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In The News

Zelensky Warns Of Russian “Energy Blow”

Zelensky Warns Of Russian “Energy Blow”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during nightly address

Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger, Lila Paulou, Chloé Touchard and Emma Albright

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned Europeans that Russia was preparing "a decisive energy blow" during the next few months. He also praised his troops for the advances being made with the counteroffensive launched in southern Ukraine to reclaim Russian-occupied territories. He said that two settlements in the south of the country as well as a settlement in the eastern Donetsk region had been liberated. He added that Ukrainian forces had “advanced and regained certain heights” in the Lysychansk direction.

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His comments came ahead of the European Union’s energy ministers meeting Friday to discuss urgent measures in order to deal with the soaring energy prices, including gas price caps as well as the energy market.

Moscow said last week it would keep the Nord Stream 1 pipeline closed, after the main gas channel to Germany was shut down from the Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 due to maintenance. G7 countries had announced a plan to cap the price on Russian oil exports, and now the gas channel has not been turned back on as planned.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday his government had been planning for a total halt in gas deliveries in December. "Russia is no longer a reliable energy partner," Scholz told a news conference in Berlin. Germany will have to use income from windfall taxes to lower end-consumer prices of gas, oil and coal, the chancellor said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, known collectively as OPEC+ are meeting Monday, and may decide to keep current output levels or cut production to increase prices, as supplies have decreased.

Russia does not support an oil production cut at this time and it is likely OPEC+ will keep its output steady for a while, according to the Wall Street Journal.

German Chancellor And Ukrainian Prime Minister Meet, Relations Improving Between Two Countries

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz receives Denys Schmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine in Berlin

Michael Kappeler/dpa

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Sunday, the first visit by a senior Ukrainian official to Germany in months. The meeting was a sign that relations between the two countries are improving, after Ukraine had accused Germany of not doing enough to support the war against Russia in the early months of the war.

Scholz praised Ukrainians’ “bravery” while Shmyhal thanked Germany for their solidarity and acknowledged their increased military help. Shmyhal also met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, whom Ukrainian officials had harshly criticized for his past advocacy of strong Russian-German ties. The two discussed the need for Germany and other Western countries to provide Ukraine with weapons and to strength sanctions against Russia.

Scholz vowed to support Ukraine militarily, politically and financially, while also addressing Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union and announcing that an expert conference on the reconstruction of the country would take place in Berlin on Oct. 25. Europe’s energy security is also on the agenda of the discussions, Shmyhal added on Twitter.

Four Russian Generals Fired For Ukraine War Failures

Armed forces of the Russian Federation

Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

Four Russian generals have been dismissed due to the “unsatisfactory results of the special military operation" in Ukraine, reports the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency.

This comes after Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in the south to reconquer Russian-occupied territories. It is not the first time the Russian forces experienced a reshuffle as General Aleksandr Vladimirovich Dvornikov, who had been charged with overall command of the operation in Ukraine, was removed from his post a month ago.

Back To Destroyed School On Dutch Front Page

Dutch daily nrc laments the “ruined start of a new school year” on its front page, as Ukrainian children head back to classrooms, many have which have sustained consideral damages amid continued clashes and bombings across the country.

Russian Journalist Faces Record 24 years In Prison Over “Treason”

Ivan Safronov, a former journalist for Russian dailies Kommersant and Vedomosti who covered military industry affairs, was sentenced to 24 years in a strict regime colony on charges of treason.

During the trial, Russian independent journalists leaked elements suggesting the Russian government did not have much of a case against Safronov.

As The Guardian reports, a Russian prosecutor offered Safronov to sign a confession and be sentenced to a 12-year sentence instead. “He told her to get lost,” according to his lawyer Evgeny Smirnov.

U.S Ambassador To Russia John Sullivan Retires

John Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia

Sergei Bobylev/TASS

John Sullivan, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, is retiring. The State Department announced the news Sunday about Sullivan, who’d worked as a public servant under five presidents and spent three years in Moscow, overseeing "one of the most critical bilateral relationships in the world during unprecedented times".

Sullivan started as the ambassador to Russia in 2019, when the U.S. and Russia were engaged in a series of retaliatory actions over diplomatic staff, and handled the first six months of sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. His successor will be announced soon, with diplomat Elizabeth Rood taking over in the meantime.

Backlash After Melbourne Street Art Of Russian And Ukrainian Soldiers Hugging

Mural depicting a hug between Russian and Ukrainian soldier


Australian artist Peter Seaton removed his mural depicting a hug between a Russian and Ukrainian. The painting, done in South Melbourne, provoked outcry in the city's Ukrainian community and Ukraine's ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko called it "utterly offensive."

The artist apologized for the painting but still defended his work: "My artwork was only about bringing the human element to both of these warring factions." Peter Seaton said he will still sell NFTs of the mural and donate the proceeds to the World Beyond War organization.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Bibi Blinked: How The Ceasefire Deal Could Flip Israel's Whole Gaza War Logic

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pushed ahead a deal negotiated via Qatar, for a four-day truce and an exchange of 50 hostages for 150 Palestinian prisoners. Though the humanitarian and political pressure was mounting, Israel's all-out assault is suddenly halted, with unforeseen consequences for the future.

photo of someone holding a poster of a hostage

Families of Israeli hostages rally in Jerusalem

Nir Alon/ZUMA
Pierre Haski

Updated Nov. 22, 2023 at 8:55 p.m.


PARIS — It's the first piece of good news in 46 days of war. In the early hours of Wednesday, Israel agreed to a deal that included a four-day ceasefire and the release of some of the hostages held by Hamas — 30 children and 20 women — in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners, again women and children. The real question is what happens next.

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But first, this agreement, negotiated through the intermediary of Qatar, whose role is essential in this phase, must be implemented right away. This is a complex negotiation, because unlike the previous hostage-for-prisoner exchanges, it is taking place in the midst of a major war.

On the Palestinian side, although Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is present in Doha, he does not make the decision alone — he must have the agreement of the leaders of the military wing, who are hiding somewhere in Gaza. It takes 24 hours to send a message back and forth. As you can imagine, it's not as simple as a phone call.

And on the Israeli side, a consensus had to be built around the agreement. Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right allies were opposed to the deal — in line with their eradication logic — even at the cost of Israeli lives. But the opposition of these discredited parties was ignored, and that will leave its mark.

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