Vladimir Putin in the reviewing stand for the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2022

Monday’s Coverage: Russia Kills 3+ Civilians on Orthodox Easter

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine’s SBU security service says it has broken up a plot by Russia to assassinate senior Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The SBU said, “The network, whose activities were supervised by the [Russian State security service] FSB from Moscow, included two colonels of [Ukraine’s] State Security Department who were leaking classified information to Russia.”

The Russians were trying to identify individuals close to Zelenskiy’s security detail who could seize the Ukrainian leader and kill him.

Last month Polish and Ukrainian prosecutors announced the detention of a man suspected of aiding a Russian scheme to kill Zelenskiy. In August 2023, the SBU said a woman had been arrested for trying to uncover details of Zelenskiy’s movements outside Kyiv.


Anti-war activist Andrei Boyarshinov has been sentenced to five years in prison by a court in Russia’s Tatarstan.

Boyarshinov was condemned for “justifying terrorism”. He was sezied after posts in 2022 supporting rallies, in the city of Kazan in southwest Russia, against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The court banned Boyarshinov from administering websites for two years after his release.


Exiled Russian opposition leader Yulia Navalnaya has responded to the “inauguration” of Vladimir Putin by urging supporters to maintain the challenge to his rule.

Navalnaya — the widow of Alexei Navlany, who died in a Siberian prison in February — said Putin is “a liar, a thief, and a murderer”.


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says European Union countries have agreed to transfer 90% of the profits from frozen Russian assets to the defense of Ukraine.

Scholz said the funds are “a significant amount, amounting to several billions per year”. The agreement to disburse them is the final stages of planning, he noted.

The EU’s Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said €3 billion can be added to the EU’s €16 billion in commitments to Ukraine this summer.

The bloc’s head of foreign policy, Josep Borrell, had proposed the earmarking of 90% of the profits from Russian assets for purchase of weapons and shells. The other 10% will be transferred to the EU budget to invest in the Ukrainian military industry.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russia has issued new nuclear threats against the “West” as it stages the inauguration of Vladimir Putin for another six years in power.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that battlefield nuclear weapons drills will be held after comments by French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

The Ministry said troops from the southern military district will “practice the issues of preparation and use of non-strategic nuclear weapons…in response to provocative statements and threats by certain western officials against the Russian Federation”.

The Foreign Ministry said that it hoped Russia’s threats “will cool down the ‘hotheads’ in western capitals”.

Macron has suggested the deployment of European and NATO troops in Ukraine, behind the frontlines, to support Ukrainian military operations. Cameron said last week that there is no restriction on UK-supplied weapons, including long-range Storm Shadow missiles, inside Russia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the UK and French ambassadors on Monday.

The Ministry said that the UK Ambassador, Nigel Casey “was warned that in response to Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory with British weapons, any British military facilities and equipment on the territory of Ukraine and abroad” could be targeted.

The ambassador was called upon to reflect on the inevitable catastrophic consequences of such hostile steps by London and immediately refute the belligerent provocative statements of the head of the Foreign Office in the most decisive and unambiguous way.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added, “A short time ago you and I witnessed another unprecedented stage in the escalation of tensions initiated by the French President and the British Foreign Secretary. That was highly dangerous rhetoric.”

Ukraine brushed aside the Russian threats. Military intelligence spokesman Andrii Yusov said, “We do not see here anything new, except for the information effect and statements….Nuclear blackmail is a constant practice of Putin’s regime.”

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström, said Russia’s drills would “contribute to increasing instability”: “In the current security situation, Russia’s actions may be considered particularly irresponsible and reckless.”

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said she was “confident” that Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who is touring Europe’s capitals, will continue to play an “important role” in de-escalating the tensions over Moscow’s threats.

Western Countries Boycott Putin’s “Inauguration”

A series of countries said they will not send representatives to Putin’s inaugural ceremonies on Tuesday, following his “victory” in staged elections in mid-March.

Germany recalled Ambassador Alexander Graf Lambsdorff on Monday, protesting Russia’s cyber-attacks on the Social Democratic political party and defense and aerospace firms.

Most of the European Union’s 27 members, including Poland and the Czech Republic, will be absent. However, French Ambassador Pierre Levy is expected to attend.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said:

No, we will not have a representative at his inauguration. We certainly did not consider that election free and fair but he is the President of Russia and he is going to continue in that capacity.

Kyiv’s Foreign Ministry said, “Ukraine sees no legal grounds for recognizing [Putin] as a democratically elected and legitimate president of the Russian Federation.”