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Russia

Stories under this heading cover Russia, as well as countries in the eastern part of the European continent, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.

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News
Lavrov on diplomatic offensive in the Gulf, as poll results suggest Arab street is indifferent to Ukraine situation

Lavrov on diplomatic offensive in the Gulf, as poll results suggest Arab street is indifferent to Ukraine situation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Bahrain and Saudi Arabia this week as part of efforts to consolidate relations with the region, despite the international outcry over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The visit comes amid finding in a poll by YOUGOV that show that the Arab street is largely indifferent to the events in Ukraine. Faisal Abbas, the Editor in Chief of Arab News which commissioned the poll, in an article on 30 May, said that "most strikingly, perhaps, the findings lay bare the extent of the distrust of the West across all 14 of the countries covered in the survey. Almost a quarter of the 7,835 people surveyed (24 percent) pointed the finger of blame for the conflict squarely at NATO, while more than one in ten (13 percent) said US President Joe Biden was responsible. Only 16 percent blamed Russia." Abbas says that "this can be attributed in part to Russia’s massive investment in its own news channels in Arabic, and to a massive online outreach effort. But underpinning the widespread Arab skepticism on this issue is not so much the success of Russian propaganda, but rather the steady ebbing away of trust in the West over the past two decades."

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News
EU officials see with their own eyes Russian horrors in Ukraine

EU officials see with their own eyes Russian horrors in Ukraine

European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, travelled to Kyiv on Friday in a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian government and people, on a day when again dozens were killed in indiscriminate Russian attacks against civilians at a railway station, and when further evidence emerged of a Russian massacre of Ukrainians in the town of Bucha..  The two EU leaders started their trip in Bucha, scene of an earlier Russian massacre. European Commission president Von der Leyen said the civilian deaths in the Ukrainian town showed the “cruel face” of Russia’s army. In Bucha, where forensic investigators started to exhume bodies from a mass grave, Von der Leyen looked visibly moved by what she saw in the town northwest of Kyiv where Ukrainian officials say hundreds of civilians were killed by Russian forces.
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News
Putin must stop this war immediately and unconditionally

Putin must stop this war immediately and unconditionally

Shock has turned to anger right across the world as the truth about Russian atrocities in Ukraine began to emerge. The leaders of Europe, the US and other countries have strongly condemned war crimes being committed by invading Russian forces in Ukraine. In a statement on Monday (4 April) the European Union said: "We stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in these sombre hours for the whole world. The EU will continue to firmly support Ukraine and will advance, as a matter of urgency, work on further sanctions against Russia. President Putin must stop this war immediately and unconditionally."
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News
European Parliament president Roberta Metsola visits war torn Kyiv in an act of solidarity with the Ukrainian people

European Parliament president Roberta Metsola visits war torn Kyiv in an act of solidarity with the Ukrainian people

The president of the European Parliament on Friday (1 April) became the most senior EU official to visit Kyiv since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started more than a month ago.  In meetings with Ukrainian president  Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and with members of the Ukrainian parliament, Roberta Metsola assured Ukrainians that the people of Europe stand with Ukraine and will help rebuild its towns and cities after the war with Russia. Metsola, who took over as the European Parliament's president in January, also said the assembly would support Ukraine's efforts to start the process of joining the European Union.  "Please believe me when I say that the European Parliament, the European Union and the people of Europe stand with Ukraine. That is why I am here today, because we stand with you," she said after arriving in the capital Kyiv.
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Opinion
Opinion: Three summits, one message - Mr Putin we will make sure your aggression in Ukraine will fail

Opinion: Three summits, one message - Mr Putin we will make sure your aggression in Ukraine will fail

One month after Mr Putin launched an unprovoked war against Russia's neighbour Ukraine, despite being warned of the serious consequences if he did that, the leaders attending the summits in Brussels  had one important message: Mr Putin, we will not let you get away with this. We are united in making sure that your aggression against Ukraine fails. It cannot be otherwise, writes Dennis Sammut in this op-ed. If Putin destroys the Ukrainian state, and the rest of the world does nothing, then we will be back to the dark days of the 1930s. No country or society in the world will be able to feel safe again.
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News
In Kharkiv, Putin's Russia does what the Nazis failed to do 80 years ago

In Kharkiv, Putin's Russia does what the Nazis failed to do 80 years ago

A Ukrainian man who survived imprisonment in three Nazi concentration camps in World War II, was killed when his house in Kharkiv was destroyed by the bombs of the Russian invaders. The administration of the Buchenwald memorial centre in Germany has said a man who survived a number of concentration camps during World War Two was killed in the bombing on his home in the north-eastern city of Kharkiv on Friday, according to his relatives. Boris Romantschenko, who was 96, "actively campaigned for the memory of the crimes of Nazism and was vice president of the Buchenwald-Dora International Committee", they said in a series of tweets. Romanchenko survived the Buchenwald, Peenemünde, Dora-Mittelbau and Bergen-Belsen camps. Information about the man's death was confirmed by his granddaughter.