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Biden threatens Taliban with “destructive force if necessary”

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On Monday, US President Joe Biden warned the Taliban not to interfere with the evacuation process organized by the US in Afghanistan, threatening to “destructive force if necessary.”

The response to the attack will be “swift and powerful,” Joe Biden said in a speech at the White House in which he pledged to protect US citizens with “destructive force, if necessary.”

In his statement, the president acknowledged that the United States did not expect the situation in Afghanistan to unfold so quickly.

“In truth, it happened faster than we expected,” he stressed.

However, he argued that “American troops cannot and should not fight and die in a war in which Afghan forces do not want to fight alone.”

“We gave them every opportunity to define their future,” Joe Biden said, adding that “American troops cannot and should not fight and die in a war that Afghan forces do not want to fight. themselves”.

The US President also noted that US international opponents, led by China and Russia, “would like” the Americans to remain stuck in Afghanistan.

Joe Biden “vigorously defended” his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan despite the Taliban seizure of power in Kabul.

“After 20 years, I was reluctant to learn that there is never a good time to withdraw American troops,” the US President said in an address to the nation.

“In truth, this all happened faster than we expected,” he admitted in a White House statement.

US President Joe Biden also warned the Taliban not to interfere in the US-sponsored evacuation process in Afghanistan, threatening them with “destructive force if necessary.”

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Because the response to the attack will be “swift and powerful,” Joe Biden said in a statement in which he pledged to protect US citizens with “destructive force when necessary.”

Following several offensive operations that began in May this year, following the announcement by the United States of the final withdrawal of its armed forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban on Sunday captured the last major city not yet under its rule, the capital Kabul. , announcing today the end of the war in Afghanistan and its victory.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Sunday as the Taliban stood at the gates of the capital as leaders of the radical Islamic movement took over the presidential palace.

The entry of Taliban forces into Kabul marked the end of a two-decade US-led military campaign with the support of its allies, including Portugal. Afghan security forces, trained by foreign militaries, collapsed even before the Taliban entered the city of Kabul.

Thousands of Afghans in Kabul are trying to flee the country, and many have headed to the chaotic international airport.

Most of the countries in the Security Council today expressed their deep concern over the violation of human rights in Afghanistan and fears of a possible increase in terrorism in the country with the coming to power of the Taliban.

UN Secretary General António Guterres, who was the first to speak at an emergency meeting of the UN’s highest body, expressed concerns shared by most of the international community.

“We must speak with one voice to protect human rights in Afghanistan,” Guterres said, adding that he was concerned, in particular, by reports of increased human rights violations against women and girls in Afghanistan, who fear return on their darkest days. … black people. “

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The Portuguese diplomat also called on the international community to prevent terrorism from taking root in Afghan territory, and said that “largely” the United Nations personnel and facilities in the country were “respected.”

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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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