24.02–24.05. infographics

What happened in Russia and the world over the past three months – in RBC infographics *

Special military operation

On May 20, the Ministry of Defense announced that Mariupol had been taken under full control, including the territory of the Azovstal plant. On the capture of the city, the head of the department, Sergei Shoigu, reported to the president on April 21, at that time there were still soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Azov detachment inside the plant. (its symbols are recognized as extremist in Russia). On May 16, they began to go out and surrender. At the end of May, Shoigu also announced that the “liberation of the LPR” was nearing completion.

What happened in the economy

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How many sanctions have been imposed on Russia

How the president's rating changes

How world politicians communicate with each other

How many cases of fakes have been opened in Russia

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Ex-president of Moldova Dodon suspected of treason

The house of the ex-president of Moldova Igor Dodon was searched in the case of treason Dodon denies taking money from the businessman

Igor Dodon

Employees of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office and the Information and Security Service of Moldova searched the house of former President Igor Dodon, Cotidianul reports citing the press secretary of the Prosecutor General's Office, Mariana Kerpec. This is connected with the case of a bribe that Dodon, according to prosecutors, received from the former head of the Democratic Party, businessman Vladimir Plahotniuc. ZDG.md, citing the Prosecutor General's Office, clarifies that the ex-head of state is suspected under three articles of the Criminal Code— 337 (treason), 343 (passive corruption) and 330.2 (illicit enrichment).

Searchs are taking place in other places as well, including “property properties owned by intermediaries,” according to Kerpek.

On May 18, a criminal case was opened against Dodon in Moldova because of a video published by ex-deputy Iurie Renita back in 2020. On the footage, Plahotniuc and his deputy Sergei Yaralov hand over a package to the suspect. According to Renita, the meeting took place in 2019, when Dodon was still in the presidency, and there was a large amount in the package. They are discussing with Plahotnyuk on video the creation of a coalition in parliament that would have a constitutional majority. According to TV-8, the president said at the same time that he “constantly writes notes to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”

In 2020, the prosecutor's office refused to open a case against Dodon, without revealing the “elements of the crime”: the contents of the package could not be established. However, this May, the Chisinau Court of Appeal overturned the court’s decision not to initiate a case and the corresponding order of the Anti-Corruption Committee.

Dodon denied receiving this money and explained this persecution as an attempt to achieve his “flight from the country.” and divert attention from the problems of Moldova, “when everything goes wrong.”

Last December, the ex-president was recognized as a suspect in the case of embezzlement in 2008 of $12 million using a scheme involving Energocom, which provides Moldova with electricity, and the Ministry of Economy (at that time it was headed by Dodon).

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Dodon detained for 72 hours in treason case

The ex-president of Moldova is suspected of receiving a large bribe during his presidential term, a criminal case was opened against him under at least four articles. Dodon denies receiving funds illegally

Patrushev said that Russia in the special operation “is not chasing deadlines”

If “Nazism” is not “eradicated by 100%”, then it will again “raise its head in a few years,” the Secretary of the Security Council is convinced. He assured that all tasks set during the military operation in Ukraine would be fulfilled

In carrying out the tasks of the military operation in Ukraine, Russia “does not chase deadlines,” said in an interview with “Arguments and Facts” Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev.

“Nazism must either be 100% eradicated, or it will rear its head in a few years, and in an even uglier form,”— he said.

Patrushev expressed confidence that all the goals set by the president would be fulfilled, because “truth, including historical”, — on the side of Russia. Moscow's goals for “denazification” of the neighboring state are similar to those that the USSR set in 1945 after the victory over Nazi Germany, the head of the Security Council explained. “In addition to punishing Nazi criminals, the laws of the Third Reich were repealed, which legalized discrimination based on race, nationality, language, religion, and political opinions. Nazi and militaristic doctrines were eliminated from school education, — he listed.

The fate of Ukraine at the end of hostilities will be decided by its people, Patrushev said.

The military operation in Ukraine began on February 24. In addition to “demilitarization and denazification”, the Kremlin named “rescue” DPR and LPR and “restoration of their statehood within the borders of 2014”. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov also spoke of the intention to achieve a ban on “manifestations of nationalist ideas”; in Ukraine. In early April, he said that Russia expects the operation to be completed soon.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly said that hostilities will end when the goals of the special operation are achieved.

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In April, the authorities announced the start of the second phase of the operation, during which the military plans to take control of the Donbass and the southern part of Ukraine.

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Russian military destroyed a warehouse of shells for US howitzers in Donbass

Aviation destroyed the Buk-M1 air defense system and shot down a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter in Donbass

Russian high-precision air-launched missiles destroyed a large depot with 155-mm shells for American M-777 howitzers in Razdolovka in Donbass , said the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense Igor Konashenkov at a briefing.

According to him, the missiles also hit three command posts, a self-propelled artillery battalion of the 14th mechanized brigade near the city of Soledar, and six ammunition depots in the Minkovka, Bakhmut, Nikolayevka, Spornoye and Krasny Liman regions in the DPR.

Russian fighter jets shot down a Ukrainian MiG-29 near Kramatorsk in the Donetsk People's Republic. Aviation also destroyed the Buk-M1 air defense system. near the village of Pilipchatino in the Donbass, two command posts, three ammunition depots.

Rocket troops and artillery destroyed, including 13 tanks and armored fighting vehicles, four “Grad” and three ammunition depots.

At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.

Russian air defense shot down five Ukrainian drones in the Kherson and Kharkov regions , and also intercepted four shells of the Smerch multiple launch rocket system.

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The day before, the Ministry of Defense reported that the Russian self-propelled in Ukraine, a unit of American howitzers M-777 was destroyed. The department also spoke about the destruction of the weapons and military equipment of the 10th mountain assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Ivano-Frankivsk and the Osa-AKM missile system transferred to the Donbass. in the Bakhmut area in the DPR.

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The DPR announced control over Svetlodarsk

The city has been under the control of Kyiv since 2014. The mayor of neighboring Debaltseve announced that the Russian flag was raised over the administration building =”The DPR declared control over Svetlodarsk” />

The administration building of Svetlodarsk

The city of Svetlodarsk came under the operational control of the DPR, the headquarters of the territorial defense of the republic reported. They added that “the cleansing of the enemy element continues.”

“Currently, 217 settlements are under our control, including Mironovsky,”— noted at headquarters.

The mayor of Debaltseve, located 18 km away (the DPR has controlled it since 2015, and until that time Svetlodarsk was subordinate to the Debaltseve city council), Igor Zakharevich, said that a Russian flag appeared on the administration building of Svetlodarsk. He also added that he was ready to hoist the DPR flag in the city at the first opportunity. “We are not just going there, we are already at a low start,” — said Zakharevich.

In 2014, at a rally in Svetlodarsk, about 200 DPR supporters adopted a resolution in support of a referendum on the independence of the republic. The Ukrainian flag was removed from the City Council building and the flag of the DPR was hoisted. However, Ukrainian troops soon took control of the city.

Svetlodarsk is home to one of Europe's largest thermal power plants— Uglegorskaya, writes the Donetsk News Agency.

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Turkish experts predicted possible compromises on NATO

Although Turkey has blocked Finland and Sweden from joining NATO, Turkish experts interviewed by RBC consider a compromise possible, but warn that negotiations may drag on for a long time

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Why Turkey objects to Finland and Sweden in NATO

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 23 that NATO needs to take specific measures to remove Ankara's objections to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance. “We have not received adequate support from NATO partners in the fight against terrorism. We expect NATO to take concrete steps to address concerns [over Sweden and Finland joining the alliance], rather than make useless statements,— he said (quote from The Daily Sabah).

Finland and Sweden filed formal applications for NATO membership on May 18, which all 30 countries of the alliance must approve. Erdogan said the same day that Ankara could not support the aspirations of Helsinki and Stockholm.

Later, he put forward three conditions under which he would withdraw objections, namely:

  • Helsinki and Stockholm stop supporting Kurdish groups designated as terrorist groups in Turkey;
  • providing clear security guarantees;
  • the lifting of export bans (both pretender countries imposed an arms embargo on Turkey in 2019 after another Turkish operation against the Kurds in Syria).

Turkey's position did not come as a surprise: between Ankara on the one hand, Stockholm and Helsinki— on the other hand, there are long-standing contradictions, said Torgul Ismail, head of the department of political science and international relations at Syutchu University Imam Kahramanmarash in Ankara, in a conversation with RBC. “These two states openly support terrorist organizations, the PKK; (PKK) and related Kurdish organizations in Syria and Iraq. In addition, both states once imposed sanctions against Turkey in terms of arms sales to it. So this misunderstanding has been around for a long time. Now Turkey has the opportunity, based on its national interests, to make such a decision, — he explained.

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The expert emphasizes that Turkey is aware of the relations of other European countries with the PKK. According to him, the fact that members of the PKK and the Gülen Movement receive a residence permit or citizenship in the EU, is considered by Turkey as a “hostile attitude”; to its security interests. Aslan recalled that there is also a Kurdish representation in Moscow, which, in his opinion, could become a problem for bilateral relations between Russia and Turkey.

The Valdai Club expert, Professor of International Relations at the Middle East Technical University of Turkey, Huseyin Bagci, believes that Erdogan's decision on Finland and Sweden is not related to Russia's position on NATO expansion. “First of all, this is an internal question,” & mdash; he emphasized. “Turkey would like to receive written guarantees that the PKK and the Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG) will not be active in northern Syria, nor in Finland and Sweden, which will be very difficult to implement: they can simply change their names and continue their activities,” — Baggi told RBC.

What is the status of the PKK in the EU and the US

“PKK” (PKK) is recognized as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the United States, the European Union (Sweden and Finland are members of it). The US State Department designated the PKK as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. The European Union first recognized the organization as a terrorist organization in 2002, but then in 2008 the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU did not provide sufficient justification for classifying the PKK as a terrorist organization. Nevertheless, Brussels did not change its position on the PKK. In 2018, the organization again won a trial for wrongful listing as a terrorist organization, but the EU again upheld its decision.

What can be a compromise

In the end, Turkey, which has been a member of NATO since 1952, will agree to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance, Baggi is sure. “Turkey has a veto and will try to delay, as far as possible, Sweden and Finland joining the alliance, so the negotiations may take a long time. But in the long run, Turkey will not be able to prevent the membership of these countries in NATO. Six months, a year, two years? Let's see, — says the expert. If Erdogan is not re-elected in next year's elections, then this process will go much faster, he stipulates. If Erdogan remains in power, then perhaps he will try to use the same scheme that was previously used to resolve the dispute between Greece and North Macedonia. “It took ten years just for North Macedonia to change its name and be able to apply,” — reminded Baggi.

In June 2018, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev put an end to the dispute and signed an agreement according to which Macedonia received a new name— Republic of North Macedonia. In return, the Greek authorities stopped blocking Skopje's attempts to join NATO and the EU. For the first time, Greece blocked the application of a neighboring country in 2008.

The former name of the republic did not suit Athens, since the toponym “Macedonia” extends geographically, including to the Greek Aegean Macedonia, which supposedly could give the Macedonians a reason to claim rights to Greek territories and cultural heritage. North Macedonia became a member of NATO in 2020.

Compromise is always possible, since NATO expansion does not contradict Turkey's national interests, Ismail is sure. “When Finland and Sweden withdraw their support for the PKK and officially declare it, we will be very close to a compromise. Turkey already had such an experience with Greece, which Ankara supported without looking back, but in the end, Athens does not fulfill its obligations, — he said. In 1980, Ankara, despite unresolved differences over the control of airspace in the Aegean, supported the restoration of full participation of Athens in NATO.

Video

Aslan also believes that Turkey could support the entry Finland and Sweden in NATO on the condition that “these countries will review their policies and respect Turkey's security interests.” “But there must be visible policy changes and concrete steps. If geopolitical and security considerations push these states to take advantage of Alliance guarantees, they must sacrifice their “hobbies” to for the sake of vital interests»,— he concluded.

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The Court of Appeal upheld the verdict against Alexei Navalny

The defense of Alexei Navalny lost the appeal against the verdict of the Lefortovo court. In late March, he was found guilty of fraud and contempt of court.

Alexei Navalny (on screen)

On Tuesday, May 24, the Moscow City Court rejected the appeal of Alexei Navalny's lawyers against the verdict of the Lefortovo Court, handed down in March of this year, reported

At the last meeting, the consideration was postponed for a week at the request of Navalny, he justified this by the fact that he was not familiar with the audio recording of the sentencing, in which his defense had previously found inaccuracies, as well as arrangements for a meeting with his family

At the end of March The Lefortovo District Court sentenced Alexei Navalny at an off-site hearing held in Correctional Colony No. 2 in the Vladimir Region. Navalny was sentenced to 9 years in a strict regime colony and a fine of 1.2 million rubles.

Then the judge reported that “Navalny committed fraud, that is, theft of other people's property by deception.” He was found guilty on all four counts of large-scale fraud imputed to him (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code). Even at the stage of arraignment, the prosecutor stated that Navalny was not engaged in the fight against corruption, but “only discredited the authorities and committed crimes deliberately, driven by a sense of his own exclusivity.” The verdict stated that Navalny participated in the creation of Internet sites and social networks that contained exposing information about the corruption of officials and forms for collecting donations. According to investigators, these Internet resources were part of a plan to embezzle money.

“You brought materials to the court about four people who made donations of 2 million rubles. And one of them— this is a locksmith who made a donation of 1 million rubles, and two weeks later wrote a statement, and the next day a criminal case was initiated, — Navalny said in court. He called the arguments of the investigation evidence of the transparency of the work of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (recognized by the court as an extremist organization and banned in Russia). that he discredited the Russian judicial system with his statements during the libel trial against 95-year-old veteran of the Great Patriotic War Ignat Artemenko Navalny. In both cases, the oppositionist pleaded not guilty, linking the charges to his political activities.

Lawyer Olga Mikhailova said that nine years of imprisonment included the term of imprisonment, which was provided for by the earlier verdict in the Yves Rocher case. In this case, Navalny was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. In February 2021, the suspended sentence was replaced with a real one.

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Russia to develop ethical standards for the behavior of judges in social networks

Chairman of the Council of Judges of Russia Viktor Momotov noted that “this will allow us to avoid many controversial issues in the future”

In Russia, it is necessary to develop ethical standards of behavior in social networks for officials vested with judicial power. This was stated during a speech at the Council of Judges of Russia by its chairman Viktor Momotov.

“Judges are required to comply with the rules and restrictions set for them in connection with their special status, including in the digital public space. In connection with the emergence of difficulties and issues related to the maintenance of social networks by judges, I ask the commission of the Council of Judges on Ethics to develop recommendations, ethical standards of behavior in social networks, supplementing them with the Code of Judicial Ethics. This will allow us to avoid many controversial issues in the future,»,— said the head of the council.

At the same time, Momotov noted that the council does not seek to limit judges in this way. “We believe that such standards should help the judge in choosing this or that behavior without fear of being held accountable,” — he added.

On March 4, President Vladimir Putin signed a law criminalizing fakes about the actions of the Russian Armed Forces. For the distribution of such materials threatens a fine of up to 5 million rubles. or imprisonment for up to 15 years. Responsibility is also provided for discrediting the Armed Forces and calls for anti-Russian sanctions. Later, an addition to this law came out— about punishments for fakes about government agencies abroad.

On March 21, the Tverskoy Court of Moscow banned the activities of the American Meta Platforms * social networks Facebook and Instagram in Russia. The reason was a change in the company's policy regarding calls for violence and the permission to publish them in relation to the Russian military participating in a special operation in Ukraine, as well as the leaders of Russia and Belarus. Meta also owns the WhatsApp messenger, but its restrictions did not affect “due to the lack of functions for the public dissemination of information.”

* Meta Platforms is recognized in Russia as an extremist organization and banned.

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Medvedev called Italy’s peace plan for Ukraine “cheap scheming”

Dmitry Medvedev

The modern West has embraced the “itch of creation” peaceful plans to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, and the Italian proposals, in particular, do not correspond to the interests of Russia and are “cheap schemes”; and “nonsense”. This was stated by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in his Telegram.

“The West is seized with the itch to create “peace plans” that should lead to a settlement of the crisis in Ukraine. And it would be fine if it was about preparing options that would somehow take into account the realities. But— no, it's just a pure stream of consciousness of European graphomaniacs, — he wrote.

The politician cited Italy's recent proposals to resolve the crisis as an example and stressed that the Italian plan does not provide for the main interests of Russia. In particular, to the proposal for a neutral status for Ukraine and the country's entry into the EU, Medvedev replied that “all this is a lie.” He called the proposal for the autonomy of Donbass as part of Ukraine “obvious nonsense”; and “cheap projecting”, and the proposal for the autonomy of the Crimea, the deputy chairman of the Security Council considered an insult to Russia.

“There is no point in analyzing further. All this is just an attempt to help Kyiv save at least some face… However, Ukraine itself does not want to negotiate at all. They have long preferred to forget about the Russian draft peace treaty. It was as if he didn't exist at all. Reckoning only on the flow of weapons and money from Western countries, — concluded Medvedev.

In turn, the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin has not yet seen Italy's proposals for a settlement in Ukraine and they hope that they will be brought through diplomatic channels in the near future.

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Peskov explained Putin’s proposed candidacy for the head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations

President Vladimir Putin personally knows Alexander Kurenkov, who he proposed for the post of Minister for Emergency Situations, well, press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov said, TASS reports.

“Putin personally knows Kurenkov well. And the choice means that, in the opinion of the head of state, Kurenkov's personal, service, and professional qualities will make it possible to perform these functions in the best possible way, — he explained.

According to Peskov, Putin introduced a candidate for the post of head of the department “as soon as he considered it appropriate.” Answering the question whether the president could present Kurenkov in the Federation Council in person or via video link, the Kremlin spokesman noted that there are no exact plans yet.

Putin submitted Kurenkov's candidacy to the Federation Council the day before. A RBC source close to the Ministry of Emergency Situations said that he was an employee of the Federal Security Service (FSO), and also worked as Putin's senior adjutant. The interlocutor also said that in December last year, Kurenkov graduated from the Military Academy of the General Staff and received the rank of major general.

Deputy head of the State Duma Committee on Security Alexander Khinshtein said that Kurenkov had until now served as deputy director of the National Guard, oversaw the combat preparation.

On May 24, the relevant committees of the upper house will consider his candidacy.

The material is being supplemented.

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The Kremlin did not receive the Italian plan for a settlement in Ukraine

The Kremlin has not yet got acquainted with Italy's proposals for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine, but expects that they will be brought through diplomatic channels in the near future, said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian president.

Material is being supplemented.

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The Pentagon announced the transfer of anti-ship missiles by Denmark to Ukraine

Harpoon installations and missiles, according to Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, will be sent to Ukraine “to protect the coast.” Twenty countries announced new arms deliveries. From Britain, weapons are coming in a “stream”, said the head of the Pentagon “The Pentagon reported about the transfer of anti-ship missiles by Denmark to Ukraine” />

Lloyd Austin

Denmark will supply Ukraine with Harpoon anti-ship missiles and launchers for them. The head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, told reporters about this.

“I am extremely grateful to Denmark, which today announced the delivery of launchers for Harpoon missiles and rockets for them in order to help Ukraine protect its coast. I would also like to thank the Czech Republic for supplying [Ukraine] with tanks, helicopters and missile systems,»,— said Austin.

According to him, on May 23, an online meeting of 44 countries that provide military assistance to Ukraine was held. At the meeting, Italy, Greece and Norway also announced new supplies of equipment and technology. “20 countries announced deliveries. Many countries are supplying much-needed artillery systems, tanks and other armored vehicles. New promises were also made regarding the training of Ukrainian forces,»,— said the head of the Pentagon.

“I would like to acknowledge the UK for its leadership and assistance in coordinating military assistance to Ukraine. A significant amount of British equipment continues to flow into Ukraine, — added the US Secretary of Defense.

The Harpoon anti-ship subsonic missile was developed by McDonnell Douglas and is manufactured in the United States by the Boeing Corporation. It was put into service in 1977 and is in service in more than 30 countries around the world. The maximum firing range depends on the modification and ranges from 90 to 220 km, in some modifications— up to 280 km. Harpoon missiles can be air-, ship- or shore-based, as well as deployed on submarines. Missiles, in addition to ships, can hit ground defense infrastructure and targets, as well as air targets within sight.

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Since mid-April, many countries began to announce the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine, including multiple launch rocket systems, howitzers, tanks, air defense systems, as well as anti-tank and missile systems. The Netherlands, France and Germany announced the supply of howitzers, Britain promised to arrange deliveries of air-class missiles to Ukraine. earth» Brimstone.

The United States announced the delivery of additional military aid to Ukraine, including 72 howitzers and 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones. For American howitzers, 144 thousand shells and 72 tactical vehicles for towing will also be sent to Ukraine. In addition, Kyiv will receive field equipment and spare parts.

Poland said it had already handed over almost all of its 240 T-72 tanks, as well as several dozen infantry fighting vehicles, to Ukraine. Warsaw also supplied Kyiv with 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers, Grad rocket launchers. and handed over air-class missiles air» for MiG-29 and Su-27 aircraft.

On April 26, a meeting of representatives of more than 40 countries providing assistance to Ukraine was held at the Ramstein military base in Germany. Then the participants of the event agreed on additional assistance to Kyiv, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and other countries agreed to allocate it. The meeting also included a headquarters that coordinated and optimized the supply of military cargo to Ukraine. It is located at the headquarters of the US European Command in Stuttgart, and an American major general was appointed its head.

The Russian authorities have repeatedly criticized the supply of weapons to Ukraine by Western countries. According to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, such actions are close to the state of “proxy war”; with Russia. “If NATO, in fact, goes to war with Russia through a proxy and arms this proxy, then in war as in war,” — said the minister at the end of April. Later, he expressed confidence that the West had declared a “total hybrid war” on Russia, but Moscow was accepting this challenge.

The Kremlin considers Western arms supplies to Ukraine to be “pumping”. “These are the actions that threaten the security of the continent, provoke instability,” — emphasized the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov.

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The mayor of Lvov said about the “insufficient Russophobia” in Ukraine

Things should be called by their proper names, said the mayor of Lvov. This is how he reacted to the decision of the social network to restrict access to several of his posts because of the word “Moskal”

Andrey Sadovy

Russophobia in Ukraine is “still insufficient”, wrote Lvov Mayor Andriy Sadovyi on his Telegram channel .

This is how he reacted to restrictions from Facebook (owned by Meta, which is recognized in Russia as an extremist organization and whose activities are prohibited in the country). The social network hid from other users the posts in which Sadovoy used the word “Moskal”, explaining the decision with the rules against inciting hatred. Muscovite ". A Muscovite does not want to be called a Muscovite. But we know that things should be called by their proper names. And that our Russophobia is still insufficient, — said the mayor.

Russia has been conducting a military special operation in Ukraine since February 24. President Vladimir Putin called its goals “denazification”; and the demilitarization of a neighboring country and the protection of the inhabitants of Donbass from “genocide”.

Ukraine, after the introduction of Russian troops, introduced martial law and announced general mobilization.

The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergey Lavrov, argued that the Ukrainians never had claims against Russia, but after Ukraine gained independence, its citizens “began to be debilitated”; and in every possible way to set up against the Russians. Russian authorities have repeatedly accused Western countries of inciting Russophobia. So, in March, the director of the first European department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexei Paramonov, said that the fight against everything Russian “swept Europe”; and borders on “outright racism.”

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At the same time, the authorities of a number of Western countries declared the need to avoid discrimination against Russians. In particular, US President Joe Biden said in March that the Russian people are “not an enemy” for the United States. And the Federal Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Amtsberg, called it wrong to “stop going to Russian restaurants or boycott Russian art and culture.” According to her, it is wrong to treat Russians with “some kind of hostility” or “blame them for the war.”

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Rogozin proposed to rename the Kuriles in honor of ships and sailors

The head of Roskosmos proposed to name one of the islands in honor of the Varyag cruiser, the second – in honor of the gunboat Koreets, the third – in honor of Varyag captain Vsevolod Rudnev

View of the Kuril Islands

General Director “Roskosmos” Dmitry Rogozin suggested giving the Kuril Islands names in honor of the ships and events of the Russo-Japanese War. He made such a proposal on the air of Sputnik radio.

“I wanted to suggest that one of the islands, no matter in what order, let the locals decide, call” Varyag “. (armored cruiser of the Pacific Fleet in 1901 & ndash; 1904.— RBC), the second name “Korean” in honor of the gunboat, which also fought heroically against the Japanese fleet, name the third island in honor of Vsevolod Rudnev (rear admiral of the Russian fleet, commander of the Varyag cruiser.— RBC)»,— said Rogozin.

The Khabomai group of islands (archipeg in the north of the Kurils. — RBC) he proposed to give the name of the archipelago of the Russian heroes of the Pacific sailors.

RBC sent request to the Information Policy Department of the Government of the Sakhalin Region.

The Kuril Islands were ceded to the USSR as a result of World War II in 1945. However, in Tokyo, Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan, and the uninhabited Habomai islands are considered to be their regions, which the country calls the “northern territories.” The Kremlin has repeatedly emphasized that the islands belong to Russia.

In April, the Japanese Foreign Ministry for the first time in 19 years designated the South Kuriles in the Blue Book of Diplomacy. (published annually since 1957.— RBC) as “occupied”. Tokyo has been calling the islands “belonging to Japan” since 2011, and the wording of “occupation” haven't used since 2003.

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Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the Kuril Islands are part of Russia. “Obviously, now that Japan has become an unfriendly country and has joined a number of hostile actions against the Russian Federation, it is very, very difficult to talk about continuing the negotiation process,” — he added.

Experts interviewed by RBC admitted that Tokyo decided to use the term “occupation” due to the fact that Russia considered Japan an unfriendly country, and in March refused to continue negotiations on a peace treaty.

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Erdogan announced Turkey’s refusal to participate in the “show” on Ukraine

Erdogan: Turkey provided real assistance to Ukraine instead of participating in a “show” to resolve the situation in Ukraine The Turkish President said that instead of participating in a “show” to resolve the situation in Ukraine, Ankara provided concrete assistance to Kyiv and clearly expressed support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey has made a real effort to bring peace to Ukraine, instead of participating in the “show” on the settlement, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“We have provided the most serious, concrete and useful support to Ukraine and made it clear that we will not accept encroachment on its territorial integrity and right to sovereignty,”— said Erdogan, speaking about Turkey's position on NATO expansion.

He noted that Ankara has made a great contribution to the fight against threats from the East. The refusal of the Turkish side to support the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO “does not stem from fanaticism or hostility,” but “from a principled position in the fight against terrorism.” “If the countries that applied for NATO membership look back, they will see this,” — added the Turkish leader. Earlier, during a conversation with the presidents of the Scandinavian countries, he demanded that they refuse to provide asylum to people whom Ankara considers terrorists, as well as lift the arms embargo on Turkey.

Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Turkey has repeatedly offered mediation in the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv. In mid-March, a meeting was held in Antalya between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries, Sergey Lavrov and Dmitry Kuleba, and at the end of the month, the last face-to-face talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations took place in Istanbul. Following the meeting, Kyiv handed over its proposals for a peaceful settlement. Moscow stated that it later sent several response documents, but received no response.

Erdogan invited the presidents of Ukraine and Russia, Vladimir Zelensky and Vladimir Putin, to meet in Turkey, and also spoke with both leaders on the phone. According to the Turkish president, he intends to continue “telephone diplomacy”. At the end of April, during a conversation with Putin, Erdogan pointed out that it was important to cease fire in Ukraine and ensure the effective operation of humanitarian corridors.

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Turkey offered to mediate in negotiations on the evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, as well as evacuate them across the Black Sea to Istanbul, but, according to the press secretary of the Turkish president, Ibrahim Kalyn, Moscow did not accept the last proposal (last week, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported on the “complete liberation” of the territory of the metallurgical plant and the surrender of blocked military captured; Ukraine calls it not a capitulation, but a “rescue operation”.

Erdogan also promised to unblock grain supplies from Ukraine. According to the UN World Food Program, about 25 million tons of grain have accumulated in the country, significant volumes & mdash; on ships in blocked Black Sea ports.

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Zelensky called the only topic for possible negotiations with Putin

Zelensky said that he “in principle does not accept any meeting with anyone from the Russian Federation” other than Putin, and only on the condition that it discusses the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine

Vladimir Zelensky (at screen)

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking via video link to those gathered at the Ukrainian House in Davos, said that the only Russian politician with whom he is ready to meet— this is President Vladimir Putin; such a meeting can take place only on the condition that it discusses the cessation of hostilities, he stressed.

“In principle, I do not accept any meeting with anyone from the Russian Federation, except for the President of the Russian Federation . And only if there is only one question on the table,— he added.

Zelensky also said that the organization of any negotiations with Russia is becoming increasingly difficult, reports Reuters. At the same time, he pointed out the need to intensify the process of exchanging prisoners. “We don’t need the Russian military, we only need ours. We are ready to change even tomorrow, and this exchange, it is very important, — said Zelensky (quoted by TASS), noting that international organizations such as the UN and other countries should be involved in the process.

Zelensky has repeatedly stated that he is ready to personally speak with Putin, emphasizing that such a meeting should take place without intermediaries. On May 21, he said that the agenda for such negotiations and the very fact of their holding would depend on the time of their behavior and the actions of Moscow— including in the territories of Ukraine controlled by the Russian military and in relation to Ukrainian servicemen who left the Azovstal plant. Ukraine expects to exchange them; At the same time, the Russian State Duma is discussing the issue of a ban on the exchange of “Nazi criminals” so that they can be brought to justice (the Russian authorities have repeatedly called the Azov battalion a neo-Nazi association; its symbols have been included by the Ministry of Justice in the list of extremist materials).

The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, noted that Putin never refused a meeting with Zelensky and that it was “hypothetically possible.” In March and early April, he said that in order to hold a face-to-face meeting of the presidents, it was necessary that the delegations of the two countries as a result of joint work, a specific document was formulated. “Not a set of ideas, but a specific written document. Then it will be the turn of such a meeting,»,— he emphasized.

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On May 13, Peskov, commenting on the possibility of direct negotiations between Putin and Zelensky, said: “Here the position has not changed at all. You are well aware of the position of the Russian president, no one a priori refuses the possibility of such a meeting, but it must be prepared.

The Russian and Ukrainian delegations held several face-to-face and remote meetings, but last week both Ukraine and Russia announced the suspension of discussions of the peace agreement. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said that Kyiv “practically withdrew” from the peace talks, and adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak said that after the last face-to-face meeting in Istanbul “there are no changes, there is no progress.”

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Vladimir Zelensky

Politician, President of Ukraine

January 25, 1978

Vladimir Putin

Politician, President of Russia

October 7, 1952

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Lavrov urged to remove Russia’s dependence on the West in critical industries

Russia must cease to depend on supplies from Western countries in critical industries, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a speech as part of the Gymnasium project. E. M. Primakov “100 questions to the leader”, the transcript of the event is published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“We must stop in any way dependent on the supply of anything from the West to ensure the development of critical industries for the security, economy and social sphere of our Motherland,” — said the minister.

“Now we need to accelerate, pay attention to sensitive industries, understand where we have an acute dependence and how to overcome it as soon as possible,” — she noted. At the same time, the speaker of the chamber emphasized that a product can be considered import-substituted only if it is 100% produced in Russia.

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov refused to support this point of view, but admitted that the country has unfulfilled plans. At the same time, he stressed that Russia now has to exist in “aggressive conditions”.

Zelensky spoke about the “plan B” in case of his death

The Ukrainian authorities have developed a plan in case of the possible death of any of the leadership, including the president, Zelensky said. According to him, with such a development of events, there is someone to manage the state. =”Zelensky spoke about “Plan B” in case of his death” />

Volodymyr Zelensky

The Ukrainian authorities have a “Plan B” in the event of the death of any of the country's leadership, including the head of state, President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a video conference speech at the Ukrainian House in Davos.

According to Zelensky, the authorities are ready to take action in case of such a development events: “According to our legislation, there is someone to govern the state. We were prepared and divided— I am the prime minister and head of parliament.

Zelensky recalled that Ukraine— parliamentary-presidential republic. “We understood that if there was this or that loss, we would be ready for this process. We divided the Cabinet into two parts, it was two takes, so that the country could be protected even from such results, — he said.

On May 2, the Ukrainian president announced that there had been 10 assassination attempts against him, which, in his opinion, “not many.”

Zelensky has not left the country since the beginning of the Russian military operation. At the same time, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin claimed that Zelensky had left Kyiv for Lviv, and then for Poland. Both Zelensky’s office and the president himself denied this, publishing video messages from the center of the Ukrainian capital to confirm their words. In Kyiv, for example, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, the Presidents of Poland (Andrzej Duda), Latvia (Egils Levits), Lithuania (Gitanas Nauseda) and Estonia (Alar Karis), UN Secretary General António Guterres met with him.

Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, said that Zelensky and government structures would not leave Kyiv: “This is impossible, because Zelensky belongs to the category of people who will be here until the end. Evacuation routes are provided, of course, but we do not use them. On February 26, the Washington Post wrote that the US government offered to help Zelensky evacuate Kyiv, but he refused. The President of Ukraine also made trips to the regions of the country that the Russian military had left.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a military operation in Ukraine on the morning of February 24, calling it demilitarization and “denazification” as its goals. neighboring country and “protecting people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.”

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Lavrov said that Russia will “think” about restarting relations with the West

The resumption of relations with Russia depends entirely on Western countries. They can put forward their proposals when they overcome their “frenzy” and remember the existence of Russia, but Moscow will think about the answer, the minister said

Sergei Lavrov

Russia will “seriously think” before resuming relations with the countries of the West, even if they themselves offer to do so, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a speech as part of the Primakov Gymnasium project “One Hundred Questions to the Leader”, the transcript is published on the website MFA.

“It depends entirely on Western countries. When they get over their “frenzy” and decide that there is Russia, it has not gone away, <…> if they want to offer something in terms of resuming relations, then we will seriously consider whether we will need it or not, — said the minister.

Russia's relations with Western countries deteriorated sharply after the start of a special operation in Ukraine on February 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin, announcing it, said that Moscow took such a step to protect the population of Donbass from “genocide”, to achieve “denazification and demilitarization” Ukraine.

After the start of the special operation, Ukraine severed diplomatic relations with Russia, introduced martial law and announced general mobilization. Western countries, in particular, the EU states, the United States, Great Britain and Canada have imposed sanctions against certain Russian politicians and officials, as well as their family members. The restrictions affected the banking sector and some industries. In addition, Western countries began to massively expel employees of Russian diplomatic missions. Moscow responded with symmetrical measures and included all the states that imposed sanctions against it on the list of unfriendly countries. The gas payment for them was transferred to rubles by presidential decree.

In early March, even before the introduction of separate packages of sanctions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with RBC television that Moscow and the West would not return to the previous level of relations. He accused Western politicians of destroying “the architecture of relations and security that existed.”

Britain and the United States began to search for an alternative to GPS because of Russia

London is considering the possibility of providing an alternative navigation system on the OneWeb platform and is negotiating with the American NextNav; the latter is also cooperating with the US authorities on the possible replacement of GPS “Britain and US start searching for alternatives to GPS because of Russia” />

The UK and the United States are looking for alternatives to GPS satellite navigation because of possible threats from Russia, according to The Times.

British Deputy Secretary of Defense Jeremy Quinn said the UK government “needs to be on the lookout” as he said Russia was attempting to jam the GPS signal during the fighting in Ukraine. “Both sides are using a range of possibilities. We need to learn from this and continue to work on our own innovations in this area, & mdash; he told the newspaper.

As the Times writes, London is considering the possibility of creating a satellite navigation system, including on the platform of the British OneWeb and the American NextNav. The latter is currently negotiating with the British government to deploy a ground-only navigation system in London and Manchester.

NextNav chief executive Ganesh Pattabiraman said the company is also working with the US authorities to try to create a system that can replace GPS “due to the threat it is under from Russia and other [countries]”. According to him, the abrupt cessation of GPS operation will disable power supply systems, mobile phones, destroy the banking system and make it difficult to use precision weapons.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of the United Kingdom government told the publication that the authorities are considering “a range of options for enhancing security”; countries, including non-satellite alternatives to GPS.

On March 19, the head of Roskosmos Dmitry Rogozin said that the United States, as part of the sanctions, is considering the possibility of disconnecting Russia from GPS, without providing details to support his words. At the same time, he urged the Russians “not to strain,” since the NIS “GLONASS” will continue to work.

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OneWeb previously collaborated with Roskosmos; on the issue of launching satellites into near-Earth orbit, but on March 3, the board of directors of the British company decided to suspend preparations for all planned launches of its satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This happened after the Russian state corporation demanded that the UK withdraw from OneWeb's shareholders

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Biden made Colombia one of the main US allies outside NATO

The status gives the recipient the opportunity to acquire various types of weapons and participate in joint defense activities and gives other privileges. However, he does not oblige the United States to provide security guarantees to an ally.

Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden signed a resolution granting Colombia the status of a major ally of a state outside of NATO, the White House press service reports.

“Within his powers as president<…> I include Colombia among the main allies of the United States outside of NATO, — said in the resolution.

Biden announced plans to make Colombia one of the main allies of the United States outside of NATO in mid-March. At the time, he said the move would strengthen the “unique and close relationship” between the countries.

The status of a major ally outside the alliance “gives [the United States] foreign partners certain advantages in the field of defense trade and security cooperation, but does not oblige Washington to provide them with security guarantees, as is the case with states & mdash; members of NATO, according to the State Department website. In particular, they get the opportunity to acquire various types of weapons and participate in joint defense activities.

Washington established the status of the main US ally outside NATO in 1989. Now it has been assigned to 17 countries, including Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and others. Taiwan is also considered the main US allies outside NATO, although the country has not been officially assigned the status.

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The authorities of the Kherson region promised to make Russian the state language

Russian will become the main language for “all issues of state importance,” said the deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson region, appointed in April. Ukrainian, according to him, will not be banned

The Russian language, along with the Ukrainian language, will receive the status of the state language in the Kherson region, RIA Novosti said. Deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the region Kirill Stremousov. According to him, Russian will become the main language for office work, communication and “all issues of national importance”, it will be taught in schools.

At the same time, Stremousov assured, the new authorities are not going to ban the Ukrainian language. “[We] are not going to somehow play some language stories. <…> We will not infringe on anyone's rights,— he said, adding that Ukrainian classes can be formed in schools at the request of parents.

In addition, Stremousov noted that a large community of Crimean Tatars lives in the Kherson region, and at a meeting with its representatives, “the expediency of giving the status of the state Crimean Tatar language, as is done in the Crimea,” will be discussed. (Crimean Tatar, Ukrainian and Russian— the state languages ​​of the Republic of Crimea, according to its constitution; in accordance with Article 68 of the Constitution of Russia, the republics have the right to establish their own state languages, they are used along with the state language of the Russian Federation).

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported on the capture of Kherson under control a few days after the start of the military operation in Ukraine. On March 15, control was established over the entire territory of the region. Later, a military-civilian administration was created there; Stremousov was appointed deputy head at the end of April.

After that, Russian TV channels began to be broadcast in the region, Russian currency was used, and lessons were taught at school using Russian textbooks. At the same time, at the beginning of the military operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that there was no question of the occupation of the country's territories and that Moscow recognized the right of all peoples to self-determination: “We consider it important that this right” the right to choose— could use all the peoples living on the territory of today's Ukraine. Anyone who wants it».

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On May 11, Stremousov announced his intention to turn to Putin with a request to annex the Kherson region to Russia. In response, the speaker of the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko, pointed out that only residents of the region can make such a decision. The Secretary of the General Council of United Russia spoke about this as well. Andrei Turchak, during a visit to the Kherson region, who at the same time declared that “Russia is here forever.” In turn, Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin considered that the region has great prospects and will take its rightful place in the “Russian family”.

On May 23, the military-civilian administration of the Kherson region announced that the Russian ruble was introduced in the region , and all non-cash payments in the region will be made only in this currency.

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Erdogan announces anti-terrorist operations on Turkish borders

The corresponding decision will be made by the authorities on May 26, but the operation will begin only when the Turkish army is ready for it. According to Erdogan, it will begin at the southern borders of the country with Syria and Iraq, where Kurdish forces are concentrated

The Turkish Armed Forces will begin anti-terrorist operations near the southern borders of the country, a decision on this will be made in the near future, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, his appeal was published on the website of the head of state.

“We will continue our task of securing our borders in light of ongoing attacks. Soon new operations will be launched on our borders, appropriate decisions will be made at a meeting of the Security Council, — he said. According to him, this will happen on Thursday, May 26.

Erdogan specified that the operation will begin as soon as the country's armed forces, as well as intelligence and security forces, are ready.

The operation, according to Erdogan, will be carried out 30 km from the southern borders of Turkey (the country borders Syria and Iraq along this line). The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist organization, has its headquarters in the area.

The authorities of the Kherson region proposed to create a Russian military base there

According to the deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson region, “the entire population is interested in the deployment of a Russian military base in the region”, the Russian army “became the guarantor of maintaining peace and security”

Deputy head of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson region, Kirill Stremousov, appointed in April, believes that a Russian military base should appear in the region.

“We will ask for this, and the entire population is interested in this. This, first of all, is vital and will become the guarantor of the security of the region and its inhabitants,»,— he told RIA Novosti. According to Stremousov, the Russian army “became the guarantor of the preservation of peace and security”; Kherson region, which is able to protect it from the attempts of “Ukrainian nationalists” launch missile strikes.

In early March, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had taken control of Kherson. Soon, according to the department, control was established over the entire Kherson region and the south of Zaporozhye; military-civilian administrations were formed there. In May, the Kherson region began to use the ruble and launched the broadcasting of Russian TV channels.

In early May, Stremousov announced his intention to apply to President Vladimir Putin with a request to annex the Kherson region to Russia. for integration into Russia, and an appeal to the president will become possible only after the completion of the integration processes.

Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov noted that the issue of including the Kherson region into Russia should be decided by the inhabitants of the region, the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko spoke about the same. The Kremlin pointed out that the issue should be “clearly and carefully verified by lawyers and lawyers.” At the same time, the Secretary of the General Council of “United Russia” Andrey Turchak, during a visit to the Kherson region, said that “Russia is here forever.” In turn, Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin considered that the region would take its rightful place in the “Russian family”. At the beginning of the military operation in Ukraine, Putin assured that Russia did not intend to occupy Ukrainian territories.

On May 23, the military-civilian administration of the Kherson region announced that the Russian ruble had been introduced in the region, and all non-cash payments in the region would be carried out only in this currency. The next day, Stremousov announced that Russian, along with Ukrainian, would receive the status of the state language there.

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On May 17, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that there were no Russian troops in Kherson.

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Turkey begins preparations to send its citizen into space

Turkey is starting preparations for sending its citizen into space, RIA Novosti reports.

This was stated by the President of the Republic, Tayyip Erdogan, in his address to the people following a Cabinet meeting.

“We still remember Armstrong. I hope that we will always remember our citizen too,” he added.

The Turkish leader also noted that citizens of the republic under the age of 45 will be able to submit their applications on a specially created website.

It was also previously reported that the first flight of a cosmonaut from Belarus could take place in 2023 with the assistance of the Russian Federation.

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Russian meteorologists will switch to new weather assessment standards – Vilfand

Scientific director of the Hydrometeorological Center Roman Vilfand said that Russian meteorologists will switch to new climatic norms in weather assessment in late June – early July, TASS reports.

“At the end of the first half of the year there will be a transition to new norms. There is an active scientific, methodological work, with active discussions. How much they have changed can be discussed later, but the absolute fact — the climate is warming. The temperature only changes in one direction, — he said.

It is noted that the new norms will change the criteria for anomaly, and the concept of “normal weather” will be updated with new data.

Earlier the scientific director of the Hydrometeorological Center Roman Vilfand said that warm weather will set in Moscow in the middle of the third decade of May.

The chief specialist of the weather center « Phobos» Evgeniy Tishkovets told that a moderately warm summer without extreme temperature deviations is expected in the European part of the Russian Federation.

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Ghana’s school kids go hungry after caterers quit amid soaring food prices

“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Ghana’s school kids go hungry after caterers quit amid soaring food prices

Many students who rely on the national free lunch program risk going hungry after Ghana’s school caterers went on strike. 

The WorldMay 23, 2022 · 4:45 PM EDT

Okro and garden eggs with Ghanaian corn meal, or banku, was being prepared to be delivered to a school in Ghana prior to the catererrs' strike. Many Ghanaian schoolchildren rely on the free lunch they get at school. But now, children are going hungry.

Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman/The World

On a hot afternoon, hundreds of students of the Nima Cluster of Schools in Accra, Ghana, dashed out of their classrooms for a midday break.

Usually, they enjoy a free lunch of rice and stew from a national school food program.

But school cooks are currently on strike, as of last Monday, to protest unpaid wages and inadequate grants — leaving many kids with hunger pains. 

Related: As global oil prices surge, some African countries may see a silver lining

Going to school without a free lunch has been hard on students like 9-year-old Frederick Anaaba. 

“There is no food at home. And the people who bring us food have not been coming. If sir is teaching, I cannot concentrate because my stomach will be paining me.”

Frederick Anaaba, 9-year-old student in Accra, Ghana

“There is no food at home. And the people who bring us food have not been coming,” he said. “If sir is teaching, I cannot concentrate because my stomach will be paining me.”

Nearly 4 million children attending Ghana’s 10,000 public schools rely on a free school lunch. 

For many, it’s the only meal they get in a day. Without it, they may risk sickness or even death. Some also consider dropping out of school. 

The country’s national school food program was launched in 2005 to help alleviate poverty and enhance food security in Ghana. The program also encourages the use of locally sourced raw materials, supporting sustainability for area food producers.

But food prices in Ghana have more than tripled this year. Transportation costs have also soared. Last month, the country's inflation rate climbed to the highest level in more than 18 years at 23.6%.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has caused global prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel, fertilizer and other commodities to shoot up. The United Nations has warned that this will exacerbate food, energy and economic crises in poor nations.

Food for a school meal is shown from before the school caterers' strike in Ghana began. Food prices in Ghana have more than tripled since the beginning of 2022. 

Credit:

Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman/The World

Ghana’s school children are on the receiving end of this long chain of consequences. 

Samuel Amponsah, a social studies teacher at the Nima Cluster of Schools, said that the strike is hampering academic work.

Related: Ghana’s fishermen are drowning in plastic. The govt is trying to tackle pollution before it’s too late.

“The school feeding program enables the students to show up at school prepared to learn. But since the caterers stopped cooking, we are seeing more absenteeism,” he said. 

This has other implications, he added: “It can reverse all the progress we have made in education, especially at the primary school level. The government should try and fix this as soon as possible.” 

‘No increment, no cooking’

Ghanaian caterers, who each have independent contracts with the government, are asking the government to raise the daily feeding grant from about 12 cents per child to about 39 cents. 

They also want the over $30 million owed to about 11,000 members to be paid as soon as possible.

The caterers will not return to work until their demands are met, according to Helena Appiah, general secretary of the Ghana School Feeding Caterers Association. 

The cooks prepare lunches from home and bear the responsibility to transport it to the various schools under contract with them, she said. 

But the rising price of transportation and gas has become cost-prohibitive. 

Appiah said that some association members who took out loans to be able to provide food for the schoolchildren now face harassment by their creditors. 

Several meetings with the government on the matter so far have been unfruitful. 

“Nothing good came out of the meetings. They said they can’t help us. They are not in the capacity to help us, so our decision is no increment, no cooking.”

Helena Appiah, Ghana School Feeding Caterers Association,  general secretary

“Nothing good came out of the meetings. They said they can’t help us,” she said. “They are not in the capacity to help us, so our decision is no increment, no cooking.”  

Siiba Alfa, head of communications for Ghana’s school feeding secretariat, reassured caterers that their concerns were getting fast-tracked and urged them to return to work, but did not give a timeline. 

Alfa explained that they were working to follow up on the money needed to resolve the payment dispute.

Related: Ghana’s fantasy coffins: Fulfilling burial dreams one coffin at a time 

“They should be assured that everything is being done possible to ensure that payment is paid,” he said. 

Worsening hunger, malnutrition

Child rights advocate Vera Elikem Awuye said that the current situation is deeply concerning for children who are already living in impoverished situations. 

“Especially those in very poor communities depend on the school feeding program to survive and also get their nutritional benefits,” she said. “We need to be expanding the school feeding program and not stifling it.” 

Awuye said that the program relieves parents of the financial pressure that often leads children — especially girls — to drop out and take on hazardous work or early marriage. 

Child rights advocate Vera Elikem Awuye said that she fears that the situation with school caterers on strike will worsen hunger and malnutrition in Ghana.

Credit:

Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman/The World 

“I think that the government should reach a consensus with these caterers and provide them with the resources for them to provide quality food, nutritional food for these children,” she said. 

Related: With soaring debt, Ghana considers controversial mobile money tax 

Back near the playground at Nima Cluster of Schools, 13-year-old Issifu Rahman sat on a concrete slab with his head on his elbow. The fourth grade student said skipping lunch worried him a lot. 

“In the house, we mostly eat in the evening and so, if I don’t get the jollof rice here, it means I will be hungry until evening,” he said. 

“We really want the caterers to come back.” 

‘It’s like cultural rescue’: Eelgrass festival in Mexico celebrates Indigenous Comcáac conservation efforts

“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>‘It’s like cultural rescue’: Eelgrass festival in Mexico celebrates Indigenous Comcáac conservation efforts

Seagrass is on the decline in the world’s oceans, but the Indigenous Comcáac people of northern Mexico have managed to protect 96% of the eelgrass that grows in their waters.

The WorldMay 23, 2022 · 2:45 PM EDT

The labor-intensive seagrass harvesting process has been perfected by the Comcáac people of northern Mexico as a traditional practice. 

Sam Schramski/The World

At a two-day festival on the coast of northern Mexico earlier this month, scientists, chefs and local residents gathered to celebrate eelgrass — a unique type of seagrass that grows in the Gulf of California. 

Seagrass is on the decline in the world’s oceans, but the Indigenous Comcáac people who live in the region have managed to protect the eelgrass that grows in their waters. 

"From my parents I learned about medicinal plants and the songs of plants, as well as about traditional foods."

Laura Molina demonstrates tortilla-making from ground eelgrass seeds

"From my parents, I learned about medicinal plants and the songs of plants, as well as about traditional foods,” said Laura Molina, who is Comcáac.

She remembers how her mom made tortillas out of flour ground from eelgrass seeds known as xnois in Comcáac language, a mix between wild rice and nori seaweed. 

Related: Indigenous communities score victories against two mining projects in Mexico

Laura Molina, who is Comcáac, remembers how her mom made tortillas out of flour ground from eelgrass seeds known, or xnois in Comcáac language. It tastes like a mix between wild rice and nori seaweed. 

Credit:

Sam Schramski/The World

Seagrass is getting a lot of attention these days because of its capacity to store carbon, estimated to sequester up to half the so-called “blue carbon” in the world’s oceans and coastal ecosystems — putting it on par with global forests.

Ángel León, a Spanish chef and owner of Aponiente restaurant, has made it his personal mission to protect threatened seagrass beds off the Spanish coast. He's interested not only in the plant’s environmental benefits but also its culinary potential in the kitchen as a nutrient-rich superfood. 

León sent chef and ecologist Greg Martínez to the festival on his behalf to demonstrate his restaurant’s version of a xnois paella. 

Conservation biologist Juan Martín also represented Aponiente at the festival. He said the hope is that if seagrass becomes a sought-after superfood in Spain, it’ll be better protected there. 

“It's very nice that a guy with an apron, a cook, with dreams, has done this: given glamor to a threatened species which currently lacks it,” Martín said.

Seagrass is down about 30% globally since the late 1800s. Through León's restaurant and related nongovernmental organization, he has heavily financed seagrass restoration projects.

Related: Self-taught chef introduces rural Vermonters to traditional Thai cuisine

Chef and ecologist Greg Martínez demonstrates a version of a xnois paella. 

Credit:

Sam Schramski/The World

In the Mediterranean region, including Spain, eelgrass beds only cover an estimated half of their historic area due to coastal development and agricultural runoff.

In northern Mexico’s Comcáac country, however, locals have done a much better job of protecting eelgrass. In fact, satellite imagery indicates that the plant has remained intact in more or less the same patches for the last 20 years.

The festival was organized to call attention to Comcáac conservation efforts with interactive activities and cooking demonstrations held between Puna Chueca (a Comcàac community), and the town of Kino Bay, in Sonoro, Mexico. The Borderlands Restoration Network, the University of Artizona Southwest Center, the Eleventh Hour Project and Salarte all helped organize it. 

Gary Paul Nabhan, an ethnobotanist and writer who also helped organize the festival, thinks that the Comcáac people should earn money for their conservation work — much like certain landowners earn money for carbon credits when they preserve forests. 

Related: As Mexico's last glaciers melt, communities that depend on mountain springs scramble to find solutions

"The Comcáac have 96% of all the eelgrass habitat left in the Gulf of California. … They're the original stewards of most of the eelgrass left on the coast of Mexico today. That means that whatever they're doing has been more effective than their neighbors."

Gary Paul Nabhan, ethnobotanist and writer

"The Comcáac have 96% of all the eelgrass habitat left in the Gulf of California,” he said. “They're the original stewards of most of the eelgrass left on the coast of Mexico today. That means that whatever they're doing has been more effective than their neighbors."

The labor-intensive seagrass harvesting process has also been perfected by the Comcáac as a traditional practice. 

First, seagrass collectors gather the tangled clumps of seagrass floating on the water's surface.

First, collectors gather tangled clumps of seagrass floating on the water's surface. They dry the eelgrass seeds. And then there’s toasting and milling. 

Credit:

Sam Schramski/The World

Then, they dry the eelgrass seeds.

"You have to beat it so that the seeds fall out of the shoots. And then later you can pick out all the little seeds, which you run through a sieve."

Comcáac leader Erika Barnett

Eelgrass laid out to dry. 

Credit:

Sam Schramski/The World

"You have to beat it so that the seeds fall out of the shoots. And then later, you can pick out all the little seeds, which you run through a sieve,” Comcáac leader Erika Barnett said. 

And then, there’s toasting and milling in another series of demanding steps historically done by hand. 

Erika Barnett toasting eelgrass seed during xnois festival cookoff in Kino Bay, Mexico. 

Credit:

Sam Schramski/The World

Barnett said that before the eelgrass festival, she was hesitant to process and cook with xnois because of the amount of work involved. But now, she said she might consider reviving the tradition. 

“My dad told me that he was 7 years old the last time he tried zostera marina,” she said, using the scientific name for eelgrass. “He said that he was very happy and proud of us for having done this important work; it’s like cultural rescue.” 

Related: Desalination brings fresh water — and concern — to an Indigenous village in northern Mexico

Whether Barnett collects the tangled shoots along the Gulf again, interest in seagrasses is likely to increase on a global scale. 

As the planet continues to warm, more people are trying to figure out how to boost the carbon dioxide sequestered in the world's oceans. Seagrass floats to the surface as a viable solution.

Starbucks leaves Russia, and restaurant signs in McDonald’s were dismantled

Western business adjusts to sanctions.

The Starbucks coffee chain is completely leaving Russia. The owner liquidates the Russian legal entity “Coffee Sirena”. Previously, Starbucks was closed in March of this year, coffee shops have not opened.

According to media reports, Starbucks will lay off all employees within three months.

And sold McDonald’s continues to change. Recall that under the terms of the deal, the chain of fast food restaurants cannot be called McDonald’s. The new owner will change the name.

In this regard, the dismantling of signs at McDonald’s restaurants has begun throughout the country. There were photos of the dismantling of signs in Khimki, Moscow, etc.

In the media, information has also appeared about how McDonald’s will be called. We are talking about “MS” – allegedly therefore even the branded letter “M” will remain.

But the CEO of McDonald’s denied these rumors, it is known that they do not plan to keep the yellow letter “M” in the new brand.

“We say goodbye to an era”, – write in Telegram channels.

The Izvestia source reports that the classic menu will remain in the sold McDonald’s.

As Topnews wrote earlier, the Russians offered almost 300 new names for McDonald’s. Most often, residents advocated the name of the fast food chain – McDuck.

Some also advocated the name Uncle Vanya.

According to the agreement, the new owner of McDonald’s is obliged to keep within two years, jobs and salaries to the team.

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Источник topnews.ru