Zelenskyy pledges to strengthen the Marine Corps – DW – 05/24/2023

Zelenskyy pledges to strengthen the Marine Corps – DW – 05/24/2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Wednesday that kyiv plans to strengthen its marine brigades.

“New marine brigades will be added to our existing units, and we will provide them with modern weapons and equipment,” he said in his nightly video address.

Ukraine’s “key task” was “to strengthen our defence, increase the capabilities of our warriors and our country as a whole”, he said.

Zelenskyy made the comments after visiting frontline positions near the towns of Vuhledar and Maryinka in the Donetsk region.

He presented awards to dozens of soldiers on National Day of Ukrainian Marines.

Here are some of the other developments regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine on Wednesday, May 24:

Belgorod again attacked by a drone, according to the governor

Belgorod has again been the target of drone attacks, according to the governor of the Russian region near the Ukrainian border.

Vyacheslav Gladkov reported on his Telegram channel that no one was injured after an explosive was dropped.

Russia said on Tuesday it had called off an attack by Ukrainian saboteurs on the region, following a 24-hour battle that left 70 dead. Kyiv denied any involvement.

The United States said it “does not encourage or permit attacks inside Russia.” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, however, told a press briefing that with Russia being the aggressor, the United States “would leave it up to our Ukrainian partners to decide how to wage this war.” .

Miller also said Washington was “skeptical” of reports that US-supplied weapons were deployed in the Belgorod attack.

Russia claims to ‘eliminate’ cross-border aggressors

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Russian plane intercepts two US bombers over the Baltic — Russian media

A Russian military plane was sent to intercept two US bombers flying over the Baltic Sea, Russian news agencies TASS and Interfax reported citing military sources.

The Pentagon said the plane was part of a long-planned exercise in Europe.

A US Department of Defense spokesperson said interaction with the crew of the Russian aircraft was “safe and professional”.

The two Russian Su-27 jets took off after two US B-1B supersonic bombers approached Russian airspace, according to Russian media.

Very few Russian conscientious objectors granted asylum in Germany — report

So far, only 55 Russian conscientious objectors have been granted asylum in Germany, reports Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND).

Germany has received just under 2,500 asylum applications from Russian conscientious objectors. Eighty-eight requests were refused.

Some 671 applications were resolved either by transfer to another country under the EU’s Dublin procedure or by withdrawal of the applicant.

A total of 1,671 applications are still pending.

Left Party MP Jan Korte criticized the small number of men refusing military service.

“If more than 100,000 military-age men leave Russia and refuse Putin’s war, but only 55 of them find official protection in Germany, something is seriously wrong.”

He accused the German government of being “cynical” and of “pursuing the decimation of Putin’s army by supplying weapons, but not by supporting desertion and conscientious objection”.

More DW content on Russia’s war in Ukraine

Despite rocket attacks and power cuts, kyiv’s music scene remains active. Ukrainian bands also play all over Europe to raise funds for Ukraine.

Yevgeny Prigozhin admitted to leading the Wagner mercenary group and a huge Internet troll farm. But is he a threat to Russian President Vladimir Putin, or is he just doing what the Kremlin leader wants?

Ukrainians are fighting for the right to decide their own future. And yet, part of that future is already in Russian hands. DW’s Max Zander investigated how Russia allegedly deports Ukrainian children and how some parents pick them up. Watch the report below.

Bringing Ukrainian children back from Russia

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sdi/rt (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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