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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing

ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing
Kristen Gillespie



*AFP Arabic reports at least 16 Syrians were believed killed as the army pushed into new villages in northwest Syria, close to the Turkish border. "The soldiers deployed in the villages and began raids," said Ramy Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Abdel Rahman said the government conducted a fresh round of opposition arrests on Wednesday, targeting members of the Socialist Union Party in Aleppo and the Kurdish Future Movement in the northeast.

*The British government called in the Syrian ambassador to the UK, Samy Khiyami, after credible reports emerged of the Syrian government threatening dissidents living in Britain. The British government is concerned that embassy employees are using "methods of intimidation" against Syrian exiles in the UK.

*A video posted to YouTube called "We need you" is a dramatic recruitment ad to call on Syrians to help overthrow the Assad regime. "God's will was written and the many obstacles were overcome," the stark white writing reads against a black background. "The first obstacle: It was said the people would not stand up because they only know submission. But a group of heroes surprised the whole world and stood up." In between the sentences, the editors cut in graphic footages of protesters being beaten and shot along with massive crowds chanting that the government should fall. At 2:36 into the video, crowds pull down from its plinth a statue of Hafez al-Assad, Bashar's father who ruled Syria for nearly 30 years, longer than any other leader for more than a millennium. "We will not submit – that time is over," the writing reads. "No fear after today. The Syrian people are one," it says.

*@SyriaParliament says, "Syrians: If this gang of thugs rules Syria, they'll come back more corrupt and more criminal than before, and the security services will be even harsher. This is your last chance."

*Al Hayat reports that 590 people were injured during clashes between security forces and protesters in Tahrir Square. Protesters are demanding the ruling military leadership accelerate prosecutions of police and security officers accused of brutality.

*Thamer bin Hamad from Kuwait tweets, "Hezbollah will become a spider without legs if the bloody Syrian Baath Party falls."

June 30, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

War, Corruption And The Overdue Demise Of Ukrainian Oligarchs

The invasion of Russia has forced Ukraine to confront a domestic enemy: corruption and economic control by an insular and unethical elite.

Photograph of three masked demonstrators holding black smoke lights.

May 21, 2021, Ukraine: Demonstrators hold smoke bombs outside the Appeal Court of Kyiv.

Olena Khudiakova/ZUMA
Guillaume Ptak


KYIV — Since Russia’s invasion, Ukraine's all-powerful oligarchs have lost a significant chunk of their wealth and political influence. However, the fight against the corruption that plagues the country is only just beginning.

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

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On the morning of September 2, several men wearing balaclavas and bullet-proof waistcoats bearing the initials "SBU" arrived at the door of an opulent mansion in Dnipro, Ukraine's fourth largest city. Facing them, his countenance frowning behind thin-rimmed glasses, was the owner of the house, the oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

Officers from the Ukrainian security services had come to hand him a "suspicion notice" as part of an investigation into "fraud" and "money laundering". His home was searched, and shortly afterwards he was remanded in custody, with bail set at 509 million hryvnias, or more than €1.3 million. A photo of the operation published that very morning by the security services was widely shared on social networks and then picked up by various media outlets.

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