Friday 11th March 2022

In Ukraine hundreds of thousands of people in the city of Mariupol are without food, water or heat. The Russian army is continuing to bomb Mariupol making it extremely difficult for people to leave. The Mayor of Mariupol Vadym Boychenko has said that over 1,200 people have died in Mariupol since the Russian army began its attack. World leaders have condemned the destruction of a hospital in Mariupol on Wednesday, and civilian buildings are continually being hit. The World Health Organization has said that it has documented 18 attacks on hospitals in Ukraine in the last two weeks. WHO head Dr Tedros Adhanom said that this is a violation of the Geneva convention....

“I reiterate, the attacks on hospitals, medical personnel, and medical transports are forbidden under international humanitarian law. Any such attacks are a grave breach of the Geneva conventions...”

Western leaders have said that Russia may be planning to use chemical weapons in Ukraine. Over the last few days Russia has said that it has evidence that Ukraine was attempting to make chemical weapons. Some experts say that Russia is planning to use this fake evidence to justify its own use of chemical weapons. Experts say that Russia has often used fake stories to justify its military actions, such as by justifying the invasion of Ukraine by saying that there was a genocide of Russian speakers in Ukraine. Yesterday in an interview with Sky News, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Russia may be attempting to justify its future use of chemical weapons...

BJ: “I’ll make you one other prediction, by the way, which is that, the stuff you are hearing about chemical weapons - this is straight out of their playbook. They start saying that there are chemical weapons that have been stored by their opponents or by the Americans, and so when they themselves deploy chemical weapons, as I fear they may, they have a sort of mask - a fake story, ready to go. And you’ve seen it in Syria... you’ve seen it even in the UK (Salisbury poisonings)...

Journalist: This is what you expect next then?

BJ: “Look I... I just note, that that is what they’re already doing... It is a cynical, barbaric government I’m afraid...”

Yesterday Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Turkey, for the first time since the Russian invasion. Both sides said that there was no progress towards a ceasefire. Kuleba said that Russia wants Ukraine to surrender, but that that won’t happen. Lavrov said that the West caused the war in Ukraine by forcing Ukraine to choose between having close relations with Russia or the West.

Over 2.3 million people have left Ukraine since Russia invaded two weeks ago. The mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitshko said yesterday that half the population of Kyiv has left.

SEND7 podcast is very lucky to have received a message from Belarus. Kseniya says that people in Belarus do not support the invasion of Ukraine...

“Hello everyone. My name is Kseniya and I am from Belarus. For almost two years now, Belarus is occupied by its own army and military forces who are controlled by Alexander Lukashenko. And still Belarus stands with Ukraine in this war. We go on protests. We transfer money to Ukrainian funds. We share information in social media. Some of our men have joined Ukrainian army. We are trying to help in all possible ways, even though we can be put in jail for any of the above. And all of this is because it is our war too. You can’t stay away from this when you see how a child dies in a hospital after a Russian attack. When you read how a man holds his dying father in his hands while still being under fire. When you hear a story from a father who is stuck in another country while his mum and his daughter are hiding in a bomb shelter in Kharkiv. For me as a Belarussian it is also important to speak up because Lukashenko allowed Russian invaders to use our territory to launch missiles. But the Belarussian nation has not given them permission to do so. In fact we are strictly against this war. This war must be stopped. Russian invaders must be stopped. Slava Ukraini (Glory to Ukraine) Zheyvi Belarus (Free Belarus?)

Rest of the World

India’s ruling party, Bharatiya Janata, has claimed victory in four state elections, including in Uttar Pradesh, a state of over 200 million people. Yogi Adityanath is the first person to ever be re-elected as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Hungary has its first ever female president. Katalin Novak was chosen by Hungary’s parliament, which is lead by right-wing Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Next month Hungary has a parliamentary election. Most opposition parties have joined together to try to defeat Orban, who has been Prime Minister since 2010.

Guatemala has increased the prison sentences given to women who have abortions. A woman who is convicted of terminating a pregnancy can now spend ten years in jail. Guatemala is one of the countries with the most strict rules on abortion in the world, with abortion being illegal even if a woman has been raped.

And in Rwanda a species of bat that hasn’t been seen in 40 years has been found. Many conservationists believed that the Hill’s Horseshoe bat was already extinct.

That is your Simple English World News for this week. I you find this podcast valuable then please give what you would pay for a cup of coffee at I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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