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Russia courts Africa

Russia courts Africa

ELIAS BIRYABAREMA RUSSIAN Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Congo Republic, the second leg of an African tour aimed at strengthening Moscow's ties with a continent that has refused to join Western condemnation and sanctions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. African countries, which have a tangled legacy of relations with the West and the former Soviet Union, have largely avoided taking sides over the war in Ukraine. Many import Russian grain and increasingly energy too, but they also buy Ukrainian grain and benefit from Western aid flows and trade ties. Africa is also being courted by the West this week,…
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Russia says its forces fully control Ukraine’s Luhansk region

Russia says its forces fully control Ukraine’s Luhansk region

RUSSIA said it had taken full control of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk after capturing the final Ukrainian bastion of Lysychansk, the city where Kyiv said it had withdrawn to save the lives of its troops. The region's capture, a major Russian war aim, is a political victory for the Kremlin after weeks of grinding advances and shifts the battlefield focus to the neighbouring Donetsk region, where Kyiv still controls swathes of territory. Since abandoning an assault on the capital Kyiv, Russia has concentrated its military operation on the industrial Donbas heartland that comprises the Luhansk and Donetsk regions,…
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Russian missiles rain down on military sites across Ukraine, local officials say

Russian missiles rain down on military sites across Ukraine, local officials say

MAX HUNDER DOZENS of Russian missiles rained down on military facilities in western and northern Ukraine, local officials said, as Europe's biggest land conflict since World War Two entered its fifth month. The governor of the Lviv region in western Ukraine, Maxim Kozytskyi, said in a video posted online that six missiles were fired from the Black Sea at the Yavoriv base, with four hitting the base and two being intercepted and destroyed before hitting their target. Vitaliy Bunechko, governor of the Zhytomyr region in the north of the country, said strikes on a military target killed at least one…
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Zelenskiy vows Ukraine will prevail, Boris Johnson promises lasting support

Zelenskiy vows Ukraine will prevail, Boris Johnson promises lasting support

PAVEL POLITYUK and MAX HUNDER WITH a blessing for its European Union ambitions and a pledge of unwavering support from Britain, Ukraine vowed on Saturday to prevail against Moscow as its troops battled the Russian assault near a pivotal eastern city and communities were pounded by more heavy shelling. EU leaders are expected at a summit next week to grant Ukraine candidate status following Friday's recommendation from the bloc's executive, putting Kyiv on course to realise an aspiration seen as out of reach before the invasion, even if actual membership could take years. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who made…
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Ukraine forces struggle to evacuate civilians from embattled Sievierodonetsk

Ukraine forces struggle to evacuate civilians from embattled Sievierodonetsk

NATALIA ZINETS UKRAINE said its forces were still trying to evacuate civilians from embattled Sievierodonetsk on Tuesday after Russia destroyed the last bridge to the devastated eastern city. The Ukrainian defenders were holding out against the Russians in a battle which has seen ground change hands several times over the past few weeks. "Russian troops are trying to storm the city, but the military is holding firm, Sievierodonetsk's Ukrainian mayor Oleksandr Stryuk said. He described the situation as "very difficult". Although the last bridge over the Siverskyi Donets river had been felled, evacuations were still being carried out "every minute…
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Ukraine says troops holding on to Sievierodonetsk, advance in south

Ukraine says troops holding on to Sievierodonetsk, advance in south

PAVEL POLITYUK and ABDELAZIZ BOUMZAR UKRAINIAN forces claimed to have pushed forward in intense street fighting in the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk but said their only hope to turn the tide was more artillery to offset Russia's massive firepower. In the south, Ukraine's defence ministry said it had captured new ground in a counter-attack in Kherson province, targeting the biggest swathe of territory Russia has seized since its invasion in February. The battle amid the ruins of Sievierodonetsk, a small industrial city, has become one of the war's bloodiest, with Russia concentrating its invasion force there. Both sides say they…
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Ukraine’s Zelenskiy eyes ‘inflection point’ in war as Russia tightens grip on key target

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy eyes ‘inflection point’ in war as Russia tightens grip on key target

PAVEL POLITYUK and MAX HUNDER RUSSIA tightened its grip on a key target in a battle for control of Ukraine's eastern Donbas region while President Volodymir Zelenskiy pleaded for more Western arms to help Ukraine reach an "inflection point" and prevail in the war. Zelenskiy told Luxembourg's parliament via videolink on Thursday that Russian forces now occupied about a fifth of Ukrainian territory, with battle lines stretching more than 1,000 km (620 miles). As the invasion approaches its 100th day on Friday, Russia says Washington is adding "fuel to the fire" with a new $700 million weapons package for Ukraine…
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The war in Ukraine: Africa risks paying a heavy price for neutrality

The war in Ukraine: Africa risks paying a heavy price for neutrality

FAR from being swift, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now looks likely to become a long-running war of attrition. It will therefore have an accumulating, and increasingly drastic, impact on Africa unless it can be brought to swift end. But can African countries influence that? And do they want to? This article argues that both African and western countries need to change their approach if Africa is to suffer less damage from the crisis. If it continues to sit on the fence, it risks exacerbating conflict in Africa itself. Author NICHOLAS WESTCOTT, Research Associate, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS,…
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Pope implicitly criticises Putin on invasion, considers Kyiv trip

Pope implicitly criticises Putin on invasion, considers Kyiv trip

PHILIP PULLELLA POPE Francis said he was considering a trip to Kyiv and implicitly criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine, saying a "potentate" was fomenting conflict for nationalist interests. Francis made the comments, first to reporters on the plane taking him to Malta for a two-day visit, and then in a hard-hitting speech in the island's presidential palace that left little doubt who he was referring to. "From the east of Europe, from the land of the sunrise, the dark shadows of war have now spread. We had thought that invasions of other countries, savage street…
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Africa to feel food impact on Russian invasion

Africa to feel food impact on Russian invasion

THE impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on food security will potentially have "dramatic consequences" for African countries that rely on grains imports, European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said. Speaking during an official visit to Bucharest, Gentiloni said food security will not be an issue in Europe, which is struggling with high inflation rather than low food supplies.
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