Ukraine: Vladimir Putin exposes own weakness with mistakes
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A lieutenant colonel in the German reserves gave his Russian contacts sensitive information on the operational abilities of the army in full knowledge that they were spies, Germany’s federal prosecution service said on the first day of the trial in Dusseldorf. Ralph G, 65 years old, faces a 10-year prison sentence if he is found guilty of “serious intelligence activity”. Much of the information he allegedly passed on came from publicly available sources, but he is also accused of handing over the private contact details of senior army officials as well as passages from an unreleased defence white paper. The prosecution said they found no evidence that the defendant had received money for his services, believing he was motivated by a “sympathy for the Russian Federation”. He came to the attention of Germany’s spy agencies after attending several official Russian events as a guest of the host and prosecutors now believe that part of his motivation for handing over the secrets was to “make himself interesting” to Moscow.
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Strikes at nuclear plant prompt UN chief to call for demilitarised zone
Russia and Ukraine accused each other of shelling Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant as the UN chief proposed a demilitarised zone at the site amid fears of a catastrophe.
Ukraine’s Energoatom agency said the Zaporizhzhia complex was struck five times on Thursday, including near where radioactive materials are stored. Russian-appointed officials said Ukraine shelled the plant twice, disrupting a shift changeover, Russia’s TASS news agency said.
The UN Security Council met on Thursday to discuss the situation. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on both sides to halt all fighting near the plant.
“The facility must not be used as part of any military operation. Instead, urgent agreement is needed at a technical level on a safe perimeter of demilitarisation to ensure the safety of the area,” Mr Guterres said in a statement.
Good morning from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the conflict between Ukraine and Russa. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.
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