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Posted by Ukrap on

Вірменія заявляє про перетин азербайджанськими військами лінії розмежування в Нагорному Карабаху

Міністерство оборони Азербайджану відкидає заяви вірменської сторони, стверджуючи, що триває «уточнення позицій»

Posted by Worldkrap on

Biden Vows NATO Action If Russia Uses Chemical Weapons

There will be a Western military response if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday.  

“It would trigger a response in kind,” Biden replied to a reporter’s question during a news conference. “Whether or not you’re asking whether NATO would cross (into Ukraine to confront Russian forces), we’d make that decision at the time.”  

The U.S. president also said at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that Russia should be removed from the Group of 20 major economies and that Ukraine be allowed to attend G-20 meetings.  

Biden confirmed the issue was raised during his meetings with other world leaders on Thursday as they marked one month since Russia invaded Ukraine.  

Asked whether Ukraine needs to cede any territory to achieve a cease-fire with Russia, Biden responded, “I don’t believe that they’re going to have to do that,” but that is the judgment of Kyiv to make.  

At his news conference, Biden said the United States is committing more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance “to help get relief to millions of Ukrainians affected by the war in Ukraine.”  

“With a focus on reuniting families,” the United States will welcome 100,000 Ukrainians and invest $320 million to support democratic resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries, the president said.  

NATO announced earlier Thursday that the defense alliance would bolster its capabilities after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had called on the organization’s leaders to provide more weaponry to his country ”without limitations” as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its second month.  

 

Zelenskyy’s appeal came as Biden met with NATO leaders to discuss their short- and long-term response to the Russian invasion.  

Addressing the summit via video, Zelenskyy said his military needed fighter jets, tanks, and improved air and sea defense systems, as he warned Russia would attack NATO member Poland and other Eastern European countries.  

“Russia has no intention of stopping in Ukraine,” he declared. ”It wants to go further. Against Eastern members of NATO. The Baltic states. Poland, for sure.”  

A White House statement issued Thursday said “between now and the NATO summit in June, we will develop plans for additional forces and capabilities to strengthen NATO’s defenses.”  

A Biden administration official told reporters that Zelenskyy did not reiterate on Thursday his demand for a no-fly zone, which NATO previously rejected on the grounds it would lead to direct conflict between NATO and Russia.  

NATO members said in a joint statement after the summit that they would “accelerate” their commitment to invest at least 2% of their national budgets on the alliance, allowing for a significant strengthening of its “longer term deterrence and defense posture.”  

The alliance also vowed to “further develop the full range of ready forces and capabilities necessary to maintain credible deterrence and defense.”  

In addition to participating in the NATO talks, Biden met Thursday with G-7 leaders and the European Council.  

The White House on Thursday announced a new round of sanctions targeting 48 Russian state-owned defense companies and more than 400 Russian political figures, oligarchs and other entities — an action Biden said was being done in alignment with the European Union.  

Britain said Thursday its new package of sanctions includes freezing the assets of Gazprombank, a main channel for oil and gas payments, as well as Alfa Bank, a top private lender in Russia. Oil tycoon Evgeny Shvidler, Sberbank CEO Herman Gref and Polina Kovaleva, stepdaughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, are among individuals sanctioned.  

China has criticized the sanctions imposed on Russia and has drawn warnings from Biden about not helping Russia evade the measures.  

Asked about his recent phone discussion on the topic with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden said he had made clear to Xi “the consequences of him helping Russia,” but, he noted, “I made no threats.”  

The U.S. president heads to Poland on Friday, a visit that will also spotlight the millions of Ukrainians who have become refugees since Russia started the war.  

“I plan on attempting to see those folks,” Biden told reporters amid speculation he might go to Poland’s border with Ukraine. “I guess I’m not supposed to say where I’m going, am I?”  

Chief National Correspondent Steve Herman, National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin and U.N. Correspondent Margaret Besheer contributed to this report.   

Some information came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.  

 

Posted by Ukrap on

Чиновник Міноборони РФ нагородив «за відвагу» військових, які окопалися на території школи на Київщині

Проаналізувавши відео, журналісти встановили, що воно зняте на території Катюжанської школи

Posted by Worldkrap on

Legal Experts Testify on Final Day of Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings 

On the fourth and final day of confirmation hearings for U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee to the U.S Supreme Court, legal experts praised Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, saying she was well qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court.

The testimony from the American Bar Association and other experts came after two days of questioning from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and wrapped up about 30 hours of hearings on Jackson’s nomination.

In her testimony, the ABA’s Ann Claire Williams, who leads the organization’s committee that makes recommendations on federal judges, said virtually everyone they interviewed described Jackson as “outstanding, excellent, superior, superb.”

Senate Republicans spent much of their time Tuesday and Wednesday trying to make the case that Brown was soft on crime. Witnesses invited by Republicans to testify Thursday, including Alabama Attorney General Steven Marshall, echoed their charges.

When asked about that charge, the ABA’s Williams said not one of the 250 judges they interviewed about Jackson mentioned that as an issue.

The four-hour hearing Thursday featured not only legal experts but government officials and civil rights groups who supported Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the court, as well as other conservative advocates who opposed her.

The Senate committee is expected to vote on Jackson’s nomination by April 4. Democrats are hoping to hold a final confirmation vote by Easter, in mid-April, when the Senate leaves for a two-week break.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

Posted by Ukrap on

«Укрзалізниця» повідомила про обстріл евакуаційного поїзда під Васильковом

«Ворог вкотре прицільно обстрілює залізничну інфраструктуру», зазначив голова правління компанії

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US Census Study Reveals COVID-19 Pandemic Impact

A study released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau suggests COVID-19 played a role in lowering the population in more than 73% of U.S. counties last year. 

The bureau’s Vintage 2021 estimates of population and components said the population drop — reported in nearly 3,000 U.S. counties — was what they call a “natural decrease,” caused by more deaths than births in a population over a given time period.  

In a news release, the bureau said the study indicates a drop in births, an aging population and increased mortality intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic led to a rise in the natural decrease. 

The study showed that some counties also experienced population declines attributable to both international and domestic migration. The census showed counties with net international migration loss — more people moving out of the country from the state rather than into the country — were most frequently found in California, Oregon and Mississippi. 

The study showed states with the highest percentages of counties with net domestic migration loss — people moving within the United States — were Alaska, Louisiana and Illinois. 

The study showed that more than 65% of U.S. counties experienced positive domestic migration overall from 2020 to 2021. Arizona’s Maricopa County gained the most residents from domestic migration, followed by Riverside County, California, and Collin County, Texas. Los Angeles County, California, experienced the greatest net domestic migration loss, followed by New York County, New York.  

Christine Hartley, assistant chief of estimates and projections at the bureau, said 2021 saw a shift in domestic migration patterns. She said even with the natural decrease in population and international migration overall because of domestic migration, more counties gained population than lost. 

The bureau said the statistics released Thursday include population estimates and components of change for the nation’s 384 metropolitan statistical areas, 543 micropolitan statistical areas and 3,143 counties. 

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press. 

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Journalists at Russia’s Channel One ‘Scared’ Says Marina Ovsyannikova

Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who protested Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine by bursting onto the set of a flagship television news show, says her colleagues at Kremlin-controlled TV Channel One are scared and she doesn’t regret for one moment her action.

The 43-year-old television journalist last week held up a banner behind the news anchor during a live broadcast denouncing the aggression in Ukraine and shouted, “stop the war.” On the banner she wrote: “No War” and “They are lying to you here.”

“My colleagues are scared,” Ovsyannikova told VOA. “The heads of Channel One forbade them to discuss this incident. Several colleagues quit, the rest — continue to work. They need to feed their families; they cannot find other work in such a difficult time. Because of Western sanctions, people have become real hostages of the difficult economic situation in Russia,” she added.

Ovsyannikova has declined an asylum offer from France after she staged her protest to challenge the Kremlin’s narrative of the invasion, which Russian leader Vladimir Putin has dubbed a “special military operation.” She was detained and fined $290 for loading a video onto YouTube denouncing the invasion, but her lawyer, Anton Gashinsky, told VOA more serious charges could be filed against her.

“Her action on the First Channel live has not yet been assessed by law enforcement agencies” he said. He added: “So far, Marina has not been summoned for interrogation. We do not have any official information about the investigation being carried out against her.”

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has launched a probe into her actions, according to Russian news agency TASS.

“A preliminary inquiry is being conducted regarding Ovsyannikova to determine whether her actions constitute a crime under Article 207.3 of the Russian Criminal Code [‘Public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation’],” the news agency quoted an official saying. If found guilty of the charge Ovsyannikova could be jailed for 15 years.

Ovsyannikova has a 17-year-old son and a daughter. Her lawyer told VOA: “During the detention she was treated with respect, they were polite, they did not use physical force.” She was held for 14 hours but was denied a lawyer even though she demanded legal representation “about 20 times,” Gashinsky said.

No regrets

She does not recant a single word of her condemnation of the war. “She is happy that she was able to show the whole world that Russian people are mostly against armed conflicts. And those who support armed conflicts, Marina’s quote: ‘poisoned by state information propaganda.’ Marina is a pacifist. She believes that all conflict situations can be resolved through negotiations,” he added.

Gashinsky said: “It’s not easy for her now. Together with her are her two children and two golden retrievers. She has loans for a car and her house. Now she has lost the only source of income that she had, and she has no savings. She receives alimony from her ex-spouse for the maintenance of children. But she, like a real Russian woman, said that she would cope with all the difficulties.”

Ovsyannikova told VOA, via her lawyer, she is not making plans as “the future of our country is unknown and very foggy now and Russia is plunged into darkness.”

Others targeted

This week, Russian prosecutors also opened a case against journalist Alexander Nevzorov, who has more than 1.6 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, accused of deliberately spreading false information about the war in Ukraine. In an open letter to Russia’s top investigator, Alexander Bastrykin, Nevzorov dubbed the investigation “ridiculous.” The probe is focused on Nevzorov’s postings on Instagram and YouTube about Russia’s armed forces deliberate shelling of a maternity hospital in the besieged Ukrainian port town of Mariupol.

Nevzorov said the case against him was meant as a signal to journalists in Russia to show “the regime is not going to spare anyone.”

Russian authorities have been adding more and more offenses to try to shut down independent reporting on the war or any coverage that challenges the Kremlin version of what is happening in Ukraine, say Russian journalists.

On Tuesday, the Russian parliament passed amendments to the Criminal Code that would expand a new law of spreading of falsehoods to allow authorities to prosecute those deemed to have spread false information about the work of state bodies abroad.

A Moscow court this week granted prosecutors’ request to designate Meta an “extremist” organization and Russia’s federal censor instructed media organizations to stop displaying the logos of Meta, Facebook, and Instagram, all three are now being blocked on Russia’s internet along with Twitter. Television network Euronews is also now being blocked.

Most foreign news organizations have pulled their correspondents out of Russia and Russia’s few remaining independent digital news outlets have also gone into exile.

The editor of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov, who received a Nobel Peace Prize last year announced this week he will auction his medal and donate the prize proceeds to an NGO that supports Ukrainian refugees. The paper has called on the Kremlin to: “Stop combat fire, exchange prisoners, release the bodies of the dead, provide humanitarian corridors and assistance, and support refugees.”

On Tuesday Russian investigative reporter Svetlana Prokopyeva announced she had left her home in the Russian town of Pskov and is now in Riga, Latvia. Two years ago, she was found a guilty of “justifying terrorism” in her reporting but was issued a fine rather than jailed in a case that was closely followed by the international media and rights groups. Her home was raided on March 18 during which she was forced to the floor and handcuffed. She was interrogated at a police station for allegedly spreading lies about the region’s governor.

“Yes, I am in Riga. I never thought this would happen in my life,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “I thought I would renovate the greenhouse, which was bent under the snow, and in the summer, maybe I’ll make a foundation under the house,” she added. “And I will be back. As soon as it is possible,” she added.

Some reporting for this story is from Reuters.

Posted by Worldkrap on

US Announces More Sanctions on Russia

As NATO and the G-7 met in Brussels to discuss the war in Ukraine, the Biden administration announced a wave of new sanctions on Russia Thursday.

Targeted are all 328 Russian lawmakers and many state-owned companies.

“Our purpose here is to methodically remove the benefits and privileges Russia once enjoyed as a participant in the international economic order,” a senior administration official told Reuters.

Specifically, the sanctions target 17 board members of a leading Russian financial institution, Sovcombank, and 48 defense companies reportedly producing equipment for Russia’s ongoing operations in Ukraine.

Also targeted are Herman Gref, who is the head of Sberbank and Gennady Timchenko, a wealthy friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“As long as President Putin continues this war, the United States and allies and partners are committed to ensuring the Russian government feels the compounding effects of our current and future economic actions,” the White House said in a statement.

Some information in this report comes from Reuters.

Posted by Ukrap on

Верещук повідомила про перший повноцінний обмін полоненими з РФ у форматі 10х10

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США, ЄС і «Група семи» запровадили санкції проти депутатів Держдуми та оборонних компаній Росії

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White House: US to Take In 100,000 Ukrainian Refugees

The White House announced Thursday plans for the United States to welcome as many as 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing the Russian invasion of the eastern European nation. 

In a statement on its website, the White House said the plan is part of a larger $1 billion humanitarian aid package to assist all those affected by “Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

The White House said while it expects most Ukrainians will choose to remain in Europe close to family and their homes, the refugees will be welcomed through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and other usual legal pathways. The statement says it is also looking to expand and develop new programs focusing on Ukrainians who have family members in the United States. 

They say the U.S. government is coordinating closely with the European Union on efforts to help refugees and provide humanitarian transfers and admissions to make sure they are complimentary.

The White House statement said the new humanitarian package will also include funding to ensure food security, shelter, clean water, medical supplies and other forms of assistance for those impacted by “Russia’s aggression.” 

The statement says the package includes an additional $320 million in democracy and human rights funding to Ukraine and its neighbors. 

The White House says since February 24, the United States has already provided more than $123 million to help Ukraine’s neighboring countries and the European Union receive and host the millions of refugees that have fled the country, with funding split among Poland, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, and the Slovak Republic.

Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press and Reuters.

Posted by Ukrap on

НАТО продовжить надавати підтримку Україні – заява саміту

Столтенберґ заявив, що НАТО допомагатиме Києву зброєю та обладнанням, а Росію попередив про наслідки можливого використання хімічної зброї чи будь-якої іншої зброї масового ураження

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WHO: Increased Funding Can End Global TB Epidemic

The World Health Organization warns the fight against tuberculosis is at a critical juncture. It says the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed gains made since 2000 in saving lives from the infectious disease. For the first time in over a decade, the WHO says TB deaths increased in 2020.

It says around 1.5 million people died of TB during that pandemic year because of disruptions in services and lack of resources. Most deaths have occurred in developing countries, with conflict affected countries across Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East at greatest risk.

The director of the WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Program, Tereza Kaseva, says an extra $1.1 billion a year is needed for the development of new tools, especially new vaccines, to achieve the goal of ending TB by 2030.

She says investing in the fight against tuberculosis is a no-brainer given the benefits gained for each dollar spent.

“For every one dollar invested to end TB, 43 is returned as the benefits of a healthier, functioning society…Ending TB by 2030 can lead to avoiding 23.8 million tuberculosis deaths and almost 13 trillion U.S. dollars in economic losses.”

The WHO says extra funding would allow the world to treat 50 million people with TB, including 3.7 million children and 2.2 million with drug-resistant TB. WHO officials say that would be particularly beneficial for children and young adults who lag adults in accessing TB prevention and care.

Team leader of vulnerable populations in the WHO’s global TB program, Kerri Viney, says 1.1 million children and young adolescents become ill with tuberculosis every year.

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Why Taiwan Came Up During Ukraine-Related Call Between Biden, China’s Xi

The presidents of China and the United States discussed Taiwan during a video call last week, prompting suggestions that Beijing may be seeking a trade-off in response to U.S. President Joe Biden’s demand that his counterpart Xi Jinping withhold material support for Russian’s war effort in Ukraine.

The subject of appeared in public summaries of the discussion released by both sides. The U.S. readout mentioned Taiwan once, whereas the Chinese readout brought it up four times.

“To put it together, it somewhat shows that the United States wants to please China in exchange for something – literally [the] Ukraine situation and try to convince China not do anything stupid with Russia,” said Alexander Huang, strategic studies professor at Tamkang University in Taiwan.

China has claimed self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s, when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists lost to Mao Zedong’s Communists and rebased their government in Taipei. Beijing has not dropped the threat of force, if needed, to unite the two sides.

Since mid-2020, it has flown military planes over part of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone almost daily. The Chinese Navy has been passing ships through a widening swath of the world’s waterways, especially in Asia and in the strait west of Taiwan.

Biden said the U.S. government “does not support ‘Taiwan independence’” or intend to seek conflict with China, according to Xi’s summary of remarks from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “I take these remarks very seriously,” Xi was quoted as saying.

“What’s worth noting in particular is that some people in the U.S. have sent a wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” Xinhua added. Xi called the signals “very dangerous.”

Former U.S. president Donald Trump had stepped up sales of weapons to Taiwan and increased the frequency of high-level visits to the island as he challenged China on issues from trade to military expansion around Asia.

Any U.S. “mishandling” of Taiwan will “have a disruptive impact on the bilateral ties,” Xi added.

Biden said U.S. policy on Taiwan had not changed and that the United States “continues to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo,” according to a White House statement.

That statement repeats a standing U.S. policy of supporting Taiwan’s current self-rule without declaring formal independence from China. The policy discourages China from unilaterally forcing its goal of unifying the two sides.

“Their differences are here, and it’s obvious, but the fact that they’re talking — it’s actually good, and I think they can find some common ground despite the differences,” said Eduardo Araral, associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s public policy school.

Biden warned Xi on the call not to provide material support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, after the U.S. president’s top diplomat said Washington believed Beijing was willing to offer support to Moscow.

“Of course, the starting point for America’s interests was hoping that China will not help Russia, but this does constitute Biden’s main rationale,” said Chao Chien-min, dean of social sciences at Chinese Cultural University in Taipei.

Biden may be trying to cement a stronger long-term relationship with old Cold War foe China, Chao said.

Sino-US relations

The China and U.S. statements both say Biden and Xi asked their teams to follow up after the video call but did not give specifics about how they should do that.

More senior-level dialogue is likely, analysts say, pointing to the call last Friday that followed a Biden-Xi video meeting in November.

While the calls signal stability in Sino-U.S. ties, experts see low odds of the two countries advancing toward any stronger friendship. Both are minding their domestic political landscapes, Huang said, and they lack conditions for further easing of tensions between the two countries.

It’s not clear yet whether China will distance itself from Russia in the month-old war that Moscow launched against Ukraine almost a month ago, some note.

“I do not think [the Friday call] will have any impact on current Sino-U.S. relations,” said Nguyen Thanh Trung, director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. He forecast that “China is not willing to sacrifice benefits from possible warm-again Sino-U.S. ties for Russia.”

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US Senate Panel Set to Hold Final Day of Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee holds its final day of confirmation hearings Thursday for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to a seat on the Supreme Court.

Lawmakers will hear statements from outside witnesses, including officials from the American Bar Association, law professors, and representatives from civil rights, law enforcement and religious rights groups.

Following Thursday’s session, committee members will consider Jackson’s nomination before holding a vote on whether to send it on to the full Senate for consideration.

On the third day of confirmation hearings Wednesday, Jackson once again defended her record to Republican members, with Republican Senator Thom Tillis suggesting Jackson possessed a kind nature that made her too lenient in sentencing decisions as a federal trial judge.

Jackson gave a lengthy response, saying she often sought to explain to defendants the impact of their actions with the aim of reducing the likelihood that they would commit more crimes on their release.

Republican Senator Lindsay Graham was more combative as he continued to ask Jackson about her sentencing decisions as a judge, repeatedly interrupting her when she tried to answer. He also brought up the contentious 2018 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

A friendlier questioner, Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, asked Jackson why she felt it was important for U.S. democratic institutions such as the courts to reflect the diversity of the nation.

Jackson answered that among other reasons, it “bolsters public confidence in our system.” 

“We have a diverse society in the United States. There are people from all over who come to this great nation and make their lives,” she said.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters. 

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Chinese Companies in Dilemma Over Russia 

Chinese enterprises are caught between the high reputational risk of remaining in Russia during its war on Ukraine and the pro-Moscow sentiment that dominates China’s state-controlled media. So far, most have chosen to remain silent.

According to the Yale School of Management, more than 400 companies have announced their withdrawal from Russia’s economy since Putin launched the war on Feb. 24. Most are based in the U.S., European Union, Japan and South Korea.

Salvatore Babones, an associate professor at the University of Sydney with expertise in the political economy of the Indo-Pacific region, said that for companies outside China, the desire to maintain a positive public image prompted their withdrawal from Russia.

“The risk of remaining in Russia is reputational,” he told VOA Mandarin in a phone interview. “Russia is a relatively small market, and there’s a huge public reaction against Russia right now. They (the companies) are responding to consumer pressure.”

Russia’s imports from China totaled about $54.9 billion in 2020. China is the largest source, followed by Germany, at $23.4 billion, and the United States, with just over $13.2 billion, according to the website Trading Economics, which uses figures from the United Nations COMTRADE database. By comparison, the site reports that China’s exports to the U.S. in 2020 totaled $452.6 billion.

Dan Harris, a trade lawyer who specializes in doing business in emerging markets and co-authors the China Law Blog, said the business calculus has changed because of the sanctions imposed on Russia.

“Companies that are not sanctioned … they are saying ‘I’m out’ because of reputational reasons or because it’s not worth figuring out and risking getting in trouble to sell a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of product to Russia. It’s just easier and safer to get out,” he told VOA Mandarin by phone.

A different approach

But while non-Chinese firms rush to exit Russia, most Chinese firms, especially those in the technology sector, have so far chosen to stay put.

The U.S. and other nations have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia, including import bans on energy, export bans on advanced technology, and moves to exclude Moscow from the SWIFT system that banks and other financial institutions use for global financial transactions.

In a phone call on Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden warned Chinese President Xi Jinping that Beijing would face severe consequences should it choose to provide aid to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war effort.

On March 14, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index hit a six-year low on fears that Chinese firms could be ostracized if Beijing sided with Russia, according to Bloomberg.

But on Chinese social media, where sentiment against the war is heavily censored, netizens overwhelmingly support Russia. A CNN analysis showed that during the first week of the Russian invasion, half of the most shared content on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo contained information attributed to a Russian official or comments picked up directly from Russian state media.

Consequently, some Chinese companies have doubled down on their support for Moscow, while others have changed course after getting hammered online for announcing plans to halt operations in Russia.

The Chinese government has refused to call Russia’s action in Ukraine an invasion. In a daily briefing on March 15, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China was “deeply grieved to see that the situation in Ukraine has reached its current state,” and he insisted the country was working for peace talks.

Didi, a ride-hailing app, faced public backlash after announcing that it would withdraw from the Russian market on March 4. Chinese netizens criticized the company, accusing it of giving in to pressure from America. Later, the company made a U-turn and said it would continue operating in Russia.

Hong Kong-based Lenovo Group, which announced the suspension of its shipments to Russia in late February, faced similar criticism on Chinese social media. Sima Nan, a Chinese television pundit known for his nationalistic and anti-American sentiment, wrote on his Weibo account that “Lenovo’s decision to follow America’s footstep is disgusting.”

This public support for Russia has left companies with little room to maneuver, according to Babones.

“The Chinese government suppresses any kind of discussion (that condemns Russia),” he said. “I can’t imagine that in China we would see a mass condemnation of Russia leading to the pressure on Chinese companies to exit the market.”

China’s official position on Moscow’s invasion has straddled both sides. Beijing has called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict while maintaining that the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia are counterproductive.

The Japanese business publication Nikkei Asia quoted an official at a major Chinese telecommunication company on March 9 as saying most Chinese companies “will not express opinions that conflict with the government’s stance.” At the same time, the official said, the companies will shy away from “any statements that are friendly to Russia to avoid boycott from Western companies.”

A former executive at the Chinese telecommunication firm Xiaomi told the Financial Times — and was quoted elsewhere as saying — that “it is politically sensitive to openly announce a sales suspension in the Russian market like Apple and Samsung, but from a business perspective, it makes (sense) to stand by and watch what happens next.”

Cost to Chinese firms

That wait-and-see approach might be costly to Chinese firms, according to experts. And firms that are more openly supportive of Russia risk a loss of international market share, forcing them to recalculate the risks of remaining in Moscow.

For example, at the telecommunications giant Huawei, just the rumor that it was helping the Russians defend against cyberattacks had reputational costs.

These stemmed from a March 6 report by the Daily Mail, a British newspaper, that cited “reports in China” as saying Huawei has been helping Russia stabilize its internet network after cyberattacks since the start of the Ukraine crisis.

The Daily Mail also cited a report on a Chinese news site that claimed Huawei would use its research centers to train 50,000 technical experts in Russia. The Chinese report has been deleted.

On March 9, the two remaining British members of Huawei U.K.’s board of directors resigned over the claim. Meanwhile, Robert Lewandowski, a Polish professional footballer designated Best FIFA Men’s Player of 2020 and 2021, announced the early termination of his sponsorship deal with Huawei.

The former regional ambassador of Huawei in his home country and other parts of Europe, Lewandowski wore an armband in the Ukrainian colors of yellow and blue during a match and said, “The world cannot accept what is happening there. I hope the whole world will support Ukraine.”

Harris, the trade lawyer, said that Huawei is already on the “do not trade” list of the U.S. and some of its allies, and companies in other parts of the world, particularly those in Central and Eastern Europe, might decide to cut ties with the Chinese firm to avoid violating sanctions imposed by Washington and other governments.

“If you’re dealing with China right now, you should be looking at what the world has done to Russia and figure that that could very well happen to China within the next few months,” Harris said.

“It might not happen if China backs away from Russia, but if China doesn’t back away from Russia, there are going to be a lot of sanctions, and things are going to get really bad.”

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Суд у Москві визнав фразу «Фашизм не пройде» «негативним ставленням» до армії РФ

Анна Кречетова провела одиничний пікет із плакатом, «привертаючи увагу необмеженого кола осіб, а також засобів масової інформації та блогерів», вказано у протоколі

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Помічник Путіна: на кону зараз є існування Росії

Речник Кремля Дмитро Пєсков в інтервʼю CNN раінше підтвердив, що можливість застосування ядерної зброї існує у разі «екзистенційної загрози» для Росії.

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Боррель: Москва зараз не хоче вести переговори, вона хоче окупувати

«Вона хоче вести серйозні переговори лише тоді, коли забезпечить сильні позиції»