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In The News

Russia Says U.S. Is Now "A Participant Of The Conflict"

The warning comes after Washington's latest military aid package to Ukraine.

Photo of two soldiers standing by a poster featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin in Stavropol, Russia

In Stavropol, Russia

Anna Akage, Sophia Constantino, Jeff Israely and Bertrand Hauger

Washington’s new $625 military aid package to Kyiv has increased the likelihood of a direct military clash between the Russia and the West, warned Anatoly Antonov, Moscow’s ambassador to the U.S.

"We perceive this as an immediate threat to the strategic interests of our country," Antonov said early Wednesday via a post on Telegram. "The supply of military products by the U.S. and its allies not only entails protracted bloodshed and new casualties, but also increases the danger of a direct military clash between Russia and Western countries.” Antonov said the U.S. is now considered a “participant of the conflict.”

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The United States announced this week that it is sending $625 million to Ukraine in additional weaponry, including High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers.

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday, emphasizing Washington’s continued support for Kyiv “as it defends itself from Russian aggression for as long as it takes,” a statement from the White House said.

The aid package is just the latest in what has amounted to multi-billion-dollar military support for Kyiv from Washington and the rest of the West.

Christoph B. Schiltz, writing in German daily Die Welt, says the continued arms deliveries from the West should be the central objective of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, rather than putting pressure for NATO membership now.

Putin Signs Annexation Into Law As Russia Loses Ground, Kremlin Sees No Contradiction

Putin signing annexation documents


Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law formalizing the annexation of the four Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson region and Zaporizhzhia.

The final administrative step in a move that was globally decried following “sham” independence referendums in the regions, comes as Russia is facing significant battlefield losses in recent days — a seemingly blatant paradox which Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has brushed off: "There is no contradiction whatsoever. They will be with Russia forever and they will be returned."

Ukrainian troops continue to liberate territories of the Kharkiv, Kherson, and Luhansk regions. Over the past 24 hours, Kyiv’s forces advanced 20 kilometers into the Russian defense zone towards the supply hub of Svatove in Luhansk.

After the final liberation of the city of Lyman in the Luhansk region over the weekend, leader of Luhansk Regional Military Administration Sergiy Gaidai said the de-occupation of the entire area will now be moving even faster.

Ukrainian Advances On Le Monde’s Front Page

French daily Le Monde features “the Ukrainian forces’ progress on several fronts” on its front page, with a picture of a soldier in a trench near Mykolaiv.

Russia Turns To Drones For Attacks On Kyiv Region

View of a drone during the anti-drone rifle testing in Kyiv.\u200bView of a drone during the anti-drone rifle testing in Kyiv.Mykhaylo Palinchak/SOPA Images/ZUMA

Russia attacked the town of Bila Tserkva and the Kyiv Region with military drones. Six drones were shot down by Ukrainian air defense, and another six damaged infrastructure; the number of dead and wounded is still unknown.

"The threats are serious,” said Yiriy Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, of the shift in Russia’s air tactics. “The civil-military administration has already reported on the consequences. We will use any forces and means available to us to protect our citizens and our Armed Forces and other defense forces."

One Million Russians Have Left The Country

\u200bVladimir Putin at a military parade in Russia

Vladimir Putin at a military parade in Russia


Between 700,000 and one million people left Russia after the announcement of mobilization, according to Forbes Russia, citing sources in the Kremlin. Most of them are men, but many have crossed borders with their wives and kids.

More than 200,000 people have left for Kazakhstan alone. Demographers noted that in January-June 2022, the Russian population decreased by almost 481,000 people — which is 56% more than the decline in the first half of 2021.

In the meantime, according Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the mobilization is estimated to have drafted 200,000 recruits.

Ukraine Foreign Minister On Africa Tour, Pledges More Grain Exports To Continent

Photo of Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine at the summit of foreign ministersDmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine attends the summit of foreign ministers of the G7 group of leading democratic economic powers.Kay Nietfeld/dpa/Zuma

As part of his first African tour from Oct. 3-12, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pledged to continue sending as much grain exports to Africa as possible, despite the ongoing war.

“We will do our best until the last breath to continue exporting Ukrainian grain to Africa and the world for food security,” Kuleba said at a joint press briefing with his Senegalese counterpart, Aissata Tall Sall.

Many countries depend heavily on grain imports from both Ukraine and Russia, and many Western leaders have accused the Kremlin of using food and energy supplies as a weapon. Despite Africa remaining relatively neutral on Ukraine, Kuleba says he wants to deepen his country’s ties to Africa.

Report: Chechen Men Ordered To Beat Their Wives For Opposing Mobilization

Russian soldiers in Khankala, Chechnya

Presidential Press and Information Office

Russian independent newspaper Verstkareports that women in Chechnya who had protested against mobilization were subject to beatings by their own husbands, commanded to do so by local authorities.

Citing Chechen opposition activist Ibrahim Yangulbayev, Verstka says that security forces who detained more than 100 women at the protest took them to prison and also summoned their male relatives there. They forced them to beat their wives or sisters, warning they would be dealt with more severely otherwise.

Ukraine To Join Bid To Co-Host 2030 Soccer World Cup Alongside Spain And Por­tu­gal

Ukraine soccer


In a move promoted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine has announced it will join Spain’s and Portugal’s bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup. Spain and Portugal, which had already announced two years ago that they would make a joint proposal to host the event in eight years, confirm that they will add Ukraine to host one of the groups of matches.

Ukraine’s national soccer team is currently playing its home matches in Poland, but is confident that any security concerns will not be resolved in the future. The Spain-Portugal-Ukraine bid will face off against other partnerships, including a collaboration between Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia, and a South American proposal from Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile.

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Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

✉️ You can receive our Bon Vivant selection of fresh reads on international culture, food & travel directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

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