Espreso. Global

Victorious news of 413th day of war: Spanish Leopards, UK sanctions, record defense budget

13 April, 2023 Thursday

Defense and security spending has been increased by half a trillion hryvnias, Marchenko and her Russian friends are under UK sanctions, and Spain's Leopards will arrive in Ukraine by late April

Spanish Leopards and armored personnel carriers for Ukraine

The first six Leopard tanks will arrive from Spain to Ukraine by the end of April. They will be shipped by sea. This promise was made by Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles. According to her, in addition to the tanks, Ukraine will also receive 20 armored personnel carriers.

“There are four more Leopard tanks that are already being repaired so they can be delivered as soon as possible,” Robles said. 

She also noted that Spain will continue to train the Ukrainian military.

“Ukraine is defending not only its sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also our values, the values of a community that believes in peace and democracy. That is why our support, together with our partners and allies, is total and absolute for Ukraine, and will be as long as it takes,” the Spanish minister emphasized.

Plus half a trillion for defense

The President of Ukraine has signed Bill №9105, which provides for an increase in spending on the security and defense sector by UAH 518.2 billion. In particular, UAH 477.2 billion will be allocated for salaries, UAH 30.2 billion for special equipment and machinery, and UAH 10.8 billion for other expenses.

Another UAH 19 billion will be allocated to replenish the Reserve Fund of the state budget, which is used for unforeseen and urgent measures.

Of the total funds, the Ministry of Defense will receive UAH 372.4 billion, the National Police, the State Border Guard Service, the National Guard and the State Emergency Service - UAH 98.3 billion. The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine will receive UAH 4.6 billion, the Security Service - UAH 9.3 billion, the State Special Communications Service - UAH 31.6 billion, the Foreign Intelligence Service - UAH 807.6 million, and the NABU - UAH 50.6 million.

Ukrainian defenders repel 34 enemy attacks

Ukrainian soldiers repelled 34 attacks by the invading Russian forces in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian Armed Forces' General Staff reported. 

“Despite numerous losses, Russia is attacking at the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka directions – 34 enemy attacks were repelled over the day,” the report says. 

Over the last day, Ukrainian aviation launched 6 strikes on the invading Russian troops' military positions. One Russian Orlan-10 UAV was also shot down. Missile and artillery units struck 4 manpower concentration areas, an enemy munitions depot, and a radar station.

UK sanctions against Marchenko and oligarchs' relatives

The UK has imposed sanctions on relatives of Russian oligarchs Kerimov, Skoch and Yevtushenkov, as well as Viktor Medvedchuk's wife Oksana Marchenko.

Relatives of Russian oligarchs have also been subject to new sanctions restrictions: Vladimir Skoch, the father of State Duma deputy and billionaire Andrey Skoch, and the businessman's daughter Varvara. Natalia Yevtushenkova, wife of Sistema founder Vladimir Yevtushenkov, and his children. Gulnara Kerimova, daughter of the Federation Council member from Dagestan, billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, and Nariman Hajiyev. Lawyers Christodoulos Vassiliades (associated with Alisher Usmanov) and Demetris Ioannides (provided services to Roman Abramovich).

In addition, sanctions were imposed on Oksana Marchenko, the wife of pro-Russian Ukrainian politician Victor Medvedchuk. 

British celebrities in Ukraine, about Ukraine and in Ukrainian

British billionaire and entrepreneur Richard Branson addressed Ukrainians. He expressed his admiration for the courage of Ukrainian citizens. Another equally famous British traveler, ‘Bear’ Grylls, recorded a message in Ukrainian using artificial intelligence.

Richard Branson, in particular, emphasized that he expects Ukraine to win.

“And I do look forward to the day when I return to Ukraine to celebrate Ukraine's return to its rightful borders and the coming of peace,” Branson said.

And British traveler Grylls joined a Ukrainian startup initiative that allows world stars to express support for Ukrainians in Ukrainian.

“We think of you every day, we support your fight for freedom. Over the past few months, we've been proud to work alongside the Ukrainian company Respeecher, which is helping our education company BecomingX create a free platform for Ukrainian schools to help students succeed,” Grylls said in English.

Further, to demonstrate the project's capabilities, he announced the launch of the BecomingX Ukraine digital platform in support of the Rebuilding Ukraine initiative through UNITED24 in Ukrainian.

“It's hard for me to even imagine how hard it is for many of those watching this video. I want to say that we think about you every day. And your courage is so inspiring to millions of people around the world,” the Briton said.

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