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26May/22

Analysts: Russia Embarrassed by Diplomat’s Resignation But Knows Fear Keeps Others in Check

The resignation this week of veteran Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev over the invasion of Ukraine is an embarrassment for the Kremlin, but fear prevents most Russian officials from voicing dissent, according to analysts. The 41-year-old Bondarev forged a 20-year career in the Russian diplomatic service, including postings in Cambodia and Mongolia. Until this week, he worked at the Russian mission to the United Nations in Geneva, focusing on Moscow’s role in the Conference on Disarmament. Bondarev confirmed his resignation Monday in a letter posted on Facebook and LinkedIn. “For 20 years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns…

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26May/22

Kyiv Mayor: Ukraine is ‘Key for Freedom in the World’ 

Calling Ukraine the “key for freedom in the world,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko urged support Thursday for his country in the face of what he called “this senseless war” with Russia. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Klitschko said Ukraine is a peaceful country that was not aggressive to anyone, and that Ukrainians want to be “part of the European family” with a priority on human rights, press freedom and “democratic standards of life.” He said the Russian government wants to rebuild the Soviet Union and would not stop with a takeover of Ukraine. “We’re defending not…

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26May/22

Latest Developments in Ukraine: May 26

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine. The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT: 12:02 a.m.: Al Jazeera reports that Russia has promised to allow foreign ships to leave ports in the Black Sea. A defense ministry official says 70 foreign vessels from 16 countries are currently in six ports in the Black Sea. Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse. …

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26May/22

Scars of War Seem to be Everywhere in Ukraine After 3 Months

Piano music wafted from an apartment block on a recent spring evening in Kramatorsk, blending with distant artillery fire for a surreal soundtrack to a bomb-scarred neighborhood in the eastern Ukrainian city. Everywhere in Ukraine, the 3-month-old war never seems to be far away. Those in towns and villages near the front lines hide in basements from constant shelling, struggling to survive with no electricity or gas — and often no running water. But even in regions out of the range of the heavy guns, frequent air raid sirens wail as a constant reminder that a Russian missile can strike…

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26May/22

EU Seeks More Clout Against Sanctioned Russian Oligarchs 

The European Union’s executive arm entered sensitive legal territory on Wednesday with a proposal to confiscate the frozen assets of oligarchs who try to violate the bloc’s sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine. The European Commission proposed two EU laws that would require the 27 member states to cede a degree of jealously guarded national sovereignty over criminal matters. One piece of draft legislation seeks new European rules on freezing and confiscating the assets of people blacklisted by the EU. The second legislative proposal aims to expand the list of acts deemed to be “EU crimes” by including breaches of…

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25May/22

New Media Law Casts Shadow Over Azeri Media

Azerbaijan’s journalists are used to working in tense conditions, but a media bill passed into law earlier this year has many of them on edge. Lawmakers have not yet established penalties to accompany the law, but critics say provisions, including a media registry, will make working more difficult, especially for freelance or independent reporters. Journalists in Azerbaijan have always faced obstacles, says Nigar Mubariz, who contributes to several media outlets. But now, she says, they have to be more vigilant. “The places I work for have not censored me even after the law was passed. Unfortunately, we are accustomed to…

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25May/22

Delegations from Sweden, Finland Hold NATO Talks in Turkey

Senior officials from Sweden and Finland held some five hours of talks with Turkish counterparts in Ankara on Wednesday in an effort to overcome Turkey’s strong objections to the Nordic nations’ bids to join NATO.  Sweden and Finland submitted their written applications to join NATO last week. The move represents one of the biggest geopolitical ramifications of Russia’s war in Ukraine and could rewrite Europe’s security map.  Turkey has said it opposes the countries’ membership in the Western military alliance, citing grievances with Sweden’s — and a to a lesser extent Finland’s — perceived support of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party,…

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25May/22

Pope ‘Heartbroken’ by Texas School Shooting, Calls for Gun Control  

Pope Francis on Wednesday said he was “heartbroken” by the shooting at a school in Texas that killed at least 19 children and two teachers, calling for greater controls on weapons. The crowed in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience applauded his appeal, made a day after worst school shooting in the United States in nearly a decade. “I am heartbroken by the massacre at the elementary school in Texas. I pray for the children and the adults who were killed and for their families,” Francis said of the shooting in Uvalde, Texas. “It is time to say…

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25May/22

UK’s Johnson ‘Humbled’ But Wants to Move on From ‘Partygate’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior officials bear responsibility for a culture of rule-breaking that resulted in several parties that breached the U.K.’s COVID-19 lockdown rules, a report into the events said Wednesday. Revelations that Johnson and his staff repeatedly flouted the rules they imposed on others have elicited outrage in Britain and led to calls from opponents for the prime minister to resign. Johnson said he took “full responsibility for everything that took place” but that he would not step down. In her report into the “partygate” scandal, senior civil servant Sue Gray said the “senior leadership…

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25May/22

Google став першою компанією, яку Україна відзначила за вихід із Росії – Федоров

Міністр подякував компанії за закриття російських пропагандистських каналів на YouTube та блокування низки для користувачів із Росії …

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25May/22

Latest Developments in Ukraine: May 25

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine. The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT: 4:30 a.m.: Lithuania’s defense ministry said Wednesday that it will transfer 20 M113 armored personnel carriers, military trucks and de-mining vehicles to Ukraine.       “The coordinated help from us and the allies is the deciding factor for the Ukrainian victory,” Reuters reported, citing defense minister Arvydas Anusauskas’ statement. The vehicles are worth a total of 15.5 million euros, said the ministry. Previously, Lithuania has provided military support to Ukraine worth 100 million euros, the report added.   …

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25May/22

US to End Russia’s Ability to Pay International Investors

The U.S. will close the last avenue for Russia to pay its billions in debt back to international investors on Wednesday, making a Russian default on its debts for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution all but inevitable. The Treasury Department said in a notification that it does not plan to renew the license to allow Russia to keep paying its debtholders through American banks. Since the first rounds of sanctions, the Treasury Department has given banks a license to process any bond payments from Russia. That window expires at midnight May 25. There had already been signs that…

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24May/22

Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Campaigners See No Misuse of Western Military Aid

Prominent Ukrainian anti-corruption campaigners say they have seen no signs that their armed forces are misusing Western military supplies in the three months since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a country long perceived as among the world’s most corrupt. The head of the Ukrainian government’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP), Oleksandr Novikov, told VOA in a May 17 interview that his counterparts at the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), a sister agency, had not opened any new investigations into high level corruption in the Ukrainian military since the full-scale Russian invasion started on February 24. Novikov’s NACP, one…

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24May/22

Hungary’s Government Gets Emergency Powers Due to Ukraine War, PM Orban Says

Hungary’s government will assume emergency powers in order to be able to respond more quickly to challenges created by the war in neighboring Ukraine, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a Facebook video on Tuesday. Orban, who won a fourth consecutive term in an election on April 3, has used the special legal order in the past, once due to Europe’s migration crisis and later during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new state of emergency similarly empowers Orban’s government to approve measures by decree. “The world is on the brink of an economic crisis,” Orban also said in the video, reiterating…

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24May/22

Ukraine Calls for Faster Weapons Deliveries

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Tuesday urged other governments to send more weapons more quickly to aid Ukraine’s fight against Russian forces. “Too early to conclude that Ukraine already has all the arms it needs,” Kuleba tweeted Tuesday. “Russian offensive in the Donbas is a ruthless battle, the largest one on European soil since WWII. I urge partners to speed up deliveries of weapons and ammunition, especially MLRS, long-range artillery, APCs.” Britain’s defense ministry said Tuesday that Russian forces have increased the intensity of their operations in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine as they try to encircle multiple cities,…

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24May/22

Navalny’s Appeal of 9 Year Jail Sentence Denied in Moscow 

A Moscow court has upheld a nine-year prison term for opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who is already behind bars for a previous conviction he and his supporters have called politically motivated. Navalny took part in the Tuesday hearing via a video link from a prison in the Vladimir region. The Kremlin critic used his final statement in court to condemn the Russian authorities for launching the ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and reiterated his previous statements that all of the charges against him are politically motivated. Navalny was handed the sentence on March 22 after the court found him guilty…

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