Welcome to Monday, where Kyiv says it has liberated three villages as part of its counteroffensive, Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi dies at 86, and thankfully, Hong Kong had planned for two giant rubber ducks. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg got hold of an article detailing Russia’s future mobilization process and the formation of new units before it was quickly deleted by Moscow.
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• Ukraine counteroffensive underway: Kyiv says its long-awaited counteroffensive that reportedly began on Saturday has liberated three villages in the southeast of the country, though Moscow has yet to confirm the news. Meanwhile Ukraine has accused Russia of having blown up another dam in the Zaporizhzhia region, which Russia denies.
• Silvio Berlusconi dies at 86: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a billionaire real estate and media mogul, who redefined Italy’s politics in a long career that included sex scandals and corruption allegations, has died at the age of 86 in Milan. The founder of the center-right Forza Italia party had been suffering from a rare form of blood cancer, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
• Children missing in plane crash alive: The four children missing in a Colombian plane crash in the Amazon jungle on May 1 have been found malnourished but fully conscious. They survived 40 days by eating seeds, roots and plants they identified as edible through their education in the Amazon region. Before dying along with two others onboard, the children’s mother, Magdalena Mucutuy, told her children to leave and find help.
• Nicola Sturgeon arrested: Former Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon was arrested as a probe continues into the funding of the Scottish National Party. Sturgeon, who insists she is innocent of any wrongdoing, was released without charge pending further inquiries.
• NATO biggest exercice: Beginning today, NATO is launching its largest-ever war games in the skies over Germany, Air Defender 23. During this exercise, which continues until June 23, three flight zones will be temporarily closed to civilian air traffic, which could result in delays to civilian flights.
• Mayon volcano erupts as thousands evacuate: Mayon, the most active of the Philippines' 24 volcanoes, has entered an effusive eruption, causing lava flows. At least 12,800 people have been evacuated, including tens of thousands of farmers who lived within a 6-kilometer radius of the volcano, although the alert level remains at three on the five-level Philippine system.
• Giant rubber duck deflated in Hong Kong’s harbor: One of the two 18-meter-high rubber ducks on display in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour was deflated on Saturday to protect it from sweltering temperatures, disappointing some visitors. The pop art installation entitled "Double Duck" is now on display in the harbor, though single for now.
Serbian daily Alo! celebrates “a living legend” on its front page, after Novak Djokovic won his 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the French Open on Sunday. The 36-year-old Serbian beat Norwegian Casper Ruud after a 3h13-game, breaking the record for the most Grand Slam singles trophies won by a man. The “best tennis player of all time,” as Alo! calls him, said he was “beyond fortunate” to win what he considers his “toughest” tournament. On Saturday, Poland’s Iga Swiatek defeated Czech player Karolina Muchova to win her third French Open title and become the first woman to successfully defend the Roland Garros title since 2007.
Billionaire financier George Soros is handing his $25 billion empire to his 37-year-old son, Alexander. The Hungarian-American investor, philanthropist and political activist is known for his support of progressive causes. Speaking of this decision to pass control of his empire to his “more political” son, Soros said: "He's earned it."
Deleted Russian military report reveals scale of future mobilization
Moscow quickly deleted an article detailing the mobilization process and the formation of new units, which made clear that potential Russian conscripts have two choices: flee or fight, reports Kyrylo Danylchenko for Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg.
📱 The Russian Defense Ministry is planning an extensive conscription campaign for 2023 in cooperation with the Russian Interior Ministry. For this purpose, the Russian authorities are creating databases, a system of electronic summonses, and collecting data from several million current mobile phones.
🎖️ The Russian Army sees a significant problem with the unwillingness of a part of society to perform military duty. The culprits have already been named — "bloggers." It turns out that the blogging community is to blame for the fact that a million Russians have fled the country, and hundreds of thousands more are hiding from military enlistment offices, being searched for by facial recognition systems, cameras, and police units.
❓ The Kremlin is preparing to continue the war, but has problems drumming up support and finding the equipment supply. This was the gist of the deleted article. Relatively simple information was immediately deleted so that Russians would not start asking questions. Where are the last half a million soldiers? Where are 200,000 collaborators and those forcibly mobilized? How many soldiers has Russia lost in this war?
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“I am innocent of any wrongdoing.”
— After seven hours in police custody, former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been released without charge after being arrested by police investigating the Scottish National Party's (SNP) finances. Sturgeon released a statement on Twitter saying that she would "never do anything to harm either the SNP or the country", expressing shock over the day's events. Earlier this year, her husband, ex-chief executive Peter Murrell and treasurer Colin Beattie were also arrested, questioned and released without charge.
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