Більшість повідомлень поштою надходять із «території суміжних пострадянських країн або на тимчасово окупованих територіях Донецької і Луганської областей»
Більшість повідомлень поштою надходять із «території суміжних пострадянських країн або на тимчасово окупованих територіях Донецької і Луганської областей»
U.S. Democrats’ yearlong effort to overhaul the country’s voting rules comes to a head Wednesday night in the Senate, but indications are their quest likely will fail.
As debate began in the politically divided 100-member chamber, there was no sign that any Republicans would support the plan, which would allow for national oversight of elections to override new voting rules enacted by 19 Republican-controlled state legislatures.
There also was no indication that two key centrist Democrats — Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin — would drop their opposition to altering the Senate legislative rules so the election law legislation could be enacted without Republican support.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sparred at the outset over the necessity of enacting the voting measures, one of the key pieces of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.
The legislation would set uniform voting rules throughout the country, rather than leave in place state-by-state measures. It would, among other provisions, declare early November election days for congressional seats and the presidency as national holidays, require two weeks of early voting hours, and mandate new federal reviews of voting law changes made by states that have a history of discriminating against minority citizens.
Schumer referenced the election of 1868, the first time that newly freed African American slaves could vote, and suggested that the question before the Senate was whether it would roll back Black voting rights first secured more than 150 years ago.
McConnell scoffed at Democrats’ complaints about the newly enacted state laws tightening voting rules. Democrats contend the rules will curtail the voting rights of Black voters, who have over past elections overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates.
McConnell described worries over the state laws as Washington Democrats’ “fake panic … that seems to exist only in their own imaginations.” He contended that the new measures would not suppress voting.
Aside from the unified Republican opposition to the election law changes, Sinema and Manchin remained opposed to changing the Senate’s long-standing filibuster rule that gives the minority party — Republicans or Democrats — the right to demand that a supermajority of 60 votes be amassed to move to a vote on contentious legislation.
The two Democrats, to the disdain of many of their fellow Democrats in the Senate, have said the filibuster should not be narrowly erased so the voting rights legislation can be approved by a simple majority vote.
Sinema and Manchin have said use of the filibuster in the Senate protects minority views in the chamber and promotes bipartisanship in American democracy by forcing compromises on legislation.
Democratic leaders had hoped to pass the election legislation on a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaker.
On a visit to Kyiv, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reassured the people of Ukraine that the United States stands with them in the face of a potentially imminent Russian invasion. After meeting with Ukraine’s foreign minister Wednesday, Blinken spoke with VOA in Kyiv about the U.S. diplomatic effort to calm the situation. VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports.
Producer: Rob Raffaele.
Про причини затримання Северина Квятковського наразі інформації немає
A 19-year-old British-Belgian pilot landed her plane on Wednesday at an airstrip near Frankfurt, Germany, one stop away from becoming the youngest woman to fly around the world solo.
Zara Rutherford told reporters she wanted to “sleep for a week” after she climbed out of the single-seat Shark ultralight aircraft at Egelsbach airfield a few kilometers from Frankfurt. If all goes as planned, Rutherford will land Thursday in Kortrijk, Belgium, where her journey began August 18.
The nearly 51,500-kilometer journey took her across the Atlantic Ocean, over Iceland and Greenland, and into New York City. Down the U.S. East Coast and the Caribbean to Columbia then back up through Central America and up the U.S. West Coast to Alaska and across the Bering Strait to Russia, south to South Korea, Indonesia, India, the Mideast and back to Europe.
The trip was all the more challenging as she flew without the aid of flight instruments or a pressurized cabin.
Weather, minor equipment issues and visa problems in Asia set her back from her schedule by several days. But at this point, Rutherford told reporters she is glad to be almost done.
She said her big goal is to use her experience to encourage other young women to go into flying or study science, technology and mathematics “and other fields they might not have thought about.”
Rutherford plans to go to college next September in either Britain or the United States to study engineering.
If she lands in Belgium as planned Thursday, Rutherford will have broken a record set by American aviator Shaesta Waiz, who was 30 when she set the existing record for the youngest woman to circumnavigate the world solo in 2017.
Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.
Гаспарові Ульєлю було 37 років
French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads as well as film and television roles, died Wednesday after a skiing accident in the Alps, according to his agent’s office. He was 37.
Ulliel portrayed the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007’s “Hannibal Rising” and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic “Saint Laurent.” He is also in the upcoming Marvel series “Moon Knight,” and was the advertising face of the Chanel men’s fragrance Bleu de Chanel.
Ulliel was hospitalized Tuesday after the accident in the Savoie region’s Rosiere ski area, the Savoie prosecutor’s office said. The office of the actor’s agent said Ulliel died on Wednesday. It provided no details.
Local broadcaster France Bleu said Ulliel was hospitalized with a skull injury, and that he apparently collided with another skier at a crossing point on the slopes. The other skier was not hospitalized, according to France Bleu. Police and prosecutors would not discuss details of the accident.
Ulliel started in television while still in middle school and went on to win two of France’s top cinema awards, the Cesar.
Tributes poured in from shocked fans and the corridors of power. French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted an homage that said, “Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew up with him. They loved each other madly.”
The accident conjured up memories of when Formula One great Michael Schumacher hit his head in a ski accident in 2013 in the French ski resort of Meribel, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from where Ulliel was skiingl. Both were treated at Grenoble University Hospital.
Schumacher, 53, has not been seen in public in eight years, and little has been released about his physical and mental condition. The German auto racing legend suffered serious head injuries when he fell and hit the right side of his head on a rock off the side of a demarcated slope. He was skiing with his teenage son while on a family vacation in the Alps.
After Ulliel’s accident, the mountain police service for the Rosiere ski area said its personnel have been carrying out five or six rescues per day as the snow hardened in recent days.
In the neighboring Haute-Savoie region, a 5-year-old girl was killed Saturday when a skier crashed into her. The man was handed preliminary manslaughter charges, according to the Haute-Savoie prosecutor, who cited excessive speed as the likely reason for the accident.
Germany is under mounting pressure from European allies to drop its long-standing refusal to supply weapons to Ukraine to help the country to defend itself from a Russian attack.
Britain flew short-range anti-tank missiles to Ukraine on Monday, avoiding German airspace. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace indicated to lawmakers that more military aid and extra security assistance will likely be forthcoming in light of Russia’s “increasingly threatening behavior” on Ukraine’s borders, where the Kremlin has amassed more than 100,000 troops.
Wallace said there is a “legitimate and real cause for concern” that Russia is planning an invasion. Russian officials have denied they have any such plans, but U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Wednesday, ahead of talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, that the “sense of the threat to Ukraine is unprecedented.”
Ukraine has become increasingly frustrated with Germany on the issue of military supplies. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov complained last month that Berlin had vetoed the purchase of anti-drone rifles and anti-sniper systems from the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, calling the action “very unfair.”
Later, Berlin relented on blocking the purchase of anti-drone rifles after concluding they were non-lethal weapons. Kyiv has been scrambling to plug shortages in military equipment and capabilities, but Berlin worries that supplying arms may be seen by Moscow as provocative and could trigger a Russian escalation.
Reznikov has warned that fears of confronting Putin from a position of strength were misguided.
“Not provoking Russia — that strategy does not work and will not work,” he said last month.
Ukraine has been buying arms through deals with the United States, Britain, Lithuania, France and Turkey, which has been supplying armed drones.
Anti-missile and anti-aircraft systems, electronic warfare kits and cyber defense equipment are high on Ukraine’s shopping list. Ukraine is also eager to buy surface-to-surface missiles that can strike swarms of targets simultaneously.
The Biden administration last month approved $200 million in additional defensive security aid to Ukraine and American officials Wednesday said the White House was weighing new supply options to try to raise the costs for Russian President Vladimir Putin should he decide to attack. With fears mounting that Russia is intent on major aggressive action, the administration is considering providing the Ukrainian army with more Javelin anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft missile systems.
The anti-tank missiles that Britain flew to Ukraine this week are shoulder-held weapons capable of taking out a tank from 800 meters away. They are lighter than Javelin anti-tank missiles and can be used in much tighter spaces. The British anti-tank missiles were flown to Ukraine via Danish and Swedish airspace and not on a more direct route over Germany, according to British newspaper reports, prompting speculation that this was done to avoid protests from Berlin.
Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the defense committee of the British parliament, said he hopes other European allies “will follow our lead before the temperature drops and the freezing conditions make an invasion operationally possible.”
But while NATO allies are unanimous in rejecting Russian demands for Ukraine never to join the Western alliance, divisions among them extend also to what Western sanctions should be imposed on Russia if an invasion is launched.
Current and former Western diplomats say that while there is broad agreement among Western powers about sanctioning Russia in the event of a military incursion, there is no final accord on the details.
German officials told the business newspaper Handelsblatt on Wednesday that they are opposed to Russian banks and financial institutions being cut off from the SWIFT global money transfer system, which is used by more than 11,000 banks and financial institutions to make and receive cross-border payments. They say they want targeted economic sanctions against large Russian banks rather than Russia being excluded from using the transfer system.
Germany’s fear is that excluding Russia from SWIFT will backfire and encourage Russia and China to develop a rival network. They also fear such a move would cause considerable economic harm to European companies that trade with Russia. Russia is the European Union’s fifth largest trading partner, and European assets in Russia are valued at about $350 billion.
U.S. officials, who have raised the possibility of excluding Russia from SWIFT, maintain that no sanction options are off the table.
As Western allies continue to debate about what military supplies they should be sending to Ukraine and what sanctions to implement, anxiety is mounting in Baltic nations about Russia’s planned military drills with its ally Belarus.
Russian troops and military hardware, including S-400 surface-to-air missiles, have been arriving in Belarus in the past week. The drills pose a direct threat, according to Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas.
“In the current situation, we see the entry of the Russian military into Belarus not only as a destabilizing factor in the security situation but also as a more direct threat to Lithuania,” Anušauskas said in a Facebook post.
“I will shortly be meeting the ambassadors of nine NATO countries that are actively contributing to strengthening Lithuania’s security,” he said.
Державний секретар закликав владу продовжувати реформи і «відкласти свої відмінності »
Українські військові запевняють, що контролюють ситуацію
Якщо Росія відновить свою агресію, США надасть додаткову допомогу, переконує державний секретар США Ентоні Блінкен
U.S. news outlets said Wednesday that the Biden administration will distribute 400 million high-quality face masks free of charge to the American people beginning next week.
A White House official, speaking anonymously, said the N95 masks will be shipped to thousands of local pharmacies and community health centers across the United States beginning later this week, with three masks available per adult. The program will be fully operational by early February.
The N95 masks are part of the 750 million masks housed in the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile, which stores critical medicines and medical supplies for use during a public health emergency. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently advised that N95 masks, which are designed to fit tightly on a person’s face, “offer the highest level of protection” against COVID-19, compared to other face masks.
The officials say the distribution of the N95 masks will be the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history.
Announcement of the free N95 face masks comes on the same day as the official debut of the federal government’s new website that allows Americans to request free rapid coronavirus test kits. Millions of households began placing orders for the test kits Tuesday during a soft launch of Covidtests.gov. The website allows each household to order a maximum of four tests after clicking on a link that connects to a U.S. Postal Service form.
Some occupants of apartments and other multi-unit dwellings, however, complained on social media that the website’s address verification tool was enforcing the four-per-person household, only allowing one family per building to request the tests.
The two programs are part of an aggressive new effort by the Biden administration to combat a surge of new COVID-19 infections largely driven by the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.
A high-ranking official with the World Health Organization says the world could turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic this year through a more equitable distribution of vaccines and treatments.
Dr. Michael Ryan, the director of WHO’s health emergencies program, told the World Economic Forum Tuesday that COVID-19 may never be eradicated, but stressed the current public health emergency could finally come to an end if more vaccines finally reach the world’s poorest countries.
The U.N. health agency has repeatedly criticized the world’s richest countries for building up huge stockpiles of COVID-19 vaccines and using them to administer booster shots to its citizens, while poorer nations have barely received even a first dose of a vaccine.
More than 334,469,000 people around the globe have been sickened since COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019, according to figures compiled by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The center reports more than 5.5. million deaths globally.
Germany announced Wednesday that it had recorded 112,323 new COVID-19 cases, the country’s highest-ever daily figure and the first time it had broken the 100,000 mark for a single day. The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s disease control and prevention agency, said 70 percent of the new cases were driven by the highly-contagious omicron variant. The surge of new infections has prompted the government of new Chancellor Olaf Scholz to consider imposing mandatory vaccinations.
Tokyo and 12 other Japanese prefectures will be placed under new COVID-19 restrictions effective Friday as Japan struggles with an omicron-driven surge. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters Wednesday in the Japanese capital the new decree will allow local governors to limit the operating hours of bars and restaurants and ban the sale of alcohol. The restrictions will remain in effect until February 13.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.
As of January 1, a U.S. trade program that allows African countries to export many items duty-free to the American market delisted Mali because of what the U.S. cited as “unconstitutional” developments in the country. But artisans in Mali’s capital say they’re the ones paying for the bad actions of the country’s leaders. Moctar Barry reports for VOA from Bamako.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday he strongly hopes efforts to de-escalate tensions along the Russia-Ukraine border can stay on a “diplomatic and peaceful path,” but that ultimately it is up to Russian President Vladimir Putin to decide.
Speaking to U.S. Embassy staff during a visit to Kyiv, Blinken said the world is watching what is happening, and that both what Russia has already done and the threat of further Russian aggression challenges “some very basic principles that undergird the entire international system.”
“We have tried to make clear that there are two paths for Russia,” Blinken said. “There is the path of diplomacy and dialogue to try to resolve whatever differences there are peacefully through diplomacy. Clearly the preferable path, clearly the most responsible path and the one that we would prefer. But there is also the path, if Russia chooses to renew aggression, of confrontation and consequences for Russia.”
While in Kyiv, Blinken is also meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
The buildup of an estimated 100,000 Russian troops along Ukraine’s eastern border has raised concern Moscow is planning military action against its neighbor, which was once part of the Russian-led Soviet Union. Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
Russia has continued its troop buildup and its harsh rhetoric against Ukraine, moving Russian forces into Belarus over the weekend.
“We are now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack on Ukraine,” a senior State Department official told reporters during a call briefing on Tuesday.
Wednesday’s visit to Ukraine is the first leg of a quickly arranged trip that will take Blinken to Berlin on Thursday to meet with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock “to discuss recent diplomatic engagements with Russia and joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine,” the State Department said.
Blinken is then set to urge Russia to “take immediate steps to de-escalate” tensions along the border as he meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Friday.
Blinken spoke with Lavrov on Tuesday to stress “the importance of continuing a diplomatic path to de-escalate tensions surrounding the deeply troubling Russian military buildup in and near Ukraine,” the State Department said in a statement about the conversation.
“The secretary reiterated the unshakable U.S. commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and underscored that any discussion of European security must include NATO Allies and European partners, including Ukraine,” the statement added.
Blinken’s trip follows talks in Geneva last week between Russian and U.S. officials aimed at settling differences over Ukraine and other security issues. No progress was reported.
Russia has demanded guarantees that Ukraine will never join NATO.
Last week, the Biden administration accused Moscow of preparing a “false flag operation” for use as a ploy for intervention in Ukraine, a charge Russia has angrily denied.
A U.S. delegation visited Kyiv on Monday to show support for Ukraine amid the standoff with Russia.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, told VOA’s Ukrainian Service, “We have Democrats and Republicans of very different political views here to say we stand with Ukraine. And if Vladimir Putin chooses to take this treacherous anti-democratic path of invading this country, there will be severe and swift sanctions.”
U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer, a Republican, told VOA, “The United States won’t just sit idly by and be a bystander if something happens. What we would like to do is prevent it from happening. We want to be a deterrent. We want to be part of the solution before fighting commences.”
Chris Hannas and VOA’s Ukrainian Service contributed to this report. Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press.
A group of Republican U.S. senators is due to speak to reporters Wednesday in Washington about U.S. concerns of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The group includes Republicans from the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees.
Three of those members — Senators Kevin Cramer, Roger Wicker and Rob Portman — were part of a bipartisan congressional delegation that met with Ukrainian officials this week to reinforce U.S. support for Ukraine and its defensive needs.
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, who was also on the trip, told reporters Monday after the lawmakers met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that the United States was ready to both impose economic sanctions on Russia and to provide additional arms to Ukraine.
Senate Democrats and Republicans have each introduced legislation to carry out such support for Ukraine.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.
«Чому я не вступила на посаду? Змінилися особисті обставини»
«Талібан» перебрав під свій контроль Афганістан після падіння міжнародно визнаного уряду в Кабулі
«На наш погляд, жоден варіант не знятий із порядку денного. Ми продовжуємо тісно консультуватися з європейськими колегами щодо серйозних контрнаслідків для Росії»
To quell widespread protests, Kazakhstan sought military help from Russia. Why did it turn to Moscow?
Russia is a sending an unspecified number of troops from the country’s far east to Belarus for major war games, officials said Tuesday, a deployment that will further beef up Russian military assets near Ukraine amid Western fears of a planned invasion.
Amid the soaring tensions, the White House warned that Russia could attack its neighbor at “any point,” while the United Kingdom delivered a batch of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine.
Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said the joint drills with Belarus would involve practicing a joint response to external threats.
Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine from several directions, including from its ally Belarus.
The United States again stressed its concern Tuesday, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki describing the Russian forces’ move into Belarus as part of an “extremely dangerous situation.”
“We’re now at a stage where Russia could at any point launch an attack in Ukraine,” she said.
A series of talks last week between Russia, the U.S. and NATO failed to quell the tensions over Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Friday in another attempt to defuse the crisis.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday it has received a shipment of anti-tank weapons from the U.K., noting that they will help “strengthen our defense capability.”
Russia already has started moving troops for the war games in Belarus. Fomin said it would take through February 9 to fully deploy weapons and personnel for the Allied Resolve 2022 drills, which are expected to take place February 10-20.
Fomin didn’t say how many troops will be involved but mentioned that Russia will deploy a dozen Su-35 fighter jets and several air defense units to Belarus. The deployment would bolster an estimated 100,000 Russian troops with tanks and other heavy weapons who are already amassed near Ukraine.
WATCH: Why Did Russian Troops Go to Kazakhstan?
Russia has denied an intention to attack its neighbor but demanded guarantees from the West that NATO will not expand to Ukraine or other ex-Soviet nations or place its troops and weapons there. Washington and its allies firmly rejected Moscow’s demands during Russia-U.S. negotiations in Geneva and a related NATO-Russia meeting in Brussels last week.
Fomin said the drills in Belarus, which involve an unspecified number of troops from Russia’s Eastern Military District, reflect the need to practice concentrating the country’s entire military potential in the west.
“A situation may arise when forces and means of the regional group of forces will be insufficient to ensure reliable security of the union state, and we must be ready to strengthen it,” Fomin said at a meeting with foreign military attaches. “We have reached an understanding with Belarus that it’s necessary to engage the entire military potential for joint defense.”
Belarus’ authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, said the joint maneuvers will be conducted on Belarus’ western border and also in the country’s south, where it borders Ukraine. Lukashenko, who has edged increasingly close to Russia amid Western sanctions over his government’s crackdown on domestic protests, has recently offered to host Russian nuclear weapons.
A senior Biden administration official said the Russian troop deployment to Belarus raises concerns that Moscow may be planning to stage troops there in order to stretch thin Ukraine’s defenses with an attack from the north. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive issues, noted that the movement may also indicate Belarus’ willingness “to allow both Russian conventional and nuclear forces to be stationed on its territory.”
Amid the tensions, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday it was speeding up efforts to form reserve battalions that would allow for the rapid deployment of 130,000 recruits to expand the country’s 246,000-strong military.
The United States and its allies have urged Russia to de-escalate the situation by calling back the troops amassed near Ukraine.
“In recent weeks, more than 100,000 Russian troops with tanks and guns have gathered near Ukraine without an understandable reason, and it’s hard not to understand that as a threat,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters Tuesday after talks in Moscow with her Russian counterpart, Lavrov.
Lavrov responded by restating Moscow’s argument that it’s free to deploy its forces wherever it considers necessary on its territory.
“We can’t accept demands about our armed forces on our own territory,” Lavrov said. “We aren’t threatening anyone, but we are hearing threats to us.”
Baerbock emphasized that the West was ready “for a serious dialogue on mutual agreements and steps to bring everyone in Europe more security.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Tuesday. He said “the main task now is to make progress on the political way forward” to prevent a military attack against Ukraine.
“NATO allies are ready to meet with Russia again, and today I have invited Russia and all the NATO allies to attend a series of meetings in the NATO-Russia Council in the near future to address our concerns but also listen to Russia’s concerns,” Stoltenberg said.
He added that NATO “in the near future” will deliver its written proposals in response to Russian demands and “hopefully we can begin meeting after that.”
“We need to see what Russia says, and that will be a kind of pivotal moment,” the NATO chief said.
Lavrov, meanwhile, reaffirmed that Russia wants a quick Western answer to its demand for security guarantees that would preclude NATO’s expansion to Ukraine and limit its presence in Eastern Europe. He repeated that in a phone conversation with Blinken, who will visit Ukraine on Wednesday and meet with Lavrov on Friday.
Speaking on a visit Tuesday to Ukraine, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly denounced the Russian troop buildup as unacceptable. She noted Canada’s efforts to help train Ukraine’s military, adding that it’s currently considering Ukraine’s demand to provide it with military equipment and will make “a decision in a timely manner.”
Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 after the ouster of Ukraine’s Moscow-friendly leader and also threw its weight behind a separatist insurgency that took over large sections in eastern Ukraine. More than 14,000 people have been killed in nearly eight years of fighting there.