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США: Трамп не визнав себе винним за звинуваченнями, висунутими в Джорджії

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Кількість українських дітей у школах Чехії зросла вп’ятеро у 2022 році

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Адвокатка розповіла про стан поліцейського, який смертельно поранив чоловіка в Дніпрі

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New York City Residents Protest Migrant Crisis 

Nearly 60,000 asylum-seekers are in New York City’s care. Some of them have no choice but to sleep outside, and some residents don’t want them. Nina Vishneva has the story, narrated by Anna Rice.

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Experts Warn of Shrinking Civic Space as BRICS Expands Membership

Some analysts warn that the choice of countries selected for induction into the BRICS bloc suggests the grouping as a whole may be headed on a path toward decreased tolerance for public dissent and debate.

The five-nation developing bloc, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, announced on August 24 the admission of six countries into its fold: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Their membership is expected to become effective in January 2024.

Of the six states, four — Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and Iran — have a history of heavily clamping down on dissenting voices. Their inclusion draws them closer to Russia and China, both known as authoritarian regimes that allow little engagement by independent civil society groups.

Neil Melvin, director of International Security Studies at London-based Royal United Security Institute, the U.K.’s oldest defense and security policy group, told VOA the selection of these six nations from among some 40 applicants reflected the disparate interests of the existing BRICS members.

“Argentina is there because of its neighbor Brazil. Russia and China also want to bring in Iran. And Egypt is there primarily because of the centrality of the hydrocarbon sector to many of the BRICS countries. And, for South Africa, it likely wanted Ethiopia because of its centrality for African diplomacy,” he said. The African Union is headquartered in Addis Ababa.

“We do see a group of countries that certainly have a democracy problem, and this is strengthening non-democratic trends in the BRICS, and a human rights problem,” Melvin said.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has cited Ethiopia, Iran and China among the 10 most censored countries for journalists in the world. Like political analysts, the advocacy group wants openness on the part of BRICS leaders.

Guillen Kaiser, CPJ’s advocacy and communications director, told VOA that because BRICS makes up “a significant portion of the world’s population,” it is imperative for member states, “many of which are repressive regimes,” to accept that their people want to be informed.

“The public wants transparency and accountability. Journalists provide this every day, with reporting that moves markets and allows people to make informed decisions,” she said. “BRICS leaders must accept that ultimately, their chokehold on the flow of information isn’t grounded in reality and it is in their interest to embrace a free press.”

Melvin noted that the BRICS expansion follows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the refusal by some countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to join the United States and most of Europe in retaliatory sanctions.

The expansion, he said, might be a signal of the bloc’s resolve to lead a new kind of Global South movement to broaden its legitimacy. “But I think this is going to be a very difficult agenda because it is relatively easy to complain about the existing [world] order.”

Melvin said if BRICS expects to offer an alternative to the West, it will have to address the challenges faced by its incoming members — an economic crisis in Argentina and massive debts faced by Ethiopia and Egypt.

“The West has been struggling with this for many years,” he said. “So, can China, Russia and the rest actually put something together? That’s the question they have put on themselves, and they’re going to have to answer that.”

Mandeep Tiwana, chief officer for evidence and engagement at CIVICUS, a global civil society alliance, told VOA that many of the newly inducted BRICS members have a record of suppressing human rights and dismantling the democratic aspirations of their people.

“BRICS is, in a sense, trying to reframe global governance,” Tiwana said. “Because when you have governments that are totalitarian in nature, it is going to create more challenges for people around the world rather than resolve challenges or create a better life for all.”

Tiwana said with Russia and China having disproportionate influence within the bloc, it is still not clear whether democratic states like Brazil, India and South Africa can have a positive influence on the other members.

“The leaders have not openly spoken about this, and our research shows that four of the countries BRICS is admitting have serious civic space restrictions, and so it doesn’t augur well for people-centered decision-making when you practically have no independent civil society in these countries,” he said.

“Our hope is that countries with democratic traditions within the BRICS alliance can influence the others to be more open to civil society so they can involve people in their decision-making.”

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said BRICS would expand more in the future.

This story originated in VOA’s English to Africa Service.

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Greece Sends 100 Extra Firefighters to Massive Northeastern Wildfire

Greek authorities sent 100 extra firefighters Thursday to the country’s northeast, where a massive blaze in its 13th day flared up again, prompting authorities to put residents on standby for a possible evacuation.

The fire that started Aug. 19 — part of a busy fire season for Greece — has destroyed vast tracts of forest and burned homes. It has been blamed for the deaths of 20 migrants, whose bodies were found last week in the area, which is near the border with Turkey.

Allegations that migrants may be responsible for the fire have led to some vigilantism against foreigners, although people arrested in recent days suspected of starting blazes around the country have all been Greek.

The reinforcements sent Thursday to the Alexandroupolis and Evros region brought the total number of firefighters deployed there to 582, backed by 10 planes and seven helicopters from nine European countries, Greece’s fire department said.

A total of 26 people, including the two-member crew of a firefighting plane, have died as a result of wildfires in Greece so far this year. Lawmakers held a minute of silence at the start of a parliamentary debate Thursday morning on the fires and the state response.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis defended his government’s response to the fires and said climate change and a protracted heat wave followed by very strong winds were largely to blame for them.

The political opposition alleged that the government was unprepared for this year’s wildfire season. “You left the country unprepared and defenseless against this danger,” said Sokratis Famellos of the SYRIZA main opposition party.

Mitsotakis suggested migrants were responsible for sparking one of the two major wildfires that merged to burn through northeastern Greece, although he provided no evidence of that. He noted that no lightning had been recorded in the area, nor did it have electricity transmission networks that might have sparked a fire. He said an investigation is still underway, and he urged people to wait for the outcome and not to take matters into their own hands.

“It is almost certain that the causes were man-made. And it is also almost certain that this fire started on routes that are often used by illegal migrants who have entered our country,” Mitsotakis said. “We don’t know if it was negligence or deliberate.”

Last week, three people — two Greeks and one Albanian national — were arrested in northeastern Greece and charged with a series of crimes for allegedly rounding up 13 migrants and forcing them into a car trailer, accusing them, without any evidence, of setting fires.

“If there are guilty people, we will make sure to locate them,” Mitsotakis said. “Incidents of vigilantism and self-appointed sheriffs will not be tolerated by this government.”

Greece is one of the preferred entry routes into the European Union for people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia fleeing conflict and poverty. Those crossing the country’s land border with Turkey often use mountain and forest trails to evade authorities and head west to the main northern city of Thessaloniki.

Several people, all Greeks, have been arrested in the last two weeks on suspicion of arson for allegedly deliberately attempting to start wildfires.

Mitsotakis said the deaths in northeastern Greece were “tragic,” but noted that nobody should have been in the area as evacuation orders had already been issued. The evacuation orders are sent by push alert messages in Greek and English to all cell phones active in any given area.

Thousands of people in the Alexandroupolis and Evros area have been issued evacuation orders since the fire there began, although the vast majority have been allowed back.

Overnight, residents of two villages near the border with Turkey and near a wildlife sanctuary were put on alert for potential evacuation as one of the fire fronts flared up.

The blaze, now burning deep in the forest in the Dadia national park, is the largest single wildfire recorded in the European Union since it started keeping records in 2000. More than 81,000 hectares (200,000 acres) have been burned, according to the EU.

Greece has been stricken by hundreds of wildfires this summer, with dozens of new blazes breaking out each day. The vast majority are extinguished quickly.

Seeing its firefighting forces stretched to the limit, Greece has called on other European countries for help. Hundreds of firefighters from Romania, France, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Albania, Slovakia and Serbia have helped battle the blazes, along with 12 aircraft from Germany, Sweden, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France and Spain.

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A Man’s Hobby Becomes a Crucial Tool in Global Efforts to Enforce Sanctions on Russia

It started as one man’s hobby, but watching Russian cargo ships on the Bosphorus Strait and spotting those that are busting sanctions by carrying illegal cargo from occupied ports in Ukraine has become a crucial resource for global media and others who monitor compliance.

From his terrace, Yoruk Isik captures with his camera another Russian cargo ship passing Istanbul’s Bosphorus waterway from the Black Sea to European markets and beyond. It started as a hobby, but for Isik, a regional political analyst, monitoring the ships has become a personal passion.

“I am interested in Russian foreign policy, and watching ships on the Bosphorus really gives clues about Russian foreign policy and what they are engaging in, what they are planning to do in the coming months,” he said. 

With the Bosphorus waterway narrowing to a few hundred meters, monitoring ships is relatively easy. Isik records the name of the ships, the cargo, and the flag it is sailing under. He works with an international network of volunteers and nongovernment organizations that share data online on the movement of Russian cargo ships.

The information is crucial for world media and others who monitor compliance. 

Isik’s website, bosphorusobserver.com, has become an important go-to resource for media including Reuters news agency, which uses his photos. With sanction-busting ships often turning off their Automatic Identification System or AIS that allows them to be tracked by international authorities, monitoring efforts by people like Isik are vital, said George Voloshin, a global financial crime expert at ACAMS, a U.S.-based watchdog.

“I think this (ship monitoring) is very valuable because, actually, a common technique is to manipulate your AIS signal by resample just turning down your transponder or trying to manipulate it, interfere with it so that a ship appears to be in a different place in a different location. So, all those leads are potentially valuable,” he said.

Voloshin said such monitoring helped expose Russia’s exports of stolen Ukrainian grain and coal from Black Sea ports that it occupied in Ukraine, much of which Isik recorded passing through the Bosphorus waterway.

Moscow denies accusations that it is busting sanctions.

The waters off Istanbul are under limited Turkish jurisdiction and are an international hub for hundreds of empty cargo ships and tankers that frequently change owners. Experts say this makes tracking difficult and creates conditions favorable to those seeking to circumvent a long list of sanctions.

Adding to the difficulties in applying the sanctions is Turkey’s refusal to enforce them. Ankara says it is not bound by them.

Trade between Russia and Turkey has surged since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Russia is the world’s most sanctioned country. So, most of the people who are engaged in trade with Russia, they are trying to hide their activities because they are worried that somehow some sanctions will come back and haunt them,” said, the Bosphorous Observer analyst Yoruk Isik.

In 2015, Isik exposed Russia’s export of arms by sea to the Syrian government for its fight against rebels. Now, he spends most of his spare time tracking ships, which he expects to continue for many years, as Russia shows no signs of changing its behavior.

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Майже 180 тисяч людей отримують допомогу ВПО помилково – Верещук

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Justice Clarence Thomas Reports He Took 3 Trips on Republican Donor’s Plane Last Year

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is acknowledging that he took three trips last year aboard a private plane owned by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow. 

It’s the first time in years that Thomas has reported receiving hospitality from Crow. In a report made public Thursday, the 75-year-old justice said he was complying with new guidelines from the federal judiciary for reporting travel. 

The filing comes amid a heightened focus on ethics at the high court that stems from a series of reports revealing that Thomas has for years received undisclosed expensive gifts, including international travel, from Crow, a wealthy businessman and benefactor of conservative causes. Crow also purchased the house in Georgia where Thomas’s mother continues to live and paid for two years of private school tuition for a child raised by Thomas and his wife, Ginni. 

The Associated Press reported in July that Justice Sonia Sotomayor, aided by her staff, has advanced sales of her books through college visits over the past decade. 

One trip Thomas reported was to Crow’s lodge in the Adironack Mountains in upstate New York, where the investigative news site ProPublica has reported that Thomas visits every year. 

The other two trips were to Dallas, where he spoke at conferences sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

Thomas noted that court officials recommended that he avoid commercial travel for one of the trips, in mid-May, because of concerns about the justices’ security following the leak of the court’s draft abortion opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade. 

The justice also belatedly acknowledged that Crow had purchased the home in Savannah, Georgia, where Thomas’ mother still lives. Thomas and other family members owned the house, along with two neighboring properties. The sale was completed in 2014, but Thomas said he erroneously thought he didn’t have to report it because “this sale resulted in a capital loss.”

He is considering whether to amend prior reports to include more private plane travel, he noted.

The annual financial reports for Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito were released Thursday, nearly three months after those of the other seven justices. Thomas and Alito were granted 90-day extensions. 

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У Києві на укриття додатково виділили майже 133 млн грн

На капітальні ремонти існуючих укриттів, що розташовані у школах, дитячих садках, гуртожитках та закладах професійно-технічної освіти, буде виділено 41,6 мільйона гривень

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У Єврокомісії назвали вартість проїзду українського зерна до портів ЄС

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TPS Extended for 2 Countries, 5 More Set for September

The Biden administration recently announced an extension and redesignation of the program that gives temporary protection from deportation for nationals of Sudan and Ukraine. Nationals of El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal and Nicaragua will also have their protection extended in September.

The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program allows migrants whose home countries are considered unsafe to live and work in the United States for a period of time if they meet certain requirements established by the U.S. government.

In a call Wednesday with reporters, immigration advocates urged the Biden administration to designate new countries to receive TPS status and redesignate current ones to allow more people to qualify for the program and work legally in the U.S.

Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy research at the Economic Policy Institute, said current TPS holders have high labor force participation rates and contribute billions to the U.S. economy every year.

“TPS raises wages through the provision of work authorization for people who don’t have it. … Higher wages also mean more spending back in the economy, which creates more jobs,” he said.

The original TPS designations for Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador were made more than 20 years ago. When the Biden administration extended TPS for those countries in June, it was for current TPS holders.

If the Biden administration were to redesignate TPS, it would change the cut-off date of when people had to have entered the U.S. in order to qualify for the program, and those who entered within the last 20 years would be eligible.

According to a report by the Niskanen Center, a Washington-based policy research institute, the “vast majority” of TPS holders are employed.

“More than 94% of TPS holders were in the labor force as of 2017, working in sectors ranging from retail to health care. According to some estimates, ending TPS for just El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti would lead to a loss of over $160 billion to U.S. GDP over a decade,” the report shows.

New countries

Advocates also called for new TPS designations. Immigrants rights groups have ongoing campaigns for Mauritania and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Nils Kinuani, the immigration coordinator for the Congolese Community of Washington Metropolitan, told VOA the group had conversations with DHS officials in April, and they are still hopeful.

“Last winter, we were joined by over 110 organizations, national and state, to request a TPS designation for DRC. We launched the campaign in February 2023. We have been also working with congressional leaders to push for this designation,” Kinuani said.

According to the State Department, the DRC is suffering a humanitarian crisis marked by civil conflicts that have spanned more than two decades.

Black Mauritanian leaders and others have also urged the administration to designate Mauritania under TPS status.

“This is the longest TPS campaign many of our organizations have worked on; a stark difference from the TPS designation for countries like Ukraine, which received TPS within a week of the conflict starting. The United States had a long-standing policy of not deporting Mauritanians because of the country’s well documented record of human rights abuses, which include the practice of enslaving Black people and maintaining an apartheid regime,” Haddy Gassama, policy and advocacy director of the UndocuBlack Network, wrote in a statement.

A bipartisan letter from Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and Republican Representative Mike Carey was sent to President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging officials to consider the circumstances in Mauritania and requesting immediate TPS designation for Mauritanians living in the United States.

DHS officials did not disclose why these countries have yet to receive a TPS designation, but they said DHS is “monitoring” the situation.

Who has TPS designations?

Congress established TPS in 1990. Currently, 16 countries are designated for the program.

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokesperson wrote in an email to VOA on background — often used by U.S. officials to share information with reporters without being identified — that TPS is not to be equated with other recently expanded pathways to legal residence in the United States.

These include “a dramatic expansion of refugee resettlement processing from the Western Hemisphere; parole processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans; expanded Family Reunification Programs; expanded labor visas; and direct access to appointments at Ports of Entry via the CBP One app,” the official wrote.

Current TPS holders who want to extend their status must register again during the 60-day registration period for their country’s designation.

What is the process for a country to receive TPS designation?

Congress authorized the DHS secretary to decide when a country should be placed under TPS designation.

Before making a decision to designate a country, the secretary is required to consult with various government agencies. While the specific agencies are not outlined in the law, these consultations typically involve the Department of State, the National Security Council, and sometimes the Department of Justice.

“The Department regularly monitors country conditions and consults other appropriate government agencies to determine whether a TPS designation is warranted. The department does not have anything specific to share regarding the status of these considerations for any particular country,” a DHS official wrote in an email.

These designations are set for six, 12, or 18 months. About two months before a country’s TPS expiration, the secretary has to decide once again if the U.S. will terminate or extend the TPS benefit.

Whatever the decision, it needs to be published in the Federal Register — the nation’s daily publication system for a variety of public documents.

The TPS program, however, does not lead to permanent U.S. residency. As of March, about 610,000 foreign nationals currently hold TPS status.

TPS holders who leave the U.S. without first obtaining a travel authorization may lose their TPS status and won’t be able to reenter the country.

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Russia Says it Downed Ukrainian Drone Near Moscow

Russian officials said Thursday the country’s air defenses shot down a Ukrainian drone flying toward Moscow.

The Russian defense ministry said the drone was destroyed over the Voskresensky district.

Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow’s mayor, said on Telegram there were no reports of casualties or damage.

Ukraine on Wednesday launched a wave of drone attacks aimed at six Russian regions, including hitting an airport near Russia’s border with Estonia and Latvia.  That drone ignited a huge blaze and damaged four Il-76 military transport planes, which can carry heavy machinery and troops, the Russian news agency Tass reported, quoting emergency officials.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Russian military would undoubtedly analyze “how this was done in order to take appropriate measures to prevent these situations in the future.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Ukraine was relying on foreign help because the drones “simply would not be able to fly such a distance without carefully researched information from Western satellites.”

Meanwhile, Moscow’s forces hit Kyiv with drones and missiles with what Ukrainian officials described as a “massive, combined attack” that killed two people with falling debris.

Sergei Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, described Russia’s attack on the Ukrainian capital as the biggest since the spring, even as Ukraine’s air defenses shot down more than 20 drones and missiles.

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

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Improved Relations Won’t Signal Vietnam Alignment with US, Experts Say

When U.S. President Joe Biden visits Vietnam in early September, experts say Washington and Hanoi are likely to upgrade ties to a strategic partnership, an important step for bilateral relations. Experts add, however, that this should not be misinterpreted as Vietnam aligning with the United States.

In Hanoi’s diplomatic hierarchy, a strategic partnership is the second tier, only surpassed by the highest-level designation – a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The White House said August 8 that U.S. President Joe Biden would be coming to Hanoi September 10, to meet with Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who holds the country’s top position, and other leaders on ways to further deepen bilateral cooperation.

While experts said upgraded ties are close to a sure thing if Biden’s visit goes as planned, they said that Vietnamese leaders are upgrading their partnerships more broadly as a defense to China’s growing aggression in the region.

“This is not Vietnam moving into a U.S. orbit. This is Vietnam maintaining its own independent orbit – maintaining its own space from China,” said Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“That leaves a lot of room for pragmatic cooperation and shared interest but Vietnam is not coming to our side of the playground,” he said.

‘Web of partnerships’

Vietnam has been busy on the diplomatic front over the past year, seeking to upgrade ties with many in the region.

In December, Vietnam upgraded ties with South Korea to a comprehensive strategic partnership, the highest level in Vietnam’s diplomatic hierarchy, also held with China, Russia, and India.

Vietnam is also expected to sign a comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia this year, which was announced after Foreign Affairs Minister Bui Thanh Son and his counterpart, Penny Wong, met in Hanoi on August 22.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also visited Hanoi August 27. There, he met with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and the two discussed embarking on a comprehensive strategic partnership.

These enhanced ties are a concerted effort by Hanoi to create a bulwark against Beijing, said Alexander Vuving, a professor at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu.

Vietnam “has to upgrade their relationship with all these countries that can help them in case of crisis or even help them to boost their resilience against Chinese encroachment,”  Vuving said. “If you look at that kind of web of partnerships with all the significant powers in the region, you can be a little more secure. That’s the overall strategy for Vietnam. Reaching out – geopolitical promiscuity.”

Threats to Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty often play out in the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea. Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone extends 200 nautical miles off the coastline. China claims nearly all of the resource-rich waters with its nine-dash line – a disputed map demarcation encompassing most of the South China Sea.

China “has coast guard ships and militia ships harassing and disrupting Vietnam’s exploration for oil every day,” Vuving said. “They are pushing the Vietnamese fishermen out of their own EEZ.”

This ceaseless badgering of Vietnamese operations at sea is a top rationale for upgraded ties with the United States and other partners, said Ray Powell, who leads Stanford University’s Project Myoushu on the South China Sea.

“The constant pressure that China puts on [Vietnam] from all kinds of angles factors into their desire to keep raising the levels of those partnerships,” Powell said. “In a lot of ways it is more about balancing against China than it is about aligning with the United States.”

Balancing act

This year marks 10 years since Washington and Hanoi launched a comprehensive partnership. Although experts say the Biden administration is keen to jump two levels to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Vietnamese leaders must be cautious about not angering Beijing even while trying to counter its growing power.

Hanoi and Washington normalized bilateral relations in 1995, and elevated to a comprehensive partnership in 2013. The partnership is a formal designation in Vietnamese foreign policy which puts the U.S. currently in the third tier among Vietnam’s diplomatic partners.

Nguyen Khac Giang, visiting fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, said moving one step up to a strategic partnership is the likely outcome of Biden’s visit as Hanoi treads carefully in order to keep peace with Beijing. “Vietnam is quite careful at balancing that relationship with the two great powers,” he said.

Still, the strategic partnership would be an important step for Vietnam to “toughen up” its maritime capabilities, enable potential arms procurement, and send a message to Beijing, he said.

“Very strongly, it would respond to China’s pressure that if you push me too far I will have the U.S. [partnership] at least to help protect my own national interest,” Giang said.

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Shapps Named New British Defense Minister

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak named Grant Shapps as his new defense minister Thursday following the resignation of defense chief Ben Wallace. 

Shapps had been serving as secretary of energy security.

Wallace, who led Britain’s military response to the war in Ukraine, signaled his intention to step down last month and issued a formal letter of resignation Thursday after four years on the job.

Wallace said the defense ministry is “more modern, better funded and more confident” than when he took the post in 2019.

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

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Наступне засідання у форматі Рамштайн відбудеться 19 вересня

П’ятнадцяте засідання Контактної Групи з питань оборони України відбудеться у форматі офлайн 19 вересня на авіабазі Рамштайн у Німеччині. 

«Міністр Остін (голова Пентагону Ллойд Остін – ред.) знову запросив міністрів оборони та старших військових посадовців по всьому світу, щоб обговорити поточну кризу в Україні та різні проблеми безпеки, з якими стикаються союзники та партнери США», – повідомили Радіо Свобода у пресслужбі Військово-Повітряних сил США в Європі. 

Попереднє, 14-те засідання Контактної групи з оборони України у форматі «Рамштайн», відбулося 18 липня. Тоді, за даними українського Міноборони, у фокусі були ППО, боєприпаси та броня для України.

Контактної Групи з питань оборони України (у форматі «Рамштайн») об’єднує близько пів сотні країн, які долучаються до виділення зброї Україні у її протидії російській агресії.


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UN Sanctions on Mali to End After Russia Blocks Renewal

United Nations sanctions on Mali will end on Thursday after Russia vetoed a renewal of the measures me that targeted anyone violating or obstructing a 2015 peace deal, hindering aid delivery, committing rights abuses or recruiting child soldiers.

Independent U.N. sanctions monitors reported to the Security Council this month that Mali’s troops and its foreign security partners, believed to be Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, are using violence against women and other “grave human rights abuses” to spread terror.

Thirteen Security Council members voted in favor of a resolution, drafted by France and the United Arab Emirates, to extend the U.N. sanctions and independent monitoring for another year. Russia cast a veto, while China abstained from the vote.

Russia then instead proposed extending U.N. sanctions in Mali for one final year, but immediately ending the independent monitoring now. It was the only country to vote yes, while Japan voted no and the remaining 13 members abstained.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Robert Wood told the council that Russia wanted to eliminate the independent monitoring “to stifle publication of uncomfortable truths about Wagner’s actions in Mali, which require attention.”

In response, Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy told Reuters that was speculation and resembled “paranoia,” adding that Russia was “upholding the interests of the affected country — Mali, as the council is supposed to do.”

The U.S. has also accused Wagner, which has about 1,000 fighters in Mali, of engineering an abrupt request by the junta for a 13,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force to leave. The decade-long operation is due to shutdown by the end of the year.

Mali’s junta, which seized power in coups in 2020 and 2021, teamed up with Wagner in 2021 to fight an Islamist insurgency. Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin died in a plane crash in Russia last week and President Vladimir Putin then ordered Wagner fighters to sign an oath of allegiance to the Russian state.

Mali’s military junta wrote to the Security Council earlier this month to ask for the sanctions to be lifted.

The current annual mandate for the U.N. sanctions regime and independent monitoring will expire Thursday. Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia made clear that Russia would not discuss the issue any further after the two votes Wednesday.

The council established the Mali sanctions regime in 2017, which allowed it to impose travel bans and asset freezes. There are currently eight people subjected to the U.N. sanctions measures. The independent monitors reported to the council twice a year on implementation and potential new designations. 

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Індійські фірми вперше потрапили під санкції через війну в Україні

Обмежувальні заходи США – перший такий випадок покарання індійських фірм через звʼязок із російським бізнесом, який перебуває під санкціями через війну в Україні

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ЄС має намір щороку виділяти Україні по 5 мільярдів євро на озброєння та навчання

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Щоб забезпечити водою Херсонщину, потрібно 50 нових свердловин – Міндовкілля

У Міністерстві захисту довкілля та природних ресурсів кажуть, що для того, аби забезпечити водою Херсонщину, потрібно 50 нових свердловин

«Актуальна потреба для Херсонщини – нові 50 артезіанських свердловин. Продовжуються роботи з буріння. Попередній дедлайн – 15 жовтня. Прокладання трубопроводів – до 15 листопада. Щоб прискорити виконання цих робіт, Кабінет міністрів України схвалив рішення, яке спрощує процедуру», – повідомив профільний міністр Руслан Стрілець.

За словами очільника Міндовкілля, близько 1 млн жителів Кривого Рогу та Миколаєва вже забезпечені питною водою з Карачунівського водосховища. Цьому передували роботи із покращення якості води у річці Інгулець шляхом промивання її русла.

Також Руслан Стрілець нагадав про збитки, які завдала Росія, підірвавши Каховську ГЕС, а саме:

70% води Каховського водосховища втрачено;
600 тис. га територій постраждали;
146 млрд гривень орієнтовної фінансової шкоди довкіллю.

На світанку 6 червня стало відомо про руйнування дамби Каховської ГЕС. Україна звинувачує у підриві греблі Каховської ГЕС Росію. Кремль називає руйнування греблі «навмисною диверсією» з боку Києва.

Представники країн Заходу, коментуючи руйнування греблі, прямо не заявляли про те, що її підірвала Росія, проте все ж таки відзначали відповідальність Москви за те, що сталося – оскільки саме Росія здійснила повномасштабне вторгнення в Україну 24 лютого минулого року й окупувала частину Херсонської області (зокрема і Каховську ГЕС), перетворивши її на зону боїв.

Причиною руйнування Каховської ГЕС, найімовірніше, став вибух у тунелі бетонної основи греблі, написало 16 червня американське видання New York Times, прямо вказуючи на те, що це зробила Росія.

Руйнування дамби спричинило затоплення значних територій нижче за течією, обміління водосховища вище, нестачу питної води у регіоні.