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      Russian athletes cleared to compete at Paris Paralympics 2024 / TheGuardian · Yesterday - 11:54

    • International Paralympic Commitee votes against full ban
    • Decision pending on whether they will compete as neutrals

    Russian athletes will be able to compete as full participants or neutral athletes at next year’s Paris Paralympics after the International Paralympic Committee members voted against a full ban of Russia on Friday.

    The decision clears the way for Russians, whose athletes are currently banned from any Paralympic competition, to be in Paris and what the IPC will decide later on Friday is whether they will do so in full national team gear or if they will compete as neutrals, without national emblems, flags or anthem.

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      Armenia Finds Itself Cast Adrift in a Tough Neighborhood / TheNewYorkTimes · Yesterday - 09:02

    While the Caucasus nation might want to reduce its reliance on Russia for a more reliable ally, Western nations have offered moral support but little else.
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      ‘Everything became a lie, a performance’ – Werner Herzog on Soviet Russia / TheGuardian · Yesterday - 09:00

    The German director is championing Georgian film-maker Rezo Gigineishvili’s movie about the dying days of the USSR. But, he says, he won’t be drawn into contemporary political debates

    What was Stalin like when he was ill? Did he have stomach pains? Did it make him sad? In Rezo Gigineishvili ’s film Patient #1, a frail communist leader in the 1980s Soviet Union seeks urgent answers to these questions as he feels his life slipping from him. But the comrade he calls from his hospital bed provides no reassurance: Stalin was never ill, he was only ever strong.

    Spurred on to live up to the dictator they called the Man of Steel, the general secretary brushes off his doctors’ concerns and orders to be driven to the Kremlin. But he dozes off before his limousine starts rolling, and the motorcade merely circles the hospital grounds: a melancholy image of a Russian empire locked in ever-repeating cycles of history.

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      The flare-up of violence in Kosovo shows the folly of the west’s appeasement of Serbia / TheGuardian · Yesterday - 08:00

    Unless the EU and US are tougher on Belgrade, Serbian nationalist attacks could destabilise the region

    The killing last weekend of a Kosovo police officer by a group of 30 or more heavily armed Serbian nationalist militants marks the most significant security incident in that country, and the western Balkans region, in more than a decade. The US ambassador to Pristina, Jeffrey M Hovenier , described the attack subsequently: “We know it was coordinated and sophisticated … The quantity of weapons suggests this was serious, with a plan to destabilise security in the region.”

    Kosovo’s authorities concur and are even more explicit in who they blame. Namely, Serbia’s government, and its strongman president, Aleksandar Vučić.

    Jasmin Mujanović is a political scientist and the author of Hunger & Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans and The Bosniaks: Nationhood after Genocide

    Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here .

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      Russia-Ukraine war live: drone hits Russian power substation near border, says governor; rocket hits Mykolaiv city / TheGuardian · Yesterday - 06:15

    Ukrainian drone dropped explosives on Russian substation in Belaya, setting transformer on fire, says local governor; rocket hits ‘infrastructure object’ on outskirts of Mykolaiv

    In Russia, Tass reports that an official of the armed forces has said that those conscripted during the autumn campaign will not be sent to fight in Ukriaine.

    Citing Vladimir Tsimlyansky , deputy chief of the main organisational and mobilisation directorate of the general staff of the Russian Federation armed forces, it reported that traditionally, the autumn conscription begins on 1 October, but quoted him saying:

    Servicemen undergoing conscription military service will not be sent to the points of deployment of units of the armed forces of the Russian Federation in new regions of the Russian Federation: Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, or to participate there in carrying out the tasks of a special military operation.

    This is Martin Belam taking over the live blog in London. You can contact me at .

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      Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 583 of the invasion / TheGuardian · 2 days ago - 23:33 · 2 minutes

    Russia to increase defence spending by almost 70%; EU extends rights of Ukraine refugees to 2025

    Russia said Thursday that it plans to raise defence spending by almost 70% next year, funnelling massive resources into its Ukraine offensive to fight what it calls a “hybrid war” unleashed by the west. With Moscow’s “special military operation” now approaching another winter, both sides have been digging deep and procuring weapons from allies in preparation for a protracted conflict.

    The announcement came as Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg and the defence ministers of Britain and France visited Kyiv , where President Volodymyr Zelenskiy lobbied for more air defence systems. Their visits came in advance of Kyiv’s first Defence Industries Forum, where Ukrainian officials were to meet representatives from more than 160 defence firms and 26 countries.

    International regulators are incapable of properly monitoring safety at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, according to a critical dossier compiled by Greenpeace that has been sent to western governments. The environmental campaign group concludes the International Atomic Energy Agency has too few inspectors at Europe’s biggest nuclear plant – four – and that there are too many restrictions placed on their access.

    Brussels warned European companies and governments that it could ban the sale of certain components to Turkey and other countries from where Iran and Russia are sourcing parts for drones and other weapons striking Ukrainian cities. The comments from the European Commission follows a leak to the Guardian of a document in which Kyiv detailed the use of western technology in Russian and Iranian drones.

    Belarus claimed on Thursday that a Polish helicopter had twice violated its airspace as tensions escalate between the two countries amid the conflict in Ukraine. The defence ministry said it had scrambled aircraft but provided no further details. In a separate statement, the Belarusian foreign ministry said it had summoned the Polish charge d’affaires and demanded that “an objective investigation be carried out immediately.

    The EU has extended the right of refugees from Ukraine to stay in the bloc by a year to March 2025, as Russia’s war against their country continues. The EU triggered its temporary protection directive days after Moscow’s February 2022 invasion to allow the millions of people fleeing Ukraine to remain.

    Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said an escalating grain exports dispute between Kyiv and Warsaw was detrimental to both countries . Poland has extended an embargo on Ukrainian grain, going against a European Commission decision to end the restrictions and triggering a diplomatic spat between the allies.

    Ukraine’s air force claimed on Thursday its air defence systems had shot down 34 of 44 Shahed drones that Russia launched overnight, while a regional official said no casualties were caused by the attack. “Fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft missile units and mobile fire groups were engaged to repel the attack,” the military said on the Telegram messaging app.

    Odesa regional governor Oleh Kiper said his region was the main target, but the attack left no casualties. “Our air defence forces did an excellent job,” Kiper said on Telegram.

    There were also strikes on Kirovohrad oblast and an infrastructure object was hit in Mykolaiv. One man was killed and another was injured in Kherson overnight. Three people have been hospitalised after a strike on Antonivka, near the Dnipro River.

    Alexander Bogomaz, governor of Russia’s Bryansk region, claimed on Telegram that electronic warfare had been used to down a Ukrainian drone on the approach to the city of Bryansk. “There were no casualties or damage. Operational and emergency services are on site,” he wrote.

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      Trump suing ex-MI6 officer who alleged he was ‘compromised’ by Russian security service / TheGuardian · 2 days ago - 20:45

    Christopher Steele’s dossier also alleged Putin ‘supported and directed’ plan to ‘cultivate’ Trump as a presidential candidate

    Donald Trump is suing a former MI6 officer and the intelligence consultancy he founded, high court records in England show.

    The former US president, who is mired in legal cases in his own country, is bringing a data protection claim against Orbis Business Intelligence and its founder Christopher Steele, who previously ran the secret intelligence service’s Russia desk.

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      EU threatens sales bans to block use of western parts in Russian drones / TheGuardian · 2 days ago - 08:30

    European Commission calls for tougher enforcement by member states to ensure sanctions are not circumvented

    Brussels has warned European companies and governments that it could ban the sale of certain components to Turkey and other countries from where Iran and Russia are sourcing parts for drones and other weapons striking Ukrainian cities.

    The comments from the European Commission follows a leak to the Guardian of a 47-page document in which the Ukrainian government detailed the use of western technology and appealed for long-range missiles to attack drone production sites in Russia, Iran and Syria.

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