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A Ukraine diary: Reflecting on two years of war

A Ukraine diary: Reflecting on two years of war

This story was originally published by The New Humanitarian. By Nizar Al Rifai TWO years after Russia launched its attempted full-scale invasion of Ukraine, I finally feel safe enough to publish my experiences using my real name. During the first month of the Russian invasion, which began on 24 February 2022, the small village I live in with my family west of the capital Kyiv, was directly in the line of attack. I kept a diary of writing and artwork during that time, which The New Humanitarian published shortly after Ukrainian resistance forced the Russian military to withdraw from the…
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UN deplores Russia attack on hospitals for women and children which left over 40 dead

UN deplores Russia attack on hospitals for women and children which left over 40 dead

UNITED Nations Human Rights Commission has deplored Russia's attack on two Ukraine hospitals which have left 41 dead. Spokesperson Jeremy Laurence made the following comment on the latest attacks in Ukraine, specifically on the children’s hospitals in Kyiv. “Last night, the UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk described as abominable the deadly blasts at two Kyiv hospitals that treat children and women,” Jeremy Laurence said. The Russian Federation launched a wave of strikes on densely populated areas of Ukraine, including the cities of Kryvi Rih, Pokrovsk and Dnipro. As well as the hospitals, we have received reports that key energy…
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World leaders join Ukraine summit in test of Kyiv’s diplomatic clout

World leaders join Ukraine summit in test of Kyiv’s diplomatic clout

WORLD leaders gathered at a Swiss mountain resort to try to build support for Ukraine's peace proposals at a summit skipped by U.S. President Joe Biden, shunned by China and dismissed as a waste of time by Moscow. More than 90 countries will take part, but China's absence in particular has dimmed hopes the summit would show Russia as globally isolated, while recent military reverses have put Kyiv on the back foot. The war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas has also diverted the world's attention from Ukraine. The talks will focus on broader concerns triggered by the war, such as food and nuclear…
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Russia accuses Kyiv of election sabotage, Medvedev warns ‘traitors’

Russia accuses Kyiv of election sabotage, Medvedev warns ‘traitors’

RUSSIA accused Ukraine of using "terrorist activities" to try to disrupt its presidential election and former President Dmitry Medvedev decried as "traitors" the scattered protesters who have tried to set fire to voting booths and pour dye into ballot boxes. The Ukraine war has cast a shadow over voting in the election, which is all but certain to hand President Vladimir Putin six more years in the Kremlin but has been marked by sporadic acts of protest. On the second of three days of voting, the Russian foreign ministry said Kyiv had "intensified its terrorist activities" in connection with the election "to demonstrate its…
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Ukraine rebuffs Pope Francis calling for talks with Russia

Ukraine rebuffs Pope Francis calling for talks with Russia

UKRAINE rebuffed Pope Francis's call to negotiate an end to the war with Russia, with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy saying the pontiff was engaging in "virtual mediation" and his foreign minister saying Kyiv would never capitulate. Francis said that when things were going badly for a party to a conflict one had to show the "courage of the white flag" and negotiate. The pope's interview was believed to be the first time Francis has used terms like "white flag" or "defeated" in discussing the Ukraine war, though he has referred in the past to the need for talks. Zelenskiy made no direct reference to…
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Western leaders in Kyiv pledge support for Ukraine on war anniversary

Western leaders in Kyiv pledge support for Ukraine on war anniversary

THE prime ministers of Italy and Canada signed security deals with Ukraine as Western leaders rallied around a war-weary Kyiv on the second anniversary of Russia's military invasion, with no end in sight to the fighting. After initial successes in pushing back the Russian army, Ukraine has suffered recent setbacks on the eastern battlefields, with its generals complaining of growing shortages of both arms and soldiers. Looking to dispel concerns the West is losing interest in the conflict, Italy's Giorgia Meloni and Canada's Justin Trudeau came to Kyiv early on Saturday with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander…
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Ukrainian family hopes for father’s return from Russian captivity

Ukrainian family hopes for father’s return from Russian captivity

EVERY Sunday in Kyiv, two-year-old Tymofii carries a picture of his father at rallies organised by activists and family members to remind citizens of the thousands of Ukrainian soldiers being held as prisoners of war by Russia. Tymofii was not yet one when he last saw his father Denys Chumak, who was captured while fighting in the besieged southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol in May 2022. "I am not alone," said his mother and Denys' wife Alisa, referring to the crowd of about 100 people. "On the one hand, this makes it easier but on the other, it's more…
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Ukraine presses ahead with removal of Soviet monuments

Ukraine presses ahead with removal of Soviet monuments

UKRAINIAN officials pressed on with a campaign to remove Soviet-era monuments as authorities in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv dismantled a statue of a Red Army commander from a central boulevard. Ukraine has doubled down on efforts to erase all traces of Russian rule amid a full-scale invasion by Kremlin troops, now nearing its two-year mark. Municipal workers on Saturday carefully hoisted the hulking statue of Mykola Shchors, a Soviet field commander during the Russian Civil War, off its pedestal. The structure had occupied a prominent spot on a central artery named after Ukraine's national poet. Onlookers stopped to watch and…
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Wanted: Thousands of Ukrainian judges, in huge overhaul sought by EU

Wanted: Thousands of Ukrainian judges, in huge overhaul sought by EU

VIRA Levko, a judge in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, typically handles dozens of administrative cases and several criminal hearings every day. And she says there are others who are far busier than her. When Levko tells colleagues abroad about her workload, they find it hard to believe. "They don't understand how a judge can hold so much information in their head," she told Reuters at the Dniprovskyi district court. Ukraine is desperately short of judges and is kick-starting a long-delayed nationwide hiring spree to fill more than 2,000 vacancies and vet around as many sitting judges for potential malfeasance. The…
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Russia launches first overnight drone attack on Kyiv in 12 days, Ukraine military says

Russia launches first overnight drone attack on Kyiv in 12 days, Ukraine military says

PAVEL POLITYUK RUSSIA launched an overnight drone attack on Kyiv and the surrounding region after a 12-day break, with air defence systems destroying all the weapons on their approach, Ukrainian military officials said. The country's air force said that the attack included eight Iranian-made Shahed drones and three cruise missiles which were shot down. "Another enemy attack on Kyiv," Serhiy Popko, a colonel general who heads Kyiv's military administration, said in a post on the Telegram channel. Three private houses were damaged as a result of falling drone debris in the Kyiv region, injuring one person, the military head of…
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