Daily: 25/11/2021

Москва заявляє про готовність допомогти Вірменії та Туреччині в нормалізації відносин

Вірменсько-турецькі відносини упродовж понад століття загострені через турецьку роль у масових убивствах вірмен наприкінці Першої світової війни, Туреччина також  є головним союзником і постачальником військової техніки і зброї для Баку в конфлікті навколо Нагірного Карабаху

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Щонайменше до 14 зросло число жертв вибуху на шахті в Росії

У шахті на момент аварії перебували 285 гірників, понад 230 підняли на поверхню

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Президент Румунії заявив про завершення політичної кризи після призначення нового уряду

Новий премʼєр-міністр Ніколае Чука пообіцяв відкинути розбіжності, щоб керувати в «інтересах румунів»

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Зеленський у п’ятницю влаштує марафон з пресою – ОП анонсував менш ніж за добу до заходу

Прес-марафон «30 запитань президенту України» розпочнеться о 12:00 і триватиме три години

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EU Drug Regulator Approves First COVID Shot for 5-11-Year-Olds 

The European Union drug regulator Thursday approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children between the ages of five and 11, opening the way for them to be given a first shot as the region battles surging infections. 

 

The vaccine, which is called Comirnaty, will be given in two doses of 10 micrograms three weeks apart as an injection in the upper arm, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended. Adult doses contain 30 micrograms. 

 

“The benefits of Comirnaty in children aged 5 to 11 outweigh the risks, particularly in those with conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19,” the EMA said. 

 

The companies have said their vaccine showed 90.7% efficacy against the coronavirus in a clinical trial of children aged 5 to 11. 

 

Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine has been approved for European Union use in teenagers between 12 and 17 years old since May. While final approval is up to the European Commission, it typically follows EMA recommendations. 

 

It is not clear when countries may start rolling out the shots among younger children. Earlier this week, outgoing German health minister Jens Spahn said that EU-wide deliveries of the low-dose pediatric version would only begin on December 20. 

 

The bloc joins a growing number of countries, including the United States, Canada, Israel, China and Saudi Arabia, which have cleared vaccines for children in the 5-11 year age group and younger. 

 

Tens of millions of children in this age group will be eligible for the shot in the EU. 

 

For pediatric shots, the U.S. regulator authorized a new version of the vaccine, which uses a new buffer and allows them to be stored in refrigerators for up to 10 weeks. 

 

 

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«Розповідав мені про нюанси в управлінні столицею» – Кличко про смерть ексмера Омельченка

Міський голова висловив співчуття родині Омельченка

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Europe’s Christmas Markets Warily Open as COVID Cases Rise

The holiday tree is towering over the main square in this central German city, the chestnuts and sugared almonds are roasted, and kids are clambering aboard the merry-go-round just like they did before the pandemic. But a surge in coronavirus infections has left an uneasy feeling hanging over Frankfurt’s Christmas market.

To savor a mug of mulled wine — a pleasurable rite of winter in pre-pandemic times — masked customers must pass through a one-way entrance to a fenced-off wine hut, stopping at the hand sanitizer station. Elsewhere, security officers check vaccination certificates before letting customers head for the steaming sausages and kebabs.

Despite the pandemic inconveniences, stall owners selling ornaments, roasted chestnuts and other holiday-themed items in Frankfurt and other European cities are relieved to be open at all for their first Christmas market in two years, especially with new restrictions taking effect in Germany, Austria and other countries as COVID-19 infections hit record highs. Merchants who have opened are hoping for at least a fraction of the pre-pandemic holiday sales that can make or break their businesses.

Others aren’t so lucky. Many of the famous holiday events have been canceled in Germany and Austria. With the market closures goes the money that tourists would spend in restaurants, hotels and other businesses.

Jens Knauer, who crafts intricate, lighted Christmas-themed silhouettes that people can hang in windows, said his hope was simply that the Frankfurt market “stays open as long as possible.”

While Christmas is 40% of annual revenue for many retailers and restaurateurs, “with me, it’s 100%,” Knauer said. “If I can stay open for three weeks, I can make it through the year.”

Purveyors are on edge after other Christmas markets were abruptly shut down in Germany’s Bavaria region, which includes Nuremberg, home of one of the biggest and best-known markets. Stunned exhibitors in Dresden had to pack up their goods when authorities in the eastern Saxony region suddenly imposed new restrictions amid soaring infections. Austria’s markets closed as a 10-day lockdown began Monday, with many stall owners hoping they can reopen if it’s not extended.

Markets usually attract elbow-to-elbow crowds to row upon row of ornament and food sellers, foot traffic that spills over into revenue for surrounding hotels and restaurants. This year, the crowds at Frankfurt’s market were vastly thinned out, with the stalls spread out over a larger area.

Heiner Roie, who runs a mulled wine hut in the shape of a wine barrel, said he’s assuming he will see half the business he had in 2019. A shutdown would cause “immense financial damage — it could lead to complete ruin since we haven’t made any income in two years, and at some point, the financial reserves are used up.”

But if people have a little discipline and observe the health measures, “I think we’ll manage it,” he said.

Next door, Bettina Roie’s guests are greeted with a sign asking them to show their vaccination certificates at her stand serving Swiss raclette, a popular melted cheese dish.

The market “has a good concept because what we need is space, room, to keep some distance from each other,” she said. “In contrast to a bricks-and-mortar restaurant, they have their building and their walls, but we can adjust ourselves to the circumstances.”

The extended Roie family is a fifth-generation exhibitor business that also operates the merry-go-round on Frankfurt’s central Roemerberg square, where the market opened Monday. 

Roie said it was important to reopen “so that we can bring the people even during the pandemic a little joy — that’s what we do, we bring back joy.”

The latest spike in COVID-19 cases has unsettled prospects for Europe’s economic recovery, leading some economists to hedge their expectations for growth in the final months of the year.

Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London, has cut his forecast for the last three months of the year in the 19 countries that use the euro from 0.7% to 0.5%. But he noted that the wave of infections is having less impact across the broad economy because vaccinations have reduced serious illnesses and many companies have learned to adjust.

That is cold comfort to Germany’s DEHOGA restaurant and hotel association, which warned of a “hail of cancellations” and said members were reporting every second Christmas party or other special event was being called off.

Other European countries where the pandemic isn’t hitting as hard are returning to old ways. The traditional Christmas market in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, in the heart of the Spanish capital, is slated to open Friday at the size it was before the pandemic.

It will have 104 stalls of nativity figures, decorations and traditional sweets in a country where 89% of those 12 or older are fully vaccinated. Last year, it had half the number of stalls and restricted the number of people allowed in the square. Masks and social distancing will remain mandatory, organizers said.

In Hungary’s capital of Budapest, Christmas markets have been fenced off and visitors must show proof of vaccination to enter.

Gyorgy Nagy, a producer and seller of handmade glazed crockery, said the restrictions initially stirred worries of fewer shoppers. But business has been good so far.

“I don’t think the fence is bad,” he said. “At the beginning, we were scared of it, really scared, but I think it’s fine. … I don’t think it will be a disadvantage.”

Markets opening reflects a broader spectrum of loose restrictions in Hungary, even as new COVID-19 cases have exceeded peaks seen during a devastating surge last spring. More infections were confirmed last week than in other week since the pandemic started.

A representative for the Advent Bazilika Christmas market said a number of its measures go beyond government requirements, including that all vendors wear masks and those selling food and drinks be vaccinated.

Bea Lakatos, a seller of fragrant soaps and oils at the Budapest market, said that while sales have been a bit weaker than before the pandemic, “I wasn’t expecting so many foreign visitors given the restrictions.”

“I think things aren’t that bad so far,” she said this week. “The weekend started particularly strong.”

In Vienna, markets were packed last weekend as people sought some Christmas cheer before Austria’s lockdown. Merchants say closures last year and the new restrictions have had disastrous consequences.

“The main sales for the whole year are made at the Christmas markets — this pause is a huge financial loss,” said Laura Brechmann who sold illuminated stars at the Spittelberg market before the lockdown began. “We hope things will reopen, but I personally don’t really expect it.”

In Austria’s Salzkammergut region, home to ski resorts and the picturesque town of Hallstatt, the tourism industry hopes the national lockdown won’t be extended past Dec. 13 and it can recover some much-needed revenue.

Last winter’s extended lockdowns cost the tourism board alone 1 million euros ($1.12 million) just in nightly tourist tax fees during that period — not to mention the huge financial losses sustained by hotels, restaurants and ski resorts.

“Overall, I do think that if things open up again before Christmas, we can save the winter season,” said Christian Schirlbauer, head of tourism for the Dachstein-Salzkammergut region. “But it will depend on whether or not the case numbers go down.” 

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Верховний суд Росії розглядає позов про ліквідацію «Меморіалу»

Поліція затримала пікетувальників із плакатами

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Група з координації допомоги жертвам збитого в Ірані літака «МАУ» звернулася до офіційного Тегерана

Іран має виконати міжнародно-правове зобов’язання щодо здійснення репарацій групі держав у повному обсязі і провести переговори до кінця цього року – йдеться у заяві

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До 11 зросла кількість жертв вибуху і пожежі на шахті в Росії

За останніми даними, у шахті на момент аварії перебували 285 гірників, понад 230 підняли на поверхню

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У день боротьби з насильством щодо жінок Україну закликали ратифікувати Стамбульську конвенцію

«Дослідження доводять, 67% жінок в Україні зазнавали психологічного, фізичного чи сексуального насильства з боку партнера чи іншої особи, починаючи з 15-річного віку»

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Russian Court to Consider Closure of Top Rights Group Memorial

Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday will consider a request to shut down Memorial, the country’s most prominent rights group and a pillar of its civil society.

Founded by Soviet dissidents including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov in 1989, Memorial has built up a huge archive of Soviet-era crimes and campaigned tirelessly for human rights in Russia.

Prosecutors have asked the court to dissolve Memorial International, the group’s central structure, for allegedly violating Russia’s controversial law on “foreign agents.”

The move has sparked widespread outrage, with supporters saying the shuttering of Memorial would mark the end of an era in Russia’s post-Soviet democratization.

It comes in a year that has seen an unprecedented crackdown on opponents of President Vladimir Putin, including the jailing of chief Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny and the banning of his organizations.

By taking the once-unimaginable move to close Memorial, the group’s founders say Russian authorities would be sending a signal to both the West and domestic opponents.

The message, Memorial founding member Irina Shcherbakova told AFP ahead of the hearing, is: “We are doing to civil society here whatever we want. We will put behind bars whoever we want, we will close down whoever we want.”

Thursday’s hearing concerns one of two cases brought this month against the group and is being heard by the Supreme Court because Memorial International is registered as an international body. The ruling will not be open to appeal in a Russian court.

The other case, against the Memorial Human Rights Centre, began in a Moscow court on Tuesday and will continue later this month.

Both Memorial International and the Human Rights Centre are accused of violating rules under their designations as “foreign agents,” a legal label that forces individuals or organizations to disclose sources of funding and tag all their publications with a disclaimer.

Cataloging Soviet atrocities

The Human Rights Centre is facing another charge of defending “extremist and terrorist activities” for publishing lists of imprisoned members of banned political or religious movements.

The “foreign agent” label, laden with Soviet-era connotations of treachery and espionage, has been used against a wide range of rights groups and independent media in recent years.

Memorial has spent decades cataloging atrocities committed in the Soviet Union, especially in the notorious network of prison camps, the gulag.

It has also campaigned for the rights of political prisoners, migrants and other marginalized groups, and highlighted abuses especially in the turbulent North Caucasus region that includes Chechnya.

It is a loose structure of locally registered organizations, but the dissolving of its central structure could have a major impact on operations.

Memorial International maintains the group’s extensive archives in Moscow and coordinates dozens of Memorial-linked NGOs in and outside of Russia.

A board member of Memorial International, Oleg Orlov, told AFP the move would greatly complicate the work of the NGO by depriving it of a legal basis to pay employees, receive funds or store archives.

Supporters speak out

United Nations officials, the Council of Europe, international rights groups and Western governments have all warned against the group being disbanded.

Russia’s two surviving Nobel Peace Prize winners — last Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Novaya Gazeta newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov — urged prosecutors to withdraw their claims.

The two said in a joint statement that Memorial was aimed not only at preserving the memory of Soviet-era repression, but at “preventing this from happening now and in the future.”

The Kremlin has said the case is a matter for the courts, though Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, noted that Memorial has “long had issues with observing Russian legislation.” 

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¡Basta! Sports Journalists in Spain Demand End to Abuse

On a bad day, Maria Tikas receives four or five abusive online messages suggesting that she only got her job as a journalist because she offered sexual favors to her bosses.

Some messages include graphic sexual images. Others suggest a woman cannot know anything about covering soccer for Sport, a Spanish daily sports newspaper.

“You have not got any idea (about soccer), get back to the kitchen,” read one of the messages Tikas showed VOA.

Tikas and other female journalists in Spain have gone public about the daily vitriol.

“¡Basta!  Female journalists say enough!” That was the headline over a double-page article in Sport last week, which detailed the experiences of 15 women who cover sports in a country where soccer is like an alternative religion.

The article came out as a new law was going through the Spanish parliament that promises to tackle online sexual abuse for the first time.

Due to come into effect next year, the legislation will class online abuse as sexual violence. Convicted offenders will face fines or even house arrest.

For Tikas, and millions of other women, the law offers hope that people will think twice before sending offensive messages.

“It is not so bad when I report on women’s soccer but it is worse when I write about the men’s game. The typical thing is saying I only got my job because I had sex with the boss. Or they say I should be scrubbing in the kitchen,” she told VOA.

Most of the abuse is online but Tikas says she also gets sexist comments while out working. Some male sports agents – a crucial source for stories — make sexually charged “insinuations,” she said.

However, the 24-year-old journalist insists the abuse does not deter her. 

“No, this does not make me think of giving up journalism. I block these messages. It bothers me more in general that women are still treated like this,” she said.

When the Sport article came out, it prompted a fresh dose of abuse, Tikas said.

“Some said we are always saying we are victims, that we complain too much, that we should not have equality because we are not good enough.”

Legal protection

Spain’s Sexual Freedom draft legislation has been dubbed the “only yes means yes” law because of how it will change the criminal code regarding rape. Unless a person gives express consent to have sex, it will be considered rape. Previously, prosecutors in Spain had to prove there was intimidation or violence.

“I hope that this (law) will mean that Spain has left behind its long history of sexual violence against women,” Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero Gil told parliament when she presented the law in June.

The law will also consider it a criminal offence “to address another person with expressions, behavior or propositions of a sexual nature that create an objectively humiliating, hostile or intimidating situation for the victim.”

Montero stressed that harassment is not defined as a man complimenting a woman on her looks, but making lewd sexual remarks.

Digital domestic violence – revenge porn or sextortion, where someone threatens to release private images or materials if the person doesn’t comply with demands for sexual favors or money – will be also considered an offence punishable by fines or community service.

The government is urging social media platforms to adapt strategies to combat domestic violence and is trying to involve social media influencers in this policy.

Laia Bonals, a 23-year-old sports journalist with Ara, a regional newspaper in Catalonia, northeastern Spain, says the law is welcome but not enough.

Like Tikas, Bonals regularly receives messages suggesting she uses sexual favors or that she knows nothing about sport.

“On other occasions, men – athletes or agents – try to flirt with me and treat me like an object instead of someone trying to do my job. This law may help, but it is going to take a lot more to change people’s vision of women journalists,” Bonals, who also put her name to the article in Sport, said.

Encarni Iglesias, of the campaign group Stop Digital Gender Violence, backed the new law but says in practice it may be unworkable.

“This is a way forward, of course, but I think it will be easy for a judge or defense lawyers to throw out these cases because how do you prove someone made the tweet? It is easy to manipulate digital images,” she told VOA.

Tikas believes education –- not the new law –- will stop the abuse.

“I don’t hold out much hope that a law changes things. It will take education to change attitudes toward women in Spain.  We need to change children’s minds,” she said.

Julie Posetti, global director of research at the International Center for Journalists, has studied the effects of online violence on journalism.

“Our research has shown that it is not possible to solve this crisis through a single measure,” she told VOA.

“Legal and legislative protections against online violence are an essential part of any effective response,” Posetti said. “And they need to target not just the perpetrators but also the facilitators and amplifiers of the bulk of gender-based online violence: the social media platforms.”

Posetti was lead author of a recent study by UNESCO and the International Center for Journalists that surveyed 901 journalists globally. They found that 73% of respondents had experienced online violence.

Online harassment can seriously affect journalists, said Posetti, adding that she is aware of several cases of journalists being treated for PTSD because of harassment.

“Psychological harm needs to be acknowledged as a serious consequence of online violence facing women journalists,” Posetti said. “(It is) not something that should be diminished and or shrugged off because even less severe attacks can be cumulatively very damaging.” 

 

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У Швеції прем’єр подала у відставку через кілька годин після обрання

Магдалена Андерссон ухвалила таке рішення після того, як партнери соціал-демократів по коаліції, партія «Зелених», вийшли з її складу

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At Least 27 Migrants Die Crossing English Channel 

At least 27 migrants drowned Wednesday after their inflatable dinghy capsized as they tried to cross the English Channel from France.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said 34 people were aboard the boat. Two were rescued and one is missing, according to Reuters, in the worst recorded tragedy involving migrants between the two countries.

Without explanation, the Interior Ministry later revised the initial death toll to 27, according to Agence France-Presse. The nationality of the migrants was not immediately clear.

Darmanin said the survivors are suffering from hypothermia.

“It is a catastrophe for France, for Europe, for humanity, to see these people who are at the mercy of smugglers perish at sea,” he said, according to Reuters.

Darmanin said in a tweet that smugglers are responsible.

“The responsibility for this tragedy is above all that of the smugglers, who endanger the lives of men, women and children without any scruples,” he wrote.

French police have arrested four people suspected of some involvement in the drownings and have opened a manslaughter investigation.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex echoed Darmanin’s sentiments.

“My thoughts are with the many missing and injured, victims of criminal smugglers who exploit their distress and injury,” he said, according to the BBC.

French President Emmanuel Macron called on European governments to better address migrant movement across the channel, according to The Washington Post.

“France will not let the Channel become a cemetery,” Macron said in a statement.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired an emergency meeting Wednesday on the tragedy.

“My thoughts and sympathies are with the victims and their families, and it is an appalling thing that they have suffered. But this disaster underscores how dangerous it is to cross the channel in this way,” he said, according to Reuters.

Johnson added that more needed to be done to break up human-trafficking gangs, which he said were “literally getting away with murder.”

The channel is a common crossing for migrants, who have been increasingly using it to reach Britain from France.

The BBC reported that as of Monday, the number of migrants who have reached the United Kingdom by boat in 2021 was three times greater than the 2020 total. Earlier this month, more than 1,000 migrants arrived in a single day.

The channel is also one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and dinghies can capsize in its strong currents.

French police have succeeded in preventing more crossings in recent years but have only partially mitigated the waves of migrants trying to reach Britain, according to Reuters.

The continued flow of migrants across the channel, and how to address it, has been a source of tension between Britain and France.

Some information for this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse. 

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Western Policymakers Weigh Options for Ukraine, Responses to Russian Aggression 

The buildup of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine, and on the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, is prompting an intense debate among American and European policymakers about how to respond, say Western officials.

They are split over why Russian President Vladimir Putin is amassing troops. They are also wrestling with their options for deterring him from making any dramatic military moves on Ukraine and, separately, for responding if Putin does order his forces to seize more Ukrainian territory, most likely Mariupol on the coast of the Sea of Azov and its surroundings.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg cautioned Moscow last week against “any further provocation or aggressive actions” after U.S. officials warned that Russia might be preparing a winter offensive in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Russia has amassed about 100,000 soldiers near Ukraine’s border.

Washington has warned European allies that the Kremlin may be “attempting to rehash” 2014, when it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and Russia-backed separatists seized a large part of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, bordering Russia.

Accusations against Kyiv

Kremlin officials maintain that Russia is not getting ready to invade Ukraine and accuse Ukrainians of mobilizing military units along their shared border.

“Kyiv is itself building up its forces. Kyiv is being helped to build up its forces. Kyiv is being supplied with a significant number of weapons, including modern high-tech weapons,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday in Moscow.

Some former U.S. diplomats and officials believe Washington and its European allies should be ready to supply Ukraine with more high-tech weaponry, and sooner rather than later. They see the Kremlin’s anxiety over supplies of Western high-tech weapons as the best policy option to deter any Kremlin adventurism.

The question U.S. and European policymakers must answer is whether they are “going to help Ukraine with the weapons and the training it needs to defend itself,” said Daniel Fried, a former American diplomat who served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and was the U.S. ambassador to Poland from 1997 to 2000.

Fried, now an analyst at the Atlantic Council, a New York-based research group, ticks off a list of equipment that could be sent, including more Javelin anti-tank missiles, air defense and electronic warfare systems, artillery pieces and radars.

“That kind of stuff,” he said. “Ukrainians know how to use them. And I think the equipment needs to be delivered either now to deter the Russians or in the pipelines so the Russians know it can arrive very quickly.”

He said his preference would be for the equipment to arrive sooner rather than later.

‘Interesting lesson’

“If you look at the military history of the Russo-Georgian war in 2008, the Georgians gave the Russians quite a bit of trouble when they used Israeli weapons that Tbilisi had purchased,” he told VOA. “The Russians had trouble combating them, and their casualties were pretty significant.

“The Georgians didn’t have enough of the Israeli weaponry. They were just overwhelmed. But it was an interesting lesson. The Russians are used to their own weapons. They may find the U.S. weapons much harder to deal with.”

The Biden administration has sent more weapons to Ukraine but far short of what it could dispatch. Two refitted former U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats arrived Saturday. And the Ukrainians received a large consignment of U.S. ammunition earlier this year, including some Javelin anti-tank missiles, prompting criticism from Moscow.

The administration is mulling sending more, officials say.

Republican lawmakers have been urging a significant step up in American military support, but some U.S. and European policymakers are anxious and counseling caution.

They fear that sending more arms supplies could backfire, escalate tensions and force Putin into a full-blown confrontation, when all along he may have just wanted to taunt and goad. Others fear a limp response from the West risks emboldening Putin, who might see it as an indication that Washington and Western European capitals will do nothing but wring their hands if he is more aggressive.

“When we call on Putin to be more transparent, what we are trying to convey to the Russians is that unpredictability increases the chances of inadvertent miscalculation,” a European diplomat based in Brussels told VOA, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“We are left in a quandary: Logically, Moscow can ill afford the economic costs of an incursion, and there seems no popular support in Russia for military action, and a high casualty toll would likely go down badly. But you could have said similar things in 2008 and 2014. Few predicted the war with Georgia or the moves on Ukraine,” he said.

“That makes deciding on our policy options especially challenging.”

Expanding sanctions

Aside from what to do to deter Russia, Western policymakers are also wrestling with how to respond if Moscow does take aggressive action.

Some analysts argue the West has little room to add new sanctions on top of those imposed on Russia in the wake of the seizure of Crimea and others imposed after the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, which the West blamed on the Kremlin. But former Ambassador Fried said he thought there was “significant room for escalating sanctions, especially in the financial sector.”

“We can go after Russian banks. We can sanction Russia’s metals and mining industries,” he said.

“The Russia sanctions that are currently in effect, while costly for the Russian economy, are far below the level that could be imposed,” Fried added. “While some in Europe and the United States have argued that there is little room to escalate these measures, there is in fact still a lot of space to do so.” His list would include targeting Russian state-owned banks such as VTB and Gazprombank, especially their investment arms. Neither bank has been sanctioned before.

The subsidiaries and capital market financing of energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft could also be blocked. Russia’s mining and metals sector, which has been mostly untouched in the current sanctions, could also be hit. Fried and others highlight the steel company Evraz, controlled by oligarch Roman Abramovich, and Alrosa, a state-controlled diamond concern.

On Monday, Russia’s stock market saw the biggest sell-off since August, plunging by 3.58%. Traders and market analysts cited geopolitical risks as one of the key drivers rattling investors.

The possibility of expanded sanctions has also prompted alarm in some European quarters. Objections include the impact they may have on ordinary Russians. Sanctions also wouldn’t be cost-free for Europeans. The Kremlin could retaliate by cutting off, or heavily reducing, natural gas supplies to Europe, which is already struggling with an unprecedented energy squeeze.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson focused on that worry last week, chiding Germany and others in a speech in London for being so dependent on Russian energy supplies, saying they should stop “mainlining Russian hydrocarbons.” In a warning to European countries heavily dependent on Russian gas, he suggested Putin could indeed be serious about restricting supplies from pipelines running through Eastern Europe if the West sought to defend Ukraine.

“We hope that our friends may recognize that a choice is shortly coming between mainlining ever more Russian hydrocarbons in giant new pipelines and sticking up for Ukraine and championing the cause of peace and stability, let me put it that way,” he said in the speech.

What would West do?

How much appetite European countries will have for a strong response in the event of a Russian incursion is a key question for policymakers and independent analysts. Putin and the Kremlin are likely expecting European weakness. That may “play into Putin’s calculations,” said Benjamin Haddad, senior director of the Europe Center at the Atlantic Council. “Putin may think this is the right moment to act, with Germany going through a political transition and France heading towards an election.

“But I do think that would be a miscalculation.”

Haddad said he expected the new center-left German government, led by Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat, would “want to show it can be a good transatlantic partner.” And regarding France, he noted that President Emmanuel Macron “spoke to Putin last week about Ukraine, and the messaging was pretty clear on French support for Ukrainian territorial integrity.”

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US, China and Cyberattacks, the Tool of the 21st Century

China was behind one of the biggest hacks of all time, quietly stealing email and data from organizations, according to the U.S. and other nations’ governments. Experts say China-orchestrated attacks on strategic targets have increased in recent years. Michelle Quinn reports.

Producer: Michelle Quinn. Camera: Michael Burke.

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Суд у Лондоні визнав наклепом твердження про залежність мільярдера Абрамовича від російського лідера Путіна

У книжці, зокрема, стверджувалося, що Абрамович купив лондонський футбольний клуб «Челсі» за розпорядженням президента Росії Володимира Путіна

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США запровадили санкції проти провідного російського вишу

МФТІ внесено до списку «військових кінцевих користувачів», тобто організацій, кінцевим споживачем продукції яких є військові відомства

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Президент США вшанував пам’ять жертв Голодомору

Американський лідер вказав, що в листопаді світ вшановує пам’ять мільйонів українців, які стали жертвами Голодомору в 1932–1933 роках

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