Russian invasion: War against Ukraine: That's the situation

Around three and a half weeks before the international agreement on grain exports from Ukraine expired, Russia again threatened to end the agreement.

Russian invasion: War against Ukraine: That's the situation

Around three and a half weeks before the international agreement on grain exports from Ukraine expired, Russia again threatened to end the agreement. Meanwhile, at a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov defended the war of aggression against the neighboring country that had begun 14 months ago. And the Kremlin announced that, as in the previous year, there will be no large international visitors at the traditional military parade on May 9 in Moscow.

Moscow threatens to end the grain agreement

"Terrorist attacks by the Kiev regime threaten a renewed extension of the "grain deal" after May 18," the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday night. Specifically, Russia, which itself launched the war of aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, accuses the neighboring country of having used drones to attack the base of the Russian Black Sea fleet on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Moscow in March and April. Initially, there was no reaction from Kiev.

Russia has repeatedly threatened to scrap the grain agreement, which was last extended by 60 days in mid-March - albeit with different arguments. Moscow, for example, has recently repeatedly criticized that the agreed sanctions for its own fertilizer exports are not being sufficiently implemented.

After the start of its war of aggression, Russia had blocked the neighboring country's Black Sea ports for months. As Ukraine is one of the largest agricultural exporters, fears grew of a massive increase in food prices and - as a result - a hunger crisis in the poorest countries. Last summer, the United Nations and Turkey brokered an end to the blockade in the form of the grain deal.

Zelenskyj: Prepare for the coming winter

According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine is already preparing for the coming winter after months of Russian attacks on energy plants. "We made decisions to restore the energy sector after the Russian attacks," Zelenskyy said in his evening video address on Monday after visiting the Zhytomyr region west of Kiev.

Since last fall, Russia has repeatedly fired missiles and drones at Ukrainian power plants. As a result, there were repeated power and heating failures in many regions of Ukraine, especially during the cold season. Kiev has therefore repeatedly accused Moscow of "energy terrorism".

Lavrov defends invasion of Ukraine

Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov accused the West of hegemonic plans and defended his country's invasion of Ukraine. At a UN Security Council meeting in New York, Lavrov claimed that the "Ukraine question" cannot be viewed in isolation from geopolitical developments, in which NATO has threatened Russia's security in the region for years.

The controversial meeting of the most powerful UN body was scheduled by Russia given its presidency of the Council. In light of Russia's war of aggression, the session entitled "Effective Multilateralism by Defending the Principles of the United Nations Charter" was seen as a provocation by many countries.

Kremlin: No foreign heads of state at military parade

In the second year of the war, once again no foreign heads of state or government were invited to the traditional military parade on May 9 on Red Square in Moscow. "There were no special invitations this year," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Only the President of the Central Asian ex-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Schaparov, will take part in the celebrations marking the 78th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory in World War II - because he will be in Moscow on a working visit anyway.

Kremlin denies Putin doppelganger

At the same time, the Kremlin once again rejected suspicions that Russian President Vladimir Putin was being represented by doubles at public appearances. "You've probably heard that Putin has many doubles who work for him while he's in a bunker. That's another lie," Peskov told young people at an educational event in Moscow. "You see what kind of president we have. He was and is mega active. We who work with him can hardly keep up with him."

Speculations about one or even more Putin doubles keep coming up - most recently, for example, in view of a visit by the Kremlin chief to Russian-occupied war zones in Ukraine. There is no known evidence that there is actually a double of Putin at official meetings.