«Окрім створення перешкод Силам оборони України цей комплекс окупанти використовували для подавлення мобільного зв’язку у населеному пункті» – ССО

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The quiet Canadian port city of Halifax is looking forward to a high-tech future after having been chosen as the North American host for NATO’s latest effort to spur the development of cutting-edge technologies seen as crucial to 21st century warfare.

The selection was announced at last month’s Halifax International Security Forum, an annual event in which top politicians, military leadership and experts from around the world meet to discuss the defense of democracies.

It had already been decided that one of the program’s two offices would be located in Canada. A European regional office was selected from a joint Estonian-United Kingdom bid, according to a NATO announcement earlier this year.

The initiative, known as the Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), was unveiled during an April 6-7 meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

The alliance said then that DIANA “will concentrate on deep technologies – those emerging and disruptive technologies that NATO has identified as priorities including: artificial intelligence, big-data processing, quantum-enabled technologies, autonomy, biotechnology, novel materials and space.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg added that NATO would work with the private sector and academia to “ensure that we can harness the best of new technology for transatlantic security.”

The ministers also agreed to establish a 1 billion euro ($1.05 billion) venture capital fund to invest in “early-stage start-ups and other deep tech funds aligned with [NATO’s] strategic objectives,” according to the April announcement.

The selection appears to be a good fit for Halifax, which despite its relatively small population of 431,000 is Canada’s most important Atlantic seaport and home to the nation’s largest military base. More than 40 percent of Canada’s military assets are located in the surrounding province, according to the Nova Scotia government.

The city also features the regional headquarters of Canada’s civilian intelligence agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and the Nova Scotia headquarters of the national police service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Halifax’s harbor is the site of a major shipbuilding industry for the Canadian Navy and its naval dockyard features a processing center for the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing countries — Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It also has one of Canada’s three regional Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOCs), designed to coordinate the nation’s response to any maritime threat.

“Halifax is a great fit for DIANA and its priorities of NATO working more closely with industry and academia,” said Emily Smits, CEO of Modest Tree, a Canadian defense contractor considered one of the rising stars in the industry.

“Halifax is growing rapidly as a tech hub and has many major universities in Halifax and throughout the province. Having DIANA come to Halifax would further position the city as a place of innovation in emerging technologies and demonstrate this on a global scale.”

Asked by VOA what the establishment of DIANA in Halifax would mean for her company, Smits said, “It will allow further collaboration in academia, global industry and potential contracts and partnership discussions. Innovation hubs and networking opportunities that include global players in your backyard are always great for continued discussions.”

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Раніше у МЗС повідомили, що до українського консульства в Брно надійшов «закривавлений пакунок, яких були очі тварин»

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The British Defense Ministry’s intelligence update Friday on Ukraine said, “Russia’s withdrawal from the west bank of the Dnipro River last month has provided the Ukrainian Armed Forces with opportunities to strike additional Russian logistics nodes and lines of communication.”

“This threat has highly likely prompted Russian logisticians to relocate supply

nodes, including rail transfer points, further south and east,” according to the report posted on Twitter. “Russian logistics units will need to conduct extra labour-intensive loading and unloading from rail to road transport. Road moves will subsequently still be vulnerable to Ukrainian artillery as they move on to supply Russian forward defensive positions.”

The ministry said, “Russia’s shortage of munitions [exacerbated bv these logistics challenges] is likely one of the main factors currently limiting Russia’s potential to restart effective, large scale offensive ground operations.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron that he would be willing to talk with Russan President Valdimir Putin only if Putin is looking to put a stop to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Biden said any meeting he would have with Putin would be done after consulting with NATO allies. “I’m not going to do it on my own,” he said.

In his daily address Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recalled a referendum held 31 years ago on December 1 “that united the entire territory of our state … Everyone expressed their support.”

“People confirmed the Act of Proclamation of Independence of Ukraine – freely and legally. It was a real referendum …  an honest referendum, and that is why it was recognized by the world …  Ukrainian rules will prevail,” the president said in a swipe at the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Zelenskyy also said in his speech that he wants to ensure Ukraine’s spiritual independence, in a likely reference to a recent raid on Ukraine’s Russian-affiliated Monastery of the Caves, a 1,000-year-old Eastern Orthodox monastery in Kyiv, where security forces were looking to flush out spies housed among the clerics.

An adviser to Zelenskyy says as many as 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mykhailo Podolyak told the Kanel 24 television channel Thursday that between 10,000 to 13,000 soldiers have been killed in the conflict.

Reuters is reporting that three people were killed and seven were wounded overnight in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson region.

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Кабінет міністрів України протягом двох місцях має внести на розгляд Верховної Ради законопроєкт щодо унеможливлення діяльності в Україні афілійованих із центрами впливу в Росії релігійних організацій. Про це йдеться у рішенні РНБО, яке президент України Володимир Зеленський ввів у дію.

Відповідно до рішення РНБО, уряд протягом двох місяців має забезпечити перевірку правових підстав та дотримання умов користування релігійними організаціями майном, яке перебуває на території Національного Києво-Печерського історико-культурного заповідника.

Також Держслужбі з етнополітики та свободи совісті має провести релігієзнавчу експертизу Статуту про управління Української православної церкви на наявність церковно-канонічного зв’язку з Московським патріархатом.


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With Ukraine scrambling to keep communication lines open during the war, an army of engineers from the country’s phone companies has mobilized to help the public and policymakers stay in touch during repeated Russian missile and drone strikes.

The engineers, who typically go unseen and unsung in peacetime, often work around the clock to maintain or restore phone service, sometimes braving minefields to do so. After Russian strikes took out the electricity that cellphone towers usually run on, they revved up generators to keep the towers on.

“I know our guys – my colleagues – are very exhausted, but they’re motivated by the fact that we are doing an important thing,” Yuriy Dugnist, an engineer with Ukrainian telecommunications company Kyivstar, said after crunching through 15 centimeters of fresh snow to reach a fenced-in mobile phone tower on the western fringe of Kyiv, the capital.

Dugrist and his coworkers offered a glimpse of their new daily routines, which involve using an app on their own phones to monitor which of the scores of phone towers in the capital area were receiving electricity, either during breaks from the controlled blackouts being used to conserve energy or from the generators that kick in to provide backup power.

One entry ominously read, in English, “Low Fuel.”

Stopping off at a service station before their rounds, the team members filled up eight 20-liter jerrycans with diesel fuel for a vast tank under a generator that relays power up a 50-meter cell tower in a suburban village that has had no electricity for days.

It’s one of many Ukrainian towns that have had intermittent power, or none at all, in the wake of multiple rounds of devastating Russian strikes in recent weeks targeting the country’s infrastructure – power plants in particular.

Kyivstar is the largest of Ukraine’s three main mobile phone companies, with some 26 million customers – or the equivalent of about two-thirds of the country’s population before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion drove millions of people abroad, even if many have since returned.

The diesel generators were installed at the foot of the cell phone towers since long before the invasion, but they were rarely needed. Many Western countries have offered up similar generators and transformers to help Ukraine keep electricity running as well as possible after Russia’s blitz.

After emergency blackouts prompted by a round of Russian strikes on Nov. 23, Kyivstar deployed 15 teams of engineers simultaneously and called in “all our reserves” to troubleshoot the 2,500 mobile stations in their service area, Dugrist said.

He recalled rushing to the site of a destroyed cell tower when Russian forces pulled out of Irpin, a suburb northwest of Kyiv, earlier this year and getting there before Ukrainian minesweepers had arrived to give the all-clear signal.

The strain the war is putting on Ukraine’s mobile phone networks has reportedly driven up prices for satellite phone alternatives like Elon Musk’s Starlink system, which Ukraine’s military has used during the conflict, now in its 10th month.

After widespread infrastructure strikes last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy convened top officials to discuss the restoration work and supplies needed to safeguard the country’s energy and communication systems.

“Special attention is paid to the communication system,” he said, adding that no matter what the Russia has in mind, “we must maintain communication.”

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На зустрічі, серед іншого, обговорювали ініціативу створення Тимчасового Офісу прокурора, який відповідатиме за стратегію розслідування злочину агресії.

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US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed that they would never pressure Ukraine to negotiate an end to the war with Russia, saying the US and France stand as united as ever with their NATO allies against Moscow’s invasion. VOA’s senior diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine reports.

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A new European Union proposal for an international tribunal to try Russian aggression in Ukraine has received mixed reviews — prompting a thumbs up from Kyiv and rights advocates but doubts from experts about its feasibility and whether it will receive broad-based acceptance.

“Russia must pay for its horrific crimes, including for its crime of aggression against a sovereign state,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Wednesday, laying out arguments for establishing a new, United Nations-backed court. “We are ready to start working with the international community to get the broadest international support possible for this specialized court.”

The United Nations-backed International Criminal Court — also known as the ICC — in the Netherlands is already looking into alleged Russian war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, as well as possible Ukrainian atrocities. Russia has denied committing war crimes and accused the international community of ignoring abuses by Ukrainian forces.

Special U.N.-backed tribunals aren’t new. The body proposed by von der Leyen, if ever realized, would focus on Russian aggression in Ukraine.  

First lady points to thousands of crimes

The Ukrainian government has been quick to support the idea. Visiting a London exhibition this week on alleged Russian war crimes, Ukraine’s first lady Olena Zelenska called for justice.

She said more than 40,000 Russian crimes had been registered in Ukraine. Look at the photos at the exhibition, she told her audience, and abstract ideas of war in Ukraine will become real.

Moscow has dismissed the idea of a new war crimes tribunal as having no legitimacy. Experts suggest it would be challenging to establish one.

“My reading of what Ursula von der Leyen said is that the EU doesn’t take for granted that there would be overwhelming international support — and that it recognizes there has to be a sort of campaign to win support for the idea,” said Anthony Dworkin, a policy fellow specializing in human rights and justice at the European Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank.

Proposal needs support from developing nations

Brussels will especially need backing from developing countries in Africa and elsewhere, said Dworkin.

“I think it’s very important that that should be done, rather than European countries kind of short-circuiting the attempt to win international legitimacy for the idea by just setting it up themselves,” he said.

Even if it’s up and running, such a tribunal could face obstacles if, for example, Russian President Vladimir Putin or other Russian officials face war crimes charges yet are still welcome to visit some nations. That was the case with Sudan’s former leader, Omar al-Bashir, who traveled to multiple countries despite ICC arrest warrants.

Charges against high-level Russian officials may also complicate any future Western efforts to end the war in Ukraine.

“A court is supposed to be politically independent,” said Dworkin. “And therefore, you wouldn’t for instance expect — if there is a kind of negotiation at the end of the conflict — that the charges would be somehow dropped as part of the negotiation. The charges will persist.”

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Ukraine’s foreign minister said Thursday a letter bomb sent to the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid was act of terror and pledged to ensure that those responsible receive the maximum punishment.

Authorities in Spain say the bomb was one of several that went to various addresses around the Spanish capital, including that of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and intercepted. The one that arrived at the Ukrainian embassy exploded Wednesday, injuring an employee.

Speaking on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Romania, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the letter bomb was a very serious matter, and they were carefully following it.

He said, “This is an attack against the diplomatic establishment that is defended by international law,” and he had ordered all foreign diplomatic Ukrainian establishments to immediately increase security measures.   

Kuleba pledged to “defend each Ukrainian not only in Ukraine, but also abroad with all available means.”  

Spanish officials said packages also arrived Thursday at Spain’s defense ministry and the Torrejon de Ardoz air base. Another package arrived Wednesday at Instalaza, a company that makes grenade launchers Spain has sent to Ukraine.

The investigation into who sent the packages is continuing.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

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«Протягом листопада засобами протиповітряної оборони було знищено 72% застосованих противником крилатих ракет і 80% безпілотних літальних апаратів»

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Звідти «здійснюється передислокація російських окупаційних військ та озброєння і військової техніки збройних сил РФ»

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За даними Юрія Ігната, зараз зафіксовано від 20 до 30 російських літаків, які виконують завдання з підтримки наземних військ, вони можуть здійснювати якісь удари

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«До інформації потрібно дуже обережно ставитися, потрібно ретельно аналізувати. На сьогодні Росія займається величезним вкидом в наший інформаційний простір. Тут також точиться війна»

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U.S. President Joe Biden is set to host French leader Emmanuel Macron for talks Thursday at the White House that are expected to cover a range of topics including Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region. 

U.S. and French officials said Iran’s nuclear program and security in the Sahel region of Africa would also be on the agenda. 

Macron is the first world leader Biden is hosting on a state visit since becoming president. 

“If you look at what’s going on in Ukraine, look at what’s going on in the Indo-Pacific and the tensions with China, France is really at the center of all those things,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said ahead of Macron’s visit. “And so the president felt that this was exactly the right and the most appropriate country to start with for state visits.” 

Biden and his wife, Jill, had dinner with Macron and his wife, Brigitte, at a Washington restaurant Wednesday. 

Earlier Wednesday, Macron brought up one source of tensions between his country and the United States and he spoke in a meeting with U.S. lawmakers about Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. 

Macron cited provisions in the legislation that provide subsidies for U.S.-made products, saying the measure was “super aggressive” toward European companies. 

“I don’t want to become a market to sell American products because I have exactly the same products as you,” Macron said. 

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters 

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