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Friday 29th April 2022

Europe

In Ukraine, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres visited Irpin, Borodianka and Bucha yesterday. These are towns north of Kyiv where the Russian army is accused of committing war crimes, including rape and the executions of civilians. Guterres visited a mass grave before meeting President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. While visiting the towns, he described the war as an ‘absurdity’...

“I imagine my family in one of those houses that is now destroyed and black. I see my granddaughters running away in panic - part of the family eventually killed. So, the war is an absurdity in the 21st century.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that war crimes have been faked by Ukraine and NATO. Kyiv was hit by two Russian rockets yesterday for the first time in two weeks. Attacks in the East and South of Ukraine have increased in the last few days and the Russian army has captured some towns in the Donbass region.

United Kingdom foreign secretary Liz Truss said yesterday that the West should continue to send heavy weapons to Ukraine, and said that if Putin succeeds then Europe could not feel safe again...

“We can’t be complacent. The fate of Ukraine hangs in the balance. But let’s be clear - if Putin succeeds, there will be untold further misery across Europe, and terrible consequences across the globe... Some argue that we shouldn’t provide heavy weapons for the fear of provoking something worse, but my view is that inaction would be the greatest provocation - this is a time for courage, not for caution - and we must ensure that alongside Ukraine, the western Balkans and countries like Moldova and Georgia, have the resilience and the capabilities to maintain their sovereignties and freedom.”

In Mariupol a commander from the Ukrainian military released a video yesterday from inside the Steel factory which is the last place that the Russian army has not captured. The commander said that hundreds of civilians were with them, and he said that everyone will die if they are not evacuated. The Southern city of Kherson will start to use the Russian rouble as its currency, according to Russian officials in the city, where there have been constant pro-Ukraine protests ever since Russia took control last month. The United Kingdom said yesterday that a British volunteer soldier had died yesterday in Ukraine and another was missing.

In the United States President Joe Biden is asking congress to approve $33 billion dollars of support for Ukraine including $20 billion of military support.

Finland and Sweden are considering together whether to apply for NATO membership. The idea of joining NATO was not popular in Sweden and Finland before the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, however, now more than half of people in both countries want to join NATO. Yesterday NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said that Finland and Sweden could be welcomed quickly if they want to join...

“This is fundamentally about the right of every nation in Europe to decide its own future. So when Russia tried in a way to threaten to intimidate Finland and Sweden from not applying it just demonstrates how Russia is not respecting the basic right of every nation to choose its own path.”

Asia

In China most of Beijing’s 22 million people have been tested for COVID19 in the last three days. Some public places have been closed, and there have been some reports of panic-buying in supermarkets, as there are fears of a total lockdown as is now in place in Shanghai, China’s biggest city.

In Afghanistan there were two explosions yesterday. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Afghanistan, there were two bomb blasts in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, yesterday. According to police, the blasts occurred near buses full of passengers. At least nine people have been killed and 13 others injured. The victims were members of the Shia sect of Islam, which has been frequently targeted in recent months.

Africa

In Mali, an islamist jihadist group says it has captured a Russian mercenary. The group linked to Al Qaeda, said yesterday that it had captured the Russian Wagner soldier in central Mali. Wagner is a Russian private military company.

In Nigeria, paying kidnappers is now illegal. In the past few years there has been an increase in the number of kidnappings. The Senate has now made it illegal to pay ransom money and also has made kidnapping a crime punishable by death.

The Central African Republic has made bitcoin an official currency, along with the African franc. CAR is the second country to make bitcoin a legal currency after El Salvador.

Americas

In Haiti fighting between gangs has killed over 20 people this week. Gangs have taken control of large parts of Haiti since President Jovenel Moise was assassinated last year.

And in the United States zoom meetings are bad for creativity. According to research from the Columbia University of New York, face to face meetings produce more ideas and ideas that are more creative, compared to video-conferencing.

That’s your world news for this week. A big thank you to Musarrat in the UK for becoming our newest supporter. If you enjoy the podcast you can become a supporter at send7.org/support. Supporters get access to transcripts every day. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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