Day 415: Belarus preparing sites to host strategic nuclear weapons

Belarus is preparing sites to host strategic nuclear weapons. Naftogaz wins in court over Russia, as Russia is ordered to pay USD five billion in compensation for seizing assets from Ukraine’s state energy company in Crimea.

Belarus preparing sites to host strategic nuclear weapons, country’s defense minister says

Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said his country was ready to accomodate strategic nuclear weapons, “if needed”. Belarus is preparing the sites that it has, the BelTA news agency quoted him as saying on Friday, April 14.

If the Western hostile rhetoric persists, Khrenin said, Belarus has prepared equipment — these are “aircraft that can carry nuclear weapons”. It has also received an Iskander system from Russia, which “can use missiles with nuclear warheads,” he added.

“If it’s necessary, we will also have strategic nuclear weapons. We are preparing the sites we have. If such aggressive rhetoric continues, this will be the next step,” Belarusian Defense Minister said. “We will respond to force only with force,” he continued.

Naftogaz wins in court over Russia, Russia ordered to pay USD five billion

The Hague’s Arbitration Tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration has ordered Russia to pay Ukraine’s Naftogaz state energy company USD five billion in compensation for seizing its assets following Russia’s 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea.

After Russia occupied the peninsula, it seized assets from a number of Ukrainian companies, including energy assets from Naftogaz.

Among them are notorious drilling rigs known as “Boyko’s towers”, which were purchased at inflated prices under Yanukovych’s presidency, in a multi-billion-dollar embezzlement operation. 

The biggest loss for Naftogaz is the Black Sea shelf. In Crimea, Russia “nationalized” 15 oil and gas reserves, and at least three unexplored hydrocarbon deposits. 

According to Naftogaz, Ukraine could no longer explore its oil and gas reserves estimated at 50 bcm of gas, 3.5 million tons of oil, and one million ton of gas condensate. 

Following an illegal annexation of Crimea, Russia began to unlawfully use the deposits, stealing Ukraine’s hydrocarbons and causing Naftogaz to take major losses.

Analysis of human rights violations in the occupied Crimea. Ukraine in Flames #400 

Nine years after the annexation of Crimea, the situation with human rights on the peninsula is described by Ukrainian human rights defenders as close to catastrophic. The Crimean Tatar Resource Center recently presented their analysis of the violations of human rights and norms of international humanitarian law in Crimea for the first quarter of 2023. Human rights activists note that this is the result of daily work on documenting russia’s crimes in occupied Crimea. Watch Ukraine in flames #400 to find out about politically motivated criminal prosecutions of Crimeans, especially Crimean Tatars, by russian occupation authorities.


  • Eskender Bariiev, Head of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, Head of the Department for Legal Affairs and Foreign Affairs of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
  • Tetiana Podvorniak, Communication Manager of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center
  • Volodymyr Liashenko, Lawyer of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center