cnbc - Moscow says Finland, Sweden will be ‘new opponents’ if they join NATO; Russian warship seriously damaged

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Apr 14, 2022, 11:23:02 AMApr 14
What has happened to intelligent opponents?
Russia has enough serious problems, without going
out to create more enemies.

Moscow says Finland, Sweden will be ‘new opponents’ if they join NATO;
Russian warship seriously damaged
Natasha Turak
This is CNBC’s live blog tracking developments on the war in Ukraine.
See below for the latest updates.

Finland and Sweden will become enemies of Russia if they join NATO,
Russia’s Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has said.
“There can be no more talk of any nuclear-free status for the Baltic -
the balance must be restored,” he wrote on Telegram.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Moskva, a flagship missile cruiser from the Black
Sea fleet, was set aflame and evacuated after being hit in a Ukrainian
missile attack, according to Ukrainian authorities. The Russian Ministry
of Defense confirmed the ship caught fire and was “seriously damaged.”

White House now focused on enforcing Russia sanctions, national security
adviser says

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan participates in a conversation
with David Rubenstein, Chairman of the Economic Club, at the JW Marriott
Hotel in Washington, DC, on April 14, 2022.
Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration is
focused on ensuring global sanctions for its war in Ukraine.

“What we have done is unprecedented in terms of a major economy to take
this set of steps across financial sanctions, investment bans, the
export controls,” Sullivan said during a discussion with The Economic
Club of Washington, D.C., adding “our focus will be in the course of the
coming days is on evasion.”

In the weeks since Russia’s invasion of its ex-Soviet neighbor,
Washington and its allies have imposed rounds of coordinated sanctions
vaulting Russia past Iran and North Korea as the world’s most-sanctioned

— Amanda Macias and Thomas Franck

U.S. reportedly weighing high level official visit to Ukraine
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testifies before the Senate Armed
Services Committee during a hearing on "Department of Defense's Budget
Requests for FY2023", on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 7, 2022.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testifies before the Senate Armed
Services Committee during a hearing on “Department of Defense’s Budget
Requests for FY2023”, on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 7, 2022.
Sarah Silbiger | Reuters
Senior U.S. officials are weighing whether to send a top Cabinet level
official to Kyiv as a high profile representative in a show of
solidarity with Ukraine, a source familiar with the situation said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken or Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd
are potential candidates to pay a surprise visit to Kyiv, the source said.

President Joe Biden is unlikely to make the trip, the source said. No
final decision has been made on sending an official, the source said.
The discussions were first reported by Politico.

Other Western leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, have made trips
to Ukraine in show of support following Russia’s invasion in February.

— Reuters

U.S. cannot confirm if Russian warship was damaged by missile strike
The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea
Fleet is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, on Sept. 11,

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the U.S. cannot
independently confirm Ukrainian claims that the Russian warship, the
Moskva, stationed in the Black Sea was damaged by a missile strike.

Sullivan said that the U.S. and its allies were monitoring reports out
of Ukraine but were unable to provide an assessment at this time.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told MSNBC on “Morning Joe” that the
vessel was operating about 60 miles south of Odesa when it suffered an

“We don’t know what caused that explosion,” Kirby said. “We’ve seen the
social media reports that this one, maybe a Ukrainian coastal defense
missile hit it. We can’t rule that out, we just don’t have enough
information right now,” Kirby added.

— Amanda Macias

IMF says Russia’s war in Ukraine contributing to downgrades of 143
economies, 86% of GDP
Russia’s war in Ukraine is leading the International Monetary Fund to
downgrade its growth outlooks for 143 economies comprising 86% of global
economic output, managing director Kristalina Georgieva said. Global
growth estimates for both 2022 and 2023 are being cut as higher food and
energy prices hit economies around the world.

“To put it simply, we are facing a crisis on top of a crisis,” Georgieva
said in a speech in Washington ahead of the IMF and World Bank meetings
next week, describing the Russian invasion as “sending shockwaves
throughout the globe” and hampering countries’ recoveries following the
Covid-19 pandemic.

Smallholders use pitch forks to collect hay during a summer wheat
harvest in Chernihiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017. Ukraine's
wheat harvest reached 19.1m tons as of Aug. 1, local Agriculture
Ministry said in an emailed statement. Photographer: Vincent
Mundy/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Global prices for some grains have spiked since the Russia-Ukraine war
started, with both countries contributing a significant percentage of
the world’s supply for some of those commodities such as wheat.
Vincent Mundy | Bloomberg | Getty Images
“The outlook has deteriorated substantially, largely because of the war
and its repercussions,” Georgieva said, adding that food insecurity is a
“grave concern” given the hit to grain and fertilizer exports from
Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, which are the top suppliers to much of the
developing world.

— Natasha Turak

More than 31,500 Ukrainian refugees registered in Switzerland since war
People fleeing from Ukraine due to ongoing Russian attacks, take a free
bus to the Swiss city Sorula offering humanitarian aid, in Krakow,
Poland on April 01, 2022.

Stringer | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, 31,553 Ukrainian refugees
have been registered in Switzerland, the country’s Secretariat for
Migration said in a Twitter post. Of those, 27,093 have been granted
protective S status, which means they will receive a one-year temporary
residence permit that is renewable for as long as the war continues.

In the space of one day, 1,114 additional people coming from Ukraine
were registered as refugees in Switzerland. In the last 24 hours, close
to 60,000 people have fled Ukraine, according to data from UNHCR, the
UN’s refugee agency.

Nearly 4.7 million people have left Ukraine as refugees as of April 12,
according to the UN.

— Natasha Turak

UN says 1,964 civilians killed and 2,613 injured in Ukraine
Graves of civilians killed during Ukraine-Russia conflict are seen next
to apartment buildings in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine
April 10, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Alexander Ermochenko | Reuters
The United Nations has confirmed 1,964 civilian deaths and 2,613
injuries in Ukraine since Russia invaded its ex-Soviet neighbor on Feb. 24.

Of those killed, the U.N. has identified at least 34 girls and 55 boys
as well as 72 children whose sex is unknown.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights adds that the
death toll in Ukraine is likely higher, citing delayed reporting due to
the armed conflict.

The international body said most of the civilian casualties recorded
were caused by the use of explosive weapons, including shelling from
heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as missiles
and airstrikes.

— Amanda Macias

Kharkiv governor says civilians killed and wounded during Russian shelling
Firefighters try to contain a fire at a plant following Russian
shelling, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine,
April 11, 2022.
Firefighters try to contain a fire at a plant following Russian
shelling, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine,
April 11, 2022.
Alkis Konstantinidis | Reuters
Oleh Synyegubov, regional governor of Kharkiv, said four civilians had
been killed and 10 wounded during Russian shelling Kharkiv, Ukraine’s
second largest city. NBC could not immediately verify the numbers.

Synyegubov in a statement also urged residents of some of the region’s
towns to evacuate ahead of expected fighting, as Russian bombardments
intensify in the country’s east.

Kharkiv, in the northeast of Ukraine, has already sustained heavy
attacks, with Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov saying there has not been a
single day without strikes since the invasion began on Feb. 24.

— Natasha Turak

Ukraine is investigating almost 6,500 alleged war crimes by Russia

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova visits a mass grave in
Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on April 13, 2022.
Fadel Senna | AFP | Getty Images
Ukraine is investigating almost 6,500 alleged war crimes committed by
Russia since its full-scale invasion of the country.

In a tweet Thursday, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office said it had
registered 6,492 alleged crimes of aggression and war crimes.

— Katrina Bishop

Russia’s Medvedev calls Finland and Sweden new ‘opponents’ if they join NATO
Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson walks with Finland's Prime
Minister Sanna Marin prior to a meeting, amid Russia's invasion of
Ukraine, in Stockholm, Sweden, April 13, 2022. Paul Wennerholm/TT News

Paul Wennerholm| TT News Agency | Reuters
Finland and Sweden will become enemies of Russia if they join NATO,
Russia’s Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has said.

The change would give Moscow “more officially registered opponents,”
Medvedev wrote on Telegram.

“In this case, it will no longer be possible to talk about any
nuclear–free status of the Baltic - the balance must be restored,” he
said. “Until today, Russia has not taken such measures and was not going

He also claimed that NATO was planning to admit the two Nordic states —
who until now have been partners with the 30-member military alliance
but remained neutral — with “minimal bureaucratic procedures.”

Russia’s response should be taken with “no emotion, with a cold head,”
he added.

The comments come a day after Finland and Sweden’s leaders said their
decision on whether to apply for NATO membership would come within a
matter of weeks, saying their security assessments had dramatically
changed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

— Natasha Turak

Russia will seek peace or leave the international arena forever: Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked European nations to stop buying Russian oil.
Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | via Reuters
In his latest nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
predicted that the Russian leadership will either seek peace, or would
leave the international arena forever.

He also called again for an oil embargo from his European counterparts.
“The European Union must stop sponsoring Russia’s military machine,” he
said in the speech.

-Matt Clinch

Czech Republic reopens embassy in Kyiv
Messages of support for Ukraine outside the Russian Embassy in Prague,
Czech Republic, on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. The Czech Republic reopened
its embassy in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, nearly 2 months after its
closure on 24 February following Russia's invasion of the country.
Messages of support for Ukraine outside the Russian Embassy in Prague,
Czech Republic, on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. The Czech Republic reopened
its embassy in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, nearly 2 months after its
closure on 24 February following Russia’s invasion of the country.
Milan Jaros | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Czech Republic has reopened its embassy in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv,
nearly two months after it closed on Feb. 24 when Russia’s invasion began.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a tweet its diplomats are back
in Ukraine and the Czech flag is once again flying above the embassy.

“This is one of the many steps we are taking to show our support for
Ukraine. Czechia will always stand with Ukraine,” the ministry said.

Other countries that have announced the return of their diplomats to
Kyiv include Slovenia, Estonia and Turkey.

— Chelsea Ong

‘Sapiens’ author says Ukraine war could mark most dangerous moment since
Cuban missile crisis
Israeli author, historian and professor Yuval Noah Harari has spoken out
frequently against President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, adding
that it has had the unintended consequence of forging greater unity
between Europe and the U.S.

Kristof Van Accom | AFP | Getty Images
Israeli historian and bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari has told CNBC
said the growing risk that Russia may turn to nuclear weapons or other
forms of chemical or biological warfare to advance its onslaught posed
an existential threat to humanity.

While acknowledging the current threat of nuclear war is “not very
likely,” Harari said that everybody — governments and individuals —
should be “very concerned.”

“It’s a possibility, a real possibility that we need to consider. And
that’s terrible news for the whole human race,” he said.

Read the full story here.

-Karen Gilchrist

Details revealed on $800 million U.S. weapons package for Ukraine
Ukrainian servicemen load a truck with the FGM-148 Javelin, American
man-portable anti-tank missile provided by US to Ukraine.
Ukraine was already stocking up on U.S.-made Javelins before Russia
invaded. Here a group of Ukrainian servicemen take a shipment of
Javelins in early February, as Russia positioned troops on Ukraine’s border.
Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday night revealed
details about the latest military aid package the United States will
send to Ukraine, which includes 300 armored vehicles, artillery and
anti-chemical protective equipment.

A post on his official Twitter account listed 200 M113 armored personnel
carriers and 100 other armored, wheeled vehicles. The M113 is an older,
tracked vehicle that the United States began using before the Vietnam War.

Among the newer weapons in the package are 500 Javelin missiles and 300
Switchblade attack drones. Ukrainian defenders have used the Javelin and
other shoulder-launched weapons to devastating effect against Russian
tanks and other vehicles.

Eight howitzers and 40,000 artillery rounds are also part of the newest
U.S. arms shipment.

The list includes “protective equipment” against chemical, biological
and radiological attacks, as well as 30,000 sets of body armor and helmets.

Military observers and others have voiced fears that Vladimir Putin may
use weapons of mass destruction against Ukrainian troops and civilians
as Russia continues to suffer defeats on the battlefield.

“We continue to stand with the brave Ukrainian people in their fight for
freedom,” Austin said. “To that end, this latest support package
contains many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already
provided along with critical new capabilities.”

— Ted Kemp

Ukraine claims it has damaged a Russian warship in the Black Sea
The Russian missile cruiser Moskva patrols in the Mediterranean Sea, off
the coast of Syria, on December 17, 2015. Russia began its air war in
Syria on September 30, conducting air strikes against a range of
anti-regime armed groups including US-backed rebels and jihadist groups.
Moscow has said it is fighting and other "terrorist groups," but its
campaign has come under fire by Western officials who accuse the Kremlin
of seeking to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. / AFP / Max
DELANY (Photo credit

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva was set afire and evacuated after a
Ukrainian attack on the ship. Here the Moskva is shown off the coast of
Syria in 2015.
Max Delany | AFP | Getty Images
Ukraine claimed it has damaged a Russian warship, the Moskva, stationed
in the Black Sea after striking it with Neptune missiles.

“It has been confirmed that today the missile cruiser ‘Moscow’ went
exactly where it was sent to by our border guards on Zmiinyi Island!
Neptune missiles which are guarding the Black Sea caused very serious
damage to the Russian ship,” Maksym Marchenko, the governor of the Odesa
region, said in a Telegram post.

Russian State Media service TASS, quoting the Russian Ministry of
Defense, confirmed the ship caught fire after being “seriously damaged”
and that the entire crew had been evacuated.

According to the Russian ministry, the fire started after ammunition was
detonated onboard the warship. “As a result of a fire, ammunition
detonated on the Moskva missile cruiser. The ship was seriously damaged.
The crew was completely evacuated,” TASS quoted the Russian the ministry
as saying.

Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Oleksiy Arestovych claimed that 510
Russian crew members were on board the ship during a television
interview. During the interview, Arestovych sarcastically said two
sailors must have caused the fire by smoking in the wrong place, or
maybe they were just unlucky.

Arestovych also said the Moskva was the same warship that asked
Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island (a Ukrainian island on the Black Sea)
to surrender at the start of the conflict, with the Ukrainian troops
telling the marines on the ship to “go f--- yourself.” Audio recordings
of this incident went viral back in February.

Unlike the Russian logistics vessel Orsk which Ukraine destroyed last
month, the guided missile cruiser Moskva is an offensive warship
designed to attack targets from a distance. Moscow used the ship off the
coast of Syria in 2015.

—NBC News, Riya Bhattacharjee, Ted Kemp

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:
Russian sailors evacuate warship in the Black Sea after Ukraine attack;
U.S. will send another $800 million in weapons to Ukraine

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