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Putin's own citizens turn against him as Russian police arrest 'spy working for Ukraine'




The resident, from the south-eastern city of Khabarovsk, was accused of high treason and arrested by Moscow’s Federal Security Service (FSB) after supposedly offering to send information to Ukraine “that could be used to the detriment of the security of the Russian Federation”. It comes as Putin continues to insist his invasion is a “special military operation”. State news outlet TASS reported the individual reached out to Ukrainians offering to pass national secrets to the country.

The FSB said: “A Khabarovsk resident anonymously applied via the Internet to the Ukrainian special service with a proposal to transfer information for a monetary reward.”

It added the resident was “pursuing mercenary intent” through actions that could harm and even “sabotage” the Kremlin while it worked on its mission to “to demilitarize and de-Nazify” the country.

Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russia has seen an exodus of political activists, journalists and others who, critical of the war, feared the consequences they would face if they spoke out.

On March 17, the Kremlin said society would benefit from the absence of anti-war Russians “mentally” aligned with “the collective West”.

Referring to a “cleansing” of “scum and traitors”, President Putin reinforced an already-well known approach to those who oppose his regime’s ideas.

Ukraine LIVE: ‘Firing squad’ forms in Kremlin chaos in threat to Putin

He said: “The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and simply spit them out like a gnat that accidentally flew into their mouths.

“I am convinced that such a natural and necessary cleansing of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to respond to any challenges.”

His remarks followed the enactment of two new laws criminalizing independent war reporting and protesting the war – with penalties of up to 15 years.

Fast-tracked through parliament on March 4, the laws make it illegal to spread “fake news” about the Russian military, to call for an end of its forces’ deployment and to express support for sanctions issued by the West against Russian targets.

Putin’s strict censorship efforts arouse dreadful memories of the mass arrests of the Stalin era, when repressions were justified for “cleansing” Soviet society of traitors.

According to independent monitoring group OVD-Info, more than 10 thousand people have been arrested in Russia for protesting against Moscow’s attacks on Ukraine.

As of March 14, the figure stood at nearly 15,000 detentions – including children and elderly people.

One single day, March 13, saw 817 people get arrested during demonstrations in 37 cities in Russia.

There are also reports of employees losing their jobs or being kicked out of universities for expressing criticism of Putin’s actions.

Meanwhile, more than two dozen Russian media outlets have been blocked by the country’s media regulator or have chosen to cease operations.

Facebook and Instagram are banned, too.

As invasion goes awry, what will Russia do next? [ANALYSIS]
A look at Vladimir Putin’s inner circle [INSIGHT]

The 4 countries standing behind Russia [EXPLAINER]

On Thursday, March 24, the US for the first time officially accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine and, after analysing public and intelligence sources that helped it reach the conclusion, vowed it would pursue accountability.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the US government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

“As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases.

“We are committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available, including criminal prosecutions.”

His comments came as US President Joe Biden travelled to Brussels to join leaders at a NATO summit and G7 meeting.

The NATO summit was dominated by concern about a possible Russian chemical or biological attack.

All 30 leaders of the military alliance warned Moscow against using such weapons, saying in a final statement it “would be unacceptable and result in severe consequences”.

Mr Biden said: “We would respond. We would respond if he uses it.

“The nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use.”



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'This is huge' Swedish Air Force jet deployed over Belarus border in threat to Putin




The Scandinavian country is not a member of NATO, but could be ready to trade in its neutral status in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

News of Stockholm’s decision to send a jet was revealed by twitter user Jamming.

They wrote: “Swedish Air Force Korpen active over Poland border area with Belarus.

“Sweden part of surveillance of Belarus and Ukraine!!!

“This is a huge political statement! Update on SwAF Korpen.”


The Gulfstream IV aircraft was tracked taking off from Linking airport and then flying towards the city of Grodno in western Belarus.

It was flying at an altitude of just under 12,000 metres at a speed of 836 kilometres per hour.

Although Sweden is not a NATO member, it is an “enhanced opportunity partner” of the military alliance.

The government also signed a statement in 2018 pledging to strengthen its defence cooperation.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson rejected calls by opposition parties earlier this month for the country to join NATO.

She argued that such a move would further destabilise Europe.

Her statement came in the wake of threats from Moscow that NATO membership would bring “serious military-political consequences” for Sweden.

However, there is growing public support among Swedes for their country to join the transatlantic military alliance.

A poll conducted in late February by broadcaster SVT found that 41 percent of the public supported NATO membership, while thirty-five percent were against.

It was the first time an opinion study in Sweden had found more people in favour of the country joining NATO than were against it.



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Putin humiliated: Russia tries and fails to capture defiant Ukraine village for tenth time




Russia has tried and failed to capture the village of the Chornobaevka ten times, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Aleksey Arestovich. Videos shared by Ukrainian officials online showed the “tenth defeat of the Russian invaders in Chornobaevka”. The continued failures to capture the village comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last night that his country’s forces had “dealt powerful blows” to the Russian military.

Mr Arestovich told a press conference that Russian troops had tried to take Chornobaevka for the tenth time, but the assault again ended in failure.

Following this, the head of the nearby Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Vitaly Kim published a video showing “the defeat” as explosions erupt on the outskirts of the village.

The resolute village has become famous in Ukraine for its defence, as President Zelensky commended Chornobaivka last weekend for fending off six invasions at the time.

He said: “Ukrainian Chornobaivka will go down in war history. This is a place where the Russian military and their commanders have shown themselves for who they truly are – incompetent, capable of simply handing over their people for slaughter.

“Our military has annihilated the invaders near Chornobaivka six times.

“Six times, yet they keep coming back.”

JUST IN: Putin on brink of major RETREAT in Kyiv

Online users ridiculed the latest Russian failures and hailed the Ukrainian defiance, with one Reddit user remarking: “At some point, I think every military intelligence outfit looking at this must be wondering how bad the rot is in the Russian military.”

One user visavillem added: “So this is the 10th time. Are Russians trying to bait Ukrainians to waste ammo with some obsolete/broken equipment, or are they really so stupid, that they keep stepping on the same rake again and again?”

Another user on Reddit adfgqert posted: “The Ukrainian people have resolve and determination that is beyond what I think is normal.

“Beyond inspirational and they bring fighting for what they believe in to a new level for me.” 

This comes amid ongoing setbacks for Russian military forces in the south of the country.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Russia had withdrawn most of its helicopters from a strategic airport in Kherson, in southern Ukraine, according to satellite images.

Kherson has also been the site of several local protests against the occupying Russian soldiers.

The official said: “We can’t corroborate exactly who is in control of Kherson but the point is, it doesn’t appear to be as solidly in Russian control as it was before.

“That would make it very, very difficult for them to make any kind of ground movement on Odesa.

“That would be a significant development, no question about that, in terms of the southern part of the war.” 


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