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Toll Rises In Bucha, As Russia Accused Of War Crimes And West Prepares New Sanctions

Toll Rises In Bucha, As Russia Accused Of War Crimes And West Prepares New Sanctions

Russian forces have targeted an oil refinery and fuel storage facilities in Odessa on Sunday

Lorraine Olaya, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Wai!*

Welcome to Monday, where scenes of horror emerge from Bucha, near Kyiv, with bodies of more than 400 civilian victims reportedly found; Ukrainian President Zelensky accuses Russia of genocide, and Western leaders prepare new sanctions in response, including possible cut to Russian gas. La Stampa’s Francesca Mannocchi reports from Kyiv where she captures a snapshot of the new rhythms of life as a tense wartime normalcy takes over the Ukrainian capital.

[*Bodo - India, Nepal & Bengal]

🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Bucha, Zelensky accuses Russia of genocide: Retreating Russian troops left a trail of dead civilians as they withdraw from the outskirts of Kyiv. Ukrainian forces were finally able to access Bucha since its occupation on Feb. 26, revealing a destroyed city and mass graves of executed civilians. Ukrainian officials said 410 civilian bodies were found in the area. After the discovery, President Vlodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of committing genocide. Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Zelensky's spokesman, Sergiy Nikiforov, also accuse Russia of war crimes and intentional massacre.

• West to agree more sanctions on Russia: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says the West would agree to impose more sanctions on Russia following the discovery of mass graves in Bucha, with the country’s defense minister saying it was time to cut off Russian gas imports. French President Emmanuel Macron also announces that he is in favor of new sanctions against Russia after it was accused of committing war crimes.

• Orbán reelected in Hungary, Vučić projected to win in Serbia: Incumbent Victor Orbán from Fidesz-KDNP, a right wing conservative political party, has won the 2022 Hungarian parliamentary election for the fifth time. The party secured 53.10% of the votes, keeping its two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić is set to win reelection after reliable pollsters predict his win with 59.8% of the votes. While election authorities have not made any official announcements, Vučić claimed victory hours after the polls closed.

• Sacramento shooting: Police in Sacramento, are asking for help identifying suspects after six people were killed in a shooting early Sunday morning, making it the worst attack of its kind in the history of California’s capital city.

• Sri Lanka ministers quit after protests, 4 new ministers sworn in: Twenty-six of Sri Lanka’s ministers, with the exception of President Gotabaya Rajapaksaha and his brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksaha, have resigned after mass protests about the economic crisis. Just hours after the mass resignation, four new ministers were sworn in. The governor of Sri Lanka's central bank also announces his resignation.

• Carrie Lam won’t seek second term: Carrie Lam, the first woman Chief Executive of Hong Kong, announced that she will not be running for reelection. Lam cited family reasons for her decision at her daily press conference. Her current term will end on June 30.

• Grammy Awards: Jon Batiste wins album of the year and three other grammys, going home with the most awards of the night. 19-year-old Pop singer Olivia Rodrigo and R&B duo Silk Sonic also dominated in their categories, winning three and four grammys respectively. Here’s the full list of winners. Sunday night’s show also included an unprecedented political appearance, with a taped message from Ukrainian President Zelensky.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

“Crimes in Bucha,” titles Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, reporting on the discovery of mass graves and the bodies of dozens of executed civilians in the streets of Bucha, in the suburb of Kyiv. The graphic shocking images have sparked global outrage and calls from Western leaders to impose more sanctions on Russia.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

310,048

Tesla announced it has delivered a record 310,048 cars from the start of this year to the end of March — a 68% increase from the sales in the same quarter a year ago. CEO Elon Musk said this was nonetheless an “exceptionally difficult quarter” due to supply chain challenges and the strict zero-COVID policy conducted by China, where the automaker has a gigafactory.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Mortars and flowers: In Kyiv, the grim banality of life at war

Those who have not fled are emerging in these early days of spring to establish new rhythms of life as a tense wartime normalcy takes over, reports Francesca Mannocchi from the Ukrainian capital in Italian daily La Stampa.

🇺🇦⏳ A few stores and cafes have opened back up. The sun strikes the roadblocks and bags of soil piled in the streets and in front of windows to protect buildings. And yes, flowers are blooming. With temperatures mild by midday, this is what was on display Thursday in Kyiv. Or rather, the fact that it stubbornly tried to hide: The city, the people left behind, are getting used to the war. They are adapting to the idea that the war has come to stay. And so they learned to arrange the hours according to new needs.

🏘️ The roads heading northwest are now deserted, just as the road leading to Petrushki, west of Kyiv. A town of low houses, each with its own garden and vegetable plot. Many of them have a slide and a swing set in front of them. Before the war, 3,000 people lived there. Today there are 50. Almost all elderly people. Alexander is the youngest of those who remain and the only one in uniform. Before the war he had a grocery store, today he is the head of the Territorial Defense Unit in Petrushki.

🍽️ The warehouse where food was stored to supply the area's supermarkets. It was hit by a Russian missile. On the ground there are still cans of fruit juice, milk cartons, packages of flour blackened by fire. The first weapon of war is hunger. This is what disfigures civilians, changes their faces, weakens their minds. Putin knows it. For this reason, hitting warehouses and food deposits has always been part of his military strategy. It was so in Syria, it is again in Ukraine.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos.

— Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a powerful pre-taped speech broadcast at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, urging musicians to “fill the silence” left by Russian bombings with their music.

✍️ Newsletter by Lorraine Olaya, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger


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Geopolitics

The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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