British fighter captured in Ukraine by Russians

It comes as Russia has warned there can be no talk of a nuclear-free Baltic if Sweden and Finland join NATO.

Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said today that if the two nations join the alliance, “the balance must be restored” and Russia should strengthen its ground, naval and air forces in the region .

It comes a day after reports said Sweden had already decided to join NATO, and Finland said a decision on joining would likely be made “in a matter of weeks”.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has taunted Europe for its failure to wean itself off Russian gas as he said the Kremlin was working to redirect energy supplies to the east.

Damaged Russian ship

The Kremlin bravado comes after the county’s Defense Ministry admitted the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet had been evacuated overnight after a fire detonated munitions on board.

The terse announcement came hours after the governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region announced that the ship had been hit by two Neptune anti-ship missiles fired by Ukrainian forces.

Find out why the Moskva was so strategic for the Russians and how Moscow’s fleet in the region is much more exposed without it.

Ukrainian forces have been outnumbered and outgunned by Russia since the Feb. 24 invasion, but here’s a roundup of the country’s military achievements to date.

Today, Moscow accused Ukraine of carrying out a helicopter attack in Russia.

Pro-Ukrainian pranksters

In the United States, the Russian Embassy in Washington DC has a generally tall, flat, white facade.

It is a design that, even accidentally, gives the building a certain resemblance to a projection screen.

This is exactly how it was used by pro-Ukrainian pranksters.

A video uploaded to social media today shows Boris Nemtsov Plaza, the seat of the embassy.

Watch the comedic game of cat and mouse as the Russians fail to counteract the image of the Ukrainian flag projected over the embassy.

Commentary and analysis

Around the world: a woman tried to escape a relationship

Murdered British woman Caroline Crouch was trying to escape an abusive relationship with her Greek husband in the months before his death, telling a therapist she was “suffocating”, an Athens court heard. Ms Crouch, who was born in Liverpool but grew up on the Aegean island of Alonissos, told a therapist that her husband, Babis Anagnostopoulos, 33, was manipulative and controlling. The helicopter pilot confessed to killing his 20-year-old wife at their home outside Athens in May last year, but said it was done in a fit of rage because he had afraid that she is about to leave him. Read how he only confessed after initially concocting an elaborate story involving three burglars.

Big Reading Thursday

Revealed: The ‘secret society’ of tennis umpires living under a ‘rule of fear’, abuse of power and sexual favors

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