Daily: 10/03/2023

У Литві з в’язниці вийшов росіянин, засуджений за воєнні злочини через події у Вільнюсі 1991 року

Юрій Мель, який раніше був радянським військовослужбовцем, вже повернувся до Росії

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Ткаченко: розірвання договору стосується «усіх приміщень, які орендує УПЦ в Лаврі»

Ткаченко додав, що, відповідно до визначеної правовим полем процедури, від завтра працюватимуть робочі групи, утворені Заповідником, з інвентаризації майна і з обстеження технічного стану будівель і споруд

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Georgian Parliament Revokes Controversial ‘Foreign Agents’ Bill That Sparked Protests

In a dramatic turn of events, Georgian lawmakers have voted to drop a controversial “foreign agents” bill just days after its first reading sparked massive protests over fears the legislation, which mirrored a similar law in Russia, and would have severely restricted dissent and the activity of civil society groups in the country and push it toward authoritarianism. 

Parliament on March 10 voted in the second reading of the draft, a day after the ruling Georgian Dream party announced it was withdrawing the proposed legislation in the face of the protests. 

Lawmakers voted 35-1 against the bill, thus canceling it. The legislation can be brought back within 30 days, but only if it contains changes. 

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Georgian capital over the legislation, and another gathering is planned for March 10, though it is likely to be more celebratory than protest. 

Police had met the demonstrators with tear gas, stun grenades, and water cannons while detaining dozens. 

Georgia’s Interior Ministry said on March 10 that all 133 people who were detained during the protests had been released. It added that almost 60 police officers were injured in clashes during the demonstrations. 

The protests began on March 7 as parliament took up the “foreign agents” legislation despite warnings from critics that the bill, which would force civil society organizations that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad to be classified as “foreign agents,” mirrors Russian legislation that has been used to stifle opposition voices and the independent media. 

Georgian Dream officials said the legislation was aimed at bringing transparency and that it needed to hold consultations to “better explain” the law’s purpose in the future. 

In Georgia, anti-Russian sentiment can often be strong. Russian troops still control around one-fifth of Georgia’s territory, most of it taken during a lightning war in 2008 that was ostensibly about breakaway efforts in two northeastern regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 

By suddenly announcing that the bill was being “unconditionally” withdrawn, Georgian Dream deescalated the current crisis — but tensions are likely to persist over the ruling party and its opponents’ competing visions for the heavily polarized Caucasus country and its nearly 5 million residents. 

The opposition has often criticized Georgian Dream for being too closely aligned with Moscow, and the Kremlin’s current war against another former Soviet republic, Ukraine, has heightened those concerns. 

The introduction of the legislation prompted rebukes from several corners, including diplomats from the European Union and the United States. 

Georgia has been moving toward joining the European Union, but EU officials said the “foreign agents” law would complicate that membership path. Last year, the bloc declined to grant candidate status to Georgia, citing stalled political and judicial reforms. 

President Salome Zurabishvili has said she would veto the bill, although parliament could have overridden her veto. 

Speaking on March 10, French President Emmanuel Macron said Georgia was under pressure while expressing hope that the country could find a “path towards greater serenity” and that there is a “calming down of regional tensions.” 

“Georgia is under some heavy pressure and I hope it can find calm,” he said at a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Paris. 

Macron dismissed Russian claims that protests in the Caucasus country were orchestrated by the West. 

“There is a tendency in the Kremlin, which is not new, to imagine that every public demonstration is a foreign manipulation because the fundamental belief is that there is neither public opinion nor free people,” Macron said. 

“As an old democracy, we have the right to believe the opposite.” 

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

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Особи, пов’язані з Росією, намагаються спровокувати заколот проти лідерів Молдови – розвідка США

У США вважають, що Росія працює над послабленням уряду Молдови, який прагне тісніших зв’язків з Європейським союзом

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Туреччина погодила зі Швецією та Фінляндією продовження переговорів щодо членства в НАТО

У заяві йдеться, що три країни домовилися знову зустрітися в такому ж форматі перед липневим самітом НАТО у Вільнюсі

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У МЗС назвали незаконним і нікчемним «вирок» Буткевичу, винесений на окупованій Луганщині

«Фейковий судовий процес, зрежисований в Російській Федерації, мав на меті легалізувати чергову політичну розправу над українськими громадянами»

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Україна чекатиме на гарантії безпеки до свого вступу в НАТО на саміті у Вільнюсі – Зеленський

«Навіть якщо ми не можемо бути в НАТО під час війни, ми б хотіли мати відповідні гарантії безпеки на цьому шляху»

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Ukraine Rebounds From Russian Barrage, Restores Power Supply

Ukraine’s capital restored most of its power supply on Friday, officials said, as the country again responded swiftly and defiantly to the latest Russian missile and drone barrage targeting critical infrastructure.

In what has become a familiar Russian tactic since last fall, the Kremlin’s forces struck Ukraine from afar amid months of a grinding battlefield stalemate on the front line in eastern areas. The apparent aim is to weaken Ukraine’s resolve and compel the Ukrainian government to negotiate peace on Moscow’s terms.

Ukrainian authorities scrambled to counter the bombardment’s consequences, part of a recurring cycle of urban smash-and-repair that has brought little change in the course of the war that recently moved into its second year.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said in an assessment that “these missile strikes will not undermine Ukraine’s will or improve Russia’s positions on the front lines.”

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said the Russians are striking civilian infrastructure, because they can’t efficiently target Ukrainian military assets.

“The Russians lack data about the location of Ukrainian troops and weapons, so they are targeting civilian infrastructure and using the same old methods of attacking civilians to sow fear and panic in the society,” he said. “Ukraine has survived the winter and Russia’s strikes on the energy system in the spring hardly make any sense.”

Power and water were restored in Kyiv, said Serhii Popko, the head of the city’s military administration. Popko said that about 30% of consumers in the capital remained without heating and that repair work was ongoing.

The electricity supply was restored to more than nine in 10 consumers in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, local officials said, while power was also restored to a third of consumers in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region.

The Russian onslaught was the largest such attack in three weeks, deploying more than 80 Russian missiles and exploding drones.

The barrage, which also damaged residential buildings, killed six people and left hundreds of thousands without heat or running water. The salvo was noteworthy for the range of munitions the Kremlin’s forces used, including hypersonic Kinzhal cruise missiles that are among the most sophisticated weapons in Russian’s arsenal.

Even so, the bombardments on energy infrastructure that gathered pace last fall have become less frequent.

“The interval between waves of strikes is probably growing, because Russia now needs to stockpile a critical mass of newly produced missiles directly from industry,” the U.K. Ministry of Defense said in an assessment Friday.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the strikes were in retaliation for a recent incursion into the Bryansk region of western Russia by what Moscow claimed were Ukrainian saboteurs. Ukraine denied the claim and warned that Moscow could use the allegations to justify stepping up its own assaults.

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Макрон призначив посланника з допомоги й відбудови України

«Я прагнутиму координувати й активізувати зусилля Франції для відбудови України», повідомив П’єр Гайльбронн

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Фінляндія виділить Україні додаткові 29 млн євро допомоги

«Ми маємо боротися із втомою від війни… Ми також повинні пам’ятати, що наша підтримка має допомогти Україні оговтатися від війни»

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US Semiconductor Manufacturing Expected to Ramp Up With New Deal

A global shortage of semiconductor chips in the automotive industry starting in 2020 has motivated many countries to increase their domestic manufacturing. The United States has allocated more than $50 billion to promote semiconductor production and research stateside as the global need for the chips is expected to double over the next decade. Keith Kocinski has more from New York.
Camera: Keith Kocinski and Rendy Wicaksana

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Росія запровадила санкції проти 144 громадян Естонії, Латвії та Литви

Москва заявляє, що ці 144 громадян, серед іншого, причетні до «варварської кампанії з масового знесення пам’яток радянським воїнам-визволителям»

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Biden to Host EU Chief to Discuss China, Climate Subsidies

U.S. President Joe Biden will meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday at the White House to discuss potential sanctions against China amid concerns that Beijing is preparing to send weapons to Russia, and Europe’s frustration over Washington’s plans to subsidize American companies under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Biden and von der Leyen also will discuss U.S.-EU coordination to combat the climate crisis through investing in clean technology based on secure supply chains, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

The meeting is the latest in a flurry of high-level diplomacy with European leaders to coordinate support for Ukraine in defending itself one year after Russia’s invasion. Biden met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington last week. Last month, he traveled to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, then to Warsaw to visit Polish President Andrzej Duda and leaders of the Bucharest Nine.

‘De-risk this dependency’

Amid the war on Ukraine, Europe is racing to end its reliance on Russia for fossil fuels by ramping up its domestic renewable energy production. To do so, it would need more access to critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt and rare earth metals, the majority of which are processed by China.

“China produces 98% of Europe’s supplies of rare earths,” von der Leyen said during a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Kingston, Ontario, earlier this week. “Europe needs to de-risk this dependency.”

Von der Leyen, however, has been more cautious in joining the Biden administration in warning China not to arm Moscow in its war effort. During a news conference with Scholz in Meseberg, Germany, earlier this month, she said “no evidence so far” suggested that China was doing so and that the issue of sanctions against Beijing was a “hypothetical question.”

Discriminatory subsidy

Another key topic is the Biden administration’s plan to provide American companies with $369 billion in green subsidies and tax credits aimed at cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030 under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which the EU views as discriminatory. A special task force was set up in October to address these concerns and avoid a trans-Atlantic subsidy race.

Biden and von der Leyen are expected to begin negotiations to allow the EU to have a status similar to that of a free trade partner so that it may be exempt from an Inflation Reduction Act clause that requires a certain percentage of minerals used in manufacturing batteries to be domestically produced or come from a free trade partner.

The EU and Canada have been working toward establishing a “green alliance” to grow respective economies that are “climate-neutral, circular and resource-efficient.” Biden is expected to coordinate on the effort in his visit to Canada later this month.

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Casualties Reported at Jehovah’s Witnesses Meeting in Germany

Shots were fired inside a building used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in the northern German city of Hamburg on Thursday evening, and several people were killed or wounded, police said.

The shooting took place in the Gross Borstel district, a few kilometers north of the downtown area of Germany’s second-biggest city.

“We only know that several people died here; several people are wounded, they were taken to hospitals,” police spokesman Holger Vehren said.

He said he had no information on the severity of the injuries suffered by the wounded.

Police did not confirm German media reports — which named no sources — of six or seven dead.

The scene of the shooting was the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Hall, a modern, three-story building next door to an auto repair shop.

Vehren said police were alerted to the shooting about 9:15 p.m. local time and were on the scene quickly.

He said that after officers arrived and found people with apparent gunshot wounds on the ground floor, they heard a shot from an upper floor and found a fatally wounded person upstairs who may have been a shooter. He said police did not have to use their firearms.

Vehren said there was no indication that a shooter was on the run and that it appeared likely that the perpetrator was either in the building or among the dead.

Two witnesses interviewed on television, whose names weren’t given, said they heard 12 shots.

Police had no information on the event that was under way in the building when the shooting took place.

They also had no immediate information on a possible motive. Vehren said that “the background is still completely unclear.”

Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher tweeted that the news was shocking and offered his sympathy to the victims’ relatives.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are part of an international church, founded in the United States in the 19th century and headquartered in Warwick, New York. It claims a worldwide membership of about 8.7 million, with about 170,000 in Germany.

Members are known for their evangelistic efforts that include knocking on doors and distributing literature in public squares. The denomination’s distinctive practices include a refusal to bear arms, receive blood transfusions, salute a national flag or participate in secular government.

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Після стрілянини в церкві на півночі Німеччини є загиблі – поліція

За даними газети Bild, внаслідок стрілянини, яка сталася в церкві Свідків Єгови, загинули семеро людей і ще вісім отримали поранення

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Зеленський: з главою Єврокомісії обговорив прогрес України для початку переговорів про вступ до ЄС

«Детально обговорили прогрес України у виконанні рекомендацій Європейської комісії для початку переговорів про вступ України до ЄС уже цього року»

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Посольство США відреагувало на «боягузливу атаку» РФ

«Такі боягузливі атаки на критичну інфраструктуру, житлові будинки й український народ не зламають ні його духу, ні нашої підтримки України»

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США та Фінляндія обговорили підтримку України – Нііністьо

Президент Фінляндії Саулі Нііністьо та президент США Джо Байден обговорили підтримку України.

«Хороша і важлива розмова з президентом Джо Байденом. Сьогодні в Білому домі. Я подякував йому за його керівництво та тверду підтримку Фінляндії в нашому процесі НАТО», – написав Нііністьо в твіттері.

За його словами, співрозмовники також обговорили підтримку України з боку Фінляндії та США.


Як США, так і Фінляндія  підтримують Україну. У січні Фінляндія оголосила про новий пакет військової допомоги Україні на понад 400 мільйонів євро – це 12-й і на сьогодні найбільший пакет військової допомоги Україні.

Минулого тижня Вашингтон оголосив про черговий пакет військової допомоги Україні на 400 мільйонів доларів.

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