nuclear site has been subjected to regular attacks by artillery and drones for weeks. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of launching the strikes. Kiev also claimed that Russian forces stationed heavy weaponry at the nuclear facility, which Moscow has denied.

The IAEA fact finding mission, led by the organization’s head, Rafael Grossi, left the Ukrainian capital, Kiev on Wednesday morning. The experts are expected to spend up to several days in Energodar before heading back and reporting their findings.

 

Russia doing its best to ensure success of IAEA mission to Zaporozhye plant, diplomat says

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. The IAEA mission team is on its way to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, and Russia is doing its utmost to ensure that the visit is successful and safe, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing Wednesday.

“According to our information, the agency’s team is on its way. On the Russian side, everything necessary is being done and even more. We have been working on it for three months, negotiating the trip itself way back on June 3, as well as the inspection, the team’s composition, timing, and the route, so that the mission, led by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, planned three months ago, finally could take place and complete all its goals at the power plant,” she said.

The diplomat also lamented that the UN only pays lip service to its ‘support’ for the IAEA mission, and is in no rush to admit its earlier miscalculations.

“We expect that the agency’s representatives, who are expected to arrive at the power plant shortly, will be able to examine the situation on the ground and in every detail, to assess the consequences of the inhumane Ukrainian strikes at the objects and facilities located at this site, and to make sure that the information being provided by the Russian side on an almost daily basis about the increasingly dangerous situation at the ZNPP and about the sources of these threats, – that is the Kiev regime and its forces – is totally true,” she specified.

According to Zakharova, Russia anticipates that the IAEA mission will be “objective and professional,” and that is its main task and goal.

“The Ukrainian side’s attempts to muddy the progress of the IAEA international mission, the intensified attacks on this site, and the use of increasingly heavy weapons negate all the statements uttered by the regime [of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky] that Kiev is allegedly interested in a successful visit by Rafael Grossi,’ she argued.

“We hope that the plans of Ukrainian strategists to once again obstruct the IAEA mission will not come to fruition, and that the mission will take place. A different development could be viewed as nothing but an admission of guilt by the Kiev regime,” Zakharova said.

The diplomat underscored that the presence of the IAEA mission at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant will make it possible to improve the situation and compel the Ukrainian forces “to come to their senses” and stop the shelling of the power plant and the adjacent territories for good.

“We urge all countries, especially those who have a direct influence on the Kiev regime, to continue exerting this influence, and turn up the heat on the Ukrainian authorities, forcing them to come to their senses, in order to stop this nuclear lawlessness and blackmailing, to stop terrorizing the entire world, and to stop before a catastrophe occurs, which may have very serious consequences,” Zakharova concluded.

On Tuesday, the IAEA mission departed from Vienna and arrived in Kiev, where the delegation met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. On Wednesday, the mission’s motorcade departed from Kiev and headed to the nuclear power plant.

 

Ukrainian leadership tightens censorship as counterattack on Kherson fails — Readovka.world

Reporters banned from working with military, reporting, and reviewing the actions of the Ukrainian Army

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has issued new regulations on reporting from the frontline: journalists and mass media are forbidden to evaluate the actions of the Ukrainian Army and the Ukrainian Defense Forces as a whole. In addition, according to the new rules, an alternative interpretations of the current situation at the frontline and their forecasts about the course of combat actions are not allowed – only the Ukrainian Armed Forces can provide information about it.

Moreover, Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Smeshchuk complained that since August 31, civilian reporters are banned from any work with military units. According to him, even those “who previously fulfilled all the requirements of informational health and rules” are affected: “Colleagues say that this is a reaction to yesterday’s various leaks of information. Someone has decided to hit the areas in the best Soviet traditions”. Smeshchuk also complained that now, “according to the laws of nature, which does not favor hollowness,” the media space, which will be vacant due to the tightening of censorship for Ukrainian journalists, will be occupied by the Russian media.

 

INSIGHTS

IAEA mission at Zaporizhzhia NPP – no surprises to expect — Readovka.world

In recent weeks, the Zaporizhzhia NPP has become the main topic in the Special Military Operation’s zone. The Ukrainian side is bombarding the plant daily, creating the threat of a man-made disaster that could affect the whole of Europe. To hope that Zelensky is doing this without the approval of his Western supervisors is ridiculous. In fact, there is nuclear blackmail on Russia organized by Western countries.

Overall, the stance of the Ukrainian side (and several Western media outlets) regarding the situation at the plant looks surreal. At the same time, we get reports that “the Russians themselves are shelling the NPP,” and that “the Russians have turned it into their military base.” The IAEA said they had lost contact with the plant’s personnel as early as the beginning of March. On August 3, 2022, Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, declared that the “nuclear power plant is completely out of control.” And that it was unclear if the plant is supplied with everything required for it to operate, since the “supply chains were disrupted by military activities.” Preparations for the current visit of the IAEA experts started from then on.

The formal reason for the trip to the nuclear power plant was to check the safety and operability of the plant. The commission included 14 members – representatives from China, Serbia, Poland, Lithuania, Albania, France, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, and Northern Macedonia, as well as the head of the IAEA. In addition, there are reports that some delegation members will stay Several IAEA people to remain at Zaporizhzhia NPP permanentlyThe International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission is on its way to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia NPP permanently.

The Zaporizhzhia NPP was problematic even before the start of the Special Military Operation and shelling by the Ukrainian side. The nuclear reactors in use here are long overdue. At the same time, during the last visit, the IAEA commission did not find anything dangerous at the plant. There are doubts that it will notice anything now. So what is the point of all this?

You should not expect anything significant from this visit. Russia is in favor of inviting observers, most likely solely for the sake of diplomatic politeness and a “goodwill gesture.” Besides, it is possible that the nuclear inspection, which mostly consists of representatives of Western countries that are in hybrid war with Russia, will also collect information for the benefit of Western intelligence services, like the notorious OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). In any case, there is a slim hope that along with the arrival of the IAEA at the nuclear power plant, the regular shelling of Enerhodar will come to an end. Well, maybe.

 

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