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Putin is also fighting against critics in Russia in the Ukraine war

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Putin is also fighting against critics in Russia in the Ukraine war
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Russian women demand that their husbands return home from the front. Putin is desperately trying to silence his critics.

MOSCOW – Russia’s armed forces are still suffering heavy losses in the Ukrainian war. President Vladimir Putin’s forces are currently fighting against the Ukrainian army primarily in the areas surrounding the city of Avdiivka and on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region.

According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Moscow is said to have lost 317,000 soldiers on the battlefields in eastern Ukraine since the beginning of the war. Independent observers estimate the losses to be smaller, but equally devastating. Relatives in Russia are increasingly fearful for their family members at the front, as is criticism of President Putin.

Criticism of the war in Ukraine has become louder – soldiers’ wives are against Putin

Now a group of Russian soldiers’ wives have gathered in Moscow to demonstrate publicly against the war and Putin’s policies. But the Kremlin head is trying to maintain control over the interpretation of the war. Like a Russian exile Medusa On Friday (November 18), it was reported that authorities in Moscow rejected the group’s request to organize a demonstration in the Russian capital.

As reported by the „Put Domoi” (German for „way home”) channel on Telegram, a protest event has been planned for November 25 at Theater Square in Moscow. Organizers were expecting approximately 300 participants to attend. In their refusal, the Moscow authorities referred to the regulations that are still in effect to prevent the spread of the Corona virus.

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In Bot Domoy’s opinion, it was just an excuse: “Where is the justice for us?” The administrators of the “Telegram” channel commented on the decision. “Where is the justice for our men? Is this how you support the nation’s heroes? Is there Covid on the front line too?”

Russian President Vladimir Putin is increasingly trying to silence his critics. © Michael Mitzel/Imago-Images

War boredom in Russia? Moscow authorities prohibit demonstrations

The Telegram channel also stated that meetings and demonstrations on other topics would be approved, and called on its subscribers to protest. Supporters of the demonstration demanding the return of Russian soldiers should write letters to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to change his mind.

It was not clear from the post whether the demonstration should have been held on November 25 despite the official ban. In canceling it, the Russian authorities threatened to hold the demonstrators accountable.

The incident can be seen as a sign that the Russian people are becoming increasingly war-weary. February 2024 marks the second anniversary of the start of the “special military operation,” as Russia calls the Ukrainian war. However, Putin has not yet been able to show his people any major successes. For some time now, the conflict has evolved into bitter trench warfare along the front lines. There have been largely no major breakthroughs since the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kherson region.

Hardly any successes or heavy losses – Russia is waging war in Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine have fought repeatedly for months over control of relatively small cities. The losses are huge on both sides. In the first half of 2023, fighting was mainly concentrated in the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. The Russian army, with the help of Wagner Group mercenaries, was able to control the city, which was completely destroyed by battles, last May.

Russian forces have been targeting the small town of Avdiivka for several months, and Ukrainian forces have so far been able to repel the attacks. The US Institute for the Study of War wrote in its report on the situation at the beginning of November that the Russian General Staff was unable to learn from the mistakes of the past war and adapt its tactics. At Avdiivka, Commander-in-Chief Valery Gerasimov’s forces made mistakes similar to those at Bakhmut six months earlier. Here too the losses are large.

Putin needs to succeed with his propaganda – 'people already know what’s happening’

Even if Russia’s seizure of Avdiivka does not mark a turning point in the Ukrainian war, Putin could use it as a success for his war propaganda and to counter growing war fatigue. In Russia, more and more voices criticizing the fighting in eastern Ukraine are being raised. On November 7, dozens of Russian soldiers’ wives gathered in Moscow to demand the return of their husbands. The meeting was broken up by the police. The portal reported this Newsweek.

The Kremlin has been repressing dissidents since the beginning of the war. In March, the Russian Parliament increased the penalty for “intentionally spreading false information” about the Russian military. Since then, the defendants face up to 15 years in prison. The organizers of the But Domoy channel wrote at the end of their post regarding the cancellation of the demonstration: “You show a beautiful image in the media, but this is the reality. Who is this complete lie to? „People already know what’s going on.” (fd)

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Putin’s fear of „overheating” and inflation

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Putin’s fear of „overheating” and inflation
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The Russian economy is weak under the current circumstances. Clearly, Putin must think again if he wants to save the economy, because time is running out.

MOSCOW – The West is gradually turning away from Kremlin President Vladimir Putin. Now fears about the negative consequences that the Russian economy may suffer are so present that more and more Russian business representatives are appealing to Putin. The war in Ukraine and sanctions have greatly weakened the Russian economy, and Putin appears to be running out of resources to avoid the worst-case scenario.

The Russian economy is in crisis – high inflation is putting Putin under pressure

Recently, there have been increasing warnings of signs of „overheating” of the Russian economy. Hermann Greif became particularly clear, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sberbank, the largest financial institution in Russia. Gref told the state news agency that the Russian economy is „very overheated.” Tass.ru on June 4, 2024. It is simply “impossible” to exceed this production capacity and produce more.

The Russian economy is increasingly suffering from sanctions and the war in Ukraine. © Yuri Kochetkov/DPA

In December 2023, the head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, had already expressed concern: “The economy is growing so fast because it is exhausting almost all available resources. Stubbornly high inflation is evidence that the economy has deviated from its potential and lacks the capacity to meet growing demand.” In fact, inflation remains a major problem in the Russian economy.

Inflation remains a major problem for the Russian economy

As the Russian statistics agency Rosstat announced on Friday (June 14, 2024), the inflation rate in May reached 8.3 percent on an annual basis. It is the highest value since February 2023. This was higher than the value of 7.8 percent at the end of April and well above the country’s official inflation target of 4.0 percent. The rapid rise in prices put pressure on the Russian Central Bank to continue raising interest rates to control inflation.

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It also remains to be seen what impact the latest US sanctions will have on Russia’s financial sector. On Wednesday (June 12, 2024), the United States imposed new sanctions on supporters of Russia’s war of aggression, including against Chinese companies. According to the US government, the punitive measures target more than 300 people and institutions that enabled Russia to continue the war – including the stock exchange in Moscow. The Moscow Stock Exchange announced that it would stop trading in dollars and euros in response. This step would push the Russian economy into further isolation.

Sanctions imposed on the Russian economy lead to a slowdown in growth

Penalties and The Ukraine war forced Putin to shift to a war economy, which now retaliates and also slows growth. The domestic economy proved resilient – ​​but according to the World Bank, this was due to the intensification of the war economy, subsidies and private demand, which was stronger than expected. Experts have long warned that the war economy will not be sustainable in the long term.

The World Bank expects economic growth of 2.9 percent for 2024 (January: 1.3 percent), and 1.4 percent (January: 0.9 percent) for next year. Military production continues to have positive effects, but private demand is likely to decline. In April 2024, the International Monetary Fund expected economic growth of 3.2 percent for next year, based on new economic data. The era of the „growth miracle” appears to be coming to an end. (Buhi with materials from the German Press Agency and Agence France-Presse)

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War in the Middle East: “Severe consequences for the region” – the Israeli army warns of escalation

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War in the Middle East: “Severe consequences for the region” – the Israeli army warns of escalation
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“Serious consequences for the region” – the Israeli army warns of escalation

Launching 160 missiles – “We know that Hezbollah has 130,000 missiles.”

Hezbollah is said to have fired 160 shells into northern Israel. A Hezbollah commander and a number of its members were said to have been killed in Israeli attacks previously, according to Lebanese security circles. Israeli correspondent Gisela Dachs reports from Tel Aviv.

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Almost daily battles take place between the Israeli army and the Shiite Hezbollah militia in the border area with Lebanon. The Israeli army warned of a major escalation and accused Hezbollah of wanting to turn Lebanon into a protective shield for the Hamas terrorist organization.

IThe Israeli army warns of a dangerous expansion of the conflict with the Shiite Hezbollah militia in the border region with Lebanon. In a video statement issued Sunday evening, army spokesman Daniel Hagari accused the militia of increasing attacks and thus endangering their country’s future. He added, „Hezbollah’s increasing aggression could lead us to the brink of a major escalation that could have devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region.” They expressed their deep concern about the growing tensions.

Since the beginning of the Gaza war more than eight months ago, the situation has become noticeably worse, and almost daily battles are now taking place between the Israeli army and Hezbollah. The militia, backed by Iran, Israel’s arch enemy, is allied with the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, but is considered much stronger. Hezbollah recently intensified its attacks after the Israeli army targeted one of its leaders last week. Lebanese security circles said at the time that the situation in southern Lebanon was “moving towards escalation.”

Hamas’ „protection shield”.

Hajri accused Hezbollah of wanting to turn Lebanon into a protective shield for the Hamas terrorist organization. The spokesman said that Israel will not allow the events of October 7 to be repeated on any of the country’s borders, referring to the devastating terrorist attack launched by Hamas and other groups on southern Israel last year.

The massacre resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people and the holding of 250 others hostage in the Gaza Strip. In the course of the war that broke out, more than 37,000 Palestinians were killed, according to information from Hamas-controlled health authorities that cannot be independently verified. About 80 percent of the population flees within the closed coastal strip.

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Hajri said that Israel will take the necessary measures to protect its citizens “until security is restored along our borders with Lebanon.” According to a report published by the Israeli newspaper Maariv, the armed forces later confirmed that Hagari’s words did not constitute a threat, but rather were intended as a message to the international community.

The head of the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, Aroldo Lazaro, and the country’s special coordinator, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, warned in a joint statement that there is a „very real risk” that a single miscalculation could lead to large-scale conflict. Saturday clarification. He added: „We will continue to communicate with the parties and call on all parties to lay down their arms in order to work to reach a political and diplomatic solution.”

Limited ceasefire in southern Gaza

Hajari’s warning came after the Israeli army announced a limited ceasefire lasting several hours in the southern Gaza Strip. The „tactical break” along an important road is intended to enable more aid to be delivered to the coastal area. The decision was reportedly taken after consultations with the United Nations and international organizations.

The army stressed that the break applies to a road leading from the Kerem Shalom border crossing to the northeast, but it does not apply to the city of Rafah on the Egyptian border, and fighting must continue there. The border crossing there, which was the main entry point for aid delivery until the Israeli military advance on Rafah, remains closed. Due to the large number of deaths and the catastrophic humanitarian situation, Israel’s actions in the Gaza war are causing great controversy at the international level.

The Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip

The Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip

Source: OpenStreetMap; The world of infographics

The body responsible for Palestinian affairs in Israel, „Cogat”, said on Sunday that more than a thousand trucks carrying aid were waiting to be transported from the Gaza Strip at the Kerem Shalom border crossing. United Nations relief organizations only picked up 92 vehicles throughout the day.

Due to the ongoing fighting between the Israeli army and Hamas, the World Food Program recently warned of a further deterioration in the supply situation for the population in the southern Gaza Strip. As a result, they may soon suffer from the same catastrophic hunger situation as those in the northern regions.

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One message in three years: Aung San Suu Kyi’s family complains of annoying radio silence

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One message in three years: Aung San Suu Kyi’s family complains of annoying radio silence

One message in three years
Aung San Suu Kyi’s family complains of annoying radio silence

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After the coup that took place three years ago, the then de facto head of government, Suu Kyi, was imprisoned. Although the sentence is likely to be reduced at a later date, the family describe how they had almost no contact with the 78-year-old woman for years, who is said to have health problems.

The family of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s ousted government leader in crisis, has had no contact with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate since she was imprisoned nearly three years ago. Her son, Kim Aris, told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “In three and a half years, we have received only one letter from her, last January.” But after that, he and his brother were never heard from again. Not even after Suu Kyi was transferred from prison in April.

After the coup on February 1, 2021, the military ousted and arrested the de facto democratically elected head of government, Suu Kyi. A junta-controlled court later sentenced her to 33 years in prison for several alleged crimes. In 2023, the junta reduced Suu Kyi’s sentence to six years. In April, she was transferred from prison in the capital, Naypyidaw, to another location. According to the son, the family was not informed of her whereabouts.

The 78-year-old Suu Kyi’s two sons heard that their mother is sick and suffering from severe toothache that prevents them from eating. Then they sent her a package of medicine. “In January, incredibly, we received a signed letter from her,” Aris said. In the letter, Suu Kyi thanked her for the medicine, but wrote that she was still ill. However, according to Ari, the sons had no response to another package of medications.

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