Threat: Russian head of parliament demands withdrawal of citizenship for war opponents

Dhe Russian parliament leader Vyacheslav Volodin has called for Russian critics of the war of aggression against Ukraine to be stripped of their citizenship. “The vast majority of our citizens support the special military operation in Ukraine, they understand its necessity for the security of our country and our nation,” Volodin wrote on Telegram on Monday. However, there are also “traitors” whose citizenship has not yet been revoked. “But maybe that would be good,” he added.

As an example, Volodin cited the case of journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who in mid-March held up a sign reading “No to War” during a live broadcast on Russian state television. Owsyannikova is now working as a freelance correspondent for the Russia and Ukraine area for “WELT”.

Ovzyannikova will “work for a NATO country and justify arms sales to Ukrainian neo-Nazis,” as well as sending “foreign mercenaries to fight our soldiers and sanctions against Russia,” Volodin wrote.

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Since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24, the Kremlin has been taking massive action against members of the opposition. Thousands of protest participants were arrested, independent media and online networks were blocked. Critics of the military operation also reported threats, such as graffiti on their front doors.

Well-known Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Mursa was arrested on Monday, according to his lawyer. “I learned about his arrest less than ten minutes ago and I will visit him,” lawyer Vadim Prokhorov told the Interfax news agency.

The reason for Kara-Mursa’s arrest was not initially known. However, Kara-Mursa had repeatedly criticized the Russian military intervention in Ukraine in recent weeks. The 40-year-old former journalist was a confidant of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered near the Kremlin in 2015, and is also close to Russian government critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Kara-Mursa states that he has already been the victim of two poison attacks because of his political commitment. The 40-year-old is one of the few prominent opposition figures still living in Russia.

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03:31 – Companies demand access to frozen Russian funds

Eleven Ukrainian companies are seeking access to Russian funds in a US federal court. In 2019, a Swiss arbitration court awarded them $34.5 million in compensation for gas stations confiscated by Russia in Crimea, court documents show. The companies’ lawyer, James Boykin, said the freeze on Russian assets under the recent US sanctions is a chance for his clients to get the money. An international convention and US law allow US courts to enforce foreign arbitral awards.

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3:30 am – WTO: Ukraine war threatens global economy and political stability

According to an analysis by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Russian war against Ukraine could cost the global economy growth of up to 1.3 percentage points this year. According to model calculations, gross domestic product is only likely to grow by 3.1 to 3.7 percent in 2022, the WTO said in Geneva in an analysis of the consequences of the war for trade.

The organization cites higher food and energy prices and falling exports from Russia and Ukraine as the reason. “Poorer countries are at great risk from the war because they spend a larger proportion of their income on food than richer countries,” it said. “That could have consequences for political stability.”

In October, the WTO was still expecting world trade to grow by 4.7 percent this year. According to new calculations, this could be almost halved, according to the WTO. It’s not just about Russian and Ukrainian exports of energy, grain and sunflower products. Russia is one of the main suppliers of palladium and rhodium for the production of catalytic converters for cars, Ukraine supplies neon to the semiconductor industry.

02:25 am – Age of peace dividends is over

Germany has to adjust to tougher times and difficult economic years by the end of the decade. “Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a turning point. It finally manifests the transition from a largely rule-based to a more power-based world order,” says Veronika Grimm, member of the Federal Government’s Economic Expert Council, of the “Rheinische Post” according to the preliminary report.

Germany must become more independent in terms of energy supply, the procurement of critical raw materials and trade relations. This goes hand in hand with higher costs and forces faster structural change. In addition, more must be spent on defense. “The decade will be exhausting. The age of peace dividends is over.”

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01:05 – Ukraine welcomes IMF special account for donor countries

The Ukrainian Ministry of Finance welcomes the establishment of a new special account by the International Monetary Fund. The special account is intended to offer donor countries and international organizations a secure way of sending funds to Ukraine. In the event of a Russian takeover, the donations could be frozen, say experts. The IMF’s Executive Board approved the establishment of the new account on Friday.

23:31 Azov regiment speaks of Russian poison gas attack in Mariupol

Shortly after a Russian threat to use chemical weapons in Mariupol, the Azov regiment of Ukraine reported an alleged poison gas attack. An unknown substance had been dropped from a drone over the long-contested city, Azov said on Monday evening on his Telegram channel.

However, the public Ukrainian TV broadcaster Suspilne reported that there was no confirmation from official bodies. True, military sources considered the probability of a chemical weapons attack by the Russian side to be “very high”. The broadcaster is trying to get confirmation from the military or the secret service. According to the Azov information, the people hit suffered from breathing difficulties and movement disorders.

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The West can do this: Space images are evaluated with artificial intelligence - here the identification of an aircraft type at an airfield

11:03 pm – Europol is involved in the implementation of Russia sanctions

The European police authority Europol is involved in the implementation of EU sanctions against Russia. Europol, together with the EU member states and the EU authorities Eurojust and Frontex, launched the “Oscar” mission, the Hague-based authority said on Monday. The aim is, on the one hand, to determine the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies. In addition, circumvention of EU sanctions should be prevented.

Europol is intended to facilitate the exchange of information between national authorities in EU countries in their financial investigations and to provide operational support. For its part, Eurojust is to improve cooperation between the authorities on legal issues. The border protection authority Frontex wants to track down sanctioned individuals at the EU’s external borders.

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