«Зруйновані заклади освіти – повністю або частково – 72 об’єкти. Заклади охорони здоров’я – 21 об’єкт на території України»
«Зруйновані заклади освіти – повністю або частково – 72 об’єкти. Заклади охорони здоров’я – 21 об’єкт на території України»
Named one of Time magazine’s “Women of the Year,” Afghan journalist Zahra Joya says she is determined to keep reporting on women’s issues in Afghanistan.
The 29-year-old founder of Rukhshana Media, an news agency run by and for women in Afghanistan, had to flee her country last year when the Taliban seized power.
Now based in Britain, Joya runs her media outlet in exile, publishing the work of women still in Afghanistan who report about life under Taliban rule. It’s a task that brings threats to her and her staff.
In an interview with VOA Pashto Managing Editor Shaista Lami, Joya said she was determined to keep reporting on the plight of Afghan women.
“It is extremely important for the world not to forget Afghan women now, at the time of their sufferance, and support them in their (fight) for their basic rights and press freedom in Afghanistan,” Joya said.
This interview has been translated and edited for length and clarity.
How does it feel to be named a Time magazine woman of the year, and how has your life changed since the Taliban takeover?
I am happy that my name appears at this crucial time for the women of my country, at a time when they face many difficulties and restrictions.
What did I do in the last six months? I did everything I could through our media outlet Rukhshana.
For 10 years I have covered women’s issues in Afghanistan.
And I still continuously put my efforts together with the women who are out protesting. I did not give in to fear of the Taliban and have covered every gathering, every conference and every protest (these women) held in the streets of Kabul.
A large number of female journalists have left their jobs or the country for fear of Taliban punishment. How are you helping those still in Afghanistan from outside the country?
The Taliban imposed many restrictions on women and journalists. Many left the country and many more lost their jobs.
We know this is a hard time for Afghan women. However, I continue my work from here in Britain.
I am leading Rukhshana from here, which is not an easy task. I am worried about my co-workers, and we are faced with countless restrictions. I feel sad, especially when I see so many serious issues to cover.
I am still hopeful that we can endure the pressure, continue our fight for Afghan women and raise their voices.
How do you connect with women still in Afghanistan?
We receive many stories, especially now that women are desperate for help and support.
A woman whose house was searched said Taliban were holding (her) and saying, “You took a video of house-to-house Taliban searches.” They searched her phone, deleted videos and harassed her father.
We continue to hear these stories on daily basis, unfortunately. (These women) have lost hope and think the future is nothing but dark for them.
So I continue my efforts as a journalist, to listen to their stories and to raise their voices.
This story originated in VOA’s Pashto Service.
Зеленський подякував головам урядів Польщі, Чехії і Словенії, які приїхали в Київ, за «потужне свідчення підтримки»
«Ваш візит до Києва у цей важкий для України час – потужне свідчення підтримки. Ми це дуже цінуємо»
«Дуже важкий і в’язкий переговорний процес», – заявив радник голови ОП
U.S. President Joe Biden will travel next week to Brussels, where he will join an “extraordinary” NATO summit set to take place on March 24 — one month after Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Biden’s travel plans hours after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for the meeting, tweeting that alliance members “will address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, our strong support for Ukraine, and further strengthening NATO’s deterrence & defense.”
Biden told reporters Tuesday afternoon, “Putin’s aggression against Ukraine has united people all across America.”
The administration is expected to announce additional aid measures Wednesday following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech to the U.S. Congress.
“It’s exceedingly difficult to get supplies into Ukraine while the Russian onslaught continues,” Biden said.
Russian shelling hit Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, early Tuesday, including one that struck an apartment building, killing four people and starting a fire that sparked a frenzied rescue effort, officials said. Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko announced a 35-hour curfew for the city beginning Tuesday night.
Despite the continued shelling, Russian ground forces are making “limited to no progress … in achieving their objectives” in Ukraine, a senior U.S. defense official said Tuesday in an assessment shared with VOA.
The official said Kyiv “remains under heavy bombardment by long-range fire, with civilian targets to include residential areas being struck with increasing frequency. But leading elements of Russian forces have not appreciably advanced on the city.”
Fox News reported that video journalist Pierre Zakrzewski was killed when the vehicle in which he was traveling was struck by incoming fire on the outskirts of Kyiv.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and State Department officials have been in touch with Fox News’ management regarding correspondent Ben Hall, who was injured while on assignment with Zakrzewski. Spokesperson Ned Price said, “All of us here at the department are rooting for Ben and rooting for his speedy recovery.”
“We have engaged at multiple levels with Fox News. We’ve made very clear that we will do everything we possibly can to help Ben and any others who may have been involved and injured in this horrific attack.”
Despite Russia’s attacks on Kyiv, three European leaders headed to the capital as Russian forces bombarded the area and other cities nearly three weeks into the invasion.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said he was traveling to Kyiv on Tuesday along with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa to represent the European Council in a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
“The purpose of the visit is to confirm the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,” Fiala said. “The aim of this visit is also to present a broad package of support for the Ukraine and Ukrainians.”
The European Union announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, including bans on transactions with certain state-owned companies or new investments in Russia’s energy sector, as well as tighter trade restrictions on iron, steel and luxury goods.
There are also sanctions targeting “key oligarchs, lobbyist and propagandists pushing the Kremlin’s narrative on the situation in Ukraine, as well as key companies in the aviation, military and dual use, shipbuilding and machine-building sectors.”
Much of the international response has been focused on punishing Russia through economic sanctions. Japan on Tuesday announced new asset freezes for 17 Russians, including 11 members of the Russian parliament, billionaire Viktor Vekselberg and family members of banker Yuri Kovalchuk.
Russia on Tuesday announced that Biden and a dozen other senior officials have been banned from entering the country, in response to the sanctions from Western countries.
“We’ve made President Putin’s war of choice a strategic failure,” Psaki said Tuesday. “The unprecedented costs we’ve imposed with allies and partners have reversed 30 years of economic progress, something President Putin himself pushed for.”
Negotiators from Russia and Ukraine began more talks Tuesday following a meeting on Monday, held by video rather than in person in neighboring Belarus like previous sessions, which yielded no major signs of a breakthrough.
But Zelenskyy suggested a compromise on Tuesday, saying in a video message that Kyiv was ready to accept security guarantees that fall short of its goal to join NATO.
“If we cannot enter through open doors, then we must cooperate with the associations with which we can, which will help us, protect us … and have separate guarantees,” Zelenskyy said.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said it was premature to predict whether the peace talks will lead to progress.
“The work is difficult, and in the current situation, the very fact that (the talks) are continuing is probably positive,” Peskov said.
Psaki told reporters the United States supports the negotiations, but that it is looking for signs that Russia is willing to pair talks with a pullback in violence.
“We’re not seeing any evidence, at this point, that President Putin is doing anything to stop the onslaught or de-escalate,” Psaki said.
Meanwhile, Biden on Tuesday signed an appropriations package that includes $13.6 billion for emergency military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. That will be followed Wednesday by an address to Congress by Zelenskyy, who has appealed for international help, including a no-fly zone over Ukraine, that the Biden administration has ruled out.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the government hoped to be able to open nine humanitarian corridors Tuesday to evacuate civilians and deliver aid to those in areas besieged by Russian forces, including the southern city of Mariupol where Russian shelling prevented deliveries on Monday.
In a rare positive development Monday, Ukrainian officials in Mariupol said a convoy of civilian cars was able to leave after many previous attempts to evacuate civilians collapsed. Officials said 160 cars left in the first two hours that the corridor was open. On Tuesday, the city council said 2,000 civilian cars had left, but it was not immediately clear if the 160 cars that left on Monday were included in the tally.
Also Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament voted to extend martial law for another month until April 24, barring men between 18 and 60 from leaving the country so they can be called to join the military.
The United Nations said Tuesday the number of people who have fled Ukraine since the invasion began had reached 3 million.
Eastern Europe Bureau Chief Myroslava Gongadze, White House correspondent Anita Powell, senior diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine, national security correspondent Jeff Seldin, U.N. correspondent Margaret Besheer, State Department Bureau Chief Nike Ching, and Mandarin service reporters Lin Yang and Si Yang contributed to this report.
Some information also came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.
The Biden administration Tuesday is commemorating Equal Pay Day, which symbolizes how much longer women must work to make what men earned in the previous year. Last year, the day fell on March 24.
“Our country has come a long way, but we still have work to do to close gender and racial wage gaps,” a senior administration official told reporters on a briefing call previewing the announcement.
American women on average still earn only 83 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The disparities are even greater for Black, Native American and Latina women, as well as certain subpopulations of Asian women.
Later Tuesday, President Joe Biden is set to announce a series of actions to enhance pay equity and transparency in the federal work force, including a proposed regulation that would prevent federal agencies from using a job applicant’s prior salary history in the hiring process. Banning the use of prior salary history can help break the cycle of potentially discriminatory pay that can follow women and workers of color from job to job.
Those steps, however, do not address the gender wage gap in the private sector, including in industries with an even larger gender pay gap such as finance, where on average, men take home $33,000 more than women doing the same work every year.
While a growing number of European countries require employers to publish or provide their employees access to gender pay data, the United States does not mandate pay transparency in its private sector. The Obama administration had mandated that large companies report how much they pay workers by race and gender but the Trump administration, under pressure from big business groups, halted the rule in 2017.
“This administration should re-start those efforts,” said Seema Jayachandran, a professor of economics at Northwestern University who focuses on gender equality. “While EEO (equal employment opportunity) rules uncover if the work force is gender-imbalanced, they don’t reveal if women are in the low-paying jobs and men are in the high-paying jobs, or if in similar jobs, there is a gender pay gap,” she told VOA.
The White House did not respond to VOA’s question on whether officials plan to reinstate the rule.
Low wage and no paid leave
“The existence of low-quality work – i.e., work that is low wage and without access to critical benefits such as paid leave – and the concentration of women, particularly women of color, in this work, is the biggest contributor to the pay gap,” said Rose Khattar, a member of the Economic Policy Team at the Center for American Progress.
The situation has worsened during the pandemic. Women, who perform the majority of unpaid family caregiving, must deal with greater challenges managing work and care, with children home from school and older family members losing access to critical care services. In addition, women workers are overrepresented in industries that experienced the pandemic’s worst job losses, such as hospitality.
The Department of Labor on Tuesday issued a report on occupational segregation showing that in 2019, Black women lost $39.3 billion and Hispanic women lost $46.7 billion in wages compared to white men due to differences in industry and occupation.
Some experts argue that mandating paid leave for new parents could help narrow the gender pay gap. The United States is the only developed country that does not have a national paid parental leave program.
“One in four women in America are said to go back to work within 10 to 14 days of giving birth, which is astonishing and awful; it is terrible for working women,” said Adrienne Schweer. Schweer leads the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Paid Family Leave Task Force.
Biden’s proposed Build Back Better Act sought to provide national paid family leave, but the massive $2 trillion social spending bill is struggling in Congress, failing to gain support not only from Republicans, but also from Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
“It has really fallen off the cliff and it needs a bipartisan pathway,” Schweer said. “This president really needs to call on Congress to work together.”
Also Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris, the first female American vice president, is hosting an Equal Pay Day virtual summit attended by administration officials, athletes and CEOs.
The United States on Tuesday announced more sanctions on Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko for his role as an ally of Russia during the invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions will block Lukashenko and his wife from accessing U.S. property and limit the ability of Americans to conduct business with them.
The U.S. has already sanctioned Lukashenko over the Ukraine invasion, including limiting technological exports.
The U.S. also sanctioned Lukashenko for using migrants as political pawns on the border with Poland and for what many Western countries consider a rigged election in 2020.
Also announced Tuesday were sanctions on several Russian individuals, some under the Magnitsky Act, for their alleged role in human rights violations. Included are Natalia Mushnikova, a Moscow judge, and Nurid Salamov, a prosecuting investigator.
“Today’s designations demonstrate the United States will continue to impose concrete and significant consequences for those who engage in corruption or are connected to gross violations of human rights,” said Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Andrea Gacki. “We condemn Russia’s attacks on humanitarian corridors in Ukraine and call on Russia to cease its unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine.”
Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press.
Russian prosecutors are seeking an additional 13-year sentence for high profile Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, a spokeswoman for Navalny said Tuesday.
“We’ve been saying that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants to keep Navalny in prison forever. The upcoming sentence has nothing to do with the law,” the spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, wrote on Twitter.
Navalny, 45, is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence in a prison camp east of Moscow on a 2014 embezzlement conviction. He was arrested in January when he returned to Russia from Germany where he was recovering from what he said was a nerve agent attack by the Kremlin. Russian officials deny his allegation.
Yarmysh says prosecutors also want Navalny transferred to a maximum-security prison, alleging he has committed crimes at the prison camp and is thus a repeat offender.
“Thirteen years for a fabricated case, for fake ‘victims,’ for witnesses who had testified under pressure and then publicly denounced their testimonies in court,” she wrote.
She said there would be another court hearing before any further sentencing is announced.
Last summer, officials announced Navalny would face a new charge that a non-profit organization he created encouraged Russians to break the law.
The charge is punishable by up to three years in prison.
The committee says Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption group encouraged Russians to “perform unlawful acts” by encouraging Russians to participate in unauthorized protests in January.
Authorities in Russia announced last week that Yarmysh had violated COVID-19 safety protocols and restricted her movement. They are also seeking jail time.
Navalny is still able to communicate outside the prison camp, but his supporters and other opposition members have faced government crackdowns.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he has called for anti-war protests.
“I am urging everyone to take to the streets and fight for peace,” he said. “If, to prevent war, we need to fill up the jails and police vans, we will fill up the jails and police vans.”
Last year, Navalny’s foundation was outlawed as “extremist,” and authorities blocked tens of websites run by his network, charging them with distributing propaganda. Two of Navalny’s top allies, Ivan Zhdanov and Leonid Volkov, are facing criminal investigations.
Some information in this report comes from Reuters.
Це майно хочуть конфіскувати на користь держави Україна
У списку на націоналізацію, сформованому НАЗК, зокрема, Промінвестбанк і Сбєрбанк
Musher Brent Sass won the arduous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across Alaska on Tuesday as his team of 11 dogs dashed off the Bering Sea ice through a crowd of fans in downtown Nome.
Sass mushed down Front Street and across the finish line just before 6 a.m.
“It’s awesome, it’s a dream come true,” Sass said before he was presented the prize-winning check of $50,000, his beard and mustache partially encased in ice during the post-race interview.
“When I started mushing, my goal was to win the Yukon Quest and win the Iditarod. Checked them both off the list now,” he said.
Sass said he was “super, super, super proud” of his dog team. “It’s all on them. They did an excellent job the whole race. I asked a lot of them, and they preformed perfectly,” he said.
“Every one of these dogs I’ve raised since puppies, and we’ve been working towards this goal the whole time, and we’re here,” he said, his voice cracking. “It’s crazy.”
Fans lined the street welcoming the popular musher, who was escorted by police for the final few blocks to the famous burled arch that marked his victory.
It’s the first Iditarod win for Sass, a wilderness guide and kennel owner who was running in his seventh Iditarod. His previous best finish was third last year.
Sass took command of this year’s race early on and never was challenged, but the final stretch of the race might have been the toughest, with extreme winds blowing on the Bering Sea ice leading into Nome.
“I had to make it very interesting at the end,” Sass said.
At one point during the last few miles of the race, he took a tumble, and the sled went off the trail. He thought he was going to have to hunker down, stopping with his dogs to wait until the weather improved.
“I couldn’t see anything,” he said. “The dogs, the only reason we got out of there is because they trusted me to get them back to the trail. And once we got back to the trail, they just took off a hundred miles an hour again, and we were able to stay on the trail and get in here. It was a lot of work,” he said.
The 42-year-old native of Minnesota who moved north in 1998 to ski for the University of Alaska Fairbanks had about a 90 minute lead over the defending champion, Dallas Seavey, early Tuesday as he left the last checkpoint in Safety, which is 22 miles (35 kilometers) from Nome.
Seavey is tied with musher Rick Swenson for the most Iditarod wins ever at 5. Seavey earlier told The Associated Press that he was planning to take some time off after the race to spend with his daughter whether he won or lost it.
Sass said Seavey is “the best right now and being able to to sort of keep him at bay the whole entire race and and race against the best guy in the business, that just makes this victory even sweeter.”
Seavey toward the end of the race said he was resigned to runner-up status, telling KTUU-TV at the checkpoint in White Mountain that he couldn’t win unless something went wrong for Sass.
Seavey joked: “We’ve got a pretty solid lead over third.”
The third place musher, Jessie Holmes, was about 50 miles (80 kilometers) behind Seavey on Tuesday.
The nearly 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometer) race across Alaska began March 6 just north of Anchorage. The route took mushers along Alaska’s untamed and unforgiving wilderness, including two mountain ranges, the frozen Yukon River and Bering Sea ice along the state’s western coastline.
This is the 50th running of the race, which started in 1973. This year’s event began with 49 mushers, and five have dropped out along the trail.
Sass was the Iditarod’s rookie of the year in 2012 when he finished 13th. The next year he fell back to 22nd place, before skipping the 2014 race.
In 2015 he was disqualified when race officials found he had an iPod Touch with him on the trail, a violation of race rules banning two-way communication devices because the iPod Touch could connect to the Internet. He said he was clueless, and wanted his fans to know he had no intention of cheating.
Sass placed 16th the following year before taking a three-year break from the Iditarod. In 2020, he placed fourth and was third last year.
Sass, who lives in the tiny area of Eureka, about a four-hour drive northwest of Fairbanks, had more success in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.
He claimed titles in that 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometer) race between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon, in 2015, 2019 and 2020. This year, the race was shortened to smaller races on both sides of the border, with Sass winning both the 350-mile (563-kilometer) Alaska race and the 300-mile (483-kilometer) Canadian contest.
Раніше під санкції потрапили 382 фізичні та юридичні особи Росії
The U.S. military said Tuesday it has intensified air defense drills in South Korea and conducted an aircraft carrier exercise in the Yellow Sea as part of a “demonstration of resolve” following two partial North Korean tests of a new long-range missile.
The military displays came as U.S. officials warned North Korea could soon conduct a full test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, possibly under the guise of a satellite launch. South Korean news outlets report U.S. and South Korean authorities have detected signs that a launch could occur as soon as this week.
The situation risks a return to tensions not seen since 2017, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and former U.S. president Donald Trump exchanged threats of nuclear war before engaging in a series of unprecedented talks. For now, the rhetoric on both sides is much more restrained.
In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said it “increased the intensity” of a regular “certification exercise” involving the Patriot missile defense system. The exercise, which involved a simulated combat scenario, “underscores the seriousness USFK takes against the DPRK’s recent missile launch behavior,” the statement said, using an abbreviation for North Korea’s official name.
Hours later, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) announced it had conducted an aircraft carrier-based exercise in the Yellow Sea, which lies off Korea’s west coast. The exercise involved fourth and fifth generation aircraft, the most advanced currently in operation. It was a “demonstration of our resolve and commitment to our regional allies,” INDOPACOM said.
Both statements condemned North Korea’s “significant increase” in missile testing. So far this year, North Korea has fired 13 missiles during nine rounds of launches.
Last week, the U.S. military said it had intensified its intelligence collection activities around the Korean Peninsula and heightened its ballistic missile defense readiness in response to the North Korean launches.
Change in approach
Since Trump and Kim’s diplomacy began in 2018, the U.S. military has downsized or spread out its military exercises and has mostly refrained from public demonstrations of military power that risk raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula. But that era may now be ending, as North Korea ramps up weapons tests that the U.S. sees as a major provocation.
“It demonstrates the Biden administration’s emphasis on strengthening deterrence in the face of North Korean provocation. It also signals to Pyongyang that contrary to its intent, raising tension by toying with ICBMs won’t lead to a seat at the negotiating table down the road. In this sense it represents a clear break from the Trump era,” said Go Myong-hyon, a research fellow at Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Under President Joe Biden, U.S. officials have repeatedly said they are willing to meet North Korea “anywhere, anytime” without preconditions. North Korea has rejected or ignored the offer. Instead, the North has been systematically working through a wish list of strategic weapons laid out by Kim last year.
North Korea has many possible reasons for testing weapons, including pressuring the United States to make concessions in nuclear talks, demonstrating deterrence, ensuring the performance of new weapons, and bolstering domestic political support.
South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who will take office in May, has promised a more forceful North Korea policy than his predecessor, President Moon Jae-in. Yoon has called Moon’s outreach to the North “a complete failure.”
North Korea escalates tests
Yoon will inherit a tense situation. In January, North Korea fired more rockets than in any previous month on record. According to U.S. and South Korean officials, North Korea’s last two launches were partial tests of a new ICBM.
The new ICBM was first seen during a military parade in October 2020. Experts dubbed it the “monster missile,” noting that it appeared large enough to fit multiple warheads, which could pose a challenge for U.S. missile defenses.
North Korea had not given many details about the tests other than to say they were in preparation for the launch of a military spy satellite.
North Korea has not conducted a long-range missile launch since 2017. Kim announced a self-imposed moratorium on ICBM and nuclear tests in 2018.
U.S. intelligence officials believe North Korea could conduct a nuclear test later this year, according to an assessment released last week.
In 2018, North Korea announced the closure and dismantlement of its nuclear test site. Last week, South Korea’s military said it had detected activity apparently meant to restore some of the tunnels there.
Реальним шляхом завершення війни більшість українців бачить пошук компромісів на переговорах із залученням інших країн (64%), йдеться в опитуванні соціологічної групи «Рейтинг».
«Водночас майже третина вважають, що варто відмовитися від переговорів і воювати до звільнення всіх територій і лише 1% – погодитись на більшість вимог РФ», – йдеться в дослідженні.
Крім того, 56% опитаних вважають, що головна мета вторгнення Росії – це повне знищення українського народу, і ця думка домінує в усіх регіонах України.
«Ще половина вважають, що ціль нападу – окупація України і приєднання до Росії. Тільки 15-17% думають, що росія переслідує мету змінити політичний курс України чи запобігти розміщенню баз НАТО, 10% – вважають, що мотивом є знищення військової інфраструктури, 5% – провокування НАТО на війну. Тих хто вважає, що вторгнення Росії мало за мету захистити російськомовних – лише 2%», – вказує опитування.
Також соціологи з’ясували, що українці абсолютно не готові віддавати Крим і Донбас: більшість вважають, що Україна має використовувати всі можливості для повернення окупованих територій Донбасу (86%) і Криму (80%). У цьому впевнені мешканці усіх регіонів, і цей показник зараз вищий, ніж у довоєнні часи.
«Половина опитаних українців оцінюють ймовірність того, що Росія здійснить військовий напад на одну з країн Європи як високу (25%) або середню (26%). Лише 22% взагалі відкидають таку ймовірність, це передусім старші люди», – йдеться в дослідженні.
Також вказується, що підтримка вступу України до НАТО за останні два тижні дещо скоротилась з рекордних 76% до 72%. Основна причина – відсутність рішення про закриття неба над Україною, якого вимагають майже 90% українців.
Опитування тривало 12-13 березня серед 1200 респондентів віком від 18 років в усіх областях, крім тимчасово окупованих. Вибірка репрезентативна за віком, статтю і типом поселення.
Раніше предстоятель Російської православної церкви патріарх Кирило у проповіді у храмі Христа Спасителя в Москві висловився про війну РФ в Україні
Щодня під обстрілами гине щонайменше п’ятеро дітей
White House says ‘no evidence’ Russia willing to pair diplomacy with de-escalation
The battle over Ukraine’s fate is happening on multiple fronts, with U.S. officials flying around the globe to meet with civilians who have been affected by the carnage, but also speaking virtually and in person with officials from other countries who have a role to play in ending this conflict. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from the White House, with reporting from Eastern Europe Bureau Chief Myroslava Gongadze in Warsaw.
Two months after the Berlin Wall fell, another powerful symbol opened its doors in the middle of Moscow: a gleaming new McDonald’s.
It was the first American fast-food restaurant to enter the Soviet Union, reflecting the new political openness of the era. For Vlad Vexler, who as a 9-year-old waited in a two-hour line to enter the restaurant near Moscow’s Pushkin Square on its opening day in January 1990, it was a gateway to the utopia he imagined the West to be.
“We thought that life there was magical, and there were no problems,” Vexler said.
So, it was all the more poignant for Vexler when McDonald’s announced it would temporarily close that store and nearly 850 others in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. McDonald’s Russian website on Monday read, “Due to operational, technical and logistical difficulties, McDonald’s will temporarily suspend service at its network enterprises from March 14.”
“That McDonald’s is a sign of optimism that in the end didn’t materialize,” said Vexler, a political philosopher and author who now lives in London. “Now that Russia is entering the period of contraction, isolation and impoverishment, you look back at these openings and think about what might have been.”
McDonald’s said in a statement that “at this juncture, it’s impossible to predict when we might be able to reopen our restaurants in Russia.” But it is continuing to pay its 62,500 Russian employees. The company said this week that it expects the closures to cost around $50 million per month.
Outside a McDonald’s in Moscow last week, student Lev Shalpo bemoaned the closure.
“It’s wrong because it was the only affordable place for me where I could eat,” he said.
Just as McDonald’s paved the way for other brands to enter the Soviet market, its exit led to a cascade of similar announcements from other U.S. brands. Starbucks closed its 130 outlets in Russia. Yum Brands closed its 70 company-owned KFC restaurants and was negotiating the closure of 50 Pizza Huts that are owned by franchisees.
McDonald’s entry into the Soviet Union began with a chance meeting. In 1976, McDonald’s loaned some buses to organizers of the 1980 Moscow Olympics who were touring Olympic venues in Montreal, Canada. George Cohon, then the head of McDonald’s in Canada, took the visitors to McDonald’s as part of the tour. That same night, the group began discussing ways to open a McDonald’s in the Soviet Union.
Fourteen years later, after Soviet laws loosened and McDonald’s built relationships with local farmers, the first McDonald’s opened in downtown Moscow. It was a sensation.
On its opening day, the restaurant’s 27 cash registers rang up 30,000 meals. Vexler and his grandmother waited in a line with thousands of others to enter the 700-seat store, entertained by traditional Russian musicians and costumed characters like Mickey Mouse.
“The feeling was, ‘Let’s go and see how Westerners do things better. Let’s go and see what a healthy society has to offer,'” Vexler said.
Vexler saved money for weeks to buy his first McDonald’s meal: a cheeseburger, fries and a Coca-Cola. The food had a “plasticky goodness” he had never experienced before, he said.
Eileen Kane visited the original McDonald’s often in 1991 and 1992 when she was an exchange student at Moscow State University. She found it a striking contrast from the rest of the country, which was suffering frequent food shortages as the Soviet Union collapsed.
“McDonald’s was bright and colorful, and they never ran out of anything. It was like a party atmosphere,” said Kane, who is now a history professor at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.
McDonald’s entry into the Soviet Union was so groundbreaking it gave rise to a political theory. The Golden Arches Theory holds that two countries that both have McDonald’s in them won’t go to war, because the presence of a McDonald’s is an indicator of the countries’ level of inter-dependence and their alignment with U.S. laws, said Bernd Kaussler, a political science professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
That theory held until 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, Kaussler said.
Kaussler said the number of countries now withdrawing from Russia, and the speed with which they acted, is unprecedented. He thinks some, including McDonald’s, might calculate that it’s unwise to reopen, which would leave Russia more isolated and the world less secure.
“As the Russian economy is becoming less interdependent with the U.S. and Europe, we basically have fewer domestic economic factors that could mitigate current aggressive policies,” Kaussler said.
Vexler said the admiration for the West that caused Russians to embrace McDonald’s three decades ago has also shifted. Russians now tend to be more anti-Western, he said.
Anastasia Chubina visited a McDonald’s in Moscow last week because her child wanted one last meal there. But she was indifferent about its closure, suggesting Russians will get healthier if they stop eating fast food.
“I think we lived without it before and will live further,” she said.
Entrepreneur Yekaterina Kochergina said the closure could be a good opportunity for Russian fast-food brands to enter the market.
“It is sad, but it’s not a big deal. We’ll survive without McDonald’s,” she said.
Full developments of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine