Threat level ‘yellow’
The Kursk region bordering Ukraine raised its terrorist threat level Sunday, citing “possible provocations” in the area used as one of several staging grounds for Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.
Authorities said security patrols will increase and military and police checkpoints will go up Monday following a series of rare cross-border attacks.
In the crosshairs
Russian officials warned that YouTube could be the next Western social media giant to be banned after the video platform blocked the lower house of Russian parliament’s Duma TV channel.
YouTube’s parent company Google said Saturday it takes “appropriate action” if an account violates its terms of service and added that it is complying with sanctions.
An anti-war protester who was photographed with a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” next to the Kyiv World War II monument next to the Kremlin was detained and charged with violating protest rules Sunday.
Several others who staged single-person pickets and actions against the war in major Russian cities over the weekend were reportedly charged with discrediting the Russian military.
Ukraine and Russia said on Saturday that a third prisoner exchange had taken place since the war broke out on Feb. 24.
Kyiv said 12 Ukrainian soldiers and 14 civilians were returning home, while Moscow said four nuclear experts, an unspecified number of Russian troops, as well as 14 Russian sailors and 32 truck drivers, had been released.
Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, Russia’s southern military command chief with extensive experience in Syria, has been placed in charge of operations in Ukraine to improve command and control of the Russian forces, BBC reported late Friday.
Western officials quoted by the broadcaster said the timing of the reorganization had to do with political imperatives prioritizing “some kind of success” ahead of May 9, a major holiday celebrating the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.