«У частині сіл регіону тривають заходи з перевірки й убезпечення території, поступово беремо під контроль нові населені пункти»
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced sanctions Friday against Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, or MOIS, for a cyberattack launched against Albania’s government computer systems in July.
In a statement, Blinken said, “In July 2022, cyber attackers determined to be sponsored by the Government of Iran and its MOIS disrupted Albanian government computer systems, forcing the government to suspend public services for its citizens.”
In a separate statement, the U.S. Treasury Department said in addition to conducting malicious cyber activity against Albanian government websites, the MOIS, led by Minister of Intelligence, Esmail Khatib, also committed cyber-espionage and ransomware attacks in support of Iran’s political goals.
The Treasury statement said Iran also is behind the leaking of documents purported to be from the Albanian government and personal information associated with Albanian residents.
Under the sanctions, the Treasury Department said all property and interests in property belonging to the MOIS and, specifically, Khatib, subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
In his statement, Blinken said since at least 2007, Iran’s MOIS and its cyber-attacking proxies have conducted malicious cyber operations targeting a range of government and private-sector organizations across various critical infrastructure sectors.
He said Iran’s cyberattacks can cause grave damage to these governments’ abilities to provide services to civilians and disregard the norms of responsible peacetime state behavior in cyberspace.
Blinken added, “The United States will continue to use all appropriate tools to counter cyberattacks against the United States and our allies.”
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has raised concerns about the treatment of people with disabilities in China and Ukraine. The two countries are among nine whose records came under review by the 18-member monitoring group during its latest session.
The committee said it is deeply concerned about the reported detention of people with disabilities from Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in so-called vocational education and training centers in China. It said their special needs are not being met and urges China to release them and meet all their disability-related needs while in detention.
The United Nations, human rights groups and many governments have sharply criticized China’s forcible internment of more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang province, accusations China vigorously denies.
Committee member Risnawati Utami said a Chinese government delegation did not agree with the committee’s observations and conclusions.
“There is denial of some recommendations,” Utami said. “But, again, we work on the consensus with our committee based on the reporting that we have. … So, basically, we are trying to state what we have in the concluding observations and hope that the Chinese government will accept our concluding observations without any reservations.”
The committee held a special session about people with disabilities in Ukraine. Vice chair of the committee Jonas Ruskus said the panel heard testimony that people trapped in conflict zones had been denied evacuation and access to basic services. He said at least 12 disabled people reportedly had died in residential institutions.
“We received information that persons with disabilities, they are in institutions in territories under control of Russian Federation,” Ruskus said. “They have been kept in inhuman conditions, subjected to ill treatment and used as human shields by Russian Federation armed forces.”
Ruskus said the committee also has received reports about persons with disabilities who have been forcibly transferred to the Russian Federation or to territories under Russian control.
The committee is urging both Ukraine and Russia to immediately evacuate people with disabilities who are institutionalized in conflict zones in Ukrainian territory under their respective control.
Сторони також обговорили деталі будівництва заводу «Байкар» в Україні і виробництво нової продукції з використанням українських деталей
В Офісі президента кажуть: світова спільнота повинна визнати Росію не просто «країною-спонсором тероризму», а «країною-терористом»
«Це особливо тривожно», кажуть в ООН, при наявності задокументованих фактів тортур і жорстокого поводження щодо бранців
«Це дуже обнадіює», – сказав Ллойд Остін
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily address that he and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in an unannounced visit Thursday to Kyiv, talked about a variety of topics, including designating Russia as a terrorist state.
“The legal reality must always correspond to the actual reality. And it is a fact that Russia has become the biggest source of terrorism in the world,” Zelenskyy said. “The world must receive an unequivocal signal that Russian terror will not be forgiven.”
Also in his daily address, Zelenskyy said, “More than a thousand square kilometers of our territory have been liberated since September 1.” The president said, “I am grateful to everyone who made it happen. I am grateful to the army, intelligence officers, and special services for every Ukrainian flag that has been hoisted these days.”
“Ukraine’s extraordinary front-line defenders continue to courageously fight for their country’s freedom,” Blinken said in a statement after meeting with Zelenskyy. The top U.S. diplomat reaffirmed President Joe Biden’s commitment to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.”
Meanwhile, the United States said Thursday it plans to send $2.2 billion in long-term military aid to Ukraine and 18 other European countries threatened by Russian aggression, and another $675 million directly to the Kyiv government in a new munitions package to fight Moscow’s invasion.
A news pool report said Blinken “entered Ukraine’s fortified presidential administration building through a series of dark hallways with sandbags stacked over windows that eventually led to a white room with gold trim and crystal chandeliers.”
Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude for the “enormous support” the United States has sent Ukraine, praising Biden and the U.S. Congress for helping Ukraine “return our territory and lands.”
Overall, the new U.S. assistance would bring its Ukraine-related aid total to $15.2 billion since Biden took office in January last year. The $675 million in military assistance includes heavy weaponry, ammunition and armored vehicles.
Blinken said the $2.2 billion in long-term aid would “bolster the security of Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors, including many of our NATO allies, as well as other regional security partners potentially at risk of future Russian aggression.”
In a separate statement, the State Department said the aid would help those countries “deter and defend against emergent threats to their sovereignty and territorial integrity” by bolstering their military integration with NATO, the U.S.-dominated Western military alliance.
Pending expected congressional approval, about $1 billion of $2.2 billion would go to Ukraine and the rest will be divided among Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, the State Department said.
In New York, Russia called a U.N. Security Council meeting to criticize the West for sending military support to Ukraine in what its envoy said has become a proxy war.
“NATO basically manually directs Kyiv in the theater of war,” Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia claimed.
He said it is “empty fantasies” that Western weapons will bring the Ukrainians victory on the battlefield.
“New weapons will not change the balance of forces and will only extend agony of the Zelenskyy regime,” he said.
Washington’s envoy said Moscow had nerve to suggest countries should step aside as it seeks to destroy another U.N. member state.
“The United States is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend their lives, their liberty and their democracy. We are not hiding this support,” Ambassador Richard Mills said. “Ukraine and all U.N. member states have every right to defend themselves, and we won’t stop our support to Ukraine just because Russia is frustrated that its attempt at regime change has not gone to plan.”
Earlier, at a meeting of Western officials in Germany coordinating support for Ukraine, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “the war is at another key moment,” with Ukrainian forces in the midst of a counteroffensive to try to reclaim lost territory in the south of the country. He said, “Now we’re seeing the demonstrable success of our common efforts on the battlefield.”
Even so, U.S. officials indicated diplomatic talks between Ukraine and Russia do not appear to be a top priority for Ukraine.
“Right now, the Ukrainians do not have a viable map from which to negotiate,” one senior State Department official said. “Twenty percent of their territory has gone, something like 30% of their industrial and agricultural potential is gone. That’s why they’re launching this counteroffensive.”
Defense ministers from Germany and the Netherlands said on the sidelines of the meeting with Austin that their countries would provide new training for Ukrainian forces on how to deactivate Russian mines and send demining equipment to the Kyiv government.
In addition to fighting in the southern reaches of Ukraine and the eastern industrialized Donbas region, shelling continued near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest.
Both sides have blamed each other for the attacks, even as the United Nations atomic energy watchdog agency has called for the creation of a safe zone around the facility to prevent a catastrophe akin to the nuclear plant disaster at Chernobyl in 1986.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press.
Though hundreds of Ukraine’s schools have been destroyed during the war, the new school year has quietly started. And while some things haven’t changed, many Ukrainian schoolchildren are facing new and frightening realities. Lesia Bakalets has the story, narrated by Anna Rice. VOA footage by David Gogokhia.
Лідер КНДР Кім Чен Ин, виступаючи на сесії північнокорейського парламенту, заявив, що ядерний статус країни тепер «незворотний»
З 19 вересня в’їзд для росіян закривають країни Балтії та Польща
Загальні втрати російського особового складу перевищили 51 900 військових
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96 at her Balmoral residence in Scotland. She was Britain’s longest-serving monarch and this year celebrated 70 years on the throne.
Elizabeth was the only monarch most living Britons have ever known: a symbol of her nation, its empire and its Commonwealth.
Her teenage years were overshadowed by World War II, which she and her sister largely spent in the relative safety of Windsor Castle, west of London.
She personified British strength and character long before she even knew she would be queen.
In 1947, on her 21st birthday — then seen as the beginning of adulthood — she gave a now-famous televised address on her first official overseas tour in South Africa. “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong,” she said.
That same year she married the Greek-born Prince Philip. He was a distant cousin, the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and the great-great-grandson of Britain’s Queen Victoria.
In February 1952, Princess Elizabeth and her husband were in Kenya when news broke of the death of her father, King George XI. She returned to London as Queen Elizabeth II. Her coronation, at the age of 27, took place in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.
She saw a thorough transformation of society and technology during her reign of more than seven decades, a time in which she warned about the dangers of throwing away ageless ideals while embracing the advantages of new inventions. She sent out her first tweet in 2014.
There are few royal records she did not break: she was Britain’s most traveled, oldest, longest-reigning monarch.
“As head of the Commonwealth, the queen has links with the past. Sometimes it’s a past that’s difficult to come to terms with because you think of empire, you think of colonial exploitation for example,” royal author and broadcaster Richard Fitzwilliams told VOA. “But so far as the queen is concerned, you think of her dedication to the organization.”
As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II represented Britain in friendships with those who held in common the British values of freedom, equality and democracy — and with dignity she faced those who did not. She traveled to more than 100 countries and met countless prime ministers, presidents, kings and queens — hosting many of them in lavish state visits to London.
Among the dozens of world leaders to visit Buckingham Palace during her reign were Ethiopian Emperor Haile Salassie; French President Charles de Gaulle; Emperor Hirohito of Japan; President Nelson Mandela of South Africa; President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; Russian President Vladimir Putin; U.S. Presidents George Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump; and Xi Jinping of China.
The queen was not immune to criticism in her own country. Some targeted her as a symbol of an institution out of step with a postmodern, neo-liberal and democratic world – and a burden on the British taxpayer.
The death of the popular Princess Diana in 1997 was an opportunity for critics who accused her of being coldly slow to react. When she did address the nation, it was heartfelt. “What I say to you now, as your queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart. First, I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being,” Elizabeth said.
The marriage of her grandson Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011 brought youthful glamour to the ancient institution.
When Prince Harry married American actor Meghan Markle seven years later, Queen Elizabeth II was at the head of a family that appeared to be moving with the times: popular, diverse and global.
But there were painful times ahead. Her second son, Prince Andrew, was investigated for links to convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Harry and Meghan fell out with the royal family amid accusations of racism.
The passing of Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, in 2021 left an enduring image: a queen mourning alone — as the coronavirus pandemic swept across her nation.
In June 2022, Britain celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70th year on the throne.
On Sept. 6, just two days before her death, she appointed Liz Truss the 15th prime minister of her reign. It would be her last major public duty.
Queen Elizabeth remains a giant in the history of one of the planet’s most influential nations; a bridge between Britain’s colonial past and its future as a global player in a world vastly different from the one in which she was born.
Visiting Germany in 2015, addressing President Joachim Gauck, she spoke of the vast changes she had witnessed. “In our lives, Mr. President, we have seen the worst but also the best of our continent. We have witnessed how quickly things can change for the better, but we know that we must work hard to maintain the benefits of the post-war world,” she said.
Elizabeth will be remembered for her dedication, says royal biographer Matthew Dennison. “I think the importance of the length of her reign is simply that throughout that period she went on doggedly doing the job to the very best of her ability with total conviction — and I think with love,” Dennison told Reuters.
Britain’s royal tradition, of which Elizabeth was a steward, is now in the hands of her heirs, as her first son, King Charles III, ascends the throne. The Britain they inherit is a drastically different one in terms of demographics, culture and economics.
In a globalized, pluralistic world, their job of projecting an image of greatness is no less complicated.
Britain’s King Charles III is returning to London on Friday from Balmoral Castle in Scotland where his mother, Queen Elizabeth, died Thursday.
Charles, who is 73 and the oldest monarch to ascend the throne, is scheduled to deliver a televised address to a nation in mourning Friday, his first address as head of state.
The king is also set Friday to hold his first audience with Prime Minister Liz Truss at Buckingham Palace. Elizabeth appointed Truss to her new position as prime minister on Tuesday, just two days before Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died.
Parliament is holding a special midday session Friday to pay respect to the queen. Truss and other ministers are also set to attend a remembrance service Friday for the queen at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Later, gun salutes are scheduled to be held at Hyde Park and other locations.
Elizabeth’s funeral will be held in the coming days at London’s Westminster Abbey and that day will be designated as a National Day of Mourning, a public holiday.
Growing mountains of flowers and tributes to the queen are gathering not only at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, but also at British embassies and cathedrals around the world.
With Ukraine dependent on Western military aid following Russia’s invasion and Moscow burning through stocks and under sanctions, both sides fear exhausting their shells, bombs and missiles, experts say.
Moscow’s economic exclusion means it is “having to buy artillery rounds from North Korea,” U.S. National Security Council coordinator John Kirby told reporters recently, pointing to deals for “millions of rounds, rockets and artillery shells.”
Meanwhile, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said this week it “is likely that Russia is struggling to maintain stocks” of drones. Sanctions make it difficult for Moscow to obtain the vital components needed to replace drones destroyed in combat.
The Kremlin is reportedly buying drones from Iran.
Both Western governments and Kyiv say Russia is suffering from serious logistical difficulties.
Precision strikes with high-tech Western weapons are undermining Russia’s ability to fight, and Moscow is turning to outdated arms as its stocks of more modern gear run down.
“It’s a mystery what the Russians have left,” said Pierre Grasser, a researcher associated with Paris’ Sorbonne University.
“They had enough supplies for their original plan,” he said. “But the fact is that the war is lasting longer than expected and the destruction of their reserves by U.S.-made HIMARS rockets is reshuffling the deck.”
“Moscow doesn’t have many allies that can supply it or come to the aid of its manufacturers,” he added. And “China still refuses to get involved beyond the diplomatic field.”
As for the isolated communist regime of North Korea, “there’s likely to be a limit to what Pyongyang can give — just enough to refill the stocks for a few weeks,” he said.
Last week, French researcher Bruno Tertrais of the Foundation for Strategic Research said, “The chances of Russian military fatigue are much higher than Ukrainian military fatigue.”
But Kyiv continues to request weapons and ammunition from the West, which itself may be reaching the limits of its capacity.
On Thursday, the United States said it would supply another $675 million in military equipment.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made the announcement in Germany, where Ukraine’s allies were meeting to discuss coordinating their deliveries.
Washington has also said it will provide $2 billion more in loans and grants for Ukraine and its neighbors to buy U.S. military gear.
This is on top of the $4 billion it authorized in the fiscal year that ended in June.
Social media accounts that specialize in identifying weapons have spotted Pakistani and Iranian shells being fired by Ukrainian artillery, suggesting that Kyiv has built multiple supply chains for its troops.
But the Germany-based Institute for the World Economy (IFW) said last month that “the flow of new international support for Ukraine … dried up in July,” with no new pledges from major European Union countries like Germany, France or Italy.
On the other hand, the IFW noted that more countries were finally coming through with their promises of aid for Kyiv.
NATO countries have supplied almost half a million shells for the roughly 240 155-millimeter guns they have sent Ukraine to replace Soviet weapons whose ammunition has been used up, Grasser said.
“Since July, they’re being used up at a rate of 3,000 shells per day. Technically, Ukraine can keep going until the start of winter,” he added. “However, beyond that there are some questions about how much NATO can supply.”
Given the relative strengths and losses of the two sides, Western aid to Ukraine is well short of what is needed to win the war and replace destroyed equipment, said Andrei Illarionov, a former economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Illarionov, who now works for the U.S.-based Center for Security Policy, said that during World War II, the Allies only really began turning back the Axis in 1943, once their spending outweighed that of their opponents.
“The military aid delivered to Ukraine is not more than $3 billion per month. Overall expenditure [by] Ukraine plus the coalition looks like $7 billion a month,” he said last week at a Bucharest event organized by the New Strategy Center think tank.
As for Russia, “different estimates have been given recently — between $500 million and $900 million a day — which means $15 billion to $27 billion a month,” he added.
“In the war of attrition, the crucial underlying factor [for] who might win the long war is the ratio in military expenditure,” Illarionov said.
“In military terms,” Grasser said, “the two sides are evenly matched. The Ukrainians have fewer weapons than the Russians but they’re now much more accurate.”
But, he noted, “in its favor, Moscow has access to vital raw materials for the war effort.”
“We’re entering a period of unstable equilibrium. Whoever launches one counteroffensive too many is likely to lose the battle of attrition,” Grasser concluded.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday that it is levying sanctions against four Iranian companies that it says were involved in sending drones to Russia last month for use in Moscow’s war against Ukraine.
Tehran-based Safiran Airport Services, Paravar Pars Company, Design and Manufacturing of Aircraft Engines, and Baharestan Kish Company were all hit with the new sanctions.
“Russia is making increasingly desperate choices to continue its unprovoked war against Ukraine, particularly in the face of our unprecedented sanctions and export controls,” said Brian Nelson, undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. “The United States is committed to strictly enforcing our sanctions against both Russia and Iran and holding accountable Iran and those supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”
Safiran coordinates Russian military flights between Iran and Russia, including those that U.S. intelligence officials say transported Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles, personnel, and related equipment from Iran to Russia, over several days last month.
Paravar Pars Company is closely associated with Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps-controlled Imam Hossein University, and has been involved in the research, development, and production of the Iranian Shahed-171 UAV.
Design and Manufacturing of Aircraft Engines is an Iranian company involved in the research, development, and production of the Iranian Shahed-171 UAV. Baharestan Kish Company oversees various defense-related projects in Iran, including the manufacturing of UAVs.
The Biden administration said last week that Russia has faced technical problems with Iranian-made drones that were acquired from Tehran in August. The White House says Russian officials picked up Mohajer-6 and Shahed-series unmanned aerial vehicles over several days last month. The Biden administration says U.S. intelligence officials have determined that Russia is looking to acquire hundreds of Iranian UAVs for use in Ukraine.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon confirmed that the U.S. intelligence community has determined that Russia is also in the process of purchasing rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for its ongoing fight in Ukraine.
The U.S. has frequently downgraded and made public intelligence findings over the course of the grinding war in Ukraine to highlight Moscow’s difficulties in prosecuting the war. Ukraine’s smaller military has put up a stiff resistance against the militarily superior Russian forces.