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TOPIC: shoigu

In The News

Niger Coup, Shoigu Meets Kim Jong-un, RIP Sinéad

👋 Agoo!*

Welcome to Thursday, where soldiers in Niger have declared a coup on national TV, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in Pyongyang, and Ireland mourns the death of Sinéad O’Connor. Meanwhile, we look at another battleground of the Ukraine war: language.

[*Twi, Ghana]

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Post-Mutiny Silence In Russia, Honduras Curfew, Largest Hajj Ever

👋 Salibonani*

Welcome to Monday, where Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu makes a video appearance while Vladimir Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin have not emerged after the Wagner Group mutiny that unfolded over the weekend, Honduras enforces a curfew after gang violence shook the country, and an estimated 2.5 million Muslims get ready for the largest Hajj in history. Meanwhile, French economic daily Les Echos takes a look at how the scary-looking robots from Boston Dynamics are on their way to conquer, if not the world, at least its logistics warehouses.

[*Ndebele, Zimbabwe]

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Russia Passes New Law To Allow Military To Recruit Prisoners For The War

The Defense Ministry had pushed for a bill to adopt the same dubious method of recruiting volunteers from prisons begun by the Wagner Group private mercenary outfit. Parliament approved it on Tuesday, the latest sign of the Kremlin's desperate search to recruit soldiers to stave off the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

This article was updated on June 21, 2023, at 11:15 a.m.

MOSCOW — As the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army begins, the Kremlin is looking for new ways to replenish the ranks of its combat units on the frontline. To this end, a law "On the specifics of the criminal liability of persons involved in a special military operation" was adopted Tuesday by the Duma, Russia's parliament.

The law will allow to release from the criminal responsibility those who conclude a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry, or were drafted on mobilization, even if they committed a crime before the law's enactment. The first draft of the law excludes those convicted of violent crimes like murder or rape.

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Of course, those following the war in Ukraine know that the Duma is not the first to discover this recruitment opportunity: a year ago, Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group paramilitary outfit, had first proposed this same idea to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

With Putin's consent, Prigozhin began to visit penal colonies in different regions of Russia and promised prisoners a pardon for six months of service in his army. During his recruitment, he freed some 50,000 prisoners convicted of crimes of varying severity.

As previously reported, Prigozhin recruited everyone indiscriminately, with inmates with a history of murder being particularly highly regarded. In late spring 2023, he had to stop this recruiting process because Putin saw no progress on the front, while people saw many coffins returning to Russia.

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Russia Warns Of “Uncontrolled Escalation,” Claims Kyiv May Use Dirty Bomb

Ukraine and its Western partners say the warnings from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu could be a "false flag" operation used to divert attention from its own potential use of banned weapons.

In a flurry of phone calls to his Western counterparts, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the war was moving towards “uncontrolled escalation.”

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Shoigu told French, U.S. and UK defense ministers that Moscow was worried that Ukraine could use a "dirty bomb," without providing evidence to support this suggestion. A dirty bomb is a weapon that combines conventional explosives and uranium.

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet, Bertrand Hauger and Jane Herbelin

Ukraine War, One Month In

👋 Sannu!*

Welcome to Thursday, where it’s been one month since Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine, Biden heads to Brussels for NATO talks, and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright dies at age 84. We also focus on Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister and one of Putin’s closest allies, who has gone missing since March 11.

[*Hausa, Nigeria and Niger]

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Anna Akage

The Sergei Shoigu Enigma, 'Last Man In The Bunker' With Putin

Gloom and uncertainty increasingly surround Putin as his would-be blitzkrieg of Ukraine stalls. The world wonders whether he'll double down, or if could be betrayed by his entourage. Sergei Shoigu, the man running Russia's military, is iron-clad loyal. He also hasn't been seen in public in two weeks.

By the end of December 1942, anyone who understood anything about the war could not help but realize that Germany had lost.

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Adolf Hitler's entourage could have avoided the terrible consequences for themselves and the rest of the world by simply deposing the mad Führer. They might have even remained the political elite in a country that was not yet utterly destroyed. But they did not; they simply watched as the war was lost and the country went to hell. Right to the very end, Hitler's Germany was the perfect example of a regime that avoided collapse by shrinking a nation's power to a single bunker.

For almost a month now, Russia has been fighting a war against Ukraine. During this time, the world community has begun to learn a lot more about Russia's army and intelligence.

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Putin Sacks Defense Minister Over Corruption Charges



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