HomePoliticsLatest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Russia revives fried chicken chain Rostic’s after KFC owner finalises exit

People line up to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the shopping mall, April 19, 2023, in Moscow, Russia.

Contributor | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Former KFC restaurants in Russia will begin reopening as Rostic’s on Tuesday, as the new owners revive a brand born soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union as Russia transitioned abruptly from communism to capitalism in the 1990s.

KFC’s U.S. parent company Yum! Brands Inc last week finalised its exit from Russia, transferring master franchise rights to Smart Service, a local franchisee led by Konstantin Kotov and Andrey Oskolkov. The deal included all its Russian KFC restaurants, operating system and the trademark for the Rostic’s brand. The price was not disclosed.

Rostic’s, originally launched in 1993 and became KFC’s vehicle for expansion in Russia, where it had over 1,000 restaurants before Yum! Brands announced plans to exit last year after Russia despatched troops to Ukraine.

— Reuters

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says one killed, 10 wounded in Russian attack on museum

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces struck a history museum in Kupyansk, killing one person, wounding 10 others and burying some under rubble.

“So far, it is known about the dead employee of the museum and 10 wounded. There are still people under the rubble. Elimination of the consequences of shelling continues. All necessary services are involved,” Zelenskiy said on Tuesday via Telegram messenger.

“Eternal memory to the deceased and condolences to the relatives. All those guilty of these war crimes will definitely be brought to justice and it will be merciless,” he added.

Ukrainian officials posted videos on Twitter purportedly showing the damage in the aftermath of the attack. Situated in eastern Ukraine, Kupyansk is a significant railroad junction for the Kharkhiv Oblast.

— Sam Meredith

UN chief Guterres warns tensions between major powers at ‘historic high’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (C) and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (L) at the U.N. Security Council meeting at the U.N. headquarters in New York on April 24, 2023.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the world’s multilateral system is under greater strain than at any time since the formation of the United Nations in 1945 and the urgency of global challenges requires swift and bold action.

Sitting next to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a U.N. meeting chaired by Russia, Guterres said, “Tensions between major powers are at an historic high, so are the risks of conflict, through misadventure or miscalculation.”

He added, “It is time to deepen cooperation and to strengthen multilateral institutions, to find common solutions to common challenges.”

— Sam Meredith

Russian forces focused on preparing for anticipated Ukrainian offensive, UK says

A residential building on Pershotravneva Street that was destroyed by an airstrike from Russian forces on April 22, 2023, in Izium, Ukraine.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Britain’s Defense Ministry said in its latest intelligence update that Russia’s average daily casualty rate was estimated to have fallen by around 30% through April.

CNBC has not been able to independently verify the figures. The estimate comes after what the ministry described as “exceptionally heavily” Russian casualties over the period from January to the March.

“Figures released by the Ukrainian General Staff suggest a reduction from a daily average of 776 Russian casualties in March, to an average of 568 so far in April. Defence Intelligence cannot verify Ukraine’s exact methodology, but the general trend is likely accurate,” Britain’s Defense Ministry said in a statement via Twitter.

“Russia’s losses have highly likely reduced as their attempted winter offensive has failed to achieve its objectives, and Russian forces are now focused on preparing for anticipated Ukrainian offensive operations,” it added.

— Sam Meredith

Lavrov declines to say if UN-backed Black Sea Grain deal will continue past May

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov declined to say if the U.N.-backed deal that created a humanitarian sea corridor for Ukrainian agricultural products would be extended past its expiry.

“Nice dress,” Lavrov said when asked by a reporter if the Black Sea Grain Initiative was dead.

Lavrov, who flew from Moscow to New York to preside over the Security Council, is expected to discuss Russia’s terms for renewing the deal, which has ushered the movement of more than 25 million metric tons of grain and foodstuff around the world.

Ukraine and the U.N. pushed for a 120-day extension of the deal in March. Russia said that it may only acknowledge the extension for 60 days, which puts the expiration date in mid-May.

— Amanda Macias

Sister of Paul Whelan slams Russia over the detention of her brother and Evan Gershkovich

Elizabeth Whelan, the sister of Paul Whelan, stands as she is acknowledged by U.S. Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield during a Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters on April 24, 2023 in New York City.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

Elizabeth Whelan, the sister of detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan in Russia, spoke to reporters outside the United Nations Security Council at the invitation of President Joe Biden’s representative.

“When on a visit to Moscow, Paul Whelan was set up by the Russian security services, the FSB, and arrested on false charges of espionage. He was held for a year and a half at Lefortovo Prison, where journalist Evan Gershkovich is currently being held on the same charges,” she told reporters at the United Nations.

“This Russian playbook is so lazy that even Evan has the same investigator, a man who harassed and interrogated my brother until Paul’s sham trial in June of 2020, when Paul was given a horrific sentence of 16 years for a crime he did not commit,” she added.

Whelan is currently being held in the Russian labor camp IK-17 in the remote province of Mordovia.

“I no longer know what my brother looks like. The images that we see on television and in the news? That’s Paul Whelan in the life he was living before he was taken captive. No one has been allowed to take a photo of him since his trial almost three years ago,” she said.

Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who is being held on suspicion of spying, in the courtroom cage after a ruling regarding extension of his detention, in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 22, 2019.

Shamil Zhumatov | Reuters

During the United Nations Security Council meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield called on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to look at Whelan sitting in the gallery.

“I want minister Lavrov to look into her eyes and see her suffering. I want you to see what it’s like to miss your brother for four years. To know he is locked up, in a Russian penal colony, simply because you want to use him for your own ends,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

“I am calling on you, right now, to release Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich immediately. To let Paul and Evan come home. And to cease this barbaric practice once and for all,” she added.

— Amanda Macias

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:



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