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Mercedes is the most recent foreign corporation to leave Russia in the wake of the February invasion of Ukraine. Early in March, the German company halted producing in and importing from the nation.

However, it has now announced that it will leave the Russian market and sell stock in its subsidiaries to a regional investor. Nissan, a Japanese company, left Russia earlier this month after Toyota and Renault did the same.

Nissan handed over its business to a state-owned organisation for a small amount, reportedly less than £1, at a loss of $700 million (£600 million).

Mercedes’ departure from Russia, according to Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm, is not anticipated to have a materially negative impact on the company’s earnings.

The choice was made after major Western businesses, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola, left Russia earlier this year. In the early stages of the war, deliveries from other automakers, such as Jaguar Land Rover, General Motors, Aston Martin, and Rolls-Royce, were all stopped.

Mercedes was in line with other businesses when it stopped exports and suspended operations in Russia earlier this year, but many other automakers subsequently swiftly withdrew from the nation entirely, according to James Baggott, editor-in-chief of the industry website Car Dealer Magazine.

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Villagers in Zavalivka called the authorities after their dogs began digging incessantly in the woods.

The topsoil was carefully removed by a Ukrainian military team wearing white protective suits. They discovered a man’s body, lying face down with his legs twisted strangely beneath him. His uniform indicated that he was a Russian soldier.

Russian troops’ remains are still being discovered in and around the villages they passed through or occupied near Kyiv, weeks after they failed to seize Ukraine’s capital. However, Ukraine claims that Russia is uninterested in returning them.

The body was taken from its grave in the woods to a refrigerated train on the outskirts of Kyiv, which now serves as a mobile morgue for the Russian dead. The white plastic sacks are labelled with numbers rather than names, and on the day we visited, there were at least 137 stacked inside two carriages.

The Ukrainians try to identify the dead: the forensics team discovered two bank cards and badges for a Russian motorised rifle brigade on the body that was just brought in.

“At least this one has a chance of getting home,” the man in charge said as he displayed the finds, which included a soiled T-shirt with the Army of Russia logo printed on it.

I confirmed that the man I had just seen exhumed was a young, married soldier from Siberia a few moments later. A carefully posed black-and-white photograph from his social media profile stared out from my phone next to his body bag.

“We don’t abandon our own,” Russia proudly proclaims. It’s a big part of President Vladimir Putin’s pretext for invading Ukraine, where he falsely claimed Russian-speakers required protection.

This pledge does not appear to apply to Russian soldiers.
“The bodies we’ve discovered show they treat people like garbage, like cannon fodder,” Col Volodymyr Liamzin told the BBC. “They don’t require their troops. They throw them here, then flee, leaving the bodies behind.”

Russian soldiers are being urged to surrender and save their lives, while Ukrainian children are being sacrificed.

After the battle, the village elder claims he and others buried the Russians “for sanitary reasons.” When I ask why, he says most of them were blown to bits.

He wasn’t allowed to show us the graves because they are a crime scene until Col Liamzin’s team visits and exhumes the site. However, his to-do list is already lengthy.

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According to US intelligence, Vladimir Putin is preparing for a long war in Ukraine, with even a victory in the east potentially not ending the conflict.

The warning comes as fighting rages in the east, where Russia is attempting to seize territory. After Ukraine resisted attempts to take its capital, Kyiv, Moscow refocused its troops on capturing the Donbas region.

Despite this, US intelligence reports that its forces are stuck in a stalemate. Mr Putin still intends “to achieve goals beyond the Donbas,” according to Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, who testified before a US Senate committee on Tuesday, but he “faces a mismatch between his ambitions and Russia’s current conventional military capabilities.”

She went on to say that Putin was “likely” counting on US and EU support for Ukraine to dwindle as inflation, food shortages, and energy prices rose. As the war continues, Russian President Vladimir Putin may resort to “more drastic measures,” though nuclear weapons would only be used if Russia faced a “existential threat.”

At the same hearing, Director of the Defence Intelligence Agency Scott Berrier stated that Russia and Ukraine were “at a bit of a stalemate.”

Ukraine claims to have recaptured four settlements in the north-eastern Kharkiv region in recent fighting.

Ukraine’s armed forces claim to have reclaimed Cherkasy Tyshky, Ruski Tyshky, Rubizhne, and Bayrak from Russia.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy claimed that Ukrainian victories were gradually pushing Russian forces out of Kharkiv, which has been bombarded since the conflict began.

“We should not create an atmosphere of excessive moral pressure, where victories are expected weekly, if not daily,” he said.

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President Biden has requested $33 billion (£27 billion) in military, economic, and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, despite insisting that the US is not “attacking Russia.”

Mr. Biden stated that approval of the deal by US lawmakers was “critical,” as it would aid Ukraine’s defence. More than $20 billion in military aid, $8.5 billion in economic aid, and $3 billion in humanitarian aid are included in the proposal.

On Thursday, Mr. Biden said, “It’s not cheap.” “However, if we allow aggression to prevail, it will be more costly.”

Despite the fact that the US has already pledged assistance to Ukraine, the proposals represent a significant increase in aid. President Biden stated that the United States has provided ten anti-tank weapons for every tank Russia has deployed in Ukraine.

Despite his fiery rhetoric, he stated that the United States was not attacking Russia. He insisted, “We are assisting Ukraine in defending itself against Russian aggression.” A spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Western military support for Ukraine threatens “the continent’s security.”

President Biden is requesting that Congress authorise a massive sum of money for Ukraine, more than twice what the US has already spent on military and humanitarian aid. The US president wants to show that he is unfazed by vague threats of nuclear retaliation and a warning from Russian President Vladimir Putin that retaliatory strikes could be launched against countries that intervene in Ukraine.

He dismissed those remarks, saying they reflect Russia’s desperation over their abject failure to accomplish what they set out to do.

He explained to Americans why this money was needed – at a time when many are struggling with rising living costs – by saying that it was not cheap, but that doing nothing was even more expensive.

A new plan to allow US authorities to not only freeze but also liquidate the assets of Russian oligarchs is risky, and it has alarmed civil liberties groups in the United States. In Congress, however, it is likely to receive bipartisan support.

It will not, however, begin to cover the cost of the additional funds the White House wants to devote to Ukraine’s war efforts.

The White House said in a statement that the package will “establish new authorities for the forfeiture of property linked to Russian kleptocracy, allow the government to use the proceeds to support Ukraine, and further strengthen related law enforcement tools.”

This week, the Canadian government proposed legislation that would allow it to seize and sell Russian assets.

Under pressure to broaden its sanctions, the ruling Liberals are pushing for the seizure of “any type of property,” including money, digital assets, and virtual currency.

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According to Russia’s defence ministry in Moscow, a hypersonic ballistic missile was fired and destroyed a large underground arms depot in western Ukraine. If confirmed, it would be Russia’s first use of the Kinzhal, or Dagger, ballistic missile from the air, most likely by a MiG-31 warplane, in this war.

Russia’s investment in hypersonic missiles, which can travel at more than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5, has been emphasised by President Vladimir Putin on several occasions. According to Russian officials, the Kinzhal can hit a target up to 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles) away and travel at speeds of over 6,000 kilometres per hour. But does this make them any more dangerous than other missiles or even artillery, both of which can kill and destroy just as many people?

“I don’t think it’s that significant,” says James Acton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a nuclear policy expert. “I’m not sure how much of a competitive advantage Russia gets from hypersonic missiles.”

Last December, President Putin boasted that Russia was the world leader in hypersonic missiles, which are difficult to track because they can change direction in mid-flight. Russia released a video of a missile strike on an arms depot in Deliatyn, a village in south-western Ukraine only 100 kilometres from Romania’s border. “It’s a sign of dexterity. Even if it is used, we should regard it as a one-off event because Russia has a limited number of these missiles “Dominika Kunertova of the Zurich-based Center for Security Studies agreed.

The Kinzhal was unveiled four years ago by Russian President Vladimir Putin as one of a series of “invincible” weapons that he claimed could evade enemy defences. The Zirkon and the Avangard are the other hypersonic missiles, with the Avangard being faster and having a much longer range. The Kinzhal can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads, and recent reports claim that MiG-31 fighters have been dispatched to Kaliningrad, putting a number of European capitals within striking distance. The attack on the arms depot was launched from an unknown location.

Despite the fact that the Iskander-M has a much shorter range than the air-launched missile, Ukraine’s defence ministry claimed this week that Russia had fired nearly all of its Iskander missiles in the first 20 days of the conflict. Russian forces have fired over 1,080 missiles since February 24, according to a US defence official quoted on Friday.

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