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In The News

Kyiv Warns That Russia Is Manipulating IAEA At Zaporizhzhia

Kyiv Warns That Russia Is Manipulating IAEA At Zaporizhzhia

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi visits the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Sergei Malgavko/TASS
Cameron Manley, Lisa Berdet and Emma Albright

The state-owned Ukrainian energy operator and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have cast doubt on the visit of IAEA international inspectors assessing the risks near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant occupied by Russia.

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Energy provider Energoatom said Friday that Russian officials at Zaporizhzhia are distorting the information they’re sharing with the team of IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog agency, which arrived at the plant on Thursday and plans to set up a semi-permanent presence to help guard against a nuclear accident from military clashes in the area.

Russia is “making every effort to prevent the International Atomic Energy Agency mission from getting to know the real state of affairs,” the company added in a statement shared to its Telegram channel this morning. “They spread manipulative and false information about this visit.”

Most of the members of the visiting international team of nuclear experts have left, but five inspectors are still on site. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, among those who has left the plant, said it is important his colleagues stay on. “We're going to have a continued presence there at the plant," he said, arguing that a prolonged IAEA presence on site would help prevent a nuclear accident.

Yet Zelensky said in his nightly address Thursday that Grossi’s team was missing the most important element: demilitarization of the area. "It is bad that we have not yet heard the appropriate call from the IAEA. Although we talked about it with Mr. Grossi at our meeting in Kyiv. It was the key — the key — security point of our agreements: demilitarization and full control by our nuclear workers."

For the past several weeks, both Ukraine and Russia have been accusing each other of shelling around the nuclear plant.

Kherson Under Pressure As Russia Targets Dnipro Bridges

Ukrainian servicemen fire at a position in the Donetsk region on August 26.


After launching their biggest counteroffensive to date, Ukrainian forces continue to pressure the Russian military in the Kherson region and report "significant losses" on Russia's side, while three Ukrainians were killed and ten injured in Russian attacks.

Ukraine is targeting bridges across the Dnipro river and has destroyed a pontoon bridge used by Russian forces near Daryivki. Military officials in the south said they carried out 18 airstrikes and are targeting "on command and support posts, warehouses with ammunition and fuel and lubricants, as well as logistics and transport facilities." The aim is to cut off Russian defensive positions to prevent them from resupplying their units north of the Dnipro river.

According to Ukraine's military General Staff, Russian forces have targeted 15 Ukrainian settlements on the borders of the Mykolaiv and Kherson region, where the frontlines have been the most active for the past two months. Russia has also tried to launch attacks against the towns of Sloviansk, Bakhmut and Adviika, unsuccessfully. Overall, positions are not moving in the region.

Russia To Suspend Oil & Gas Supplies If Price Caps Imposed 

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak

Alexander Astafyev/TASS

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has warned that Russia would impose an embargo and stop oil and gas supplies to countries that support a G7 countries’ plan to cap Russian energy prices.

“If they impose restrictions on prices, we will simply not supply oil and petroleum products to such companies or states that impose restrictions as we will not work non-competitively,” Novak told Russian state news agency TASS.

G7 finance ministers are meeting Friday to discuss a plan to implement an effective price cap on Russian energy. According to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “this is the most effective way, we believe, to hit hard at Putin's revenue and doing so will result in not only a drop in Putin's oil revenue, but also global energy prices as well.”

Alexander Novak called these new Western sanctions “completely absurd” and he said this idea could make the global oil market crash.

As Ukraine Goes Back To School, Putin Pushes Pro-Russia Propaganda In Classrooms

Vladimir Putin visiting a high school


As Ukrainian schoolchildren headed back to school in the Russian-occupied Kherson region, Russian teachers have reportedly begun to instill a propagandist vision of history in the classroom.

“According to eyewitnesses,” a social media post from the Kherson administration reads, “from the very first lesson, children started to be brainwashed with Russian propaganda and fake history.”

Moscow’s efforts at revisiting history are supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin: In a speech he gave in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, as Russian daily Kommersant reports, Putin said that in the Ukrainian territories occupied by the Russian military, children did not know about the joint history of Russia and Ukraine, which must be rectified in schools.

“Even adults, probably, do not know that Ukraine did not have its own statehood before the formation of the USSR,” Putin is quoted as saying.

Denmark To Provide Winter Gear To Ukraine Forces

Multinational Soldiers train in harsh weather conditions

7th Army Training Command

During a meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod announced that Denmark would supply winter military uniforms for Ukrainian soldiers and agreed to help in the restoration of the Mykolaiv region damaged by Russian attacks.

So far, more than 25,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Denmark ; the country said it will provide support for Ukraine "for as long as necessary."

Gorbachev Died “Shocked And Bewildered” By Ukraine War, Interpreter Says

Mikhail Gorbachev

Malte Ossowski/Sven Simon/Zuma

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who died this week at the age of 91, reportedly confided that he was “shocked and bewildered” by the war in Ukraine.

Gorbachev’s interpreter for 37 years, Pavel Palazhchenko, said he spoke on the phone to the late president a few weeks before his death and said the events in Ukraine were a big blow to him, emotionally and psychologically.

“It’s not just the [special military] operation that started on February 24, but the entire evolution of relations between Russia and Ukraine over the past years.”

Seven “Courageous” Ukrainian Media Outlets Win Press Freedom Award

Free Media Pioneer Award 2022 results

International Press Institute

Seven independent Ukrainian media outlets were awarded the 2022 Free Media Pioneer Award for the way they “rose to face head-on the challenges and dangers brought by Russia’s war of aggression with courage, quality reporting, and a steadfast commitment to serving local communities,” the IPI's announcement reads. The recipients are ABO, Hromadske, Slidstvo.info, StopFake, Ukraїner, Kyiv Independent and Ukrainska Pravda.

LEGO Donates $13.6 To Rebuild Ukraine Schools

A school is hit in Kramatorsk Ukraine

Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA

As Ukraine starts the new academic year, Denmark’s LEGO foundation is donating $13.6 million to support the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the education system within Ukraine and the educational needs of the children and families who have fled to neighboring countries.

Oksana Roma, who heads Lego in Ukraine, notes that since the start of the war, 3.6 million Ukrainian children have had their education disrupted, with more than 2,300 education institutions damaged, including 286 completely destroyed.

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Brazil's Evangelical Surge Threatens Survival Of Native Afro-Brazilian Faith

Followers of the Afro-Brazilian Umbanda religion in four traditional communities in the country’s northeast are resisting pressure to convert to evangelical Christianity.

image of Abel José, an Umbanda priest

Abel José, an Umbanda priest

Agencia Publica
Géssica Amorim

Among a host of images of saints and Afro-Brazilian divinities known as orixás, Abel José, 42, an Umbanda priest, lights some candles, picks up his protective beads and adjusts the straw hat that sits atop his head. He is preparing to treat four people from neighboring villages who have come to his house in search of spiritual help and treatment for health ailments.

The meeting takes place discreetly, in a small room that has been built in the back of the garage of his house. Abel lives in the quilombo of Sítio Bredos, home to 135 families. The community, located in the municipality of Betânia of Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco, is one of the municipality’s four remaining communities that have been certified as quilombos, the word used to refer to communities formed in the colonial era by enslaved Africans and/or their descendents.

In these villages there are almost no residents who still follow traditional Afro-Brazilian religions. Abel, Seu Joaquim Firmo and Dona Maura Maria da Silva are the sole remaining followers of Umbanda in the communities in which they live. A wave of evangelical missionary activity has taken hold of Betânia’s quilombos ever since the first evangelical church belonging to the Assembleia de Deus group was built in the quilombo of Bredos around 20 years ago. Since then, other evangelical, pentecostal, and neo-pentecostal churches and congregations have established themselves in the area. Today there are now nine temples spread among the four communities, home to roughly 900 families.

The temples belong to the Assembleia de Deus, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the World Church of God's Power, the latter of which has over 6,000 temples spread across Brazil and was founded by the apostle and televangelist Valdemiro Santiago, who became infamous during the pandemic for trying to sell beans that he had blessed as a Covid-19 cure. Assembleia de Deus alone, who are the largest pentecostal denomination in the world, have built five churches in Betânia’s quilombos.

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