Welcome to Tuesday, where Biden warns against the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine, Putin critic Navalny is convicted of fraud, and there is no sign of survivors in the China Boeing 737 crash. Meanwhile, Niccolò Zancan reports for Italian daily La Stampa from the Ukrainian city of Lviv, which is preparing for potential attacks from Belarus.
[*Zdravo - Macedonian]
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• Biden warns Russia could use chemical weapons: U.S. President Joe Biden said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “back is against the wall,” warning that Russia could resort to using chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with Pope Francis and suggested the Vatican could act as mediator to end the war.
• Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny convicted of fraud: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was found guilty of fraud and embezzlement charges and could face up to 13 years in prison. Navalny is already serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence in a detention center near Moscow for parole violations.
• Holocaust survivor killed in Kharkiv: Boris Romantschenko, a 96-year-old Ukrainian man who survived the Nazi Holocaust and concentration camps during World War II, has been killed by an explosion during the Russian assault on the city of Kharkiv. At least 500 civilians have been killed there since the start of the invasion, officials say.
• No sign of survivors in China Eastern Airlines crash: No survivor or body has yet been found after yesterday’s plane crash in southern China with 123 passengers and nine crew members aboard, China’s state media reported. The cause of the crash remains unknown.
• Sri Lanka deploys army as fuel shortage sparks protests: Sri Lanka has ordered troops to petrol stations to help distribute fuel after rising prices and shortages forced thousands of motorists to queue up daily for hours, sparking protests. The South Asian island nation is facing its worst economic meltdown since gaining independence in 1948.
• Two women killed in attack at Swedish school: Two women in their 50s have died from injuries sustained during an attack at the secondary school they were working in in the southern Swedish city of Malmö. Local media reported the suspect, an 18-year-old student who has been arrested, was armed with a knife and an axe.
• Michelin Guide to unveil 2022 edition outside of Paris: The Michelin Guide will unveil its new 2022 edition today in a ceremony which, for the first time in the famous red book’s 122-year history, will take place outside of Paris, in the city of Cognac, southwest France. Organizers vowed to celebrate French cooking’s resilience and diversity after facing the pandemic for two years.
Ajaccio-based daily Corse Matin reports on the death of jailed Corsican nationalist Yvan Colonna, after he was beaten by another inmate, a Cameroonian jihadist, and left in a coma. The assault on Colonna, who was serving a life term for murdering Corsica’s prefect in 1998, has sparked protests on the French Mediterranean island and renewed calls for independence from France.
A rare copy of the first-ever Marvel comic book, published in 1939, fetched more than $2.4 million at an online auction. The prized comic is known as a “pay copy,” featuring the publisher’s handwritten notes regarding how much the writers and artists were paid.
From Lviv, worrying new signs that Belarus is set to join the war
After Minsk recalled all its embassy staff from Ukraine over the weekend, additional reports now show evidence around the northwest territory that Alexander Lukashenko may be ready to join Putin in the assault on the southern neighbor, writes Niccolò Zancan in Italian daily La Stampa.
🇧🇾 One local news source in Lviv, Zaxid reported this weekend, citing Ukrainian military sources: “According to Ukrainian intelligence, in the next one or two days, Belarus will enter the war alongside Russia.” On Saturday, Belarus called back from Ukraine all of its remaining 11 diplomatic personnel from the embassy in Kyiv. Last Thursday, satellite photographs showed military vehicles loaded on board a train that went from the Belarus capital of Minsk towards the southern city of Brèst, the railway hub closest to Lviv.
💥 Here in Lviv, locals are now looking at possible assaults on two fronts, from the south and the north. The northwestern Ukrainian city has already seen Russian missiles fired from the Black Sea, including one that destroyed a hangar at the airport. And now locals are also expecting an attack from the northern border with Belarus, extending the entire war to a third country. The last air alarm Sunday sounded at 5.28 p.m. In Lviv no one doubts what is about to happen, they just don’t know from where it will arrive.
⚠️ There is no doubt where Belarus strongman Lukashenko has his loyalties. On Saturday, in an interview with the Japanese channel Tbs, he declared: “Ukraine should not have nuclear weapons, it should not threaten Russia, it should not prohibit people living in Ukraine from speaking any language. I don’t believe we will have to go to war, but if Ukraine continues to intensify its attacks ... .” In the meantime, he has made another airport available for Russian fighter jets.
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What's happened now should have happened six years ago.
— In her first press conference since she was freed after spending six years in prison in Iran over spying accusations, British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was critical of the time it took the UK government to secure her release.
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