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Escape from Putin to Germany

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Escape from Putin to Germany

Those who wanted and could have left Russia after Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine. While the Kremlin rejects exiles, these people have a great desire, says Vladimir Kaminer.

I hear Russian everywhere in German cities. It's not just refugees from eastern Ukraine who speak Russian. No, most of them are compatriots who fled Russia. In this regard, Berlin is a particularly desirable destination for these new immigrants. In the last century, many Russians fled to the German capital to escape the October Revolution, and cultural workers in particular settled here.

Most of these poets and thinkers settled in Charlottenburg and Tiergarten at that time. Many famous books by Russian authors were written and printed in Berlin at that time. In the 1920s, more Russian-language books and magazines were printed in Berlin than for local readers. My favorite book from that time is called „The Zoo. Letters Not About Love.”

(Source: Frank May)

To a person

Vladimir Kaminer Writer and columnist. He was born in Moscow in 1967 and has lived in Germany for more than 30 years. Among his most famous works isRussian discoHis current book Breakfast on the brink of the end of the world Published August 2023.

Its author lived in Charlottenburg, near the zoo, and could not sleep at night because the elephants in her enclosure snored very loudly and the nocturnal birds screamed like crazy. He wrote: „We are like strange animals in our environment in Berlin. We are stuck in the golden cage outside, but our thoughts are inside.” Soon after, he and several other artists returned to the Soviet Union. Most of them were arrested. They were put in the camp, tortured and killed.

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The author of the story „The Zoo” was lucky. He survived Stalin, and almost survived the Soviet Union, as he was old. His book describing the history of immigration at that time is now one hundred years old – and what have we learned from history? This is what the Russians ask themselves. Nothing at all, that's the answer.

Exodus to the West

The story of sudden forced migration repeats itself. Thousands of Russians were forced to leave their homeland quickly, almost overnight, in 2022, because they posed a great danger to the authoritarian state. They fled Putin's regime, from revenge and mobilization. In addition to young students who did not want to be drafted into the army, there are political activists, scholars, artists, and especially my fellow writers.

Almost all best-selling Russian authors are stranded in Europe, and quite a few of them are in Berlin. What do you do? These people continue to write books, publish anthologies and produce magazines, others open libraries, organize countless readings and conferences, but for them Berlin remains a zoo in which they sit in a cage like exotic animals. Your thoughts at home.

Two years of war passed quickly, and every day people were looking for good news from within, and after every small protest the opposition newspapers – which had long been safe from foreign countries – claimed that Putin's regime had reached the end. It actually looked like this: the fascist Kremlin could no longer hold out; Whether under sanctions or through acts of sabotage, the regime will soon be forced to surrender. Migrants can return to their homes.

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After all, we know from Hollywood movies that good always triumphs over evil in the end. Sometimes it takes an unbearably long time, but even the longest movie is usually finished after three hours. Our “war movie” has been going on for over two years, and there is still no end in sight. But hope finally dies. For a long time, in this Russian environment in Germany, it was considered bad form to describe oneself as an “immigrant.” People call themselves „Relocant”, and the term „relocation” is understood as a temporary change of place.

Borrowing from the Nazis

Meanwhile, more and more „movers” are unpacking their bags and becoming immigrants. They look around – and try to make a new start, but in their minds they are still back home, and their day begins with news from Russia. They are sad. Last year, 195,500 teachers in Russia resigned and were replaced by new “teachers.”

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Cavalry: Runaway army horses gallop through London

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Cavalry: Runaway army horses gallop through London

At least two British Army horses galloped through central London on Wednesday morning. Pictures and videos circulating online showed how they were tied up and bound the animals Run through crowded streets dodging buses, taxis and cars. One of the animals appears to have a bleeding wound on its chest.

According to police in the financial district British capital The terrified officers were finally able to capture the animals. They should then be taken to a veterinarian by army representatives. Consequently The Daily Telegraph Up to five military horses have dumped their riders during a morning exercise. At least one soldier was injured.

Number of wounded

An army spokesman confirmed that several horses withdrew during routine morning training. All animals were captured and returned. A number of army personnel and a number of horses were injured and are receiving medical treatment.

The emergency service said it was called to an operation near Buckingham Palace that morning due to a rider falling from a horse. In total, there were ambulance missions to three different locations in London, and four people were taken to hospital.

Many army regiments maintain riding stables in the British capital. Army horses are a common sight around government buildings, in Hyde Park, and near Buckingham Palace.

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Sell ​​or ban: USA gives TikTok an ultimatum

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Sell ​​or ban: USA gives TikTok an ultimatum

As of: April 24, 2024 at 5:28 AM

Short video app TikTok has to separate from its Chinese parent company Bytedance in the USA. The Senate also decided on this matter. The company now has one year – otherwise there is a risk of being banned.

The Senate also approved the US law aimed at forcing a change in ownership of the short video app TikTok. This means that it is now on the table of President Joe Biden, who previously announced that he would sign it.

China-based Bytedance Group will have a maximum of one year to separate from TikTok. Otherwise, the app should be banned from US app stores. It is unclear whether the plan can hold up in US courts. A previous threat to ban it there failed.

Accusation of influence peddling

The Senate approved the bill overnight by a large majority of 79 votes to 18. Bytedance is seen across all parties in the US as a Chinese company that should bend to the will of the Chinese Communist Party. That's why there are warnings that Chinese authorities may gain widespread access to data from American users – as well as use the platform for political influence. TikTok has denied this for years.

“For years, we allowed the Chinese Communist Party to control one of the most popular apps in America, and that was dangerously short-sighted,” said Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee. “A new law will force the Chinese owner to sell the app. This is a good thing for America.”

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This law, which was passed for the second time in the House of Representatives a few days ago, this time forms part of a package aimed, among other things, at enabling new aid to Ukraine, which is under attack from Russia. That's why it passed through the Senate so quickly on the second try.

TikTok: Not a subsidiary of a Chinese company

The law puts Biden's Democrats in a dilemma: on the one hand, the president wants to take a tough stance on China, and on the other hand, the app is popular among young users, whose votes he needs to be re-elected in November. The Biden campaign team only opened a TikTok account this year.

TikTok confirms that it does not see itself as a subsidiary of a Chinese company. Bytedance is 60% owned by Western investors. The company's headquarters are located in the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. However, American politicians counter that the Chinese founders, with a 20% stake, have maintained control thanks to higher voting rights and that Bytedance's headquarters are in Beijing, where they cannot escape the influence of the authorities.

TikTok has not yet commented directly after the vote. The company had already announced over the weekend that it wanted to take legal action against the law.

US courts blocked a similar ban attempt

TikTok claims to have 170 million users in the USA. During his US presidency, Donald Trump attempted to force the sale of TikTok's US business to US investors with threats of bans.

But the plan failed primarily because US courts suspected that plans to ban TikTok violated the freedom of expression enshrined in the US Constitution. An existing law in Montana that was supposed to ban TikTok from app stores there has also been suspended. Trump has now backed away from calls for a ban.

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Corruption allegations against Ivanov: Russian Deputy Defense Minister arrested

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Corruption allegations against Ivanov: Russian Deputy Defense Minister arrested

Corruption allegations against Ivanov
Arrest of the Russian Deputy Defense Minister

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One of Russia's deputy Defense Minister Shoigu is accused of accepting bribes. 48-year-old Timur Ivanov has now been arrested. Kremlin critic Navalny, who died in custody, had already accused him of unfair tactics in 2022.

More than two years after the start of the war, one of Russia's deputy defense ministers was arrested. The Russian Investigative Committee said on the Telegram application that Timur Ivanov is suspected of accepting bribes. The authority did not provide any details. He is accused of accepting bribes of at least 1 million rubles, or at least a little less than 10,000 euros, the state agency TASS reported. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

According to media reports, Ivanov, who has held this position since 2016, was primarily responsible for construction projects in the Ministry of Defense – including in the occupied eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which was completely destroyed by the Russian army itself during the siege in the first months of 2016. War in 2022.

Navalny accused Ivanov two years ago

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has twelve deputies. Corruption allegations against the 48-year-old Ivanov had already been raised after the start of the war by the team of Kremlin opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who has since died in custody: In research published at the end of 2022, Kremlin opponents accused Ivanov of building estates in several regions. Russian by contractors funded by the Ministry of Defense.

Other investigative media also revealed corruption schemes by the Russian Ministry of Defense as part of the reconstruction of Mariupol. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said after the arrest that Putin and Shoigu had been informed.

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