Ukraine - Russia war: latest news live | Moscow promises to toughen prison sentences in cases of terrorism after Sunday's attack | International

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What has happened in the last hours

On day 404 since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, here's the top news at 8:00 p.m. this Monday, April 3, 2023:

Finland will officially become a member of NATO tomorrow Tuesday. The Finnish presidency announced on Monday that his country will formally join NATO tomorrow Tuesday. Helsinki is about to become the 31st member of the Atlantic Alliance, leaving behind the neutrality agreed in 1948 with Russia, a country from which it became independent in 1917 and with which it shares a long border.

Stoltenberg calls Finland's accession to NATO a "historic step". NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has reported that Finland will become NATO's 31st ally on Tuesday, once Turkey has completed the ratification process and will deposit Finland's accession protocol with the US State Department. in washington.

Russia says it will strengthen the army in the northwest in response to Finland's accession to NATO. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko has said that Russia will strengthen its military capabilities in the country's west and northwestern regions in response to Finland's NATO membership, according to the state news agency RIA.

American journalist arrested in Russia and accused of espionage appeals his detention. The defense of American journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested in Russia last week on espionage charges that he denies, has appealed against his detention, a Moscow court has reported. "It is the same (court-appointed) lawyer who represented Gershkovich during his arrest who appealed," a spokeswoman for the Moscow court in Lefortovo said. "The hearing date on the detention appeal will be announced this week," she added, noting that the request would be heard by a higher court.

The head of the Wagner group accuses "radicals" of the attack in St. Petersburg and disassociates Ukraine. The head of the Russian group of Wagner mercenaries, Yevgeni Prigozhin, has blamed on Monday the bomb attack carried out on Sunday in a Saint Petersburg cafeteria in which the Russian blogger Vladlen Tatarski died, as "radicals", disassociating the Ukrainian authorities from the event.

IAEA chief will finally visit Kaliningrad on Wednesday. The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, will finally visit the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, on the border with Poland and Lithuania, on Wednesday to discuss the safety of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, according to The organization has indicated in a statement. The IAEA has been seeking for months the implementation of a demilitarized zone around the plant, given the intensification of fighting that, according to it, threatens to cause a very serious nuclear incident.

Poland delivers first MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine. The head of international policy at the Polish presidential office, Marcin Przydacz, has assured that Poland has already delivered the first batch of MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. "The shipment of this first part has already been completed. Of course, there will be talks about possible additional support," Przydacz said in an interview with Polish radio RMF. Poland's President Andrzej Duda said last month that Warsaw would send four MiG-29s to Ukraine.

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