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Russian Digest 4/28
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The International Atomic Energy Agency said on April 28 it was reviewing Ukrainian reports that a missile had flown directly over a nuclear power plant. If a missile goes astray, it could potentially lead to a nuclear accident, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said in a statement. via Kyiv Independent
NATO will look to bolster security for Sweden and Finland in the period between the Nordic countries’ potential application to join and the ratification of their membership, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday. Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Sweden and Finland have expressed interest in joining NATO — a significant shift from their official stance of military non-alignment, and a reflection of the elevated threat Moscow poses to their security environment.
“The reality is that Finland and Sweden are already very close to NATO. … And as soon as we take the decision to invite them, that will send a strong political message that the security of Finland and Sweden matters for all NATO allies,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference. via Washington Post
Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister Nicu Popescu said in a Thursday briefing with journalists that the country is facing a “very dangerous new moment” after a series of explosions in the Ministry of State Security building in Transnistria on Monday. Since then, all of the country’s institutions have been on high alert, Popescu added.
On Tuesday, two explosions damaged Soviet-era radio masts in the village of Maiac. Before the attacks, a senior Kremlin commander said, according to Russian state media, that the Russian Armed Forces planned to “make passage” into southern Ukraine to reach the breakaway region of Transnistria in Moldova. via Yahoo News
There are reports that Transnistria has stopped all men of fighting age from leaving its territory.
In an intelligence report sent to Ukraine, the UK warns that Russia is preparing a landing in Transnistria if an escalation begins.
There are reports coming out of Ukraine that a few hundred Wagner mercenaries have entered Transnistria.
US intelligence agencies have come to the conclusion that Russian intelligence services are behind the attack on the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov.
“The United States can confirm that Russian intelligence agencies orchestrated the attack on Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov on April 7, during which he was doused with red paint containing acetone,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He did not give any details about how US intelligence agencies came to this conclusion.
Dmitry Muratov was unable to promptly comment on the assessment of the American intelligence services, as he is on a business trip, a Novaya Gazeta spokesman told WP. The Russian Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.
On April 7, Dmitry Muratov was doused with paint on the Moscow-Samara train. At the same time, the attacker shouted: "Muratov, here's to you for our boys." After the attack, Muratov was diagnosed with chemical burns to his eyes. According to Novaya Gazeta, Nikolai Trifonov, who was the perpetrator, and Ilya Markovets, who filmed the attack on video, took part in the attack. The media reported that Markovets was detained, and Trifonov was wanted. via Meduza
The British military will send some 8,000 troops to Europe as part of a larger allied deployment to deter further Russian aggression, British officials said.
The British troops will be serving in the Joint Expeditionary Force, a British-led multinational group created in 2014 in response to Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.
Tens of thousands of troops from Joint Expeditionary Force and NATO countries will participate in exercises between April and June, Britain’s defense ministry said in a statement released on Friday. The deployment was reported earlier by The Guardian.
“These exercises will see our troops join forces with allies and partners across NATO and the Joint Expeditionary Force in a show of solidarity and strength in one of the largest shared deployments since the Cold War,” Ben Wallace, the British defense secretary, said in the statement. via NYT