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150 children separated and 170 missing after volcanic eruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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At least 150 children have been separated from their families, and 170 may have disappeared while fleeing thousands in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo following the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano, the United Nations reported today.

These numbers were announced by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a statement released today on its website.

More than 5,000 people have crossed the border between the city of Goma, about 20 kilometers from the volcano, according to the UN agency. According to the same source, at least 25,000 people were displaced in the city of Sake, about 25 km from Goma, the capital of the North Kivu region.

UNICEF was concerned that hundreds of people are now returning to their homes to find “damaged homes and shortages of water and electricity.”

“It is not yet clear how many aggregates were affected by the eruption in Nyiragongo, north of Goma. Many children around the airport in Goma were left homeless and homeless, ”added UNICEF.

The United Nations agency announced that it has dispatched a team to the affected areas of Sake, Buhene, Kibati and Kibumba to provide first-class assistance.

One of the initiatives foreseen by UNICEF is aimed at the installation of water decontamination points near Sake to limit the spread of cholera, as well as to strengthen the epidemiological surveillance of the disease.

Likewise, the United Nations agency wants, in cooperation with the Congolese authorities, to establish two transit centers for unaccompanied and separated children.

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UNICEF also says it is working with partners to identify cases of abuse and gender-based violence in order to provide medical and psychosocial support.

The eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo on Saturday night caused the skies over the city of Goma to come true, spreading panic and causing thousands to flee.

One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Nyiragongo volcano erupted at about 7:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. Lisbon) on Saturday, according to figures provided by the government that day.

As a result of the eruption, thousands of frightened people left the city overnight, carrying things and livestock, and headed to the city of Sake or the border with Rwanda, which, according to official figures, was crossed by at least 8,000 people. Ministry of Emergency Situations.

Already today, fleeing residents were gradually returning to their neighborhoods, some of which were “devastated” because their homes and other property were burned, according to a resident quoted by the EFE news agency.

Although the lava never reached the city, hundreds of houses on its periphery were destroyed or turned to ash, according to provincial authorities.

Located in North Kivu province, which also borders Uganda, the Goma region is an area of ​​intense volcanic activity located in the Rift Valley, with six volcanoes, including neighboring Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira, with a total area of ​​3,470 and 3,058 meters, respectively.

The last eruption of Nyiragongo in 2002 forced thousands of people to flee their homes and claimed the lives of hundreds.

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Goma is home to a large contingent of peacekeepers and many members of the United Nations mission in DR Congo, as well as a base for many non-governmental organizations and other international organizations.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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