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In The News

'Armageddon,' 'Preemptive Strikes'  — A New Spiral Of Nuclear Warnings

“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis,” U.S. President Joe Biden declared.

Photo of ​U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 6

U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 6

In less than 24 hours, new warnings and threats have heated up around the use of nuclear weapons.

U.S. President Joe Biden said during a Democratic fundraiser in New York Thursday evening that Vladimir Putin’s threats to use tactical nuclear weapons must be taken very seriously.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis,” Biden said. “He is not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological and chemical weapons, because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming. I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily [use] tactical nuclear weapons and not end up with Armageddon.”

Meanwhile, the Russian government accused Volodymyr Zelensky of trying to provoke a nuclear war after his video comments at an event at the Lowy Institute in Australia. The Ukrainian president said he believed in the need for pre-emptive strikes and stated that NATO should make it impossible for Russia to use nuclear weapons. “We need pre-emptive strikes, so that they’ll know what will happen to them if they use nukes, and not the other way around,” Zelensky said via video link. “Don’t wait for Russia’s nuclear strikes, and then say, ‘Oh, since you did this, take that from us!’”


In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said "Zelensky called on his Western masters to deliver a preemptive nuclear strike against Russia. Thus, this figure essentially presented the whole world with yet more evidence of the threats that come from the Kyiv regime,” he said. “The special military operation (war) was launched to neutralize this threat."

Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said that the whole world, especially the U.S., Great Britain and all EU countries, should heed Zelensky's statement, since, from his point of view, it is "a call for the start of a world war with unpredictable monstrous consequences."

Serhii Nykyforov, Zelensky's spokesperson, later clarified that the Ukrainian president was referring to preventive sanctions to be applied to halt Russia's full-scale invasion, and assured that Ukraine would never call for the use of nuclear weapons.

Kyiv Military Hails “Incredibly Successful” 24 Hours, As Clashes Continue In Zaporizhzhia And Kherson

Photo of Ukrainian troopsUkrainian troops in the east of the country

Ukrainian Ground Forces/ZUMA


Ukraine's Operational Command "South" reported an “incredibly successful” 24 hours of progress on the front line: Forces destroyed three Russian ammunition depots in southern Ukraine, killed 105 Russian troops and destroyed eight tanks, 18 Msta-S and Msta-B howitzers, one Pion self-propelled artillery, one 152 mm gun-howitzer, four mortars, and 15 armored vehicles.

Ukrainian forces also downed six Orlan-10 UAVs, three Shahed-136 drones, and one Mohajer-6 drone on October 6, the command reported.

But this comes as the death toll in Thursday’s Russian attack on Zaporizhzhia rises to 11, with civilians reportedly among the casualties. Meanwhile, at least five civilians were killed as Ukrainian forces shelled a bus in the Russian-controlled part of Kherson, according to authorities.

Nobel Peace Prize To Belarusian Activist And Two Ukrainian And Russian NGOs

Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, one of the recipients of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize

commons.wikimedia.org


The Nobel committee has announced it has awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organization Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties.

The Center for Civil Liberties is an organization founded in 2007. Managed by Oleksandra Matviychuk. The mission is considered to be "Establishment of human rights, democracy and solidarity in Ukraine and the OSCE region for the purpose of affirming human dignity."

The Russian "Memorial", recognized by the Kremlin as a "foreign agent", is a non-profit charitable and human rights organization engaged in researching the political repressions of the USSR and Russia. It was founded in 1992 in Moscow.

Ales Bialiatski is the head of the human rights center "Vyasna".

​More Than 500 Bodies, 22 Torture Rooms Found In Kharkiv After Liberation

Scenes of destruction in Kharkiv

Carol Guzy/ZUMA


The bodies of 534 civilians, including 19 children, were found in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, after Russian troops retreated from the area.

According to Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the Kharkiv police, evidence was also found of 22 sites being used as “torture rooms.”

​Vivid Testimony Of Civilians Tortured By Russian Troops Near Kyiv

Torture rooms found in Ukraine

Pravda


Russian-language media Vazhnyye Istorii/Vazhnyye Istorii features a new report that gathered detailed testimony from victims who had been detained by the Russian military near Kyiv in the early weeks of the war. Some were held in a pit, others had their hands beaten with a hammer, others with an axe and rifle butt. Some never made it out alive.

Read the English edition: "Better If They Shot Me" — New Details Revealed Of Russian Torture Of Civilians

U.S. Heating Package To Help Keep Ukraine Warm Ahead Of Winter

In Kramatorsk, Ukraine

Cold days ahead in Kramatorsk, Ukraine

spoilt.exile



The U.S. government-run international development agency USAID has announced a $55 million investment in Ukraine's heating infrastructure, to help the country prepare for winter amid Russia's war.

According to Samantha Power, head of the organization, some seven million Ukrainians in 19 different regions will benefit from the assistance.

Nord Stream Leaks Probe Cites Detonations And “Aggravated Sabotage”

Nord Stream Pipeline Leaking Into Baltic SeaDanish Defence/Cover Images/Zuma


An investigation led by Swedish and Danish authorities into four leaks at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 Russian pipelines has reinforced suspicions of sabotage.

“We can conclude that there have been detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Swedish exclusive economic zone that has led to extensive damage to the gas pipelines,” according to public prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, adding that the “crime scene investigation had strengthened the suspicions of aggravated sabotage.”

Four leaks were discovered early last week at the pipelines which connect Russia to Germany, as Russia gas supplies take center stage in the context of sanctions due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Although the investigation names no guilty part, Reuters quotes a Kremlin spokesperson as saying that they did not think the investigation could yield objective conclusions without Russia's participation.

Russia Warns France About Stepping Up Arms Supply To Ukraine

Putin and Macron in Versailles in May

A file photo of Putin and Macron in Versailles

Maya Vidon/ZUMA

France, together with European partners, is considering the possibility of providing Ukraine with additional Caesar self-propelled artillery mounts, based on requests from Kyiv. This was announced by President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday at a press conference following the first meeting of the European Political Community in Prague.

"This assistance will continue to come in the form of equipment and training in accordance with the course chosen many months ago. We will continue to move forward on the basis of formulated requirements and closely coordinate actions both with EU member states and with other states, including the UK," he noted.

Yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the French Ambassador to Moscow, Pierre Levy, to point out to him the threats that arise from the increase in the supply of French weapons to Ukraine.

​Fundraising Platform Uses Azovstal Steel To Make Bracelets

United24


Ukraine's fundraising platform United24 along with the Metinvest Group has used the last pre-war batch of steel produced at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol to create bracelets and raise money to support Ukrainian Armed Forces.

One bracelet costs around $40 and all profits are to be spent on drones for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Mariupol steel plant was the site of the last holdouts last spring of Ukrainian forces and civilians before Russia captured the port city.


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Ideas

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Elon Musk bought Twitter in the name of absolute freedom. But numerous research shows that social media hate speech leads to actual violence. Musk and others running social networks need to strike a balance.

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Freedom on social networks can result in insults and defamation

Jean-Marc Vittori

-Analysis-

PARIS — Elon Musk is the world's leading reckless driver. The ever unpredictable CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is now behind a very different wheel as the new head of Twitter.

He began by banning remote work before slightly backtracking and authorizing it for the company’s “significant contributors.” Now he’s opened the door to Donald Trump to return to Twitter, while at the same time vaunting a decrease in the number of hate-messages that appear on the social network…all while firing Twitter’s content moderation teams.

But this time, the world’s richest man will have to make choices. He’ll have to limit his otherwise unconditional love of free speech. “Freedom consists of being able to do everything that does not harm others,” proclaimed the French-born Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.

Yet freedom on social networks results not only in insults and defamation, but sometimes also in physical aggression.

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