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UK-Russian Escalation As Ukraine Hits Targets On Russian Soil

As London and Moscow continue to exchange threats and accusations, targets in Russian territory were reported hit overnight.

Photo of a man burying a relative

A man holds a cross after burying a relative killed during the occupation of the russian army in Chernihiv

Russia says that Ukraine was responsible for an explosion at an ammunition depot in Russia’s Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border, though Kyiv has yet to confirm. Moscow daily Kommersant also reports that Russian air defenses shot at unmanned aircraft in neighboring border regions Kursk and Voronezh.

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The Russian government has accused the UK of "provoking" Ukraine into attacking Russian territory, following the statement yesterday by a British cabinet member James Heappey that it was “legitimate” to strike targets in Russia. According to Russian state news agency TASS, Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called Heappey’s declaration “a monstrous statement.”

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, did not specifically admit that Ukraine had attacked inside Russia, but added: "If you (Russians) decide to massively attack another country, massively kill everyone there, massively crush peaceful people with tanks, and use warehouses in your regions to enable the killings, then sooner or later the debts will have to be repaid."

Here’s a video purported to be an explosion inside Russian territory.

In response, Russian defense officials said Moscow was ready to hit "decision-making centers" in Kyiv, adding that the presence of Western advisers would not stop such attacks.

As the West continues to augment its weapons support for Ukraine, the rhetorical exchanges linked to the targeting of Russian targets further escalates the showdown between Moscow and the West that could contribute to a widening of the war.

German Coverage Of Ramstein Summit

German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung featured coverage of the summit of Western military leaders at U.S. military base in Ramstein Germany. Allied leaders supporting Ukraine, both inside and outside NATO, have pledged to meet monthly in Germany. Berlin also announced a major shift at the summit, saying it would send a supply of tanks to Ukraine.

Read Ukrainian writer Anna Akage's "To Kill The Bear," which argues that total victory over Russia is the only viable path forward for her country, and the world.

EU Accuses Russia Of “Blackmail” After Gas Cut To Poland And Bulgaria

Russian state energy giant Gazprom has cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after the two Eastern European countries failed to pay in rubles, an unprecedented step in the energy-economic war between Moscow and the West. European Commission chief Ursula Von der Leyen reacted to Russia’s decision with a tweet: “Gazprom’s announcement is another attempt by Russia to blackmail us with gas,” saying the EU would have a coordinated response.

Ten Days Into “Decisive” Donbas Assault, Russia Struggles To Advance

Moscow’s shift of most of its troops and materials to the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas was meant to be a decisive strike that could provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with a much needed victory. Yet despite firepower superiority, the situation in the region seems to be at a standstill for Russian forces.

The Russian offensive coming down from the town of Izum was supposed to link up with the one coming up from the south towards the road and rail junction of Pokrovsk, but neither have moved much, reports French daily Le Monde.

Russian military forces have only made "minor advances" since escalating their offensive in eastern Ukraine, reported British Ministry of Defense on Twitter, saying Ukrainian forces still in Mariupol had "exhausted" Russian units and prevented them from redeploying.

Ukrainian Armed Forces say they’ve destroyed some 70 units of Russian equipment in the Donbas region, reports Ukrainian-daily Ukrayinska Pravda. Among the targets are nine tanks, 11 artillery systems, four units of special military equipment and 14 units of armored vehicles.

Despite the fierce resistance, Russia continues its assault, though its troops are again accused of targeting civilians. On Telegram, head of the regional military administration Serguey Gaidai, says Russians shot at civilians 17 times in 24 hours, including at a local school in Lysychansk, where 23 people were hiding, including children.

Russian Class-action Lawsuit Against Apple

person holding white iphone 5 cPhoto by CardMapr on Unsplash

After Apple closed its operations in Russia, consumers in that country have filed a class-action lawsuit against the tech giant for the failure of ApplePay to function. Twenty consumers are demanding compensation from the company in the amount of 10,000 rubles ($134) per person, Russian daily Kommersant reports.

The case could set a precedent, as some legal experts argue that Apple has never guaranteed the universal functionality of its payment system, while others say that it is part of the product and its cost. A similar class action lawsuit has been filed in Russia against Netflix, which has also joined a mass exodus of foreign companies doing business in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.

World Bank: Worst “Commodity Shock” Of Energy And Food Prices Since 1970s

Picture of a filed of barley in Ukraine

Barley are captured in a field in Dytiatyn village, Ivano-Frankivsk Region, western Ukraine

Yurii Rylchuk/Ukrinform/ZUMA

Prices of energy and food in the world will rise by the end of 2024 and reach “historically high levels'' due to the war in Ukraine, according to the World Banks’s new report “Consumer Markets Market.” Indermit Gill, vice president of the World Bank's Sustainable Development Group, said the forecast of rising costs are “the largest commodity shock we’ve experienced since the 1970s.”

UN Veto Initiative After Russian Invasion Resolution

The UN General Assembly decided on Tuesday to automatically meet within 10 days, if one of the five permanent members of the Security Council has exercised its veto.

This resolution, which was adopted by consensus and will trigger a General Assembly meeting where all UN members can scrutinize and comment on the veto, was brought on after Russia used its veto the day after it invaded Ukraine on a resolution calling for its unconditional withdrawal from the country.

Beheaded Statue

A statue located under the People’s Friendship Arch in Kyiv, which once represented friendship between Ukraine and Russia, has been brought down.

The eight-meter-high bronze statue in the center of the Ukrainian capital was ordered to be removed by Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, who said "Russia destroyed the normal life of millions of Ukrainians and destroyed the peace in Europe.” Many people gathered to watch the dismantling of the statue, which was first erected in 1982 under the giant “People’s Friendship Arch” to mark the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union. The arch will remain in place but will be renamed the Arch of Freedom of the Ukrainian People.

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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