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Wednesday 23rd February 2022.

Europe

Russian soldiers are now in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has ordered soldiers to cross into the Donbass region which Russia now recognizes as two independent countries - Donetsk and Luhansk. Donestsk and Luhansk declared independence from Ukraine in 2014, however no country has recognized their independence until now. Russia has been supporting fighters in Donetsk and Luhansk, but this is the first time that Russia has openly sent soldiers into the area - calling them “peacekeepers”. President Putin has justified sending soldiers into Ukraine’s Donbass region, by saying that there is a threat of ‘genocide’ towards Russian speakers in the area. Russian state media channel RT has been reporting that Ukraine has been attacking the Donbass region in the last few days. The Guardian newspaper has released a report saying that Russia is using fake videos that pretend to show that Ukraine is attacking people in the Donbass region. Yesterday Putin also said that Russia recognised land that is not currently controlled by the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as being a part of their territory - which experts have said increases the probability that Russia will use force to take more territory from Ukraine.

Yesterday the United Nations held a security council meeting because of the entry of Russian soldiers into territory recognized as Ukrainian by every other member of the United Nations. Kenya’s ambassador to the UN Martin Kimani compared the Russian invasion of Ukraine to Africa’s colonial history...

“Today the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of Ukraine has been effected. Kenya is gravely concerned by the announcement made by the Russian federation to recognize Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as independent states. In our considered view this option and announcement breaches the territorial integrity of Ukraine. This situation echoes our history.”

United States President Joe Biden said yesterday that this is the beginning of an invasion, and announced new sanctions on Russia. The European Union agreed to begin new sanctions on Russia, including on individual Russians, many banks and limiting Russian access to markets. Germany has postponed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would carry gas from Russia to Germany. Japan said that it will impose sanctions. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed new sanctions on Russia yesterday, however said that more were ready to be implemented if the situation worsens...

“Today, the UK is sanctioning the following five Russian banks, Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank. And we are sanctioning three very high network individuals - Ginardi Timchenko, Boris Rothenberg and Igor Rothenberg.”

Africa

Uganda will fine people who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID19, according to a new law expected to be passed by parliament. Uganda removed all coronavirus restrictions last month, however, only 27% of Ugandans have received a vaccine. In the world, 63% of people have received a COVID19 vaccine.

In Burkina Faso, an explosion at a gold mine has killed 59 people, according to local officials. Gold is the biggest export of Burkina Faso, however poor regulations have led to many accidents.

Americas

The Dominican Republic has started building a wall across its border with Haiti. Dominican president Luis Abinader has said that the wall will reduce illegal immigration and smuggling, saying that it will benefit both countries.

Colombia has decriminalised abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Colombia is the third country in South America to effectively legalize abortion, after Uruguay and Argentina.

Asia

Pakistan has allowed food from India to be transported to Afghanistan despite a ban on cross-border trade between Pakistan and India. Khadija Tahir reports...

Fifty trucks carrying food aid from India were allowed to pass through Pakistan to reach Afghanistan this week. Due to political tensions, transit trade between India and Pakistan has been suspended since 2019. On Tuesday, this ban was temporarily lifted to allow food aid from India to be transported to Afghanistan. According to the world food program, almost 8.7 million Afghans face food shortages.

And in Japan, women have performed better than men in medical school entrance exams, for the first time since records began in 2013. Entrance to medical school is extremely competitive in Japan. Only 13.5% of men passed the exam, and 13.6% of women.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. If you find this podcast valuable then please become a supporter at send7.org/support. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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