Absorb your rubles, that’s what the Russian oligarchs did through Hoofddorp
In the summer of 2003, detective Robert Dekker stands in front of a large drawing board on the top floor of the Zwolle police headquarters. Dekker is excited and restless. He just got an incriminating witness statement and a list of suspicious financial transactions from a tax haven. New information means: new lines on the drawing board. He crosses the connections between all the companies, banks and trust offices on the board, from Curaçao to Moscow, from London to Amsterdam.
All of his detective work over the years falls into place. In the middle of the drawing board is the name of a company, where all the lines end. It is a group of fiduciary offices that manage companies from all over the world: Valmet, with a branch in Hoofddorp. To the left of its plaque is another company to which many arrows point: the Amsterdam Trade Bank, the Dutch subsidiary of a Russian bank.
Dekker gets coffee from the machine and heads up the stairs to the roof. He lights a cigarette, and another. He has to let it sink. Valmet looks like a financial services desk for the biggest Russian oligarchs. And that’s an hour’s drive from Zwolle.
Read more in this research article: Absorb your rubles, that’s what the Russian oligarchs did through Hoofddorp
Mayor of kyiv: do not return to the capital yet
The mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klychko, on Saturday called on the displaced residents of the city not to return. He wrote on his Telegram channel that a kyiv suburb was attacked in the night from Friday to Saturday. “To the residents of kyiv who left before and are already returning to the capital: I ask you to refrain from this and stay in safer places.”
On Thursday, the United Nations wrote that some 30,000 Ukrainian refugees return to their country every day. Among them are women, children and the elderly. Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainians also returned across the border, but these were mainly men who wanted to join the army after getting their families to safety.
Several Dutch security regions are receiving reports of Ukrainians who have decided to return to their country, writes the ANP news agency. It’s not about big numbers. Only a few cases are known in the Central and West Brabant region. IJsselland speaks of a “handful” of returnees. Gelderland-South says there are “here and there in the region” sounds of returning Ukrainians, “but that’s not very concrete.”
British Prime Minister Johnson is no longer welcome in Russia
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, like some members of his cabinet and government officials, is no longer welcome in Russia. This was reported on Saturday by the Russian Foreign Ministry, according to the AFP news agency. Russia made the decision due to “unprecedented hostile action by the British government.” In particular, the UK has been accused of “imposing sanctions against senior Russian government officials”. The UK has imposed sanctions against members of the Russian government, businesses and oligarchs since the beginning of the war.
In addition to Johnson, the blacklist includes Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the BBC reported. The British broadcaster has the full list, which includes a further nine names. The UK has not yet responded to the Russian ban.
The Russian Defense Ministry further argues that the UK is exacerbating the situation in Ukraine through a “political campaign aimed at isolating Russia internationally” with the aim of “strangling the national economy”. Boris Johnson traveled to kyiv earlier this month to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about financial and military aid. He also promised the delivery of 120 armored vehicles to Ukraine.
Germany expands military aid fund to 2 billion euros, ‘most’ of the money to Ukraine
The German government will expand its military aid fund to other countries up to around two billion euros. The ‘major part’ of the money released is earmarked for aid to Ukraine. This was announced by German Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) on Friday night. Announced† It is not yet clear how much money will go to the fund and how much will go to Ukraine. German media write that around €600 million had been spent through the fund by the end of 2021.
In any case, 400 million euros of the total amount will go to the European Fund for Peace, an institution that was created about a year ago by the European Union to pay for missions abroad with contributions from the Member States. Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the fund was first used to finance arms purchases. Most of the German contribution will also go to Ukraine’s arms.
The Finance Minister emphasized that Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had “requested in advance” the increase in the fund. The financial support for military assets comes amid criticism of Scholz, who appears to want to prevent the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine. The Greens and the FDP are willing to provide that kind of support. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the newspaper last weekend Die Welt who finds Germany’s stance “reticent and cold” when asked about the country’s arms supply.
Also read: Germany was drunk with peace for thirty years.
Dead and wounded after air strikes, attack on military factory in kyiv
Air strikes killed and wounded several Ukrainian cities overnight from Friday to Saturday. This is reported by the Ukrainian media and local authorities. According to The Kyiv Independent, people were injured in Poltava, Shevyerodonetsk and Lysychansk. The governor of the eastern Luhansk region, where Shevyerodonetsk and Lysychansk are located, said one person was killed and three wounded in the overnight airstrikes. According to the governor of the region of the same name, one has died in the central Poltova.
Explosions were also heard in the capital kyiv and in Lviv, near the Polish border, on Saturday morning. The target of the attacks in kyiv is said to have been a military factory that produces tanks, according to the AFP news agency. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, quoted by the Interfax news agency, the factory was “destroyed” by a long-range missile fired from the sea. A gas pipeline has been attacked in Lysychansk, according to the Ukrainian authorities.
‘Don’t ignore the air alarm’
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klychko wrote on his Telegram channel that the Darnytsky suburb was attacked. He called on the residents of kyiv to be alert and not ignore the air raid siren that sounded in the morning. Medical personnel are at the scene and information on possible victims will be provided later, Klychko said.
Earlier this month, the Russian army withdrew from the area around kyiv. According to the deputy chief of the Russian defense staff, General Sergei Rudsko, at the current stage of the war, the main focus is on the ‘liberation of Donbas’, the conquest of the eastern region. During the night from Thursday to Friday, an attack took place on a missile factory southwest of kyiv.
Summary: Between 2,500 and 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers dead and the UN wants access to the besieged cities
These are the main novelties of Friday afternoon and from Friday to Saturday night:
- According to the president Volodymyr Zelensky Between 2,500 and 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died in the war with Russia so far, he says in an interview with CNN† About 10,000 soldiers were also wounded. He also said the world should prepare for the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin using tactical nuclear weapons. “We must not be afraid, but be prepared. And that applies not only to Ukraine, but to the whole world, I think.”
- In cities all over Ukraine, at the end of the night air raid siren went out, reports The Guardian† Among others in the capital kyiv, Kharkov and Odessa, but also in more western cities such as Lviv, Rivne and Ivano-Frankivsk.
- The World Food Program of the United Nations (WFP) calls for unrestricted access to families trapped in besieged Ukrainian cities. The organization says poor access to conflict zones is a major obstacle to “life-saving activities” in the country. “It is one thing for people to suffer the ravages of war. It’s different when they’re starving,” said WFP Director David Beasley.