Daily: 24/02/2022

Канада запроваджує санкції проти 58 росіян та компаній

Під санкції потрапили члени Ради безпеки Росії, зокрема міністр фінансів Антон Силуанов, міністр оборони Сергій Шойгу та міністр юстиції Костянтин Чуйченко

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У світі відбуваються акції проти військової агресії Росії

Антивоєнні акції відбуваються в Чехії, Німеччині, Австрії, Іспанії, Канаді, Латвії, Нідерландах, Швеції та Японії.

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Russian Police Arrest More than 1,000 Anti-War Protestors in Russia

Russian police detained more than 1,300 anti-war protestors in 50 Russian cities Thursday, according to OVD-Info, an independent Russian human rights group.

Anti-war rallies broke out after a military operation targeting Ukraine was announced. The human rights organization said most of the detentions, 660, were in Moscow.

The group said arrests were also made in Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and other cities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin used a televised address to announce what he called a “special” military operation in eastern Ukraine, in response to what he termed Ukrainian threats. He warned other countries not to intervene, declaring they will face “consequences they have never seen” if they do.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the government was introducing martial law throughout the country after “Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in the World War Two years.”

NATO is bolstering its military presence to defend allied countries in eastern Europe, if necessary, the military alliance said hours after Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden said the people of Ukraine were suffering “an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” adding, “The world will hold Russia accountable.”

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Уся критична інфраструктура Києва працює – Кличко

«Я знаю, як усі хвилюються і слідкують за новинами, але, важливо зараз – не піддаватися паніці»

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Biden Announces Additional Sanctions After Russia Invades Ukraine

President Joe Biden announced additional sanctions that “will impose severe costs on the Russian economy” following its invasion of Ukraine.  

“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war and now he and his country will bear the consequences,” Biden said from the White House Thursday.

Watch President Biden’s press conference:

The new sanctions will target Russian banks, oligarchs and high-tech sectors

Earlier, a U.S. Defense official said Russia has “every intention” of overthrowing the Ukrainian government with President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the neighboring country on Thursday.

“What we are seeing is initial phases of a large-scale invasion,” a senior Pentagon official told reporters. “They’re making a move on Kyiv.”

“They have every intention of decapitating the Ukraine government,” the official said.

The official said the first Russian assault involved more than 100 short-range ballistic missiles, but also medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and surface-to-air missiles. The missiles were targeted at military sites — airfields, barracks and warehouses.

The United States has “seen indications” that Ukrainian troops “are resisting and fighting back,” the official said. 

Putin launched the invasion early Thursday in the biggest European onslaught since the end of World War II, attacking Ukrainian forces in the disputed eastern region and launching missiles on several key cities, including the capital, Kyiv.   

Putin called it a “special military operation” aimed at the “demilitarization and denazification” of its southern neighbor, once a Soviet republic but an independent country since 1991.   

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

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Росія: поліція затримує людей на антивоєнній акції в Москві

Біля пам’ятника Пушкіну у Москві зібралося близько 300-400 осіб. Вони скандують гасло «Ні – війні!»

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«Україна захищає свободу Європи» – прем’єр Польщі

«Україна сьогодні бореться не тільки за свою власну незалежність і свободу», – наголосив Матеуш Моравецький

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Київ запроваджує комендантську годину з 22:00 до 7:00 – Кличко

При цьому станції метрополітену будуть доступні як укриття в цілодобовому режимі

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Russian Forces Invade Ukraine

Russian forces launched an invasion of Ukraine early Thursday, with President Vladimir Putin warning other countries not to intervene and Ukraine’s Western allies pledging their support and new rounds of strong sanctions as they condemned the Russian assault.

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Росія: пікети проти війни, строковиків відправляють в Україну, влада вимагає поширювати лише свої дані

24 лютого Кремль повторив попередню заяву Путіна про те, що метою вторгнення в Україну є «демілітаризація і денацифікація України»

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Ukraine Attack Leaves Baltics Wondering: Are We Next?

Viewed from Paris, London and Washington, the events unfolding in Ukraine may seem like a new Cold War taking shape in Europe.

From the Baltic countries, it looks much worse.

To Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians — particularly those old enough to have lived under Soviet control — Russia’s belligerence toward Ukraine has some worried that they could be the next target. The tensions have brought back memories of mass deportations and oppression.

“My grandparents were sent away to Siberia. My father was persecuted by the KGB. Now I live in a free democratic country, but it seems that nothing can be taken for granted,” said Jaunius Kazlauskas, a 50-year-old teacher in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine sent shockwaves through the Baltic countries on Thursday. Lithuania’s president declared a state of emergency and Latvia suspended the broadcast licenses of several Russian TV stations accused of spreading disinformation and propaganda.

All three Baltic countries were seized and annexed by Stalin during World War II before gaining independence again with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. They joined NATO in 2004, putting themselves under the military protection of the U.S. and its Western allies. Ukraine is not part of NATO.

Along with Poland, also a NATO member, the small Baltic countries have been among the loudest advocates for powerful sanctions against Moscow and NATO reinforcements on the alliance’s eastern flank. Baltic government leaders in recent weeks have shuttled to European capitals, warning that the West must make Russian President Vladimir Putin pay for attacking Ukraine, or else his tanks will keep rolling toward other parts of the former Soviet empire.

“The battle for Ukraine is a battle for Europe. If Putin is not stopped there, he will go further,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis warned last week in a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Two days before the attack, President Joe Biden announced that some American forces deployed in Europe, including 800 infantry soldiers, F-35 fighters and Apache helicopters, would be moved to the three Baltic states, describing the step as purely defensive.

The news was met with enthusiasm in the Baltic capitals. While the NATO treaty commits all allies to defend any member that comes under attack, the Baltic countries say it is imperative that NATO show resolve not just in words but with boots on the ground.

“Russia always measures the military might but also the will of countries to fight,” said Janis Garisons, state secretary at Latvia’s Defense Ministry. “Once they see a weakness, they will exploit that weakness.”

While Putin hasn’t publicly expressed any ambition to reassert Russian control over the Baltic countries, many Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians worry he wants to regain influence across all former republics of the Soviet Union, the collapse of which he once described as a tragedy for the Russian people.

In his speech earlier this week setting the stage for Russia’s military intervention, Putin said Ukraine is “not just a neighboring country for us. It is an inalienable part of our own history, culture and spiritual space.”

Culturally and linguistically different, the Baltic countries don’t have the same connection to Russian history and identity. However, they were ruled by Moscow for most of the past 200 years, first by the Russian Empire, then for almost 50 years following World War II by the Soviet Union. All three countries have ethnic Russian minorities; in Latvia and Estonia, they make up about one-quarter of the population.

Though many of them are well integrated, tensions flared in 2007 when hundreds of ethnic Russians rioted against government plans to relocate a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn, Estonia’s capital. Estonia suspected Russia of stoking the unrest and orchestrating cyberattacks that paralyzed government computer networks.

“When we hear Putin humiliating Ukraine, calling it an artificial state with no history, it reminds us of the same things that they have been repeating about all former Soviet republics for many years,” said Nerijus Maliukevicius, a political analyst at Vilnius University. The Russian “state propaganda machine is now working on unprecedented levels of intensity, and the message is not just about Ukraine,” he added.

Lithuania borders both Kaliningrad, a Russian region where the country’s Baltic Sea fleet is based, and Belarus, the former Soviet republic where tens of thousands of Russian troops have been deployed for joint exercises. Belarus recently announced that the drills would continue because of the tensions in eastern Ukraine.

“It seems they are not going to leave,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said before Russia launched its attack on Ukraine. “But we must understand that numbers do not mean everything. There are technically very advanced troops on our side of the border. Their main task is deterrence — and defense, if necessary.”

The Baltic countries have expressed strong support for Ukraine. Baltic leaders have traveled to Kyiv recently to show their solidarity and have sent both weapons and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Estonia, which celebrates its independence day on Thursday, is taking a strong stance in the conflict, but not because it fears for its security, said former President Kersti Kaljulaid, the first woman to hold that office.

“We are doing it because we find it is our moral obligation,” she said. “We very strongly feel that … every nation should have the right to decide their future.”

While the Baltics are direct neighbors of Russia, she said other European countries should be equally worried about the crisis in Ukraine.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t think it concerns the Baltics more,” she said. “If you look from Kyiv, it’s the same distance to Berlin as Tallinn.”

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Санду заявила, що Молдова допоможе українцям, які прибуватимуть в країну

«Ми допомагатимемо людям, які потребують нашої допомоги та підтримки» – сказала Санду

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Зеленський заявив про розірвання дипломатичних відносин із Росією

«Ворог поніс серйозні втрати. Втрат ворога буде ще більше», повідомив президент України

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Лікарні призупиняють планові госпіталізації та операції в Україні – МОЗ

У медичних закладах сформовано запас медикаментів, медичних виробів, розхідних матеріалів, запевняє МОЗ

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Ukraine Closes Airspace to Civilian Flights Amid ‘High Risk’ To Safety

Ukraine said on Thursday it had closed its airspace to civilian flights because of a “high risk” to safety, and Europe’s aviation regulator also warned about the hazards of flying in bordering areas of Russia and Belarus because of military activities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a military operation in eastern Ukraine on Thursday in what appeared to be the start of war in Europe.

Ukraine State Air Traffic Services Enterprise said on its website that the country’s airspace was closed to civilian flights starting at 0045 GMT on Thursday and that air traffic services had been suspended.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said airspace in Russia and Belarus within 100 nautical miles (185 kilometers) of their borders with Ukraine could also pose safety risks to airlines.

“In particular, there is a risk of both intentional targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft,” the agency said in a conflict zone bulletin.

“The presence and possible use of a wide range of ground and airborne warfare systems poses a HIGH risk for civil flights operating at all altitudes and flight levels.”

The aviation industry has taken heightened notice of the risks conflicts pose to civil aviation since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

EASA said Russia’s Ministry of Defense had sent an urgent message to Ukraine warning of a high risk to flight safety due to the use of weapons and military equipment from 0045 GMT on Thursday and asked Ukraine’s air traffic control to stop flights.

Flight tracking websites showed early morning traffic skirting the whole country in crowded corridors to the north and west.

An El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto made a sudden U-turn out of Ukraine’s airspace around the time the airspace was closed, according to flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.

A LOT Polish Airlines flight from Warsaw to Kyiv also turned back to Warsaw around the same time.

Hours before then, Safe Airspace, which was set up to provide safety and conflict zone information after the downing of MH17, said it had increased its risk level over all of Ukraine to “do not fly.”

It also warned of the potential for a cyberattack on Ukraine’s air traffic control.

Russia has also closed some airspace in the Rostov sector to the east of its border with Ukraine “in order to provide safety” for civil aviation flights, according to a notice to airmen.

Before Ukraine advised of the airspace restrictions, the United States, Italy, Canada, France and Britain had told their airlines to avoid certain airspace above eastern Ukraine and Crimea but stopped short of a total ban.

Germany’s Lufthansa LHAG.DE halted flights to Ukraine from Monday, joining KLM which already suspended flights.

Two Ukrainian airlines last week disclosed problems in securing insurance for some of their flights while foreign carriers began avoiding the country’s airspace as Russia massed a huge military force on its border. 

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ЄС обіцяє найсуворіші санкції проти Путіна через «варварський напад» на Україну

«Європейський союз відповість найсильнішими можливими способами… (Лідери ЄС) ухвалять сильніший пакет, найжорсткіший пакет санкцій, який ми коли-небудь впроваджували»

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Russia Launches Invasion of Ukraine with Multiple Cities Hit in Initial Missile Strikes

Russia fired missiles at more than half a dozen Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kyiv, targeting air defense facilities and military infrastructure just before dawn Thursday and landed soldiers on the country’s south coast. The action unfolded shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on television what he described as a “special military operation,” but what Ukrainian leaders say is a full-scale invasion of their country, the second biggest in Europe.

In an angry address broadcast just before 6 a.m. Moscow time, Russia’s president said he could no longer tolerate what he called the threats from Ukraine. He ended his speech warning outside powers not to interfere. He said his goal was the “demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine.” He added: “We will bring to court those who have committed many crimes, responsible for the bloodshed of civilians, including Russian citizens,” he said.

Putin warned that if Ukrainian soldiers don’t lay down their weapons, they would be responsible for bloodshed.

Shortly after he spoke, intense rocket fire could be heard in the eastern city of Kharkiv and then sporadic rumbling explosions could be heard coming from the outskirts of Kyiv, from the direction of the capital’s main Boryspil international airport and its second airport at Zhuliany.

“Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes,” Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter. “This is a war of aggression. Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now,” added Kuleba.

Within hours of the missile attacks, Russian tanks rolled across Ukraine’s borders, from Russia, Belarus and from Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula Moscow annexed in 2014. Ukrainian officials said amphibious Russian forces landed near Odesa on the Black Sea coast.

Ukraine’s State Border Guards said Lukansk, Sumy, Kharkiv, Zhytomyr and Chernihiv oblasts have come under attack. And they said Russian forces were crossing into Ukraine from Crimea.

Ukraine’s response

Broadcasting from his phone, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Ukrainians he would declare martial law and, urging Ukrainians to stay home, he said: “Don’t panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will defeat everyone. Because we are Ukraine.”

But as the tanks rolled into Ukraine, they appeared to be facing little coordinated initial resistance and Russia broadened its air assault firing Cruise missiles at military airports in western Ukraine.

Ukrainian military officials said they shot down five Russian warplanes and a helicopter.

In Kyiv, the city administration issued an airstrike warning and sounded sirens several hours after the city’s airports were struck. The first explosions could be heard from downtown Kyiv just before 5 a.m., local time. The blasts sounded a long way off and then came in short flurries. Television footage later showed fires raging at Boryspil.

Other cities issued warnings and in Lviv on the Polish border, where many European embassies relocated to earlier this month, air-raid sirens sounded. The wide-ranging offensive took many by surprise here in Kyiv and as the attack unfolded, the city’s early morning commute got under way and only thinned out as startled workers began to understand that the long-feared invasion was getting under way.

Hotels in Kyiv quickly emptied with guests checking out in droves. “Everything is OK,” said a worker in a fitness spa in one five-star hotel in the city center. “Keep calm,” she added. By there were few pedestrians on the streets of the city — with only dog-walkers loitering. Couples could be seen pulling their luggage. One young woman struggling with a huge bag was asked where she was going: “Away,” she responded.

Blasts were more intense and concentrated in eastern Ukraine, on the borders of Moscow’s breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Local residents reported four loud blasts early Thursday in Kramatorsk, which serves as the Ukrainian government’s de facto capital in the Donbas region. Blasts were also reported in the southeastern port city of Mariupol.

Britain’s ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, tweeted a “wholly unprovoked attack” on Ukraine was starting. She added: “A wholly unprovoked attack on a peaceful country, Ukraine, is unfolding. Horrified. Just because you’ve prepared and thought about this possibility for weeks and months doesn’t mean it isn’t shocking when it actually happens.”

In some Ukrainian towns there were reports civilians rushed to bomb shelters as dawn broke.

Russia’s defense ministry claimed it was using “high-precision weaponry to take out Ukrainian military infrastructure, air defense, aerodromes, and aviation.”

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said the initial assault had led to hundreds of casualties. Roads leading out of Kyiv were soon clogged with families packed into cars and determined to head for Lviv in the west.

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Геращенко заявив про ракетні удари по військових складах і аеродромах у кількох містах України

«Вторгнення почалося. Щойно були удари ракет по центрах військового управління, аеродоромах, військових складах у Києві, Харкові, Дніпрі. Йдуть артилерійські обстріли кордону»

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Президент США звернувся до нації і засудив «невиправданий напад» Росії на Україну

Президент США Джо Байден засудив «невиправданий напад» Росії на Україну, йдеться у зверненні до американського народу 24 лютого.

«Президент Путін вибрав навмисну війну, яка принесе катастрофічні людські жертви і страждання. Тільки Росія несе відповідальність за смерть і руйнування, які принесе цей напад. США, їх союзники і партнери дадуть відповідь єдиним і рішучим чином. Світ закличе Росію до відповіді», – цитує Білий дім слова Байдена.

Байден додав, що стежитиме за ситуацією з Білого дому і за регулярнимии оновлення від служби національної безпеки.

«Вранці я зустрінуся зі своїми колегами з G7, а потім поговорю з американським народом, щоб оголосити про подальші наслідки, які Сполучені Штати, наші союзники та партнери накладуть на Росію за цей непотрібний акт агресії проти України та глобального миру та безпеки. Ми також будемо координувати свої дії з нашими союзниками по НАТО, щоб забезпечити рішучу, спільну відповідь, яка стримає будь-яку агресію проти Альянсу», – наголосив американський президент.

У ці хвилини триває термінове засідання Ради безпеки ООН щодо України.

Новина доповнюється…


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Pentagon: Russian Troops Near Ukraine Border ‘Ready to Go’

Another sweeping cyberattack struck Ukrainian government websites Wednesday as the Pentagon said Russian forces were closing in on Ukraine’s borders, readying “to conduct military action” at “virtually any time now.”

“We believe that they are, they’re ready,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters Wednesday.

Kirby said the Pentagon believes “additional Russian military forces are moving into” the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, but he would not confirm specifics on the number of Russian troops that have moved into these two regions.

VOA has not independently confirmed the presence of additional Russian troops in the Donbas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state media that the heads of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for help Wednesday in fighting Ukrainian forces.


‘Russian playbook’

Kirby would not attribute the latest cyberattack to Russia, only saying that disruptions in cyberspace were “of a Russian playbook.” Kyiv blamed Moscow for the cyberattacks, although Russia has denied any involvement.

A senior defense official told reporters earlier Wednesday that as many as 80% of the more than 150,000 Russian troops surrounding Ukraine were in “forward positions ready to go,” including troops on more than 10 landing ships in the Black Sea.

The U.N. Security Council was to convene for a second time this week to discuss Ukraine. The session was scheduled for 9:30 p.m. EST

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed his nation late Wednesday night.

“The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,” he said in Russian, hours after declaring a nationwide state of emergency. But if the nation comes under an attack, “we will fight back.”

He went on to reject Russia’s claims that Ukraine was a threat and said an invasion would cost thousands of lives.

He also said he tried to call Putin, but there was no answer from the Kremlin.


‘Staged provocation’?

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned on Twitter about reports from Crimea that “the entire night shift of Titan chemicals plant in Armyansk [had] evacuated from the facility.”

“This might be a preparation for another staged provocation by Russia,” he said.

Ukraine welcomed the range of Western sanctions imposed against Russia for its actions in eastern Ukraine, while lawmakers in Kyiv approved a 30-day national state of emergency starting Thursday and the government recalled its ambassador to Moscow.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered sanctions on the company and its executives that run the new Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that stretches from Russia to Germany. The White House responded to criticism that these sanctions came too late by saying Washington wanted Berlin’s diplomatic cooperation before moving against the pipeline.

“There were calls by some in Congress to do preemptive sanctions, or earlier sanctions, or take the earlier steps, I should say, on Nord Stream 2; we disagreed with that strategy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday had halted certification for the pipeline, which is completed but not yet operational.

The U.S., Germany, Britain, Canada, the European Union and others have all taken a variety of actions to punish Russia and promised harsher sanctions if Russian troops advanced farther into Ukraine.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said, “We have not yet seen a full-scale invasion, but we are very clear that if President Putin escalates, we, the international community, will escalate our sanctions.”


Standing up to ‘bullies’

Australia on Wednesday added sanctions targeting members of Russia’s security council, while Japan joined with asset freezes for certain Russian individuals and a ban on the issuance of Russian bonds in Japan.

“Australians always stand up to bullies, and we will be standing up to Russia, along with all of our partners,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. “I expect subsequent tranches of sanctions; this is only the start of this process.”

Ukraine’s military said Wednesday that shelling by pro-Russian separatists in the Luhansk region had killed one Ukrainian soldier and injured six others.

Zelenskyy signed an order to call up some military reservists, citing a need to quickly staff up the nation’s army.

Putin said Wednesday that he was always open to finding a diplomatic solution, but added, “The interests of Russia and the security of our citizens are non-negotiable for us.”

‘Peacekeeping’ forces

Earlier this week Putin decreed the eastern Ukraine regions of Luhansk and Donetsk were independent states. Putin also said he was sending what he characterized as “peacekeeping forces” across the Ukrainian border, stoking fears of a broader conflict with the one-time Soviet republic, which has been independent since 1991.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry advised against travel to Russia and urged any Ukrainians there to leave immediately, contending that Moscow’s “aggression” could curb its ability to provide consular services.

Russia began evacuating its diplomatic posts in Ukraine and by Wednesday afternoon the Russian flag was no longer flying over its embassy in Kyiv, where police surrounded the building.

White House Correspondent Anita Powell, U.N. Correspondent Margaret Besheer and VOA’s Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report. Some information came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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