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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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Editor's choice
News
Goodbye - Dosvedanya! Russia excluded from the Council of Europe

Goodbye - Dosvedanya! Russia excluded from the Council of Europe

In an extraordinary meeting this morning, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, decided, in the context of the procedure launched under Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, that the Russian Federation ceases to be a member of the Council of Europe as from today, after 26 years of membership. The Russian flag was later lowered from in front of the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg.
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: On Ukraine, Armenia seeks to avoid the dark side of history

Opinion: On Ukraine, Armenia seeks to avoid the dark side of history

Armenia is one of the countries that have had to make difficult decisions whilst positioning itself in the current stand-off between Russia and Ukraine. Despite the fact that it has little room for manoeuvre, and is very dependent on Russia in many spheres, Armenia has taken a pragmatic but principled position, writes Bojan Stojkovski in this op-ed for commonspace.eu
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News
UN Secretary General: "The possibility of nuclear conflict, which was once unthinkable, is now possible again."

UN Secretary General: "The possibility of nuclear conflict, which was once unthinkable, is now possible again."

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres told reporters at the UN Headquarters, that the conflict in Ukraine can turn into a nuclear one. "The possibility of nuclear conflict, which was once unthinkable, is now possible again," he said. Noting that Russia's raising the nuclear alert level is a "creepy" development, Guterres said, "The possibility of nuclear conflict, which was once unthinkable, is now possible again. "Ukraine is on fire. The country is being destroyed before the eyes of the world."  Saying that the impact of Russia's war against Ukraine on civilians has reached "terrible dimensions", Guterres told the assembled journalists, "Whatever the outcome, there will be no winners in this war, only losers."
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News
 In the name of God, stop this massacre!

In the name of God, stop this massacre!

Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, has made an passionate appeal for an end to the war in Ukraine. At the conclusion of the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis recalled that the city that bears the name of the Virgin Mary, Mariupol, has become a city of martyrs in the terrible war ravaging Ukraine. He expressed horror over the barbarity of the killing of children, innocents and unarmed civilians, and called for an end to the unacceptable armed aggression, before it reduces cities to cemeteries. "With pain in my heart I join my voice to that of the common people, who implore an end to the war. In the name of God, let the cries of those who suffer be heard and let the bombings and attacks cease! Let there be a real and decisive focus on negotiation, and let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe. In the name of God, I ask you: stop this massacre!"
Editor's choice
Editorial
MARIUPOL: the name of a city etched in history with the blood of its people

MARIUPOL: the name of a city etched in history with the blood of its people

The war in Ukraine is likely to continue for some time, and after that it will be an uneasy peace that will follow. For Ukrainians this is an existential battle - whether they want their country to continue to live. For the Kremlin it is existential too. A humiliating defeat in Ukraine will seriously undermine the legitimacy of the regime. There are therefore likely to be many battles ahead, many heroic Ukrainian cities to add to the catalogue of history. But for sure Mariupol's name will forever be associated with the heroism of its people, with the war crimes committed by the Kremlin in Ukraine, and with the futility and irrationality of war.
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News
Russian Banks look east for salvation

Russian Banks look east for salvation

In addition to the moves towards UnionPay, some Russian companies are now accepting payments in Yuan, and there is talk of Russia turning to CIPS, the Chinese equivalent of SWIFT. The Russian pivot towards the Yuan and Chinese financial systems could reduce the dominance of the US Dollar in global transactions. In addition to the moves towards UnionPay, some Russian companies are now accepting payments in Yuan, and there is talk of Russia turning to CIPS, the Chinese equivalent of SWIFT. The Russian pivot towards the Yuan and Chinese financial systems could reduce the dominance of the US Dollar in global transactions.
Editor's choice
Editorial
On International Women's Day we salute the courage of the women of Ukraine

On International Women's Day we salute the courage of the women of Ukraine

8 March is International Women's Day - an occasion to celebrate the role of women in our societies, an opportunity to re-affirm their right for equality, a time to remember that across the world millions of women still do not have such rights and are often treated inhumanely.  This year we celebrate International Women's Day at a time when the world is watching in horror as the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfolds. For nearly two weeks now Russian forces have committed atrocities against peaceful civilian communities. Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced, nearly two million to neighbouring European countries. The world has watched in awe as Ukrainians put up a stiff resistance to the invaders. And none more so than Ukrainian women who are playing a leading role in the resistance.