Risk of infection from the disease, which causes paralysis in children in under 1% of cases, was low because of high vaccination rates
«Не звертайте, будь ласка, уваги на відверті вкиди і фейки»
«Як і раніше, принциповим елементом української позиції залишаються питання безпеки»
«Тому складно забезпечувати логістику нафтопродуктів на український ринок, через що виникає їхній дефіцит»
«Ми також намагаємося домовитися з Балканськими країнами та країнами-учасницями «Східного партнерства» взяти участь у процесі»
An international coalition of journalists, editors and publishers demanded Wednesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be immediately released from a UK jail and that all charges against him be dropped.
Fifteen representatives of journalist and publishers’ unions and organizations from six countries gathered in Geneva for the ‘call to free Julian Assange in the name of press freedom’
The petitioners also called on Swiss authorities, who have said they have worked to protect Assange, to facilitate his release by offering him a safe haven from further prosecution in Switzerland.
The call came after the British government last week approved Assange’s extradition to the United States, to the dismay of his supporters and free press campaigners.
Assange, 50, has said he will appeal against the decision.
He is wanted to face trial for violating the US Espionage Act by publishing military and diplomatic files in 2010, and could face up to 175 years in jail if found guilty.
The Assange case has become a cause celebre for media freedom and his supporters accuse Washington of trying to muzzle reporting of legitimate security concerns.
Wednesday’s event slammed the British decision as a “flagrant violation of human rights and a showing of total contempt for freedom of the press”.
Pierre Ruetschi, the head of the Swiss Press Club hosting the event, warned that “democracy is being taken hostage”.
“This attempt at criminalizing journalism is a serious threat.”
Tim Dawson, of the National Union of Journalists of Britain and Ireland, agreed.
“If Julian Assange can be threatened with prosecution as a spy, what might that mean for other journalists?” he said.
Assange has been held on remand at a top-security jail in southeast London since 2019 for jumping bail in a previous case accusing him of sexual assault in Sweden.
Before that he spent seven years at Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid being removed to Sweden.
The Australian was arrested when the government changed in Quito and his diplomatic protection was removed.
In Kosovo, which has been waiting for visa-free travel to the European Union since 2010, a restaurant owner has erected a large replica of France’s famed Eiffel Tower for its diners.
“We have built it as a form of consolation for the people who cannot go to Paris,” said Blerim Bislimi, owner of Te Anija (At The Boat) restaurant on the edge of the capital Pristina.
The joke reflects a wider malaise across the Balkans about the prospects of its six members — Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia — ever joining the EU.
A lack of progress on milestones such as visa-free travel along the way has lead to such a sense of disillusion that the leaders of Albania and Serbia briefly considered not attending Thursday’s Balkan-EU summit in Brussels.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Wednesday they will now go, but Rama expressed his despondency on Twitter: “We’ll attend the EU Council meeting. There won’t be much to hear about.”
In Serbia, the largest country in the region, enthusiasm for EU membership has declined so much that now 44% of people are against it and only 35% in favor, with the remainder unsure, according to an Ipsos poll in April.
A draft of the summit statement seen by Reuters showed that EU leaders will again give “full and unequivocal commitment to the EU membership perspective of the Western Balkans.”
But Ukraine’s fast-tracked progress to formal candidate status, to be agreed at Thursday’s summit, has only served to increase their feeling of being sidelined, Balkan countries say, even if all but Bosnia and Kosovo are already EU candidates.
“North Macedonia and Albania have every right to be upset,” said Zvezdana Kovac at the European Movement in Serbia, a non-profit organization pushing for Serbian membership of the EU, referring to the stalled negotiation process.
EU member Bulgaria in 2020 blocked the start of accession talks with North Macedonia over a dispute relating to history and language.
Albania’s progress is formally linked by the EU to that of North Macedonia, which already had to agree to settle a decades-long stand-off with Greece over its name to clear its path to EU membership. North Macedonia and Albania earlier had to wait for a green light from France over their track record on democracy and fighting corruption.
EU diplomats do not expect a breakthrough at the summit.
Too many conditions?
Awarding Ukraine its EU candidacy status without any feasible progress for the Balkans is also a “bad message” for the region, Kovac said.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel have all visited the region, reiterating support, but taking no concrete steps.
There has been no progress on overcoming Bulgaria’s veto or wider momentum to help Serbia and Montenegro in their negotiations, which require politically unpopular reforms.
Arton Demhasaj, from the Pristina-based anti-corruption watchdog of Cohu (Wake up), said: “The European Union has no clear enlargement policies towards the Western Balkans.”
“If countries that aspire to join the EU face delays, they will reorient their policies and then we will have an increase of Russian and Chinese influence in the Western Balkans,” he said.
In contrast to the success of the EU’s eastward enlargement drive that transformed former communist countries such as Poland into thriving market democracies, the EU approach now offers too little reward tied to too many conditions, Balkan officials say.
Some EU governments, particularly in France, the Netherlands and Denmark, fear a political backlash in member states over migration from the Balkans and have sought to increase reforms.
“Too many EU governments think we can keep handing the Balkans new demands and say: come back when you’re done,” said a senior EU diplomat involved in the talks. “But it doesn’t work like that, at some point they are going to give up.”
«Кількість загиблих, ймовірно, зросте, оскільки деякі села розташовані у віддалених районах у горах, і для збору деталей знадобиться деякий час»
Ентоні Блінкен зазначає, що повномасштабне вторгнення Росії сталося після багатьох років жорстокості Кремля щодо народу України.
За словами Лещенка, в ОП він не лише розвінчує російські фейки, але і займається багатьма іншими ініціативами
Elite swimmer Mykhailo Romanchuk doesn’t know if his father was able to see him winning a medal for Ukraine at the swimming world championships.
Romanchuk’s father is fighting in the east of Ukraine, where pockets of resistance are still denying Russia full military control of the region almost four months after it unleashed its invasion.
“He’s in a hot spot and it’s a hard time,” Romanchuk said after taking bronze in the men’s 800-meter freestyle race on Tuesday.
Romanchuk doesn’t dare talk to his dad out of fear his father’s location could be tracked through the call.
“It’s not possible for them to join the network because the Russians can search everything,” Romanchuk said. “But every morning he sends me (a message) that he is OK.”
The 25-year-old Romanchuk – who intends to race the men’s 1500, then the 10K and 5K races in open water at the worlds – almost never made it to Budapest.
“My mind was to go to the war to defend my home,” said Romanchuk, who spent 10 days agonizing with his wife and family over the best course of action after Russia invaded his country on February 24.
“We decided that I cannot do anything with the gun. For me, it’s better to continue training, to do everything that I do best,” said Romanchuk, who won bronze in the 800 and silver in the 1500 at the Tokyo Olympics last year. “With my swimming, I can tell all the world about the situation in Ukraine.”
As training facilities were destroyed by the war, Romanchuk was invited by German swimmer Florian Wellbrock, who finished second behind American Bobby Finke in the 800, to join him in Germany to train.
Romanchuk and Wellbrock embraced after finishing 1-2 in qualifying for Tuesday’s race. But Finke’s strong finish prevented a repeat in the final. Romanchuk finished 0.69 seconds behind Finke.
Romanchuk said he was both “proud and disappointed” of his third place. He said his medal proves “that Ukrainians will fight to the end, it doesn’t matter what the situation.”
Swimmers from Russia and its ally Belarus have been excluded from the championships. Romanchuk said he doesn’t know how he would have reacted if they hadn’t been.
“My reaction could be maybe aggressive, I don’t know,” said Romanchuk, who referred to Olympic backstroke champion Evgeny Rylov appearing at a pro-war rally in Moscow. “Inside of me, I was ready to go and to kill him,” he said of Rylov. “But before he was a good friend. Before. But everything changed.”
Romanchuk spoke of the destruction Russia has caused in his country, the people killed, the lives shattered.
It makes it hard for him to focus on swimming.
“Especially in the beginning when I moved to Germany to join the group. It was hard because mentally you are in the war and you are sleeping just three or four hours because you are always reading the news,” Romanchuk said. “It was so hard in the beginning, but then you understand that all you can do is to swim, to train, to represent your country.”
For the freshly minted medalist, it’s a time to feel proud.
“I’m so proud of all the people in Ukraine. This is all I can say. I’m proud of the people, of the government, the president. I’m so proud of them,” Romanchuk said. “And I’m really happy to be Ukrainian.”
Москва, попри численні свідчення і докази, заявляє, що не обстрілює цивільних в Україні. Воєнних злочинів за собою РФ також не визнає
Опубліковане відео супроводжувалося фрагментом з пісні Олега Газманова: «Росія, Росія – в цьому слові вогонь и сила»
Ukraine reported heavy strikes Tuesday in the Sievierodonetsk region as Russian forces push to gain full control of the eastern city.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that the military situation in the eastern region of Luhansk “is really the toughest area right now. The occupiers are also putting serious pressure on the Donetsk direction.”
He said Russia has stepped up efforts to evict Ukrainian troops from key areas.
A spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said at a daily briefing that fighting in Sievierodonetsk was fierce, with Russia conducting airstrikes and shelling on Ukrainian positions.
Serhiy Haidai, governor of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, told The Associated Press in written comments, “It’s just hell there. Everything is engulfed in fire. The shelling doesn’t stop even for an hour.”
“Today, everything that can burn is on fire,” Haidai said. He reported heavy fighting at the Azot chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, where Ukrainian fighters and about 500 civilians are taking shelter.
Russian forces control about 95% of the Luhansk region, AP reported, with Ukraine forces holding just the Azot chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk.
Haidai also said Russian forces had brought “catastrophic destruction” to Lysychansk, an industrial city just across a river from Sievierodonetsk.
Zelenskyy acknowledged difficulties trying to defend the country’s eastern region but said Russian forces would continue to be met with Ukrainian resistance.
In Lviv, Ukraine, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland met Tuesday with Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to announce the creation of a team focused on war crimes accountability, the Justice Department said.
“The United States is sending an unmistakable message. There is no place to hide. We will, we and our partners, will pursue every avenue available to make sure that those who are responsible for these atrocities are held accountable,” Garland told reporters.
The War Crimes Accountability Team will assist Ukraine with criminal prosecution, evidence collection and forensics of human rights abuse, war crimes and other atrocities, the department said, adding that the team’s lead counselor is Eli Rosenbaum, a Justice Department official who once led the effort to track down Nazi war criminals.
“America — and the world — has seen the many horrific images and read the heart-wrenching accounts of brutality and death that have resulted from Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine,” Garland said in a statement.
The team also will focus on potential war crimes over which the United States has jurisdiction, including killing and wounding U.S. journalists, the department said.
“In addition, the Justice Department will provide additional personnel to expand its work with Ukraine and other partners to counter Russian illicit finance and sanctions evasion. Among other things, the Department will provide Ukraine an expert Justice Department prosecutor to advise on fighting kleptocracy, corruption, and money laundering,” the DOJ statement said.
Also, Ukraine is set to become an official candidate for European Union membership on Thursday, ministers and diplomats said on Tuesday.
Last week, the European Commission recommended the action. After several days of internal EU discussion, none of the 27 member states have voiced opposition to the plan, three diplomats told Reuters.
“We are working towards the point where we tell (Russian President Vladimir) Putin that Ukraine belongs to Europe, that we will also defend the values that Ukraine defends,” Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign affairs minister, said, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday that the United Nations and its humanitarian partners delivered on Monday “12 trucks of critical supplies to help nearly 64,000 people in the cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.” He said the cities are close to the front lines of the government-controlled Donetska Oblast.
The humanitarian convoy that reached the two cities carried hygiene supplies, water purification tablets and food assistance, he said.
Margaret Besheer contributed to this report.
Рішення щодо надання статусу кандидата у члени ЄС для України лідери Євросоюзу ухвалюватимуть на черговому саміті в Брюсселі 23–24 червня
Російський суд вирішив, що українка своїми діями «навмисно підірвала авторитет, імідж та довіру» до армії Росії