NATO head in Kyiv, Putin bodyguard defector, Ukrainians react to cosmic phenomenon

21 April, 03:00 PM

Your slice of the headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Friday, April 21, 2023

●      Main statements and photos from NATO chief Stoltenberg’s visit to Kyiv
In an unexpected move, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Ukraine for the first time since Russia’s full-scale invasion began to meet in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

●      One of Putin’s bodyguards defects abroad — exclusive NV interview
Half a year ago, Gleb Karakulov was a captain in the Federal Protective Service (FSO) of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. He worked as an engineer providing secure communications for the Kremlin’s despot.

Video of day

●      Russia stunned by extent U.S. intelligence has penetrated the Kremlin, says expert about intel leaks
Russian special services at first played along with the propaganda amid the recent leak of classified U.S. intelligence documents, until realizing that the documents showed the level of U.S. intelligence penetration into the Kremlin, Taras Zhovtenko, an international security expert at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, told Radio NV on April 20.

●      East European grain bans cause Ukrainian exports to fall by one-third
Grain cargo rail shipmentс to the west dropped in April by 37%, from 590 cars per day in late March to 374, said Deputy Director of Commercial Department of the Ukrainian Railway, Valeriy Tkachov, on April 20.

●      Ukraine's national debt increased by 1.5 times in the past year
Ukraine's public and publicly-guaranteed debt increased by $13.4 billion to 78.5% of GDP by the end of 2022 compared to 48.9% of GDP by the end of 2021, the Ministry of Finance tweeted on April 19.

●      Ukrainian diplomat on why Russia is interested in a coup in Sudan
Maxim Subkh, Ukraine’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, explained in an interview with Radio NV why Russia is interested in a coup in Sudan.

●      Russia continues to use Black Sea to export oil despite EU sanctions, says expert
While Russia continues to use its “shadow fleet” to export oil from the Black Sea despite EU sanctions, loopholes are being closed in appeals cases and media exposure, BlackSeaNews Editor-in-Chief Andrii Klymenko told Radio NV on April 19.

●      Ukrainians react to flash over Kyiv with clever memes and jokes about aliens and UFOs
A bright flash lit up the skies over the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast late on April 19 — and it didn’t have to do with a Russian assault on the capital.

●      Most combat-suitable portion of Russian military eliminated by Ukraine
Ukraine has eliminated the most combat-suitable portion of the Russian army, but the enemy is still dangerous, Andriy Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukrainian military intelligence, said on national television on April 20.

●      The Armed Forces’ offensive is postponed. What changes might the general plan undergo? — opinion
What goes into planning a major offensive operation? – Rakhmanin

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