Global Review – 18th July

Attack on Crimea will ignite ‘Judgement Day’ responseMedvedev

If Kiev’s forces were to attack Crimea, Ukraine would suffer a Russian response from “the end of the world, immediate, which it could not avoid in any way”, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedevsaid Sunday. Interfax quoted Medvedev, current deputy head of the National Security Council, saying such an attack would prompt a “Judgment Day” response. He said Russia would achieve its goals in Ukraine, and Kiev’s attempts “to resist to the last Ukrainian will lead to the collapse of the current political regime” in Kiev. Medvedev added that the refusal of the NATO countries and Ukraine to recognise Crimea as Russian territory constitutes “a systemic threat” to Moscow, which could lead to a direct confrontation. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy said Ukraine would not accept Medvedev’s “intimidation”.

EU candidate status for Ukraine is a move against Russia – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Serghei Lavrov has defined the EU candidate status for Ukraine as a “geopolitical move against Russia”, Russian agency Tass reports. The holder of Russian diplomacy added, “The Russian armed forces and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic are succeeding in their tasks in the special military operation, trying to stop the genocide of the Russians and eliminating direct threats to our safety.” According to Lavrov, Kiev is “losing on the battlefield”, and “together with its Western protectors is demonising our country”.

50,000 Russian soldiers killed or wounded – UK

In a BBC television interview broadcast on Sunday, the head of Britain’s armed forces, Admiral Tony Radakin, estimated that 50,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded in the invasion with nearly 1,700 Russian tanks and some 4,000 armoured fighting vehicles destroyed.

EU mulls tightening Russia sanctions

The European Union will discuss tightening sanctions against Russia later today, as Kyiv accused Moscow of launching fresh strikes on multiple residential areas in eastern and southern Ukraine. The fresh strikes came after Moscow announced that it would step up its military operations and Kyiv accused Russia of installing missile launchers at Europe’s largest nuclear plant. With the conflict grinding on and increasingly spilling out into global energy and food crises, EU foreign ministers are considering banning gold purchases from Russia, which would align with sanctions already imposed by G7 partners. More Russian figures could also be placed on the EU’s blacklist. “Moscow must continue to pay a high price for its aggression,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said after forwarding the proposed measures.

Zelensky sacks top prosecutor, security head

Ukrainian President Zelensky on Sunday sacked his chief prosecutor and the head of the country’s security agency in the largest government shakeup since the start of Russia’s invasion nearly five months ago. Zelensky said he was firing Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and security chief Ivan Bakanov amid a high number of cases of suspected treason by Ukrainian law enforcement officials. In his daily address to the nation, Zelensky said over 650 cases of suspected treason and aiding and abetting Russia by Ukrainian security officials were currently being investigated, including 60 cases of officials who have remained in territories occupied by Russia and are working against Ukraine.

Protesting Russian journalist detained

Russian police on Sunday detained journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who in March interrupted a live TV broadcast to denounce the military action in Ukraine, her lawyer said. No official statement has been made, but her detention comes a few days after 44-year-old Ovsyannikova demonstrated alone near the Kremlin holding a placard criticising Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin. A message posted on the journalist’s Telegram account, also included three photos of her being led by two police officers to a white van, after apparently having been stopped while cycling. Her lawyer said he did not know where Ovsyannikova had been taken.

Wildfires rage from Spain to Greece

Firefighters battled to contain wildfires sweeping across southwest Europe on Sunday as a heatwave showed no sign of abating, with Britain poised to set new temperature records this coming week.Blazes raging in France, Greece, Portugal and Spain have destroyed thousands of acres of land and forced thousands of residents and holidaymakers to flee. Spanish authorities reported around 20 wildfires still raging out of control in different parts of the country from the south to Galicia in the far northwest. In France, the situation deteriorated in the southwestern Gironde region where firefighters were fighting to control forest blazes that have devoured nearly 27,000 acres since Tuesday. In Portugal, almost the entire country remained on high alert for wildfires despite a slight drop in temperatures, after hitting 47OC – a record for the month of July – on Thursday. In the United Kingdom, the Met office issued a first-ever “red” warning for extreme heat, cautioning there was a “risk to life”. Temperatures in southern England could exceed 40OC today or Tuesday for the first time, leading some schools to say they would stay closed next week. Organisers of a four-day march in the Netherlands cancelled the first day of the mass event due to start Tuesday because of extreme heat, when the temperature is set to reach 38OC. Meanwhile, climate-threatened Pacific islands called on Monday for the International Court of Justice to rule on countries’ legal duties to stop climate change – a move designed to ratchet up pressure on polluting nations.

Tory candidates clash in ITV leadership debate

The Tory MPs competing to become the next British prime minister have gone head-to-head in an ITV televised leadership debate. The race’s remaining candidates – Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Tom Tugendhat – answered questions on rising global temperatures, under contention after Britain’s climate minister, COP26 president Alok Sharma, threatened to resign if the winner retreats from the government’s “net zero” target. Only Sunak pledged to maintain green taxes to help pay for the legally-enshrined aim of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Cam video shows chaotic response to Uvalde massacre

CNN has released a new video that demonstrates chaos reigning among police officers who intervened in the shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Providing the video was the mayor of the town not respecting the prohibition imposed by the prosecutor in charge of the investigation. The images of a body cam show the total lack of coordination and action of the agents. One of the policemen asks in vain a couple of times the killer to surrender without then acting, another fumbles with a couple of keys to open a door along the corridor that led to the classrooms where the assailant was shooting.

4 dead, 2 wounded in Indiana mall shooting

The death toll from a gun attack that took place Sunday night in a shopping centre in Greenwood, Indiana, is four dead and two wounded. The authorities told the New York Times that among the victims, wa also the assailant, who was allegedly hit by an armed citizen. Authorities have not indicated any motives or identified the shooter, defined as an ‘adult male’.

Sweden, Netherlands reach Euro 2022 quarter-finals

Sweden thrashed Portugal 5-0 to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2022 on Sunday as holders the Netherlands needed a flurry of late goals to beat Switzerland 4-1 to ensure their place in the last eight.Silver medallists at last year’s Olympics, Sweden failed to hit top gear in drawing with the Dutch and squeezing past the Swiss 2-1 in their opening two games. Sweden will face whoever finishes second in Group D with Belgium, Iceland and Italy all in with a chance to finishing behind France in today’s matches (staring at 9 pm). The first quarter-final, between England and Spain will be played on Wednsday.

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