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THE AUSTRALIAN, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (Australia)

A boat carrying about 200 asylum-seekers bound for Australia has capsized off the Indonesian coast.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports an Australian Customs surveillance aircraft spotted a boat in distress about 120 nautical miles north of Christmas Island.

According to the The Australian daily newspaper, Australian search and rescue authorities have requested permission to enter Indonesian air space to assist searching for the boat. Three merchant vessels and two Australian military ships are on their way. Indonesia has dispatched two Navy ships. A number of civilian boats are also responding to the disaster.

Three other boats, carrying about 238 people, adds the Sydney Morning Herald, were intercepted near Christmas Island in the past 24 hours. So far this year, more than 4800 asylum seekers have already risked the perilous journey to Australia by sea, many of them from Sri Lanka.

Christmas Island, an island situated halfway between Australia and Indonesia, is a popular destination for boatpeople, who can apply for refugee status in Australia once they've landed on the island.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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