Україна вже використовує на фронті раніше надані французькі установки Caesar
NATO leaders concluded their three-day meeting in Madrid Thursday with the Western security alliance strengthening its defense against Russian aggression, warning of global challenges posed by China and inviting neutral countries Finland and Sweden into the group.
U.S. President Joe Biden described the summit as “historic.”
“The last time NATO drafted a new mission statement was 12 years ago,” Biden said, referring to a document also known as the alliance’s Strategic Concept.
“At that time, it characterized Russia as a partner, and it didn’t mention China. The world has changed, changed a great deal since then, and NATO is changing as well. At this summit, we rallied our alliances to meet both the direct threats that Russia poses to Europe and the systemic challenges that China poses to a rules-based world order. And we’ve invited two new members to join NATO,” Biden said.
Biden reiterated that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has only strengthened NATO.
“He tried to weaken us, expected our resolve to fracture but he’s getting exactly what he did not want,” Biden said. “He wanted the ‘Finland-ization’ of NATO. He got the ‘NATO-ization’ of Finland.”
On Wednesday Putin dismissed the imminent expansion of the Western alliance.
“With Sweden and Finland, we don’t have the problems that we have with Ukraine. They want to join NATO, go ahead,” Putin told Russian state television.
“But they must understand there was no threat before, while now, if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed there, we will have to respond in kind and create the same threats for the territories from which threats towards us are created,” he warned.
As it sets to expand, NATO leaders agreed on a massive increase in troop deployments across Europe. A total of 300,000 soldiers will be placed at high readiness across the continent starting next year to defend against potential military attacks by Moscow on any member of the alliance – what Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg characterized as “the most serious security crisis” since the Second World War.
To bolster NATO’s defense, the United States is also set to establish a permanent headquarters for the U.S. 5th Army Corps in Poland, add a rotational brigade of 3,000 troops and 2,000 other personnel to be headquartered in Romania, and send two additional squadrons of F-35 fighter jets to Britain.
Reaffirming commitments made by other Western leaders, Biden said the U.S. will stand firm against Russia’s aggression. He offered little indication the conflict would conclude anytime soon, suggesting that Americans would have to bear high gas prices longer.
“As long as it takes, so Russia cannot in fact defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine,” he said.
Biden said the summit has brought together “democratic allies and partners from the Atlantic and the Pacific” to defend the rules-based global order against challenges from China, including its “abusive and coercive trade practices.”
NATO leaders have also called out the “deepening strategic partnership” between Beijing and Moscow as one of the alliance’s concerns.
Beijing is not providing military support for Russia’s war on Ukraine, but Chinese leader Xi Jinping has stated support for Moscow over “sovereignty and security” issues. The country continues to purchase massive amounts of Russian oil, gas and coal.
Biden noted that for the first time in the transatlantic alliance’s history, Asia Pacific leaders from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea participated at the summit.
With the reemergence of great power conflict, a strategic competitor sitting in each region, and an evolving Russia-China relationship, there are many common challenges that European and Asia-Pacific partners must discuss together, said Mirna Galic, senior policy analyst on China and East Asia at the United States Institute of Peace.
Galic told VOA these include issues already being worked on, such as cyber defense, maritime security and space, as well as those that will require some new thinking, such as intermediate-range nuclear forces, missile defense, inter-theater deterrence and defense, and how to push back on great power use of force in contravention of international norms.
“The last is certainly relevant to the Russian invasion of Ukraine but also has parallels with China and Taiwan, which is why Ukraine is seen as more than a European security issue,” Galic said.
In his remarks at the end of the NATO summit, Biden also touted the West’s latest counter to China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“We also launched what started off to be the Build Back Better notion, but it’s morphed into a Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment,” he said referring to the “Build Back Better World” initiative announced at the 2021 meeting of the Group of Seven leaders in Cornwall, UK and relaunched earlier this week as the PGII at the G-7 summit of leading industrialized nations in Krün, Germany.
Officials say PGII will offer developing nations $600 billion in infrastructure funding by 2027 and be a better alternative to China’s BRI that critics have characterized as “debt trap diplomacy.”
Дострокові парламентські вибори відбудуться 1 листопада
СБУ не вказує прізвища російського мільярдера, але з опису може йтися про Олексія Мордашова
Ейден Ейслін і Шон Піннер разом із марокканцем Брагімом Саадуном були «засуджені» до страти за «найманство» «судом» угруповання «ДНР» у Донецьку
Журналісти проаналізували 196 брифінгів російського відомства з початку повномасштабної війни і дійшли висновку, що надана ним інформація часто не відповідає дійсності
Голова призначеної Москвою окупаційної адміністрації в Запорізькій області Євген Балицький 30 червня заявив, що судно прямує до «дружніх країн»
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that 144 of the country’s fighters were freed from Russian captivity via “an exchange mechanism” and that nearly 100 of the freed fighters had participated in the defense of the Ukrainian coastal city of Mariupol.
Earlier, a leading Ukrainian parliamentarian told VOA that Kyiv and Moscow were undergoing a process of prisoner exchange and that Roman Abramovich, a Russian businessman with ties to Putin, was playing “an active role” in the talks.
Hours later, in his nightly address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the development “optimistic and very important.” Zelenskyy said 59 of the soldiers that returned to Ukraine were members of the National Guard, followed by 30 servicemen with the Navy, 28 who had served in the Army, 17 with Border Guards and 9 who fought as territorial defense soldiers and one had been a policeman.
“The oldest of the liberated is 65 years old, the youngest is 19,” he said in the video broadcast. “In particular,” Zelenskyy added, “95 Azovstal defenders return[ed] home.”
The defense of Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol stood out as a particularly fierce struggle between Ukrainian and Russian forces from March to May. It ended with an unknown number of casualties on Ukraine’s side and close to 2,500 Ukrainian fighters in Russian captivity, according to figures released by the Russian side.
Wednesday’s news came on the heels of an announcement a day earlier that 17 Ukrainians, including 16 servicemen and one civilian, were freed from Russian captivity in an exchange that saw 15 Russians released and that the bodies of 46 fallen Ukrainian soldiers returned home. In return, Ukraine handed Russia 40 of their fallen servicemen. Among the 46 fallen Ukrainian fighters, 21 took part in the defense of Azovstal, according to the Ukrainian government.
David Arakhamia, leader of Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People Party in the Ukrainian parliament, told VOA during a visit to Washington earlier this month that Abramovich was playing “an active role” in prisoner exchange talks between Kyiv and Moscow.
“As a human being, I think he has [the] intention to stop the war, he doesn’t like the idea that Russia invaded Ukraine,” Arakhamia said of Abramovich.
As negotiations are concerned, “He’s trying to play the neutral role, but for us, we treat him as a Russian representative. He’s closer to Mr. Putin [than to the Ukrainian side], of course,” Arakhamia said, adding that Ukraine sees Abramovich as a “messenger” who could deliver messages to Russian President Vladimir Putin “in their original form.”
Abramovich was the owner of the British football club, Chelsea. He made arrangements for its sale in the aftermath of Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions put in place by Britain, the United States and other western nations against Russian businessmen believed to have benefited from close ties with the Russian government and Putin.
On Wednesday, Zelenskyy concluded his nightly address to the nation by thanking those who played a part in securing the return home of 144 Ukrainian fighters from Russian captivity.
“I am grateful to the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine and to everyone who worked for this result. But let’s talk about this later. We will do everything to bring every Ukrainian man and woman home,” Zelenskyy said.
As the war enters the fifth month, the exact number of prisoners held by each side has not been made public. Little is known about how they are treated or precisely where they’re held.
«На оперативному рівні російські сили продовжують досягати обмеженого прогресу, намагаючись оточити українських захисників на півночі Донецької області, наступаючи з Ізюма»
За останніми даними, внаслідок російського ракетного удару по ТРЦ 18 людей загинули, близько 60 людей постраждали, ще 36 залишаються зниклими безвісти
Ще у жовтні минулого року суд визнав його винним у незаконному фінансуванні виборчих кампаній
На постійній основі угода запрацює після завершення усіх ратифікаційних процедур
Instagram is blocking posts that mention abortion from public view, in some cases requiring its users to confirm their age before letting them view posts that offer up information about the procedure.
Over the last day, several Instagram accounts run by abortion rights advocacy groups have found their posts or stories hidden with a warning that described the posts as “sensitive content.” Instagram said it was working to fix the problem Tuesday, describing it as a bug.
In one example, Instagram covered a post on a page with more than 25,000 followers that shared text reading: “Abortion in America How You Can Help.” The post went on to encourage followers to donate money to abortion organizations and to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strip constitutional protections for abortion.
The post was covered with a warning from Instagram, reading “This photo may contain graphic or violent content.”
Instagram’s latest snafu follows an Associated Press report that Facebook and Instagram were deleting posts that offered to mail abortion pills to women living in states that now ban abortion procedures. The tech platforms said they were deleting the posts because they violated policies against selling or gifting certain products, including pharmaceuticals, drugs and firearms.
Yet, the AP’s review found that similar posts offering to mail a gun or marijuana were not removed by Facebook. The company did not respond to questions about the discrepancy.
Berlin photographer Zoe Noble runs the Instagram page whose post referencing abortion was blocked for viewing. The page, which celebrates women who decide not to have children, has been live for over a year. Monday was the first time a post mentioning abortion was restricted by Instagram, although Noble has mentioned it many times before.
“I was really confused because we’ve never had this happen before, and we’ve talked about abortion before,” Noble said. “I was really shocked that the word abortion seemed to be flagged.”
The platform offers no way for users to dispute the restriction.
The AP identified nearly a dozen other posts that mentioned the word “abortion” and were subsequently covered up by Instagram. All of the posts were informational in nature, and none of the posts featured photos of abortions. An Instagram post by an AP reporter that asked people if they were experiencing the problem was also covered by the company on Tuesday and required users to enter their age in order to view it.
The AP inquired about the problem on Tuesday morning. Hours later, Instagram’s communication department acknowledged the problem on Twitter, describing it as a glitch. A spokesman for Instagram-owner Meta Platforms Inc. said in an email that the company does not place age restrictions around its abortion content.
“We’re hearing that people around the world are seeing our ‘sensitivity screens,’ on many different types of content when they shouldn’t be. We’re looking into this bug and working on a fix now,” the company tweeted.
Tech companies like Meta can hide details about how posts or keywords have been promoted or hidden from view, said Brooke Erin Duffy, a professor at Cornell University who studies social media.
“This can all take place behind the scenes, and it can be attributed to a glitch,” Duffy said. “We don’t know what happened. That’s what’s chilling about this.
The United States will strengthen its forces in Europe as NATO faces up to the threat from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. President Joe Biden announced the deployments at the NATO summit in Madrid. Henry Ridgwell reports.
U.S. President Joe Biden thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday for dropping his objections to the bids by Sweden and Finland to join NATO, leading the way for the military alliance to expand even closer to Russia.
“I want to particularly thank you for what you did putting together the situation with regard to Finland and Sweden,” Biden told Erdogan during a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Madrid. “You’re doing a great job.”
In response, speaking through an interpreter, Erdogan said that Biden’s “pioneering in this regard is going to be crucial in terms of strengthening NATO for the future, and it’s going to have a very positive contribution to the process between Ukraine and Russia.”
Turkey, Finland and Sweden on Tuesday signed a memorandum deepening their counterterrorism cooperation, addressing Ankara’s concerns that the two Nordic countries are not doing enough to crack down on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union, the U.S. and others.
Finland and Sweden also agreed not to support the Gulenist movement, led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, which Turkey blames for a failed 2016 coup attempt and other domestic problems.
Helsinki and Stockholm will also end support for the so-called Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) in Syria, part of the U.S.-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting against the Islamic State group. Additionally, Sweden agreed to end an arms embargo against Turkey that dated to its 2019 incursion into Syria.
Invitation to join NATO
With Turkey withdrawing its veto, NATO formally invited Finland and Sweden to join the alliance earlier Wednesday.
“It sends a very clear message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. We are demonstrating that NATO’s doors are open,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, characterizing the invitation process as “the quickest in history.”
Helsinki and Stockholm will bring great military capability and strategic outlook to the alliance, said Jim Townsend, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy, now at the Atlantic Council.
“Both nations — because they were neutral — they had to spend a lot of money and make a lot of effort to be a very professional force because they weren’t in an alliance. They had to depend on themselves,” Townsend told VOA. “It took the wolf being at the door for those nations to come in.”
The two countries applied to join in May, but the process began months earlier during the initial phase of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Biden reaching out to the leaders to discuss the possibility of joining NATO, a senior U.S. administration official told reporters Tuesday.
Since then, the U.S. has been “painstakingly working to try and help close the gaps between the Turks, the Finns and the Swedes,” the official said. “All the while trying, certainly in public, to have a lower-key approach to this so that it didn’t become about the U.S. or about particular demands on the U.S.,” he said, referring to Ankara’s long-standing request to purchase U.S. F-16 fighter jets.
Biden phone call
The official denied that Ankara made the warplane request a precondition to withdraw its objections. However, he noted that Biden conveyed Tuesday during a phone call to Erdogan his desire to “get this other issue resolved, and then you and I can sit down and really, really talk about significant strategic issues.”
The day after Ankara lifted its veto, the administration announced its support for the potential sale of the fighter jets.
Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs at the Pentagon, told reporters that Washington supports Ankara’s effort to modernize its fighter fleet.
“That is a contribution to NATO security and, therefore, American security,” she said.
In 2017, despite American and NATO opposition, Turkey signed a deal to purchase the S-400 Russian missile defense system. In response, Washington issued sanctions and kicked Ankara out of its newest, most advanced F-35 jet program. Since then, Turkey has sought to purchase 40 modernized F-16s, which are older models of the American fighter jets, and modernization kits for another 80 F-16s.
Wallander said any F-16 sales “need to be worked through our contracting processes.” A deal would likely require approval from Congress.
In their meeting, Biden also thanked Erdogan for his “incredible work” to establish humanitarian corridors to enable the export of Ukrainian grain to the rest of the world amid the war.
“We are trying to solve the process with a balancing policy. Our hope is that this balance policy will lead to results and allow us the possibility to get grain to countries that are facing shortages right now through a corridor as soon as possible,” Erdogan said in response.
Turkey has played a central role in negotiations with Kyiv and Russia to increase the amount of grain that can get out of Ukraine. Tens of millions of people around the world are at risk of hunger as the conflict disrupted shipments of grain from Ukraine, one of the world’s leading producers.
Earlier this month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met his Russian counterpart to discuss unlocking the grain from Black Sea ports but failed to reach an agreement. Hurdles remain, including payment mechanisms and mines placed by both Moscow and Kyiv in the Black Sea.
Turkey has suggested that ships could be guided around sea mines by establishing safe corridors under a U.N. proposal to resume not only Ukrainian grain exports but also Russian food and fertilizer exports, which Moscow says are harmed by sanctions. The U.N. has been “working in close cooperation with the Turkish authorities on this issue,” said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
VOA’s Henry Ridgwell contributed to this report.
Сторони також домовилися започаткувати безвізовий режим між Україною та Індонезією
За його словами, метою «спецоперації» (так в РФ називають війну) є захоплення Донбасу і створення «умов безпеки Росії».
Вже 1 липня цей документ буде представлений
Обвинуваченим призначено покарання від кількох років позбавлення волі до довічного ув’язнення.
The lone survivor of a team of Islamic State extremists was convicted Wednesday of murder and other charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole in the 2015 bombings and shootings across Paris that killed 130 people in the deadliest peacetime attacks in French history.
The special court also convicted 19 other men involved in the assault following a nine-month trial.
Chief suspect Salah Abdeslam was found guilty of murder and attempted murder in relation to a terrorist enterprise. The court found that his explosives vest malfunctioned, dismissing his argument that he ditched the vest because he decided not to follow through with his attack on the night of Nov. 13, 2015.
Abdeslam, a 32-year-old Belgian with Moroccan roots, was given France’s most severe sentence possible.
Of the defendants besides Abdeslam, 18 were given various terrorism-related convictions, and one was convicted on a lesser fraud charge. They were given punishments ranging from suspended sentences to life in prison.
During the trial, Abdeslam proclaimed his radicalism, wept, apologized to victims and pleaded with judges to forgive his mistakes.
For victims’ families and survivors of the attacks, the trial has been excruciating yet crucial in their quest for justice and closure.
For months, the packed main chamber and 12 overflow rooms in the 13th century Justice Palace heard the harrowing accounts by the victims, along with testimony from Abdeslam. The other defendants are largely accused of helping with logistics or transportation. At least one is accused of a direct role in the deadly March 2016 attacks in Brussels, which also was claimed by the Islamic State group.
The trial was an opportunity for survivors and those mourning loved ones to recount the deeply personal horrors inflicted that night and to listen to details of countless acts of bravery, humanity and compassion among strangers. Some hoped for justice, but most just wanted tell the accused directly that they have been left irreparably scarred, but not broken.
“The assassins, these terrorists, thought they were firing into the crowd, into a mass of people,” said Dominique Kielemoes at the start of the trial in September 2021. Her son bled to death in one of the cafes. Hearing the testimony of victims was “crucial to both their own healing and that of the nation,” Kielemoes said.
“It wasn’t a mass — these were individuals who had a life, who loved, had hopes and expectations,” she said.
France was changed in the wake of the attacks: Authorities declared a state of emergency and armed officers now constantly patrol public spaces. The violence sparked soul-searching among the French and Europeans, since most of the attackers were born and raised in France or Belgium. And they transformed forever the lives of all those who suffered losses or bore witness.
Presiding judge Jean-Louis Peries said at the trial’s outset that it belongs to “international and national events of this century. ” France emerged from the state of emergency in 2017, after incorporating many of the harshest measures into law.
Fourteen of the defendants have been in court, including Abdeslam, the only survivor of the 10-member attacking team that terrorized Paris that Friday night. All but one of the six absent men are presumed to have been killed in Syria or Iraq; the other is in prison in Turkey.
Most of the suspects are accused of helping create false identities, transporting the attackers back to Europe from Syria or providing them with money, phones, explosives or weapons.
Abdeslam was the only defendant tried on several counts of murder and kidnapping as a member of a terrorist organization.
The sentence sought for Abdeslam of life in prison without parole has only been pronounced four times in France — for crimes related to rape and murder of minors.
Prosecutors are seeking life sentences for nine other defendants. The remaining suspects were tried on lesser terrorism charges and face sentences ranging from five to 30 years.
In closing arguments, prosecutors stressed that all 20 defendants, who had fanned out around the French capital, armed with semi-automatic rifles and explosives-packed vests to mount parallel attacks, are members of the Islamic State extremist group responsible for the massacres.
“Not everyone is a jihadi, but all of those you are judging accepted to take part in a terrorist group, either by conviction, cowardliness or greed,” prosecutor Nicolas Braconnay told the court this month.
Some defendants, including Abdeslam, said innocent civilians were targeted because of France’s policies in the Middle East and hundreds of civilian deaths in Western airstrikes in Islamic State-controlled areas of Syria and Iraq.
During his testimony, former President François Hollande dismissed claims that his government was at fault.
The Islamic State, “this pseudo-state, declared war with the weapons of war,” Hollande said. The Paris attackers did not terrorize, shoot, kill, maim and traumatize civilians because of religion, he said, adding it was “fanaticism and barbarism.”
During closing arguments Monday, Abdelslam’s lawyer Olivia Ronen told a panel of judges that her client is the only one in the group of attackers who didn’t set off explosives to kill others that night. He can’t be convicted for murder, she argued.
“If a life sentence without hope for ever experiencing freedom again is pronounced, I fear we have lost a sense of proportion,” Ronan said. She emphasized through the trial that she is “not providing legitimacy to the attacks” by defending her client in court.
Abdeslam apologized to the victims at his final court appearance Monday, saying his remorse and sorrow is heartfelt and sincere. Listening to victims’ accounts of “so much suffering” changed him, he said.
“I have made mistakes, it’s true, but I am not a murderer, I am not a killer,” he said.