Russia has moved ahead with a plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, claimed on Thursday that the relocation of some of the weapons from Russia to Belarus had already started, according to reports.
Dutch prosecutors have seized a plot of land near Amsterdam that belongs to Vladimir Putin’s former son-in-law, a joint investigation by the Guardian and two other media organisations revealed. The plot of land in Duivendrecht is owned by Jorrit Faassen, a Dutch businessman who was married to Maria Vorontsova, the Russian president’s elder daughter.
Britain is likely to keep Russian state assets immobilised for some time after the war in Ukraine ends, and certainly until Moscow has agreed to pay compensation for the damage it has inflicted, British officials have confirmed. The Council of Europe summit last week established a digital register of damage for Ukraine as the first step towards an international compensation mechanism for victims of Russian aggression.
The United States has long asked Ukraine not to use US-provided military equipment to carry out attacks inside Russian territory, the top US general said on Thursday, following accusations by Russia that pro-Ukrainian militia had used US armoured vehicles.
Russia has signalled that if demands to improve its grain and fertiliser exports are not met then it will not extend the Black Sea grain deal before 17 July. It made the same threat and demands in March, then agreed last week to renew the export pact for 60 days.
Unverified footage appears to show a drone speedboat attack on the Russian naval vessel the Ivan Khurs in the Black Sea on Wednesday. The video appears to show at least one of the drones getting extremely close to the ship, though it remains unclear whether or not any damage was done.
Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has begun withdrawing its forces from the devastated Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and transferring its positions there to regular Russian troops, according to its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
The US has said the Wagner Group may be working through Mali and other countries to hide its efforts to acquire military equipment for use in Ukraine, and accused it of supplying a Sudanese paramilitary with surface-to-air missiles.
Ukraine secured the release of 106 captured soldiers in a prisoner exchange with Russia on Thursday, according to Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s chief of staff. The soldiers, including eight officers, were reportedly said to have been captured fighting in Bakhmut.
Russia’s foreign ministry said it had summoned the ambassadors of Germany, Sweden and Denmark over what it described as the “complete lack of results” in the Nord Stream investigation. Several unexplained underwater explosions ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that link Russia and Germany across the Baltic Sea in September 2022. The blasts occurred in the economic zones of Sweden and Denmark and both countries say they were deliberate, but have yet to determine who was responsible. Germany is also investigating.
Ukraine said on Thursday it had shot down all 36 Iranian-made drones launched by Russia in overnight attacks it claims likely targeted key infrastructure and military facilities.
Russia has denied a fire broke out at the ministry of defence in Moscow, after social media users and reports in the state-owned Tass news agency said emergency services had been called to the building. Tass initially reported on a fire at the ministry early on Thursday morning, but later reported the ministry saying there was none.