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In The News

Kyiv Targeting Crimea Bridge

The Ukrainian Defense intelligence says it has obtained documents containing detailed technical information about the bridge, which connects Crimea to the Russian mainland since it was built after the 2014 annexation. Kyiv sees it as a key target for its role in Russian logistics.

Kyiv Targeting Crimea Bridge

Crimea bridge

Cameron Manley and Emma Albright

Keep your eye on the Crimea bridge. It was Moscow’s signature infrastructure project after it had annexed Crimea in 2014, connecting the peninsula to Russia. The double structure is nearly 12 miles (19 km) across, making it the longest bridge in all of Europe. And now it is on Kyiv’s list of prime targets.

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The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate reported that it had obtained documents containing detailed technical information about the bridge, which been identified as a key target for Ukrainian forces as it is key for Russian logistics.

Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov guaranteed the security of the bridge, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in response that Ukraine's plans to destroy the Crimean bridge "will fail completely," according to Kommersant. At the same time, he noted that the Russian authorities are closely monitoring the supply of long-range weapons to Kyiv, and have taking note of the threat against the bridge.

5 Highlights From Lavrov’s Latest Interview

Sergey Lavrov and Vladimir Putin


Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the second most recognizable Russian official, has whipped up plenty of controversy since the start of the war on Feb. 24, often denying reality of the invasion and the toll on Ukraine. Perhaps his lowest moment came on Italian television last month, when he tried to justify “denazification” while commenting on Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish, by making the absurd and offensive claim that Adolf Hitler had "Jewish blood.”

On Thursday night, Lavrov sat down for an extended interview with the BBC. Here are the highlights:

1. “We didn’t invade Ukraine. We declared a special military operation.”

2. “We had absolutely no other way of explaining to the West that dragging Ukraine into Nato was a criminal act."

3. The BBC asked Lavrov about a United Nations report about the Ukrainian city of Yahidne, where 360 residents were forced to stay for 28 days in the basement of a school without sustenance, where 10 people died. "It's a great pity but international diplomats … very often they're being used to amplify fake news spread by the West."

4. "Russia is not squeaky clean. Russia is what it is. And we are not ashamed of showing who we are."

5. Lavrov was also questioned regarding the two Britons sentenced to death for fighting alongside Ukraine: “I am not interested in the eyes of the West at all. I am only interested in international law. According to international law, mercenaries are not recognised as combatants."

After Kyiv, Macron Reveals New Route To Export Ukrainian Grain

Volodymyr Zelensky and Emmanuel Macron in Kyiv


Following the much anticipated meeting in Kyiv between three of Europe’s top leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron says that a new route to export Ukrainian grain has been identified to alleviate a global food shortage.

Macron said in an interview with French channel TF1 that he and his European counterparts are working on a “new route that will pass through Romania, as Odessa is a few kilometers (from the border).” Macron said the grain could be transported by the Danube River or by rail.

Macron spent the day Thursday in Ukraine, along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, touring the damage of Russia’s invasion in Kyiv’s suburbs and pledging further military and humanitarian support to Zelensky. The three visiting leaders also pledged their support for Ukraine’s candidacy in the EU.

Russian Soldiers Settling In Houses That Belong To Ukrainians

House in Kherson destroyed

Vincenzo Circosta/ZUMA

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar has shared reports of Russian soldiers bringing their relatives to occupied territories in Ukraine, including the city of Kherson, and settling in houses that belong to Ukrainians.

Maliarl said that Russia is also stepping up measures to distribute Russian passports in the occupied settlements and still plans to annex the territories.

The Deputy Defense Minister said this may be done in order to increase the proportion of the local population which will support the Kremlin's plans to annex the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in the event of so-called referendums.

Damaged Ukrainian Heritage Sites To Be Restored With 3D Printing

Buildings destroyed by Russian missiles in the city of Chernihiv

Pacific Press/ZUMA

In collaboration with experts from Latvia’s Culture Ministry and Riga Technical University, Ukrainian specialists have scanned two heritage sites in Chernihiv Oblast damaged by Russian shelling, as well as two sacred monuments near Lviv and Kyiv. The work is part of a project to use 3D printing to preserve and restore historical sites that have been damaged. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some 400 incidents of damage towards Ukrainian cultural heritage sites have been recorded.

Coke Is Out: Coca-Cola Bottling Company To Close Shop In Russia

Coca Cola in Russia

Sergei Karpukhin/TASS/Zuma

Coca-Cola HBC, the bottling company for Coke in Russia, said in a statement that it was letting its stock run out, and would stop the production and sale of Coca-Cola or other brands of the company in the country.

The company said in May that it was evaluating all options for the Russian market.

Parent company Coca-Cola joined the exodus of U.S. companies leaving Russia in March after its invasion of Ukraine.

Zelensky Arrives In Paris As A Hologram

Referencing Star Wars, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, “attended” the Paris conference Viva Tech as a hologram. A step up from his usual standard video link, the 3D Zelensky asked the crowd of big tech firms for help to rebuild Ukraine as a fully digital democracy.

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food / travel

Legalizing Moonshine, A Winning Political Stand In Poland

Moonshine, typically known as “bimber” in Poland, may soon be legalized by the incoming government. There is a mix of tradition, politics and economics that makes homemade booze a popular issue to campaign on.

Photo of an empty vodka bottle on the ground in Poland

Bottle of vodka laying on the ground in Poland

Leszek Kostrzewski

WARSAWIt's a question of freedom — and quality. Poland's incoming coalition government is busy negotiating a platform for the coming years. Though there is much that still divides the Left, the liberal-centrist Civic Koalition, and the centrist Third Way partners, there is one area where Poland’s new ruling coalition is nearly unanimous: moonshine.

The slogan for the legalization of moonshine (known in Poland as "bimber") was initially presented by Michał Kołodziejczak, the leader of Agrounia, a left-wing socialist political movement in Poland that has qualified to be part of the incoming Parliament.

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”Formerly so-called moonshine was an important element of our cultural landscape, associated with mystery, breaking norms, and freedom from the state," Kołodziejczak said. "It was a reason to be proud, just like the liqueurs that Poles were famous for in the past.”

The president of Agrounia considered the right to make moonshine as a symbol of "subjectivity" that farmers could enjoy, and admitted with regret that in recent years it had been taken away from citizens. “It's also about a certain kind of freedom, to do whatever you want on your farm," Kołodziejczak adds. "This is subjectivity for the farmer. Therefore, I am in favor of providing farmers with the freedom to consume this alcohol for their own use.”

A similar viewpoint was aired by another Parliament member. “We will stop pretending that Polish farmers do not produce moonshine for their own use, such as for weddings,” the representative said, pointing out the benefits of controlling the quality. “Just like they produce slivovitz, which Poland is famous for. It's high time they did it legally.”

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