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Ukraine war: NATO 'trying to destroy' Russia, ICC judge arrest warrant, Black Sea drone attack

Nov. 16, 2022 image from video shows some of the new graves which have been dug since the Russian siege of Mariupol began.
Nov. 16, 2022 image from video shows some of the new graves which have been dug since the Russian siege of Mariupol began. Copyright AP/AP
Copyright AP/AP
By Euronews with AFP
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All the latest developments from the Ukraine war.

ICC condemns Russian arrest warrant for judge

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday condemned Russia over an arrest warrant for one of its judges. 

The Hague called the move "another attempt to undermine the international mandate of the court", which recently issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

Russian news agency TASS reported last week that ICC judge Tomoko Akane was subject to an arrest warrant in Russia. 

It specified she was wanted for violating the Russian Criminal Code, without specifying the nature of the offence.

Judge Tomoko Akane is one of the judges who issued arrest warrants on March 17 for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights.

Both are charged with war crimes for the "unlawful deportation" of thousands of Ukrainian children since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 - charges Moscow has dismissed.

Russia's President will not participate in a BRICS summit at the end of August in Johannesburg, since ICC member South Africa is theoretically supposed to arrest Putin if he enters its territory.

Russia repels attack on Black Sea boats

The Russian army said on Tuesday it thwarted an attack by three Ukrainian drones against its Black Sea patrol boats. 

The overnight strike comes amid heightened tensions between Kyiv and Moscow in the area, following Russia's withdrawal from the grain deal in July.

All of the naval drones were downed by Russian ships some 340 km southwest of Sevastopol, according to Russia's Ministry of Defence.

Naval drones are remote-controlled boats that operate on the surface of the water. Moscow regularly accuses the Ukrainian army of using them to attack targets in the Black Sea.

In July, Ukraine attacked the Kerch Bridge, a vital artery linking Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula, with naval drones.

Tensions in the Black Sea are spiking following Russia's exit last week from an international deal that allowed Ukrainian grain exports.

Moscow and Kyiv have both warned ships sailing in the waters they could be attacked if they headed to enemy ports, while Russia has repeatedly targeted Ukrainian infrastructure for exporting foodstuffs. 

US and NATO trying to annihilate Russia - Nicaraguan leader

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega said on Monday denounced the US and NATO "imperialists", who are "trying to destroy" Russia.

“This is no longer a war between Russia and Ukraine, it is a war of the NATO-led, US-led imperialists who are trying to destroy Russia in order to impose themselves as masters of the planet", claimed Ortega, a staunch Moscow ally in Latin America. 

"We are lovers of peace, we do not look forward to or be happy with any confrontation of any kind, especially a confrontation like this which endangers the existence of the 'human species," he added. 

Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. It seized Crimea from Kyiv in 2014, after Ukrainians deposed their pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovych. 

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The US and its allies have provided Kyiv with billions in military support to help them beat back Russia's invading force. 

Nicaragua's President claimed NATO should let Ukraine and Russia reach a peace agreement, since conflict "weakens the economy, social stability in European countries themselves and also in the United States".

“But so far, they seem crazy to believe in the possibility of a NATO victory to bury the Russian Federation,” he continued. 

More drones target Moscow

Ukrainian drones again targeted Moscow and its surroundings early Tuesday morning, the Russian military reported. 

Two of three were shot down outside Moscow, while one crashed into a skyscraper in the Moscow City business district, damaging the building's exterior. 

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Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the drone crashed into the same building was damaged in a similar attack early Sunday, which contains offices of several government agencies. Sobyanin said the Tuesday attack didn't result in any casualties.

In both incidents, the Russian military said the drones that hit the skyscraper were jammed before collapsing. Ukrainian officials did not immediately comment on the attack.

The strikes come as Ukraine intensifies its counteroffensive aimed at driving deeply entrenched Russian forces out of occupied areas. In parallel, Kyiv has sought to take the war deep into Russia, using drones to hit targets as far away as Moscow.

Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia and Moscow-annexed territory, especially Crimea, have become more frequent.

Wagner pauses recruitment

Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Monday his Wagner Group is not currently recruiting fighters.

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In an audio message published on Telegram, Prigozhin said Wagner had suspended recruitment as there is currently "no shortage of personnel".

Prigozhin previously agreed with Western estimates that he lost more than 20,000 men in the bloody battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

The infamous mercenary boss last month led a short-lived mutiny against Moscow, amid tensions with the regular Russian military. 

In an attempt to reign in Prigozhin, who routinely slammed Russia's top brass over Ukraine, the military has insisted Wagner fighters can only fight in Ukraine if they join the regular army.

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