Sahel (Africa) violence could drive more refugees toward Europe

FILE- In this April 15, 2022 file photo, malnourished children wait for treatment in the pediatric department of Boulmiougou hospital in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The U.N. is warning that 18 million people in Africa’s Sahel region face severe hunger in the next three months. Two U.N. agencies are citing the impacts of war in Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic, climate-induced shocks and rising costs – and warning that people may try to migrate out of the affected areas. (AP Photo/Sophie Garcia, File)

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the U.N. refugee agency says “Europe should be much more worried” that more people from Africa’s Sahel region could seek to move north to escape violence, climate crises like droughts and floods and the impact of growing food shortages caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, called for more efforts to build peace in the world as conflicts and crises like those in Ukraine, Venezuela, Myanmar, Syria and beyond have driven over 100 million people to leave their homes — both within their own countries and abroad.

UNHCR, the U.N.’s refugee agency, on Thursday issued its latest “Global Trends” report, which found over 89 million people had been displaced by conflict, climate change, violence and human rights abuses by 2021. The figure has since swelled after at least 12 million people fled their homes in Ukraine to other parts of the country or abroad following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.

This year, the world is also facing growing food insecurity — Ukraine is a key European breadbasket and the war has greatly hurt grain exports

The African Union, whose continent relies on imports of wheat and other food from Ukraine, has appealed for help to access grain that is blocked in Ukrainian silos and unable to leave Ukrainian ports amid a Russian naval blockade in the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s ‘Nuremberg Moment’ Amid Flood of Alleged Russian War Crimes

So many crimes are being documented that they need a new court.

foreignpolicy.com

By Robbie Gramer, a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy, and Amy Mackinnon, a national security and intelligence reporter at Foreign Policy

An aerial view of crosses, floral tributes, and photographs of the victims of the battles for Irpin and Bucha that mark the graves in a cemetery in Irpin, Ukraine, on May 16.
An aerial view of crosses, floral tributes, and photographs of the victims of the battles for Irpin and Bucha that mark the graves in a cemetery in Irpin, Ukraine, on May 16.

JUNE 10, 2022, 3:48 PM

As Russia continues its assault on Ukraine, top Biden administration officials are working behind the scenes with the Ukrainian government and European allies to document a tsunami of war crimes allegedly committed by Russian forces.

Putin’s War

How the world is dealing with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But the sheer volume of the documented war crime cases could be too overwhelming for Ukraine’s justice system as well as for the International Criminal Court (ICC), raising questions of how many cases will be brought to trial and how many accused Russian war criminals could ultimately face justice.

Tiếp tục đọc “Ukraine’s ‘Nuremberg Moment’ Amid Flood of Alleged Russian War Crimes”

Russian troops use rape as ‘an instrument of war’ in Ukraine, rights groups allege

By Tara John, Oleksandra Ochman and Sandi Sidhu, CNN

Updated 0420 GMT (1220 HKT) April 22, 2022

Karina Yershova, right, is pictured with her grandmother in an undated photograph provided by the family.

Karina Yershova, right, is pictured with her grandmother in an undated photograph provided by the family.

Lviv, Ukraine (CNN)When Russian troops invaded Ukraine and began closing in on its capital, Kyiv, Andrii Dereko begged his 22-year-old stepdaughter Karina Yershova to leave the suburb where she lived.

But Yershova insisted she wanted to remain in Bucha, telling him: “Don’t talk nonsense, everything will be fine — there will be no war,” he said.

With her tattoos and long brown hair, Yershova stood out in a crowd, her stepfather said, adding that despite living with rheumatoid arthritis, she had a fiercely independent spirit: “She herself decided how to live.”

Yershova worked at a sushi restaurant in Bucha, and hoped to earn her university degree in the future, Dereko said: “She wanted to develop herself.”

Unclaimed and unidentified: Bucha empties its mass graves

Unclaimed and unidentified: Bucha empties its mass graves 03:24

As Russian soldiers surrounded Bucha in early March, Yershova hid in an apartment with two other friends. On one of the last occasions Dereko and his wife, Olena, heard from Yershova, she told them she had left the apartment to get food from a nearby supermarket.

Tiếp tục đọc “Russian troops use rape as ‘an instrument of war’ in Ukraine, rights groups allege”

War gives Poland, Ukraine chance to bury troubled past

By Alexandra Brzozowski | EURACTIV.com

 15 Apr 2022

Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Culture Piotr Glinski, 13 October 2021. [EPA-EFE/Jonas Ekströmer]

Poland has shown immense support for Ukraine since the Russian invasion started. What is less known is that the two countries share a history of oppression and bloodshed, but according to Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński, the war has given them a chance to achieve full reconciliation.

Tiếp tục đọc “War gives Poland, Ukraine chance to bury troubled past”

Russia’s Brutality in Ukraine Has Roots in Earlier Conflicts

Its experience in a string of wars led to the conclusion that attacking civilian populations was not only acceptable but militarily sound.

nytimes.com

Ukrainian emergency workers at a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol last week.
Ukrainian emergency workers at a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol last week.Credit…Evgeniy Maloletka/Associated Press
Max Fisher

By Max Fisher

Published March 18, 2022Updated March 22, 2022

As Russian artillery and rockets land on Ukrainian hospitals and apartment blocksdevastating residential districts with no military value, the world is watching with horror what is, for Russia, an increasingly standard practice.

Its forces conducted similar attacks in Syria, bombing hospitals and other civilian structures as part of Russia’s intervention to prop up that country’s government.

Moscow went even further in Chechnya, a border region that had sought independence in the Soviet Union’s 1991 breakup. During two formative wars there, Russia’s artillery and air forces turned city blocks to rubble and its ground troops massacred civilians in what was widely seen as a deliberate campaign to terrorize the population into submission.

Now, Vladimir V. Putin, whose rise to Russia’s presidency paralleled and was in some ways cemented by the Chechen wars, appears to be deploying a similar playbook in Ukraine, albeit so far only by increments.

Tiếp tục đọc “Russia’s Brutality in Ukraine Has Roots in Earlier Conflicts”

The Ukraine Crisis Threatens a Sustainable Food Future

WRI.org

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already driven millions of people from their homes and left many without water, power and food. As hostilities continue, the humanitarian and economic consequences will expand far beyond the region, putting potentially millions of people around the world at risk of hunger.  

And these aren’t just short-term threats. The decisions that farmers and policymakers make over the next few weeks and months will have long-term consequences for the future of the world’s food systems. The right responses can keep the world on track for a sustainable food future. The wrong ones will worsen food insecurity and fuel climate change.

Ukrainian refugees at the Poland border.
Ukrainian refugees escape to the border town of Medyka, Poland. Millions of Ukrainian residents have fled their homes in recent weeks, due to the Russian invasion. Photo by Damian Pankowiec/Shutterstock

Emerging Food Implications of the Ukraine Crisis

Tiếp tục đọc “The Ukraine Crisis Threatens a Sustainable Food Future”

War Crimes in Ukraine

War Crimes by Russia’s Forces in Ukraine

PRESS STATEMENT

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE

MARCH 23, 2022

Since launching his unprovoked and unjust war of choice, Russian President Vladimir Putin has unleashed unrelenting violence that has caused death and destruction across Ukraine.  We’ve seen numerous credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians, as well as other atrocities.  Russia’s forces have destroyed apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, critical infrastructure, civilian vehicles, shopping centers, and ambulances, leaving thousands of innocent civilians killed or wounded.  Many of the sites Russia’s forces have hit have been clearly identifiable as in-use by civilians.  This includes the Mariupol maternity hospital, as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressly noted in a March 11 report.  It also includes a strike that hit a Mariupol theater, clearly marked with the word “дети” — Russian for “children” — in huge letters visible from the sky.  Putin’s forces used these same tactics in Grozny, Chechnya, and Aleppo, Syria, where they intensified their bombardment of cities to break the will of the people.  Their attempt to do so in Ukraine has again shocked the world and, as President Zelenskyy has soberly attested, “bathed the people of Ukraine in blood and tears.”

Every day that Russia’s forces continue their brutal attacks, the number of innocent civilians killed and wounded, including women and children, climbs.  As of March 22, officials in besieged Mariupol said that more than 2,400 civilians had been killed in that city alone.  Not including the Mariupol devastation, the United Nations has officially confirmed more than 2,500 civilian casualties, including dead and wounded, and emphasizes the actual toll is likely higher.

Tiếp tục đọc “War Crimes in Ukraine”

How international law applies to attacks on nuclear and associated facilities in Ukraine

thebulletin.org

By George M. Moore | March 6, 2022

 Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. The two tall smokestacks are at a coal-fired generating station about 3km beyond the nuclear plant. Photo credit: Ralf1969 via Wikimedia Commons.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine began to unfold, Russia’s swift occupation of the Chernobyl reactor complex and the surrounding exclusion zone sparked widespread speculation and concern.[1] The concern was not limited to whether the occupation would cause further radioactive release from Chernobyl;[2] it also included possible Russian military action against other Ukrainian nuclear facilities. These fears were further accelerated when Russian forces shelled and apparently occupied the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex near Enerhodar, Ukraine.[3] There have also been reports of attacks on a former Radon disposal site near Kyiv.[4]

World leaders have expressed concerns, and the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the issue. At the meeting, the US ambassador told the emergency session that the assault on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant “represents a dire threat to the world.” [5] The IAEA’s Board of Governors passed a resolution that deplored the Russian invasion and urged Russia to allow Ukraine to continue to control its nuclear facilities. The board’s resolution was similar to a UN General Assembly resolution passed on March 3rd.[6] Despite the high levels of concern the reactors at Zaporizhzhia do not appear to have been damaged and there has been no reported radiation release from the facility.

Tiếp tục đọc “How international law applies to attacks on nuclear and associated facilities in Ukraine”

UN votes to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for withdrawal

In an emergency session, 141 of the 193 member states voted for the resolution, 35 abstained and five voted against

theguardian.com

  • It is the first time in 40 years the security council has referred a crisis to the assembly and only the 11th time an emergency session of the UN general assembly has been called since 1950.
  • Russia-Ukraine war – latest updates

Julian Borger in WashingtonWed 2 Mar 2022 18.10 GMT

The United Nations has voted overwhelmingly for a resolution deploring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called for the immediate withdrawal of its forces, in a global expression of outrage that highlighted Russia’s increasing isolation.

In an emergency session of the UN’s general assembly, 141 of the 193 member states voted for the resolution, 35 abstained, and five voted against. The only countries to vote no in support of Moscow were Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria. Longstanding allies Cuba and Nicaragua joined China in abstaining.

ICC begins collecting evidence of war crimes; more talks to begin – as it happenedRead more

The resolution said the UN “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine”. It demanded that “the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine” and “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces”.

The resolution is not legally binding, but is an expression of the views of the UN membership, aimed at increasing pressure on Moscow and its ally, Belarus.

“It isn’t going to stop Russian forces in their stride, but it’s a pretty enormous diplomatic win for the Ukrainians and the US, and everyone who has got behind them,” Richard Gowan, UN director at the International Crisis Group, said.

Speaking before the vote, the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, compared the Russian invasion to the Nazi conquest of Europe.

“A few of the eldest Ukrainians and Russians might recall a moment like this, a moment when one aggressive European nation invaded another without provocation to claim the territory of its neighbour, a moment when a European dictator declared he would return his empire to its former glory and invasion that caused a war so horrific, that it spurred this organization into existence,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

Tiếp tục đọc “UN votes to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for withdrawal”

‘War crimes’ in fight over Philippines’ Marawi: Amnesty

Al Jazeera

by

Fighting in Marawi killed more than 1,000 people and forced thousands of residents to flee [File: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters]
Fighting in Marawi killed more than 1,000 people and forced thousands of residents to flee [File: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters]

Manila, Philippines – Diego swam across the chilly waters of Lake Lanao in pitch darkness to make it to the opposite shore before first light.

It was August 4, and the young father was fleeing the main battle zone in Marawi, a city on the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines, where, for three months, he was held hostage by Maute fighters linked to ISIL. Tiếp tục đọc “‘War crimes’ in fight over Philippines’ Marawi: Amnesty”

‘Chemical attack’ in Syria draws international outrage

Al Jazeera

UN to investigate potential war crimes after dozens, including children, die in rebel-held town of Idlib province.

WARNING: The above report contains images some may find distressing.

A suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in Syria’s Idlib province has drawn widespread international condemnation, with the United Nations saying it will investigate the bombing raid as a possible war crime.

At least 72 people, including 11 children, were killed in Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday, according to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which runs several field hospitals in the area. More than 550 people were injured. Tiếp tục đọc “‘Chemical attack’ in Syria draws international outrage”