+ News of the Ukraine War + Mayor Mariupol accuses Russia of being a hostage

African Union report: Putin ready to export grain

8:10 pm: African countries in particular are threatened by famine as grain supplies are cut off. To the African Union, Putin is now open to exports – and has denied responsibility. Read more about this here.

Senegal President Mackie Sal and Russian President Vladimir Putin: The failure of the Ukrainian grain supply is a pain for African countries. (Source: Sputnik / Mikhail Klimentyev / Kremlin / Reuters photos)

Journalists set on fire – one killed

7:54 pm: Two journalists from the Reuters news agency in eastern Ukraine were slightly injured and their driver killed. A Reuters spokesman said the group was on their way to Severotonets for a report when they caught fire. Accordingly, the journalists traveled in a vehicle provided by the Russian-backed separatists, driven by a “driver provided by the separatists”. According to Reporters Without Borders, at least eight journalists have been killed since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Belarus sets conditions for grain exports

6:32 pm: Despite the alarming rise in the price of staple food for poorer countries, there are no signs of a solution to the grain embargo from Ukraine. Belarus on Friday imposed conditions on traffic across its border because it could not send grain from Ukrainian ports in peacetime. In a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President Alexander Lukashenko promised to send freight trains to Baltic ports, state news agency Belda reported.

“But at the same time, as mentioned in the conversation, the most important thing is that these ports – in Germany, Poland, the Baltic states or Russia – should also be opened for Belarusian goods,” it said. Belarus has no access to the sea and is one of the largest potash exporters. However, Western sanctions severely restrict export opportunities.

Germany is allowed to cross the former Swiss leopard tanks

6:27 pm: Germany is allowed to supply key battle tanks to other European countries from former Swiss military stocks. According to the Swiss Ministry of Defense, the neutral country gave the green light to the relevant application from Germany.

Switzerland, on the other hand, refused to sell Leopard 2, which was sold to Poland from its own stock. This requires a parliamentary decision. However, this cannot be achieved within a reasonable period of time. Switzerland responded to Great Britain’s request to supply the country with anti-tank weapons designed for the Swiss military. These are the shoulder-support devices of the Swedish company Saab. Great Britain needed these weapons to increase its own stock.

Mayor Mariupol accused Russia of taking hostages

5:38 pm: After the capture of the port city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine by Russia, ousted Mayor Vadim Poytchenko accused the Russian government of taking hostages there. There are still 100,000 of the 500,000 people in Mariupol. “They are detained there by Russian troops and are practically used as human shields,” Poichenko said in Kiev.

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