After French first responders this week found a Ukrainian-Russian man in a Paris-area hotel with burns on his body and injuries to his head from an accidental explosion, authorities arrested the 26-year-old on suspicions of planning a terror attack.

Investigators found “products and materials intended to manufacture explosive devices” in his hotel room near Charles de Gaulle airport on Monday, the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s office said. 

“One of these devices had exploded,” the prosecutors said on Wednesday. Their office had opened an investigation on Tuesday.

The man, who has both Russian and Ukrainian passports, was detained on Monday evening, a source told Agence France Presse (AFP). Another unnamed source told AFP that the man was from the Donbas area.

Advertisement

The French are on high alert for signs of Moscow-backed malfeasance this week as elections approach and international leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, convene in France on Thursday for an 80th anniversary celebration of D-Day. Counterterrorism tensions are also high there as Paris prepares to host the Summer Olympics in July.

Putin promises quid-pro-quo arming of his allies over Western weapons supplied to Ukraine

In a rare video conference with Western journalists, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened to arm those countries sympathetic to the Kremlin and which were in striking distance of targets in the West, in retaliation for Ukraine’s allies supplying long-range missiles to Kyiv.

EU’s Michel Blasts Orbán As Row Over Hungary’s Diplomatic Push on Ukraine Intensifies
Other Topics of Interest

EU’s Michel Blasts Orbán As Row Over Hungary’s Diplomatic Push on Ukraine Intensifies

The Council’s legal service told EU envoys last week that Budapest’s actions could constitute a breach of the bloc’s treaties.

“If someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a warzone to attack our territory and create problems for us, why don’t we have the right to supply weapons of the same class to regions of the world where there will be strikes on sensitive facilities of those [Western] countries?” Putin asked.

“That is, the response can be asymmetric,” he continued. “We will think about it.”

It was unclear to which countries he was referring, either as recipients or targets, but he called out Germany, saying that when the first German-supplied tanks “appeared on Ukrainian soil, it provoked a moral and ethical shock in Russia,” he said, with a nod to World War II, after Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, just as Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. (Putin was quoted by the AFP, whose reporters were part of the video call.)

Advertisement

Other topics were covered during the call, including the felony convictions of former US President Donald Trump on hush money paid to a porn star. Putin, like Trump, attempted to frame the US legal system as corrupt, even though the twice-impeached and many-times indicted real-estate heir was unanimously convicted on all 34 counts by a jury of 12 people selected by both the defense and prosecution.

“It is obvious all over the world that the prosecution of Trump... is simply the utilization of the judicial system during an internal political struggle,” said the autocrat, who in both theory and practice could never be impeached nor indicted. “Their supposed leadership in the sphere of democracy is being burned to the ground,” Putin said.

An AFP reporter also asked Putin if Russia had imperial ambitions in Ukraine and elsewhere, pointing out the Soviet and Russian imperial flags at the St. Petersburg venue (the headquarters of the country’s largest energy producer, Gazprom) where the president sat for the interview.

Advertisement

“There is no need to look for some imperial ambitions of ours. There are none,” Putin lashed out. “There is no need to look for something that is not there. Don't make up an image of Russia as an enemy.”

“They’ve come up with this idea that Russia wants to attack NATO. Have you lost your mind? Are you as thick as two short planks? Who made this up? It’s nonsense, it’s bollocks,” Putin said.

Rationing limits exceeded, planned power outages across Ukraine will resume

Starting as early as the late hours of Wednesday, June 5, Ukrainians will once again experience emergency power blackouts, national grid operator Ukrenergo said, due to damages from Russian strikes on power infrastructure.

Ukrenergo said that, because the energy limits imposed earlier this week have been exceeded, it is implementing blackouts in 12 regions: Kharkiv, Sumy, Kyiv, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Rivne, Volyn, Lviv, Odesa, Zaporizhzhia and Kirovohrad.

“Emergency outages will be canceled after the [regions] adhere to the consumption limits set for them,” the grid operator stated. Those limits will remain in place indefinitely in every region, 24 hours a day.

Advertisement

Russian strikes have now destroyed more than half of Ukraine’s power-generating capabilities.

Ukrenergo said that Ukrainians can expect imposed power-usage limits and sporadic outages throughout the summer and fall.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter