US President Biden is said to have clashed with Zelenskyy in the summer. In Russia, searches for VPN networks are increasing – according to media reports, an indication that the propaganda is crumbling. All current voices and developments on the Ukraine war can be found in the ticker.
More on the course of the war in Ukraine
07:41: The Russian banker and entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov has given up his Russian citizenship because of Moscow’s war of aggression in Ukraine. He made this decision because he “couldn’t and didn’t want to be associated with a fascist country” that “started a war with its peaceful neighbor” and is killing innocent people every day, Tinkow wrote on Instagram on Monday. He shared an image of a certificate confirming the “end” of his Russian citizenship.
He hopes more prominent Russian businessmen will follow him, Tinkov wrote, “so that [President Vladimir] Putin’s regime and economy can be weakened and he can eventually be defeated.” He “hates Putin’s Russia” but “loves all Russians who are clearly against this crazy war”.
The dazzling billionaire and founder of the online bank Tinkoff is considered one of the best-known Russian entrepreneurs. The bank is one of Russia’s largest lenders and has around 20 million customers. In 2020, Tinkow retired from his post as CEO.
Tinkov had previously sharply criticized the Russian offensive in Ukraine, calling it a “crazy war”. He called on the West to end the “massacre”. Shortly after the start of the Ukraine war, the entrepreneur was hit by British sanctions.
6.50 p.m .: The military expert Gerhard Mangott spoke to “t-online.de” about a possible nuclear attack by Russia on Germany. It was recently revealed that at the end of 2021, radio messages from the Russian army were intercepted in which officers were talking about three possible targets for nuclear strikes against Germany. Mangott says: “It is likely that the Russian army knew that they were being bugged and deliberately controlled their communications in order to send a message to the West.”
The military expert further explains that Putin could have threatened Scholz on the phone with a nuclear escalation in Ukraine. But it was “unrealistic that Russia would fire nuclear missiles at the NATO countries that support Ukraine.” Mangott says clearly: “That would be suicide for Putin.” He is certain that “there has not been or is no direct nuclear threat to Germany.
Russia knows that Germany is still willing to talk. “Threatening Germany with nuclear annihilation is therefore absurd and does not correspond to the logic that Putin is pursuing in this conflict,” Mangott told T-Online.
12:33 p.m .: The United States has been delivering weapons and other supplies to Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine. Military aid is now nearly $40 billion. But the help doesn’t always seem to have been appreciated. As “nbcnews” reports, US President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelenskyj are said to have clashed during a telephone conversation in June.
Biden was just explaining to his Ukrainian colleague that Congress had approved another aid package when Zelenskyi began listing all the additional aid his country needed and was not getting. Biden then lost his temper, four sources told the portal. The American people are very generous, and his government and US military are working hard to help Ukraine, he said. Selenskyj could show a little more gratitude.
A short time after the phone call, both presidents approached each other again, the portal continued.
11:01 a.m .: Even after Russia suspended the international grain agreement, several freighters started moving off the Ukrainian Black Sea coast on Monday. This was shown by the ship tracking services vesselfinder.com and marinetraffic.com. These included the freighter African Robin, which was loaded with wheat, according to the United Nations, the freighter SK Friendship, which was loaded with soybeans, and the Sealock, which was loaded with peas.
According to the United Nations, these ships along with three other freighters set out from Ukrainian waters on Sunday in the direction of the Black Sea corridor protected by the agreement. The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure also named a ship called “Ikaria Angel” that sails on behalf of the UN World Food Program. The cargo of 40,000 tons of grain is destined for Ethiopia.
Based on the previous agreements, the freighters will initially be piloted into international waters by Ukrainian ships. Then they continue into a corridor that all sides agreed on in July. On Saturday, however, Russia canceled the agreement mediated by Turkey and the UN. This was justified with Ukrainian drone attacks.
10:38 a.m .: The former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, reported on Monday via Twitter from Kyiv. “Oops, finally no missile alarm in Kyiv. Can you go jogging again, although there is no tap water at home. I have prepared supplies. 44 out of 50 Russian missiles were shot down today. Ukraine will win. Sunny autumn Monday yet,” he wrote.
Melnyk has been back in Kyiv since mid-October and is an advisor to President Zelensky.
9:20 a.m .: According to British military experts, Russia often sends reservists to the front with poor equipment in the war against Ukraine. “In September, Russian officers expressed concern that some newly mobilized reservists arrived unarmed in Ukraine,” said a report released by the Defense Ministry in London on Monday. Accordingly, photos also suggest that reservists were equipped with outdated weapons that should hardly be usable anymore due to poor storage.
Monday, October 31, 7:12 a.m .: Is there a change in mood in public opinion in Russia? As the “Kyiv Post” reports, people in the giant empire are increasingly Googling the terms “mobilization”, “Ukrainians”, “Ukraine state in Europe” and “VPN”. The newspaper evaluated the most frequently searched words in the Russian “Google Trends”.
The term VPN stands for “virtual private network”, which encrypts Internet traffic on unsecured networks and hides the IP address. A VPN connection makes it possible to access websites that are blocked in Russia, for example, but are freely accessible in other countries. For example, Russians can read Western reports on the Ukraine war. In Russia itself, only Kremlin propaganda is reproduced.
The analysis also shows that Russians are increasingly searching for the term “retreat”. Yandex, the most used search engine in Russia, also registered an increase in searches for “how to surrender”. In contrast, searches for “demilitarization” on Yandex and Google in Russia reached 1.5 million queries in mid-February before falling to 69,000 in September.
8.45 p.m .: According to the police in Helsinki, weapons delivered to Ukraine have already fallen into the hands of Finnish criminals. These are, for example, assault rifles, said Chief Commissioner Christer Ahlgren from the National Investigation Bureau to Finnish radio Yle. “Weapons destined for Ukraine have also been found in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands,” he was quoted as saying on Sunday.
The European police organization Europol warned in the summer that criminals could target weapons and ammunition, which Kyiv receives in large quantities as foreign military aid. “We have indications that such weapons are also finding their way to Finland,” said Ahlgren.
The smuggling routes are established. The arms trade is partly run by international biker groups, which the police classify as organized crime. The rocker group Bandidos MC, for example, has representatives in every major Ukrainian city, Ahlgren said. The gateways to Finland are the ports, which are less monitored than the airports.
Ahlgren recalled the experiences of the police after the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. From there, smuggled weapons reached many countries. “Ukraine has received large amounts of weapons and that is good. But we will be dealing with these weapons for decades to come. That’s the price we have to pay,” the senior police officer said.
You can read more news on the following pages.