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Ukraine-Russia war – latest: More Chinese components appearing in Russian weapons, Kyiv says


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Ukrainian forces are finding a growing number of components from China in Russian weapons used in Ukraine, a senior adviser in president Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said, as Western supplies are squeezed by sanctions.

The comments came as Russian president Vladimir Putin and defence minister Sergei Shoigu met with China’s defence minister general Li Shangfu less than a month after Xi Jinping held a three-day state visit to Moscow.

In “the weapons recovered from the battlefield we continue to find different electronics,” said Vladyslav Vlasiuk, who advises the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff on sanctions policy.

“The trend is now that there is less Western-made components but more – not hard (to) guess which country – made components. Of course, China,” he said via a video call.

China has repeatedly denied sending military equipment to Russia since Moscow’s all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, officially remaining neutral in the conflict.

Earlier, Mr Putin admitted on Sunday that he is facing “serious challenges” as he celebrated the second Orthodox Easter of his war with Ukraine.

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Ukraine says it is finding more Chinese components in Russian weapons

Ukrainian forces are finding a growing number of components from China in Russian weapons used in Ukraine, a senior adviser in president Volodymyr Zelensky’s office told Reuters, as Western supplies are squeezed by sanctions.

In “the weapons recovered from the battlefield we continue to find different electronics,” said Vladyslav Vlasiuk, who advises the president’s chief of staff on sanctions policy.

“The trend is now that there is less Western-made components but more – not hard (to) guess which country – made components. Of course, China,” he said.

Ukrainian BMP infantry fighting vehicles ride along a street in the town of Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, on 16 April 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine

(AFP via Getty Images)

China has repeatedly denied sending military equipment to Russia since Moscow’s all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The assault triggered Western sanctions, including on sending military and dual-use technology such as microchips that could be used in either ordinary appliances or weapons.

Intelligence gathered by Ukrainian experts from the battlefield and shared with Reuters stated that Chinese-made components were found in a navigation system in Orlan aerial drones that had previously used a Swiss system.

The experts also reported finding Chinese parts in the fire control system in Russian tanks that had earlier used French-made parts.

Reuters could not independently verify the intelligence, including whether the components mentioned may have been intended for non-military use or whether they were moved to Russia by a third party.

“We’re picking (up) a lot of different stuff, China made,” Mr Vlasiuk said.

Namita Singh17 April 2023 04:35

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G7 leaders pledge tough stance on Russia

Leaders are gathering in Japan

(AP)

Top diplomats from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies (G7) are pledging a tough stance over China’s increasing threats to Taiwan and North Korea’s unchecked tests of long-range missiles, while building momentum on ways to boost support for Ukraine and punish Russia for its invasion.

Russia’s war in Ukraine will consume much of the agenda on Monday as the envoys gather in the Japanese hot spring resort town of Karuizawa for the second day of talks meant to pave the way for action by G7 leaders when they meet in Hiroshima next month.

According to a Japanese summary, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told his colleagues the world is at a “turning point” on the fighting in Ukraine and must “firmly reject unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its threats of the use of nuclear weapons”.

For the American delegation, the meeting comes at a crucial moment in the world’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and efforts to deal with China, two issues that G7 ministers from Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and the European Union regard as potent challenges to the post-Second World War rules-based international order.

William Mata17 April 2023 09:22

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Russia completed ‘imitation’ strikes on enemy

Russian president Vladimir Putin, China’s defence minister Li Shangfu and Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu attend a meeting in Moscow

(EPA)

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Monday informed president Vladimir Putin about drills conducted by the Pacific Fleet, Reuters has reported.

In footage broadcast on state television, Shoigu was shown saying that the drills included “imitation strikes on enemy navy groups” in the Pacific.

Putin responded by saying that snap checks had shown the Pacific Fleet, which is based in Far Eastern Russia, was at a high level of readiness, and that Russia’s priority was Ukraine.

The drills are occurring while Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu is visiting Moscow. On Sunday, he held a meeting with Putin.

William Mata17 April 2023 08:52

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Ukraine seeks re-opening of food transit via Poland at talks

Grain transit on the Polish-Ukraine border

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Kyiv will aim to secure the re-opening of food and grain transit via Poland as a “first step” at talks in Warsaw on Monday, Ukraine’s agriculture minister said, after Poland and Hungary announced bans on some imports from Ukraine.

Some Black Sea ports were blocked after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year and large quantities of Ukrainian grain – which is cheaper than that produced in the European Union – ended up staying in Central European countries because of logistical bottlenecks. This hit prices and sales for local farmers.

Ukraine usually exports most of its agricultural goods, especially grain, via its Black Sea ports which were unblocked last July in line with an agreement between Ukraine, Turkey, Russia and the United Nations.

William Mata17 April 2023 08:22

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Risk of civilian mine incidents ‘to increase’

The risk of civilian mine incidents is set to rise during spring, the Ministry of Defence has warned.

In its daily intelligence update on Monday, the MoD said that the incidents will rise as when more people get involved in agricultural activities.

It added: “Over 750 mine related casualties among civilians have been reported since the start of the invasion – one in eight has involved a child. It will likely take at least a decade to clear Ukraine of mines.”

Katy Clifton17 April 2023 07:30

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G7 diplomats reject Chinese, North Korean and Russian aggression

Top diplomats from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are vowing a tough stance on China’s increasing threats to Taiwan and on North Korea’s unchecked tests of long-range missiles, while building momentum on ways to boost support for Ukraine and punish Russia for its invasion.

Russia’s war in Ukraine will consume much of the agenda today as the envoys gather in the Japanese hot spring resort town of Karuizawa for a second day of talks meant to pave the way for action by G7 leaders when they meet next month in Hiroshima.

The world is at “turning point” on the fighting in Ukraine and must “firmly reject unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force, and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its threats of the use of nuclear weapons,” Japan’s foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told his colleagues, according to a Japanese summary.

Namita Singh17 April 2023 07:00

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Putin praises relationship with China as he meets defence minister

Russian president Vladimir Putin met with China’s defence minister on Sunday, underscoring Beijing’s strengthening engagement with Moscow, with which it has largely aligned its foreign policy in an attempt to diminish the influence of the United States and other Western democracies.

Mr Putin and Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu met with general Li Shangfu less than a month after Chinese leader Xi Jinping held a three-day state visit to Moscow.

China has refused to criticise Russia’s military actions in Ukraine and blames the United States and Nato for provoking Moscow.

But China’s foreign minister said last week that China would not be helping Russia with weapons, as the US and other Western allies have feared.

Russian president Vladimir Putin, China’s defence minister Li Shangfu and Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu attend a meeting in Moscow, Russia, 16 April 2023

(EPA)

Officially, China remains neutral in the Ukraine conflict.

However, Mr Xi’s trip emphasised how China is increasingly becoming the senior partner in the relationship as it provides Russia with political cover and an economic lifeline during the Ukraine conflict.

In comments opening the meeting in Moscow, Mr Putin praised the general development of Russia-China relations.

“We are also working actively through the military departments, regularly exchanging information that is useful to us, co-operating in the field of military-technical co-operation, conducting joint exercises, moreover, in different theatres: in the Far East region, and in Europe, and at sea, and on land and in the air,” he said, according to the Kremlin.

Mr Li said that the countries’ relations “outperform the military-political unions of the Cold War era. They rest on the principles of non-alignment, and are very stable.”

Namita Singh17 April 2023 06:30

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EU leaders beat a path to Xi’s door seeking China’s help

In the weeks since Chinese leader Xi Jinping won a third five-year term as president, setting him on course to remain in power for life, leaders and diplomats from around the world have beaten a path to his door. None more so than those from Europe.

French President Emmanuel Macron made a high-profile state visit to Beijing last week accompanied by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, just days after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in the northeast port city of Tianjin on Thursday, following a visit by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in November. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, would have been in China this week, too, but he tested positive for COVID-19.

For the 27-nation trading bloc, the reasons to head to China are clear.

As an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi could play a pivotal role in helping to end the war in Ukraine. The conflict has dragged on for over a year, driven up energy prices and inflicted more damage on economies struggling to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.

Eleanor Noyce17 April 2023 06:00

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Ukraine names Chinese manufacturers supplying components to Russia

Ukraine was able to identify some manufacturers or suppliers and share that information with Western allies, said a senior adviser in president Volodymyr Zelensky’s office.

Vladyslav Vlasiuk, who advises the president’s chief of staff on sanctions policy, named China North Industries Group (Norinco), a Chinese weapons maker, as one supplier and military supplier Xinxing Guangzhou Import & Export Co as another, without saying what they had supplied.

A member of staff at Norinco, who declined to give their name, said the company was “not providing military equipment components to Russia”.

Xinxing Guangzhou Import & Export Co did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This aerial view shows rescuers on top of a partially destroyed residential building, after a shelling in Sloviansk, on 14 April 2023, amid Russia’s military invasion on Ukraine

(AFP via Getty Images)

Russia’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The top US diplomat Antony Blinken last month said China had not “crossed that line” yet of supplying Russia with lethal aid.

However, US officials are watching developments closely and are concerned, in particular, by so-called dual-use products, such as electronics that can be used in, say, a microwave or a missile.

“We and our partner governments are relentlessly focused on restricting Russia’s access to key technologies that fuel its brutality in Ukraine,” said a senior State Department official. “We will continue to take action to degrade Putin’s war machine.”

Namita Singh17 April 2023 05:30

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China enjoys ‘normal trade cooperation’ with all countries, says Beijing

China has responded to claims from Ukraine that more Chinese components are appearing in Russian weapons, without categorically denying the accusation.

Asked whether Chinese companies had provided parts for Russian military hardware, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson’s office told Reuters: “Throughout history, China has launched normal trade cooperation with all countries, including Russia, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

“As for military item exports, China has throughout adopted a prudent and responsible attitude. China’s position and actions have always been this way.”

Namita Singh17 April 2023 05:00

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