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Russia Wants Severodonetsk, Zelensky v. Kissinger, Dark Plot Twist

Russia Wants Severodonetsk, Zelensky v. Kissinger, Dark Plot Twist

In Armenia, demonstraters gathered Wednesday night to protest

Emma Albright and Meike Eijsberg

👋 Sannu!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Russian troops have unleashed an all-out assault on the strategic city of Severodonetsk, Ukraine’s president lashes out at Henry Kissinger for “Munich” stance and the writer of a notable “How to” essay is convicted of murder. We also look at how the plague of school shootings is not exclusive to the United States.

[*Hausa - Nigeria]


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• Russia hones in on Severodonetsk: Fighting is increasingly concentrated in the industrial city of Severodonetsk, reports the Ukrainian presidential administration, with Russian shelling of the town having “increased exponentially” in the past few hours. Moscow appears intent on encircling the city with tactics similar to those in the siege of Mariupol in order to secure that last major city in the eastern Luhansk region.

• World Bank president warns of global recession: The head of the World Bank, David Malpass, has warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will continue to cause soaring food and energy prices, making a global recession more likely. Malpass also said that the strict lockdowns in China due to the Covid-19 pandemic are increasing the chance of a recession.

• Fire in Senegal kills 11 newborns: Eleven newborn babies in the western Senegalese city of Tivaouane died in a fire that broke out in the neonatal department of a local hospital.

• Texas shooting update: The gunman responsible for the school shooting that killed 21 in Uvalde, Texas, sent out messages on social media just prior to his attack. U.S. President Joe Biden announced that he will be traveling to Texas “in the coming days” to visit the families mourning the loss of loved ones, who included 19 children and two teachers.

•BoJo defiant after government report on lockdown parties: Boris Johnson insisted he will remain Britain’s Prime Minister despite Sue Gray’s report on the parties held in Downing Street during the Covid pandemic. Several members of Johnson’s own Tory party have demanded his resignation.

• Probe finds slain Palestinian journalist was likely targeted by Israeli forces: An in-depth CNN investigation has found evidence that the West Bank killing earlier this month of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was not an accident. Israeli forces shot Abu Akleh, a veteran correspondent, in the head, but claimed she was caught in crossfire. CNN gathered videos, along with testimonies from eyewitnesses, that suggest that Abu Akleh was shot dead in a targeted attack by Israeli forces aware that there were journalists in their cross-hairs.

• How to murder your husband author convicted of murdering her husband: A jury in the U.S. state of Oregon has found the author of a self-published essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband” guilty of second-degree murder for shooting her husband to death four years ago.


The Manila Times dedicates its front page today to the proclamation of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the new president of the Philippines after winning this month’s election with an impressive 59% of the vote. The son of the country’s late former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, was flanked at Wednesday’s ceremony at the national Congress by his family, including his controversial mother Imelda Marcos.



Latin America is confirmed as the world’s prime “crime hotspot”, with 62 of the world’s 100 most dangerous cities located in the region, according to risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft. The data of their Cities@Risk Security Index, which ranks 579 urban centers with a population over 1 million on their exposure to a range of threats, shows that Kabul, Afghanistan is the riskiest city overall. Joining Kabul at the top of the list are Mogadishu, Somalia and Cali, Colombia.

Eight of the 62 cities located in Latin America record the highest possible risk scores. These include Chihuahua, Mexico, San Salvador, El Salvador and Medellín, Colombia. Although believed to have turned a corner, a recent crime surge in Medellín is what helped Latin America reach the top of the list, according to the Guardian


Uvalde And The World: School Shootings Spread Beyond The U.S.

The killing Tuesday of 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, adds to the United States’ long, sad list of mass shootings. It is the deadliest school attack in the country since the Dec. 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead — and comes just 10 days after a gunman killed 10 at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

🇺🇸 🪦 There is no doubt that mass shootings, particularly at schools, is a distinctly American plague. According to the independent organization Gun Violence Archive, 200 mass shootings have occurred so far this year in the U.S., with 27 school shootings resulting in deaths or injuries.

🌎 🏫 Still, the rest of the world is not immune to the phenomenon. Is this global spread of these senseless shootings associated with the influence of American culture, media coverage and social media, inspiring copycats to commit similar crimes? Are school shootings linkable to places with lax gun-control laws? While research on this phenomenon continues, we take a look at places around the world that have grappled with comparable tragedies in recent years.

🇷🇺 🇧🇷 🇨🇦 Worldcrunch gathered reports of some of the recent school shootings that occurred around the world, from Russia to Brazil to Canada.

➡️ Read the full article on Worldcrunch.com


It seems that Mr. Kissinger’s calendar is not 2022 but 1938, and he thought he was talking to an audience not in Davos but in what was then Munich.

— Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lashes out at former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s comments made at the Davos summit earlier this week, suggesting that Kyiv should cede territory to Russia in order to bring the war to an end.

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright and Meike Eijsberg

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

That Man In Mariupol: Is Putin Using A Body Double To Avoid Public Appearances?

Putin really is meeting with Xi in Moscow — we know that. But there are credible experts saying that the person who showed up in Mariupol the day before was someone else — the latest report that the Russian president uses a doppelganger for meetings and appearances.

screen grab of Putin in a dark down jacket

During the visit to Mariupol, the Presidential office only released screen grabs of a video

Russian President Press Office/TASS via ZUMA
Anna Akage

Have no doubt, the Vladimir Putin we’re seeing alongside Xi Jinping this week is the real Vladimir Putin. But it’s a question that is being asked after a range of credible experts have accused the Russian president of sending a body double for a high-profile visit this past weekend in the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

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Reports and conspiracy theories have circulated in the past about the Russian leader using a stand-in because of health or security issues. But the reaction to the Kremlin leader's trip to Mariupol is the first time that multiple credible sources — including those who’ve spent time with him in the past — have cast doubt on the identity of the man who showed up in the southeastern Ukrainian city that Russia took over last spring after a months-long siege.

Russian opposition politician Gennady Gudkov is among those who confidently claim that a Putin look-alike, or rather one of his look-alikes, was in the Ukrainian city.

"Now that there is a war going on, I don't rule out the possibility that someone strongly resembling or disguised as Putin is playing his role," Gudkov said.

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