UNITED KINGDOM AFTER CRUSHING VICTORY

OF THE LABOR PARTY

KEIR STARMER PRIME MINISTER

The new British Prime Minister Keir Starmer announced the composition of his government on Friday after promising to "rebuild" the United Kingdom, a political page of which is turning with the return of Labor to power.

“We will rebuild” the United Kingdom, declared the new 61-year-old leader on the steps of 10 Downing Street, after being charged by King Charles III with forming a government, the composition of which was revealed later. -noon.

Atypical personalities from the field and women in the highest responsibilities, the new team in power, "in the service" of the British, illustrates the change that Keir Starmer wants to embody.

His number 2 in particular, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of housing Angela Rayner, aged 44, from a very disadvantaged background and having left school at 16, stands out in the British political landscape.

Former Bank of England economist Rachel Reeves, popular in business circles, becomes Minister of Finance, the first woman to occupy this position in the country.

Appointed to Foreign Affairs is David Lammy, a descendant of slaves who was able to be very critical in the past of former US President Donald Trump.

Labor, official winner of the elections

The British Labor Party reached the threshold of 326 seats on Friday July 5, 2024, out of a total of 650, which marks it as the official winner of the July 4 general election. This victory ends 14 years of domination by the right-wing Conservative Party. Under the leadership of Rishi Sunak, the Conservatives suffered their worst electoral defeat since the start of the 20th century. The anti-immigration Reform UK party, led by Nigel Farage, outperformed expectations by securing 13 seats in Parliament.

According to BBC projections, Labor is expected to win 410 seats, a figure reminiscent of the 418 seats and majority of 179 seats achieved in 1997 when Tony Blair led the party to victory. The participation rate could be the lowest since 2005, at just 61%.

Conservatives sanctioned

Sunak's Conservatives are expected to win only 144 seats, less than half of the 365 seats obtained in 2019. Indeed, they have been behind in the polls against Labor since 2022.

More than 15 Conservative ministers lost their seats, although the Prime Minister retained his. He acknowledged Labor's victory and congratulated its leader, Keir Starmer, by telephone. Sunak plans to speak later in London, where the Times of London anticipates his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party.

Brexit has left its mark

Brexit has left deep scars in the country, without keeping the promises of its supporters. Rising prices over the past two years have impoverished many families, increasing dependence on food banks. Waiting times for medical appointments in the NHS are months long, and prisons are at risk of running out of places. Brexit has damaged the successive governments of Johnson, Truss, and Sunak.

In 20 months in Downing Street, Sunak has never managed to turn around his popularity. He called these elections in July in a last gamble, but his campaign was disastrous, marked by blunders and a lack of political sense.

Keir Starmer capitalized on his modest origins to differentiate himself from his multimillionaire opponent. Although not very charismatic, he is determined and promises to transform the country as he straightened out Labour, by refocusing economically and fighting against anti-Semitism.

Future British Prime Minister Keir Starmer promised “national renewal” for the United Kingdom in an early morning speech. “Our task is nothing less than to renew the ideas that maintain the unity of our country, a national renewal,” he continued. “I don’t promise it will be easy. »

Just nine years after entering politics and four years after taking over as Labor leader, he will face considerable yearning for change.

The expected outcome is not expected to significantly change relations between Europe and the UK, although Labor has promised
a "common sense" relationship with Europe, involving regulatory alignment and a defense pact potential with the EU, while excluding any European integration.

Reform UK 's resounding entry into Parliament

The anti-immigration party Reform UK made a remarkable entry into Parliament, winning 13 seats, including that of Nigel Farage, elected after seven unsuccessful attempts. Reform UK has often competed with the Tories for votes, but Britain's electoral system makes it difficult to convert votes into seats.

News that he described as “truly extraordinary” for him and his political party. “This is the first step in something that will stun you all,” he added after the announcement of the results in Clacton-on-Sea, the seaside town where he was a candidate.

Before the election was announced, the party had one MP, Lee Anderson from Ashfield, who had left the ruling Conservative Party. Nigel Farage, who, for his eighth candidacy, will now be MP for Clacton, announced that he would “attack the Labor Party”.

At the center of the political spectrum, the Liberal Democrats made a certain comeback, winning 61 seats, a result close to that of 2010 (62 seats), the year during which they formed a coalition government with the Conservatives, broke their election promise not to increase university fees, and were reduced to eight seats.

The Scottish National Party is expected to retain just eight MPs, fewer than in the previous election, partly due to the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon.

The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein gained seven MPs, although it does not traditionally send representatives to the Westminster parliament. Its main ideological opponents, the right-wing Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), obtained four MPs.

In Wales, Plaid Cymru, the party campaigning for Welsh autonomy, doubled its 2019 results, from two to four MPs.

Finally, the Greens gained three MPs, retaining their stronghold of Brighton and gaining seats in Bristol and the east of England.




Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld

TERRORIST ATTACKS ON PLACES OF WORSHIP

IN DAGHESTAN

THE RETURN OF ISLAMIST VIOLENCE

IN THE RUSSIAN CAUCASUS

A week which begins with three days of mourning in Dagestan. In two cities of this republic located in the Russian Caucasus, armed men attacked several places of worship on Sunday June 23, 2024. Orthodox churches and at least one synagogue were notably targeted, some were set on fire.

On Sunday, the day of Pentecost, one of the most important holidays in the Orthodox liturgical calendar, attacks took place on two synagogues and a church in Dagestan, one of the small Muslim-majority republics in Russia's turbulent northern Caucasus. .

Late Sunday afternoon, two groups of armed men simultaneously threw Molotov cocktails at the Orthodox Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin, killing the rector, Father Nikolai Kotelnikov, 66, and the Kele-Numaz synagogue, in the medieval town of Derbent. About half an hour later, another group of attackers opened fire on police officers guarding the Dormition of the Virgin Cathedral in Makhachkala, the regional capital. Around the same time, a Molotov cocktail flew at the city's synagogue, whose doors were spray-painted with surahs from the Koran. Exchanges of fire with the police broke out near places of worship. In total, according to figures confirmed this Monday, 20 people were killed, including at least 15 police officers, and 46 injured.

The authorities speak of “terrorist” acts and a criminal investigation has been opened into this matter. “This is a day of tragedy for Dagestan and for the entire country,” said Sergei Melikov, governor of Dagestan, in a published video early this Monday, June 24 on the messaging application Telegram. Three days of mourning were declared in the region.

Attacks in at least three places of worship

Sunday's attacks targeted "two Orthodox churches, a synagogue and a police checkpoint", according to the Russian Anti-Terrorism Committee, cited by the Ria Novosti agency. Jewish representatives, including the Russian Jewish Congress, added that a second synagogue had also been burned.

The attacks by armed men dressed in black took place in the capital of the Russian republic of Dagestan, Makhachkala, and the coastal town of Derbent. Dagestan is a predominantly Muslim Russian region neighboring Chechnya, also close to Georgia and Azerbaijan. Anti-terrorist operations are regularly announced there by the Russian authorities.

Synagogues in Derbent and Makhachkala were burned, according to the chairman of the public council of Jewish communities of the Russian Federation, Boruch Gorin. Images, reported by Russian media, showed a burning building, presented as a synagogue.

Armed individuals also opened fire on a vehicle carrying police officers, injuring one of them, in Sergokala, a village located between Makhachkala and Derbent, the local Interior Ministry further clarified to Russian agencies.

The motivations for these attacks have not yet been identified

The Russian Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal investigation into “terrorist acts”.

Russia announced, this Monday, June 24, the end of armed clashes in Dagestan, in the Caucasus, where attacks the day before against Orthodox churches and at least one synagogue left twenty dead and 26 injured.

The "anti-terrorist" operation carried out in this unstable region with a Muslim majority and neighboring Chechnya ended Monday morning and five attackers were "liquidated", announced the Russian Anti-Terrorism Committee, which ensures that "their identity has been established ".

However, it was not clear whether other attackers had been able to escape and no information on their motivations was leaked. There is no evidence to determine the motivations or identities of the perpetrators of these attacks, which appear to be coordinated.

This series of attacks comes three months after the attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) on Crocus City Hall, a concert hall in the suburbs of Moscow, which left more than 140 dead and revived the threat of Islamist terrorism in the country.

“Despicable crime”

Dagestan leader Sergei Melikov said Sunday evening that “unknown persons had tried to destabilize society.” “We know who is behind these terrorist attacks and what objective they are pursuing,” he added later, without specifying who was in the sights but referring to the war in Ukraine. “We must understand that war comes to our homes too. We felt it, but today we face it,” he said.

The chief rabbi of Russia, Berl Lazar, denounced a “vile crime”, guided by the desire to “kill as many innocent people as possible”.

Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church and staunch supporter of the Kremlin, assured that the “enemy” sought to destroy “inter-religious peace” in Russia. Its goal is to “plant the seeds of hatred”, he denounced, without naming those responsible.

President Vladimir Putin has still not commented on these attacks, which were not immediately claimed and which took place in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan, and in the coastal town of Derbent.

The Kremlin, however, on Monday brushed aside any idea of ​​a possible return of an Islamist insurgency in the Caucasus, as in the 2000s, in the wake of the second Chechen war.

“Russia has changed, society has consolidated and such terrorist demonstrations are not supported by society,” assured the spokesperson for the Russian presidency, Dmitri Peskov.

The bloody attacks that have hit Russia over the past three months are, however, a consequence of Moscow's obsession with Ukraine, believe several experts who believe that the Russian authorities have come to underestimate the Islamist threat.

An underestimated danger ?

A week earlier, members of the jihadist organization Islamic State (IS) were killed after taking two prison officers hostage in a prison in Rostov-on-Don, in southwest Russia. . Above all, at the end of March, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre committed at Crocus City Hall, a concert hall in the suburbs of Moscow, which left more than 140 dead.

These attacks recall the dark hours of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when armed fighting in the Caucasus and attacks in Moscow increased, after the Islamist radicalization of the Chechen independence movement.

This Islamist insurgency was put down by Russian forces after many years of combat, and Russia was no longer used to this type of attacks.

But this focus on the Islamist danger has gradually given way to the obsession of Vladimir Putin, herald of Russian power, for Ukraine, culminating with the invasion of February 2022. From now on, the army, the police and the security services are dedicated to the fight against “saboteurs”, “terrorists” and “traitors” in the pay of kyiv.

An “explosive situation” throughout the Russian Caucasus.

Russia has been targeted on multiple occasions by jihadist attacks and attacks.

In October 2023, riots hostile to Israel had already broken out at Makhachkala airport.

Last weekend, several ISIS members were killed after taking two corrections officers hostage in a prison. The jihadist organization also threatened Moscow because of its support for the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Russia has established a regime of anti-terrorism operations across Dagestan and "measures are now being taken to neutralize the militants" who fired on a church, a synagogue and a police station, the official Tass news agency reported .

"In order to ensure the safety of citizens, suppress terrorist crimes and arrest those involved in an armed attack, the head of the Russian FSB department for the Republic of Dagestan decided to conduct an anti-terrorist operation and introduce the anti-terrorism legal regime", explained the authorities in a press release.

The Russian region of Dagestan, in the North Caucasus, was at the heart of the investigation by Russian authorities accused of having served as a rear base for terrorists who left more than 140 dead at Crocus City Hall in Moscow last March. The population of Dagestan is predominantly Muslim.

The region has internal borders with Kalmykia (to the north), Chechnya (to the west) and Stavropol Krai (to the northwest) as well as international borders with Georgia (to the southwest) and Azerbaijan (south).

The attacks in Dagestan demonstrate an “explosive situation” throughout the Russian Caucasus. But Moscow “thinks that the source of terrorism is Ukraine and not the terrorists who grew up in Dagestan. […] The danger is to underestimate the hypothesis of an Islamist threat,” underlines Mr. Chvedov.

The attack has not yet been claimed, but recalls the modus operandi of Islamist groups who had already led a deadly insurrection in the Russian Caucasus in the 2000s.

These attacks recall the dark hours of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when armed fighting in the Caucasus and attacks in Moscow increased, after the Islamist radicalization of the Chechen independence movement.

Multiple confrontations with the Islamists

Russia is also paying for its multiple confrontations with Islamists, according to experts

That ISIS struck Russia should not be surprising: the country constitutes “an obvious target for historical and contemporary reasons,” underlines Jérôme Drevon, jihad expert for the conflict resolution organization Crisis Group. The Islamic State group wants to make Russia pay for its role in Afghanistan, Syria and Africa, as well as its links with Iran, while Russian services are obsessed with Ukraine.

“The Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the decade of occupation that followed still arouses fury among many jihadists.”

Moscow then joined the Bashar al-Assad regime in the Syrian civil war against jihadist groups. And in Africa, Russian mercenaries are collaborating with the military in power in Mali against Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Finally, for several years, Moscow has been moving closer to Tehran, whose Shiite Islam is an abomination for Sunni IS. “IS perceives Russia as the vanguard of the Shiite world,” summarizes Colin Clarke, research director at the Soufan Center in New York. “In the list of those they hate the most, the Shiites are above the Americans, Israel and the so-called apostate regimes.” The group claimed responsibility for the January attack in Kerman, Iran, which left 89 people dead.

Added to this is a deeply antagonistic relationship with Russia's Muslim minorities. Two wars in Chechnya in 1994 and 2000 and the Russian intervention against an Islamist insurgency in Dagestan, in the North Caucasus, have left their mark.

But the Russian services are obsessed with Ukraine....



Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld

VLADIMIR PUTIN’S THREATS

TO DELIVERY WEAPONS TO THIRD COUNTRIES

AGAINST WESTERN STRATEGIC INTERESTS

An eye for an eye, a missile for a missile after more than two years of war in Ukraine ?

In his standoff with the West, Vladimir Putin advocates the principle of reciprocity.

If the West authorizes Ukraine to strike Russia with its long-range missiles, the master of the Kremlin assures:

it will deliver weapons to third countries likely to hit Western interests.

A way, according to him, to respond to the authorization of Western countries to use weapons to strike in Russia.

"If someone considers it possible to supply such weapons in the combat zone to strike our territory (...), why should we not have the right to supply our weapons of the same type to regions of the world where there will be hit the sensitive installations of the countries which act in this way against Russia ?”, launched Vladimir Putin.

The latter spoke during an interview with around fifteen press agencies, on the sidelines of the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum.

But what scope do these threats have ?

In addition, Russia is preparing to conduct naval exercises in the Caribbean during the summer.

Coordinated military maneuvers with Cuba and Venezuela, the two Latin American countries which, since 2022, have unequivocally supported the war led by Moscow in Ukraine.

This is not new, as Russia has already participated in naval exercises in the Caribbean in 2008.

And more recently, the Russian fleet has conducted training with Iran and China in the Gulf of Oman.

An opportunity for Moscow to try to convince its allies that despite two years of war in Ukraine, Russia is still capable of projecting its military power anywhere in the world.

Which countries are involved and which weapons ?

Vladimir Putin remained vague, the primary goal remaining "to scare Western leaders and to fuel the speeches of those who want to stop supporting Ukraine militarily", estimates Jeff Hawn.

By remaining as vague as possible, the Russian president allows everyone to interpret his threats in the light of their own fears, particularly those of public opinion in the West.

Russia and the Democratic Republic of Congo also signed a military cooperation agreement in March.

In an unstable regional context, the arrival of new Russian weapons could constitute an additional destabilizing factor.
Other countries to which Russia could provide additional military equipment include Iran and North Korea. However, would these countries be ready to attack Western “strategic interests”?

This remains uncertain. Belarus represents, in this regard, an example of an ally reluctant to engage too far in a war against the West. But would these countries agree to strike Western “strategic interests” ?

Nothing is less sure. Belarus represents, in this regard, a textbook case of an “ally” unwilling to venture too far on the path to war against the West.

Moscow therefore seems to be increasing the threats of extension of the conflict in Ukraine to other horizons and is dangling a risk of proliferation of weapons in the hands of Washington's enemies.

On both sides it is in any case a PR operation and a rhetoric of one-upmanship which does not predict anything good.

Especially since the West and more particularly Europe, unlike Russia, are not in a war economy ! 



Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

NETHERLANDS NEW CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT UNVEILED

A STRICT ANTI-IMMIGRATION PROGRAM

The Netherlands has the most right-wing government in its history. Almost six months after the surprise victory of the far-right PVV party in the legislative elections, its leader Geert Wilders announced that a government agreement had been reached on Wednesday evening and finalized on Thursday May 16, 2024.

Negotiations were long and difficult between the four Dutch right-wing parties forming the new coalition: the PVV (far right) of Wilders, the VVD (center right) of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who left politics to run for office. the post of Secretary General of NATO, the NSC (centrist) and the pro-farmer party BBB.

This political alignment, according to the parties themselves, should bring to the Netherlands, reflecting a clearly conservative orientation and focused on restricting immigration, tax reform and adjusting social policies.

On the menu therefore: “purchasing power”, “security of existence”, “the abandonment of unpopular environmental measures”, and above all “the control of asylum and migration

Restrict immigration

If the name of the future Prime Minister is still not known, the first principle by which the PVV intends to make its mark is to restrict immigration. “Concrete steps will be taken to move towards the strictest rules ever adopted on asylum, and the broadest package of measures ever taken to control migration,” states the agreement.

“We will try to obtain what is called an opt-out [derogation from European rules, editor's note] for asylum, as the Danes did,” clarified Geert Wilders, while recognizing that “this could take years.”

Drastic anti-immigration measures

On the immigration front, drastic measures to reduce the number of migrants entering the country are proposed:

- a temporary law on the asylum crisis which will last a maximum of two years. During this period, the processing of asylum applications will be suspended and the reception of asylum seekers will be “significantly reduced”;

- the indefinite asylum permit will be abolished; - the Netherlands will ask Brussels for a sort of option to withdraw from the existing rules, to define their own asylum policy;

- Ukrainian refugees will have to pay a higher personal contribution;

- employers who hire foreign staff will be responsible for nuisances and costs, for example accommodation, when this staff does not have accommodation;

- there will be a cap on the number of foreign students allowed to come and study in the Netherlands.

Backtracking on Nitrogen

On the economic front, the coalition agreed on the cancellation of a 15% tax on share buybacks which should have come into force next year. The new government also plans to build not two, but four additional nuclear power plants.

On the sensitive subject of nitrogen emissions, which had provoked a revolt among farmers, the rural party BBB obtained a rollback on the measures taken by the previous government. These were to reduce nitrogen pollution, in particular through a drastic reduction in the number of farms.

The new Dutch government is embarking on a period of profound transformation, with policies heralding tough discussions with the European Union, particularly on immigration and the environment.




Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld

ANDREI BELOOUSSOV NEW MINISTER

OF RUSSIAN DEFENSE

FOR A MORE EFFICIENT ARMS INDUSTRY

Sunday May 12, 2024 Vladimir Putin thanked Sergei Shoigu, 68 years old, loyal among the president's loyalists and in command of the army for twelve years. He will now occupy another, equally key function as secretary of the Security Council. He will also serve as Vladimir Putin's deputy on the commission responsible for the military-industrial complex. This comes as the Ministry of Defense is still in shock from the recent arrest (April 23) of Timur Ivanov, Russian Deputy Minister of Defense and therefore deputy to Sergei Shoigu, in charge of military construction projects. For corruption...With this reshuffle. Sergei Shoigu is de facto protected from future investigations and legal proceedings.

Instead of choosing a soldier to head the Ministry of Defense and replace his friend Sergei Shoigu, Vladimir Putin opted for an economist renowned not only for his seriousness and integrity but also for his desire to nationalize the economy: Andreï Belooussov .

At 65 years old, this trained economist certainly has no military background but "on the battlefield today, the winner is the one who is the most open to innovation (...) This is why, at this stage, the president took the decision to entrust the Ministry of Defense to a civilian,” justified Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov, quoted by the Tass agency. According to the latter, the Ministry of Defense must be “totally open” to innovation, “to the introduction of advanced ideas and to the creation of conditions conducive to economic competitiveness”.

A “technocrat” to reform the arms industry

The president thus promoted a man who reinforces the militarization of the economy. The government reshuffle in Moscow has just confirmed the rise of the military-industrial complex. For more than a year, it has been the engine of Russia's growth, the main driver behind the 3.6% increase in GDP last year. Additionally, nearly a third of Russia's federal budget has been allocated to national defense this year, as Russia has massively increased its industrial military production over the past two years, with total defense spending estimated to reach , 7.5% of its GDP.

Known for defending greater government involvement in the economy, according to the American analysis center Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Andreï Belousov has participated in recent years in various innovation and development projects within the Russian defense industry. He organized an order for drones worth 4.4 billion rubles (around 49 million euros), as well as plans to financially support drone producers. In January 2023, he announced that Russia had finalized the "Unmanned Aircraft Systems" project, which provides 696 billion rubles (about 7 billion euros) for the production of 32,000 drones per year until 2030 .

Sacrosanct stability

This former Minister of Economic Development, then advisor to the Kremlin, has, over the years, acquired a special place in the president's inner circle. Until then, he was first deputy prime minister. A position now occupied by Denis Mantourov, the former Minister of Industry and Trade who, in the face of Western sanctions, orchestrated the revival of national industry to replace imports. Above all, he is one of the protégés of Sergei Tchemezov, head of the defense industry conglomerate Rostec. This former KGB officer is a loyal friend of Vladimir Putin.

This slight reshuffle comes at a time when the Russian army is advancing in the Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, a few days after launching a ground assault there, and is increasing its pressure in the Donbass, around Chassiv Iar. Which implies that the other pillars of the “special military operation” are maintained: Valéri Guerassimov, chief of staff; Sergei Naryshkin, head of foreign intelligence; Alexander Bortnikov, head of security services.

Vladimir Putin therefore hopes that Andrei Belousov, renowned for being an "effective technocrat", will resolve the problems of corruption and embezzlement within the army. The Kremlin also aims to rationalize the Russian defense apparatus in view of a protracted war in Ukraine. Decisions on the battlefield will, however, be left to the military.

“It is clear that no one expects direct leadership of the troops from the new minister,” said a columnist for Moskovsky Komsomolets, a Russian tabloid daily. "In Russian politics and power vertical, there is only one truly irreplaceable person. That man is Vladimir Putin himself."




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

WESTERN SOLDIERS IN UKRAINE !

SALVINI TELLS MACRON TO "GET HEALED"

Emmanuel Macron had reiterated the possibility of sending ground troops in the event of a Russian breakthrough.

Matteo Salvini, deputy head of the Italian government, sharply criticized French President Emmanuel Macron, suggesting he should "get treatment" after he again raised the idea of ​​sending Western troops to Ukraine to confront Russia .

Customary of statements going against the grain of the pro-kyiv policy of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the leader of The League was reacting to recent statements by Macron and the former President of the Italian Council Mario Monti, who raised the possibility of send soldiers to Ukraine.

“They need to get treatment,” said Matteo Salvini. “Those who hold this opinion and say it as if it were something normal, and this goes for Macron as well as for Monti, they are dangerous.”

“If they want to fight so much, then let them go to Ukraine, tomorrow, they are waiting for them,” he added.

Already in March, he had accused Emmanuel Macron of “representing a danger for our country and our continent”.

On the other hand, he welcomed the speech of Russian President Vladimir Putin during his inauguration Tuesday in the Kremlin:

“Yesterday, Putin, among other things, invited dialogue and I hope that 2024 will be the year of peace, not soldiers who left to die in Ukraine.”

Matteo Salvini overcame at the beginning of April a motion of no confidence tabled in parliament by the opposition accusing The League of not having cut ties with Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party after the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

A long-time admirer of Vladimir Putin, he signed a five-year agreement with United Russia on March 6, 2017, which was automatically renewed in 2022.

If he condemned the Russian invasion of his neighbor, he also made controversial remarks on the re-election of Vladimir Putin (“When a people votes, they are always right”) or the death in prison of Alexeï Navalny, principal opposing the Russian president, believing that it was up to Russian “doctors and judges” to shed light on the circumstances of his death.

Asked to react to Matteo Salvini's comments, the head of diplomacy Antonio Tajani, also vice-president of the council, simply recalled that Rome had no intention of sending soldiers to Ukraine!

For La République en Marche MEP Sandro Gozi, “Salvini is very worried about his future in government, to the point of seizing every opportunity to become the spokesperson for the Kremlin.”

The dispute between Macron and Salvini illustrates growing tensions within the European Union over how to manage the crisis in Ukraine and deal with Russia.

While Macron is seriously considering sending troops to Ukraine if necessary, Salvini, close to Vladimir Putin, is categorically opposed to it. These divergences reveal the challenges facing the European Union in maintaining a united and coherent position in the context of an international crisis.

Salvini's reaction, calling Macron "dangerous" and suggesting he "seek treatment", raises questions about the very nature of political debate in Europe.

This highlights personal tensions between European leaders and obstacles to cooperation and coordination within the EU.

In conclusion, Emmanuel Macron's controversial statements regarding possible military intervention in Ukraine triggered a strong reaction from Matteo Salvini, highlighting the growing divisions and tensions within the European Union. This verbal escalation highlights the challenges facing the EU in maintaining unity and cohesion in the context of an international crisis




Pamela Newton for DayNewsWorld

UNITED KINGDOM EXPULSION OF 

ILLEGAL MIGRANTS IN RWANDA

After months of legal battle, the British Parliament finally adopted a bill authorizing the return of illegal immigrants to Rwanda. This decision, presented in April 2022 by former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, praised Rwanda for its reception and integration of migrants.

Despite controversies and a temporary suspension by the European Court of Human Rights in June 2022, British MPs have maintained their position. On the night of Monday to Tuesday, they voted in favor of this law allowing London to deport illegal immigrants to Rwanda.

Despite Rishi Sunak's assurance that flights to Rwanda will take place, the application of this law remains uncertain, with the possibility of future interventions from the European Court of Human Rights and the British Supreme Court, which had already deemed the initial project illegal last November.

For years, Kigali has presented itself as a refuge for exiles, notably hosting the resettlement program for refugees from Libya since 2019. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Rwanda hosted approximately 135,000 refugees and asylum seekers in September 2023. However, the UK Parliament's decision to forcibly relocate immigrants thousands of miles from their original destination is widely seen as a political communications strategy.

For London, the objective is to show its firmness in the face of illegal immigration, which has seen an increase of more than 20% since the start of the year, with five people drowning, including a 7-year-old girl, in trying to cross the Channel this Tuesday. However, of the approximately 30,000 people who managed to reach the country in 2023, few would actually be affected by relocation to Rwanda.

In summer 2022, Kigali had promoted its renovated hotels as part of this operation, but a June 2022 Telegraph report revealed that refugees lacked basic resources such as food, housing and healthcare.

Furthermore, rebuilding their lives in a country with almost 20% unemployment promises to be difficult. Especially since London promised 144 million euros to Kigali.




Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld

THE ISLAMIC STATE IN KHORASSAN

A DANGER FOR RUSSIA AND EUROPE

Only a few days after the Moscow drama and a defense council held on Sunday evening for France reverted to the Vigipirate emergency attack plan. This Monday, the President and the Prime Minister increased the number of announcements to justify the measure and ensure their determination in the face of the jihadist threat apparently back in force. Two elements of context allow us to understand this government decision. The arrival of the Olympic Games first poses a significant threat of jihadist attack. The threats made against educational establishments repeatedly over the past week also remind us of this.

The other factor obviously remains the Moscow attack which more broadly reveals the renewed activity of Daesh in Khorasan (EI-K), which could also be described as Daesh in Afghanistan.

The Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K)

EIK operates primarily in the Afghanistan-Pakistan zone, but is present throughout historic “Khorassan” – a region that spans parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan but also Iran and other countries from Central Asia. The Islamic State of Khorasan, “EI-K” is considered the “most bloodthirsty in Afghanistan”, according to a note published in 2021 by the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).

Created in 2015, the EIK aims to establish a “caliphate” – a system of governance subject to the strictest application of sharia and placed under the authority of religious leaders – in this region straddling South Asia and Central Asia.

The EIK shares the ideology of its parent organization, the Islamic State group, which promotes an extreme interpretation of Islam and views secular governments, as well as non-Muslim civilian populations as well as Muslim groups and individuals who do not share its view of Islam as legitimate targets.

Following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, EIK's main objectives have been to challenge the legitimacy of the Taliban currently in power in the war-ravaged country, to assert itself as the legitimate leader of the Muslim community in its area and to appear as the main regional adversary of the existing regimes.

Russia targets EIK

Russia is its main target. “IS-K has been fixated on Russia for two years, frequently criticizing President Vladimir Putin in its propaganda,” Colin P. Clarke, a counterterrorism analyst at the Soufan Group, a security consulting firm based in Washington, told the American media. New York. The terrorist group considers that “the Kremlin has Muslim blood on its hands” since Russian interventions in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Syria.

In September 2022, the terrorist group claimed responsibility for the suicide attack against the Russian embassy in Kabul.

Additionally, Moscow's alliances with regimes opposed to the Islamic State group, including Syria and Iran, have made Russia a major adversary in the eyes of the terrorist organization and its affiliates. In particular, Russia has been a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad since the start of Syria's civil war in 2011, and provides him with military support to enable him to fight various groups seeking to overthrow him, including the Islamic State.

Europe also in the crosshairs

By striking Russian targets, EIK seeks in part to deter Russia from further involvement in the Middle East. But these attacks also bring great publicity to his cause and aim to inspire his supporters around the world.

The Moscow attack, which follows January's attack in Iran, suggests that ISIS is intensifying its efforts to export its ideological struggle directly to the territories of sovereign nations. It is a carefully calculated strategy that is likely to strike fear into many capitals with “new planned actions” from Russia to Europe.

The threat from ISIS to Europe is real. Jihadist groups have recomposed in Afghanistan, some linked to the caliphate in Syria or Iraq which fell in 2020, and bring together several jihadist tendencies which, historically, have always sought to destabilize Central Asia and Europe. There we find in particular Tajik groups which have been very active in recent years, planning attacks on the continent thanks to close Chechen or Ingush networks.

Just last Tuesday in Germany, two Afghan jihadists were arrested on suspicion of planning an attack on the Swedish Parliament. One of them is believed to be a member of EI-K. The group is therefore no less in the sights of Western authorities.

According to the specialist Hugo Micheron: "European jihadism has been structured for around 30 years. [...] and if we want to understand, schematically, the way in which the development of jihadism worked, we must take an interest in a movement that would be pendulum, like that of the tides, with periods of low tide, periods of ideological recomposition, and periods of high tide […].

The last, being the period of attacks between 2014 and 2018, roughly, when Daesh was very structured and organized in Syria and Iraq, and had logistical capabilities to project terrorist networks towards Europe.

The next one seems to be coming...




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

ISLAMIST ATTACK IN MOSCOW

139 DEAD AND THE "EI.K"

Russia is counting its dead. Around 8 p.m. on Friday evening, a shooting took place in a concert hall in the suburbs of Moscow. The attack, which left 115 dead at this point, was directly claimed by the Afghan branch of the Islamic State.

This Saturday morning, the Kremlin announced that it had arrested 4 alleged attackers, whom they accuse of being “in contact with Ukraine”. Ukraine has again denied being linked to the attack which left 115 dead in Moscow. The death toll from the attack claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) against a concert hall in the suburbs of Moscow on Friday rose to 115 dead and is expected to "rise further", the Russian Investigative Committee announced on Saturday. .

Investigators previously said the suspected perpetrators used "a flammable liquid" to set the concert hall on fire. Investigators say they seized “automatic weapons” during this assault.

The Islamic State of Khorasan ?

It is not yet known whether the perpetrators belong to the terrorist group of the Islamic State of Khorasan, “EI-K”, considered the “most bloodthirsty in Afghanistan”, according to a note published in 2021 by the French Institute of Relations. International (IFRI). Khorasan means “where the sun comes from” in Persian. This is the medieval name for Afghanistan, which at the time included parts of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Russia is its main target. “IS-K has been fixated on Russia for two years, frequently criticizing President Vladimir Putin in its propaganda,” Colin P. Clarke, a counterterrorism analyst at the Soufan Group, a security consulting firm based in Washington, told the American media. New York. The terrorist group considers that “the Kremlin has Muslim blood on its hands” since Russian interventions in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Syria.

In September 2022, the terrorist group claimed responsibility for the suicide attack against the Russian embassy in Kabul. They are also behind an attack which left 84 dead in Iran last January.

Last Tuesday in Germany, two suspected Afghan jihadists were arrested on suspicion of planning an attack on the Swedish Parliament. One of them is believed to be a member of EI-K. The group is therefore no less in the sights of Western authorities. The United States had also warned Russia of a possible attack.

The Kremlin, for its part, announced the arrest of eleven people, including the “four” attackers. “The director of the FSB, Mr. (Alexander) Bortnikov, informed Mr. Putin of the arrest of 11 people, including the four terrorists directly involved in the attack,” the presidency told Russian news agencies.

Furthermore, according to Russian media and MP Alexandre Khinstein, some of the arrested suspects are from Tajikistan. The authorities of this Central Asian country said they had “not received confirmation from the Russian authorities regarding the false information currently circulating on the involvement of Tajik citizens.”

On a day of national mourning,

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Sunday March 24 would be a day of national mourning, in a television speech broadcast the day after the attack, which he described as a "bloody and barbaric terrorist act." which left 115 dead near Moscow, “peaceful and innocent people, (…) including children, adolescents, women”. “I express my most sincere and deep condolences to those who lost their loved ones,” he said.

The Russian leader had not yet spoken publicly about the terrorist attack against the Crocus City Hall – a huge concert hall located in Krasnogorsk, a suburb near Moscow –, the deadliest in the country in twenty years.




Jaimie Potts for DayNewsWorld

HOW TO FINANCE AN INDUSTRY

OF EUROPEAN DEFENSE ?

Top European officials, meeting in Brussels on Thursday March 21, 2024 at a European Council, will discuss ways to finance the European defense industry to meet Ukraine's needs and strengthen the strategic autonomy of the continent. Theidea, according to the President of the European Council Charles Michel, is to put the European economy " on a war footing ".

Find 100 billion euros

The heads of state and government meeting on Thursday for the first day of their summit are unanimous on the principle: additional resources must be allocated to the defense industry. The European Defense Industry Program (EDIP) is seen as an appropriate starting point in this regard.

However, current EDIP funding is estimated at only €1.5 billion, which some consider insufficient. According to the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, as well as Estonia, the European Union would need around 100 billion euros to have a significant impact. Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, known for his budgetary orthodoxy, stressed the need to finance defense to strengthen European industry and support Ukraine.

Discussions focus on finding new sources of financing outside the EU budget, with the exploration of innovative solutions, such as a European loan on financial markets, encouraging large banks to finance defense production, or even the use of Russian assets frozen in Europe. The European Investment Bank's (EIB) increased involvement in the defense sector is also gaining popularity.

What sources of financing ?

Currently, the Bank can only finance dual-use equipment and products — applicable to both civilian and military sectors — for which the majority of revenue comes from the civilian sector and not the military sector. And while 14 leaders have called for the Bank to go beyond its current mandate, not all EU member states share this view. The European Investment Bank could expand its defense lending criteria EIB could start easing its lending criteria as early as Thursday, if it receives the final green light from all 27 member states to unlock more direct investment in defense.

Some member states are considering using profits from frozen Russian assets to support Ukrainian defense, in line with the EDIP program, and possibly to provide direct military assistance to Ukraine, as proposed by the European Commission. At the start of the war, the EU blocked around 210 billion euros in assets of the Russian Central Bank. The interest on these products would make it possible to provide financial aid to Ukraine of 3 billion euros per year.
The idea of ​​issuing Eurobonds for joint financing faces resistance, notably from fiscally cautious member states such as Germany, Denmark, Sweden and others. They highlight legal uncertainties and prefer to exploit already existing financial instruments, such as the EIB or the EU budget.

The Finnish Prime Minister was therefore quite cautious: “We have to find ways to use the instruments we already have, such as the EIB or the EU budget,” declared Mr Orpo, after stated that “we have not yet decided on the use of Eurobonds”.

Discussions on security financing encompass not only defense but also other aspects of the continent's security, with a desire to strengthen crisis preparedness and response at EU level.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

PRESIDENTIAL VLADIMIR PUTIN PLEBISCENT 

FOR A FIFTH MANDATE

Vladimir Putin, the master of the Kremlin, in power for almost a quarter of a century, was re-elected in the presidential election on Sunday with more than 87% of the vote. Results worthy of a plebiscite.

A record for someone who had always received between 64 and 68% of the votes in previous elections.

The Russian authorities left no room for opponents of power: the three other candidates selected were all in line with the Kremlin, whether it was Ukraine or the repression which culminated in the death of Alexei Navalny in an Arctic prison in February.

Beforehand, the authorities had insisted that the Russian people must be "united" behind their leader, presenting the Ukrainian conflict as hatched by the West to destroy Russia. The assault on Ukraine, launched by the master of the Kremlin in February 2022, was the backdrop to the vote, especially as attacks on Russian territory have increased this week.

Addressing Russians at the end of the evening, Vladimir Putin thanked those who went to vote and who helped create the conditions for “internal political consolidation”. “I would like to thank you all, as well as all the citizens of the country, for your support and your trust,” he told his campaign team, before promising that Russia will stand up to all its adversaries.

"It doesn't matter who wants to intimidate us or how much, it doesn't matter who wants to crush us or how much, our will or our conscience. No one has ever succeeded in doing anything like this in history. This has not worked today and will not work in the future,” said the 71-year-old president.

Enough, according to Vladimir Putin, to create the conditions for “internal political consolidation”, two years after the start of the assault against Ukraine and the adoption of unprecedented sanctions by the West.

In his speech, Vladimir Putin, who will be able to run again after this new mandate to potentially remain in power until 2036, returned to the war in Ukraine by saluting the fighting soldiers who “risk their lives” to “protect historic territories of Russia.” He estimated that the Russian forces, on the offensive since the capture of Avdiivka in mid-February against a Ukrainian army lacking men and ammunition, had “completely the initiative” on the front.

The head of the Kremlin also attacked NATO and more specifically France in a press conference following the election, raising the possibility of a widening of the war. “It is clear to everyone that this conflict between Russia and NATO will be only a step towards a full-scale third world war. I don’t think this interests anyone,” he said, declaring that “NATO soldiers are present in Ukraine, we know it (…) they are being killed and in large numbers”.

After declarations by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, opening the way to the possible sending of troops to Ukraine, Vladimir Putin sent a message to France “which only aggravates the conflict”.

He hopes "that she would rather do something to find peaceful solutions. France could play this role, all is not yet lost".




Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld

PORTUGAL A DARK BREAKTHROUGH

FROM THE EXTREME RIGHT

Early legislative elections recently took place in Portugal which saw Chega! (“Enough!”, CH)considerably improve its results by obtaining no less than 18.06% of the votes, which quadrupled the number of its deputies in Parliament, going from 12 to 48. Since March 10, 2024 CH therefore represents the third political force in Portugal, positioning itself behind the two main parties of center right (79 seats) and center left (77).

Since its founding on April 19, 2019, the Chega! continues to progress: it obtained its first seat in Parliament with its leader André Ventura during the legislative elections of October 2019; then 2 seats in the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores in October 2020; and finally, 12 seats in the national Parliament in the 2022 legislative elections, with nearly 7.38% of the votes.

An uninhibited Salazarism ?

André Ventura presented his political party in 2019 as a group of ordinary people, not an elite, individuals who suffer the consequences of the current system. He affirms that Chega's objective is not to restore Salazarism, but rather to be part of the right-wing populist trend which, for several years, has benefited many political groups in Europe. About Salazar, he said: “For the most part, Salazar has not solved the country's problems and has caused us to fall far behind in many respects. It did not allow us to have the development that we could have had, especially after the Second World War. » He adds: “You don't need a Salazar on every street corner, you need an André Ventura on every street corner. »

And yet there is a certain similarity between André Ventura (born in 1983) and António de Oliveira Salazar (1889-1975), who ruled Portugal with an iron fist from 1932 to 1968. In a worldview formulated in the slogan “God, homeland, family”, Ventura adds the word “work”.
In addition, Ventura seeks to seduce part of the electorate nostalgic for the new state. Whenever he can, he presents April 25, 1974, the day of the Carnation Revolution whose fiftieth anniversary is approaching, as the origin of the problems of Portuguese society.

During one of his speeches to Parliament in 2022, he defended the security forces, whom he considered discredited and silenced since that date, and described them as “heroes”. He also presents himself as a defender of the people, wishing to restore their “dignity”; In particular, he plans to highlight national workers and encourage the return of young expatriates.

Some analysts point out that although Ventura is not strictly "Salazarist", he does not hesitate to invoke the principles of Salazarism. Indeed, he adopts the ideological foundations of the new State: highlighting the family as the basis of society and publicly displaying his Catholic faith from 2020 - another key aspect of Salazarism - by showing himself at church alongside his wife Dina.
After his rise in Portugal, are European ambitions emerging for Chega ?

European ambitions

The Chega party embraces the themes of immigration and insecurity, central subjects in the programs of several of its European allies. From 2020, the Portuguese party joined the Identity and Democracy (ID) group in the European Parliament, which includes the Italian Lega, the French National Rally and the German AfD. Chega aspires to play the role of a “bridge” for the union of the rights, aiming in the long term to bring together all patriots within the same group.
Ventura focuses his criticism on Muslim immigration and what he calls "gender ideology", although he adapts them to the Portuguese situation. Portugal has recently experienced strong immigration (121,000 immigrants in 2022, 118,000 in 2023); a third of new arrivals come from Brazil but most of the others arrive from other countries outside the EU, notably India.

Ventura positioned himself in favor of stricter immigration control, proposing to create an offense of "illegal stay on Portuguese soil" and to impose annual quotas on the entry of foreigners based on their qualifications. and the needs of the Portuguese market.

It remains to be seen whether the leader of the right, Luis Montenegro, who won the legislative elections, will have to work with Chega to govern.




Larry Ricky for DayNewsWorld

THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

THE WAR IN UKRAINE IS SILENCED

February 26 , 2024 marked the start of the first official debate of the Russian presidential campaign, broadcast on state television. A crucial date, when outgoing President Vladimir Putin, candidate for re-election, had announced, true to his habits during previous elections, that he would stand on the sidelines of the debates.

This 2024 electoral campaign is taking place in an unprecedented context: Russia has been immersed in a high-intensity war against Ukraine for two years; the Russian economy is suffering under the weight of heavy sanctions imposed by Western nations; several hundred thousand Russian citizens have fled the country; and the front swallowed up the lives of at least 75,000 Russian soldiers.

Faced with such circumstances, it would have been natural to expect the theme of war to dominate discussions during the electoral campaign. If one of the debates was actually devoted to this "special military operation", allowing the three candidates to present their vision of this crisis, with on the one hand an attachment to a total victory for the communist candidates (Nikolaï Kharitonov ) and nationalist (Leonid Sloutski), and on the other a desire to launch negotiations for the candidate presenting himself as liberal (Vladislav Davankov), the contours and conditions of these negotiations remained unclear.

The debates took an unexpected tangent, focusing on a range of diverse subjects: education, culture, economy, agriculture, demography, housing... The candidates themselves were not always present in person, being represented by members of their political party.

Soldiers' mothers and criticism of war

On the other side of the media prism, the war takes on a completely different reality. Within the Telegram channel "Le Chemin du Retour", bringing together members of the families of mobilized combatants and counting more than 70,000 subscribers, the second anniversary of the war is not an occasion for self-congratulations, but rather a commemoration day.

“It has already been two years since this special military operation mercilessly tears our hearts. It destroys our families, produces widows, orphans, and leaves our elders in isolation,” we can read in the poignant lines.

"Two years ago, all of Russia descended into chaos and horror. No more hope for a peaceful future. [...] We were all plunged into hell. Our families were the first to be crushed by the state machine, and your own families and friends risk suffering the same fate after our annihilation."

It was between September and October 2022, during the outbreak of the military mobilization which forced the Russian state to forcibly enlist and send to the Ukrainian front nearly 300,000 civilians, often poorly prepared for combat, that the first collectives of families of soldiers were born. Gathering in front of local administrations and sharing videos online, these women were not opposed to the principle of mobilization, but strongly criticized its chaotic implementation.

The central authorities then ordered local authorities to take into account the requests of these families and to endeavor to resolve the problems they raised. After several months of silence, the movement has regained vigor as the first anniversary of the mobilization approaches, at the end of summer 2023.

This inaugural anniversary was not only a symbolic moment: it also carried an expectation of demobilization.
Initially loyal and in favor of a new wave of mobilization to replace the first, the Telegram channel “Le Chemin du Retour” gradually evolved towards radicalization in the face of the refusal of the authorities to listen to calls for demobilization.

As the presidential campaign approaches, activists from women's groups have tried to contact candidates to share their demands. Only Boris Nadezhdine, opposed to the war, had given them a favorable reception, but was quickly prevented from appearing. During the televised debate on the "special military operation", candidate Davankov mentioned the families' wish to see an end to the war, without going any further. As for Vladimir Putin, he did not address the subject during his annual speech to the nation: the demobilization of fighters was not really on the agenda of this campaign.

This mobilization of mobilized women inevitably recalls the movements of the mothers of soldiers, born at the end of the war in Afghanistan: they were active and influential opponents of the two wars led by the Russian state in Chechnya, in 1994-1996 then in 1999-2004. Outside of periods of conflict, they have also saved thousands of conscripts from mistreatment, violence and mortal danger within the Russian army.

Soldiers' Mothers were one of the most powerful social movements in Russia in the 1990s and 2000s.

Are the wives of those mobilized taking up their torch, and can they influence the perception of the war in Russian society ?

The
impossible public denunciation of the war

If the first years following the fall of the Soviet Union were marked by the emergence of the Soldiers' Mothers movements, a period of chaos and poverty, they were also distinguished by political pluralism and true freedom of expression. . Activists did not fear reprisals for expressing their opposition, and their demands were widely publicized by the media and supported by political actors.
However, few of these characteristic elements are found in the Russia of 2024. Although the movements of soldiers' mothers still exist, their leaders can no longer openly criticize the war. Any form of criticism is severely reprimanded. As the media space is strictly controlled, activists struggle to be heard outside of social networks.
The room for maneuver in discussions with military authorities is also very limited, because the army's action is itself restricted by the repressive context and the voracious demands of a resource-expensive war.

In addition, promises of financial support to fighters and their families paradoxically hinder the mobilized women's movement.

The attention of power

The dilemma proves just as thorny for the Russian authorities, which hesitate to adopt open repression against the women of those mobilized. The fighters on the front represent not only one of the pillars of the heroic narrative of the war, but also a sensitive and potentially dangerous group.
Just as the Kremlin has so far avoided sending conscripts aged 18 into combat to avoid provoking the anger of soldiers' mothers, it is currently sparing the wives of those mobilized.

It is imperative that the war narrative remains unchanged during the presidential campaign.




Jaimie Potts for DayNewsWorld

WAR IN UKRAINE

LEAK FROM A SECRET CONVERSATION

BETWEEN GERMAN OFFICERS

On Saturday March 2, 2024, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany was investigating the leak of an audio recording from a discussion between army officers about the war in Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was in Rome on Saturday, called the matter "very serious" and said German authorities were working to clarify the matter "very carefully, very intensively and very quickly." His comments were picked up by German news agency DPA. The German army, for its part, announces suspicions of illegal listening to exchanges with very embarrassing content, broadcast on social networks in Russia. The Wall Street Journal recently had access to this recording.

In the 38-minute recording, German military officers appear to discuss how long-range Taurus cruise missiles could be used by Ukraine. A debate is taking place in Germany over whether to provide the missiles, as Ukraine faces battlefield setbacks after two years of war and U.S. military aid is blocked in Congress.

A delivery much requested by Ukraine, but refused until now, to avoid an escalation of the conflict. According to the audio recording, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius plans to study the issue carefully.

The destruction of the Kerch bridge as a goal

According to the American media, the real question surrounding these missiles concerns the destruction of the Kerch bridge, which separates Ukraine from Crimea, an objective that kyiv is struggling to achieve. Reports indicate that a dozen Taurus missiles could be enough to destroy this structure. With 500 operational missiles available, Germany plans to provide around a hundred to Ukraine.

Limits set by the German government

“However, this will not fundamentally change the course of the war, we must be frank about this,” General Gerhartz explains in leaked audio. Even if these missiles were delivered, they would not be ready for use for eight months. According to him, the destruction of this bridge is of strategic importance, but Ukraine does not have the necessary capabilities to launch a ground offensive or to maintain its positions.
General Gerhartz also deplores the extravagant rumors circulating about these missiles, denouncing the spread of “nonsense”.
The officers further believe that this would constitute an excess of the limits set by the German government. “Any missile launched must be used without direct involvement of the Berlin armed forces,” explains General Gerhartz. He said U.S. military personnel in Ukraine could help train local troops to use the Taurus.

"There are a lot of people speaking with an American accent who travel in civilian clothes in Ukraine", he quips.




Emily Jackson for DayNewsWorld

MACRON DISAVOIZED BY HIS NATO ALLIES

ON THE SENDING OF WESTERN TROOPS IN UKRAINE

What does Emmanuel Macron really want ?

Dragging France, and with it the Atlantic Alliance, into a military, and therefore potentially nuclear, escalation with Russia ?

The declarations of the President of the Republic on the occasion of the impromptu summit on Ukraine on February 27, 2023 in Paris were enough to surprise him who, from now on, does not rule out sending ground troops to Ukraine.

Publicity stunt, amateurism some would say...

Emmanuel Macron surprised, shocked and worried by evoking the possibility of sending "ground troops" to help Ukraine face Russia. The spokesperson for the Russian embassy in France, Alexander Makogonov, estimated that sending Western troops will be the red line because it can trigger the Third World War, and it will be the war between the nuclear powers.

The reaction of the German government was not long in coming. Its representatives, like those of most other European countries, have denied that a sending of troops is on the agenda. And the vice-chancellor, the Green Robert Habeck, counterattacked by ordering France to increase its aid to Ukraine to match what Germany has been doing since the start of the conflict.

The Europeans let Jo Biden take leadership with NATO of Ukrainian policy. Washington also firmly dismissed on Tuesday a hypothesis raised the day before by Emmanuel Macron. The United States has in fact ruled out any idea of ​​sending troops to Ukraine.

“Joe Biden has been clear that the United States will not send troops to fight in Ukraine,” said Adrienne Watson, deputy spokesperson for the National Security Council (NSC). The American president believes that “the path to victory” will go through military aid currently blocked by Congress, she added.

Did Emmanuel Macron want to break a taboo, which since the start of the Russian offensive has meant that weapons can be supplied to Ukraine, but that they can only be used to defend itself on his territory ?

The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, is still opposed to the delivery of long-range Taurus ballistic missiles to the Ukrainian army, the equivalent of Franco-British scalps, so as not to risk being directly involved in the conflict if the Ukrainians used them against targets in Russia.

Or perhaps driven by a feeling of frustration in the face of the Europeans' inability to provide sufficient weapons to the Ukrainians and the blocking in Congress of American aid promised by President Biden, could the French President's words have gone beyond his thoughts ? 

Difficult to follow...

Macron excels in inappropriate formulas in the context of relations between European states. Who does not remember his proposal to use the international coalition against Daesh, the Islamic State, against Hamas in Gaza ?

A strategic question

But this time he had to send his Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu manu militari, on a mine-clearing operation

Tuesday, during a hearing by the Defense and Armed Forces Committee of the National Assembly, Sébastien Lecornu provided clarification on this proposal from the Head of State.

Recalling that "we are not at war with the Russian people or the Russian Federation", he rejected France's intention to deploy ground combat units. Rather, they would be advisors, deminers, trainers, cyber experts or technicians specializing in the maintenance of military equipment.

"A certain number of countries (...) have put a certain number of ideas on the table, in particular, around demining and around training - not training on Polish territory as we do today, but on training on Ukrainian territory behind the lines", explains Sébastien Lecornu.

“By making this proposal, Emmanuel Macron raises a strategic question noted Sébastien Lecornu.

"How can we do better and differently [to help Ukraine] and ensure that Russia does not win?".




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

EU RUSSIAN DIAMONDS BECOME

"BLOOD DIAMONDS"

The diamond market made in Russia generates no less than 4.5 billion dollars in revenue per year.

However, the EU has added the world's largest diamond producer, Alrosa, to its blacklist of personalities subject to personal sanctions (freezing of assets and ban on stay in the European Union).

Pavel Alekseevich Marinychev, the boss, produces 90% of Russian diamonds. Anton Siluanov, Russia's finance minister, chairs Alrosa's supervisory board.

The state-owned company also finances a military submarine that bears its name in the Black Sea.

By sanctioning the world's largest diamond mining company, the European Council hopes to put a dent in war finances.

“The company constitutes an important part of an economic sector which provides substantial income to the government of the Russian Federation,” the Council said in a press release.

But this decision could be a sword in the water to the extent that Russia can still count on Asian customers who are very demanding of Russian stones and that most Russian diamonds are cut and polished in India and therefore considered as Indians.

It is clear that the Kimberley system, established in 2003 by the UN to eliminate the trade in "blood diamonds" mined in war zones, is more easily applicable to rebel groups who finance themselves through this industry. than to governments.




Kate White for DayNewsWorld

EUROPE IN SEARCH OF SHELLS

FOR THE WAR IN UKRAINE

As Ukrainian forces withdrew from the strategic town of Avdiivka in the east of the country over the weekend, Ukraine is critically short of artillery ammunition to repel Russian forces. 

The European Union recently admitted that it would not be able to provide Ukraine with the million artillery shells it had promised by March. Around 524,000 shells will be delivered to Ukraine on schedule, representing around 52% of the target, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters last month.

Other strategies are being put in place.

Denmark will send its entire ammunition stock to kyiv, announced Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, becoming the first country to do so and calling on other European nations to do more to help Ukraine.

According to the Danish Prime Minister, European leaders often cite production problems as obstacles to increasing supplies.

“It is not just a question of production, because we have weapons, ammunition, air defense systems that we do not need to use ourselves at the moment and which must be supplied to Ukraine,” she argued.

“They [the Ukrainians] are asking us for ammunition now. Artillery now. As for Denmark, we have decided to donate our entire artillery,” Frederiksen said on Sunday (18 February) at the Munich Security Conference.

“I am sorry to tell you, dear friends, that there is still military equipment in stock in Europe,” she said. Copenhagen has so far promised military aid of 8.4 billion euros.

Buy ammunition outside the EU

The Czech Defense Ministry, for its part, has identified 800,000 units of available ammunition which could be delivered to Ukraine in the coming weeks, Czech President Petr Pavel announced on Saturday (February 17).

The Czech Republic is therefore studying the possibility of purchasing ammunition outside the EU.

“Our Ministry of Defense and our companies active in the defense sector have, through their contacts, an overview of where equipment and ammunition are available,” Mr. Pavel said during the a press conference in Munich after attending a security press conference.

According to Pavel, Czech authorities have identified a significant quantity of 155mm artillery shells, which meet NATO standards, and 122mm shells, often used in the former Soviet Union.

“As far as I know, our companies have identified, in various locations around the world, up to 500,000 155mm NATO shells and up to 300,000 122mm shells,” Mr. Pavel said.

“In cooperation with our partners, mainly Denmark, the Netherlands and Canada, we are bringing together the necessary financial resources to cover the transaction. Then we will transport the equipment and ammunition to Ukraine using our own resources,” he added.

This information was later confirmed by who added that the Czech Republic could ensure the delivery of ammunition to Ukraine if financing was ensured. The minister said the issue had already been discussed at the meeting of NATO defense ministers held last week.


Mr. Pavel and Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová, however, refused to reveal from which countries the munitions could be purchased in bulk.



Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

UKRAINE 

"QUESTION OF LIFE OR DEATH" ACCORDING TO PUTIN


The Russian president assured that "what is happening" in Ukraine is a "question of life and death" for Russia, while for the West it is only a question of "improving (its) position tactics", in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

Vladimir Putin said it was "important" for Russians and foreigners alike "to understand our state of mind, to understand how sensitive and important what is happening around Ukraine is for our country."

"For (the West), it is an improvement in their tactical position. But for us, it is our destiny, it is a question of life and death," he said during from an interview with journalist Pavel Zaroubine, published on social networks. .

In addition, on Saturday evening, Russia claimed "total control" of Avdiivka, in eastern Ukraine, after Kiev withdrew due to lack of sufficient military resources.

The White House has also established a link between this symbolic success conceded to Russia by the Ukrainians and the blocking - by the Republicans - of additional military aid to kyiv by the American Congress. “I spoke to Zelensky this afternoon to let him know that I was confident that we are going to have this money,” however, the President of the United States, Joe Bien, wanted to reassure on Saturday evening.


"I will fight so that they (the Ukrainians) have the ammunition they need," he assured.



Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld

DEATH OF RUSSIAN OPPONENT IN PRISON

ALEXEI NAVALNY

This Friday, February 16 2024, Russian media announced the death of Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny, which occurred in the prison where he was serving a 19-year sentence.

“On February 16, 2024, in penitentiary center No. 3, prisoner Navalny AA felt unwell after a walk and almost immediately lost consciousness,” said the penitentiary services (FSIN) of the Arctic region of Iamal in a press release "All the necessary resuscitation measures were carried out but did not give a positive result. The emergency doctors noted the death of the patient. The causes of death are being established", added the FSIN in this terse press release. The Russian president would have been informed of his death, according to his spokesperson Dmitri Peskov.

Alexei Navalny, 47, was serving a 19-year prison sentence for "extremism" in a remote Arctic penal colony, where conditions were notoriously harsh. His ordeal began after being poisoned in January 2021 upon his return to Russia from convalescence in Germany, an act he attributed to the Kremlin. The multiple trials he faced were widely seen as politically motivated.

During his various video appearances during his trials in recent months, Navalny appeared weakened and aged. His health had been seriously affected by a hunger strike and the poisoning which he miraculously survived in 2020.

The remote Arctic colony nicknamed "Polar Wolf" where he was recently transferred, is an establishment inherited from the Soviet gulag. The detainees work there in particular on tanning and sewing reindeer skins, used by the local indigenous populations.
Ivan Zhdanov, one of his close collaborators, accused the Russian authorities of seeking to isolate him in the run-up to the presidential election. According to him, Navalny was detained in one of the northernmost and isolated colonies in Russia under particularly difficult conditions.
Alexeï Navalny's movement had been systematically repressed by the government in recent years, leading to the exile or detention of his collaborators and allies.


On February 1, in a message broadcast by his team on social networks, Alexeï Navalny called for demonstrations across Russia during the presidential election scheduled for March 15 to 17. A re-election of the Russian president which seems assured in the current context.

Many Russian opponents, including Yulia Navalnaïa, the wife of Alexei Navalny, have directly accused the Kremlin. The United States, through its vice-president, Kamala Harris, denounced “a new sign of brutality” from Moscow.


“In today's Russia, we put free spirits in the gulag,” said the French head of state, after the announcement of the death of Vladimir Putin's main political adversary.



Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld

A SITUATION IN UKRAINE

EXTREMELY COMPLEX AND TENSE

ACCORDING TO HIS COMMANDER IN CHIEF

The Ukrainian army has a new commander-in-chief. The most experienced general in Ukraine" according to Volodymyr Zelensky or a blow in the water in the eyes of Moscow, the appointment of Oleksandr Syrsky, former head of the land army, to the post of commander-in-chief of the forces Ukrainians, should bring change and action in a conflict that is getting bogged down. At least that's what the Ukrainian president hopes. According to several senior sources, President Zelensky was starting to get impatient with the lack of progress on the front.

The new leader of the Ukrainian army already has some great exploits under his belt: the defense of kyiv at the start of the Russian invasion almost two years ago, and the counter-offensive in the fall of 2022 which had liberated the Kharkiv region. And yet even greater challenges await him as he himself testified this Wednesday, February 14, 2024, after traveling to the hottest areas of the Eastern Front with the Minister of Defense, Roustem Oumerov: the situation on the terrain “extremely complex and tense”.

The Russian occupiers continue to increase their efforts and outnumber the Ukrainian forces, Oleksandr Syrsky said on Telegram, as Ukraine struggles to replenish the ranks of its army. The army has lost, according to American estimates, 70,000 men killed and 120,000 injured in two years. Valery Zalouzhny had asked the government to mobilize 500,000 people, but the decision was considered too unpopular by Ukrainian leaders. A bill aimed at broadening mobilization, the subject of much criticism, is currently being examined in Parliament.

In addition, the American military aid that the country needs to face the Russians remains blocked. “We are doing everything possible to prevent the enemy from advancing on our territory and to hold our positions,” underlined the new commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armies. A titanic task, the front line being approximately 1,000 kilometers long and permanently under Russian fire, particularly in the East, at Avdiïvka and Koupiansk.

Finally, control of the sky is another challenge, as complex as it is vital for the continuation of the conflict.

“Only change and continuous improvement of the means and methods of warfare will allow us to succeed,” General Syrsky said on Telegram in his first public speech as commander-in-chief.

A challenge that Oleksandre Syrsky will have to take on for the victory of his country.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

RUSSIA THE CANDIDATURE OF BORIS NADEJDINE

IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION REJECTED

Boris Nadezhdine, anti-war candidate and opponent of Vladimir Putin, announced Thursday that he is not authorized by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) to be a candidate in the presidential election next March in Russia and that he would contest this decision before the courts He had to rely on the signatures of 100,000 citizens to see his application validated, but the Commission rejected enough of the 105,000 submitted, under various pretexts ranging from the poorly completed form to errors in the addresses of the signatories.

According to Tass, the regime's official news agency, the Electoral Commission rejected nearly 10,000 sponsorships. Thus, it considers "as authentic 95,587 signatures out of nearly 105,000 in favor of the candidate of the Civil Initiative party, Boris Nadejdine". “This does not allow him to be registered as a candidate,” adds Tass, which recalls that the limit is 5% of rejected sponsorships.

Earlier, the Central Election Commission (CEC) had already rejected the candidacy of the leader of the Communists of Russia, Sergei Malinkovich, "due to the high percentage of defects in the signatures of voters that he collected for his support."

Few political analysts will believe that these decisions were made without instructions from the Kremlin.

Born in 1963, Boris Nadejdine is a physicist by training and began to take an interest in the problems of his country at the age of 17, before launching into politics. Unknown to the general public, the candidate is nevertheless well established. He began his career in the municipal council of Dolgoprudny, an oblast of the city of Moscow, in 1990. After an initial failure to be elected to the Duma - the Russian Federal Assembly - he became an advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov - assassinated in 2015 - before finally obtaining a seat in the Duma in 1999. He joined the Union of Right Forces group there.

Opposition program

It is through his position on the war in Ukraine that Boris Nadejdine stands out. Firmly opposed to the “special military operation” launched by Vladimir Putin in February 2022, his position stands out.

Beyond his anti-war speech, Boris Nadejdine wants to refocus on the country's internal problems and promises amnesty to political prisoners. The candidate would also like to establish direct suffrage for local representatives.

He criticized the Sino-Russian rapprochement initiated by Vladimir Putin, while advocating a strengthening of ties with Western Europe. On societal issues, Boris Nadejdine described the anti-LGBT law as a "return to the Middle Ages", and spoke out for a relaxation of the rules on abortion.

Positions which have earned him the support of opponents of the leading Russian president. The anti-corruption collective founded by Alexeï Navalny, the fierce critic of Russian power currently in prison, is in favor of him. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the anti-Putin billionaire in exile, also spoke in his favor. Just like Ekaterina Dountsova, journalist and opponent of Vladimir Putin, who has just seen her own candidacy for the presidential election rejected for “formal defects” by the electoral commission.

The Kremlin in action?

Dmitri Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson, declared on Wednesday January 24: this candidate “does not scare us”. Some of the opponents of the master of the Kremlin also find the new champion of their cause too perfect to be honest, surprising that he was able to express himself so freely to criticize Vladimir Putin without being worried and playing the useful idiot of the Kremlin. Others before him went to prison for such comments.

To be able to let Boris Nadejdine compete allowed him to take advantage of an open political game, even in times of crisis. But he could also fear that this opponent would not be a little convincing in his criticism of the very principle of the special operation in Ukraine.

Following this ousting, the presidential election on March 7 promises to be the most tightly controlled in the country's history since the fall of the USSR.

Only 3 or 4 candidates from “accredited” opposition parties – the Communist Party and two nationalist parties – are allowed to compete, these parties criticizing the government in a measured manner and not opposing the current military operation.




Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld

BORIS NADEJDINE CANDIDATE

AGAINST VLADIMIR PUTIN IN THE KREMLIN

This Wednesday, January 31, 2024, Boris Nadejdine formalized his candidacy for the Russian presidential election against Vladimir Putin after having gathered the necessary 100,000 signatures. Firmly opposed to the war in Ukraine, he risks prison for his positions and his position as candidate "I am running for elections as a principled opponent of the current president's policies."

Little known to the general public, this veteran of Russian political life, who advocates the "end" of the assault in Ukraine and denounces the authoritarian drift of Vladimir Putin, has aroused an unexpected enthusiasm in recent days, tens of thousands of Russians mobilizing to support his candidacy."Thank you very much to those who believed in us", declared this ex-liberal MP to the press.

“Everything went well,” he stressed about the collection of signatures from more than 100,000 voters supporting him, the threshold necessary to see his candidacy validated by the authorities.

Boris Nadezhdine, opponent of Vladimir Putin, officially submitted his candidacy on January 31. Between March 15 and 17, he will try to take the place of the head of state who has been in the Kremlin for 24 years.

A physicist who became an MP

Born in 1963, Boris Nadejdine is a physicist by training and began to take an interest in the problems of his country at the age of 17, before launching into politics. Unknown to the general public, the candidate is nevertheless well established. He began his career at the municipal council of Dolgoprudny, an oblast of the city of Moscow, in 1990.

After an initial failure to be elected to the Duma - the Russian Federal Assembly - he became an advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov - assassinated in 2015 - before finally obtaining a seat in the Duma in 1999. He joined the Union group there. right-wing forces.

He became known in particular for having defended a bill aimed at making the income and assets of civil servants accessible to the public or for the law on elections and referendums, which obliges each polling station to publish its results on the Internet.

Opposition program

It is through his position on the war in Ukraine that Boris Nadejdine stands out. Firmly opposed to the “special military operation” launched by Vladimir Putin in February 2022, his position stands out.

The candidate finally obtained the 100,000 signatures necessary to officially present himself against Vladimir Putin by touring the country and appearing regularly with Russian soldiers mutilated at the front or their bereaved families. In his campaign manifesto, he pledged to “bring everyone home.”

Beyond his anti-war speech, Boris Nadejdine wants to refocus on the country's internal problems and promises amnesty to political prisoners. The candidate would also like to establish direct suffrage for local representatives.

He criticized the Sino-Russian rapprochement initiated by Vladimir Putin, while advocating a strengthening of ties with Western Europe. On societal issues, Boris Nadejdine described the anti-LGBT law as a "return to the Middle Ages", and spoke out for a relaxation of the rules on abortion.

Positions which have earned him the support of opponents of the leading Russian president. The anti-corruption collective founded by Alexeï Navalny, the fierce critic of Russian power currently in prison, is in favor of him. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the anti-Putin billionaire in exile, also spoke in his favor. Just like Ekaterina Dountsova, journalist and opponent of Vladimir Putin, who has just seen her own candidacy for the presidential election rejected for “formal defects” by the electoral commission.

The Kremlin in action?

What should Vladimir Putin be concerned about ?

Not necessarily, and Dmitri Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson, declared on Wednesday January 24: this candidate “does not scare us”. Some of the opponents of the master of the Kremlin also find the new champion of their cause too perfect to be honest. They are surprised that he was able to express himself so freely to criticize Vladimir Putin without being disturbed. Others before him went to prison for such comments.

Why is he spared?

Perhaps the head of the Kremlin “does not consider me a terrible threat”, admits the opponent. A hypothesis that Moscow does not fail to confirm, arguing that it does not “consider it as a competitor”.

Despite his prestigious support and his positions, Boris Nadejdine has "too many handicaps to represent a real danger for the regime", believes Jeff Hawn, specialist in Russia at the London School of Economics.

This politician “embodies all the values ​​defended by the men in power in Russia in the 1990s, and he is the heir of this generation largely discredited in the eyes of a majority of the Russian population,” summarizes Jeff Hawn. For him, he is a candidate who will please the intelligentsia of big cities and the diaspora, but ordinary Russians have very bad memories of the forced economic reforms of the 1990s.

At 60 years old, the person himself, however, has few illusions about the result of the presidential election, as the re-election of Vladimir Putin, in power since 2000, seems obvious.

“But I hope that March 17 will perhaps mark the end, the beginning of the end of the Putin era,” he confided in an interview a few days ago.




Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld

UNDERSTANDING THE ANGER OF EUROPEAN FARMERS

Anger is spreading across the entire agricultural sector of the European Union. Spanish farmers have just announced this Tuesday, January 30, 2024, that they are joining the European protest movement. The three main Spanish agricultural unions announced on Tuesday that they were joining the angry movement of European farmers, with a series of "mobilizations" across the country over the "coming weeks".

“The agricultural sector in Europe and Spain is facing growing frustration and unease”, due in particular to “the stifling bureaucracy generated by European regulations”, explained in a joint press release Asaja, the UPA and the Coag.

Producers and breeders are expressing their discontent in many Member States, denouncing insufficient remuneration for their efforts, criticizing the environmental standards imposed by the EU and expressing concerns about the trade agreements concluded by the 27 with various partners.

Barricades, snail operations, demonstrations: the sector is trying to make its voice heard.

Anger in France

France's main agricultural union, FNSEA, said protests would continue "this week and for as long as necessary", considering nationwide actions as the movement gains momentum. This discontent is not limited to France. European farmers, already facing economic losses linked to the climate crisis, are protesting against green policies that they consider contradictory, unfair and worrying for their future.

Why are French farmers angry?
The anger of French farmers stems from a complex combination of varied policies and funding cuts. The increase in the cost of agricultural diesel, following the removal of subsidies, as well as the additional costs of 47 million euros per year linked to water consumption are causing their dissatisfaction. Additionally, the complexity of the regulations leaves them confused about what they can and cannot do.

They oppose pesticide and herbicide bans imposed by the EU's Green Deal, as well as a new EU treaty that could make it easier to import Brazilian and Argentinian beef. Farmers find it difficult to compete with these countries, which are not subject to strict animal welfare standards.


Faced with contradictory policies, the agricultural sector is trying to reconcile reducing the environmental impact of agriculture with increasing food production. The decline in the number of people working in food production raises concerns about the future.

Although some demands were heard in December, with cancellations of plans to increase authorization fees and proposed restrictions, tension persists. After a meeting with the new French Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, and the Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, the union president Arnaud Rousseau declared that there would be "no lifting of the actions as long as there is no "There will be no concrete decisions." The French government responded by saying it had “heard their call” and promised announcements in the coming days.

Protests also in the Netherlands and Germany

German and Dutch farmers share the same concerns about what they consider unfair and unpredictable decisions by governments on agriculture.

Last year, Dutch farmers blocked roads, dumped manure in the streets and protested outside politicians' homes against regulations aimed at reducing nitrogen emissions.

Agriculture, which is one of the main areas of global exports, is responsible for around half of the Netherlands' total nitrogen emissions. In 2019, the country's highest administrative court ruled that the nitrogen permit system did not prevent these emissions from harming specially protected nature reserves, known as the "Natura 2000" network.

Although the initial decision did not make headlines, the government quickly announced that it would have to take "drastic measures" to remedy the situation, including buying up and closing livestock farms.

The sudden announcement of these cuts made farmers feel like they were not being treated fairly. They have already reduced nitrogen emissions significantly over the past 30 years and funding for rural areas has been reduced in favor of urban investments.

Previous government policies had encouraged them to expand, but now debt-ridden farmers are being told they must reduce the size of their farms.

The protests led to the creation of the right-wing political party, BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB), which promised farmers a greater say in agricultural policy. In 2023, the BBB won the provincial elections, and after the senatorial elections, it became the party with the highest number of seats in the Dutch Senate.

In Germany, frustration is growing over plans to phase out fuel subsidies, worth up to 3,000 euros a year for an average company.

Long-term dissatisfaction with perceived unfair enforcement of environmental policies further fuels tensions.
Since December, German farmers have been taking to the streets, and on Monday in Berlin, they were joined by environmental activists, forming a procession of heavy vehicles along the streets of the capital.
They claim to support green and non-genetically modified agriculture, but demand subsidies or, at the very least, a fair price for their food products.

In the east of the EU also against Ukraine
Exasperation also extends to the east of the EU, with demonstrations in Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria. Farmers in these countries complain about unfair competition from cut-price grain from Ukraine.
Border crossings in Romania and Bulgaria were clogged with tractors and trucks, expressing their disagreement. Last April, Poland's agriculture minister resigned over the dispute, although new subsidies have partially eased the situation.

In Romania and Bulgaria, border crossings were clogged with tractors and trucks, a sign of palpable discontent. Last April, Poland was rocked by the resignation of its agriculture minister over the dispute, although new subsidies have partially eased tensions.
However, many concerns remain about high taxes and increasingly strict regulations. As farmers face the ravages of droughts, floods and wildfires, they say green policies are burdening them further.

Agriculture a major issue in the European elections?

The protests could spread even wider in the coming weeks, with Spain and Italy set to join the movement.

On Thursday, the European Commission will begin strategic discussions with farmers' unions, agricultural companies and experts to try to ease tensions.

As tensions intensify, agriculture is emerging as a major issue at the European Union level, in the run-up to the European elections scheduled for June.




Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld

EUROPEAN ELECTIONS A CLEAR PROGRESSION OF THE EXTREME RIGHT

Political trends within the European Union (EU) reveal a resizing of forces, with the radical right groups Identity and Democracy (ID) and European Conservatives and Reformists (CRE) emerging respectively in third and fourth position in intentions voting. This dynamic is taking hold despite the decline of the Italian Brothers of Italy (CRE) party led by Giorgia Meloni, to the benefit of the left in Italy.

The latest projections consolidate the position of the ID group as the third political force within EU member states, with 12.5% ​​of voting intentions and 93 seats. Notably, the ID group dominates in France with the National Rally (RN) of Marine Le Pen, in the Netherlands with the Party for Freedom (PVV) of Geert Wilders, and in Austria with the Freedom Party (FPÖ). This rise in power transformed the political landscape of the Union, displacing the Italian League from its preeminent position.

Blocking majority
France, Germany and the Netherlands now emerge as the largest national parties, overtaking the Italian League with 27, 21 and 12 seats respectively, relegating the latter to just 8 MEPs. This redistribution of seats underlines the need for political groups to adapt to this new reality.

The possibility of a blocking majority on the right, bringing together ID, CRE, the European People's Party (EPP) and Viktor Orbán's Fidesz, could reach more than 367 seats. Iratxe García Pérez, president of the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament, criticizes the EPP for what she calls the "normalization" of the far right, highlighting the implications for EU citizens.

Changing political alliances after the elections are becoming a key focus, with EPP general secretary Thanasis Bakolass considering a pro-EU coalition with the Socialists, Greens and Liberals, emphasizing the need for environmental policies pragmatic.

The socialists hold on

In this context, the S&D group maintains its position by gaining an additional seat, now totaling 143 seats. The socialists remain in the lead in Sweden, Lithuania, Romania and Belgium. Rumors surrounding the possible appointment of European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit as head of the EU socialist list are raising questions, which could have repercussions on figures such as Marc Angel.

The EPP loses a seat

The EPP loses one seat, reaching 178, but retains its leadership in nine member states: Greece, Bulgaria, Latvia, Finland, Poland, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia and Spain.

The Left group saw its representation decline to 37 seats, recording notable victories in Cyprus and Ireland. The Greens/EFA continue their decline with 50 seats, a drop of 24 compared to 2019, reflecting the dynamic changes within the European political arena.

In France Jordan Bardella , young rising star of the far right

“The deadline for the European elections promises to be difficult for the presidential majority,” declared Jordan Bardella, president of the National Rally (Identity and Democracy, ID), during his greetings to the press on January 15. Recent polls in France attribute more than 28% of voting intentions to the RN, relegating the Renaissance coalition (Renew Europe) from the presidential majority to around 18%.

The list led by Marion Maréchal, niece of Marine Le Pen, displays a credibility of 5 to 8% of voting intentions, a significant score since 5% is enough to send a candidate to the European Parliament. The RN and its sovereignist allies, advocating a "Europe of cooperation between nations", oppose the supporters of a more integrated Europe among the liberals, socialists, ecologists and part of the EPP.

The RN's program emphasizes the need to "restore voice to France in Europe", in the face of what they consider to be a "real federalist coup d'état currently being prepared". Jordan Bardella says he is ready to lead a “civilizational fight” in this perspective.

The appointment of Mr. Attal as Prime Minister aims to breathe new impetus into Mr. Macron's second five-year term, just a few months before a European election which should largely favor the National Rally (RN), with a lead of 10 points according to the latest polls in relation to the Renaissance coalition. The young prime minister is hailed as "telegenic, fluid and pugnacious" in the face of Jordan Bardella, the young rising star of the French political extreme right, says Mr. Rahman.

Faced with the clear rise in voting intentions for the far-right, it is not surprising that Emmanuel Macron played his joker Gabriel Attal to counter Jordan Bardella...

Although the appointment of Mr. Attal could temporarily influence With polls favoring the government, Gallard predicts this is unlikely to last until the eve of the election, which is scheduled for June 6-9, 2024.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

FOUR MEMBERS OF HAMAS SUSPECTED OF PLANTING ATTACKS IN EUROPE

Four individuals affiliated with Palestinian Hamas, suspected of planning attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe, were apprehended in Germany and the Netherlands, according to a press release from the German federal prosecutor's office published this Thursday. Dutch authorities arrested a Dutch citizen in Rotterdam, while two Lebanese and an Egyptian were arrested in Berlin, all of whom are longtime Hamas members with close ties to the Islamist group's armed wing.

The prosecution indicates that one of the Lebanese, Abdelhamid Al A., had the mission, issued by the leaders of Hamas in Lebanon, to obtain weapons with a view to sending them to Berlin in preparation for possible attacks against institutions Jews.

German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann responded by highlighting the increase in attacks against the Israeli population and Jews in the country in recent weeks. He stressed the need to take all possible measures to ensure the safety of Jews in Germany.

“We must therefore do everything possible to ensure that Jews do not have to fear for their safety in our country again,” he added.

Many European countries are on alert against an increased risk of attacks from Islamists radicalized by the war in the Gaza Strip.



Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

RUSSIA’S JUDGMENT ON ADHESION

FROM UKRAINE AND MODALVIA TO THE EU

Russia judges that the accession of Ukraine and Moldova would “destabilize” the EU

After the announcement of the opening of EU accession negotiations for Ukraine and Moldova, the Kremlin spokesperson estimated that these two countries did not meet European criteria.

The Kremlin estimated, Friday December 15, 2023, that the entry of Ukraine and Moldova would “destabilize” the European Union because these countries do not “meet the criteria”, the day after the opening of negotiations membership.

The spokesperson for the Russian presidency, Dmitry Peskov, also considered that the green light given to kyiv and Chisinau by the EU, which also granted candidate status to Georgia, was intended to “harm Russia ".

Viktor Orban blocks aid to Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky immediately reacted after the announcement of the opening of EU accession negotiations : "This is a victory for Ukraine. A victory for all of Europe. A victory that motivates, inspires and strengthens .". But he rejoiced too soon.

Because at the same time, the Kremlin welcomed Hungary's decision to block European aid of 50 billion euros for Ukraine. "Hungary is a sovereign country, it has its interests. And, unlike many European countries, it firmly defends its interests, which we appreciate," said spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

The day before, it was Vladimir Putin, exhilarated by the difficulties in kyiv, who on television displayed his confidence in "victory", answering questions from the press and citizens, a traditional exercise which he had renounced last year.

“Victory will be ours,” he proclaimed before recalling that his objectives remain unchanged after two years of conflict: to oust the current power and destroy the military capabilities of its pro-Western neighbor. Vladimir Putin also revealed for the first time how many Russian soldiers were engaged on the Ukrainian front: 617,000, including 244,000 mobilized.

The leaders of the European Union, meeting in Brussels, in fact failed during the night from Thursday to Friday to convince Hungary to lift its veto. The EU had planned to provide Ukraine with aid of 50 billion euros, 33 billion in loans and 17 billion euros in donations, over four years starting next year.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban demanded on Friday that "all European funds" be paid to his country, billions of euros of which remain blocked due to various procedures, before possibly considering changing his mind.

While the Ukrainian counter-offensive is at an impasse, the United States is torn over the continuation of its aid to kyiv, against a backdrop of deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas, this blockage is an additional setback for Ukraine

An accession decision taken in Orban's absence!

A decision taken unanimously by the Member States… but in the absence of one of them. To circumvent the threat of a veto brandished by the Hungarian Prime Minister on the opening of talks with kyiv, European leaders once again had to redouble their creativity.

By a trick improvised by the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, according to the official version, the representatives of the States asked Viktor Orban to leave the room in order to achieve the required unanimity.

"Unprecedented" in the history of the Union, this tactic nevertheless gave some difficulty to certain participants of the summit as well as to jurists, who wondered whether the physical absence of the Hungarian leader could invalidate the decision.

The war in Ukraine has restarted the process of EU enlargement towards the East and the Balkans at a breakneck pace. Motivated by geopolitical reasons, namely to contain Russian power on the European continent, this expansion nevertheless raises immense economic and political questions. By integrating poor states into its fold, the European Union would in fact encourage a new wave of relocations and social dumping and would subject the continent's farmers to terrible competition.

Furthermore, the only way to avoid political blockages in a Europe of 34 or 35 would be to strengthen federalism, by further reducing the decision-making powers of the Member States.

A harmful scenario pushed by European elites outside of any democratic mandate.




Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld

ARMENIA - AZERBAIJAN

BASTION ARMORED VEHICLES SENT

BY FRANCE

Emmanuel Macron affirmed, on October 11, 2023, that France “will not let go” of Armenia after the conquest of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) by Azerbaijan, today accused of “ethnic cleansing”.

To anticipate any future attack, Paris dispatched 24 Arquus brand armored personnel carriers, known as Bastion, as revealed in a Senate report.

This contingent will be reinforced by 26 other vehicles of the same type currently in production, according to information disclosed in this senatorial report in connection with the finance bill for 2024 by Hugues Saury and Hélène Conway-Mouret.

The document confirms the veracity of several images circulating on social networks, showing Bastion at the port of Poti, Georgia. These vehicles, weighing 12.5 tonnes, have a carrying capacity of 10 people, including 8 at the rear, and are equipped with a 12.7 mm or 7.62 mm machine gun. The armor provides protection against shrapnel, mines and 7.62 mm caliber ammunition.

Catherine Colonna, Minister of Foreign Affairs, had "agreed" to the delivery of military equipment to Armenia "so that it can ensure its defense" during her visit to Yerevan on October 3.

In turn, Sébastien Lecornu, Minister of the Armed Forces, announced a contract between Thales, the missile manufacturer MBDA and Armenia on October 23. The senators specify that this is a delivery of MISTRAL 3 surface-to-air missiles. They also recommend quickly studying the delivery of CAESAR artillery systems, taking into account the effectiveness of this equipment and the new capabilities. production of Nexter in 2024

The Armenian army had acquired three Ground Master radars (GM200) from Thales, capable of detecting enemy aircraft at 250 kilometers, whether they are flying at low altitude like drones, or at high altitude like planes of fight. On September 26, France announced its intention to “strengthen its defense cooperation with Armenia”.

A defense attaché will be present at the French embassy in Yerevan, according to the Quai d'Orsay. These agreements, however, arouse opposition from Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, who accuses France of participating in “an escalation”. He added that if a new conflict broke out in the region, France would be responsible.

The triumph of Realpolitik?

One might have thought that in the 21st century, the era of ethnic cleansing to resolve territorial conflicts was over. Yet, Azerbaijan And yet...this is what has just happened in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Ilham Aliev judged that the conditions were favorable to carry out this enterprise. Russia had deployed a peacekeeping force in Nagorno-Karabakh in November 2020 to guarantee the status quo supposed to ensure the Armenian presence, but it was now too preoccupied in Ukraine.

In total convergence with Baku, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, in order to counter the progress in the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations initiated by the West, ended up conceding that the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh had to accept the assurances of Azerbaijan and integrate without the legal and security guarantees demanded by Armenia and the European Union.

During the Azerbaijani attack on September 19, Russian soldiers simply withdrew from their positions, leaving the Armenians to their sad fate.

The EU, which welcomed its gas agreements concluded with Azerbaijan in the summer of 2022 to circumvent dependence on Russian gas, while presenting itself as an alternative mediator in the negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh, long dominated by Moscow, pretended not to see anything coming. Ilham Aliev apparently assured his Western interlocutors that he would not attack Nagorno-Karabakh.

Thus, the Union found itself in an embarrassing position when the exodus of Armenians was in full swing.

Not only does the gas imported from the Caspian not serve to penalize Russia, but in part, it is Russian gas with Azerbaijani stamp that reaches the EU. Once it got what it wanted from the European format, Azerbaijan turned entirely to Russia, castigating any attempt at Western mediation.

The war benefits the authoritarian regime of Ilham Aliyev, who presents the 2020 victory against the Armenians as a triumph in a patriotic war. Many monuments glorifying the president have emerged in Azerbaijan, symbolizing personalized triumphalism, including massive iron fists, over territories recaptured from Armenian forces.

The southern region of Syunik openly coveted by Ilham Aliyev

In a context where the policy of permanent conflict with Armenia maintains the absolute monopoly of power in Azerbaijan, normalization with Yerevan seems improbable for the Azerbaijani authorities. The Armenian government, anxious to avoid a war on its soil, adopted a strategy of concessions. This resulted in the expulsion of the Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Today, the southern region of Syunik is openly coveted by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev to establish territorial continuity with the exclave of Nakichevan, thus creating the “Zangezour corridor”. This would fulfill an old pan-Turkish dream of the “Turkish world”, connecting Turkey, Azerbaijan and Central Asia. After the fall of Artsakh in October, concerns remained about a possible offensive by Baku in this region.

In addition, this region, rich in copper, zinc and molybdenum, would cut off Yerevan from its Iranian ally.

Despite Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian's recent diplomatic initiative to establish a network of road connections across the South Caucasus with his "peace crossroads" project, many tensions persist between the parties

Hovhannès Guévorkian, representative of Nagorno-Karabakh in France, warned: “The Azeris will attack Armenia tomorrow.”

The 2020 ceasefire agreement, following the victorious Azeri offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, provided for an Armenian guarantee of economic and transport links between the two parts of Azerbaijan separated by Armenia, via the Syunik. However, Baku rejects Armenian sovereignty over this “Zanguezour corridor”.

Armenia, whose relationship with Russia is at an all-time low, is seeking security guarantees in the West and trying to rearm with other players such as France and India.

However, faced with a Baku-Moscow-Ankara alliance against Armenia, possible material aid from the West seems doubtful, especially in light of developments in the Middle East. Azerbaijan appears to be an important link in the Western alliance against Iran, and its strong ties with Israel, particularly in the arms and energy sectors, further complicate the situation, according to researcher Anita Khachaturova.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

GEERT WILDERS PRIME MINISTER

IN THE NETHERLANDS WOULD PREFIGURE THE FUTURE

OF THE EXTREME RIGHT IN EUROPE

The Dutch legislative elections on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 yielded a massive victory for the far-right PVV party, which obtained 37 seats out of 150, followed by the coalition of socialist and green parties (Labor Party/PvdA, Green Left/GL ) of former European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, who obtained 25 seats.

Mr Wilders said the PVV could “no longer be ignored”, saying “we will govern”.

“Such a megavictory must be respected. That's what the voters are saying, they want things to be different. It would be very undemocratic to leave the voters out,” he said.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Mr Timmermans expressed disappointment with the results, emphasizing his initial hope and acknowledging that he had failed to convince enough people.

Calling for a “progressive front” to defend democracy and the rule of law, he strongly criticized the PVV’s anti-migrant discourse.
“No matter where you come from,” Timmermans said, “you are welcome in the Netherlands if you are fleeing war and violence, that will remain unchanged for us.”

Two possible scenarios

Faced with the results, two scenarios emerge: either the liberal VVD, the center-right NSC and the far-right PVV form a right-wing coalition, possibly with the support of small parties like the BBB (Farmer-Citizen Movement), or the Pvd A/GL bloc of Mr. Timmermans tries to govern with the NSC and the VVD, alongside the liberal party D66 (Democrats 66).

In a week at the latest, a parliamentary debate with the new seats will be held to discuss the election results. All parties will appoint a mediator to explore viable coalitions. Then, the mediator will recommend a coalition, and Parliament will choose and appoint one of the party leaders as prime minister, tasked with forming a coalition. This process can extend over several months.


Although everything is uncertain, differences of views between the parties on key issues will make coalition negotiations difficult, complicating future governance.
The VVD appears open to collaboration with the far right, while party president Dilan Yeşilgöz made it clear that she would not support Mr. Wilders as prime minister due to his extreme views.

"I don't see Mr. Wilders becoming Prime Minister because I don't see him capable of forming a majority. It is now up to him to show if he is capable of doing so," Dilan Yeşilgöz said during election night.

NSC leader Peter Omtzigt has repeatedly reiterated that his party will not collaborate with the PVV due to its anti-Islam and anti-migrant positions, contrary to the Dutch constitution. However, nothing is excluded.
Mr. Omtzigt expresses his desire to be part of the new cabinet, but acknowledges that it will not be easy. “The Netherlands must be governed, and we are ready for that,” he said.

Despite the VVD and NSC's openness to negotiation, Wilders indicated he was prepared to make concessions on his most controversial policy proposals. “We are not going to talk about mosques, Korans and Islamic schools,” he said, acknowledging that some measures were unconstitutional.
A coalition with the NSC and the VVD could tone down their rhetoric.

For example, a right-wing coalition would likely continue to support a unified approach in the external dimension of the European Union, notably on global trade, defense cooperation and strategic autonomy, as advocated by the VVD and NSC in their electoral programs.

When it comes to a centrist coalition, Mr. Timmermans' Pvd A/GL and the VVD are historically rivals, with the VVD having Eurosceptic and fiscally conservative positions within the family of European liberal parties. Additionally, the Green-Socialist Alliance was formed to oust the VVD from the government.


The awakening of the European far right

The victory of the Dutch PVV whets the appetite of EU nationalists for a return to “national identities”. Leaders of European far-right parties openly expressing support for former US President Donald Trump are celebrating Geert Wilders' victory ahead of June's European elections.

“Across Europe, citizens are demanding political change!” commented the German far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) on wind of change."

In Paris, far-right leader Marine Le Pen of the National Rally (ID) congratulated Geert Wilders and the PVV for their spectacular performance in the legislative elections, confirming growing support for the defense of national identities.

The leader of the Spanish Vox party (CRE), Santiago Abascal, also congratulated Mr. Wilders, noting that more and more Europeans are demanding that their nations, borders and rights be defended.

Conservative Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has not yet reacted to the news. However, Matteo Salvini of his coalition partner Lega (The League, Identity and Democracy/ID) congratulated Mr Wilders, calling him a "historic ally of the Lega". “A new Europe is possible,” he declared on X.

After 13 years at the head of the Dutch government, Mark Rutte could give way to a new face of the far right emerging from the legislative elections of November 22.




Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld

UNITED KINGDOM

AFTER THE DISMISSAL OF SUELLA BRAVERMANN

THE SURPRISE RETURN OF DAVID CAMERON

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reshuffles his government. Rishi Sunak has distanced himself from his Interior Minister, Suella Braverman, after increasing his number of controversial outings in recent weeks.

Recently she published a controversial column in which she describes the pro-Palestinian demonstrations as "a march of hatred" and questions the neutrality of the London police without having obtained the green light from Downing Street. Suella Braverman is replaced by James Cleverly, previously holder of the foreign affairs post.

And, to everyone's surprise, Rishi Sunak calls David Cameron, foreign affairs.

David Cameron's surprise "comeback"

Away from the British political scene since the 2016 referendum, David Cameron makes a surprise return to government as Foreign Minister.

This game of musical chairs sounds like an attempt by Rishi Sunak to breathe new life into the Conservatives, well ahead of Labor in the polls, as the legislative elections approach.

Commenting on this surprise return to business, David Cameron, who went to 10 Downing Street on Monday morning, said he was ready to put his "experience" at the service of the government while the United Kingdom must face " formidable international challenges, notably the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East", as he declared on X (ex-Twitter).

“While I may have disagreed with some particular decisions, it is clear to me that Rishi Sunak is a strong and competent Prime Minister, who is showing exemplary leadership at a difficult time,” he said. he rocks.

No one imagined such a turnaround for the former Prime Minister, aged 57, who has remained away from the British political scene since the Brexit vote in 2016.

David Cameron had conceded this referendum to the clan of Eurosceptic conservatives, betting on a “yes” victory to put an end to internal debates on Europe within his party. By underestimating the Brexit vote, he made a mistake considered historic which cost him his place in Downing Street.

Since resigning, he has held several administrative positions within international charitable organizations and carried out consulting missions for various commissions. However, in 2020, his career was marred by a controversy linked to his links with Greensill Capital, just before the debacle of this investment fund, closely linked to the activities of steel magnate, Sanjeev Gupta. As a lobbyist for Greensill, David Cameron would have contacted numerous government authorities to obtain public aid before the bankruptcy...

Sunak's joker for the elections

To appoint him Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rishi Sunak had to circumvent the practice according to which only those elected to Parliament can enter the government. No longer elected to the House of Commons since 2016, David Cameron was urgently co-opted into the House of Lords.

With this reshuffle, the ruling conservative party hopes to relaunch itself a few months before the legislative elections scheduled for 2025.

But Tim Bale, a political scientist at Queen Mary University in London, says he is "very skeptical" about the success of the maneuver: "It seems desperate."

The Tories remain weighed down by a stagnating economy, the highest inflation in the rich G7 countries and the deep crisis of the public health system. A poll published this weekend by the Survation Institute suggests that the opposition will win an even stronger majority than that of Tony Blair in 1997.

The news was well received in European capitals

For the former ambassador of the United Kingdom to France, Peter Ricketts, David Cameron "had good relations with many world leaders, went into detail on foreign policy and managed crises calmly. A great experience which will be very useful in the current period".




Alyson Braxton for DayNewsWorld

TOWARDS A PROGRAMMED FAILURE OF THE UKRAINIAN COUNTEROFFENSIVE ?

In this fall of 2023, Ukrainian reconquest efforts are struggling to produce strategic effects. The territories recaptured since the beginning of June by the armies of kyiv are substantial, but remain incommensurate with the 20% of the national territory occupied and illegally annexed by Russia.

The chief of staff of the Ukrainian army, Valery Zaluzhny, admits that the current conflict is in a difficult situation, and that the counter-offensive carried out by his troops has not given the expected results. "He does not "there will probably be no magnificent and profound breakthrough", he added while his men have been engaged since June in a laborious counter-offensive intended to retake the territories conquered in the South and East from the Russians. On the ground, kyiv's troops continue to come up against a gigantic defense line erected along some 1,000 kilometers of the front line by Russia. Despite the mobilization of twelve brigades trained on NATO standards and supported by Western tanks, Ukraine only managed to capture a few hundred km2 in five months.

According to the Ukrainian general, the technological level of the weapons used on both sides is such that on the ground, the forces neutralize each other. Surveillance systems detect any concentration of forces almost instantly, and the precision of the weapons used makes any attempt to cross the front line virtually impossible. Valeri Zalouzhny acknowledges that it is unlikely that a significant breakthrough can be achieved, saying that "to make a difference, we need major technological innovations." He is referring here to limits on Western arms deliveries.

American F16 planes will not be operational until 2024, and the Ukrainians are demanding state-of-the-art electronic jamming systems. In addition, pressure from Western countries is intensifying. Allies demand immediate results, but achieving this mission on the battlefield is proving difficult.

Towards a war of attrition

The hope of a quick victory gave way to the resignation of a second winter under Russian bombs, synonymous with deprivation and power cuts for the Ukrainian population.

Does this mean that doubt would creep into Ukrainian minds? A few days before General Zalouzhny's release, an article from the Time correspondent caused a stir in kyiv. Journalist Simon Shuster describes an isolated President Volodymyr Zelensky, obsessed with victory in the face of advisers increasingly perplexed by the Ukrainian chances of reconquering Donbass and Crimea.

In his column published in The Economist, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian forces worries about a war of attrition which would ultimately turn to Russia's advantage. “This will benefit Russia, allowing it to rebuild its military power, to the point of perhaps threatening the Ukrainian forces or even the existence of the State itself,” assures the soldier.

According to Estonian intelligence, Moscow still has more than four million artillery shells. Furthermore, North Korea recently supplied an additional million shells to its neighbor and ally, a South Korean MP revealed, citing information from his country's intelligence services.

With a population of 143 million inhabitants and a defense industry which should be operating at full capacity in 2024, the Russian army seems better prepared for a long-term war, despite Western sanctions.

Conversely, Ukraine and its 43 million inhabitants could soon experience difficulty in renewing its


The distrust of Westerners

“If Western countries are patient so that we can erode Russian forces and open a breach, it could work,” adds General Valeri Zalouzhny in his column. “As we know, attack is more difficult than defense, and this depends not only on Ukrainians, but also on Western countries.”

These statements come in a difficult context for Ukraine as the war between Hamas and Israel has diverted international attention and pushed some allies to rethink their military aid.

I n the world chancelleries there are some declines in support for Ukraine, in Poland due to the conflict linked to the importation of Ukrainian cereals into Europe, in the United States in a context of institutional crisis in Congress or even in Europe central as in Slovakia, where Robert Fico's victory weakens the unity of the EU in its standoff with Russia.


Europe is indeed starting to exercise caution in terms of financing while in the United States, one year before the next presidential elections, the Republicans are also putting pressure on Joe Biden and demanding accountability.



Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

WAR IN UKRAINE THE LARGEST RUSSIAN ATTACK SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR

A deluge of fire fell on Ukraine. Russia “bombed 118 localities in ten regions” in the last 24 hours, accused Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klimenko on Wednesday, November 1. “This is the largest number of towns and villages to suffer an attack since the start of the year,” he said.

Since launching their offensive in February 2022, Russian forces have fired millions of artillery shells at Ukrainian towns and villages near the front lines, reducing many to rubble across the country. 'East of the country.

Furthermore, a Russian attack on an oil refinery in Kremenchuk (center), which did not cause any casualties, required the dispatch of more than a hundred firefighters to fight the fire which followed for several hours. , according to Igor Klimenko

Ukraine and its Western allies fear that Russia will intensify its attacks on the country's energy infrastructure before the dreaded winter, as it did last year.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

RESIGNATION OF THE BELGIAN MINISTER OF JUSTICE

AFTER FAILURES IN THE FIGHT

AGAINST ISLAMIST TERRORISM

On Friday October 20, 2023, four days after the tragic events, the truth came out, and it cast a sinister light on Belgium. The two deaths that occurred on a sidewalk in Brussels, perpetrated by Abdesalem Lassoued, end up pointing the finger at Belgium's responsibilities.

On Monday October 16, two Swedish citizens who came to attend a football match in Brussels lost their lives, shot in cold blood, while a third was seriously injured by an individual of Tunisian origin, in an irregular situation, and having received an order of expulsion from Belgian territory.

On Monday October 16, 35,000 Belgian and Swedish football fans, including adults and children, found themselves confined for three long hours in a stadium to escape the terrorist threat, thus avoiding becoming potential targets themselves.

Known to the Belgian authorities

Despite the fact that Abdesalem Lassoued was already known to the Belgian authorities for various crimes, including death threats made against an asylum seeker, the courts revealed that he was not included in the database of OCAM, the federal agency responsible for analyzing the terrorist threat.

Following this attack which caused the death of two Swedes, Vincent Van Quickenborne simply informed that Belgium had been alerted in 2016 by a foreign police service concerning the radicalization of Abdesalem Lassoued, without any terrorist antecedents being mentioned.

However, before requesting asylum in Belgium, where he claims to have arrived at the end of 2015, the Tunisian had submitted similar requests in Norway, Sweden, then Italy, all of which were rejected. Note also that he was to be extradited from Belgium.

“I’m not looking for any excuses.”

The Belgian Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne, announced his resignation on Friday October 20 in response to these revelations, taking full responsibility for the error committed. He told a press conference:

“I’m not looking for any excuses.”

He added that he had learned that Tunisia had requested the extradition of Abdesalem Lassoued in August 2022, a request which had remained without response from the Brussels prosecutor's office. This negligence had dramatic consequences, and Vincent Van Quickenborne decided to resign to fully assume his responsibility in this affair.

“The competent magistrate did not respond to this request and the file was not processed, he lamented. It is an individual, monumental fault, an unacceptable fault, with dramatic consequences,” he said. he regretted, before declaring that he assumed “responsibility by resigning”.

“I sincerely want to apologize in the name of justice to the victims and their loved ones. I also want to apologize in the name of justice to the Swedish people and to our fellow Belgian citizens.”

A relative of the terrorist arrested in France

Monday evening's attack, which occurred near downtown Brussels shortly before a football match between Belgium and Sweden, targeted Swedish fans. The 45-year-old Tunisian was located Tuesday morning in a café in the Brussels commune of Schaerbeek, where he was fatally injured by police gunfire.

The investigation into this attack even extended to France. Last Thursday, Raid agents arrested, in the east of Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), a man suspected of having received a video of demands from the Brussels terrorist, a few minutes before he went to the act.

The French National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office (PNAT) then declared this Friday evening that it had initiated its own investigation into criminal terrorist association, in response to information transmitted by the Belgian judicial authorities concerning this attack.

Europe's weak link against Islamist terrorism

In terms of the fight against terrorism, Belgium presents vulnerabilities which make it the weak link in Europe.

The situation in Brussels is particularly worrying, in a country where Islamism has wreaked havoc and where the fragmentation of society is well advanced. Belgium is ideal prey for the ideologues of political Islam, with weakened sovereign power, a strongly communitarian society, and a central position on the continent.

Certain neighborhoods of Brussels have become rear bases for terrorism, as the French have tragically observed since the attacks of November 13, 2015.

The country is deeply divided between the North, in Flanders, where the political parties NVA and Vlaams Belang attract a public opinion oriented to the right, favorable to the limitation of immigration, and inclined to the independence of the region.

In the South, in Wallonia, the PS embodies a different approach with a welfare state, mass unemployment, and active promotion of immigration.

This division between the two communities is exacerbated, and Belgium is disintegrating.

In the midst of all this, Brussels is divided between Walloons, Flemings, and Muslim communities, and Belgians of Belgian origin now constitute only 26% of the capital's population, according to StatBel, the equivalent of INSEE in Belgium.

The demographic shift has already taken place in Brussels....




Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld

ISLAMIST ATTACKS IN BRUSSELS

TWO SWEDENS KILLED

At 7 p.m. on Monday, a man opened fire with an automatic weapon in a northern district of Brussels, killing two Swedish fans. A third person is hospitalized “in serious condition,” according to authorities.

A 45-year-old Tunisian in an irregular situation

The suspect, Abdesalem L, is a 45-year-old Tunisian in an irregular situation in Belgium. He was fatally injured when he was arrested by police on Tuesday morning. He is said to have published two protest videos, indicating that he wanted to attack Swedes.

The prosecution detailed the arrest of the assailant

The alleged assailant of the Brussels attack was spotted this Tuesday morning by a witness in "a drinking establishment in Schaerbeek", a suburb of Brussels, the federal prosecutor's office said in a press release. “The police went to the scene. During the intervention, shots were fired by the police and the suspect was shot dead.”

Emergency services tried to resuscitate him before transferring him to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:38 a.m. “A weapon of war and a bag of clothes were found in the café,” specifies the prosecution.

Known to the authorities

The man would not be unknown to the authorities. Tuesday morning, the Belgian Prime Minister confirmed that he was in an irregular situation in Belgium. His asylum application filed in 2019 was refused and he was ordered, in 2021, to leave the territory.

The Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne, added: “He was known to the police for suspicious acts of human trafficking, illegal residence and endangering state security.” According to Vincent Van Quickenborne, he was suspected, as early as 2016, of presenting a radicalized profile, ready to go and wage jihad. “But this was one of dozens of such daily reports,” he explained.

Nicole De Moor, Secretary of State for Migration, explained that after receiving a negative response to his asylum application, he had been officially removed from the national register, making his location and therefore his return to the border impossible. However, he was spotted in a mosque in June 2022 in Brussels, “this fact was reported to the local task force in Brussels, but did not give rise to other measures”.

It was this year 2016, in Belgium, that one of the worst terrorist attacks in the country's history was committed. On March 22, 32 people were killed and 300 others injured in the Brussels metro and airport.

The alert level for terrorist threats has been raised to level 4, the highest, in Brussels.

Sweden targeted by Islamist terrorist

In protest videos cited by Attorney General Frédéric Van Leeuw, the attacker, then on the run, explained that he was specifically targeting Swedes, many of whom were present in the capital for a football match between Belgium and Sweden.

In another video taken before the attack this time, the same individual, who claims to be from the Islamic State, “appears hooded and declares that ‘the book of Allah is a red line for which he sacrifices himself’” , said the prosecutor. The attacker was probably referring to the Korans burned in Sweden in recent months.

“All European states are vulnerable” in the face of the return of “Islamist terrorism”, declared the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron during a press conference in Tirana, the day after the Islamist terrorist attack which left two dead in Brussels.

“All European states are vulnerable. And there is indeed a return of this Islamist terrorism, and we all have a vulnerability. It’s the one that goes with democracies, states governed by law where you have individuals who at a moment can decide to do the worst.”

Certainly, but citizens have the right to expect firmness from the State in the execution of expulsion measures... fewer failures and laxity.

Yes, citizens want to “live in strong states of law at a time when terrorism returns”, as Emmanuel Macron suggested, but this is not the case today !




Jaimie Potts for DayNewsWorld

POLAND PRO-EUROPEAN OPPOSITION 

WOULD WIN LEGISLATION

It's a surprise: in Poland, according to polls, the pro-European opposition won the legislative elections on October 15. The president of the “civic coalition”, Donald Tusk, claims victory.

The end of 8 years of power for the conservatives.

Certainly, in terms of number of votes, the ruling party, the PiS, finished the race in the lead (36.8%), during the legislative elections which took place in Poland, Sunday October 15, with a historic participation rate: almost 73%, by far the highest since the fall of the communist regime in 1989. But with 200 deputies, out of an assembly of 460, this is not enough to govern. Even with the help of the far-right Konfederajca, who hoped to "turn the tables" and only obtained 6% of the votes. The absence of a party capable of forming a coalition government with them puts the ruling party in an impasse.

The opposition, on the contrary, managed to obtain an absolute majority, thanks to the 31.6% of the Civic Coalition Party (KO) of former European Council President Donald Tusk. However, the opposition only surpasses the conservatives because the liberals of KO can count on the centrists of Third Way (13%) and the Left (8.6%). It is therefore well placed to form a government

The three main opposition parties, which are alliances of small parties, have different positions on several issues, notably on morals. Despite their differences, they can find a common language, because they all share the same goal: to end PiS and its flirtation with the East, to restore the rule of law in Poland, and to reestablish good relations. with with the EU institutions.

The next prime minister, should the current opposition form a government, would be Civic Coalition leader and former European Council president Donald Tusk, who served as prime minister between 2007 and 2014.

“Democracy has won”

As of Sunday evening, the leader of this "civic platform", the former President of the European Council Donald Tusk, did not hide his joy: "I have never been so happy in my life... It's the end of this bad period, it is the end of the reign of PiS. Poland has won, democracy has won."

It was his bet: after his time in Brussels, Donald Tusk had plunged back into Polish politics to defeat the nationalists.

For the Poles, this will change a lot of things. Donald Tusk promised to protect LGBT rights and to liberalize the right to abortion, which is one of the most restrictive in the world. On the economic front, he is committed to curbing inflation, 11% expected this year.

President Duda, member of PiS and ally of the nationalists

But everything is not going to change at once. President Andrzej Duda, a member of the PiS, is the ally of the nationalists. The PiS having come first, the Polish president Mr. Duda (whose mandate expires in 2025) expressed his intention to grant the mandate to form the government "to the winner", meaning that Mr Morawiecki will most likely have the opportunity to form a parliamentary majority. This should fail, but it's a must.

Then, the three opposition parties must be able to form a government quickly. But the new coalition will not obtain the three-fifths majority necessary to overturn presidential vetoes... It risks being confronted with frequent conflicts with the head of state.

Furthermore, under the Constitution, it is the President of the Republic who will initially designate the party responsible for founding a government team. Unless there is a surprise, the head of state should entrust the task to his own party, except that this mission is doomed to failure.

A setback for the Eurosceptics.

The Italian government, led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, is expressing hope that Mateusz Morawiecki, the current Polish prime minister, will be reappointed for a third term despite differences over immigration at recent EU summits. This situation would be a setback for Eurosceptics.
For PiS's European friends, such as the Hungarian Fidesz and the Fratelli d'Italia, PiS's loss of power in Poland would be bad news. Viktor Orbán, Hungarian Prime Minister, and Giorgia Meloni, his Italian counterpart, would lose a key ally within the European Council.

In contrast, the European People's Party (EPP), which includes both the Civic Coalition and the Polish People's Party (PSL), as well as the center-green Poland 2050 party, formed the Third Way alliance, would fare better. During the election campaign, PiS Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the party's influential leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, accused the EPP and its leader, Manfred Weber, of attempting to interfere in Poland's electoral process to support the KO and PSL.

On the other hand, Renew Europe, to which Poland 2050 belongs, and the Socialists and Democrats, which include the Polish left, have reason to rejoice. If the official results, expected in the coming days, confirm the exit polls, this will constitute "a light at the end of the tunnel", declared Ms Kopacz, referring to the potential influence of the victory of the opposition on the party landscape in Europe.
She is convinced that countries dominated by populism “will take an example from Poland and see that it is possible to return to the path of democracy and partnership with the EU”.

Towards appeasement with the EU

Poland's relations with the European Union will calm down considerably. During its eight years of rule, PiS was known to clash with the European Commission, particularly over its controversial judicial reforms which seriously undermined the rule of law and fundamental rights in Poland.

PiS has also soured its relations with Berlin and kyiv in recent months. Much of his election campaign has targeted Germany, while his previously warm relations with Ukraine have cooled due to the row over Ukrainian grain imports. The 35 billion euros of the European recovery plan are frozen.

The change of government should allow Poland to regain its full place within the 27.




Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld

THE CHALLENGE OF AGING

OF THE POPULATION IN EUROPE

The WHO predicted yesterday that people over 65 would outnumber people under 15 in Europe within a year.

A trend which should spread to the rest of the world by 2064, and which alerts health authorities to caring for healthy old age.

In order to limit the health and economic impact of aging, the WHO calls on governments to take measures to "enable older people to preserve and improve their physical and mental health, their independence, their social well-being and their quality of life".

China is also facing a major demographic crisis, following the one-child policy introduced in 1979 under Deng Xiaoping.

It was lifted in 2016 by Xi Jinping, but as old habits die hard and lifestyles have changed, the birth rate has not taken off.




Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld

SLOVAKIA VICTORY FOR THE POPULIST PARTY

TO THE LEGISLATIVE

The Slovak populist party Smer-SD won the parliamentary elections in Slovakia on Saturday September 30, according to the almost complete counting of votes. These elections were crucial in determining whether Slovakia would continue its pro-Western orientation or move more towards Russia, as a member of the EU and NATO with a population of 5.4 million.

The Smer-SD had affirmed, during the electoral campaign, that it would end its support for neighboring Ukraine. The populist SMER party of Robert Fico came very clearly in the lead, with around 23% of the votes. Progressive Slovakia, the centrist party led by MEP Michal Simecka, is far behind with barely 18% of voters, after counting 99.43% of the ballots. The final results are expected Sunday morning. Smer-SD said it would not comment on the vote until later on Sunday.

A party opposed to the EU and the LGBT+ community
Slovak President Zuzana Caputova announced this week that she would entrust the formation of the next government to the leader of the winning party, without taking into account her "personal preference" as a party. Former member of Progressive Slovakia.

During a tumultuous electoral campaign, which gave rise to several clashes between candidates, Robert Fico criticized the EU and NATO as well as the LGBT+ minority.

The winner of the election will need to secure the support of smaller parties to form a majority coalition in the 150-seat parliament. This new government will replace that of the center-right coalition in power since 2020, which has undergone three changes in three years and which has provided significant military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Over the weeks and months, the idea of ​​a homogeneous Western bloc is crumbling..




Alyson Braxton for DayNewsWorld

THE ARMENIAN TRAGEDY IN

UPPER KARABAGH OR ETHNIC CLEANING ?

Nagorno-Karabakh has flared up again, in an offensive which has given Azerbaijan the upper hand and leaves worrying uncertainties surrounding the fate of the Armenians in this area.

The dissolution of "all government institutions and organizations"

The self-proclaimed separatist republic of Nagorno-Karabakh announced, Thursday, September 28, the dissolution "of all government institutions and organizations (...) on January 1, 2024", a week after a lightning offensive by Azerbaijan after 30 years of conflict. The decree of the leader of this enclave, Samvel Chakhramanian, establishes that as a result, “the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) ceases its existence”.

The Armenian separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh in Armenian) suffered a military defeat in twenty-four hours last week which forced them to capitulate to Azerbaijan, the country from which they seceded after the fall of the USSR , in 1991. This offensive has already pushed 65,000 refugees into an exodus towards Armenia, or more than half of the inhabitants of this separatist region, according to Yerevan. Armenians have not forgotten the Sumgait massacre committed by the Azerbaijanis in 1988.

The Armenian Prime Minister for his part accused Azerbaijan on Thursday of "ethnic cleansing" in Nagorno-Karabakh, estimating that all Armenians in this secessionist region will have left it in "the coming days".

Armenia also called on the international community to “act”.

Armenia says it has recorded more than 65,000 refugees on its soil

Nearly half of the region's residents have fled since the enclave came under Azerbaijan's control. The Armenian authorities reported, Wednesday September 27, the arrival of 50,243 refugees from the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Nearly half of the population has already fled the region, four days after the ceasefire agreement which places the region under Azerbaijani control. Last week, Azerbaijan's lightning offensive brutally put an end to the Armenian separatists' dreams of independence. Azerbaijan opened the only road connecting the enclave to Armenia on Sunday.

On this road, an incessant car convoy brings ever more refugees across the border. First stop for most, the town of Goris. Many hungry refugees spent the night in their vehicles and emerged with eyes red with fatigue, many saying they had no place to sleep or anywhere to go in Armenia.

To add to the torments of the enclave, more than 100 people are still missing after the explosion of a fuel depot stormed by residents in the midst of an exodus. The tragedy left 68 dead and 290 injured. In addition, the former leader of the separatist government of Nagorno-Karabakh from November 2022 to February 2023, Ruben Vardanyan, was arrested on Wednesday by Azerbaijani authorities, while trying to reach Armenia.

Reminder of the facts over three decades

September 19, 2023. The Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh (also called Nagorno Karabakh) laid down their arms on September 20, 2023 in the face of advancing Azeri troops.

Azerbaijan's offensive a week ago is a new episode in a conflict that has lasted three decades.

The 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War is a war between the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, supported by Armenia, and Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, for control of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan, a Turkish-speaking country with a Shiite majority, is demanding the return under its control of Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous province populated mainly by Christian Armenians, whose secession in 1991 was not recognized by the international community.

This Armenian province attached to Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence after the fall of the USSR in 1991. It is now at the center of a regional conflict.

Deadly fighting took place between the forces of Nagorno-Karabakh, supported by Armenia, and the troops of Azerbaijan, in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, populated by 150,000 inhabitants, mainly Armenians.

Knowing that the Muslims of Azerbaijan and the Christians of Armenia do not get along, Stalin, the leader of the USSR until 1953, himself Caucasian, created an Azeri enclave in Armenia. And an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan. It is this enclave, Nagorno Karabakh, an area of ​​4,400 square kilometers, that the two countries have been fighting over for 30 years.

Rising tensions and deadly fighting in 2020

After several months of rising tensions punctuated by skirmishes along the border, fighting broke out on September 27, 2020, provoking general mobilization and the establishment of martial law in these countries.

For more than 30 days, the forces of the separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, supported politically, militarily and economically by Armenia, and those of Azerbaijan have clashed in the deadliest battles since 2016. The official report stands at more than 100 deaths. But both camps each claim to have killed hundreds of enemy soldiers

Ceasefires not respected

On October 10, 2020, Russian mediation allowed the two parties to agree on a ceasefire and a resumption of negotiations. However, hostilities resumed shortly after. On October 18, 2020, thanks to mediation by the Minsk group, a second attempt to establish a ceasefire was launched, without success. A third humanitarian ceasefire, brokered by the United States, beginning on October 26, 2020, and also without success.

On November 9, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian signed an agreement to end hostilities which came into force on November 10, described as a “capitulation” by Azeri President Ilham Aliev.

An agreement signed on November 9, 2020

According to the agreement, Azerbaijan keeps the reconquered territories including Shusha and seven districts. The Armenians retain the Lachin corridor and must set up a corridor in Armenia between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan. The agreement also provides for the deployment of Russian peacekeeping forces in the region and the creation of a Russian-Turkish observation center in the region.

On November 10, 2020, a ceasefire signed under the auspices of Vladimir Putin put an end to what was called the “44-day war”, which was in reality the second Karabakh war. The first having been won by the Armenian camp at the beginning of the 1990s. The second, in the fall of 2020, was incontestably won by Azerbaijan, which then took back the perimeter around the enclave, until then controlled by the Armenians, as well as about two-thirds of the enclave itself.

The ceasefire provided that communications were to be ensured between, on the one hand, Armenia and Karabakh, via the Lachin corridor route, and on the other hand between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, which is an exclave of Azerbaijan located to the west of Armenian territory and bordering Turkey – that is to say that Azerbaijan and Turkey would benefit in this hypothesis, therefore, from a sort of direct land connection .

After the fall of the USSR in 1989-1991

But how did Soviet policies and reforms, particularly those initiated by Gorbachev, influence and revive historic territorial claims between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and what long-term repercussions did they have?

During the Soviet Union, national issues remained a taboo subject. The Soviet socialist regime promoted unity among people and aimed at a fusion of different nationalities. Everything was orchestrated under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Nationalist movements were not tolerated, although they existed in secret, because their public expression was severely repressed, with their leaders risking imprisonment or even execution.

When central power began to weaken, these nationalist movements gained momentum, particularly following Gorbachev's reforms. Beginning in 1988, there was a significant rise in nationalist movements in every Soviet republic. It was also at this time that issues of ethnic minorities began to arise, particularly in the Caucasus region. In Georgia, Abkhazians and Ossetians were affected, while in Azerbaijan, tensions were mainly between Armenians and other minorities, especially in the North and South of the country. Although Armenia was relatively homogeneous during this period, it nevertheless had an Azerbaijani minority and Kurds.

It was then that old territorial claims resurfaced. The Armenians, in particular, contested the decisions taken in 1920 by Stalin, notably the attribution of Nakhichevan and Karabakh to Azerbaijan, despite a strong Armenian majority in this second region. The Armenians of Karabakh denounced discrimination, particularly in the education system, the media and political life, which prompted them to demand their attachment to Armenia. These demands, emerging in the late 1980s, triggered violent clashes between the two communities, including an anti-Armenian pogrom in Baku in 1988. The situation degenerated so much that the Soviet army had to intervene on several occasions.

In short, it was not the dissolution of the USSR which generated these tensions, but it released them completely. The collapse of the USSR had the consequence of releasing these nationalist tensions, especially since the Soviet army no longer existed to put an end to intercommunity violence. The withdrawal of the interposition forces decided by Yeltsin marked the start of a real war which lasted three years until a ceasefire in favor of the Armenians in 1994. At that time, the Armenian army was better organized and benefited from increased support from its diaspora. At the end of this conflict, it controlled approximately 13% of Azerbaijan's territory, including the Karabakh region and adjacent territories.


This situation is corroborated by the 1994 agreement, accepted by the Armenians but always rejected by Baku. Azerbaijan's two successive presidents, Heydar Aliyev and his son Ilham Aliyev, have always insisted on Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. They have repeatedly stated that if the issue cannot be resolved through diplomacy, it must be resolved through force, according to Caucasus expert Jean Radvanyi. “Both successive presidents of Azerbaijan have repeatedly stated that if the issue cannot be resolved through diplomacy, it had to be done by force. We see that they kept their word. "

International non-intervention

Russia shows constant signs of weakening, especially in the South Caucasus. This decline is closely linked to the major failure of its policy towards what Moscow called the "near abroad", both under Yeltsin and under Putin. They have never succeeded in establishing a balanced policy towards their neighbors, whether within the Commonwealth of Independent States or other successively created bodies.

The main problem for the Russians is that they have neglected a crucial element: they are no longer the only influential players in the region. Since the dissolution of the USSR, other states have sought to establish alliances elsewhere to balance Russian pressure. This is what happened in Ukraine, the Baltic States, Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Each state pursues its own agenda. For example, Azerbaijan, as a Turkic-speaking nation, sees Turkey as a natural ally, especially since the beginning of the 20th century, the latter has wished to establish a pan-Turkish influence in the region, which creates tensions with countries like Armenia. Each nation is therefore seeking new allies: Georgia towards the European Union and the United States; the Baltic countries and Ukraine too, etc.

As for Armenia, it is in a delicate position. On the one hand, Ankara's pan-Turkish vision and Baku's geopolitical aspirations, notably their desire to create a land corridor crossing Armenian territories, fuel this animosity. In addition, Armenia's geographic isolation accentuates its isolation, depriving it of economic and strategic opportunities and making it dependent on transit routes often under hostile control. On the other hand, although Armenia can count on the support of its powerful diaspora, particularly in France and the United States, it struggles to find significant allies on the international scene.

The majority of major global players remain indifferent to its situation, leaving Armenia in a vulnerable position. And then, its relations with Russia, although potentially beneficial, are tinged with ambiguity. Moscow, whether under Yeltsin or Putin, has often monetized its support, demanding economic, political or military concessions in return. This type of relationship, where aid is conditional, puts Armenia in a delicate position, forcing it to juggle its aspirations for sovereignty and the demands of a great power.

What the current sequence shows is that in addition to weakening, Russia is weakening its allies which, in return, further weakens its position in this space. The conflicts tearing this space apart directly affect the European Union's neighborhood, but the latter appears surprisingly discreet.


Historically, although the region is not very far from Europe, European countries have not had a strong presence there. Of course, there were sporadic interventions, such as those of the Germans and the English during the First World War. However, the position of Westerners, particularly that of the European Union, has often been perceived as hypocritical. For example, shortly after the independence of the Caucasus countries in the 1990s, the European Union signed agreements highlighting contradictory principles: territorial integrity with Azerbaijan and the right of peoples to self-determination with Armenia.

This contradiction is evident in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. On the one hand, Azerbaijan wants to regain control of this region, on the other, Armenia wants to integrate it. Despite its good intentions, the European Union faces a fundamental contradiction in its policy. Moreover, because Azerbaijan is a country rich in oil and gas, European Union member states are reluctant to offend it, preferring to preserve their economic interests.

But each conflict has its own specificities...

However, many questions remain unanswered.

This is the game of regional powers.

This is the game of regional powers. And if Iran is hostile to Azerbaijan, on the other hand Ankara fully supports it and Russia does not want to get angry with either Azerbaijan or Turkey.

The situation seemed more or less stabilized, notably due to the presence of Russian peacekeeping forces stationed along this famous Lachin corridor.

It will be necessary to follow the history of the junction of Azerbaijan and Turkey through southern Armenia. If this materializes, it is yet another catastrophe for Armenia, which risks being reduced territorially.

“But this is a scenario that Iran will absolutely want to prevent, because Tehran is very keen to maintain a common border with Armenia and such a corridor would amount to depriving it of this. A generalized explosion would then not be excluded.” , according to Taline Ter Minassian, historian, university professor. National Institute of Oriental Languages ​​and Civilizations (Inalco).




Jaimie Potts for DayNewsWorld

FACING THE GANG WAR SOON THE INTERVENTION OF THE SWEDISH ARMY ?

The Swedish authorities are unable to stem a gang war which has lasted for two long years and which has intensified in recent days. The country has the highest firearm homicide rate in Europe.

According to tallies from public television channel SVT, 12 people died in shootings and explosions in September, the deadliest month in the last four years.

3 homicides in 24 hours

The Swedish Prime Minister spoke this Thursday, September 28 of a reinforcement of the army to put an end to the escalation of violence between gangs which killed three people in 24 hours and shocked the country. “I am with you, we will hunt down the gangs and we will defeat them. We will bring them to justice,” Ulf Kristersson said in a televised speech in the evening.

Faced with this spiral, the head of government estimated that "Swedish law is not designed for gang wars and child soldiers. But we are changing that." According to tallies from public television channel SVT, 12 people died in shootings and explosions in September, the deadliest month in the last four years.

The last twenty-four hours have been particularly deadly with three homicides, including those of an 18-year-old boy and a 25-year-old woman.


Mobilize the army

The Social Democrats (left) and the Sweden Democrats (far right) have proposed mobilizing the army to support the police in their field work. “I have summoned the national police chief and the commander-in-chief tomorrow to see how the armed forces can help the police fight against gangs,” responded the Prime Minister.

A first shooting took place in a wealthy suburb south of Stockholm shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday evening: a young man was shot and killed near a sports field where children were practicing football, according to the national police. A homicide investigation was opened and the field was closed until Friday.

“Innocent people with no links to organized crime, including several children who came to their training, were forced to witness once again a merciless shooting during which a man was shot dead,” the Prime Minister reacted quickly. minister from Wednesday evening.

A second shooting took place a few hours later, around midnight, in another southern suburb of Stockholm, injuring two people, one of whom died from his injuries, according to police. Three men were arrested.

“Integration failed”

And during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, around 4 a.m., an explosive device killed a 25-year-old young woman in the suburbs of Uppsala. Five houses were damaged, police said on their website.

"Crime has reached a scale we have never seen before. The situation is serious in Uppsala, and across the country," said Catarina Bowall, a police official in the university town 70 km to the north. from Stockholm. “It is likely that this event has a link to the national conflict” between criminal gangs, added the official.

This series of unprecedented violence is linked to a wave of reprisals between two criminal gangs vying for control of drug trafficking. It has been shaking the country for several weeks, which is struggling to stem these deadly shootings and explosions - most often aimed at intimidating members of rival gangs and their relatives - on an almost daily basis.

The Prime Minister also attacked on Thursday "the naivety and unconsciousness which brought us here. It is irresponsible immigration and the failure of integration which have led us" to this situation, he said. he asserted.

Mr. Kristersson, at the head of the Moderates, was the architect last year of an unprecedented rapprochement with the far right which allowed him to come to power. It is allied in Parliament with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, who however do not have a minister in government.

The perpetrators of this violence are increasingly young and these attacks have caused several collateral victims in recent weeks.

In 2022, Sweden experienced 391 shootings, 62 of which were fatal.

The figures date from 2022, a dark year, when the Swedes only spent around thirty days without a shooting breaking out in the country. Everything indicates that Sweden is on the same basis for the year 2023. Intelligence claims that the situation has not been this dangerous since the post-war period in 1945.

Violence confined to large cities, Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg, but which is now spreading to all urban centers. The police even note that a new series of score-settling is underway: seven people murdered in three weeks. On September 11, the victim was a 13-year-old boy.

The Foxtrot gang, that of the “Kurdish Fox”

According to the police, this young teenager was one of 30,000 people involved in organized crime and drug trafficking in Sweden. He was shot dead in the southern suburbs of Stockholm. He is one of the many victims of an internal war in the Foxtrot gang, that of the "Kurdish Fox", a faction leader now operating from Turkey.

Of Iraqi origin, Rawa Majid, in conflict with one of his former accomplices, recently had his mother, a 70-year-old woman, murdered. It is this crime that is giving rise today to this escalation of violence across the country.

Only 25% of crimes committed are solved

Many debates are opening in Sweden on the circulation of weapons, 100% of those used by these gangs are illegal.

Today there is a large supply of weapons, coming from the Balkans, manufactured using 3D printing and therefore impossible to trace. The other concern is the growing influence of gangs on public authorities, which explains why only 25% of crimes committed are solved.

But the big concern, according to Ardavan Khoshnood, professor of criminology at Lund University, is the age of those in possession of the weapons, increasingly minors. “For every death in Sweden, you have between three and four young individuals in the queue to take over.

The priority is to stop the gang recruitment network. Most of the new recruits are children, so we need better collaboration between schools, police and social services if we want to reverse this deadly curve,” said the Swedish criminologist.

85% of delinquents involved in these clashes between gangs come from immigrants and neighborhoods.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

EUROPE AND UNITED STATES

IN THE PRE-ELECTION PERIOD

OR THE BRAKE ON AID TO UKRAINE ?

Cold snap between Ukraine and Poland ?

It all started with a decision by the conservative Polish government, which, a few weeks ago, refused to import Ukrainian cereals to favor Polish national production. On Monday, September 18, Ukrainian Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko then announced in a press release that Ukraine was launching a complaint procedure before the WTO against Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

Recall of facts

Last spring, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania obtained authorization from the European Commission to block the marketing of a certain number of Ukrainian agricultural products on their soil. This protectionist measure was justified by the countries in question to protect their agricultural sectors against the influx of low-priced Ukrainian grain.

On Friday September 15, the Commission, which has jurisdiction in this matter, put an end to this exception. Warsaw, Budapest and Bratislava, however, decided to override this decision by imposing a unilateral embargo.

Hubris Volodymyr Zelensky at the UN podium ?

During his speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky violently criticized without naming the three countries against which Kiev announced it was launching proceedings before the WTO: “we are working hard to preserve land routes for grain exports. It is alarming to see how […] some of our friends in Europe, play solidarity in the political theater […] they are actually helping to prepare the ground for a Moscow actor. »

An attack that Poland took very badly, especially since the country has been helping Ukraine enormously since the start of the conflict. Taken together, the Warsaw government's bilateral support and the cost of hosting refugees represents 3.2% of Polish GDP, the highest level among all Ukraine's supports.

Result: summons of the Ukrainian ambassador to Warsaw, and announcement at the same time of the suspension of arms deliveries to kyiv.

The Polish Prime Minister spoke about stopping the supply of weapons to Ukraine. Furthermore, the same evening, the President of the Polish Republic Andrej Duda compared Ukraine to “a man who is drowning”.

Potentially serious consequences

In the long term, this diplomatic quarrel could have significant consequences for Ukraine, since Poland is one of the countries that have supplied the most weapons to Ukraine, along with the United States and the United Kingdom. One of the first to send tanks, more than 350, and combat planes.

Then, Poland, neighboring Ukraine, is the hub for all arms and ammunition deliveries from Western countries. Its operational center in Rzesów, in liaison with the United States, is an absolutely nodal point for the delivery of materials to Ukraine. Everything goes through there. The Polish government has nevertheless reassured the international community on this subject, ensuring that these logistics will continue to operate. In addition, Poland has massively supported Ukraine since 2022 while welcoming its refugees.

Polish domestic politics

On the evening of Thursday, September 21, Polish President Andrzej Duda returned to his Prime Minister's statements, affirming that they were "misinterpreted": "The words (of Mateusz Morawiecki) were interpreted in the worst way which either. (...) In my opinion, the Prime Minister meant that we will not transfer to Ukraine the new weapons that we are in the process of acquiring to modernize the Polish army", corrected the head of State on television, on the Polish channel TVN24.

Warsaw actually wants to build one of the most powerful armies in Europe with 30 billion euros in spending in 2024, or 4% of GDP, for its defense budget and a huge order book with the United States, including planes. F-35, nearly a thousand tanks and hundreds of guns. And Poland, in the midst of renewing its military capabilities, is probably at the end of what it could provide in “old generation” weapons to Ukraine.

Moreover, in the pre-election period in Poland, farmers being among the main voters of the PIS, the party currently in power in Poland, it was fashionable to sanction Ukraine which filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the Polish government does not allow its cereals to transit. The central strategy of the PiS is to regain this lost electorate, through on the one hand the deployment of generous social spending, but also by emphasizing questions linked to security and national sovereignty — hence the organization of a referendum on privatizations, the European pact on migration and asylum and the security of the border with Belarus.

Aid to Ukraine under threat of budgetary paralysis

The divisions within Europe on the aid to be given to Ukraine, which could "spread oil" with countries like Orban's Hungary, are also crystallizing in the United States.

The sense of urgency has indeed faded and the Republican opposition has taken control of one of the chambers of Parliament and this time. Volodymyr Zelensky was not received with great fanfare at the Capitol, the seat of Congress. . Visiting Washington, Volodymyr Zelensky certainly obtained guarantees on Thursday for “important” anti-aircraft defense assets against Russia, but he leaves without the long-range missiles that he insists on, and has to face Republicans – and a public opinion – skeptical about the need to provide more aid to his country.

While the White House has demanded that the finance law passed by elected officials include $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Kiev, a majority of House Republicans, elected in Trumpist districts, are radically opposed. “I will not vote to give a single cent for the war in Ukraine,” declared elected official Marjorie Taylor Greene, close to former President Donald Trump, on X (ex-Twitter) on Tuesday.

At the very moment when President Zelensky comes to the United States to justify the need to stand firm against Putin, the Republican leaders in the House are essentially telling him ''deal with it,'' denounced the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Chuck Schumer.


The United States has already granted $113 billion to Ukraine in 18 months, or about two-thirds of total international aid, and the Ukrainian counter-offensive is bogging down, much to the chagrin of allies who are beginning to doubt Ukrainian military strategy.



Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld

AN UNPRECEDENTED CYBER ATTACK IN CRIMEA

FROM UKRAINE

While Kiev is engaged in a difficult counter-offensive and the war is bogged down, the Ukrainian president continued his diplomatic offensive in Washington on Thursday, before arriving in Canada in the evening.

Ukraine claims 'successful strike' on Russian fleet HQ in Crimea

The Ukrainian army claimed Friday a "successful strike" on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol in annexed Crimea, an attack which was already reported by Moscow a few hours earlier.

“The Defense Forces of Ukraine carried out a successful strike against the headquarters of the command of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the temporarily occupied city of Sevastopol,” the army's strategic communications directorate said on Telegram Ukrainian.

An “unprecedented” cyberattack in Crimea

Crimea is hit by an “unprecedented” cyberattack, announces a Russian official, a few hours after a Ukrainian strike which damaged the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in this Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Moscow. “Unprecedented cyberattack against internet service providers in Crimea. We are in the process of repairing the Internet outages on the peninsula,” said Oleg Krioutchko, an advisor to the leader installed by Russia on the peninsula, on Telegram.

At least one dead in the strike on Sevastopol

At least one Russian serviceman was killed in a Ukrainian missile strike that hit the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea fleet, located in Sevastopol, in Ukrainian Crimea. “Five missiles were shot down by the anti-aircraft defense. The historic Black Sea Fleet headquarters building was damaged in the attack. According to available information, a serviceman was killed,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram.

The EU has just paid 1.5 billion euros to Ukraine

“Today we have disbursed an additional 1.5 billion euros to Ukraine.


This year alone we have paid 13.5 billion euros to help Ukraine operate hospitals, schools and other services. It also helps Ukraine on the path to the EU by supporting transformative reforms,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.



Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld

WAR IN UKRAINE

THE MURDERER BOMBING OF A MARKET 

ATTRIBUTABLE TO A UKRAINIAN ERROR ?

The deadly bombing which killed 17 people on September 6, 2023 in Kostiantynivka is undoubtedly attributable to an error by the Ukrainian army, writes the New York Times which relies on elements collected on site and on satellite images.
The New York daily speaks of a “tragic error”.

This bombing hit a crowded market in this city located in eastern Ukraine, arousing the anger of President Volodimir Zelensky, who condemned a Russian attack on a “peaceful” city.

Among the victims was a child, and around thirty other people were hospitalized.
The New York Times calls the incident a “tragic mistake.”

According to the daily, the elements analyzed, such as missile fragments, satellite images, testimonies and messages on social networks, support the thesis according to which the bombing was the result of a faulty shot from a Ukrainian aerial missile, launched by a Bouk defense system.

No comments could be obtained from either Ukraine or Russia.




Boby Dean for DayNewsWorld

HOW TO MANAGE THE MIGRATION SURGE

IN LAMPEDUSA ?

Faced with a massive influx of migrants, the mayor of Lampedusa, Filippo Mannino, declared a state of emergency on the island.

Almost double compared to 2022

The influx is considerable, with around 6,000 to 7,000 people arriving on the island in the space of twenty-four hours, spread across 120 different boats, according to various sources. The capacity of the island's reception center, established at 400 places, is largely exceeded. In fact, tensions have broken out. As hundreds of migrants wanted to leave the island's docks, police had to charge them in a law enforcement operation.

The situation has already caused one death: on the night of Tuesday September 12 to Wednesday September 13, a 5-month-old child died after falling into the water.
The Italian authorities aim above all to reduce overpopulation on the island by gradually transferring migrants to other Italian cities. Since the start of the year, nearly 118,500 migrants have arrived by boat in Italy, almost double compared to the same period in 2022.

Tension at European level

Once again, the situation on migration routes is creating tension at the European level, while the reform of the pact on immigration and asylum is still on the negotiating table in Brussels. On Wednesday September 13, Germany decided to suspend, until further notice, the voluntary reception of asylum seekers (the “voluntary European solidarity mechanism”) who come from Italy.

This decision, justified by the current strong migratory pressure and the persistent suspensions of "Dublin" transfers by certain Member States, also takes a political turn, as the far right gains ground in Germany in view of the next European elections in 2024 .

In France the subject is also on the agenda this fall. While the immigration bill should be presented to the French Parliament in the coming weeks, according to an Odoxa Backbone consulting study for Le Figaro, 74% of French people have a “poor opinion” of the Government's action on the subject. Concerning the actions to be applied on immigration, the French mainly favor more repressive measures.

Thus, 82% of respondents say they are in favor of "the registration of foreigners threatened with expulsion in the file of wanted persons", in view of allowing "Parliament to decide each year on immigration quotas" (81%), and “set a maximum deadline for the administration to grant asylum seekers an appointment at the prefecture” (81%).

“No Way” device ?

From the island of Lampedusa in Italy, Marion Maréchal strongly criticized migration policy, describing it as "unreasonable", and pleaded in favor of a responsible approach, citing the Australian model of the famous "No Way".
“No Way” is a campaign launched in 2014 by the Australian government with the aim of combating illegal immigration and deterring migrants from reaching Australian shores.

Posters and television spots were broadcast in the migrants' countries of origin such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. The signs hammered home the clear message: "No question. You will not make Australia your home."

The vice-president of Reconquest, also head of the party's list in the next European elections, expressed her support for Italy, which she considers abandoned by the European Union in the face of a massive influx of migrants, thus creating a situation of migratory submergence.




Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld

"HE’S THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS BALLS" !

ACCORDING TO DIMITRI MEDVEDEV 

ABOUT ELON MUSK THE UNDERSTANDINGS

 OF INTERRUPTIONS STARLING IN UKRAINE ?

In an authorized biography of the billionaire, written by Walter Isaacson, it is explained that Elon Musk personally thwarted an attempted Ukrainian drone attack on the Russian naval fleet in Crimea. He allegedly ordered SpaceX engineers to cut the Starlink signal, widely used by the Ukrainians for their communications, in order to jam drones carrying explosives aimed at their Russian targets. Although the precise date of this operation is not specified, it took place in 2022.

“He’s the only one who has balls”

"If what [journalist Walter] Isaacson wrote in his book is true, then it seems that Musk is the last sane mind in North America. Or, at the very least, in 'genderless' America, that's it. is the only one who has balls", writes on X Dmitri Medvedev.

According to the biographer, Elon Musk feared that Russia would respond to the drone attack with a nuclear response.

The billionaire had already taken a position on the conflict in Ukraine since its outbreak in February 2022, in particular by offering his help to the Ukrainians thanks to his Starlink satellite system. In October of the same year, he caused controversy by presenting a peace plan via his social networks. His plan was to reorganize the annexation referendums of Ukraine's eastern regions under UN supervision, while providing for Ukraine's neutrality and the permanent attachment of Crimea to Russia. This plan was widely criticized by kyiv. “My very diplomatic response is to show you off,” replied the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany Andriï Melnyk, for example.

"The cost for SpaceX (Starlink's parent company) to deploy Starlink in Ukraine is around $80 million, so far. Our support for Russia is $0. Obviously, we are pro-Ukraine." the billionaire was defended the next day

Curious interruptions

From the first months of the conflict, Starlink had in fact offered Ukraine hundreds of satellite receivers which according to Numerama, contrary to what Elon Musk claimed, these terminals had been financed by public funds and private donations. "Initially , Musk showed limitless support for the Ukrainian cause,” recalled the New Yorker journalist in his investigation.

Once access to the network on Ukrainian territory was opened willingly by Elon Musk, these antennas constituted a solid guarantee that the country's access to the Internet, for both its civilians and its military, could not be easily cut off. or jammed by Russia.

But things ended up getting complicated in the fall of 2022 with network outages observed in certain combat zones. Starlink had experienced service interruptions near the front lines between the Ukrainian army and Russian forces. Affected regions include Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk and Donetsk, all of which have strategic importance in the conflict.

These regions were the scene of contested referendums, organized under the aegis of Russia, claiming their attachment to this country. In this context, communications technologies, including Starlink, have acquired crucial importance for Ukrainian military forces.

Economic and political motivations

Ukrainian soldiers quickly indicated that these were geographic restrictions imposed by SpaceX on Starlink. The billionaire felt less and less comfortable with the military use being made of his satellite constellation.

In response, Musk almost admitted to these restrictions, indicating that he did not want to get too involved in Ukraine's war effort. The billionaire also highlights the fact that Starlink was “losing money” by offering its services to Ukrainian soldiers for free.

The situation was finally resolved by the signing of an agreement with the American Department of Defense. It took the intervention of the Pentagon and the signing of a $400 million contract to ensure that Elon Musk would no longer cut off access to Ukraine.

Was the financial issue the only one to falter Musk's initial full support for Ukraine?

It seems that the billionaire of South African origin was able to speak directly with Vladimir Putin, to whom he nevertheless proposed a single combat.

A little after this supposed discussion, the boss publicly proposed a "peace plan" very close to what the Kremlin or Donald Trump's line could be: that Ukraine officially agrees to abandon the territories already conquered by its invading neighbor. , notably Crimea, and the two countries can start talking.

The intermittent outages of Starlink's services in areas where Ukraine was on the offensive seemed to correspond quite precisely to this new alignment of Musk to a certain line more favorable to the Russian vision. Elon Musk reportedly discussed the war in Ukraine with Vladimir Putin, which he subsequently denied, before supporting, at the beginning of October, a “peace plan” rather favorable to the Kremlin.

And it was the same month when the malfunctions were noted. Network outages were reported from the front and the regions of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk, in the fall of 2022, by Ukrainian soldiers. In the midst of the autumn offensive against the Russian army, they suddenly found themselves plunged into informational darkness.

The influence of China?

If the interruptions of the Starlink network may have been motivated by these exchanges with Russia, the New Yorker explored a final hypothesis: that of the influence of China, an ally of Russia on which Musk heavily depends, particularly for Tesla. China is a colossal market for Tesla, and the brand's gigantic facilities in Shanghai produce half of the vehicles it sells worldwide. And China, a discreet ally of Russia, made it clear to Musk that it viewed his support for Ukraine with a very negative eye, undoubtedly having in mind what could happen in Taiwan if an invasion came. be decided.

While China is preparing its own constellation of 13,000 satellites to compete against Starlink, it could, according to the New Yorker, have asked the billionaire to stop his support for Ukraine.



Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

UKRAINE AGAINST CORRUPTION ZELENSKY REPLACES ITS DEFENSE MINISTER

A new face for the Ukrainian army.

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced, Sunday September 3, 2023, the upcoming replacement of his Defense Minister Oleksiï Reznikov by Roustem Oumerov. “Oleksiï Reznikov has lived through more than 550 days of war. I believe that the ministry needs new approaches and new ways of interacting with the army as well as with civil society at large,” said the Ukrainian president .

Ukraine's negotiator with Moscow

Roustem Umerov is a Crimean Tatar, head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine. If his appointment will have to be validated by Parliament this week, the choice of this eminent leader of the Crimean Tatar community is an important symbol, while the Ukrainian peninsula remains under Russian control since its annexation in 2014. At the
age 41-year-old Roustem Oumerov is an active member of the Tatar community, a Muslim minority which makes up between 12 and 15% of the population of Crimea.

The appointment of this man seems to be a strong gesture on the part of the Ukrainian government, signifying that they intend to embody resistance to Russian oppression. After the forced annexation of Crimea in 2014 by Russia, the latter attempted to legitimize its action by organizing a referendum largely boycotted by the Tatars.

In response, Moscow illegalized the Majlis, the traditional assembly of this Muslim minority, and imprisoned several of its members.
By appointing Roustem Oumerov, kyiv is also opting for a diplomat experienced in the complex area of ​​the war waged by Russia on its territory. He has played a negotiating role on several occasions on behalf of Ukraine, serving as co-chair of the Crimea Platform in the Ukrainian Parliament, coordinating international diplomatic efforts to reverse the 2014 annexation of the peninsula.

Additionally, he participated in talks with Moscow on topics such as prisoner exchanges, civilian evacuations, and even the creation of a maritime corridor to transport Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea.

Two recent scandals

This change at the head of the Ministry of Defense comes especially in the midst of the Ukrainian counter-offensive and while the Ukrainian head of state has promised to strengthen the fight against corruption, an endemic problem in Ukraine, in response in particular to the conditions posed by the European Union to leave Kiev its status as a candidate for membership.

The country has indeed been shaken by several recent corruption scandals, one of which involves the Ministry of Defense, accused by the Ukrainian media of having tripled the price of winter uniforms from a Turkish company after signing them. Defense Minister Oleksiï Reznikov defended these prices by asserting that they corresponded to the prices offered by Turkish manufacturers.
At the end of January, a series of senior Ukrainian officials were dismissed from their posts after the press revealed that a contract signed by the ministry and relating to the purchase of food products for soldiers showed amounts that were in fact overestimated. Oleksiï Reznikov, who then admitted that his ministry's anti-corruption services had "failed in their task", retained his post.

A figure with more integrity than his predecessor

Above all, the pedigree of this appreciated Ukrainian figure contrasts with that of his predecessor, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. In September 2022, Umerov was appointed head of the State Property Fund, the country's main privatization body.

It has since been praised in Ukraine for its exemplary management, while the body was once associated with corruption scandals. Volodymyr Zelensky therefore chose a man with a reputation as incorruptible to succeed the tainted mandate of Oleksii Reznikov.

A symbolic response to the conditions set by the European Union so that Ukraine, plagued by corruption, maintains its status as a candidate for membership.


Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

MYSTERY AROUND THE DEATH OF PRIGOZHIN

BOSS OF THE WAGNER GROUP

"It's an absolute lie," says the Kremlin. No, Vladimir Poutine is not at the origin of the plane accident which would have cost the life of Evguéni Prigojine, leader of the paramilitary group Wagner, affirmed Friday August 25 Dmitri Peskov, the spokesman of the Russian president. "We must approach this problem based on facts".

Three days after the accident, the facts are still uncertain.

Black smoke, the sound of an explosion and a plane falling. On Wednesday August 23, in the early evening, a private plane to connect Moscow to Saint Petersburg crashed near the village of Kujenkino, 200 km northwest of Moscow.

Ten people were on board and none survived. The leader of the Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was on the passenger list, reports Russian news agencies, Ria Novosti, TASS and Interfax.

Friday evening, the bodies of the ten people present in the plane were found according to the Russian investigators, as well as the flight recorders of the device.

“Molecular genetic analyzes are underway to establish their identity […], and a detailed examination of the premises,” the Russian Investigative Committee said on Telegram. On Wednesday, two hours after the plane crash, the private militia of which Prigojine was the boss, confirmed his death on Telegram.

“Too brutal and amateurish work”

Earlier in the day, the Kremlin had formally denied the suspicions that accuse Vladimir Putin for three days, two months after the aborted rebellion of Yevgeny Prigojine.

“Currently, around the air disaster and the tragic deaths of passengers, in particular Yevgeny Prigojine, there is a lot of speculation and we know well in which direction we are speculating in the West,” said Dmitri Peskov.

The Russian president's spokesman was asked about insinuations by Western leaders that the Kremlin had ordered Mr Prigozhin's assassination. He believes that the subject must be approached "on the basis of facts. There are not many of them yet, because they still have to be elucidated by the ongoing investigation. Yesterday, in this regard, the President [ Vladimir Putin] said he expects the results of the investigation in the near future,” he continued.

Asked about the confirmation of death and the identification of the body of Yevgeny Prigojine, Mr. Peskov replied:

"If you listened carefully to the statement made yesterday by the President of the Russian [Federation], he said that all necessary expertise will be carried out, including DNA analysis. As soon as the official conclusions are ready for publication, they will be published".

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko also refuted the accusations against Russia on Friday.

"I know Putin," said the statesman, quoted by the state news agency Belta.

"He's a thoughtful, very calm man […] So I can't imagine that it was he who did that," argued Vladimir Putin's loyal ally. According to him, the plane crash was "too brutal and amateurish work" to blame Putin.

But in Washington, Paris, Berlin or kyiv, senior officials do not seem to see things the same way. On Thursday, the United States deemed it likely that Vladimir Putin caused the death of Yevgeny Prigojine.

But the US military said it had "no information that a surface-to-air missile" was involved in Wednesday's crash, spokesman Pat Ryder said. In France, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna commented ironically on Thursday on "the death rate among Putin's relatives is particularly high".

What future for Wagner ?

Without a leader, does the Wagner empire have a chance of surviving, wonder many specialists and world leaders?

In any case, Moscow will not have waited very long to reframe the thousands of paramilitaries of the Wagner group. On Friday, the Russian president forced them by presidential decree to take an oath to Russia, as regular army soldiers do. In particular, they will have to swear “fidelity” and “loyalty” to Russia, “strictly follow the orders of commanders and superiors” and “sacredly respect the Russian Constitution”.

But it's still a very powerful "brand", which won't necessarily disappear, and thousands of fighters still identify with this patch, but the militia - as it existed in recent years - ceased to exist with the mutiny, and even more so with the death of its leader.

For Ruslan Trad, a researcher at the American think tank Atlantic Council, Moscow actually has no interest in dissolving the organization. According to him, Wagner "has a successful model - in several commercial, intelligence and military areas - which serves Russian foreign policy and the Kremlin's anti-sanctions efforts".

Wagner in the Central African Republic is more than men with Kalashnikovs – it is political consultants, controlled media, mining, internet trolls…

And each activity reinforces the other. Joana de Deus Pereira, researcher at the Royal United Services Institute, also believes that Moscow cannot do without Wagner, but in a new form, “probably under another name”.

"We must consider Wagner […] as a hydra with many heads", she underlines, questioned by the BBC.


Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

TOWARDS A FAILURE OF THE UKRAINIAN

 COUNTER-OFFENSIVE ?

The enthusiasm that prevailed at the start of the Ukrainian counter-offensive did not last.

Launched at the beginning of June, the latter seems, since, to skate. According to CNN on Tuesday, senior Western and especially American officials are describing "sobering" assessments of the Ukrainian army's ability to retake "important territories" from Russia during this counter-offensive.

"They will see over the next two weeks if there is a chance to make progress. But it is highly unlikely that they will make progress that would change the balance of the conflict," a senior Western official told CNN.

Mike Quigley, a Democratic U.S. Representative from Illinois who recently returned from Europe where he rubbed shoulders with U.S. commanders in charge of training Ukrainian soldiers, said the meetings "provide food for thought. We are reminded of the challenges they face. confronted. This is the most complicated period of the war".

Experts returning from Ukraine recognize the solidity of the Russian army. We are preparing for a long war.

The Russian army has indeed gained in efficiency and holds its positions firmly. The Russian army said on Thursday that it had advanced in northeastern Ukraine in the past few hours. In its daily report, the Russian Defense Ministry says its troops have "improved their position" in an area where they have regained the initiative for several weeks.

"In the direction of Kupyansk, the assault units of the Western combat groups have, during offensive actions, improved their positions in the front line," said the Russian Defense Ministry.

Faced with the advance of Russian troops, the Ukrainian authorities ordered the evacuation of 37 localities in the Kupyansk district on Thursday. The regional government indicated on Telegram recommending the population to leave the area for Kharkiv "in view of the constant shelling and the security situation in the territory", indicates Ukranian Pravda.

Back from the front, Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and very involved in the development of a Ukrainian military drone industry, admitted on CNN on July 17 that the Russians had mastered the air and had become masters in the electronic jamming of the opponent. "Currently, they are intercepting or grounding the drones and planes that the Ukrainians are launching," he added.

In addition, the human losses are heavy on the Ukrainian side. Between twenty and thirty thousand deaths rolled in the Russian "meat grinder" in two months, according to the sources. The question of troop renewal is delicate for Ukraine, a country of 36 million inhabitants, ten million of whom have gone abroad.

The Kiev army is said to have more than 50,000 men in reserve as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Friday August 11 on Telegram that all heads of regional military registration and enlistment offices will be fired after reports of illegal enrichment (...) of illicit profits, illegal transport across the border of conscripts", detailed the head of state.

Russia, a country four times more populated, would have nearly 300,000 men ready to go to the front. And recruiting continues apace across Russia, with the goal of a million-strong army.

As for equipment, according to The New York Times, Ukraine had lost 20% of committed heavy equipment during the first two weeks of its offensive. The West does not have sufficient stockpiles of weapons to match Russian firepower over the long term. Unable to send the expected conventional shells, the United States had no other resource than to deliver the controversial cluster bombs, very deadly for civilians and banned by most Western countries.

 The current situation is undeniably unfavorable for Ukraine and NATO, engaged in a conflict that is getting bogged down. Something to make the United States think about what to do next...




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

UNITED KINGDOM

"FLOATING HOTEL" OR "FLOATING PRISON"

TO WELCOME ASYLUM SEEKERS

The controversy did not prevent the project from succeeding.

A first group of asylum seekers settled on Monday August 7, 2023 aboard the Bibby Stockholm, a huge barge at the quay in the south-west of England. It is a project to fight against immigration.

With its 222 cabins, the "Bibby Stockholm" is supposed to accommodate up to 500 migrants Located in Portland in the south-west of England, this barge, 93 meters long and 27 wide, has become the emblem of politics carried out by the British government for several months.

In difficulty in the polls a year from the next legislative elections, the head of the conservative government Rishi Sunak has made the need to "stop the boats" illegally crossing the Channel a priority.

A way to save money in welcoming migrants while deterring potential asylum seekers...

Suella Braverman, Minister of the Interior, fully assumes her anti-migration policy.

More recently, it tripled fines for landlords and employers who allow illegal migrants to rent and work in the UK.

In Portland, the project has angered local residents, some fearing for their safety while others denounce a "floating prison" at the foot of their island of some 13,000 inhabitants.

The authorities refute this term and assure that asylum seekers will be able to enter and leave as they please.




Alyson Braxton for DayNewsWorld

WYD OF LISBON THE POPE TO THE YOUTH

"DO NOT BE AFRAID GO FORWARD !"

Pope Francis presided over the final mass of World Youth Day (WYD) on Sunday morning in Lisbon in front of 1.5 million pilgrims.

The latter were gathered in a huge park laid out for the occasion on the banks of the mouth of the Tagus. for the final mass, the culmination of a week of festive, cultural and spiritual gatherings.

After a night spent on the spot under the stars, the young pilgrims woke up to music to the sound of musical entertainment by a Portuguese priest-DJ, in a stage that looked like a giant festival, at dawn on a day very hot, with temperatures likely to reach 40°C.

A great closing mass broadcast on giant screens was celebrated in the presence of 10,000 priests, 700 bishops and 30 cardinals, on a colossal altar dominating the site.

"Don't be afraid. Have courage. Go forward."

These words of Pope Francis to the million young people who have come from all over the world to Lisbon for World Youth Day (WYD) have not ceased to awaken joy and hope in hearts.

The Pope assured that it is up to the Church "to immerse us in the waters of this sea casting the net of the Gospel", "without pointing fingers but bringing to the people of our time a proposal for a new life , that of Jesus”:

fostering acceptance of the Gospel in a multicultural society; to bring the Father close in situations of precariousness and poverty which are increasing, especially among young people, bring the love of Christ where the family is fragile and the relationships hurt, transmit the joy of the Spirit where demoralization and fatalism reign, further detailed the Sovereign Pontiff, confident of dreaming of the Portuguese Church "as a safe port" for all those who face crossings, shipwrecks and to the storms of life.

At the end of this Sunday's service, the 86-year-old pope warmly thanked the young people, volunteers and organizers of the event. 

"Thanks to you, Lisbon, which will remain in the memory of these young people as a house of brotherhood and a city of dreams," he said.

The Argentinian Jesuit also prayed for “those who could not come because of conflicts and wars”.

“I feel great pain for dear Ukraine, which continues to suffer greatly,” he said.

The next WYD will take place in Seoul in 2027, the sovereign pontiff announced again.



Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld

PRAGMATISM IN EUROPE TWINS OVER ECOLOGY

ONE HUNDRED NEW LICENSES

GAS AND OIL INDUSTRIES IN THE NORTH SEA

On Monday July 31, 2023, the British government pledged to award at least one hundred new oil and gas exploration and exploitation licenses in the North Sea, aligning with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's commitment to fight in a "pragmatic and proportionate" way against global warming. The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, justified this decision by insisting on the independence of his country and the security of its supplies.

This announcement has drawn heavy criticism from environmental organizations, questioning the sincerity of the government's commitment to the environment. It comes at a time when certain green policies are being questioned both within the Conservative majority and the Labor opposition, because of their cost for the British, faced with a period of inflation.
Rishi Sunak justifies this decision by highlighting the need to strengthen energy security in the face of the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has used energy as a lever to disrupt supplies and slow economic growth around the world. It highlights the importance of capitalizing on energy independence to provide more affordable and clean energy to UK homes and businesses.

"We have all witnessed how Russian President Vladimir Putin has instrumentalized energy, disrupting supplies and stalling growth in countries around the world," the conservative prime minister said in a statement. “Now more than ever, it is vital that we strengthen our energy security and capitalize on this independence to bring more affordable and clean energy to UK homes and businesses,” adds Mr Sunak.

Both France and Germany are taking this new situation into account. Hand in hand with TotalÉnergies, Paris is preparing to massively import liquefied natural gas (LNG) via a new floating terminal in Le Havre. By the end of the year, it should land 3.9 million tonnes of LNG per year, from the United States, Qatar and Africa.

Germany is also inaugurating new terminals to import liquefied gas. The argument brandished to justify these is, again, the search for energy security.

On the "side" of households
On the national level, the support granted to oil and gas exploitation in the North Sea is presented as a measure intended to preserve more than 200,000 jobs. Additionally, the government is unveiling CO₂ capture and storage projects in the North Sea, which could create up to 50,000 jobs. However, these initiatives are attracting criticism from some environmentalists who see them as an excuse to maintain fossil fuels.
The UK's environmental policies have been in the spotlight since Labor's surprise defeat by the Conservatives in a local election in west London. The defeat was coupled with resistance from voters to the planned extension of a tax on polluting vehicles to the whole of Greater London, wanted by the Labor mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Under pressure from part of its majority, the government suggests that certain environmental objectives could be relaxed, particularly with regard to energy standards for housing. Rishi Sunak, supported by a column published in the Sunday Telegraph, depicts Labor as "anti-motorist" and positions itself in favor of households who need their cars.

The British Prime Minister, however, reaffirms his commitment to the transition to carbon neutrality, but insists on the need to do so in a pragmatic and proportionate way, so as not to burden families in the face of high inflation.

According to a YouGov poll, although 65% of Britons say they are concerned about the consequences of climate change, the majority oppose measures that would involve personal effort.




Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld

MELONI'S ITALY PRIVILEGED CONTACT 

FOR AFRICA IN EUROPE TO REGULATE IMMIGRATION

Giorgia Meloni convened a conference on migration in Rome, bringing together heads of state from African and Arab countries, as well as officials from European institutions. Mrs Meloni intends to promote a new mode of cooperation between countries of immigration and countries of emigration, on the model of the agreement signed by the European Union (EU) with Tunisia with the aim of curbing the arrival of migrants in Europe.

Among the personalities present were the Presidents of Tunisia, Kaïs Saïed, of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed Ben Zayed, and of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, as well as the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the Council European Union, Charles Michel, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, accompanied by delegates from major international financial institutions.

The Rome Process

When she was in opposition, Giorgia Meloni promised to establish a “naval blockade” of the North African coasts. Now head of government, she wants to build a bridge with the other side of the Mediterranean to fight against illegal immigration by promoting the economic development of Africa. “This is the start of a long process,” said Giorgia Meloni opening the conference during which she detailed the “Rome process”.

It will have to obtain "concrete results in the fight against illegal immigration, the management of legal immigration flows, support for refugees, and above all, the most important thing, otherwise everything we do will be insufficient, a large cooperation to support the development of Africa, and particularly of the countries of origin” of the migrants, explained the president of the council.

According to data from Rome, about 80,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean and arrived on the Italian coasts since the beginning of the year, compared to 33,000 the previous year at the same period, with a majority of departures from the Tunisian coast. According to the UN, more than 100,000 migrants arrived in Europe in the first six months of 2023 from the North African coasts, Turkey and Lebanon, slightly less than the 189,000 recorded in 2022. The creation
of a fund Giorgia Meloni defends the recent partnership between the EU and Tunisia, which includes aid of 105 million euros to fight against smugglers, as a model for new relations with North Africa.

Similar agreements could be considered with Egypt and Morocco. Currently, Italy is putting forward its economic cooperation projects on the African continent, totaling nearly one billion euros.
Following the conference, the President of the Italian Council announced the creation of a fund which will be fed by a first conference of donors, to which the United Arab Emirates has already contributed with 100 million euros. Priority funding should focus on strategic investments and infrastructure to ensure fair and sustainable cooperation. These plans will be unveiled at an Italy-Africa intergovernmental summit to be held in Rome in early October.

Diplomatic activism

Major absentees this Sunday in Rome, Germany, Spain and France. However, these are the main countries of destination for secondary migratory flows. If Giorgia Meloni has not invited them, it is because she wishes to make Italy the privileged interlocutor in Europe for African and Arab countries.
The Italian government seems to want to take advantage of France's loss of influence in the region. It is moreover the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte who accompanied Giorgia Meloni to Tunis.

"Italy has all the cards in hand to play the leading role in the Mediterranean", whether on the migration file, economic cooperation, or even to become the "crossroads" of energy distribution between North Africa and the Europe, she concluded at the Rome conference.




Kelly Donaldson for DayNewsWorld

NATO SUMMIT IN DISPERSED ORDER

OR CRACKS IN THE ALLIANCE

The leaders of the NATO countries are meeting on Tuesday July 11 and 12, 2023 for a crucial summit in Lithuania, at the gates of Russia. The 31 leaders of the countries of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance - soon to be 32 with Sweden - had to find a "clear and positive message", promised the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. The final communiqué states: "The future of Ukraine is in NATO...Allies will continue to help Ukraine progress along the path to interoperability and further necessary democratic and in the security sector […] We will be able to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the Alliance, when the Allies have decided to do so and the conditions have been met.

Different sensitivities

But within the Alliance, it is recalled that Ukraine's membership is everyone's business. Diplomats have long negotiated to find how to invite Ukraine more firmly than in 2008, knowing that the door cannot be opened to a country at war.

Within the Alliance, sensitivities are different between, on the one hand, the Baltic countries which would like to integrate Ukraine as quickly as possible and, on the other, the United States concerned about global nuclear balances. While he has been very forthcoming with substantial military assistance to kyiv, US President Joe Biden has always been much more reserved about Ukraine's promises of membership in the Alliance.

"The NATO membership process takes time," he told CNN before flying to Europe.

And the tenant of the White House has mentioned, for the time being, an agreement similar to that between the United States and Israel: the Jewish state receives several billion dollars every year from Washington in military aid, which provides long-term visibility. These long-term arms supply commitments are being discussed between the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. According to diplomatic sources, these commitments would be formulated outside the framework of NATO. The arms pledges would complement the tens of billions of dollars of equipment already delivered to Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine just over 500 days ago.

"Unprecedented and absurd", according to Zelensky

The refusal to set a deadline for his country's accession is "unprecedented and absurd", considers the Ukrainian president.

"Volodymyr Zelensky's desire to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization plays Putin's game," analyzes a former American general interviewed on the MSNBC channel. "It seems to me that it is reckless to insist on this public gesture. It serves Putin's strategy. […] So I think he has crossed the line, and it is not good for Ukraine. "

Similar story for the BBC, for which “the fact that Volodymyr Zelensky declared that the absence of a timetable was “absurd only underlined his diplomatic failure”.

"Ukraine is not close to joining the Alliance"

The allies must present today a plan of long-term commitments for the security of the country invaded by Russia. In an attempt to reassure him, the G7 countries should issue a joint statement on support for Kiev in the years to come, to help it fight Russia and counter future aggression. To convince the Ukrainian president that his country is indeed getting closer to the Alliance, a first meeting of a Ukraine-NATO council will also take place.

"Ukraine is however not close to joining the Alliance", estimates an editorialist in the columns of Washington In a column entitled "Why Zelensky's complaint about NATO membership is unreasonable", the author considers that Ukraine's accession to NATO would be tantamount to a "delayed declaration of war on Russia".

And to continue “There is another reason why Ukraine is not yet close to joining the Alliance. Volodymyr Zelensky's government also has a tendency to lie when its actions elicit an adverse international reaction. This dynamic only helps Russia and is incompatible with NATO's overriding interest in trust and clear dialogue.”

Despite the procrastination for a rapid accession to NATO, a whole train of new arms deliveries was announced on Tuesday.

New arms deliveries

France will deliver Scalp long-range missiles to Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron made the announcement on Tuesday, the first day of the NATO summit. The Storm Shadow cruise missile, called Scalp by the French military, which is being jointly developed by the UK and France, is launched from the air. It has a range of more than 250 kilometers, more than any other weapons supplied to kyiv by Western countries. With their long range, these missiles have the ability to reach areas in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian forces. Paris will thus follow London in its decision to provide guided air-to-surface missiles to strike targets long distance fixed.

Berlin will deliver nearly 700 million euros worth of additional weapons to Ukraine, German government sources learned on Tuesday, on the first day of the NATO leaders' summit meeting in Vilnius. Second contributor in terms of military aid for Ukraine after the United States, Germany had already announced on May 13, the day before a visit by President Volodymyr Zelensky, arms deliveries for 2.7 billion euros. euros. Berlin has intensified its efforts: it delivers ammunition, Leopard tanks and anti-aircraft defence.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also announced on Tuesday a joint statement by the G7 countries (France, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada) on "security commitments" for Ukraine.

Biden's cluster munitions banned by Oslo convention

Not to mention last Friday's announcement of delivery of cluster bombs to Ukraine by Biden: The United States indeed announced last Friday a new military aid of 800 million dollars to the Ukrainian army , including highly controversial cluster munitions. This is the 42nd package of this kind that will be delivered by the world's leading military power for a total value of more than 41 billion dollars.

In fact, these cluster munitions scatter small explosive projectiles randomly over areas as wide as four football stadiums. Some submunitions do not explode on impact and therefore pose a danger for decades after the conflict.

A US law normally prohibits the production and export of submunitions with a failure rate greater than 1%, which covers almost all US stock. But Joe Biden intends to circumvent this obstacle by relying on another regulation: he can provide any military aid if he judges that it is in the national security interest of his country.

The Americans no longer produce them, but Washington has them in stock and could supply Ukrainian forces with cluster munitions for 155 millimeter howitzers.

"A cluster munition is a weapon which, in its body, will contain several other small active explosive munitions, and not just inert pellet bombs. This can make it possible to deal with less ammunition, by firing a once, over a much larger area. When you watch the training videos with this kind of ammunition, you see that the landing zones, treated by each shell, are often much larger. Simply because one shell will drop other shells, which may in turn explode, and do even more damage over a much larger and much denser area." explains an expert.

Some of these small bombs can remain active for years or even decades and therefore pose a serious risk to civilian populations living in areas affected by this type of bombardment. The detonation failure rate of cluster munitions varies greatly from 2 to 40% due to many factors.

5 to 10% of these cluster bombs do not explode on impact, constituting a danger for the populations, recalls Human Rights Watch, which urges the United States not to provide them. Forced to note the Russian superiority in terms of artillery, the United States of Joe Biden has therefore taken an ethical step by agreeing to provide the Ukrainians with these devastating weapons for civilians, prohibited from use in very many countries.

The distancing of the Allies

As the White House has admitted, the intensity of the ongoing conventional fighting has strained American reserves, to the point of paving the way for these controversial deliveries to counterbalance Russian superiority in artillery. This admission of weakness concerns all of Ukraine's Western allies.

The controversy over the cluster bombs delivered by the United States hides the loss of support for Ukraine. The allies of the United States are indeed reserved on this delivery of arms. The 2008 Oslo Convention, to which many NATO countries are signatories, prohibits this type of weaponry, which can cause considerable harm to civilians.

Just before receiving Joe Biden in London on Monday, on the eve of the NATO summit in Vilnius (Lithuania), British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thus distanced himself from the American decision. He recalled that the United Kingdom signed the Oslo Convention and “discourages” the use of cluster munitions. "We will continue to do our part to support Ukraine against Russia's illegal and unprovoked invasion," he said. Same story on the side of Madrid. "Spain, based on the firm commitment it has made with Ukraine, has also made a firm commitment that certain weapons and bombs cannot be delivered under any circumstances," said the Minister of defense, Margarita Robles, Saturday.

As for France, it also recalled its opposition in principle to the use of these materials, and underlined its "commitment not to produce or use cluster munitions".




Jenny Chase for DayNewsWorld

NETHERLANDS WHEN IMMIGRATION TAKES DOWN

THE GOVERNMENT

Tensions around immigration increasingly tend to make and break governments in the member countries of the European Union. A week after a European summit which brought back the many divisions between the Twenty-Seven on the question of immigration, this subject was fatal to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, who resigned after a disagreement with his allies of the ruling coalition.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte handed in his resignation to the king on Saturday the day after the fall of his government due to differences over the policy for welcoming refugees, a particularly hot topic currently on the Old Continent.

Mark Rutte announced that he would not stand for re-election as leader of his party (VVD) in the next elections. He intends to leave politics.

"What motivates me: the Netherlands"

“In recent days people have been wondering what motivates me,” Mr Rutte said, referring to the row within the coalition over asylum policy. “The only answer is: the Netherlands. My fate in this regard is entirely secondary. On Sunday I decided not to be available as the lead candidate for the VVD for the next elections."

Once a new government is in place after elections next fall, Mr. Rutte will leave politics. King Willem-Alexander asked him to continue to manage major issues, such as the war in Ukraine. In consultation with the Lower House, he will determine which files will still be processed.

"Insurmountable" dispute over the policy of welcoming refugees.

The current coalition has been struggling for some time, especially in the face of the deep peasant crisis engendered by the government's maximalist ecological agenda. And on the question of the right to asylum, it is a decisive moment, because of the new wave of migration affecting the country, as well as all of Western Europe, and which is approaching the tsunami of 2015. With nearly 47 000 asylum seekers in 2022, this figure is proportionally higher than that of France. Serious incidents in the reception centers testify to the saturation of capacities, even if the situation is far from reaching the explosive level of the crisis in France.

Rutte therefore sounded the alarm in April and wanted to get out of the ambiguity by proposing to strictly limit the family reunification of refugees. However, negotiations within the government failed, because two coalition partners opposed any real limitations. The small progressive Christian party CU, heir to the tradition of humanitarian Protestantism, and especially the "center left" party D66, imbued with multiculturalism, under the influence of its leader, Deputy Prime Minister Sigrid Kaag, a former senior civil servant of the United Nations, are both favorable to the reception of migrants and to the causes of the "Global South".

This event marks the end of 12 years of governance and follows the inability of the executive to reach an agreement to restrict the influx of asylum seekers.

The fall of the Dutch government confirms the gap which is widening everywhere in Europe between the dominant politico-media discourse and the feeling of the working and middle classes.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

WHY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION WANTS TO REGULATE NGT THESE "NEW GMOs"

"New GMOs at risk" for their detractors, "biotechnologies of the future" for their defenders...

The European Commission has just begun work on regulations distinguishing New Genetic Technologies (NGT), based on mutagenesis, from GMOs, using transgenesis.

Genetic modifications that are more targeted, more precise and faster than traditional breeding techniques, plants resulting from NGT as safe as the varieties resulting from these same traditional breeding techniques, monitoring adapted to their risk profile, genetic traits potentially bearers of sustainability, adaptation to climate change and food security, all without modifying the slightest gene in the GMO regulations in force since 2001:

these are the arguments put forward by the European Commission, which on 5 July presented a proposal for law aimed at distinguishing the legal framework of NGT from that of GMOs, all against the backdrop of the Green Deal.

The European Commission thus plans to deregulate NGT. These new generation GMOs would be largely exempt from the authorization, traceability, labeling and monitoring rules imposed on their historical counterparts.

These techniques, expected by a majority of agricultural unions and Member States, make it possible to develop improved plant varieties, which could be more resilient to climate change and pests, require less fertilizer and pesticides or offer higher yields. students. Here are the promises of "NGT", the "new genomic technologies", in the agricultural sector according to the Commission.

NGT are "new GMOs" ?

GMOs are organisms whose genome has been modified in the laboratory to give them new characteristics. NGTs are based on an innovative technique: "molecular scissors", also known as CRISPR-Cas9. They allow very precise genetic modifications, without necessarily introducing external genetic material to the basic organism. Thus, NGT are indeed GMOs. The genetic modifications carried out through NGTs fall rather under what is called "cisgenesis", which consists of the artificial transfer of genes between organisms of the same species. NGTs also exploit some targeted mutagenesis processes. Unlike adding an external gene,

NGTs are still at an experimental stage, with only a few trials conducted on maize fields in France and Belgium, as well as potato crops in Sweden.
However, NGT are not transgenic GMOs. Transgenesis consists of transferring a gene from one species to another in the laboratory, without sexual reproduction. Transgenic GMOs sometimes raise concerns about their ethical implications and their potential impact on consumer health and biodiversity.

Towards the deregulation of NGT ?

Since a decision of 2018, NGT are legally considered as GMOs, in accordance with European legislation. Due to their recent scientific development and artificiality, all genetically modified organisms are subject to strict regulations. The limits of use are defined by three texts, including the main directive of 2001 and two regulations. Currently, no GMO can be marketed or released into the environment without authorization, which is issued in the absence of health and environmental risks. GMOs authorized for marketing are also subject to monitoring, traceability and labeling in accordance with these regulations.

The European Commission proposes to create two distinct categories of NGT.

The first would include "complex" mutations impossible to obtain without artificial intervention and would remain subject to current GMO regulations. The second category would encompass mutations obtained by genetic modification, but which could be obtained naturally or by traditional agricultural breeding/breeding. This second category would be subject to significant deregulation, without risk assessment or prior authorization, and without traceability. Products in this category would therefore be treated as conventional seed.
Deregulated "single mutation" NGTs would simply be registered in a public database, with a specific labeling requirement only for seeds. However, the European Commission proposes a restriction: no NGT product could be labeled "organic".

Arguments "for" and "against" NGT

The announcement by the European Commission, which postponed the issue of intellectual property, provoked predictable reactions.

In March 2021, the NGO Corporate Europe Observatory published a series of documents entitled "Crispr Files", revealing the significant influence of agronomy giants and biotechnology researchers within the European Commission in favor of the deregulation of NGT. Until now, the giants of agrochemicals had to finance indiscriminately the regulatory procedures for European approval for all their GMOs. For the proponents of these genomic modifications, easing the legal and financial constraints linked to the development of NGT "reduced mutations" would make it possible to accelerate research in this field and to democratize these "less risk" technologies within the EU.

According to their advocates, "new GMOs" could play a crucial role in ecological transition, the fight against global food crises and the impact of climate change. For some researchers, modifying the genome represents a concrete way of making plants more resistant to water stress (in the face of increasingly frequent droughts), more productive on the same surface or even more robust in the face of diseases. Seeds from NGT, naturally "pest-killing", could also reduce the use of polluting chemicals, thus contributing to the European objective of halving the use of pesticides by 2030.

On the other hand, for environmental NGOs, NGT are considered as "hidden GMOs" and should therefore be subject to the same regulations as traditional GMOs. According to these organizations, the risk of genetic error is present in the same way. According to Suzanne Dalle, a member of Greenpeace, the "complexity" of mutations established as a criterion by the European Commission does not constitute a reliable indicator of the potential impact of a seed derived from NGT on nature. Indeed, even mutations obtained by traditional agricultural selection can be detrimental to biodiversity. "Circumventions" could therefore occur,
Another concern relates to what English speakers call "Super Crops", extremely resilient "super varieties" from NGT, which could in the long term reduce crop diversity and standardize agricultural landscapes.

In addition, the release of new GMOs would further impoverish agricultural biodiversity and soil health, essential for guaranteeing food security, by encouraging monocultures and genetic uniformity. Some researchers are also concerned about the impossibility of tracing the origin of a seed, whether natural or artificial, without the obligation of traceability. Thus, in the case of two neighboring fields, pollination could occur in an uncontrolled manner between a GMO seed and an "organic" seed, without the possibility of monitoring fertilization and any multiplication of the genetic modification. In addition, the absence of labeling on foods containing NGT products would deprive consumers of knowing what is on their plate.

Application of the precautionary principle ?
In order to prevent concentration phenomena, the Académie des technologies also recommends a gradual deployment of NGTs, which would make it possible to add precautions while avoiding the concentrations observed during the development of GMOs. The latter are characterized by a geographical concentration (85% of GMO crops are found on the American continent), a specific concentration (soya, corn, cotton and rapeseed represent 99% of the surfaces cultivated with GMOs) and an agronomic concentration (tolerance to herbicides and resistance to pests concentrate almost all genetic modifications).

The Academy also underlines the phenomenon of industrial concentration inherent in biotechnologies, which the NGT would not call into question, while underlining the lag of France and the EU compared to the United States and China in the field of genome editing, symbolized by CRISPR-Cas9 molecular scissors technology. This technology has also earned its French co-discoverer a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020, thus opening up new therapeutic perspectives in the field of human health.
In France, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) recommends the application of the precautionary principle with regard to NGT. Austria, Hungary, Germany and Luxembourg are also opposed to the development of this technology.

Faced with the fears of critics of GMOs, the European executive asserts that it is adopting a cautious approach by excluding transgenesis (introduction of genetic material from a species with which crosses are not possible), which would continue to come under the 2001 legislation on GMOs.

It would allow techniques resulting in plant-like organisms that could undergo such evolution through natural crossing or through conventional breeding. We are talking here about targeted mutagenesis (mutations of the genome without inserting foreign genetic material, for example by modifications within the same plant species) and cisgenesis (insertion of genetic material between naturally compatible plants).

The Commission's proposals, which exclude the organic sector at the request of the latter, will now be examined by the Member States, and the passage of this deregulation project before the European Parliament promises lively debates between opponents and defenders of the project.




Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld

TWO UKRAINIAN GENERALS DEAD,

TWELVE CIVILIANS AND SIXTY WOUNDED

IN THE BOMBING OF A RESTAURANT

Russia claims to have killed two Ukrainian generals in the strike on Kramatorsk, the toll of which rose to twelve dead and sixty wounded.

US President Joe Biden has called Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin a "pariah" whose army assures that it is not targeting any civilian targets in Ukraine. “As a result of a high-precision strike ... two generals, up to 50 officers of the Ukrainian forces and up to 20 mercenaries and foreign military instructors who participated in a meeting ... were eliminated. » Press release from the Russian Ministry of Defense

ATAt least ten people died and 61 were injured in a Russian strike on Tuesday against a popular restaurant in Kramatorsk, a major city in eastern Ukraine still controlled by Kyiv, authorities said on Wednesday. A Russian strike on Tuesday June 27, 2023 targeted a popular restaurant in Kramatorsk, causing numerous victims; Apartments, shops, cars, a post office and several other buildings also suffered damage in Kramatorsk "Ten people were killed and 61 injured by the Russian attack on Kramatorsk," Ukrainian police said on Facebook. Three minors are among the dead and a child born in 2022 among the injured, according to the Emergency Situations Service, which said rescue operations are continuing and seven people have been rescued from the rubble alive.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov assured that Russia only strikes in Ukraine “facilities that are somehow linked to military infrastructure”.

The strike destroyed the Ria Pizza restaurant, a downtown establishment popular with journalists, aid workers and soldiers. Ukrainian media have mentioned the presence of foreign military instructors in town.

Three Colombian personalities, the famous writer Hector Abad, the politician Sergio Jaramillo and the journalist Catalina Gomez, correspondent in Ukraine for the daily El Tiempo, were slightly injured while having dinner in the restaurant with the Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina, According to a press release signed by MM. Abad and Jaramillo. The latter, a 37-year-old novelist, "is in critical condition, injured in the skull", adds the text.

In addition to the restaurant, apartments, shops, cars, a post office and several other buildings suffered damage, according to the Ukrainian prosecutor's office.

An important railway hub and home to military sites, Kramatorsk is very regularly targeted by Russian bombardments.




Boby Dean  for DayNewsWorld

THE DANGER OF RUSSIAN NATIONALISTS IN FAVOR OF A MORE AGGRESSIVE WAR AGAINST UKRAINE

The Ukrainian counter-offensive launched at the beginning of June 2023 has caused real concern in Moscow. This concern was particularly evident during the meeting between Vladimir Putin and a group of influential military bloggers on June 13. These "patriotic journalists" support the war, but sometimes do not hesitate to criticize the way in which it is carried out.

Moscow was the target of drone attacks on May 1 and on May 30, the Belgorod region was bombed and even overrun on May 22, leading to the evacuation of tens of thousands of Russian civilians.
At the same time, Putin is faced with the political challenge represented by Yevgeny Prigojine, the boss of the Wagner group, a private company which has recruited around 50,000 fighters to participate in the war on the side of Moscow. These fighters played a key role in capturing the Ukrainian city of Bakhmout, which fell on May 20 after a 224-day siege. Following this victory, a poll revealed that Prigojine appeared for the first time in the list of the 10 most reliable politicians in the eyes of Russians.

Growing criticism of the conduct of the war

However, in recent months Prigozhin has openly criticized the conduct of the war by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. In May 2023, he held a series of public meetings in several Russian cities to present his demands to power, including general mobilization, the restoration of the death penalty and the establishment of an official state of war throughout the whole of Russia. Russia. In an attempt to control Prigozhin, Shoigu ordered all volunteer fighters to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense by July 1, which Prigozhin refuses to do.
Prigojine's vast business empire includes media outlets, the Internet Research Agency, accused by the US of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election, as well as a film series and social media accounts allowing it to reach tens of millions of Russians. Together they form what journalist Scott Johnson has called the "Wagnerverse".
Against the backdrop of growing criticism of the conduct of the war and direct attacks on Russian territory, Vladimir Putin had to face some troubling questions when meeting military bloggers.

The growing concern of Russian ultra-nationalists

A poll in Russia shows that, so far at least, military setbacks have not led to a drop in popular support for the war. Many Russians believe it is imperative to do everything possible to avoid Russia's defeat, even if the outbreak of war was a mistake.
However, members of the Russian elite seem to share the growing concern expressed by military bloggers. Senior Russian officials and political experts took part in a meeting of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council on May 20-21.

Drop a nuclear bomb...

Konstantin Zatulin, known for his nationalist stances, said in a June 1 speech that the special operation's initial goals had not been achieved and admitted that Ukrainians hated them because "we are killing them". He also mentioned that a participant in the meeting had proposed dropping a nuclear bomb on Rzeszow, a transport hub in southeastern Poland through which most of the West's weapons are transported to the Ukraine.

Sergueï Karaganov, president of the Council, then published an article on June 14 arguing in favor of the demonstrative use of a nuclear weapon to compel the West to stop supplying arms to Ukraine.
Karaganov, once seen as a liberal advocating Russian integration in Europe, is now convinced that Russia's inability to defeat Ukraine poses a serious threat to its security. This development, coupled with his suggestion to use nuclear weapons, testifies to the growing belief among Russian elites that the country cannot achieve victory by conventional means alone.

In this context, Putin announced on June 16 that Russia had already started transferring some tactical nuclear weapons to the territory of Belarus.

Maintaining social stability and controlling nationalists who call for more aggressive warfare will become an increasingly complex challenge for Putin.




Jaimie Potts for DayNewsWorld

GREECE THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY WINS 

LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS

"The indisputable domination of Kyriákos Mitsotákis is indisputable", proclaimed the Greek newspaper Ta Néa after the country's general elections on Sunday 25 June. The right-wing New Democracy party won 40.5% support, "more than 20 points ahead of the left-wing Syriza party, which ruled the country from 2015 to 2019".

The ND achieved a better score than four years ago when it came to power (39.85% in 2019) and recorded one of its best performances since the restoration of democracy in 1974.
The conservative New Democracy party, led by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, won 158 of the 300 seats in parliament. The main opposition party remains the leftist party Syriza with 48 seats, followed by the socialists with 32 seats, the communists (KKE) with 20 seats and a new small leftist party (Plefsi Eleftherias) with eight seats.
These elections, the second in five weeks, were also marked by a shift to the right, with the defeat of the left-wing Syriza party. The far right has also gained ground, giving Greece its most conservative parliament since democracy was restored in 1974.
“New Democracy is the strongest centre-right party in Europe!” Mitsotakis declared Sunday evening in front of his supporters.

The fragmented and very weakened opposition
"Without adversary, absolute domination of Mitsotakis", headlined the centrist daily Ta Néa on Monday. Opposite, the opposition appears fragmented and very weakened, while some analysts worry about the absolute domination of the right in Parliament against a very weakened left opposition.
The Syriza party of former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (2015-2019) suffered a crushing defeat, failing even to maintain its score of 20% on May 21. Syriza won only 17.84% of the vote on Sunday, with a gap of more than 20 points compared to New Democracy.
"It was a tough battle... The result is obviously negative for us," admitted Tsipras.

Rise of the far-right

On the right side of the political spectrum, two far-right groups are also making their entrance. Three small nationalist and anti-migrant parties will have seats in the new Parliament, together obtaining 12.77% of the vote.
Among them, the "Spartans" created a surprise with 4.64% of the vote and 12 elected deputies. This party, little known until recently, is supported by a former executive of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn formation, Ilias Kassidiaris. The latter is currently serving a heavy prison sentence and had been prevented by the Supreme Court from standing for election. According to a Greek court ruling, Golden Dawn and Elias Kasidiaris were not allowed to stand in the elections, and they failed to do so in the first round in May.

However, during the second round, hundreds of thousands of posters across the country informed voters that Mr Kasidiaris supported a party created a few weeks earlier, called "The Spartans".
The "Niki" party, meanwhile, won 10 seats. It emphasizes Orthodox Christian traditions, takes a tough stance on migrants, opposes abortion, and promotes Orthodoxy as a unifying element among Balkan peoples. Moreover, he opposed the support of Ukraine in its war against Russia.
The third party, the "Greek Solution" (12 seats), is also considered ultranationalist. Although it is more moderate than the other two,

In the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and the Archbishop of the Orthodox Church Ieronymos, Kyriakos Mitsotakis was sworn in according to religious tradition in Greece. He is Prime Minister again.

"Strong Greece"

“For the second time in weeks, citizens not only sent a message of continuity on the path we charted four years ago, but also gave us a strong mandate to meet the great needs of our country” , Kyriákos Mitsotakis said on Sunday.

"We are undertaking difficult work for major reforms," ​​he said after being received by the head of state. "I am committed to implementing major changes during this second four-year term. We have a comfortable parliamentary majority to do so."
In recent weeks, the candidate had bet on his vision of a "strong Greece": "lower taxation to attract foreign investment and increase wages by 25% on average, new roadmap with Erdoğan's Turkey, health and justice reform" and the pursuit of a migration policy that he describes as "tough but fair".

The European right is delighted with this result: Thanasis Bakolas,pro-conservative trend in Europe.

"This is what we are seeing in Greece, as we also saw earlier this year in the national elections in Finland and regional elections in Spain. And this is precisely what we will see again in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Spain. in July and in Poland in October," he said.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

GERMANY THE FAR RIGHT WINS A LOCAL AUTHORITY

AND AIMS FOR THE CHANCELLORY

All eyes were on the ballot in the community of Sonneberg, located in the Thuringia region and with a population of around 57,000, while the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is experiencing a rise in the polls, with support estimated between 18 and 20% at the national level, according to recent studies. And it was Robert Sesselmann, the AfD candidate, who took control of the district of Sonneberg, on the border with Bavaria, winning the second round elections on Sunday June 25, 2023 with 52.8% of the vote, against the candidate of the conservative CDU party.
This is the first time that the far-right AfD party, founded ten years ago, has won the election of a "Landrat",

A candidate for the chancellery in 2025

Additionally, AfD Co-Chair Alice Weidel confirmed on June 23 that her party will field a chancellor candidate for the first time in 2025, as the party, galvanized by its recent successes, soars in polls.
Traditionally, only the parties with a chance of leading the government explicitly nominate a candidate for the supreme office of chancellor before the federal elections, which has always been the case for the SPD and the CDU. In 2002, the FDP, a small centre-right party, was the object of ridicule when its leader, Guido Westerwelle, ran for chancellor. "Of course [we will present a candidate for the chancellery]. We would have done it even without the current polls," Weidel told RTL/NTV. However, she added that party members will have the final say on this issue.
Tino Chrupalla, co-president of the AfD,
Initially founded in 2013 as a Eurosceptic party, the AfD has gradually refocused on the issue of immigration. The German Parliament has passed a law introducing, among other things, a points system to facilitate and manage the arrival of non-European skilled migrants.

Repercussions for the Europeans of 2024

A new poll published Tuesday by RTL / NTV places the AfD in second position with 19%, behind the CDU (27%) and ahead of the SPD (18%), the party of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. This rise in power in the polls reflects growing dissatisfaction with the tripartite government coalition, which is increasingly torn apart.
This development could soon have important repercussions also within the European Union, as the AfD plans to campaign in
the European elections of 2024 by promising to dissolve the European institutions.

"We... seek to dissolve the EU in an orderly manner and want to create a new interest-based European economic community, a league of European nations," reads a proposal from the party leadership, as part of of the manifesto for the European elections.




Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld

SWEDEN REGULATORY STRENGTHENING

ASYLUM

During a joint press conference on Wednesday June 21, 2023, the Swedish Minister for Migration, Maria Malmer Stenergard, and Ludvig Aspling, spokesperson for the far-right Sweden Democrats party on migration issues, discussed several crucial subjects such as the establishment of a geographical area for asylum seekers, improving the efficiency of returns and the need to strengthen the reception of asylum seekers.

The Swedish government has presented additional guidelines aimed at furthering the ongoing investigation into the reception of asylum seekers, focusing on transit centers and facilities where asylum seekers will reside for the entire duration of their procedure. Maria Malmer Stenergard underlined the overriding objective of countering the existence of a "shadow society", while Ludvig Aspling expressed his support for this move.

Currently, people seeking asylum in Sweden have the choice of either staying in one of the Migration Board's accommodation centers or living in their own accommodation (EBO). However, an interim report published last year suggested abolishing the option to choose one's own accommodation, a recommendation now backed by the ruling coalition and the far-right Sweden Democrats.

Maria Malmer Stenergard said: "The investigator will analyze and consider what additional measures could be put in place in order to establish a system where asylum seekers will reside in designated asylum accommodation and remain available to the authorities." . She added that this measure would facilitate the monitoring of asylum seekers by the authorities, while ensuring adequate support for them.

The new directives also provide for strict monitoring of the obligation to notify the place of accommodation and the establishment of a system assigning a geographical area to asylum seekers for their stay. Those who violate these rules will have their asylum application withdrawn. Ludvig Aspling explained: "These measures mean that if a person, for example, does not cooperate with the asylum investigation, the authority should be able to decide to withdraw the application".

With regard to returns, the government and its far-right ally want to examine the methods of apprehending asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected and who are hiding illegally. Ludvig Aspling underlined that the investigation will include the impact of the presence of these people in the current system, as well as the allocation of a place of residence even after the rejection of their application.

The survey will also address the issue of strengthening Swedish reception rules in line with European legislation. The Swedish government and the Swedish Democrats have already affirmed their desire not to offer more generous material reception conditions than those required by the European Union. Thus, the survey will examine the possibilities for asylum seekers to contribute financially to their own reception, in particular by assuming health costs. The right to work of asylum seekers will also be given special attention.


Ludvig Aspling said: "European legislation could strengthen Swedish regulations". This move is part of the Swedish government's desire to explore ways to increase the voluntary return of migrants.

However, the opposition sees this announcement as yet another illustration of the influence of the far right on the Swedish government.




Britney Delsey for DayNewsWorld

RUSSIA WHAT CONSEQUENCES AFTER WAGNER'S ABORTED MUTINY

Evguéni Prigojine, a controversial figure suspected of many wrongdoings, finds himself in a delicate position vis-à-vis Vladimir Putin's security services, the FSB. The latter had threatened to sue him for defamation, following his accusations against the regular army. However, to everyone's surprise, Prigojine was finally cleared and the criminal investigation against him was dropped.

This decision seems to have been taken with a view to avoiding a major crisis, but what additional guarantees have been given to this businessman supposed to go to neighboring Belarus? Is his exile temporary ? 

It would seem that the Kremlin wants to both keep Prigojine, known for his agitation, away while placing him under the protection of the faithful and docile Alexander Lukashenko.

The exile of Prigozhin

The future of the Concord Group and other Prigojine businesses remains uncertain. In the rush to defuse the explosive situation on Saturday, some practical considerations were probably set aside. One can imagine that Prigojine will continue to manage its less sensitive activities from Belarus. On the other hand, he may have to give up Wagner and his operations abroad.
Certainly, Wagner represents a serious threat for Moscow, but on paper, it is not disproportionate. 

According to the head of this organization, it has been decimated by the incessant attacks suffered during the last ten months in Bakhmout in Ukraine. Moreover, as early as the spring, the Ministry of Defense took control of the recruitment of fighters in prison, thus depriving Wagner of his main source of recruits. Around the same time, the controlled media were ordered not to report on him or his actions.

For now at least, Yevgeny Prigojine doesn't seem to have any allies.
The agreement reached on Saturday also stipulates that none of the fighters of the Wagner group will be prosecuted for their coup, because they are considered deserving on the Ukrainian front. Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's spokesman, even claimed that some of them could sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense, without providing further details. However, there is the question of operations abroad, particularly in the Central African Republic and Mali, where Wagner's contingents are still present and active.

If the private military company Wagner is dissolved, what will become of its employees? It is difficult to imagine that the Kremlin could do without the presence of these mercenaries in the gray areas where Russian influence is expanding. Will it be enough to change the name of the structure? Perhaps the COSI (Community of Officers for International Security) of Alexander Ivanov, close to Prigojine, could be suitable. Unless the Kremlin decides to call on another private Russian military company, just as tolerated but no more official than Wagner.

Consequences for the Defense ?

The wipeout at Defense does not imply the departure of senior Russian military officials, according to the agreement. However, it is difficult to imagine that the Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, and the Chief of Staff of the Russian army, Valery Gerasimov, emerged unscathed from this affair of mutiny. 

Their record since the start of the war in Ukraine has been far from satisfactory, and Prigojine has been calling for their departure for months. According to Russian sources, Aleksey Dyumin, Putin's former bodyguard who became governor of the Tula region, could be appointed to the Ministry of Defense. Dyumin, who worked in the FSB and commanded special forces during the annexation of Crimea, is said to have participated in the negotiations with Prigozhin.

Vladimir Putin did everything to avoid showing himself after his televised address on Saturday. He delegated the negotiations to his Belarusian protege, thus avoiding any direct contact with the "traitor" Prigojine. So far, he has not commented on the outcome of this crisis, which, without shaking power, upsets the balance somewhat.

Who can Vladimir Putin really count on ? Can he trust his army ?

Deployed en masse on the Ukrainian fronts, it has been severely tested by the fighting and its troops are tired of suffering setbacks. When in doubt, the Russian president relies more on the forces of Rosgvardia. Since April 2016, the Russian government has had a federal service of national guard troops, 400,000 strong. Rosgvardia, directly attached to the Russian President, is responsible for a wide range of missions: the fight against terrorism and extremism, maintaining public order, controlling borders and the circulation of arms. Putin can also count on the units of the FSB, the federal security service of the Russian Federation, which has 350,000 men and 200,000 border guards.

Prigojine reveals the deep weaknesses of the Russian military and security apparatus

In the complex landscape of Russian internal security, where the stakes are high, the key role of the FSB, the Federal Security Service, cannot be underestimated. Responsible for the fight against organized crime, counterintelligence, terrorism and drug trafficking, this organization is the backbone of Vladimir Putin's system. However, despite this apparently solid structure, the Russian president seems to show some doubt as to the loyalty of his military and security apparatus. The Prigozhin rebellion exposed serious weaknesses within this apparatus.

There is no doubt that Vladimir Putin will put his entourage and his army in order in the coming days in a country that has nuclear weapons.




Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld

THE CRAZY DAY OF THE REBELLION

OF THE WAGNER GROUP AGAINST MOSCOW

The situation has calmed down in Russia. The Russian paramilitary group Wagner, led by Yevgeny Prigojine, went into armed rebellion against Moscow on Friday evening. Twenty-four hours later, Yevgeny Prigojine said he ordered his men to return to their bases in order "to avoid a bloodbath" following mediation by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. The fighters of the Wagner group are gradually withdrawing this Sunday, June 25, 2023 from their positions in Russia, while Vladimir Putin seems to be emerging weakened from this unprecedented crisis.

Everything is back to normal, or almost .

A spectacular but short-lived rebellion. Saturday evening, after a staggering day that saw Yevgeny Prigojine, the leader of the paramilitary group Wagner, openly defy Vladimir Putin's Russia and promise to free the Russian people from their corrupt oligarchy, an agreement was reached, through Belarus, faithful ally of the Kremlin.

The war in Ukraine will be able to continue. The mutineer Evguéni Prigojine is exiled to Belarus and Wagner's soldiers seem to be granted amnesty for their putsch attempt. In the Kaluga region, 180 km south of Moscow, movement is restricted. In Moscow, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin considers the situation "difficult" and warns that traffic could be blocked in certain districts of the capital. He declares Monday a day off.

The "anti-terrorist operation regime" established in Moscow and its region remains in force on Sunday. Large police patrols were still deployed along the main road leading out of Moscow in the south of the capital. In the Moscow region, traffic restrictions on the M-4 highway linking Moscow to Rostov are also maintained on Sunday, according to a press release from the Avtodor agency, responsible for highways in Russia.

Chechen forces arrive in Moscow region ; The Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced yesterday that he would send his men to "areas of tension". This morning, a video shows Kadyrov's troops parading on a deserted bridge in Kolomna, in the Moscow region.

Wagner "turned around", according to Prigozhin. Shortly after 7 p.m., on his Telegram account, Evguéni Prigojine said he ordered his men to return to their bases in order "to avoid a bloodbath". He also claims that Wagner's fighters have advanced 200 km towards Moscow in the past 24 hours.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claims to have negotiated Wagner's "halt of troop movements" and a "de-escalation of tensions", according to the unofficial Belarusian Presidency Telegram channel.

The fighters of the paramilitary group Wagner, which had taken control of the Russian army headquarters in Rostov on Saturday, left the city, announced the regional governor. “The Wagner Group convoy left Rostov and headed for its camps,” Vasily Golubev said on Telegram, without giving further details. “The units of the paramilitary group Wagner are completing their withdrawal from the territory of the Voronezh region”, writes Alexander Goussev, on Telegram the local governor, assuring that everything is going “normally, without incidents”. On Telegram, the Wagner Group posted a video of its forces leaving the Lipetsk region.

Kremlin announces amnesty for Prigozhin

Evguéni Prigojine will go to Belarus announced the Kremlin, which assured that the justice of the country would not prosecute the leader of the Wagner group and the fighters who followed him.

“The criminal case will be dropped against him. He himself will go to Belarus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press about the businessman. No one will persecute (the fighters), given their merits at the Ukrainian front. Wagner leaves Rostov

The precise course of the Prigozhin mutiny

Prigozhin calls for an uprising

Evguéni Prigojine accuses, Friday evening, the Russian army of having carried out deadly strikes on the camps of its fighters and calls to rise against the Russian military command. He claims to have 25,000 men and says he wants to lead a "march for justice". He defends himself against any "military coup". The Russian security services (FSB) open an investigation for "call for armed mutiny" and demand the arrest of the head of Wagner.

Wagner's troops enter Russia

Prigozhin claims in the early hours of Saturday (Moscow time) that his troops have entered Russian territory and that he "will go all the way". He assures that his forces, ready to die for "the fatherland" and "to liberate the Russian people", shot down a Russian military helicopter. Moscow, the region of Rostov, neighboring Ukraine, and that of Lipetsk (420 km south of the capital) announce reinforced security measures.

Wagner in RostovAt 6:30 a.m. (Paris time), Yevgeny Prigojine declares having seized the headquarters of the Russian army in Rostov, a key center for the Russian assault against Ukraine, and having taken control of sites military, including an airfield. An "anti-terrorist operation regime" is established in Moscow and its region, a measure which strengthens the powers of the security services.

Putin denounces a "treason"

At 10:10 a.m. (Paris time), during a televised address, Vladimir Putin accuses Prigozhin of having "betrayed" Russia because of its "excessive ambitions", swears not "to let" a new "civil war to occur in Russia and promises "firm" action against the "deadly threat" posed by Wagner's armed rebellion. He admits a "difficult" situation in Rostov.

In the morning, the Russian army is carrying out "combat" operations in the Voronezh region, halfway between Moscow and Rostov, according to local authorities who report a major fire in a fuel depot and report the presence of militiamen belonging to Wagner.

Yevgeny Prigojine replied to Vladimir Putin's speech: "The president was deeply mistaken. We are patriots. No one is going to surrender at the request of the president, the security services or anyone else."

Wagner advances towards Moscow

At 1:30 p.m. (Paris time), we learn that Wagner's fighters entered the Lipetsk region, 420 km south of the capital. An announcement made by the local authorities which confirms the progress of the militia towards Moscow.

The intelligence services expected a Wagner rebellion

According to the New York Times and the Washington Post, US intelligence agencies had known since mid-June that Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigojine was plotting a rebellion against Russian military command. The New York Times writes that “American intelligence officials informed military and administrative officials on Wednesday that Yevgeny Prigozhin (…) was preparing to carry out military action against senior Russian defense officials”. The Washington Post says intelligence agencies were unsure when the rebellion would take place, but they were on high alert for the past two weeks.

An intelligence official said the conflict between the leadership became palpable after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered on June 10 to force Russian mercenaries to sign contracts with the government, meaning a takeover of the Wagner Group by the Russian state.

According to the Post Vladimir Putin was aware of Prigozhin's intentions.




Garett Skyport for DayNewsWorld

BACK ON IMMIGRATION AN AGREEMENT

BETWEEN EU STATES ON ASYLUM REFORM

The timing is involuntary but resonates in French news.

While occupying a disused school in the 16th arrondissement for 77 days, migrants had settled around 8 p.m. on Tuesday June 20, on the Place du Palais royal in Paris, in front of the Council of State. Within three minutes, hundreds of tents had been deployed there. Inside, migrants who have not been recognized as minors by child welfare after a court hearing on June 12 relating to the expulsion of these migrants.

As a Syrian with refugee status in Sweden attacked children in a park in Annecy on Thursday morning, sparking far-right criticism of migration policy, Sweden's EU presidency announced on Thursday evening an agreement on an asylum reform. At the start of the evening, Italy and Greece still shared resistance.

The reform provides for a system of solidarity between Member States in the care of refugees, and an accelerated examination of the asylum applications of certain migrants at the borders, in order to return them more easily to their country of origin or transit. This green light paves the way for talks with the European Parliament, with a view to adopting the reform before the European elections in June 2024. "These are not easy decisions for everyone around the table, but these are historic decisions,” welcomed German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.

Italy “will not be the reception center for migrants”

Poland and Hungary voted against these proposals, while Bulgaria, Malta, Lithuania and Slovakia abstained, we learned from the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, which led the long and complex negotiations. A little earlier, a dozen member states, including Italy and Greece, had expressed their opposition or their reservations about the proposals on the table. A new compromise text was then drawn up, in order to rally as many people as possible, and in particular the Mediterranean countries, which are the countries through which migrants arrive in the EU.

Italian Minister Matteo Piantedosi showed his satisfaction at having seen “all his proposals” accepted.

“We ruled out the hypothesis that Italy and all member states of first entry would be paid to keep irregular migrants on their territory. Italy will not be the reception center for migrants on behalf of Europe,” he said in a statement.

20,000 euros per asylum seeker

One of the texts approved by the ministers provides for compulsory but “flexible” solidarity within the EU in the care of asylum seekers. Member States would be required to welcome a certain number of these applicants arriving in an EU country subject to migratory pressure, or failing that to make a financial contribution.

The planned financial compensation is around 20,000 euros for each asylum seeker who is not relocated. These sums would be paid into a fund managed by the Commission and intended to finance projects linked to the management of migration.

The other text endorsed by the ministers obliges the Member States to implement an accelerated procedure for examining asylum applications (12 weeks maximum), in centers located at the borders, for migrants who have statistically the least chance to be granted refugee status.

This is the case, for example, of nationals "from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Bangladesh and Pakistan", commented the Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration.




Alyson Braxton for DayNewsWorld

UKRAINE AT THE ORIGIN OF SABOTAGE

FROM THE NORTH STREAM ACCORDING TO THE CIA ?

Shortly after the explosions on Nord Stream pipelines that caused leaks last September, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reportedly informed Belgian intelligence that Ukraine may have been behind the sabotage.

At the time, Russia was immediately accused of having caused the three explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in order to put pressure on Ukraine's Western allies by cutting off gas supplies.

However, on Saturday (June 10), the Belgian media De Tijd reported, on the basis of sources close to the case, that several intelligence agencies, including the Belgian agency (ADIV-SGRS), would have received a few months ago CIA information that Ukraine may be responsible for the sabotage.

De Tijd's revelations about kyiv's potential involvement come after those in the Washington Post last Tuesday (June 6). According to the American daily, three months before the sabotage, the administration of Joe Biden had learned that the Ukrainian army had planned a secret attack on the gas pipeline and that the divers who participated in the attack reported directly to the commander in chief of the forces. Ukrainian armies. Therefore, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would have been kept out of the operation. On Wednesday (April 7), he also refuted any Ukrainian participation in this sabotage.

"I don't think our military and our intelligence services did anything like that, otherwise I would like to see evidence," Zelensky said.

The Wall Street Journal also reported on Saturday that the attacks may have been planned in Poland, an allegation that is currently being investigated by Germany.

Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder declined to comment on De Tijd's revelations, saying she would "not communicate about the work of the [Belgian] intelligence service or the contacts it has with the partner services,” its spokeswoman said.

To date, the instigators of the sabotage remain unknown, and Russia – which nevertheless denies any responsibility – is still suspected of being at the origin, in particular following the revelations made last April by Nordic media.

According to them, a Russian military program aimed to map offshore wind farms, gas pipelines, power and communication cables in the waters of Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Vessels similar to those used in the waters of these countries had been sighted in Belgian and Dutch territorial waters last November. that it could be an intelligence vessel. A documentary made by several Nordic media now seems to confirm these suspicions.

However, Russia denies any involvement in intelligence gathering activities in the North Sea.


Doubts remain and in a context of information warfare it is difficult to know everyone's responsibilities
.



Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

HOW TO REBUILD UKRAINE ?

The war may not be over, but the country is already thinking about its reconstruction. The international community will discuss it in a few days, at a conference in London.

More than a year after the start of the Russian offensive, the World Bank has assessed Ukraine's immediate needs at $14 billion to repair the damage caused by the fighting.

In March, the Ukrainian government, the World Bank, the European Commission and the United Nations estimated the reconstruction costs of one year of war (February 24, 2022-February 23, 2023) at 411 billion US dollars. Three months have passed and the bill is still climbing. A sum expected to increase with the continuation of the conflict.

"In today's dollars, the Marshall Plan was about $130 billion to rebuild Europe, including West Germany, after World War II. Estimates for Ukraine are many times that It's considerable," sums up Dominique Arel, holder of the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa.

An extraordinary construction site

Ukraine has been in cleaning and rebuilding mode for months. "The largest construction site in the world", headlined the New York Times on February 17. In April, The Guardian claimed that 41 of the 330 bridges destroyed were being rebuilt. Just like 120 kilometers of roads and 900 railway equipment. There are many construction sites in towns like Boutcha and Irpine.

Most of the work remains downstream.

This reconstruction is not just about brick, concrete, glass and steel. Beyond homes, buildings and public service equipment, it will be necessary to rebuild schools, the health system, the computer network... It will be necessary to reconstitute heritage treasures, carry out mine clearance and depollution work.

The most recent count by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) listed more than 8.2 million Ukrainians with a temporary protection visa… only on the European continent.

The economic reconstruction of a country is intimately linked to that of its infrastructure. It is even more concrete for the municipal and regional administrations whose financing goes through taxation.

International effort

The international community and institutions such as the UN, the European Commission, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are monitoring the situation. Especially since since February 24, 2022, they have invested billions of dollars in the country to keep it running day by day.

International conferences are used to take stock. Thus, on June 21 and 22, London will host the 6th edition of the annual Ukraine Recovery conference). Officials from more than 60 countries and hundreds of heads of major global companies are expected there on Wednesday and Thursday, the British government announced on Saturday.

"The reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy is as important as its military strategy," said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, opening this meeting where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will speak by videoconference.

But how far will this international aid go ?

Ukraine cannot pay for its own reconstruction, which Germany managed to do quite quickly after the Second World War. Ukraine does not have the same capacity as Germany at the time.

Neither does the West take the bill. “It does not seem to be in the discussions currently, adds the researcher. Moreover, I have not seen a trace or even speeches in which Western leaders have prepared the population for such an extraordinary economic commitment. »

There remains the Russian solution. Since the beginning of the conflict, governments that openly and actively support Ukraine, including Canada, have frozen some 300 billion in assets belonging to the Russian central bank and at least 20 billion in assets belonging to oligarchs.

But before using it, it may be necessary to go through the courts.




Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld

THE AFRICAN PEACE PLAN DIFFICULT TO IMPLEMENT ACCORDING TO MOSCOW

The African mediation delegation on Saturday advocated the end of "the war" before Vladimir Putin, formulating proposals deemed "very difficult to implement" by the Kremlin, the day after the rejection of this initiative by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“War cannot last forever […]. We want this war to end,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, head of the delegation of African mediators, during a meeting with Mr. Putin in Saint Petersburg (northwestern Russia). ).

According to Mr. Ramaphosa, the African peace proposals can be summed up in 10 points, among which a "de-escalation on both sides", the "recognition of the sovereignty" of the countries as recognized by the UN, the "security guarantees" for all parties, the lifting of obstacles to the export of cereals via the Black Sea, the "liberation of prisoners of war", as well as reconstruction.

At the end of the meeting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described this African plan as "very difficult to implement".

However, "President Putin has expressed interest in examining it," he said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

The delegation included, in addition to Mr. Ramaphosa, three other presidents: Macky Sall (Senegal), Hakainde Hichilema (Zambia) and Azali Assoumani (Comoros), current president of the African Union, as well as Congolese, Ugandan and Egyptian representatives.

Reconstruction

The reconstruction of Ukraine will be at the heart of the conference scheduled for London in the middle of the week and of which this will be the second edition since the start of the Russian invasion, after that which was held last year in Lugano in Switzerland.

"Continue the Dialogue"

Another upcoming meeting is the Russia-Africa summit, scheduled for the end of July in Saint Petersburg and for which African leaders and Mr. Putin affirmed on Saturday “their political will to continue the dialogue”, declared Dmitri Peskov.

"We are open to constructive dialogue with those who want peace based on the principles of justice and taking into account the legitimate interests of the parties," Putin told African leaders.

Africa is hard hit by the increase in food prices and the consequences of the Russian offensive on world trade. South Africa, however, refuses to condemn Russia for its aggression, and is criticized for its closeness to the Kremlin.

Russia, for its part, is trying to attract African leaders to its camp by claiming to stand up as a bulwark against imperialism and by accusing the West of blocking with its sanctions the exports of Russian cereals and fertilizers essential to the Africa.

The African delegation arrived in Russia the day after a trip to Kyiv where its members had, according to the African presidency, "constructive discussions" with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who, however, rejected their proposals. .

"The threat of missiles and airstrikes remains high throughout Ukraine as the enemy continues to concentrate efforts on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Maryinka axes and intense battles continue," the ministry said in a statement. communicated.

As Kyiv pushes to join NATO as soon as possible, US President Joe Biden has assured him in Washington that Ukraine will not receive preferential treatment for its NATO membership process.




Jaimie Potts for DayNewsWorld

THE FAR RIGHT TAKES UP ITS QUARTERS

IN MAJOR SPANISH CITIES

The Spanish conservatives are big favorites in next month's legislative elections, after their victory in the municipal elections on May 28, marked by the breathlessness of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's Socialist Party (PSOE) and the collapse of his radical left allies.

Big winner of this election against the left of Mr. Sánchez, the PP could need Vox to govern regions. He could also need the support of this party to return to power at the national level if he wins the early legislative elections of July 23 as predicted by the polls.

The PP, credited with an average of 34% of voting intentions against 26% for the Socialists, is in fact not at all guaranteed to obtain an absolute majority in Parliament, and it could need the support of the extreme right to take control of the country. In third position in the polls, the far right is credited with 14% of the polls, just ahead of the radical left (12%).

Right and extreme right associated in several regional capitals

While the municipal councils elected at the end of May are holding their inaugural session on June 17, what has been taking shape for three weeks in the cities won by the People's Party is indeed an alliance, here in broad daylight, there tacit with the far right. The PP, which Alberto Núñez Feijóo has refocused a lot since he took the reins, runs 30 out of 50 provincial capitals, plus the two autonomous enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African coast.

In fourteen of these regional metropolises, the right holds an absolute majority in the municipal council. But in the other sixteen, this is not the case. In Valladolid, Burgos, Toledo, Ciudad Real and Guadalajara, the PP therefore signed a coalition agreement (People's Party, conservative)-Vox (extreme right) in due form to take or keep the town hall, with the key vice-mayor titles and a sharing of key positions.

The far-right Vox party settled on Saturday, in coalition with the People's Party (conservative) at the head of ten important cities in Spain, an alliance which could be renewed at the national level after the legislative elections next month . In addition to the regional capitals, Santiago Abascal declared having entered 140 municipal majorities, such as in Mostoles in the province of Madrid, or in Elche in that of Alicante. An agreement between the PP and Vox to govern the region of Valencia (East), just over a month before the national elections, has also been reached.

And for this, the local leaders of the PP "have aligned themselves with the positions of the extreme right", underlines the daily El Pais.

In a statement, Vox said it will seek to remove 'ideological' city departments like those dedicated to promoting equality that 'waste' money and have not solved people's 'real problems' . In the local agreements with Vox, any reference to gender has been erased, and measures to combat global warming have been abandoned.

So far, Vox has governed in coalition with the PP only in the region of Castile and Leon. Founded in 2013 by former members of the PP, Vox is the third political force in Parliament.

However, given the maneuvers underway in the regional capitals, it is not impossible that members of Vox, the party led by Santiago Abascal, will enter a government led by the People's Party (PP, right) of Alberto Núñez Feijóo....




Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld

DISAPPEARANCE OF RIDER SYLVIO BERLUSCONI INCARNATION OF THE ITALIAN RIGHT

Disappearance of an emblematic figure of Italian political life: Silvio Berlusconi, Italian senator and former president of the Council of Ministers three times, died at the age of 86.

This Monday, Silvio Berlusconi died at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy, following a serious illness, the daily Corriere della serra announced. Nicknamed "the immortal" for his longevity in politics, the senator and businessman, who has profoundly marked the political landscape of his country, was again admitted on Friday to the San Raffaele hospital in Milan where he was stayed multiple times.

On April 5, the billionaire had already been hospitalized for six weeks in this prestigious establishment to treat a state of weakness linked to a lung infection, but his doctors had revealed that he suffered from chronic leukemia. He had addressed his supporters for the first time in early May, in a video message, from his hospital room, seated behind a desk with the party banner and the Italian flag behind him.

Born on September 29, 1936, Silvio Berlusconi is the eldest of a middle-class Lombard family. His father, Luigi, is an employee of the Rasini bank, of which he will become one of the leaders; his mother, Rosa Bossi, is a housewife. From their union will be born two other children: Maria Antonietta and Paolo. At 12, Silvio entered the Sant'Ambrogio college in Milan, run by the Salesians. The one who was born in Milan in the middle of Fascist Italy was passionate about music, art and antiquity when he was younger.

Silvio Berlusconi undertook two years of study at the Sorbonne, after his maturita (baccalaureate). A law graduate from the University of Milan in 1961, with a dissertation on advertising contracts, he indulged his passion for song at the same time by joining a group, Les Quatre Docteurs. His professional career began in the real estate market in the 1960s.

First in real estate

He carries out his first real estate transaction by building a group of low-cost houses

This first experiment will be followed by the construction of a set of one thousand apartments, then, in the early 1970s, by that of the Milano 2 district, the first Italian new town.

But Silvio Berlusconi is already abandoning the concrete to take an interest in another activity: the press, by becoming, in 1979, the majority shareholder of the daily Il Giornale, and television, whose state gives up the monopoly in 1976.

Then media man

Over the following decades, he founded a multitude of companies in different sectors, including media, construction, finance and insurance. A success that allowed him to be made a Knight of the Order of Labor Merit in 1977 and to be then nicknamed Il Cavaliere. In 1986, he bought the mythical AC Milan, then in the grip of significant financial difficulties. During three decades of presidency, Silvio Berlusconi made the Lombard club a stronghold of European football. A sporting success, symbolized by the five Champions Leagues won in 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003 and 2007.

His company Mediaset, mainly owned by the Fininvest holding company, which includes most Italian television channels, earned him a large part of his fortune and was also a springboard for his political career. and which he will use to serve his political career.

and politician

This began in the mid-1990s with the creation of the Forza Italia party in the aftermath of Operation Clean Hands, which aimed to put an end to the widespread corruption that had affected Italian political life for a long time. If he is hardly worried by the investigations of the operation "Mani pulite" ("clean hands") which will lead to the disappearance of Christian Democracy and the Socialist Party, Silvio Berlusconi adheres to the influential Masonic lodge Propaganda Due (P2), founded by Licio Gelli, declared nostalgic for Mussolini. This secret association makes a point of saving Italy from communism. Silvio Berlusconi rubs shoulders with former ministers, businessmen, former secret service officers.

“Italy is the country I love. It was with these words that Silvio Berlusconi appeared on all his television channels on January 26, 1994, to announce his intention to embark on the campaign for the 1994 legislative elections. He quickly won the parliamentary elections in 1994, allowing him first to become a Member of Parliament, then a month later, to head the Italian government. An experience he would repeat several times over the next 20 years. Silvio Berlusconi will thus find himself at the head of the Council from 2001 until 2006, then from May 2008 until the end of 2011.

And while his political life was in real decline after a 2010 decade marked by several electoral failures and various health problems, the businessman resurfaced in 2022 and regained his seat as senator in the constituency of Lombardy. the tenor of transalpine politics leads his party to the parliamentary elections of 2022, won by the right-wing coalition. However, disagreements quickly appeared with Giorgia Meloni, the new President of the Council, on the subject of the war in Ukraine, Silvio Berlusconi maintaining privileged ties with Vladimir Putin. This will complete the marginalization of the Cavaliere and his party, which is increasingly isolated within the European Parliament.

Several cases, one final conviction

But his multiple mandates are marred by scandals. Accused of corruption, tax evasion, bribery of witnesses or paid sex with minors… These cases tarnish the reputation of the Italian politician and arouse massive protests from public opinion.

The Milanese will forever be associated with the "Rubygate" scandal for which he was finally acquitted in 2014 after a first instance sentence of seven years in prison. A case in which the Cavaliere was suspected of having paid a young girl, then a minor, for sex with her. In this case, Silvio Berlusconi was even accused of having set up a real prostitution network from which he took advantage during "bunga bunga" evenings during which these young women had to provide various services to the businessman, in the basement of his villa, converted into a nightclub.

For more than two decades, Berlusconi multiplies the back and forth in the courts but the overwhelming majority of cases in which he is involved end in dismissals, acquittals or dismissals. Except for the one concerning Mediaset, the television group he headed. Sentenced to four years in prison, he was accused of tax evasion.

The last years of his life seem marked by the obsession to consolidate his heritage by maintaining the union between his five children resulting from his union with Carla Dall'Oglio and the three children conceived with Veronica Lario, born twenty years later, in the 1980s.

Businessman and central figure in Italian political life, he also left his mark on La Botte with his many escapades and legal affairs.




Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld

MONTENEGRO AT THE BALLOT AND SUCCESSFUL DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION

Montenegro returns to the polls, this Sunday, June 11, 2023, for legislative elections. The Europe now movement, led by the new President of the Republic Jakov Milatovic, is an arch favorite. The small Balkan country has turned the page on the thirty long years of Milo Djukanovic's reign.

Montenegrins are voting in the early legislative elections on Sunday to try to end the political crisis that has undermined their country since the historic defeat three years ago of the training of local veteran Milo Djukanovic, also defeated in the presidential election in April. Two governments have been overthrown by motions of censure since the August 2020 legislative elections in the Balkan country of 620,000 inhabitants.

Since the defeat of Milo Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), defeated by a motley coalition made up of pro-Russian and pro-Serb groups, among others, no camp has managed to build a stable majority. Montenegro, a member of NATO since 2017 and which has been negotiating its membership of the European Union (EU) since 2010, has since been going from crisis to crisis. A paralysis of the institutions which has hampered in particular its rapprochement with the EU.

In the April presidential election, Jakov Milatovic, a 36-year-old pro-European economist, easily beat Milo Djukanovic, a dominant figure on the Montenegrin political scene for three decades. His training “Europe now!” is well placed to come out ahead in the polls and be a pillar of the next government. “Europe now!”, founded barely a year ago, promises to move Montenegro forward on the European path, to bridge the religious and community divides that divide the country where a third of the inhabitants identify as Serbs.

The party hopes to attract young voters eager to see new faces in charge. The popularity of the PES (The new movement Europe now “Pokret Evropa sad”, PES), created by the two young economists, Jakov Milatovic and Milojko Spajic, respectively Ministers of Economy and Finance of the government “of experts” put in place at the end of 2020, is explained by the sharp increases in salaries and retirement pensions decided by its two leaders.

The three years of “transition” have indeed not been smooth sailing. Became Prime Minister in April 2022, Dritan Abazovic lost the confidence of Parliament a few months later, continuing for more than a year to lead a "technical" executive.

Even if this uncomfortable political situation has blocked several important reforms, Dritan Abazovic has nevertheless managed to score important blows against the cancer of organized crime eating away at the country, attacking the mafia drug clans, but also those who have long been their protectors within the police and the judiciary: several prosecutors have been dismissed, some even imprisoned, as well as many police leaders. If the "party-state" put in place by the DPS, with many mafia relays, has not yet been completely destroyed, the dynamic is engaged.

If the PES seems assured of dominating the election on Sunday, and should be able to form a coalition government, many challenges still await Montenegro,

Starting with those of the fight against organized crime, still far from being won, and a process of European integration that has been stalled for years, but the small country has undeniably turned a page in its history.




Kelly Donaldson for DayNewsWorld

UNDERGROUND CHINESE POLICE STATIONS

 IN UK AND USA

In many Western metropolises, China has opened administrative branches accused, under cover of paperwork, of tracking down opponents of the regime.

The Foreign Office "notified the Chinese Embassy that any function relating to such 'police stations' in the UK was unacceptable and that they should not operate under any circumstances", said the Secretary of State to Security Tom Tugendhat in a written statement to Parliament released on Tuesday.

In response, Chinese authorities promised to shut them down, according to the secretary of state's statement. The presence of such antennas has been mentioned in the United Kingdom but also in France or the United States, but China has always denied their existence. The UK Home Office and London police had launched initial investigations after human rights group Safeguard Defenders documented the existence of the places last year.

There would be three or even four in the United Kingdom, according to Mr. Tugendhat. He said police visited every suspicious location and "no illegal activity" was identified.

"We believe that the police and public oversight has had an effect," said the Secretary of State. "However, these 'police stations' were established without our permission and however low the level of administrative activity carried out, they will have worried and intimidated those who have left China to find safety and freedom in the UK." , he adds.

From the golden age to the rotten age

In April, The Times newspaper published an article about Lin Ruiyou, a Chinese businessman with connections to the British Conservative Party, running a food delivery business in the borough of Croydon, south London and operating also as an undeclared Chinese police station.

The Chinese Embassy in London then claimed to have already repeated "repeatedly that there are no so-called police stations abroad" and criticized the dissemination of "false accusations".

After the "golden age" desired by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, relations between London and Beijing have deteriorated markedly in recent years:

Due in particular to the repression of the anti-democracy movement in Hong Kong, a former British colony, the fate of the Uyghur Muslim minority and suspicions of espionage relating to the telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei.




Carl Delsey for DayNewsWorld

WAR IN UKRAINE HYDROELECTRIC POWER STATION DESTROYED

"The world must react," said Volodymyr Zelensky after the attack on the Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River in the occupied Kherson region. NATO has denounced the "brutality" of the war led by Russia while the Kremlin rejects "all responsibility" on kyiv. The Ukrainian government called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday morning.

The Kakhovka dam, taken at the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, was destroyed on Tuesday, June 6. Moscow and kyiv reject responsibility for the attack on this structure, which notably supplies water to the Crimean peninsula. The area is flooded and residents being evacuated.

At the heart of strategic issues since the start of the war, the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric dam located in territory occupied by Moscow was, according to Ukraine, blown up by Russian forces overnight from Monday to Tuesday. Russia, for its part, denounced an act of "deliberate sabotage" by Kiev, considering that one of Ukraine's objectives was to "deprive Crimea of ​​water", a Ukrainian peninsula annexed in 2014 by Russia. Ukrainian, "it is physically impossible to blow up [the dam] in one way or another from the outside, with bombardments", the version put forward by Moscow to explain this destruction in the night.

"Around 2 a.m. there were a number of repeated strikes on the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, which destroyed the valves. As a result, water from the Kakhovka reservoir began to flow uncontrollably downstream “, declared, according to the Russian agency TASS, the mayor of the city of Nova Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontiev.

One of the largest hydroelectric dams in the country

The dam is located on the Dnieper River, upstream from Kherson. Built partly of concrete and earth, the structure is 16 meters high and 3,850 meters long. It retains more than 18 million cubic meters of water in the artificial Kakhovka reservoir, which is 240 kilometers long and up to 23 kilometers wide. It is one of the largest infrastructures of this type in Ukraine. It also includes a hydroelectric plant (with a power of 334 megawatts (MW) according to the operating company Ukrhydroenergo), and a road bridge, now destroyed.

Built in 1956 during the Soviet period, the purpose of the dam was both to regulate the course of the river on its last, much narrower stretch, and to send water into the North Crimean Canal, whose adduction is sheltered by the structure. Currently, millions of cubic meters flow from the lake and into the southern part of the Dnieper, on the banks of which dozens of villages are built. On both sides, these could be engulfed by the gradual rise of the water in the hours to come. According to local authorities installed by Moscow, the water rose to a level between 2 and 4 meters.

24 villages already flooded, 80 threatened

According to Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko, 24 villages were already flooded around 1 p.m., and a thousand people had already been evacuated. "About 16,000 people on the right bank of the region are in the critical zone," said the head of the region's military administration, Oleksandr Prokudin in the morning. "About a thousand" civilians were evacuated from the area. . “The Ministry of the Interior has already evacuated about a thousand people.

In Kherson, about 1,300 people were evacuated at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. in Paris), following the explosion of the Kakhovka dam, the national police announced on Tuesday. "According to preliminary information, 13 localities on the right bank of the Dnieper and more than 260 houses were flooded," she said on Telegram. The evacuation continues,” he told Ukrainian television.

Safety at the Zaporizhia power plant

The dam, which held back more than 18 million cubic meters of water, also allows the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant located 150 kilometers upstream - in the "energy capital of Ukraine, Enerhodar - to supply itself with water from cooling.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), however, tempers the risks. On Twitter, she said her experts are "closely monitoring the situation" after seeing "reports of damage", and announces for the moment that there are "no immediate security risks. nuclear plant". An opinion shared by nuclear risk specialists. On the other hand, the explosion will complicate the possible restarting of the Energodar nuclear power plant, which before the war represented 6,000 MW of installed power and 23% of Ukraine's electricity production...

The dam breach added a complex new element to Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine, now in its 16th month, as Ukrainian forces were widely seen as moving forward with an expected counter-offensive since a long time.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

UNDERSTANDING THE WORRYING CONFLICT

 IN KOSOVO

For several days, the north of Kosovo has been plagued by tensions between Serbs and Kosovars, caused by the election of Kosovar Albanian mayors in localities with a Serb majority.

While tensions between Serbia and Kosovo have been recurrent since Kosovo's self-proclaimed independence in 2008 – still unrecognized by Belgrade – the threat of a new war in Europe is real.

A regional crisis that never ends.

On Friday (26 May), the situation in Serb-majority northern Kosovo deteriorated after ethnic Albanian mayors, elected after the massive resignation of Serbian civil servants at the end of 2022, took office in four municipalities in the north.

The majority Serbs in four towns in northern Kosovo boycotted the municipal elections in April at the call of Srpska lista, their main party, very close to Belgrade. As a result, Albanian mayors were elected despite a very low turnout of 3.5%.

Serbs in the north of the country do not accept the new mayors elected with the lowest turnout in the country's history and have tried to prevent them from entering town halls. On Monday, the situation worsened considerably and dozens of injuries were reported.

Ignoring insistent calls from the European Union and the United States for restraint, the Kosovar government enthroned these city councilors last week, which set fire to the powder.

Serb protesters then gathered in front of the town halls concerned to demand the departure of the Albanian mayors and the Kosovar police forces, whose presence in the region has long aroused their anger. These demonstrators tried to force the entrance door of the town hall of Zvecan, but were repelled by the Kosovar forces. KFor then tried to separate the two sides before starting to disperse the more violent protesters. The protesters then responded by throwing stones, bottles and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers.

Nineteen Hungarian and eleven Italian soldiers were injured in the clashes, KFor said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that they suffered in particular from "fractures and burns caused by improvised incendiary explosive devices". "Three Hungarian soldiers were injured by firearms," ​​according to the same source. At least 52 people were injured in the ranks of the Serb demonstrators, three of them seriously, said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Why did the Serbs boycott these municipal elections ?

Pristina organized this election to fill the vacuum left by the massive resignation of the Serbs in November from the common local institutions. Hundreds of Serb police officers integrated into the Kosovo police, as well as judges, prosecutors and other officials, had left their posts to protest against a decision by Pristina, now suspended, to ban Serbs living in Kosovo from using license plates. registration issued by Belgrade.

"Each time, it's the same blow: Kosovo multiplies the vexations against the Serbs", judge Alexis Troude, professor of geopolitics at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) and Balkan specialist. "Pristina has never respected the 2013 agreements and regularly tries to establish its authority over northern Kosovo, causing tension with the Serbian population," adds the specialist.

The 2013 agreements not respected

The Serbian minority numbers around 120,000 people – out of 1.8 million inhabitants – largely loyal to Belgrade, a third of whom live in northern Kosovo, near the border with Serbia, which supports them financially. The other members of the minority are dispersed in about ten enclaves.

A 2013 agreement providing for the creation of an association of ten "municipalities", which includes the four towns where the boycott of the municipal elections took place and where the Serb minority lives, remained a dead letter. Belgrade and Pristina do not agree on their competences. Many Albanian Kosovars fear the creation of a parallel government controlled by Belgrade.

700 additional peacekeepers in northern Kosovo

On Tuesday (30 May), Serbs continued their demonstrations in four northern municipalities.

At the same time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that 700 soldiers would be deployed to Kosovo in the coming days as part of the NATO Mission in Kosovo, KFOR. 700 additional troops in Kosovo within a few days and to place additional forces on alert. These are prudent measures. NATO and KFOR have the forces and capabilities to fulfill the UN mandate,” he said.

EU and USA call for calm

The move comes after US Ambassador Jeff Hovenier said Kosovo's participation in the NATO-led Defender 2023 exercise, which is taking place across the region, would be canceled as a "consequence" for Pristina.

“We have asked the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, to take measures to reduce tensions in the north. He did not respond to these requests. We are in the process of analyzing what our next actions will be,” said Mr. Hovenier.

China and Russia support Belgrade

As Westerners try to calm things down, China and Russia have voiced support for Serbia.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning blamed the violence on Kosovo's failure to respect Serbian political rights and said he supported Serbia's efforts "to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity". "We oppose the unilateral actions of Kosovo's temporary self-governing institutions," Mao told a press conference, referring to the institutions in Pristina.

"We call on the West to finally stop its false propaganda and stop blaming the incidents in Kosovo on desperate Serbs who are trying to defend their legitimate rights and freedom through peaceful and unarmed means," the ministry said. Russian Foreign Affairs. Russian Ambassador Aleksandar Boshan-Kharchenko added: "Moscow is following the development of the situation with the utmost seriousness, and we understand that this type of situation can cause a serious crisis or even an explosion in the whole region".

Since the start of Russian aggression in Ukraine, Serbia has refused to apply most EU sanctions against Moscow or to align itself more broadly with the European and Western foreign policy line.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has urged the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia to immediately defuse tensions following clashes in northern Kosovo which he described as "unacceptable".

Not give in to the extremists ?

In Pristina, Prime Minister Albin Kurti remained a firm believer that newly elected mayors are legitimate and must be allowed to do their job. He called the protesters extremists and said they did not represent the Serbian people.

“Yesterday, it was finally proven to us […] that we were confronted with masked far-right groups, who vandalize, attack and burn everything they do not consider Serbian, and who exalt nationalist and chauvinist symbols , such as the four-pointed cross, the S's and the Z's of Russian aggression in Ukraine,” he said. He was referring to the recent appearance of these symbols in the north of the country.

Petar Petkovic, chief negotiator for Serbia under the Brussels-facilitated dialogue, told local media that Mr Kurti was trying to provoke a war in order to avoid his obligations under various EU agreements, in particular the Association of Serbian Municipalities.

“[Albin] Kurti is someone who wants to present himself as a little [Volodymyr] Zelensky, but in fact he is a little Hitler who wants to expel the Serbian people and shoot at the Serbian people, the State of Serbia will not allow it to do so,” Petković stressed. He added that the Serb demonstration was "peaceful" and that the riot would not have happened if KFOR had not used force against them. “We don't need to come into conflict with NATO, but KFOR's mandate is to protect the Serbian people,” he concluded. Meanwhile, opposition parties in Serbia have called on the international community to “reason with” Mr. Kurti to avoid further violence.

The question of the independence of Kosovo proclaimed in 2008

The battle of the mayors in fact touches on the question of the independence of Kosovo proclaimed in 2008, almost a decade after a war which left around 13,000 dead, the majority of them Albanian Kosovars.

For Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti, sovereignty is intangible and nothing can be discussed without recognizing the reality of independence. But many Serbs consider Kosovo their national and religious cradle, like Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, who wrote on France Télévisions on Monday after his victory in the first round of the Roland- Garros, "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia, stop the violence".

Kosovo is recognized by a hundred countries, including most Westerners, and recently by Israel. Belgrade, on the other hand, has never admitted independence, no more than Russia and China, which deprives Pristina of a place in the UN. Five members of the European Union are also on this line.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

POLITICAL SCANDALS MIXING

URSULA VON DER LEYEN FOR THE ENTRY

OF BULGARIA IN THE EURO ZONE


The name of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has become embroiled in political scandals in Bulgaria after a five-hour recording, in which former Prime Minister Kiril Petkov is heard relating to a other members of his party a discussion on the Schengen area that he would have had with Mrs von der Leyen, was made public on Friday (26 May).

In this recording revealed by Radostin Vassilev, an MP for the centrist Let's Keep the Change party going, former Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov relates to party colleagues a conversation he allegedly had with Ursula von der Leyen on May 21 regarding the entry of Bulgaria in the euro area and the Schengen area.

“[…] I asked him: what are our chances of being accepted [in the Schengen area and in the euro zone]. She replied: “For Schengen, you have great chances. For the Eurozone, you have to figure out how to get around the rules. In other words, how do you comply with the rules”. And I was like, 'Can we have [an estimate of] inflation minus the effect [of the war] in Ukraine,' and she was like, 'Listen to me, we'll try to help you ’” Mr. Petkov related.

Bend the rules? !

In the airlock for almost three years for this country with widespread corruption

Bulgaria is the poorest country in the EU, of which it has been a member since 2007. Widespread corruption in the Balkan country for years has always blocked its membership of the euro. According to the Minister of Finance, "no compromise was possible" in Parliament precisely to vote on texts on money laundering, the powers of the central bank or even bankruptcies.

Placed under a strict austerity regime in the wake of a serious economic crisis in 1996-1997, Bulgaria integrated in 2020 the banking regulatory framework of the euro zone and the ERM II mechanism, a fixed parity system. A state must stay there for at least two years before being admitted to the euro zone.

Croatia became the twentieth member of the euro zone in January, seven years after Lithuania joined. The country had expressed its desire to adopt the single currency as soon as it joined the EU in 2013. Like Bulgaria, five other countries in the antechamber of the single currency (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden) n have not obtained the backing of Europe, but they have no very short-term membership project.

On Saturday (27 May), the European Commission confirmed that Ms von der Leyen and the former Bulgarian Prime Minister had had a conversation about it and "discussed important issues on Bulgaria's agenda, including the entry of Bulgaria in the euro zone and in the Schengen area”.

The president of the European executive would have reaffirmed her support for Bulgaria's accession to Schengen, according to the Commission. “There is a well-structured process for joining the euro zone, which applies to each country. The Commission's job is to support the implementation of the [membership] criteria. It is obvious that the rules must be respected, ”continues the executive, according to Radio Bulgaria (BNR).

The strategy of the Let's continue the change party revealed

The recording made public the strategy of the party Let's continue the change, which was to be implemented after the election of a government with the support of Boyko Borissov, founder of the centre-right party Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria ( GERB).

Leaders of Keeping Up the Change point in particular to a state purge of personnel close to President Rumen Radev, GERB, as well as employees suspected of working for the Russian intelligence services.

The formation of a government threatened

Prior to the disclosure of the recordings, the Continuing Change — Democratic Bulgaria coalition had reached an unprecedented agreement with GERB to form a government. For the first nine months, Nikolay Denkov (Let's continue the change) was to take over the post of Prime Minister, then he was to be replaced by Mariya Gabriel (GERB).

However, after the recordings were released, the GERB announced that it was freezing negotiations with Keeping Up the Change until it received assurances that the future government would uphold the principles of the rule of law.




Jaimie Potts for DayNewsWorld

A TRIUMPH IN OPTICAL ILLUSION FOR THE UNBREAKABLE TURKISH PRESIDENT ERDOGAN ?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected on Sunday May 28, 2023 with around 52% of the votes cast, against 48% for his opponent Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, who represented an opposition coalition. The "reis" therefore returns for a third term at the head of Turkey, for five additional years. If he completes his term, he will have been in power for 26 years.

Despite a high turnout of 85%, center-left opponent Kemal Kiliçdaroglu was unable to bring down Erdogan. The loser, with a very honorable score in a context where the dice were heavily stacked against him, admitted his defeat. But he also said that this campaign had been “one of the most unfair in years”, in particular with the enormous inequality of means between the two camps which faced each other.

Why did the majority of Turks elect Erdogan despite a deteriorating economy and now chronic hyperinflation – a situation that would likely bring down any government in a democratic country? How did Erdogan win the elections?

A free but unfair election

The presidential election was certainly free, insofar as the political parties were able to put forward candidates on their own and to campaign. Parties also had the right to have representatives at each polling station to ensure that ballots were correctly counted. Finally, voters were free to vote. However, the election was far from fair.

First, a potential rival in the race, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, was sentenced last December to more than two years in prison for “insulting public figures”. The popular Imamoglu had above all made the mistake of inflicting on Erdogan's party a rare defeat in the 2019 municipal elections in Istanbul. Polls had shown that if he had run for president, he could have won against Erdogan by a comfortable margin. Some argue that Imamoglu's conviction was politically motivated. Be that as it may, Imamoglu being out of the game, the opposition had to rally behind Kiliçdaroglu, the weakest of all the high profile candidates.

In addition, Erdogan also exercises an almost generalized influence on the Turkish media, through Fahrettin Altun, head of media and communication at the presidential palace, and has taken the opportunity to intervene very often. The opposition leader, on the other hand, received minimal airtime, and when he appeared in the media, he was portrayed as an unfit leader to govern the country. Altun not only controlled traditional television and print media, but also social media.

Everything that surrounds the election, therefore, the general conditions of democracy – the banned or marginalized opposition media, the forced absence of several political actors, disqualified, even thrown into prison by a justice “at orders”, censorship on the Internet, etc. – would make the Turkish political landscape look more like a "democracy" (portmanteau word formed from "democracy" and "dictatorship"), according to some observers.

And the question remains open as to whether this new re-election of Erdogan sounds the death knell for democracy in Turkey for a long time, or whether the process could one day be reversed. Didn't the opposition speak this year of "last chance elections"?

Massive support from religious voters

The indestructible Turkish president has won over a conservative electorate who continue to trust him despite an unprecedented economic crisis and 105% inflation.

First of all the call to vote in favor of Erdogan launched by Sinan Ogan, who came third in the first round of the presidential election two weeks ago, with 5.2% of the vote played in his favor.

But above all it was Erdogan's conservative and religious voters for whom the outgoing president is a religious hero and a savior who voted for him. Turkey's religious population has long suffered persecution in the name of secularism. For them, Kiliçdaroglu and his Republican People's Party symbolize this persecution. Although Kiliçdaroglu abandoned the party's strict secular policies, these voters never forgave him for preventing Muslim women from wearing the headscarf in educational institutions and public institutions, and for holding religion to the fore. away from public life and politics for decades.

Turkey's conservative and religious right sees Erdogan as a world leader and a hero who fought against ill-intentioned forces, both inside and outside, to make Turkey great again.

And after the elections?

A few years ago, Erdogan promised a renaissance of Turkey by 2023, the date of the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Republic. Turkey was supposed to enter the top 10 global economies by then. However, Turkey barely makes it into the top 20.

The economy has experienced a significant downturn over the past three years. The value of the Turkish lira fell, leading to a dollar-based economy. Reviving the economy and restoring purchasing power to the population are among its priorities.

A felicitated but ambiguous partner

Congratulated from all sides abroad, Erdogan finds himself at the head of a "courted" country. Congratulations poured in the next morning, Monday, including from countries with which Turkey has very difficult relations. At the official level, almost everyone rushed to recognize the victory of the strong man of 'Ankara, and hope to work fruitfully with it: Putin praises 'independent foreign policy'; Westerners "the ally with whom we must deepen relations"; the Taliban hope for the advancement of political Islamism. Erdogan, he wants internationally, to be desired.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey wants to be a crossroads, a pivot around which everything revolves, between Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Russia. In foreign policy, Erdogan will continue to try to make Turkey a regional power independent of NATO, the European Union and the United States. He is likely to continue to strengthen Turkey's ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which worries the country's Western allies.

All this, in a very difficult domestic socio-economic context in Turkey, even though the country's economic difficulties could also push Erdogan to become more conciliatory with the Europeans, in the Mediterranean or the Black Sea, for maritime trade. Turkey, for example, aspires to become an energy hub, for transport (oil pipelines, gas pipelines), but also for production, with offshore soundings in the eastern Mediterranean, which have led to the militarization of the sea and tensions with Greece.

A triumph, but for how long?

This is Erdogan's last term, according to the Turkish Constitution, and it is possible that it will be cut short. The 69-year-old president has numerous health problems. He is more and more physically fragile, he has trouble walking and his speech is often jerky. In the years to come, his health could deteriorate...

Although this country of 85 million inhabitants is experiencing a certain political stability for the moment, does the country not risk experiencing economic, social and political unrest in the near future ?




Joanne Courbet for DayNewsWorld

FRANCO-GERMAN FRIENDSHIP

COMPROMISED BY NUCLEAR

The Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly on Monday May 22, 2023, in which 50 members of the French National Assembly and 50 members of the Bundestag meet twice a year to promote cooperation between the two countries, was marred by the differences of opinion about nuclear energy.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and German Economy Minister Robert Habeck addressed the parliamentarians, saying their views were very different.

Nuclear energy should not be considered a renewable energy source, said Economy Minister Robert Habeck, amid the current disagreement over the revised renewable energy directive. His counterpart Bruno Le Maire called nuclear energy a "red line" for France.

When it comes to energy policy collaboration, Germany and France are “moving on their own,” Habeck said, summarizing the two countries' position on the matter.

“It would be a total misunderstanding if we assumed that because we work in depth and in confidence, the consensus is always there. I would say it's the exact opposite,” Mr. Habeck told the plenary.

Last week, the French government caused a lot of noise after blocking the approval of the revised EU Renewable Energy Directive, which sets minimum levels for energy production from renewable sources.

Approval was mostly seen as a formal step, since negotiations between the European Parliament and member states had already been concluded.

However, France wants to obtain additional guarantees: the country wants the low-carbon hydrogen produced by nuclear energy to be deducted from its renewable energy targets.

The German government considers nuclear energy to be separate from renewable energy and has insisted on maintaining the compromise that was previously agreed, Habeck said.

“Mr. Robert knows that nuclear policy is an absolute red line for France,” said Mr. Le Maire, adding “it is about our [energy] sovereignty.”

The timing of a new attempt to pass the legislation depends on France.




Andrew Preston for DayNewsWorld

NATO THINKS BIGGER IN ITS MECHANISMS

OF DEFENSE

Fifteen months after the start of the war against Ukraine, and just over a month before the NATO leaders' summit in Vilnius, the Alliance is strengthening its defenses and revamping protection plans for all its members . Indeed, in response to the invasion of Ukraine, the alliance has deployed four new "battlegroups" in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, in addition to the four already formed in Poland and the three states Baltics after the capture of Crimea by Russia in 2014.

Deployments in the Baltics and Poland

NATO members are now considering increasing deployments in the Baltics and Poland to brigade size, which would mean adding thousands more troops "where and when needed".

Military equipment, which is long and complicated to transport, is prepositioned in the east as part of this plan. Exercises like "Spring storm" are intensifying to help allied forces communicate better, work together and know the terrain.

Airborne assault of American troops, night landing of British Marines, parachuting of French commandos: in Estonia, on the eastern flank of NATO, the countries of the Alliance are training in the shadow of the war led by Russia against Ukraine.

Concretely, Great Britain, which leads the NATO battle group in Estonia, will keep troops on standby in their home bases to reinforce the approximately 1,000 British and French soldiers present on the ground.

The message is clear. “It indicates that we can deploy very quickly in a very short time,” explains Lieutenant-Colonel Edouard Bros, commander of the French deployment in Estonia, whose forces are taking part in the “Spring storm” exercise.

"This is an essential change: an additional layer of capabilities to reinforce the force in place before the outbreak of conflict," said British Brigadier General Giles Harris, NATO Deployment Commander in Estonia.

"This change must make the alliance fit for large-scale operations to defend every inch of its territory," US General Christopher Cavoli, NATO's supreme commander in Europe, said this month.

“Collective defense has again become the most important task and we need to get ourselves in order,” says Kristjan Mae, head of the policy planning department at the Estonian Ministry of Defence.

A force of 300,000 soldiers

While Estonia seems happy with this model, its neighbour, Lithuania, wants to have additional troops permanently on the ground and is still discussing with its main partner, Germany, how to obtain them. These deployments reinforce the armies of the countries on the front line and constitute the tip of NATO's forward defense. Finland's - and eventually Sweden's - membership will help strengthen its eastern flank.

More detailed plans must be approved by leaders in Vilnius. They specify how the alliance would defend each region in the event of an attack, with the number of forces, the countries of origin and the duty stations. NATO wants to have a force of 300,000 soldiers ready to be deployed within 30 days.

All these new deployments will inevitably require money, resources and forces. The question is whether the allies are ready to put their hands in their pockets. Before Vilnius, NATO members are negotiating a new commitment to increase defense spending as a percentage of gross domestic product.

Only seven members of the alliance have reached the 2% target set for 2024 and the minimum target for Vilnius will be to turn this 2% into a floor rather than a ceiling. Estonia, which has never ceased to regard Russia as an existential threat, wants to see its allies commit to spending 2.5% of their GDP on defense and wants the new defense strategies to become operational as soon as possible.

"It's one thing to have good plans on paper. Another is to make them executable and achievable," Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said during the "Spring Storm" exercise. "That's the challenge for all of us."




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

RUSSIANS ANNOUNCE CONTROL OF BAKHMUT

Could this be the end of the Battle of Bakhmout ?

While the Ukrainian army and the mercenaries of the paramilitary group Wagner, supported by units of the regular Russian army, have been fighting over control of this small town in Donetsk oblast since last August, the latter seem about to win. Moscow claimed on Saturday evening the full capture of the city of Bakhmout, the epicenter of the fighting in eastern Ukraine and the scene of the longest and bloodiest battle in the country since the Russian assault, in February 2022.

This Saturday, Yevgueni Prigojine, the head of Wagner, declared in a message published on the instant messaging application Telegram that his men would have seized Bakhmout "at noon", adding "we took the whole city, house by house . From Bakhmout, Yevgeny Prigojine – in conflict with the military hierarchy in Moscow – pointed out that the capture of the city had taken “224 days” and that there were “only Wagner here”, no regular troops from the army. Russian army.

According to him, his group will withdraw from the city from May 25 and leave its defense to the regular army, remaining available after rotation and training for future operations from Moscow.

That same evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement congratulating Wagner and the soldiers of the regular army who gave them their support for the completion of "Operation to Liberate Artyomovsk", the name Bakhmut Soviet.

This is not the first time that the Ukrainian and Russian governments have disputed control of the city through press releases: last April, after his men seized the town hall of Bakhmout, Yevgueni Prigojine assured that it, "from a legal point of view", was in the hands of the Russian forces.

“Ruins and dead Russians”

An assertion that seemed to have been confirmed the next day by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan: “Bahmut is only in our hearts, he said. There's nothing left there […] except ruins, and dead Russians. »

But where this declaration had then been greeted with mockery from the Ukrainian general staff, it would seem that the announcement made on May 20 by Yevgueni Prigojine is more credible: indeed, according to Kiev, the situation on the ground would be “ critical", and the Ukrainian army would only control "certain industrial installations" and residential buildings.

If the city had indeed come under Russian control, it would put an end to a ten-month battle, considered by some observers to be one of the bloodiest of the 21st century. Quoted by the BBC last March, Western officials estimated Russian losses in Bakhmout at between 20,000 and 30,000 people, killed or injured.

The conflict in Ukraine escalates

The Russian claim came during a surprise visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Hiroshima, Japan, for the G7 summit, where he was to meet his US counterpart Joe Biden.

The latter, after having paved the way for future deliveries of American-built F-16 fighter jets to help Ukraine "defend itself" against Russia, met with Mr. Zelensky on Sunday in Hiroshima (Japan). Two days after an announcement paving the way for the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to kyiv, the President of the United States promised new American weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. These new shipments will include “ammunition, artillery, armored vehicles,” Joe Biden said.

But the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to kyiv raises questions. “The question revolves around crossing the Russian border. The purpose of combat aviation is to bring fire to the enemy. However, there is a political obstacle here”, analyzes an expert on France 24 “Not to cross the Russian border, it would be to make a very limited use of this type of armament. Flying F-16s only in the Ukrainian sky would be like putting birds in a cage”, summarizes the specialist in military matters. Asked again Monday about the possibility of supplying American F-16s to Ukraine, John Kirby, the spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, had reaffirmed no later than Monday May 15 the opposition of Washington which seemedwant to maintain a defensive strategy in Ukrainian skies.

The two camps are now awaiting a major counter-offensive announced by the Ukrainian authorities, backed by Western arms deliveries.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

FROM ELECTIONS IN TURKIYE TO INTERNATIONAL ISSUES

None of the two favorites in the Turkish presidential election managed, according to still partial results, to gather more than 50% of the votes cast. The country is moving towards a historic first: a second round on May 28 to decide between opposition candidate Kemal Kiliçdaroglu and outgoing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, given slightly ahead. There were 49.51% of the votes for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 44.88% for Kemal Kiliçdaroglu and 5.1% in favor of the outsider Sinan Ogan.

After 20 years of reign, the "sultan of modern times" is more fragile than ever. The Turks penalized him for his role in the collapse of the economy and his management - much criticized - of the deadly earthquakes of February.

Yesterday, the youth vote weighed in the balance. They are 6.4 million first-time voters (out of 64 million voters) born and raised under Erdogan's reign. A generation that the reis failed to transform, as he had promised, into 'a pious generation'".

The presidential election of 2023 is certainly played on economic issues and the ability of candidates to stop the inflation that is undermining the country. But international issues make this election an event that goes beyond the national framework. The outcome of these presidential elections could indeed have an impact on Turkey's foreign policy.

Put Turkey, a military power, back in the center of the map

Despite the economic and political difficulties that the Turkish state has been going through for a few years, it is interesting to see that the foreign policy pursued by Erdogan since he came to power has continued to follow the objective of putting Turkey back at the center of the map. A bridge between Europe and Asia and a true crossroads of the eastern Mediterranean, Ankara has many assets that make it essential on the European, Asian, Middle Eastern scene, and to a lesser extent, on the African scene. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, over time, has proven to be a skilled diplomat, using his country's central geographical position. A link between Europe and the Middle East, in direct contact with the war in Syria, in discussion with the Gulf countries, in mediation on the war in Ukraine. He talks to Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping while being at the head of NATO's second army, in fact a valuable ally of the United States. His departure would cast a shadow of uncertainty over many issues.

In addition, a rising military power with military expenditure of 15.48 billion dollars (i.e. 2.1% of its GDP), Turkey has a very active defense industry, which has mainly made itself known with MALE drones Bayraktar TB-2. The embargo put in place by France and Germany on the sale of arms to Turkey in 2019 has pushed the country to improve its strategic autonomy. It now aims to produce 100% of its weapons. In 2021, Ankara produces 70% of its weaponry and begins to carve out a place for itself among the major arms exporters. The Turkish state intends, among other things, to produce a national fighter, the TF-X, but also an anti-aircraft defense system, the SIPER. Three Turkish companies are also now among the 100 largest arms companies in the world.

In addition to a strategic geographical location, Turkey has adopted a strategy of influence , based both on "Turkish-style" pan-Islamism and on arms exports, which gradually seems to be making its mark. evidence within the Turkish strategic environment.

An ambiguous role on the European scene

Ankara, under the presidency of Erdogan, is characterized by its particularly ambiguous role on the European scene: while Turkey is a candidate for the EU and a member of NATO, it has gradually moved away from Western countries since the lockdown country's policy started in 2016, and makes it a point of honor to maintain close relations with Russia. This ambiguity can be seen above all through its position on the relaunch of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 by serving as an intermediary to circumvent international sanctions against Moscow. Turkey is playing a balancing act here. It delivers Bayraktar drones to Ukraine, while opposing sanctions against Moscow. A position that even allowed him to sponsor an agreement between the two belligerents to let Ukrainian cereals out through the Black Sea. Even if the Turkish state seems to be playing a murky game between the two belligerents, it ultimately strives to exploit its position of "balance" between two poles of power - one centered around the European Union and the another centered around Moscow - in order to chart its own course and eventually become a regional power.

Recep Erdogan tempers, as much as possible. But in the context of the presidential election on May 14, 2023, his opponent Kemal Kiliçdaroglu will not necessarily be able to maintain the balance. It will be more complicated because with Erdogan, Russia had only one interlocutor.

If the opposition wins, there will be several. The opposition is a team of six very different political currents. And the candidate behind whom they lined up promises a collegial presidency to break with the verticality of Recep Erdogan.

A thorn in the side of NATO?

The war in Ukraine has also revealed Turkey's influence within NATO. Finland and Sweden, which until then wanted to stay away from the organization, have applied. Ankara finally agreed to join Finland, while letting Stockholm wait. Recep Erdogan is asking Sweden to extradite sympathizers he considers to be “PKK terrorists”. He wanted to show [his electorate] that his country is a country that counts in international organizations. The signal he sends is that of a president who does not jeopardize the safety of his citizens like that.

Within the Atlantic Alliance, Turkey is the second largest army behind that of the United States. A country with which the relationship has been ambiguous since Ankara opted for the Russian S-400 missile system to the detriment of its American equivalent. The United States responded by refusing to sell them F-35 fighter jets.

A subject of contention which could quickly calm down with the arrival of Kemal Kiliçdaroglu in power.

The end of a stormy relationship with the European Union?

Another tense relationship is that of Turkey with the European Union. Troublesome folders won't disappear in the blink of an eye. Recep Erdogan will probably continue to play the balance of power. As for his opponent, if he plans to calm the relationship, he still risks suffering from the tensions left as a legacy.

It plans to modify the penal code, protect freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Giving pledges to the West would give Turkey a better image, which would eventually attract foreign investors. In turn, to put the customs union project with the EU back on the table. And why not to offer more flexible visa conditions for Turkish youth eager for Europe. The challenge will be to convince Brussels, which is no longer as open as it used to be, of the interest of a rapprochement with Ankara.

On the other hand, we should not expect a change of foot on Cyprus or Syria. These are security issues, regardless of the power in place. The majority of Turks feel threatened by what is happening in Syria.

A possible normalization in the eastern Mediterranean

With the economic crisis that Turkey is undergoing, Ankara needs stability with its neighbors. After a period of tension in the eastern Mediterranean, relations with Greece are tending to normalize. Recep Erdogan and Kemal Kiliçdaroglu would go in the same direction. It must be said that the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria in February helped calm things down. Athens immediately gave its support which was appreciated and noticed. Exploration vessels flying the Turkish flag are also less aggressive in the area in an attempt to get their hands on the important gas resources.

Turkey has therefore succeeded in securing a place of choice in its strategic environment. The strengthening of its military capabilities, the dazzling growth of its defense industry, but above all its great ambitions should enable it to become, in the long term, a power of regional scope.

However, the country still faces many challenges, especially domestically: the poor state of the Turkish economy, aggravated by the two earthquakes, requires fundamental reforms which will undoubtedly vary depending on the candidate who wins the presidential elections , but also of the party which will carry the ballot of the legislative elections.

A change at the head of the country after more than twenty years of governance by the AKP party could have a considerable impact on this state with great ambitions, which until then used its ambiguous relations to gain power.

"But the balance of power is never far away. It is even the hallmark of Turkish diplomacy in recent years: the lack of clarity while ensuring a certain stability."




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

CHARLES III AND CAMILLA CROWNS

BETWEEN TRADITION AND MODERNITY

C harles III became king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as fourteen Commonwealth countries, from Canada to Australia to Jamaica, in September on the death of his mother Elizabeth II, at the age of 96. Its coronation, unique in Europe, is the religious confirmation of this and the United Kingdom had not seen one since 1953. If it has been modernized with a shorter duration, representatives of the main religions and gospel sung in addition to the classics, this millennial ritual gave the British monarchy the opportunity to display all the pomp of which it has the secret.

Charles III and Queen Camilla were officially crowned on Saturday May 6, 2023 at Westminster Abbey, then returned to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach, a golden carriage used at each coronation, and the two sovereigns then greeted the crowd from the palace balcony.



King Charles III and Queen Camilla, accompanied by working members of the royal family, stepped out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Saturday to greet tens of thousands of people gathered for their coronation.

Wearing a crown and in ceremonial dress, the king and queen were surrounded in particular by the heir to the throne, William, with his wife, Kate, and their children, as well as Anne and Edward, brother and sister of the sovereign. They attended a flypast, the duration of which was reduced due to the rain, entered the palace and then came out again to briefly greet the compact crowd again despite the rainy weather.

Neither Charles's youngest son, Harry, nor his brother Andrew, both withdrawn from the monarchy, were there. The Duke of Sussex (Harry) and the Duke of York (Andrew) are no longer active members of the royal family, the first since his voluntary departure for the United States with his wife, Meghan, in 2020, while the second fell into disgrace after accusations of sexual assault which he denies and which he settled with a financial agreement. They both attended the coronation from the third row of Westminster Abbey.


A grand religious ceremony!

In front of nearly 2,300 guests, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, laid St Edward's crown on the head of Charles III.

Shortly before, the sovereign took an oath to serve his subjects and to protect the Church of England of which he is the supreme head.

Charles III finally received the anointing, protected from view by screens.

New compared to the previous coronation.

The traditional "peer tribute", during which nobles swear allegiance to the king or queen, has been removed.

It is replaced by a "tribute of the people":

the British and other populations of which Charles III is the head of state are called upon to pledge allegiance to the king.

For the first time, women bishops will participate in the coronation. Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist religious leaders also took part in the festivities and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a Hindu, read a passage from the Bible. Another first in the field: the various texts were read in English but also in Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic.

For the first time, a coronation ceremony for a British sovereign was punctuated by the performance of a gospel group. This formation called Ascension Choir, which had been created especially for the occasion, breathed a welcome energy into the stuffy setting of Westminster.

A long weekend of festivities.

Britons are invited on Sunday to gather for convivial lunches on the occasion of the king's coronation.

A concert is also scheduled for the evening at Windsor Castle, in front of an audience of 20,000 people.

Monday has been declared a public holiday in the United Kingdom. The royal family invites the public to take advantage of this day off to carry out charitable actions near their homes.

“Long Live King Charles”!




Samantha Moore for DayNewsWorld

SPECTACULAR ANTI-MAFIA NET

IN EUROPE

Wide police operation targeting the Calabrian mafia, the 'Ndrangheta, was launched this Wednesday morning May 3, 2023 in several European countries, including Germany where searches and arrests were carried out, announced judicial authorities of this The Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, the target of a spectacular Europe-wide crackdown on Wednesday, is considered by experts to be the most powerful Italian mafia after having supplanted the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Neapolitan Camorra.

Hundreds of German police have intervened in five regions of Germany as part of a "large-scale European operation" which targets "leaders and members of the 'Ndrangheta", several regional prosecutor's offices said in a joint statement, including that of Munich.

Operations also took place in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

In Germany, more than 100 searches were carried out and around 30 arrest warrants, including four European warrants, were executed, according to the authorities of the Länder of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Saarland.

It is in these regions of western and southern Germany that police operations have been concentrated.

The investigation relates, according to the press release, to the following crimes: "drug trafficking, money laundering, arms trafficking, fraud and various large-scale tax crimes".

According to the German media MDR and FAZ, more than 100 arrest warrants are to be executed on Wednesday in different countries.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called the operation a "sensitive blow to the 'Ndrangetha", a criminal organization based in the Italian region of Calabria (south) and considered the richest and most powerful mafia. of Italy, with a growing global extension covering more than 40 countries.

International response

The international ramifications of the 'Ndrangheta compelled the Italian authorities to seek help from their foreign counterparts. In 2020, Italy set up the “I-CAN” program through Interpol in order to inform other countries where the 'Ndrangheta is present about the organization of this mafia and to structure the repressive response.

Prior to Wednesday's operation, 46 'Ndrangheta members had been arrested worldwide under the scheme. The most famous of these is Rocco Morabito, one of Italy's most wanted fugitives, who was arrested last year in Brazil, after escaping from prison in Uruguay in 2019.

According to the Bavarian judicial police office, the German authorities acted within the framework of "Operation Eureka", coordinated by the European offices Europol and Eurojust.

Operation Eureka, launched at European level more than three years ago, is "one of the most important and significant of recent years in the field of organized crime in Italy", underlined the Bavarian police.

No one knows exactly what the numbers are, but according to Italian justice, the 'Ndrangheta has at least 20,000 members worldwide. According to the Italian magistrate Roberto di Bella, it is the criminal organization “with the most ramifications and present on the five continents”.

Italian prosecutor Nicola Gratteri, who sits in Catanzaro, one of the 'Ndrangheta strongholds in Calabria, one of Italy's poorest regions, estimates his annual turnover at 50 billion euros, largely from the cocaine trade.

As part of these investigations, the Italian and Belgian authorities were able to attribute to the 'Ndrangetha the import and trafficking of nearly 25 tonnes of cocaine, for the period from October 2019 to January 2022, said the same source. . Financial flows of more than 22 million euros from Calabria to Belgium, the Netherlands and South America have also been identified.

A maxi-trial with more than 300 defendants, alleged members or relatives of the 'Ndrangheta, opened in 2021, exposing the network of politicians, lawyers and businessmen accused of collusion with the mafia.

By its proportions, this trial is exceeded only by the first maxi-trial of 1986-1987 in Palermo against the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, at the end of which 338 defendants were condemned.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

THE UKRAINIAN COUNTER-OFFENSIVE

HAS IT STARTED ?

Mr. Prigojine, head of the Wagner group, said he expected a Ukrainian counter-offensive around mid-May.

"This counter-offensive could become a tragedy for our country," he warned.

The Wagner group was on the front line in the fighting around the city of Bakhmout.

Yevgeny Prigojine is in open conflict with the Russian military hierarchy, which he accuses of not knowingly delivering enough ammunition to his men and has publicly attacked Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on several occasions.

Ukraine said this week that its preparations for a counter-offensive were coming to an end.

On Sunday, the governor of the Russian region of Briansk bordering Ukraine announced that a Ukrainian bombardment having targeted a Russian village had left four dead and two injured.

The day before, a drone attack caused a fire in an oil depot in Sevastopol, the home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, according to the authorities of the peninsula annexed by Russia.

Moscow replaces its military logistics chief

The Russian army announced on Sunday the appointment of a new head of its military logistics, General Alexei Kuzmenkov, who replaces another high-ranking officer, General Mikhail Mizintsev, as Kyiv claims to have completed its preparations for a counteroffensive.

"General Alexei Kuzmenkov has been appointed Russian Deputy Minister of Defense, responsible for the material and technical supply of the Russian Armed Forces," the army said in a statement.

Until now, Mr. Kuzmenkov was deputy director of the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia), a post he had held since 2019, according to the press release.

Alexeï Kouzmenkov thus replaces Mikhaïl Mizintsev, who was only appointed to this post last September.

Former head of the National Defense Control Center, Mr. Mizintsev is targeted by Western sanctions for his role in the siege of Mariupol, a port city in southeastern Ukraine, devastated by bombing.




Alize Marion for DayNewsWorld

FINLAND TOWARDS A GOVERNMENT

RIGHT AND EXTREME RIGHT

Petteri Orpo, winner of the Finnish elections and probable future Prime Minister of Finland, announced this Thursday, April 27, 2023 that he wanted to form a government coalition with the far right. The nationalist anti-immigration party came second in the legislative elections.

Official negotiations to form a government will begin on May 2. They will bring together the National Coalition (center right), the party of Petteri Orpo, winner of the elections, the Finns Party (extreme right) as well as two other small traditional allied parties of the Finnish right.

Such an alliance with the Party of Finns, which won 20.1% of the vote in the legislative elections on April 2, would mean that a new anti-immigration party would find itself in power in Europe, against a backdrop of pressure from populist parties or extreme right in several countries of the continent.

Petteri Orpo, Deputy Prime Minister of Finland from 2017 to 2019, had two options to form a coalition: either to ally with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of resigning Prime Minister Sanna Marin, or to unite with the Party of Finns, with which the main subject of divergence concerns immigration.

Between the two parties, this question promises to be the most difficult point in forging an alliance. When the nationalist party militates for important restrictions, Petteri Orpo defends him, a work immigration to counter the strong aging of the Finnish population.

"It will be a subject of negotiation. It is a very important question for us: immigration threatens security as well as the economy, declared Thursday, the leader of the Party of Finns. At the same time, we are in no way opposed to all immigration. There are certainly things we can agree on when it comes to labor immigration."

The current Prime Minister steps down

In Finland, the right has already governed with the Party of Finns (ex-True Finns) between 2015 and 2017, the date of a split within the eurosceptic formation which had resulted in a harder line, in particular in migration matters.

Final negotiations to form a government usually last about a month in Finland.

It takes 101 deputies to have an absolute majority in the Finnish Parliament and its 200 seats.

Members of coalitions in the Finnish Parliament traditionally inherit ministerial positions, and the second party in power usually takes the position of finance minister.

The arrival of a right-wing government in Finland would be historic, as it would be the first time in more than 100 years that governments would be formed with parties other than the Social Democratic Party or the Center Party...




Sandra Stac for DayNewsWorld

PRESIDENTIAL IN TURKIYE

ERDOGAN'S CAMPAIGN IN DIFFICULTY

After having had to interrupt a live television interview on Tuesday evening due to stomach flu and canceled his three public appearances scheduled for Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reappeared this Thursday, April 27, 2023, during a videoconference from the palace. presidential meeting in Ankara for the inauguration of Turkey's first nuclear power plant.

"Our country has climbed into the league of countries with nuclear energy," said Mr. Erdogan, his features drawn, dispelling however the most alarmist rumors about his state of health.

A wave with Putin

The inauguration of the Akkuyu power plant (South), built by the Russian giant Rosatom, was to be one of the highlights of the week for the Turkish president. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was initially to go there, had even expected the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also spoke by videoconference before him. The two heads of state also waved to each other from a distance.

In difficulty in the polls against his opponent Kemal Kılıçdaroglu, the Turkish president candidate for his re-election has multiplied meetings across the country in recent weeks. But after having to interrupt a television interview on Tuesday evening, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in power for 20 years, canceled all his trips on Wednesday and Thursday.

Something to raise questions about the health of the 69-year-old Turkish president. An intestinal virus has bedridden Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a few weeks before the elections that could cost him his place at the head of the country.

A first in 20 years .

For the first time since coming to power in 2003, the flamboyant Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan has indeed seen his support waver, observe experts. The elections will be held on May 14 in this country which links Europe to the Middle East. Polls give a narrow lead to his main rival, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, at the head of a coalition of six opposition parties.

"These are elections that seem decisive, both for the destiny of Mr. Erdoǧan and for all his words, his ideology and his way of governing the country for twenty years," said Sami Aoun, director of the Observatory of the Middle East and North Africa from the Raoul-Dandurand Chair.

Tuesday evening, the outgoing president had to interrupt a live interview on Turkish television because of "stomach flu".

He had to rest on Wednesday, he announced on Twitter, and was unable to visit the communities of Kırıkkale, Yozgat and Sivas as planned.

The balancing act on the international scene

On the international scene, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thus plays the balancing act, analyzes Mr. Aoun. The country is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and has offered its support to Ukraine, but without cutting ties with Russia, as evidenced by this new nuclear power plant.

Vladimir Putin was speaking this Thursday, April 27, 2023 during a ceremony organized by videoconference on the occasion of the inauguration of the first nuclear power plant in Turkey, built by Russia, welcoming a "flagship project" of relations between Moscow and Ankara.

This plant "is a convincing example of everything you, Mr. President Erdogan, do for your country, for the development of its economy, for all Turkish citizens," said Vladimir Putin.

"I want to say it bluntly: you know how to set ambitious goals and you seek to achieve them with confidence," he added, particularly warm statements that testify to the close personal relationship forged by the two leaders these last years.

"We support such an attitude and are convinced that close cooperation and partnership between Russia and Turkey are mutually beneficial," he insisted.

Despite diverging interests, they cooperate on several issues, such as Syria. The Turkish president is also one of the few leaders to have good relations with both Moscow and kyiv despite the conflict in Ukraine. The inauguration of the Akkuyu power plant is one of the symbols of this partnership, "one of the most important mutual projects in the history of Russian-Turkish relations", boasted the Russian president on Thursday.

Recalling that Moscow had sent humanitarian aid after the earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey, Vladimir Putin affirmed that Russia was "always ready to extend a friendly hand".

Inflation and earthquake

The series of earthquakes that claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in February may damage the image of the outgoing president. The opposition says the high death toll is not just linked to the earthquake, but to poorly regulated and shoddy construction. Most Turkish homes are not built to earthquake-resistant standards, despite a law passed in 2007 that is poorly enforced due to corruption.

"Construction projects have always been used to mobilize Erdoǧan's electorate during election campaigns," Kejanlioglu said. credibility."