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Russia strike toll: 45 dead civilians, including 6 children




Ukraine’s DNIPRO — Officials said Tuesday that the death toll from the Ukraine war’s deadliest attack on civilians in one location since last spring, a Russian missile strike on an apartment building, had risen to 45.

Six children were killed in the Dnipro strike on Saturday afternoon, and 79 people were injured, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who posted on the Telegram messaging app. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, that the death toll included the dozen people who were listed as missing after the fire. About 1,700 people lived in the multistory building.

The Dnipro City Council reported that emergency crews cleared 9 metric tons (9.9 tons) of rubble during a nonstop search and rescue operation. It added that about 400 people lost their homes, with 72 apartments completely ruined and another 236 damaged beyond repair.


People Come To Mourn For The Third Day

On Tuesday, people flocked to the site to lay flowers, light candles, and bring plush toys. Oleksandr Pohorielov, a Dnipro resident, came to mourn for the third day.

“It’s like going to your family’s grave. To say a proper goodbye is a memory. “To remain a human after all,” he explained as a strong odor of burning emanated from the ruins of the building.

Volunteers assisted Nadiia Yaroshenko’s son in escaping on a makeshift ladder from their third-floor apartment, but their white cat Beliash refused to leave. He remains in his favorite place at a window now blown out, desperately trying to see him from the courtyard with a flashlight.

“Even with rescuers, we can’t get to the apartment because it’s in an emergency and dangerous condition. “Walls could fall at any time,” she said.


Russia Bombards Ukraine Once Again

The most recent deadly Russian strike on a civilian target in nearly 11 months has sparked outrage. It also led to the sudden resignation on Tuesday of a Ukrainian presidential adviser who said the Russian missile exploded and fell after being shot down by the Ukrainian air defense system. This would take some of the blame away from the Kremlin’s forces.

Oleksii Arestovych’s remarks in a Saturday night interview sparked outrage. As he walked away, he admitted that his remarks were “a fundamental mistake.” Ukraine’s air force had previously stated that the country’s military could not shoot down Russia’s Kh-22 supersonic missiles, which hit the apartment building.

Zelenskyy promised to hold those responsible for the strike accountable.

“We will use all available national and international opportunities to ensure that all Russian murderers, everyone who gives and executes orders on missile terror against our people, And to ensure that they receive their punishment,” he said in a video address on Monday.

Tuesday the weekend barrage of long-range missiles, the first of its kind in two weeks, targeted Ukraine’s power grid.


Russia Has Been Increasingly Using Older Weapons

During Soviet times, the Kh-22 was designed to attack enemy ships. It can also be used against ground targets with much less accuracy. According to observers, Russia has been increasingly using older weapons, including those intended for other purposes, to attack targets in Ukraine, potentially indicating a depletion of Russian stockpiles of modern precision weapons.

The UK ministry stated that the Kh-22 “is notoriously inaccurate when used against ground targets because its radar guidance system is poor at differentiating targets in urban areas,” implying that this may have played a role in the Dnipro deaths.

Similar missiles were used in other incidents that resulted in high civilian casualties, it said, including a June strike on a shopping mall in Ukraine’s central city of Kremenchuk that killed more than 20 people, according to officials.

Before Saturday, the deadliest attack involving civilians was an April 9 attack on a train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, which killed at least 52 people.

A makeshift memorial to the victims of the Dnipro attack appeared in front of an apartment building in Moscow, an unusual act in Russia, where even a hint of criticism of the government’s “special military operation” in Ukraine is frequently suppressed. Flowers and stuffed animals were placed among the snow, with a photo of the destroyed building and a sign in Russian: “Dnipro. 14.01.2023.”


Ukraine Fights Against The Kremlin’s Invasion

As Ukraine fights against the Kremlin’s invasion, attacks on civilians have made it easier for the rest of the world to back it. The winter has slowed fighting, but military analysts predict a renewed push by both sides once the weather improves.

To emphasize Russia’s growing military needs, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Tuesday that the country’s military would increase its troop strength from 1.15 million to 1.5 million in the coming years.

The military will form an army corps in the northwestern region of Karelia, near Finland, and three new motorized infantry and two airborne divisions as part of the buildup. In addition, the military will divide seven motorized infantry brigades into divisions.

On the Ukrainian side, Army Gen. Mark Milley traveled to the Ukraine-Poland border on Tuesday for the first time to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi in southeastern Poland at an undisclosed location. Milley paid a visit to Ukrainian troops training at a military base in Germany under US command on Monday.

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Russia’s Invasion Is Killing The Children Of Ukraine

Ukraine’s first lady was assisting on Tuesday. She told world leaders and business executives at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland that they should use their power to stop a Russian invasion that she says is killing children and causing a food crisis around the world.

As the first anniversary of the war approaches, Olena Zelenska says parents in Ukraine are in tears as doctors try to save their children, farmers are afraid to return to mine-infested fields, and “we cannot allow a new Chernobyl,” referring to the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster.

“What you all share is that you are genuinely influential,” Zelenska told the audience. “But there is something that separates you, and that is that not all of you use this influence or use it in ways that further divide you.”

Meanwhile, the head of the United Nations nuclear agency is visiting several of Ukraine’s four nuclear power plants this week to oversee the installation of permanent inspectors to oversee operations and ensure safety.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s director-general, Rafael Grossi, said Tuesday that the missions “will make a very real difference by assisting Ukrainian operators and regulators in fulfilling their national responsibility of ensuring nuclear safety and security.”




Australia Swelters Under Extreme Heat As Rare Early Cyclone Barrels Toward Northern Coast




A tropical cyclone has rapidly strengthened off Australia’s northern coast, as millions face heat wave conditions expected to last into the weekend.

According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, severe tropical storm Jasper strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on Friday, with maximum winds of 220 kilometers per hour (138 mph).

“Further intensification Friday is possible, and a category 5 system cannot be ruled out,” according to the country’s meteorology bureau.

According to a CNN investigation of National Hurricane Center storm tracks, Jasper is the earliest Category 4 tropical cyclone to form in the Coral Sea since records began in 1900.

The storm, which is 1,195 kilometers (742 miles) northeast of Queensland and moving south at 9 kilometers per hour (6 miles per hour), could hit the coast near Cairns, a city of 250,000 people, with maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour (87 miles per hour) by early Tuesday.

Forecasters believe the expected route could change.


Australia Swelters Under Extreme Heat As Rare Early Cyclone Barrels Toward Northern Coast

During El Nio, a climate trend in the Pacific Ocean along the equator that often reduces rainfall on Australia’s east coast, the storm arrives unusually early.

This year’s system has had an impact on weather all over the world, and it has the potential to significantly impact storm seasons.

Meanwhile, heat advisories are in effect in various states and territories, including New South Wales, which has a population of almost 8 million people.

Temperatures in Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales, are anticipated to reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday, thanks to strong, dry winds.

Due to the elevated risk of bushfires, some Sydney schools were forced to close on Friday, and a total fire ban was in effect in some parts of NSW.

On Friday, regions of South Australia received a “catastrophic” fire rating, the highest on the scale, indicating that lives and property are likely to be lost if a fire starts.


Parts of New South Wales and Victoria have extreme fire risk ratings.

The heat is expected to subside by the end of the weekend and into early next week.

With frequent heat waves, excessive rains, and destructive bushfires, Australia is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate catastrophe.

Earlier this year, amid Australia’s warmest winter since records began in 1910, more than 20 runners in the Sydney Marathon were hospitalized due to heat exhaustion.

Ski resorts, including the country’s largest, Perisher, also closed early owing to a lack of snow.

Fears were especially high because the devastating 2020 Black Summer fires, the country’s worst in decades, are still fresh in the minds of millions of Australians.

The fires consumed 10 million hectares (24.7 million acres), killing hundreds and destroying over 3,000 homes.


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Azerbaijan And Armenia Agree To Prisoner Swap And To Work Towards Peace Deal




Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to exchange prisoners and work toward restoring relations and a peace agreement to end a decades-long conflict, which the US and EU have applauded.

According to a joint statement issued by Azerbaijan’s state news agency, AZERTAC, Azerbaijan will swap 32 prisoners of war for two military personnel.

“The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan both believe that there is a historical chance for the region to achieve long-awaited peace.” The two countries “reaffirm their intention to normalize relations and reach a peace treaty based on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to the statement. The breakthrough resulted from conversations between the offices of Azerbaijan’s president and Armenia’s prime minister.

“An agreement has been reached on taking tangible steps towards building confidence between two countries,” the statement says.


Azerbaijan And Armenia Agree To Prisoner Swap And To Work Towards Peace Deal

According to Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the US State Department, the prisoner swap was “an important confidence-building measure” as the two countries worked toward a peace agreement.

“We commend Azerbaijani President (Ilham) Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister (Nikol) Pashinyan for their joint efforts to lay the groundwork for a more peaceful and prosperous future for the people of the South Caucasus,” the statement read. “The United States will continue to strongly support efforts to reach a durable and dignified peace.”

“Establishing and deepening the bilateral dialogue between sides has been a key objective of the EU-led Brussels process: today’s progress is a significant step,” said EU Council President Charles Michel on X. “I now encourage the leaders to finalize the … peace deal ASAP.”

The neighboring countries have been at odds for decades over Nagorno-Karabakh, an area in the Caucasus Mountains.

After mounting a quick 24-hour attack, Azerbaijan reclaimed control of Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic-Armenian enclave within its boundaries, in September.


Azerbaijan And Armenia Agree To Prisoner Swap And To Work Towards Peace Deal

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been controlled by Armenian rebels for decades. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over Nagorno-Karabakh, and cease-fire agreements have proven unstable.

Armenia admitted earlier this year that the province was part of Azerbaijan, but there are still disagreements about the future of its administration.

The latest progress on prisoner swaps and repairing relations came as delegates from both countries gathered in Dubai for the COP28 climate conference.

The statement also stated that Armenia would withdraw from consideration to host the annual UN-backed climate meeting next year and that Azerbaijan hoped other nations would support its bid.


Azerbaijan And Armenia Agree To Prisoner Swap And To Work Towards Peace Deal

There is a vacancy for the summit host for COP29 in 2024, which, according to UN standards, should be hosted in Eastern Europe. Before Thursday, the two countries had been obstructing each other’s candidacy in the voting process.

A vote among the region’s nations determines the year’s host country. Russia voted against numerous countries that are members of or allies of the European Union.

Azerbaijan is a big oil and gas producer that has been strengthening ties with Russia. Oil and gas account for about half of the country’s GDP and over 90% of its exports.


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Italy Quits Belt And Road Plan As Europe Rethinks China Relations




Italy, the only G7 country to join China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative, will abandon the global infrastructure program when its contract expires next year, marking the latest symptom of Europe’s growing hostility against Beijing and its worldwide ambitions.

Giorgia Meloni, the prime minister, acknowledged the much-anticipated action on Thursday. She made the promise during her election campaign last year in response to complaints that the agreement with China that a previous administration had negotiated in 2019 had not been particularly beneficial to Italy’s economy.

On the other hand, Meloni emphasized that Rome could maintain excellent relations with Beijing outside of the program, which has increased China’s worldwide power while raising concerns that it has burdened some nations with unmanageable debt.


Italy Quits Belt And Road Plan As Europe Rethinks China Relations

“I believe we should… improve our cooperation with China on trade and the economy,” Meloni told reporters, according to Reuters, in her first public comments on the matter following rumors that Italy had informed China of its decision not to renew the treaty when it ends in March 2024.

“The tool of the (BRI) … has not produced the results that were expected,” she said in a statement.

Italy’s decision coincides with the European Union’s campaign to “de-risk” its supply chains from China and secure critical technologies after the bloc’s designation of Beijing as a “systemic rival” in 2019.

These tensions were on display Thursday during a conference in Beijing between EU leaders and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, as the two sides grappled with issues ranging from trade to Russia’s war in Ukraine – with little progress made.

When asked about the Italian pullout during a normal news briefing on Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry maintained a cautious tone, citing the “enormous appeal and global influence of Belt and Road cooperation.”

“China vehemently opposes attempts to smear and sabotage Belt and Road cooperation, or to incite bloc confrontation and division,” said spokesperson Wang Wenbin, without mentioning Italy specifically.


Italy Quits Belt And Road Plan As Europe Rethinks China Relations

China has signed collaboration agreements with what it claims are more than 140 countries for the initiative, which has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in roads, ports, airports, and bridges, mostly in the Global South over the last decade.

Italy’s decision to join the scheme in 2019 was generally interpreted as a diplomatic victory for Beijing, prompting criticism from Washington and Brussels.

This summer, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto called the 2019 decision “wicked,” citing growing trade disparities between the two countries in an interview with Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Last year, China imported $26.9 billion in Italian goods, up from $21.4 billion in 2019. According to China’s customs data, Chinese exports to Italy increased from $33.5 billion to $50.5 billion during the same time.

Former China-friendly Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who joined the scheme, blasted the withdrawal in an interview on his Facebook page, saying it was made for “ideological reasons” and risked “scuppering” future Italian export growth.


Italy Quits Belt And Road Plan As Europe Rethinks China Relations

In an interview with the Italian news outlet Fanpage earlier this year, the Chinese Ambassador to Italy, Jia Guide, stated that a “reckless” choice to withdraw from the accord would have a “negative” influence on cooperation.

Italian politicians were eager to tread gently in their withdrawal, with Meloni frequently implying that good relations with China could be maintained outside of the Belt and Road initiative. She has also refuted allegations that the US persuaded her to abandon the scheme.

Rome withdrew as a delegation of top European Union officials arrived in Beijing for the first EU-China meeting in four years.

Chinese leaders saw the summit as a critical opportunity to calm tense relations with Europe, which Beijing sees as a major potential counterweight in its competition with the United States.

“We should not regard each other as rivals simply because our systems are different,” Xi told the visiting leaders, according to China’s official readout. “We should not reduce cooperation because competition exists, or engage in confrontation because there are disagreements.”


Italy Quits Belt And Road Plan As Europe Rethinks China Relations

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel challenged Xi and Chinese Premier Li Qiang on their countries’ massive trade deficits and “unfair competition,” while Li urged the EU to be “prudent” in its use of “restrictive” economic policies.

Even though the summit looked to achieve nothing regarding fundamental problems, Von der Leyen stated that both parties agreed “that it is in our mutual interest to have balanced trade relations.”

The EU will seek “concrete progress following these discussions,” according to a statement issued after the meeting.

Source – CNN

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