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Germany

Exclusive: Massive German Tax Evasion Probe, Billions Stashed In Swiss Banks

One estimate is that some 150 billion euros have been stashed in secret Swiss accounts.

More dark days ahead?
More dark days ahead?
Hans Leyendecker and Claus Hulverscheidt

BOCHUM – The German prosecutor’s office in the western city of Bochum announced it had uncovered proof of massive tax evasion, with billions of undeclared euros deposited by German investors in Swiss bank accounts.

The prosecutor in the state of North Rhine Westphalia analyzed the contents of a CD with data from German clients, including 750 foundations and 550 individuals. The data showed secret accounts with Swiss banking giant UBS totaling 2.9 billion euros. The foundations alone are alleged to have evaded 204 million euros in German taxes.

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War In Ukraine, Day 90: Three Months Since The Start Of A War That’s Changed The World

Vladimir Putin had planned to roll through Ukraine and splinter the West. While it has not gone according to plan, the destruction and uncertainty left in the path of the invasion has shaken the world.

A soldier of special forces of Ukraine displays his tattoos

Anna Akage and Emma Albright

Few will forget waking up to the news that Thursday morning in February. It was, exactly three months ago, in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 24, when Vladimir Putin sent his armies, missiles and fighter jets across Ukraine’s borders, from points north and east, launching a full-scale invasion of a sovereign nation of 44 million.

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It has, by all accounts, not gone as Putin had planned: the Ukrainian military resisting the much larger, better-equipped Russian invaders; the West unified in its support of Kyiv, through arms shipments and harsh sanctions against Moscow; steadily rising opposition at home.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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