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Deranged despot Vladimir Putin has banned Boris Johnson from entering Russia as he lashes out at Britain over his failing war in Ukraine. 

In a tit-for-tat, Russia’s foreign ministry has slapped sanctions on a dozen other UK government members and politicians for what it called the ‘unprecedented hostile action by the British Government, in particular the imposition of sanctions against senior Russian officials’. 

Moscow specifically accused Britain of ‘deliberately aggravating the situation surrounding Ukraine, pumping the Kyiv regime with lethal weapons and coordinating similar efforts on the behalf of NATO’ and threatened to expand its sanctions list ‘soon’. 

In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry warned: ‘This step was taken as a response to London’s unbridled information and political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally, creating conditions for restricting our country and strangling the domestic economy.

List of UK politicians blacklisted by Russia in Putin’s tit-for-tat sanctions

In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry announced the following UK politicians and officials will be banned from entering Russia:

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson;  
  • Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab;  
  • Foreign Secretary Liz Truss; 
  • Defence Secretary Ben Wallace; 
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps; 
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel; 
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak; 
  • Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng;  
  • Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries; 
  • Armed Forces Minister James Heappey;    
  • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon;  
  • Attorney-General Suella Braverman;  
  • Former Prime Minister Theresa May.  
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‘In the near future, this list will be expanded to include British politicians and parliamentarians who contribute to whipping up anti-Russian hysteria, pushing the “collective West” to use the language of threats in dialogue with Moscow, and shamelessly inciting the Kiev neo-Nazi regime.’

Moscow’s entry blacklist includes UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, former Prime Minister Theresa May and even the nationalist First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.

London has been part of an international effort to punish Moscow with asset freezes, travel bans and economic sanctions, since Putin moved troops into Ukraine on February 24.

Mr Johnson has also accused Russia of committing war crimes in Bucha and Irpin, and has reiterated his mantra that ‘Putin must fail’ – a policy he emphasised yet again when he was apologising to the British public after being fined by Scotland Yard for breaking Covid lockdown laws.

At a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the PM said: ‘What Putin has done in places like Bucha and Irpin is war crimes that have permanently polluted his reputation and the reputation of his government.’

And President Zelensky has hailed Mr Johnson as the ‘leader’ of the ‘anti-war coalition’ – a sentiment which is likely to have angered Putin and his cronies.  

The Kremlin last month effectively branded Mr Johnson Russia’s public enemy No1 over his role in galvanising Western nations against punishing Putin’s regime for launching its illegal and barbaric war against the former Soviet republic. 

The Russian tyrant’s notorious spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who has himself been sanctioned by the UK, singled out the PM as the ‘most active’ opponent of his brutal war, warning: ‘As for Mr Johnson, we see him as the most active participant in the race to be anti-Russian. It will lead to a foreign policy dead end.’

The PM acknowledged he was ‘deeply hostile’ to Putin’s war, but insisted he was ‘not remotely anti-Russian’.

Speaking at an emergency NATO summit in Brussels, he likened Putin’s tactics to those of the Nazis, saying: ‘What Vladimir Putin is doing, the way he’s leading Russia at the moment, is utterly catastrophic – his invasion of Ukraine is inhuman and barbaric.

‘And the conduct of that invasion is now moving into the type of behaviour that we haven’t seen in the continent of Europe for 80 years, and it’s horrific. 

‘So you can be sympathetic towards ordinary Russians, who are being so badly led, but you can be deeply hostile to the decisions of Vladimir Putin.’

It comes as Russia accused the US and NATO of shipping the ‘most sensitive’ weapons including long range ‘multiple launch rockets systems’ to Ukraine, adding that Western involvement was ‘adding fuel’ to the conflict and could bring ‘unpredictable consequences’.

Boris Johnson and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, April 9, 2022

Boris Johnson and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, April 9, 2022

Boris Johnson and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, April 9, 2022

Putin chairs a video conference call on the situation in the oil and gas industries, from the official residence at Novo-Ogaryovo, April 14, 2022

Putin chairs a video conference call on the situation in the oil and gas industries, from the official residence at Novo-Ogaryovo, April 14, 2022

Putin chairs a video conference call on the situation in the oil and gas industries, from the official residence at Novo-Ogaryovo, April 14, 2022

A man stands on a damaged bridge in Kyiv area, Ukraine, Saturday April 16, 2022

A man stands on a damaged bridge in Kyiv area, Ukraine, Saturday April 16, 2022

A man stands on a damaged bridge in Kyiv area, Ukraine, Saturday April 16, 2022

Smoke is seen rising over Darnytskyi District of Kyiv, Ukraine on April 16, 2022

Smoke is seen rising over Darnytskyi District of Kyiv, Ukraine on April 16, 2022

Smoke is seen rising over Darnytskyi District of Kyiv, Ukraine on April 16, 2022

Handout photo issued by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office of Mr Johnson meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday April 9, 2022

Handout photo issued by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office of Mr Johnson meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday April 9, 2022

Handout photo issued by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office of Mr Johnson meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday April 9, 2022 

A handout photo made available via the official Telegram channel of the President of Ukraine shows President Zelensky and Mr Johnson sitting for a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 9, 2022

A handout photo made available via the official Telegram channel of the President of Ukraine shows President Zelensky and Mr Johnson sitting for a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 9, 2022

A handout photo made available via the official Telegram channel of the President of Ukraine shows President Zelensky and Mr Johnson sitting for a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 9, 2022 

SAS troops are now training Ukrainians in how to use British-supplied anti-tank missiles after Russia warned that Western involvement means World War Three has already started 

A Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces member holds an NLAW anti-tank weapon, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022

A Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces member holds an NLAW anti-tank weapon, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022

A Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces member holds an NLAW anti-tank weapon, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022

British SAS troops have been training Ukrainian soldiers in Kyiv in how to use British-supplied NLAW anti-tank missile launchers, it has been reported.

The training marks the first time British forces have been instructing their Ukrainian counterparts since Russia’s Vladimir Putin launched his invasion on February 24.

Two officers from separate battalions stationed both in and around the country’s capital told The Times that British Special Forces had trained their troops on two occasions over the last fortnight.

British military trainers have had a presence in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014, but were withdrawn in February as the likelihood of Putin ordering an all-out invasion of Ukraine increased.

Reports of the British training came after Russian TV warned that Western involvement in the war – such as supplying weapons to Ukraine and training its military – meant that World War Three had already begun.

A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Feb. 15, 202

A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Feb. 15, 202

A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on Feb. 15, 202

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A two-page diplomatic note or démarche, dated Tuesday, was sent to the State Department by the Russian Embassy in Washington.

It was titled: ‘On Russia’s concerns in the context of massive supplies of weapons and military equipment to the Kyiv regime,’ according to the Washington Post which obtained a copy of the note in Russian.

It accused the US and NATO allies of trying to force Ukraine to ‘abandon’ negotiations with Russia ‘in order to continue the bloodshed,’ while pressuring other countries to end military and technical cooperation with Moscow.

‘We call on the United States and its allies to stop the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which implies unpredictable consequences for regional and international security,’ the note said.

And among the weapons Russia described as ‘most sensitive’ were ‘multiple launch rocket systems’ – although the US and NATO have not said they are sending such items to Ukraine.

That amounted to violation of ‘rigorous principles’ governing transfer of weapons to conflict zones and of ignoring ‘the threat of high-precision weapons falling into the hands of radical nationalists, extremists and bandit forces in Ukraine.’

Russia has repeatedly tried to claim that is fighting to ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine, claims that do not stand up to scrutiny.

Instead a senior administration official said the note was an admission that the US strategy was working.

‘What the Russians are telling us privately is precisely what we’ve been telling the world publicly – that the massive amount of assistance that we’ve been providing our Ukrainian partners is proving extraordinarily effective,’ said the official.

The latest tranche of US security support was announced this week. The $800million package takes the total to $3.2billion since the invasion began at the end of February, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

On Wednesday, President Biden said: ‘This new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine.

‘These new capabilities include artillery systems, artillery rounds, and armored personnel carriers.’

Meanwhile, British SAS troops have been training Ukrainian soldiers in Kyiv in how to use British-supplied NLAW anti-tank missile launchers, it has been reported.

The training marks the first time British forces have been instructing their Ukrainian counterparts since Putin launched his invasion on February 24.

Two officers from separate battalions stationed both in and around the country’s capital told The Times that British Special Forces had trained their troops on two occasions over the last fortnight.

British military trainers have had a presence in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014, but were withdrawn in February as the likelihood of Putin ordering an all-out invasion of Ukraine increased.

Reports of the British training came after Russian TV warned that Western involvement in the war – such as supplying weapons to Ukraine and training its military – meant that World War Three had already begun.

The newspaper said it had spoken to two Ukrainian commanders – Captain Yuriy Myronenko and a Kyiv special forces commander who goes by the nickname ‘Skiff’.

Myronenko said new and returning recruits in his battalion, stationed in Obolon – a suburb in the northern outskirts of Kyiv that experienced heavy fighting in the early days of the invasion – were trained by British SAS to use NLAWs two weeks ago.

Since February, the United Kingdom has delivered more than 3,600 Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs) to Ukraine, with Kyiv requesting more following reports that they had proven highly effective against Russian armour.

The launchers are relatively easy to use, and give ground troops a modern, light-weight counter to Russia’s vast numbers of slow-moving – and often dated – tanks.

Skiff, meanwhile, told The Times that Ukraine’s 112th battalion – to which his unit was attached at the time – had also been given training by British troops last week.

People stand beside damaged buildings at the Vizar company military-industrial complex, after the site was hit by overnight Russian strikes, in the town of Vyshneve, southwestern suburbs of Kyiv, April 15, 2022

People stand beside damaged buildings at the Vizar company military-industrial complex, after the site was hit by overnight Russian strikes, in the town of Vyshneve, southwestern suburbs of Kyiv, April 15, 2022

People stand beside damaged buildings at the Vizar company military-industrial complex, after the site was hit by overnight Russian strikes, in the town of Vyshneve, southwestern suburbs of Kyiv, April 15, 2022

A Ukrainian serviceman guards his position in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 12, 2022

A Ukrainian serviceman guards his position in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 12, 2022

A Ukrainian serviceman guards his position in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 12, 2022

A serviceman stands at a building damaged during fighting in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 13, 2022

A serviceman stands at a building damaged during fighting in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 13, 2022

A serviceman stands at a building damaged during fighting in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 13, 2022 

There are fears that Russia's sunken Moskva cruiser could have been carrying nuclear warheads

There are fears that Russia's sunken Moskva cruiser could have been carrying nuclear warheads

There are fears that Russia’s sunken Moskva cruiser could have been carrying nuclear warheads

Zelensky says the whole WORLD should be worried about Putin using nuclear weapons and has urged Biden to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Friday Russia could use tactical nuclear weapons

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Friday Russia could use tactical nuclear weapons

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Friday Russia could use tactical nuclear weapons

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is warning that Russia could use tactical nuclear weapons during its invasion of Ukraine – and cautioned that it was a matter grave concern for the entire world.

‘Not only me – I think all of the world, all of the countries have to be worried because it can be not real information, but it can be truth,’ Zelensky said, speaking in English.

‘We should think not be afraid, not be afraid but be ready. But that is not a question for Ukraine, not only for Ukraine but for all the world, I think,’ he said.

Zelensky was responding to a question by CNN’s Jake Tapper about CIA Director William Burns warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin might use a tactical nuclear tactical weapon as a desperate act amid military setbacks in its invasion, which has continued for 50 days.

He mentioned nuclear weapons as well as chemical weapons as a potential threat.

‘Chemical weapons, they should do it, they could do it, for them the life of the people [means] nothing. That’s why,’ Zelensky said, speaking in sometimes imprecise English.

His dire comments in the interview come as it was reported Zelensky personally asked President Joe Biden to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism – a move with substantial implications for trade and sanctions.

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His senior commander – nicknamed bear – confirmed Skiff’s report to the newspaper. ‘They were good guys, the Brits,’ he was quoted as saying. ‘They have invited us to visit them when the war is over’.

Myronenko said that the training was vital due to the huge numbers of recruits that have signed up to the country’s resistance effort since the war broke out, meaning many were not trained on how to use the vital missile launchers before Britain pulled its troops out of the country.

He said that without the British trainers, soldiers around the country who did not receive the training had to go on YouTube to learn how to use the NLAWs – which he said take around five minutes to learn how to use.

‘After that we had good training,’ he told publication. ‘British officers were here two weeks ago in our unit and they trained us really good. And because we have had successes, we have self-confidence now.’

Britain’s Ministry of Defence told The Times it would not comment on the reports on account of a long-standing convention that means it does not comment on the activities of the country’s special forces.

It comes as Moscow threatened to mount renewed missile attacks on Kyiv, where authorities said the bodies of more than 900 civilians were found outside the capital.

Russian forces continued preparations for a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine, and fighting also went on in the pummelled southern port city of Mariupol, where locals reported seeing Russian troops digging up bodies.

In the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, the shelling of a residential area killed seven people, including a seven-month-old child, and wounded 34, according to regional governor Oleh Sinehubov.

Early on Saturday, Kyiv’s eastern district of Darnytskie was struck, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. He said rescuers and paramedics were on the scene, and warned residents who have fled the capital not to return for their own safety.

Around Kyiv, Andriy Nebytov, the head of the capital’s regional police force, said bodies were abandoned in the streets or given temporary burials. He cited police data indicating 95% died from gunshot wounds.

‘Consequently, we understand that under the (Russian) occupation, people were simply executed in the streets,’ Mr Nebytov said.

More bodies are being found every day under rubble and in mass graves, he added, with the largest number – 35 – found in Bucha.

According to Mr Nebytov, utility workers gathered and buried bodies in the Kyiv suburb while it remained under Russian control. Russian troops, he added, had been ‘tracking down’ people who expressed strong pro-Ukrainian views.

President Zelensky accused Russian troops occupying parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in the south of terrorising civilians and hunting for anyone who served in Ukraine’s military or government.

‘The occupiers think this will make it easier for them to control this territory. But they are very wrong. They are fooling themselves,’ he said in his nightly video address.

‘Russia’s problem is that it is not accepted – and never will be accepted – by the entire Ukrainian people. Russia has lost Ukraine forever.’

More violence could be in store for Kyiv after Russian authorities accused Ukraine of wounding seven people and damaging about 100 residential buildings with airstrikes in Bryansk, a region bordering Ukraine. Authorities in another border region of Russia also reported Ukrainian shelling on Thursday.

‘The number and the scale of missile attacks on objects in Kyiv will be ramped up in response to the Kyiv nationalist regime committing any terrorist attacks or diversions on the Russian territory,’ Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

Russia used missiles to destroy a facility for the repair and production of missile systems in Kyiv. Ukrainian officials have not confirmed striking targets in Russia, and the reports could not be independently verified. However, Ukrainian officials said forces did strike a key Russian warship with missiles. 

A senior US defence official backed up the claim, anonymously saying the US now believes the Moskva was hit by at least one Neptune anti-ship missile and probably two.

The Moskva, named for the Russian capital, sank while being towed to port on Thursday after taking heavy damage.

Moscow did not acknowledge any attack, saying only that a fire had detonated ammunition on board. The loss of the ship represents an important victory for Ukraine and a symbolic defeat for Russia.

The sinking reduces Russia’s firepower in the Black Sea and seemed to symbolise Moscow’s fortunes in an eight-week invasion widely seen as a historic blunder following the Russian retreat from the Kyiv region and much of northern Ukraine.

Source: Daily Mail

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