New national security chief meets with NATO representative ahead of Washington summit

Kyiv pushed to have more of its “specialists” at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on April 9 during a meeting between the newly appointed head of the National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) and the Alliance’s main representative in Ukraine, Karen McTear.

RNBO chief Oleksandr Lytvynenko said that Ukraine needs “people who will have even more experience in communicating within NATO,” during the meeting.

Both parties discussed the upcoming NATO summit that will take place in Washington later this summer as the Alliance commemorates its 75th anniversary.

“McTear assured of the continued support for Ukraine and stressed the importance of increased political and practical assistance to our [Ukraine’s] country by the allies,” the RNBO statement said.

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NATO accession is enshrined in the nation’s constitution but Ukraine had a non-aligned status when Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.

“The Alliance fully supports Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defense, and its right to choose its own security arrangements,” NATO’s website says.

Outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said Ukraine will become a member of the 32-nation member Alliance and it is a question of “not if, but when,” without providing a specific time frame.

Russia Launches Overnight Missile Attack Across Ukraine
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Russia Launches Overnight Missile Attack Across Ukraine

The overnight aerial attack came shortly after Russian troops bombed a busy shopping centre in Kharkiv on May 25, which killed at least 12 people and injured 43.

National Security and Defense Secretary Oleksandr Lytvynenko (beard) meets with NATO representatives in Kyiv on April 9. (National Security and Defense Council)

SBU: Woman arrested near Odesa who is an associate of suspected traitor Shariya

Ukraine’s main counterintelligence service, the Security Service (SBU), detained a woman “posing as a displaced person from Mykolayiv” at the Black Sea port city of Odesa on suspicion of disrupting conscription of military personnel and of being a Russian collaborator.

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She faces up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.

The unnamed suspect was a member of the Shariya Party, named after a pro-Russian Ukrainian blogger whom Kyiv failed to extradite from Spain on charges alleging high treason in May 2022, three months after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of the country.

He was ordered to surrender his passport and report regularly that month to Spanish authorities under a provisional release in the country where he has permanently resided since 2019.

The unnamed female suspect detained near Odesa had administered a Telegram social media channel and allegedly  “discredited” Ukraine’s military conscription campaign as it faces a weapons and manpower shortage.

She “cooperated with Russian intelligence,” the SBU said, and the suspect maintained contact with them through “her father and brother.” Both had moved to Russia before the all-out invasion but returned to the east side of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region when Russia had occupied it to serve with occupation authorities.

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A suspected Russian collaborator was detained near Odesa on April 9 by the Security Service of Ukraine on April 9. (Security Service of Ukraine)

Whatever she posted on her Telegram channel “was first approved by her [Russian] handlers,” the SBU said.

Evidence of her alleged subversive activity was reportedly found on her mobile phone and laptop computer, the intelligence agency added.

She is currently in custody.

An official government advertisement for war veterans to call a hotline and receive phone consultations for services and benefits. (Ministry of Veterans Affairs)

One-stop hotline goes active to assist veterans in receiving services

A toll-free hotline (0800 505 217) is active to provide phone consultations to Russo-Ukrainian war veterans, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs announced on April 9.

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The Veterans Affairs Ministry took the hotline live on March 20 and the Kyiv City Administration started disseminating its existence on April 9 to spread awareness.

Callers can obtain psychological support among other services at the so-called one-stop hotline, acting Veterans Affairs Minister Oleksandra Porkhuna said.

So far, the most common referrals are for legal assistance, medical treatment, financial assistance, obtaining combat experience status, and living with a disability.

Other referrals include financial compensation for living premises, registering for other benefits, including help with paying utility bills, the Kyiv local government says.

Zelensky inspects fortifications in Kharkiv region

President Volodymyr Zelensky paid a working visit to the Kharkiv region on April 9 at one of the frontline hotspots where Russian forces are advancing on Kupyansk in the northeastern part of the region.

“I held a meeting with everyone responsible for the region’s protection,” Zelensky said in his nightly address to the nation.

Following discussions, the president said, “The government will make all the details public.”

He said more air defense systems are required in the Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Sumy, Donetsk, Mykolyaiv, Chernihiv, and Dnipropetrovsk regions amid dwindling supplies from the West, notably the US.

Zelensky inspected defense fortifications in the neighboring Sumy region in late March. Trenches, dugouts, and fire and command posts were inspected during the visit. While there, he visited the positions of the 117th Territorial Defense Brigade.

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