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18-Year-Old Darya Kozyreva Jailed in Russia for Anti-War Activism, Faces Two-Year Sentence (bnnbreaking.com)

Kozyreva's defiance, demonstrated through social media posts and public displays of anti-war poetry, has led to her arrest and potential two-year penal colony sentence, spotlighting the ongoing struggle for freedom of expression in Russia.

Undermining Ukraine: How Russia widened its global information war in 2023 (www.atlanticcouncil.org)

Western sanctions applied in the wake of the initial invasion disrupted Russia’s ability to reach some European audiences with its state-sponsored media outlets. But Russia has since adjusted its information operations to focus more on social media; in addition to attacking Western public support to fund Ukraine’s defense,...

European Parliament calls on EU to give Ukraine whatever it needs to defeat Russia, U.S. House of Representatives must adopt stalled military assistance 'without delay' (www.europarl.europa.eu)

For Kyiv to win, there should be “no self-imposed restriction on military assistance to Ukraine”, with Parliament reaffirming the need to provide the country with whatever is needed to regain full control over its internationally recognised territory....

SpaceX Starlink terminals openly available on Russian website offered by Chinese drone maker DJI claiming to be an "official distributor" (www.newsweek.com)

The revelation follows allegations Russian forces are deploying Starlink in their invasion of Ukraine, now in its third year. DJI says it forbids distributors from selling its products in instances of suspected combat end-use. In April 2022, the tech firm announced it was temporarily suspending business in both Russia and...

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Massive Turnout at Navalny's Funeral Despite Obstacles from the Kremlin, people shouting 'no to war' and 'Putin is a killer' (article includes videos)

In a powerful display of solidarity and defiance, over 10,000 individuals gathered outside a church in Moscow today for the funeral of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Chanting slogans such as "Alexei" and "We are not afraid," mourners paid their respects to Navalny, who died in prison on February 16.

Driven by economic hardship and war fatigue, Russians are increasingly in favour of withdrawing troops from Ukraine without achieving the war's objectives, according to recent sociological research (voxeurop.eu)

By the end of 2023, Russians who support a troop withdrawal from Ukraine "without achieving the war goals" were for the first time more numerous than those who oppose such a move. Ordinary Russians consider the war to be the most important negative fact in their lives and want it to end quickly....

Scientist fired from Winnipeg disease lab intentionally worked to benefit China, potentially putting people's health in jeopardy, Canadian intelligence says (www.cbc.ca)

One of the scientists who was fired from Canada's top infectious disease laboratory "intentionally" shared scientific information with China, says an assessment by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)....

India to look elsewhere for oil amid new sanctions on Russian trade (trendydigests.com)

Indian refiners are concerned that the sanctions could lead to challenges in securing vessels for Russian oil, which would, in turn, push up freight rates. Additionally, payment issues related to the sanctions have been holding up purchases of Russian crude oil, with some tankers previously headed to India diverting elsewhere....

Reconstruction in Ukraine to cost $486 billion over the next decade, up from $411 billion estimated a year ago, report says (news.un.org)

The highest needs are in housing, or 17 per cent of the overall estimated costs, followed by transport, commerce and industry, agriculture and energy. Social protection and livelihood support and explosive hazard management are pegged at under 10 per cent, respectively, according to the UN....

Researcher: "Russia’s economy faces death by a thousand cuts. Western sanctions have failed to cripple Putin, but the damage will only grow over time." (www.telegraph.co.uk)

"It seems likely that the damage to Russia’s productive capacity from the loss of western technology and key supplies will increase over time," writes independent economist Roger Bootle....

Russia begs China for loans as the Kremlin is running out of money for rainy days, analysts say (charter97.org)

In almost 2 years of full-scale war, Russia has spent half the money from the National Welfare Fund (NWF), the main source of resources for a rainy day. At the end of 2023, almost 4 trillion rubles were spent from the National Welfare Fund, and now only 5 trillion remains in its so-called liquid part (savings in currency and...

Russia’s economy is now completely driven by the war in Ukraine – it cannot afford to lose, but nor can it afford to win (theconversation.com)

Military pay, ammunition, tanks, planes, and compensation for dead and wounded soldiers, all contribute to the GDP figures. Put simply, the war against Ukraine is now the main driver of Russia’s economic growth....

U.S. Treasury says warning of sanctions to banks slows Russia financial flows with countries such as United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China (www.reuters.com)

Washington's threat to hit foreign financial institutions with sanctions has made a significant difference in financial flows between Russia and countries such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan, said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo....

As U.S. government remains gridlocked, Warren Buffett's son Howard has given Ukraine half a billion dollars (fortune.com)

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation has given more than half a billion dollars in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country two years ago. And while Congress is gridlocked at the moment about supplying additional aid to the country, Buffett says he’s planning to keep giving....

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began two years ago, nearly 20,000 Ukrainian children have been forcibly deported to Russia. Of those, only 388 have been returned to their families. (globalnews.ca)

Researchers say that parents are tortured for information and forced to work in prison camps while their children are sent elsewhere — first to occupied territories like Donetsk and Luhansk, and then to Russia or Belarus....

Major European think-tank urges Western allies to seize Russian sovereign assets to financially support Kyiv’s war effort (ecfr.eu)

"The $290 billion of Russian sovereign assets frozen in the West – two-thirds of which is situated in Europe – would make a huge difference in Ukraine both during and after the war," researchers Leo Litra and Lesia Ogryzko from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) say....

British foreign secretary: U.S. failure to supply arms to Ukraine would undermine its own security, strengthen China and cast doubt on America’s reliability as an ally around the world (www.theguardian.com)

David Cameron was flanked by his German and Polish counterparts, Annalena Baerbock and Radek Sikorski, who made their own calls for US supplies to be resumed at a meeting organised in New York by the Wall Street Journal ahead of a UN security council meeting on Ukraine on Friday afternoon.

U.S. Task Force KleptoCapture Announces Array of New Charges, Arrests, and Forfeiture Proceedings in Advance of Second Anniversary of Illegal Invasion of Ukraine (www.justice.gov)

Charges against sanctioned oligarch Andrey Kostin and two of his U.S.-based facilitators. The facilitators, Vadim Wolfson, aka Vadim Belyaev and Gannon Bond, were arrested....

Ukraine's defeat would put European values at risk, which is why there is no alternative but for Europe’s support to continue, European Council President Charles Michel says (www.euractiv.com)

With Russia’s war raging nearby and the threat that a second Trump administration could pull the US out of NATO, Europe has increased its military spending. At the same time, the EU’s defence programmes and funds have multiplied....

Historian Timothy Garton Ash: ‘Not losing’ is not enough: it’s time for Europe to finally get serious about a Ukrainian victory (www.theguardian.com)

"At this year’s [security] conference, western leaders acknowledged the reality of a long war more clearly than they did last year, but most are still failing to communicate a sense of existential threat to their own societies. Nor are they taking the urgent actions needed to save Ukraine from more battlefield defeats such as...

‘Putin will spark a third world war if Russia claims victory in Ukraine’: Ukrainian steel magnate Yuriy Ryzhenkov warns of global fallout from the Kremlin’s war (www.telegraph.co.uk)

Vladimir Putin will spark a third world war if the Russian president is allowed to declare victory in Ukraine, according to the boss of the country’s biggest private employer....

Iran sends Russia hundreds of ballistic missiles (www.reuters.com)

Iran's provision of around 400 missiles includes many from the Fateh-110 family of short-range ballistic weapons, such as the Zolfaghar, three Iranian sources said. This road-mobile missile is capable of striking targets at a distance of between 300 and 700 km (186 and 435 miles), experts say....

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Supporting Ukraine (by raising taxes or doing whatever it takes Ukraine to win) and turning "the whole economy into a war economy" are two different things - and that's good, because Europe and the rest of the democratic world has no choice.

Russian citizens attending Navalny vigils given draft summonses, local Russian media report (kyivindependent.com)

At least six Russians arrested while attending makeshift memorials to the late opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in prison in Russia on Feb. 16, were given military draft notices upon their release from custody, local Russian media reported on Feb. 21.

Latvia's President Says Ukraine Is Not Only Fighting For Us But 'Fighting Instead Of Us' (www.rferl.org)

"I do believe that the only viable way to respond to this tragic news is to provide more assistance, more weapons to Ukraine," Edgars Rinkevics says, adding that "to some extent, the possibility of a better Russia, a more democratic Russia, currently lies not in Russia itself but in Ukraine."...

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