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Russia brands Ukrainian steel plant defenders terrorists

Russia brands Ukrainian steel plant defenders terrorists

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia's Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Ukraine's Azov Regiment a terrorist organization, a designation that could lead to extreme extreme terror charges opposed to some of the captured fighters who made their last stand inside Mariupol's shattered steel plant.

Scores of Azov fighters are actuality held by Moscow since their surrender inside mid-May. Russian authorities have opened criminal cases opposed to them, accusing them of killing civilians. The addition of terrorism charges could signify flat longer prison sentences.

In a statement, the Azov Regiment dismissed the high court of rules and regulations of rules with every one other accompanied by regulations ruling, accusing Russia of "looking for new excuses accompanied by every one one other accompanied by explanations for its war crimes." It urged the U.S. accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other countries to proclaim Russia a terrorist state.

The Azov soldiers played a answer small part inside the defence of Mariupol, holding not here for weeks at the southern port city's steel mill inside malice of punishing attacks from Russian forces. Ukraine's president hailed them accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other defenders at the plant while heroes.

Moscow has repeatedly portrayed the Azov Regiment while a Nazi category accompanied by every one one other accompanied by accused it of atrocities, though no indeed indeed proof to spine up those claims has been made public. In May, Russia's Prosecutor General's office filed a movement to designate the regiment a terrorist organization.

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The regiment, a part within Ukraine's National Guard, has a checkered history. It grew not here of a category called the Azov Battalion, formed inside 2014 while one of numerous volunteer brigades assembled to fight Russia-backed separatists inside eastern Ukraine.

The Azov Battalion drew its initial fighters from far-right circles accompanied by every one one other accompanied by elicited censure for some of its tactics. Its contemporaneous members have rejected accusations of extremism.

The regiment's far-right origins have been seized on by the Kremlin while small part of its try to cast Russia's invasion while a battle opposed to Nazi effect inside Ukraine. Russian condition media has repeatedly shown what it claimed to exist Nazi insignias, literature accompanied by every one one other accompanied by tattoos associated accompanied by the regiment.

Last week, dozens of Ukrainian POWs, including defenders of the Mariupol plant, were killed inside an detonation at a barracks at a penal colony inside Olenivka, an eastern town controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Moscow accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Kyiv have blamed every one one other for the blast, accompanied by Kyiv saying Russia blew up the barracks to cover up torture opposed to the POWs.

Meanwhile, the earliest cargo ship to depart from Ukraine since Russia invaded additional than five months ago was off the seaboard of Bulgaria on Tuesday while it headed inside the way of Istanbul accompanied by every one one other accompanied by its final destination, Lebanon, putting to the trial an accord signed last month by Moscow accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Kyiv to unblock Ukraine's agricultural exports accompanied by every one one other accompanied by ease the worldwide food crisis.

An estimated 20 million tons of cereal have been stuck inside Ukraine since the begin of war. The U.N.-brokered accord to release the cereal calls for the setting up of protected from danger corridors into with every one other accompanied by not here of the mined waters outer external outside Ukraine's ports.

The Razoni, which place sail from the Black Sea port of Odesa on Monday accompanied by additional than 26,000 tons of corn, was expected to stretch not here Istanbul early Wednesday for inspection by Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish accompanied by every one one other accompanied by U.N. officials. More ships from Ukraine are expected to follow.

At Odesa alone, at least 16 additional vessels, all blocked since Russia's invasion on Feb. 24, were waiting their turn, Ukrainian authorities said.

Global food prices have been soaring inside a crisis blamed on the war, worldwide inside attendance accompanied by chain problems accompanied by every one one other accompanied by COVID-19. While Ukraine — accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Russia — are greatest world suppliers of wheat, barley, corn accompanied by every one one other accompanied by sunflower oil, the accord may not inside itself build a a large amount of of a dent inside world hunger.

Most of the cereal stuck inside Ukraine is to feed livestock, according to David Laborde, an expert at the International Food Policy Research Institute inside Washington. Only 6 million tons is wheat, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by fair fifty per cent of of that is for anthropoid consumption, Laborde said. He said Monday's shipload is actually chicken feed.

"A few ships leaving Ukraine is not going to exist a game changer," he said.

The departure of the ship came opposed to a backdrop of continued fighting, mostly inside southern accompanied by every one one other accompanied by eastern Ukraine.

In other developments Tuesday:

— American basketball celestial body Brittney Griner was spine inside court of rules and regulations of rules with every one other accompanied by regulations for her trial for cannabis possession. Prosecutors called a narcotics expert who analyzed the substance found inside Griner's luggage. The defence called a expert who challenged the analysis while flawed. If convicted, she could obtain 10 years inside prison, though the U.S. has proposed a convict swap inside hopes of winning her release.

— A train carrying evacuees from the Donetsk neighbourhood arrived inside Kropyvnytskyi inside centre Ukraine, beginning what Ukrainian authorities described while a compulsory evacuation inside the east. Authorities expect to evacuate 200,000 to 220,000 people from the Donetsk neighbourhood earlier to the permit let fall to obtain them not here of harm's way.

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Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey. Aya Batrawy contributed from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Russia brands Ukrainian steel plant defenders terrorists

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