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TOPIC: lithuania

Geopolitics

Lithuania And Russia: A David-Goliath Standoff Getting Riskier By The Day

Vilnius is reportedly working out new rules with Brussels on allowing the transit of sanctioned Russian goods through Lithuania to the Kaliningrad enclave. But in the meantime, restrictions remain — and so does defiance vis-à-vis Moscow.

KALININGRAD — At a hardware store in Kaliningrad, men and women are heaving bags of cement into their shopping carts, while others film them on their mobile phones in disbelief. This scene, which did the rounds on social media in June, sums up the atmosphere in the Russian exclave bordered by Poland and Lithuania.

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The anxiety in Russia’s westernmost territory is palpable. Some residents are worried there will be shortages of products that were easily obtainable before restrictions came into force, while others are hoping everything will stay the same.

The population of Kaliningrad Oblast sits at around a million — of which 800,000 live in the city itself. Now they are in limbo. Lithuania’s implementation of EU sanctions means that although land routes to Russia are not completely shut off, the supply situation in the Russian exclave is uncertain.

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Zelensky Orders Major Counteroffensive To Retake South

Deploying up to one million troops to try to regain territory would be a significant political and morale boost. But there are also key economic reasons to preserve access to the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian Defense Minister said that the army high command was ordered by President Volodymyr Zelensky to de-occupy the south of the country, to reclaim the regions on the Black Sea coast that are of vital importance to the economy of the country.

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“We understand that politically it is necessary for our country," says Reznikov.

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Russia Aims Again At Kharkiv, 15 Civilians Killed

Attacks in Ukraine's second biggest city are reminiscent of strategy in Mariupol.

At least 15 confirmed civilian deaths were reported by this morning in Kharkiv, after the Russian army fired multiple Uragan rockets at an industrial area of the northeastern city where there were no military facilities, according to Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the Investigative Department of the Kharkiv Region Police Department.

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"Russian forces are now hitting the city of Kharkiv in the same way that they previously were hitting Mariupol, intending to terrorize the population," Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video address.

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Friday's The New Saturday? Four-Day Work Week Tested Around Europe

As Britain begins the world's largest trial of the four-day work week, other European nations are experimenting with the idea too. Could a permanent three-day weekend be in reach for workers elsewhere?

PARIS - Since remote work has become part of normal life in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are now exploring other options to reduce the amount of time that employees spend in the office. One popular but controversial solution is the four-day work week. Europe is, not surprisingly, the first place to begin testing the feasibility of employees working one fewer day a week without sacrificing any of their pay.

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In The News
Shaun Lavelle, Anna Akage, Emma Albright

Is Odessa The Next Mariupol?

Other top news breaking: UN says civilian toll much higher, Moscow metro workers may be forced to fight, Lithuanian Parliament calls war "genocide", special Pulitzer for Ukrainian journalists, and more.

A new Russian overnight offensive aimed at the southern port city of Odessa may signal a new focus in the Ukraine war.

Ukrainian newspaper Pravda reports that at least one person was killed and five injured as Russian rockets pounded Ukraine’s third largest city, targeting a shopping center and a depot and leaving emergency services scrambling to put out fires and rescue civilians.

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These are not the first attacks by Russian missiles on the city, but officials imposed martial law for the first time yesterday.

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Geopolitics
Maximilian Kalkhof

China As Goliath: How Little Lithuania Defies Beijing

No other European state strikes a more confident tone toward China than Lithuania. Vilnius is resisting all the usual means of pressure — and has a clear demand that Europe and Germany defend their values.

VILNIUS — With its small population and modest economy, Lithuania has a reputation of being a minor actor on the European political stage. But under Deputy Foreign Minister Mantas Adomenas, it's breaking from the pack in a very notable way: attempting to strong arm China as the People's Republic vies for increasing global dominance.

While this might seem like a diplomatic and economic suicide mission, Adomenas sees few risks in promoting Lithuania's vision of democracy.This isn't a recent policy change: A member of the center-right Homeland Union, Adomenas says his party's China position had been maturing for a long time. When the Homeland Union was elected to government, Lithuania's relationship with China was essentially fixed along this hard line. It just had to be brought to life.

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food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Storming The Lithuanian Castle

The red-brick Gothic castle on the Lithuanian island of Trakai looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale. However the spell was broken when a full garrison of soldiers made their rowdy entrance in the courtyard.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

The Dashing Priests Of Vilnius

The many beautiful Roman Catholic churches in Lithuania's capital are a sight to be seen ... as are the glorious beards of certain priests strolling the city's streets.

blog
Bertrand Hauger

Vilnius, Hindsight In Focus

I said it before: I took pictures of places (more than of people) to remember where I went. But looking at this photo now, rather than focusing on the panorama of Lithuania's capital, I wish I'd chosen to see my wife Claudine more clearly...

blog

Eurovision Contestants 2015: Lithuania

Lithuania’s history in the Eurovision Song Contest is unfortunately pretty bad. Since its first run in 1994, the country has made 15 appearances, more or less interspersed by failed attempts to qualify, lack of funds and threats to boycott the show if Russia didn’t stop invading countries.

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