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Van der Leyen has called on EU countries to welcome migrants who have arrived in Italy



Van der Leyen has called on EU countries to welcome migrants who have arrived in Italy

Russian volunteers help Ukrainian refugees in Russia

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russian Galina Artyomenko began collecting money to help displaced Ukrainians inside Russia, until her bank cards and those of two volunteers were suddenly blocked in mid-July. “The bank says our fundraising intentions are ‘dubious,'” says Artyomenko, insisting that “every ruble spent” can be justified. He is careful not to express any political stance.

The ban reflects doubts about its humanitarian efforts in a country where critics of the invasion of Ukraine are increasingly repressive. With the help of other volunteers in St. Petersburg (Northwest), Artyomenko launches appeals for donations online and then uses the money he collects to buy clothes, medicine and food for Ukrainian refugees in Russia.

It regularly receives Ukrainians arriving at the train station in St. Petersburg and helps them find housing and work or go through the necessary administrative procedures to move from Russia to the EU. Artyomenko adds: “There are many good people, thousands of people helping (Ukrainians), but they don’t want to talk about it for security reasons, even though there is no law prohibiting helping people in distress.”

Against a backdrop of worsening repression, many volunteers refuse to comment on the conflict and the aid they provide to refugees, fearing the attention of authorities, who regularly arrest unknown people accused of collaborating with Kiev or accused of extortion. The popularity of the Russian army.

For her part, Lyudmila (43 years old), who did not want to reveal her surname, says that many Russians are “quiet” and cannot express their position publicly. Instead, they ease the burden of their conscience by helping victims. She adds: “We cannot be idle. We should help those who live in worse conditions than we are living and those who are suffering. “We can do it without risk.” Volunteer Galina Artyomenko considers it “the only way to survive.”

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Organized help

According to a United Nations census through the end of December 2022, Russia is hosting about 1.3 million Ukrainian refugees, while Moscow estimates the number of refugees at more than 5 million, a figure denied by non-governmental organizations. Some of these pass only in Russia; Others affirm their desire to stay on Russian territory, particularly in the St. Petersburg region on the border with the European Union.

For its part, Kiev accuses the Kremlin of transporting Ukrainians to Russia and pushing them to obtain Russian passports.

In March, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Children’s Commissioner Maria Lavova-Belova on charges of illegally deporting Ukrainian children.

Moscow denies the allegations, insisting that the refugees are being taken to safe havens either voluntarily or during targeted evacuations.

In Russia, solidarity networks helping refugees, like the one Galina Artyomenko works with, have been active since the conflict began.

Agence France-Presse said in a statement that he met Artyomenko, a volunteer, after buying household items to deliver essential items to a collection point for Ukrainian refugees.

On wooden shelves, shoes, clothes, food items and household items are kept in a center called “Komsklad”, which is open daily and dozens of families benefit from the aid daily.

Afterward, Artyomenko ran to a shop in the city center to buy glasses for Elena and Igor, a Ukrainian couple from the eastern Ukrainian city of Pakmut, which Moscow says it has captured since spring, despite continued fighting. More than a year.

Other centers also work to help Ukrainian refugees, such as the NGO in Moscow, which has more resources than the Komsklad center.

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According to Ukrainian volunteer Yulia Makeyeva (49 years old), the organization currently receives 50 people every day after registering a record attendance in 2022.

“Tales of Suffering”

Makewa believes that the emotional factor is the hardest part of dealing with the plight of refugees. “To maintain energy and hope, I try to keep my distance (from stories of suffering), otherwise I can’t work, I cry,” she says. She began to cry with her husband, Alexander, as they talked about their survival from the bombing in the Ukrainian city of Kopiensk, from which they fled a year ago, along with their two children, ages 3 and 7.

Ukrainian forces recaptured the area in eastern Ukraine in September 2022 after Russian forces occupied it for 6 months. But Russia has launched a new offensive in the region. “I want peace,” Yulia adds.

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Robert Kennedy Jr. decided to run as an independent in the US presidential election



Robert Kennedy Jr. decided to run as an independent in the US presidential election

US presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. will announce his candidacy as an independent instead of continuing his long-running bid to defeat President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee, complicating next year’s presidential election.

Kennedy, an anti-vaccination activist and member of a famous American political family, posted a video on YouTube on Friday asking Americans to join him in a “major announcement” in Philadelphia on October 9.

He said he would talk about a radical change in American policy.

Kennedy is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, and the son of former U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy, who was assassinated during his 1968 presidential bid.

In April, Kennedy said he would challenge Biden to run for the Democratic nomination against the expected Republican nominee, former President Donald Trump.

Since then, Kennedy has complained that the Democratic Party has “basically blended together” with the Biden campaign, which has cost him a fair chance in the nomination race.

Many polls have Biden ahead of Kennedy.

Kennedy’s plan to run as an independent was first reported on the political website Mediaite.

In response to an emailed question from Reuters about the report, the Kennedy campaign responded by sending out its own video.

Democrats worried that any effort by a third party could shift votes away from Biden.

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Only since the beginning of this year… has the UN been concerned about migrants trying to cross the “death trap”.



Only since the beginning of this year… has the UN been concerned about migrants trying to cross the “death trap”.

More than 2,500 migrants have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe since the start of 2023, an official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced on Thursday.

“As of September 24, more than 2,500 people are dead or missing,” said Rubin Menegtivela, director of the UNHCR office in New York, during a Security Council meeting dedicated to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. That represents a nearly 50 percent increase compared to “1,680” people during the same period in 2022.

“Without public opinion, lives are being lost on the ground,” he asserted.

He pointed out that “the journey to West or East Africa and the Horn of Africa and Libya and the starting points on the coast is one of the most dangerous journeys in the world.”

He added, “Refugees and migrants traveling overland from sub-Saharan Africa face the risk of death and serious human rights violations at every step.”

According to statistics announced by Ruffin Minisdiola, between the beginning of the year and September 24, 2023, a total of 186,000 migrants arrived in Southern Europe (Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta), including 130,000 for Italy, “an increase of 83 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

In terms of countries of departure, between the beginning of the year and August 2023, more than 102,000 migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia, and 45,000 from Libya.

Of this number, 31,000 were rescued at sea or intercepted and disembarked in Tunisia, and 10,600 are in Libya.

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Referring to the recent influx of large numbers of migrants to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the official stressed that “Italy cannot respond alone to the needs” of these migrants.

UN refugee agency to “establish a regional mechanism for the evacuation and redistribution” of migrants arriving by sea. Menaktivela reiterated the High Commissioner’s call, which raises disagreements among EU member states.

For his part, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia, who requested the meeting, denounced the EU for its role in the “death trap” in the Mediterranean.

The ambassador said: “We have the impression that the European Union is waging an undeclared war against migrants because they have no other, safe route.”

“The European Union only cares about the migration issue when it comes to Ukrainians,” Nebenzia added, expressing her regret that other migrants do not enjoy “the same level of solidarity”.

As for French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere, referring to Russian contributions to UNHCR’s budget, he said, “Russia is not, as always, when it comes to responding decisively to humanitarian crises.”

He added, “Wagner’s presence in the Sahel region contributes to the instability of the region, which fuels terrorism and leads to the migration of residents.”

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US punishes former Sudanese foreign minister



US punishes former Sudanese foreign minister

On Thursday, the United States imposed sanctions on former Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti, one of which was based in Russia, and accused him of exacerbating instability in Sudan, where fighting has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of civilians. ..

The move is the latest round of sanctions imposed by Washington since fighting broke out in Sudan in mid-April between the military and Rapid Support Forces..

Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement that “the action will be held accountable for those who undermined efforts to find a peaceful and democratic solution in Sudan.”

He added: “We will continue to target those who work to perpetuate this conflict for personal gain.”

The Treasury Department said it targeted Karti, who was foreign minister under former President Omar al-Bashir, noting that Karti became head of the Sudanese Islamic Movement after al-Bashir was ousted in 2019..

Karti has been a prominent figure among the veterans and loyalists of Bashir’s regime since the Sudanese army seized power in 2021 and overthrew the civilian area..

The Treasury Department added: “(Karthi) and other Sudanese militants are actively obstructing efforts to reach a ceasefire to end the current war.”

Also sanctioned was Sudan-based GSK Advance, which the Treasury Department said was used as a procurement vehicle for Rapid Support Forces..

The company is said to be coordinating with Russia-based military supply company Avia Trade, which has been targeted by sanctions, to arrange for the purchase of spare parts and supplies for drones previously purchased by Rapid Support Forces. Training work..

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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a separate statement that Washington moved this week to impose visa restrictions on people it considers part of efforts to undermine the democratic transition in Sudan..

The new sanctions come after actions taken against the deputy commander of the Rapid Support Forces this month and sanctions imposed by the US in June on companies accused of fueling the conflict..

The measure freezes the assets of targeted individuals in the U.S., generally prevents Americans from doing business with them, and also exposes those who engage in certain transactions with them to economic sanctions..

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