Welcome to Friday, where an attack on a line of civilian cars kills at least 25 in Ukraine, a suicide bomb attack in Kabul leaves 23 dead, and the first coins with King Charles’ portrait are unveiled. Meanwhile, Timour Ozturk reports from Istanbul for French daily Les Echos on how the historic Turkish city becomes the prime destination for Russians fleeing military conscription.
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• Ukraine convoy attack: Russian troops launched a missile attack on a line of civilian cars on the way out of the humanitarian regional center in the Zaporizhia oblast, killing 23 civilians and injuring 28, according to Zaporizhzhia Oblast Governor Oleksandr Starukh. The rescue operation remains ongoing.
• Finland shuts border to Russian tourists: Finland announced it is closing its border to Russian tourists from Friday after endless queues of people trying to flee the country have formed at border crossings following Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s call to mobilization. Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania already shut their borders early Septembre.
• Suicide bomb blast in Kabul kills 23: A suicide bomb attack on an educational center in the Afghan capital of Kabul has killed at least 23 people, most of them are reportedly young women, and injured dozens early on Friday. There has not been any claim of responsibility yet.
• Hurricane Ian update: After slamming Cuba and the U.S. state of Florida, Hurricane Ian is now moving inland and heading towards South Carolina and North Carolina as a Category 1 Hurricane. At least 19 people have been killed so far due to the storm and heavy flood waters, and millions of customers are without electricity in Florida.
• EU targets energy profits, Germany OKs €200 billion to help cope with energy prices: As the war in Ukraine pushes energy prices to record highs, European Union countries have agreed to impose emergency levies on profits of energy firms and began talks on a possible EU-wide gas price cap. Meanwhile Germany's government says it will spend up to €200 billion to help consumers and businesses cope with rising energy prices.
• Face masks dropped on public transport in Italy: The Italian Health Ministry announced that face masks will no longer be required on public transport, but will still have to be worn in hospitals and care facilities. Italy is one of the European countries worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Kashmir reopens movie theaters after 23 years: Movie theaters reopened 23 years after they were closed in restive Indian-administered Kashmir due to a rebellion against Indian rules that started in the late 1980s, forcing cinemas to close their doors.
Beijing-based daily the Global Times dedicates its front page to the beginning of the week-long National Day holiday in China. Local governments are taking measures to fight COVID-19 while supporting the holiday economy boost. Authorities have urged the public to take precautions as many travel through the country to celebrate the event.
Inflation in the Netherlands rose to 17,1% in September from 13.7% in August, its highest rate in decades. The steep increase was driven by skyrocketing energy prices, which were 114% higher than in September 2021. The Dutch government has responded by pledging 18 billion euros next year to support its population with paying their bills, as well as to cap the prices of gas and electricity. The situation across Europe is similar, with a new record of 10.0% across the entire Eurozone.
The top destination for Russians fleeing conscription
Hundreds of thousands of men have left Russia since partial mobilization was announced. Turkey, which still has air routes open with Moscow, is one of their top choices. But life is far from easy once they land, Timour Ozturk reports for French daily Les Echos.
✈️ Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Istanbul has been one of the rare exit points for Russians leaving their country. Ankara has not closed its airspace to Moscow and Russian people can enter Turkey without a visa. Between 100 and 120 commercial flights connect the two countries every day. All the planes bound for Istanbul from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan have been full since the partial mobilization announcement. On the Turkish Airlines website, bookings for flights between Moscow and Istanbul are not available before Oct. 3 and the cheapest one-way tickets sell for €1,350.
🇹🇷🇷🇺 According to the Novaya Gazeta Europe newspaper, Russian intelligence have reported that 261,000 men had left the country since the mobilization announcement. A new influx of refugees could change the profile of Russian exiles who have settled in Turkey. So far they usually only have one thing in common. Intellectuals, artists, independent workers, journalists, photographers: They have a degree, most of them speak English perfectly and had already come to Turkey for holidays. For IT workers, the companies that employ them have contributed to help them find a place to stay.
🏠 But a settlement trend is appearing. Through the first six months of 2022, Russians have bought around 6,000 housings, more than all of 2021, becoming the top foreign real estate buyers. The number has to be treated cautiously. Many of these buyers are trying to get Turkish nationality by investing more than $400,000 in bricks and mortar. Wealthy Russians who, far from being opponents to Putin, could be trying to get around Western sanctions thanks to Ankara’s permissiveness. Istanbul is as much of a popular destination for deserters as it is for Russian oligarchs.
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It's ugly for the president of the republic to blatantly lie all the time.
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