Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the West not to cross a “red line” with Russia. The warning had come in his yearly state of the nation address, amidst enhanced stress with the West over Ukraine as well as imprisoned Putin critic Alexei Navalny. Authorities have actually detained virtually 100 Navalny supporters rallying in several cities. Hundreds staged pro-Navalny objections on Wednesday in eastern cities including Vladivostok, Irkutsk and also Krasnoyarsk. The authorities have actually declared them illegal. The anti-corruption campaigner is being treated at a jail hospital in Vladimir, about 180km (112 miles) east of Moscow. He is on hunger strike and his allies state his life remains in danger.
Mr Putin concentrated most of his speech on Russia’s fight versus Covid-19 and also its strategies to improve well-being and also economic development. But he implicated the West of threatening stability in Russia and its ex-Soviet neighbors Belarus and Ukraine. “Using unfair sanctions” he stated.
On 17 April the Belarusian authorities revealed that they had overturned a US-backed plot to assassinate Head of state Lukashenko. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed it had actually detained two Belarusians allegedly associated with the plot. Tensions have been building over Ukraine, as reports state Russia has actually relocated more than 100,000 troops close to contested locations.
A big part of that force is in Crimea, the peninsula which Russia annexed from Ukraine in March 2014. A senior Ukrainian policeman, Gen Serhiy Nayev, estimated the overall force to be 103,200 last week. Russia backs the separationists holding a swathe of eastern Ukraine, and its manoeuvres have actually sustained worries of a brand-new Russian armed forces intervention.