Welcome to Tuesday, where Ukraine continues to reconquer territory, fresh clashes on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border leave at least 49 dead and France says adieu to two 20th-century titans of the visual arts. Meanwhile, business daily Les Echos draws a profile of Vladimir Potanin, one of Russia's top 10 billionaires who continues to grow his business despite Western sanctions.
[*Kanuri, Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon]
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• Ukraine update: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reports that his country’s army has liberated 6,000 square kilometers of territory from Russia since the beginning of September after a counteroffensive in the east and south of the country. New signs have arrived of Russian troops making a hasty retreat back behind their own border. Read the latest updates on the War in Ukraine.
• 49 Armenian soldiers killed in Azerbaijan clashes: Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced the death of at least 49 Armenian soldiers, killed overnight in attacks near the border with Azerbaijan. Pashinyan also said that Baku attacked other Armenian cities amid sharp tensions between the two Caucasus region rivals.
• More than 30 new subpoenas issued in Trump probe: The Justice Department intensified its investigation of Donald Trump, issuing more than 30 subpoenas to people associated with the former President as part of the January 6, 2021 probe. Former campaign manager Bill Stepien and former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino received a grand jury subpoena.
• William Ruto sworn in as Kenyan president: William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s president at a ceremony in Nairobi, one week after Kenya’s Supreme Court upheld his election and rejected claims of election fraud. Ruto, 55, takes the helm at a time of surging food and fuel prices.
• Pakistan “still in danger”: Pakistani authorities said it would take between 3 to 6 months to drain water from the worst flooded areas. The country is “still in danger” as fears rise over the risks posed by waterborne diseases as the dengue spreads in Karachi.
• Jean-Luc Godard dies: Film director Jean-Luc Godard, a leading figure of the French New Wave, has died at the age of 91. He was best-known for directing classics in the 1960s such as Breathless and Contempt and he helped kickstart the filmmaking movement that revolutionized cinema.• Squid Game makes Emmy history: Lee Jung-jae is the first Asian to win an Emmy for best male actor for his role in South Korean drama Squid Game. The show’s director Hwang Dong-hyuk won the outstanding directing for a drama series prize, also becoming the first Asian to win this award.
The French daily Libération dedicates its front page to “the frenchiest of American photographers” William Klein, who died on September 10 at 96 years old. The Paris-based visual artist made his mark on fashion and street photography with his groundbreaking portraiture style and was also a noted filmmaker, producing several documentaries.
The UN reports that half a million children face severe acute malnutrition in Somalia, a level higher than the 2011 famine where 130,000 children died. The organization warned that parts of the country will be hit by famine soon as a consequence of drought. "It's a pending nightmare," said UNICEF spokesperson James Elder. So far more than 700 children have died in nutrition centers in Somalia.
Vladimir Potanin, how the mega-rich Russian oligarch defies Western sanctions
For French daily Les Echos, Benjamin Quenelle profiles Vladimir Potanin, Russia's incarnation of a never-turn-back oligarch. The owner of Nornickel, Russia's leading company in the metals and mining industry, Potanin continues to grow his business despite Western sanctions. He recently took over French bank Société Générale's Russian subsidiary — with the Kremlin's approval, of course.
🇷🇺 Among Russia's top 10 billionaires, relationships have always been riddled with fratricidal wars involving millions of dollars and petty phrases. Since the beginning of the so-called “special military operation” in February, which is how the Kremlin defines its military invasion of Ukraine, these rivalries have been exacerbated. And Vladimir Potanin, the second richest man in Russia with a fortune of over $17 billion according to Forbes, arouses a lot of jealousy.
🛠 The success of Potanin, a graduate of Mgimo, the institute of political science for diplomatic elites, dates back to the 1990s. That's when the former member of the Communist Party and civil servant at the Ministry of Foreign Trade took advantage of the fall of the USSR to start a business. First he was a consultant to foreign investments and then in the privatization of hydrocarbons and other natural resources. Thirty years later, he is now profiting from soaring commodity prices thanks to Nornickel (formerly Norilsk Nickel), the metals giant which he acquired during the major privatizations of the 1990s.
💰 A true oligarch, Potanin has been using his political connections and banking influence to acquire valuable assets at a low cost ever since the 1990s. Loyal to the Kremlin, the oligarch is careful not to get involved in politics and refrains from even talking about it. He hardly makes any allusions to geopolitical tensions. And as his holding Interros bought Rosbank from French bank Société Générale, observers now wonder whether he will become the new oligarch of banks.➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com
Armenia should cease its provocations and focus on peace negotiations and cooperation with Azerbaijan.
— On Twitter, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned Armenia against “provocations” as clashes have erupted between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops on the border between the two countries. The recent incident follows a history of hostilities over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh which have lasted for decades. Turkey is a close ally of Azerbaijan, which gained back full control over the territory in 2020, and Cavusoglu said he discussed the situation with his Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov.
✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou
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