The Most Up-to-Date Information on Russia and the Conflict in Ukraine

1. **Russia arrests former army commander on suspicion of fraud**
Russian Major General Ivan Popov, the former commander of Russia’s 58th Army, was recently arrested on suspicion of large-scale fraud, according to reports from TASS news agency. Popov, who had previously spoken out about the challenges faced by his troops on the battlefield in Ukraine, was detained for two months by the country’s military court. Last year, Popov was dismissed after a audio message surfaced where he highlighted major deficiencies in Russia’s defenses, leading to mass casualties among his troops. This move reflects the ongoing fissures within the Russian military command, especially following a brief rebellion by mercenary chief Yevgney Prigozhin.

2. **EU countries adopt plan to use frozen Russian assets for Ukraine’s defense**
EU countries have officially adopted a plan to utilize windfall profits from frozen Russian central bank assets in the EU to support Ukraine’s defense efforts. The agreement states that 90% of the proceeds will be allocated to an EU-managed fund for military aid to Ukraine, while the remaining 10% will be directed towards other forms of assistance for Kyiv. It is estimated that these assets will generate approximately 15-20 billion euros by 2027, with Ukraine expected to receive its first tranche in July. This move comes after the G7 froze around $300 billion worth of Russian financial assets following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

3. **Kremlin claims Zelenskyy seeks more Western aid due to military troubles**
The Kremlin recently commented on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s appeal for increased Western assistance in the conflict, attributing it to the challenging situation faced by Ukrainian forces on the battlefield. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov mentioned that the Ukrainian military is struggling despite promised support, leading to growing concerns regarding their ability to alter the dynamics of the conflict. Zelenskyy has requested Western aid to intercept Russian missiles and use Western weaponry against Russian military targets, acknowledging the reluctance of certain countries to escalate tensions with Russia. He also acknowledged a recent stabilization in the front lines, although Ukraine faced difficulties after Russia launched a new offensive in the northeast.

4. **Finland urges EU assistance to address ‘weaponized’ migration from Russia**
Finland has called upon the European Union to help combat what it describes as ‘instrumentalized’ or ‘weaponized’ migration at its border with Russia. The Finnish government proposed a new border security law to parliament, enabling border agents to prevent the entry of migrants deemed as tools of influence from Russia. This move follows Finland’s closure…

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