A Ukrainian serviceman walks amid the rubble of a building heavily damaged by multiple bombardments near a frontline in Kharkiv, Ukraine, April 25, 2022. (FELIPE DANA / AP)
MOSCOW/KYIV/ANKARA/UNITED NATIONS – Russia has sent a diplomatic note to the United States calling on Washington to stop supplying Kyiv with weapons, according to Russian Ambassador to the United States.
The move came days after US President Joe Biden announced that the US will provide Ukraine with additional security assistance worth $800 million to bolster its defense against Russia's military operation.
Washington's decision did not contribute to finding a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis, Russia’s UN envoy Anatoly Antonov said on Monday.
Russia "emphasized the unacceptability of the situation where the United States is pumping weapons into Ukraine and demanded an end to this practice," local media reported citing Antonov.
We continue to call for a ceasefire or some sort of pause. The secretary-general did that, as you know, just last week. Clearly, that didn't happen in time for (Orthodox) Easter.
Farhan Haq, Deputy spokesman for Antonio Guterres
The ambassador said the US was "aggravating the situation" and "adding fuel to the fire" with its actions, ultimately causing more deaths due to their supply of weapons.
According to the diplomat, the US has not yet responded to Russia's note.
Russia expels 40 German diplomats
Russia has declared 40 German diplomats "personae non gratae" in a tit-for-tat move, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
The ministry summoned German Ambassador to Russia Geza Andreas von Geyr on Monday in protest over Germany's decision to declare 40 Russian diplomats working there "personae non gratae" earlier this month.
Terming the German move "unacceptable," the ministry informed the ambassador that 40 German diplomats would be declared "personae non grata" in a symmetrical response.
Guterres pushes for truce in Ukraine
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres continues to push for a halt in hostilities in Ukraine even though a Russian UN envoy said a ceasefire is not a good option at the moment, said a UN spokesman.
"We continue to call for a ceasefire or some sort of pause. The secretary-general did that, as you know, just last week. Clearly, that didn't happen in time for (Orthodox) Easter," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Guterres.
"I don't want to give too many details at this stage of the sort of proposals he will have. I think we're coming at a fairly delicate moment. It's important that he is able to talk clearly with the leadership on both sides and see what progress we can make," he told a daily press briefing.
Erdogan seeks support for solution
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that all parties should support the Istanbul process for a solution to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey's presidency said.
Guterres met with Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara, before heading to Moscow and Kyiv for talks on resolving the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
In this image provided by the US Air Force, Airmen and civilians from the 436th Aerial Port Squadron palletize ammunition, weapons and other equipment bound for Ukraine during a foreign military sales mission at Dover Air Force Base, Delware, on Jan 21, 2022. (MAURICIO CAMPINO / US AIR FORCE VIA AP)
‘Attempts to split Russian society failed'
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday the West had failed in its attempts to divide Russian society and destroy it from within.
During an expanded meeting of the Prosecutor General's Office Board, he said the West and its allies were urging Kyiv to use all its resources to win on the battlefield. After realizing that this goal was impossible, the US and its allies focused on "splitting Russian society, destroying Russia from within," the Kremlin said, citing the Russian leader.
"Our society has demonstrated maturity, solidarity, and has shown support for our armed forces, who are ensuring Russia's unconditional security," he said.
Russian forces seize Kherson city council building
Russian forces seized the building of Kherson city council in southern Ukraine, Ukrinform news agency reported Monday, citing Kherson mayor Ihor Kolykhaiev.
Last week, Ukrainian Defense Ministry's spokesman Olexandr Motuzyanyk said Russia is preparing to hold a "referendum" in the Kherson region on joining Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv would withdraw from peace negotiations with Moscow if Russian forces hold pseudo-referendums in the areas they captured in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, at least five people were killed and 18 others injured on Monday as a result of Russia's airstrike on transport infrastructure in Ukraine's central Vinnytsia region, the Vinnytsia Regional Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
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