Russia-Ukraine war: police search European parliament over possible Russian interference – as it happened

29/05/2024 15:04 The Guardian

A parliamentary employee’s home and offices raided amid accusations they were ‘paid to promote Russian propaganda’Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office has said that police carried out searches at the residence of an employee of the European parliament and at his office in the parliament’s building in Brussels over possible Russian interference. Prosecutors said in statement that the suspect’s office in Strasbourg, where the EU parliament’s headquarters are located in France, was also searched, AP reported.The Swedish government has said it will donate military aid to Ukraine worth 13 billion kronor (£962 million) in the largest help package Sweden has so far donated. “It consists of equipment that is at the top of Ukraine’s priority list,” deputy prime minister Ebba Busch said. It includes air defence, artillery ammunition and armoured vehicles, AP reported.Russia’s human rights commissioner said on Wednesday that prisoner of war exchanges between Russia and Ukraine had been suspended for several months, the state TASS news agency said on Wednesday. TASS cited Tatyana Moskalova as blaming what she called Kyiv’s “false demands.” There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.Antony Blinken, is set to arrive in the Moldovan capital Chisinau on Wednesday. It the first stop of a brief Europe tour during which he will aim to solidify the western support for Ukraine across Nato allies and neighbouring countries. The US top diplomat’s trip comes as Ukraine is trying to fend off intensifying Russian attacks in the east and as President Vladimir Putin warns that allowing Kyiv use western weapons to hit inside Russia would trigger a global conflict.Western countries should let Ukraine strike military bases inside Russia with the sophisticated long-range weapons they are providing to Kyiv, French president Emmanuel Macron said, pressuring his allies in the most recent sign of a potentially significant policy shift that could help change the complexion of the war. The question of whether to allow Ukraine to hit targets on Russian soil with Western-supplied weaponry has been a delicate issue since the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of its neighbour in February 2022, AP reported.Ukrainian military shot down 13 drones out of 14 launched by Russia in an overnight attack on three regions, the country’s air force said on the Telegram messaging app on Wednesday. Drone debris fell on energy infrastructure in Ukraine’s northwestern region of Rivne, governor Oleksandr Koval said on Telegram. The attack triggered a defence mechanism that cut power to some localities, although it has since been restored, Reuters reported.The Russian capital Moscow has been successfully protected from Ukrainian drones, a high-ranking Russian air force official said on Wednesday, according to the TASS state news agency. The official was quoted as saying that Ukrainian drones could cover a distance of up to 2,500 kilometres (1,553 miles).Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk has said its forces will further fortify the border with Belarus and can use “all available means” to defend the Nato nation’s frontier, after a soldier was seriously wounded with a knife by a migrant. Tusk said that a buffer zone some 200 metres (660ft) wide would be set up along the border, which is also the European Union’s eastern frontier, in addition to a 190-kilometre (118-mile) long metal barrier already in place to prevent an influx of migrants crossing from Belarus.Russia’s defence ministry said on Wednesday that planes from its Black Sea Fleet had destroyed two Ukrainian Crimea-bound sea drones in the north-western part of the Black Sea.Western countries should let Ukraine strike military bases inside Russia with the sophisticated long-range weapons they are providing to Kyiv, French president Emmanuel Macron said, pressuring his allies in the most recent sign of a potentially significant policy shift that could help change the complexion of the war. Continue reading...

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