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The latest war between Russia and Ukraine: the UN condemns the “shocking” scale of the illegal killings; Finland must apply for NATO membership “immediately” – live | Ukraine


Giles Tremlet

A freelance journalist from Spain is spending his 10th week in custody in Poland while the prosecutor’s office investigates what they believe is a case of espionage related to Russia’s invasion. Ukraine.

In a case that raises red flags about freedom of the press Europe During the war next week, prosecutors are expected to ask a judge for a further three-month detention of Pablo Gonzalez, who worked as a freelancer for the media, including Spanish TV channel La Sexta, Spanish state news agency EFE and US-funded government-sponsored Voice of America.

The prosecutor’s request must be submitted by May 15, two weeks before the expiration of his current three-month detention order. Under Polish law, Gonzalez can remain in custody until he is tried, which lawyers say could take more than a year.

Polish officials say he is an agent of the infamous Russian military intelligence GRU.

“He conducted operations in favor of Russia, profiting from his status as a journalist, which allowed him to travel freely around the world and Europeincluding in areas of military conflict, ”said a spokeswoman for the Minister-Coordinator of the Polish Special Services.

Read more from the Giles Tremlet report here: A Spanish journalist has been detained in Poland on suspicion of pro-Russian espionage

UN human rights chief: scale of illegal killings in Ukraine “shocking”

The head of the UN Human Rights said that in recent weeks in the area of ​​the Ukrainian capital Kiev was found a thousand bodies.adding that many of the violations he checks after the Russian invasion could lead to war crimes.

“The scale of the illegal killings is shocking, including signs of sad shootings in areas north of Kyiv.” Michelle Bachelet This was reported in the Human Rights Council in Geneva through a video message.

According to Reuters, the Human Rights Council will decide today whether to instruct investigators to formally investigate the events that took place in Kiev and other regions in February and March.

President of Finland Sauli Niinisto just wrote on Twitter that he talked to the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky, and that Zelensky supported Finland’s steps towards NATO membership. Niiniste said:

I spoke with President Zelensky and reiterated Finland’s strong support for Ukraine. I informed him about Finland’s steps towards NATO membership, and he expressed full support for this.

I talked to the president @ZelenskyyUa and reiterated Finland’s firm support for Ukraine. I informed him about Finland’s steps towards NATO membership, and he expressed full support for this. pic.twitter.com/AubTdsDq9I

– Sauli Niinisto (@niinisto) May 12, 2022

Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president and longtime ally of Vladimir Putin, reacted this morning to news that Finland and Sweden are approaching NATO membership aspirations. He wrote in the Telegram:

In the context of the proxy war waged by Western countries with Russia, I want to once again articulate very clearly the things that are already so obvious to all reasonable people.

1. Pumping weapons into Ukraine by NATO countries, training its troops in the use of Western technology, sending mercenaries and conducting exercises by Allies near our borders increase the likelihood of direct and open conflict between NATO and Russia instead of their “power of attorney”.

2. Such a conflict is always at risk of escalating into a full-fledged nuclear war.

3. It will be a catastrophic scenario for everyone.

He ended with a call to the West “do not lie to yourself and others” and “do not choke on your own saliva in the paroxysms of Russophobia!”

Finland and Sweden may be moving towards joining NATO, but there are still some obstacles along the way. Robin Emot of Reuters has written a quick projected chart of what could happen next.

NATO officials and diplomats say ideally the two countries should submit their requests together just to conduct the process. Representatives of the 30 allies will then meet in Brussels to discuss and most likely accept a membership request. It is assumed that both countries already meet the criteria for accession in the field of democracy and the status of their military.

A meeting will then take place between NATO and representatives of the aspirants, at which they will be questioned about their commitment to NATO’s promise of collective defense.

Admission to membership is not the end of the process – membership must be ratified by the national governments of each of the 30 allies, in a process that could take months.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Anne Linde, wrote on Twitter in response to the announcement that the President and Prime Minister of Finland say that Finland should immediately aspire to NATO membership. Linde tweeted:

An important message today from President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin about NATO membership. Finland is Sweden’s closest partner in security and defense, and we need to take into account Finland’s assessment. Sweden will make a decision after a report on security policy consultations is presented.

An important message today from the President @niinisto & PM @MarinSanna on @NATO membership. 🇫🇮 is 🇸🇪 the closest partner to security and protection, and we need to consider assessments 🇫🇮. 🇸🇪 Decide after a report from the Security Policy Consultation is presented.

– Anne Linde (@AnnLinde) May 12, 2022

Swedish newspaper Express leads with what she claims is the exclusive that Sweden will move forward with its application to join NATO on Monday. Helena Giessen reports:

The government is holding an additional meeting on Monday to make a formal decision on Sweden’s application to NATO. An application will be submitted immediately after the meeting if nothing unforeseen happens, Expressen reported.

Russian news agencies report that Russian troops struck two munitions depots in the area Chernihiv reg Ukraine at night. Reuters reports that the Defense Ministry also said that Russia had destroyed Ukraine’s S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in Kharkiv area and radar station near the village Odessa.

Swedish politician Annie Loef is one of those who saw today Finland ‘s move towards NATO membership as a call to action for Sweden as well. Loef tweeted:

The eyes of the outside world are now on Sweden and Finland. Sweden must go hand in hand with Finland to strengthen security and safety in the North and Baltic regions.

Finland Visar vägen. A historic visit from Niinistö and Marin is a day of NATO membership.

The world is surrounded by Sweden and Finland. Sweden’s hands-on hands with Finland for the most powerful properties in the Nordic and Austrian regions.

– Annie Loef (@annieloof) May 12, 2022

Finnish politician Elina Valtonen he gave an interview to Sky News in the UK about Finland’s offer to join NATO without delay, outlined this morning by Finland’s president and prime minister. She told the audience:

For decades, Finland has been a neutral country, but we have never forgotten the threats of our eastern neighbor. We were never part of the Soviet Union because in our past we waged wars against Russia and the Soviet Union. But now is a different time. We saw that our neighbor became even more aggressive, more unpredictable. And we believe that the time has come to join NATO.

After the events in Ukraine, we believe that now the logical situation is to join NATO, cooperate with friends and allies in the West. We are a western country. We have been a stable democracy for 100 years, and together we stand stronger for our common values.

Asked whether joining NATO could increase the threat from the outside Russia to Finland she said:

NATO is a defense alliance, and NATO is not to threaten. Finland – and perhaps Sweden as well – will join NATO in the future on the basis of its free will, the free will of the people. We are a democracy and want to stand up for our values. It’s as simple as that.

Here is the full text of this joint statement from Sauli Niinisto and Sanna Marinthe President and Prime Minister of Finland respectively:

In the spring, an important discussion took place over Finland’s possible membership in NATO. It took time to form an internal position both in parliament and in society as a whole. It took time for close international contacts with both NATO and member countries, as well as with Sweden. We wanted to give the debate the necessary space.

Now that the time for decision-making is approaching, we are also expressing our common positions for informing parliamentary groups and parties. NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a NATO member, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance. Finland must urgently apply for NATO membership. We hope that the national steps needed to reach this solution will be taken soon in the coming days.

The Prime Minister of Estonia Kaya Kalas stated that her country supports Finland’s early accession to NATO. У tweet she said

History is made by our northern neighbors. You can count on our full support. We support a fast accession process. We will soon take the necessary steps.

Finland must apply for NATO membership “immediately”: Finnish President and Prime Minister

Finland must apply to join NATO “immediately”, President of Finland Sauli Niinista and the Prime Minister Sanna Marin said this morning, according to Reuters, indicating a major shift in policy caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a NATO member, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance. Finland must immediately apply for NATO membership, ”Niinista and Marin said in a joint statement. “We hope that the national steps that are still needed to make this decision will be taken soon in the next few days.”

Yesterday Gallup poll put into operation by Helsingin Sanomat reports that 73% of respondents believe that Finland should join the military alliance as NATO. That figure was eight percentage points higher than in a similar poll in late April.

Danish Prime Minister Matte Frederiksen has already responded this morning, saying Finland will be welcome in NATO and that it will work on a speedy process.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleb praised Germany ‘s response to the war with Russia during a visit to Berlin, saying the country has now taken the lead. At the beginning of the war there was some tension between Berlin and Kiev.

In an interview with the German TV company ARD Kuleba said that positive changes have taken place after Germany decided to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine and support the EU’s proposed embargo on Russian oil following pressure from its allies.

During the visit of the Ukrainian diplomat, which will also include participation in the meeting of G7 foreign ministers on the German coast in the Baltic Sea, Reuters reports, Kuleba said he plans to lobby for Ukraine’s EU membership and further sanctions against Russia and response to food shortages. which is threatened by conflict.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbok (left) listens to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleb (right) during a joint news conference in Kyiv earlier this week.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbok (left) listens to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleb (right) during a joint news conference in Kyiv earlier this week. Photo: Valentin Ogirenko / AFP / Getty Images


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